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Friday, May 29, 2009

Sesame Place Here We Come!

I got to hand it to my husband, because he is just AWESOME! Yesterday I got a phone call from my sister who happens to be at Sesame Place. She was telling me about the great time they were having and that this theme park is really fun for our kids age (our kids are almost two). I have been wanting to go for a while, even before she mentioned her trip a while back. I was glad she was having a great time, but I was jealous. Not that I didn't want her to have a good time. I wanted to be there too with my beautiful family and having a good time as well. At the end of the call, my sister mentioned that if we are going to come up (she knew were thinking of going) then to come up sooner then later before school lets out and the park gets busy. She talked about how there weren't really any lines and that the park was almost empty. So upon hanging up with my sister after our call was over, I told my husband about my sister's advice. He listened nicely and I thought nothing more of that. I had no idea when we would go. I just wanted to share the advice.

So today, while I am working away at my job, I get an email from my husband. It turns out that my wonderful husband booked a two night stay at a hotel and bought tickets to Sesame Place! I nearly choked on the soda I was drinking while reading the message. I was so surprised! I wasn't begging to go or anything, but he knew that I wanted to go. I love great surprises! I have the best husband in the world.

I will post probably on Monday about the trip and a nice review on Sesame Place. I am just ecstatic! I can't wait to go!

Calling All Caps Fans!

Right now Modell's area stores (not online) is having a FANTASTIC sale on all things Capitals. End of the season (much to my despair) or not, my husband and I couldn't pass up the great deals. Shirts that are usually $35 are now just $10. Caps hats also cost $10. So visit your local Modell's before the new season starts and the prices raise once again! It really is a GREAT deal!

Weekend Events

Need an idea on what to do this weekend with your family? Check out NOVA Parenting Activities! There are lots of fun ideas all around the area.

Fight or Flight?

When it comes to arguments (except with my husband), I tend to shy away. I hate confrontation. Maybe because I grew up with my sister fighting a lot of battles for me (thank you for that) or maybe it is just my personality. Unless it deals with my kid, I will flee any type of argument. I just am not a one to bring up anything confrontational and thankfully my husband is...until a few nights ago.

My husband and I both had this looming question if one of our couple friends were either one avoiding us or did we do something that offended them. For once, my husband was not up front with just asking them. Usually he doesn't care about talking to anyone about any subject. Sometimes I think he should of been a lawyer, but that is another topic for another day. We questioned this for a while because in the past weekends were usually spent with our couple friends and we always had a fantastic time. Our children are the same age. We agree on the same principals (for the most part) and we honestly love these people and their children. So when invitations were sparse and weekends would go by without phone calls, we started to wonder.

Then last weekend, my husband and I really wondered if in fact we did something. We wanted to hang out with our couple friends and we thought the plans were going to happen and then they didn't. The next day, my husband told me to just ask. Me? Ask? That was out of the question! There was NO way I could confront that without sounding like a five year old little kid asking, "why didn't you ask me to come out an play?". So I did what any non confrontational person would do, I called another friend of mine who happened to be a sister/sister in law of this couple. Wow, this sounds really high school, but seriously I thought I'd die if I confronted the topic to the actual people.

So I sat and thought about what I was going to say. I actually scripted myself so I wouldn't sound like a five year old or sound like I was being a complete b#@!h. I tend to get over emotional when confronting anyone so I scripted out in my head over and over again what I was going to say and after much contemplation, I called my friend. She was on the other line and asked to call me back! CRAP! I had to rebuild everything on what I was going to say! NOOOO!!!!! Thankfully she called back. Actually that helped because it seriously took me forever just to pick up the phone to call her.

I started off asking about a friend (who she was on the other line with). Then I let out a big breath and asked my friend the big question, "Is your sister angry with me?". I knew she would know. She is the type of friend who is wonderfully close to her sister. I knew she wouldn't rat out her sister if there was a huge dilema between us, she would give me some suggestive insight to the matter. My friend responded having no clue what I was talking about and that if her sister had a problem with me then she would know. I was thinking to myself, "THANK GOD!" We ended the call on a good note talking about other things girly that will NOT be mentioned in this post. It calmed me down to be honest and thankfully I could sleep that night.

The next day, the girl...err woman of my couple friend and I were emailing. She in her cheerful email talked about going to parks with our kids, etc., I was beaming. She didn't hate me or my husband! I emailed her back telling her how I talked to her sister and the conversation we had because I had thought she was angry with me about something. She replied with saying that she was really busy, had too much on her schedule and how she really wanted to get back into hanging out on a more consistent basis.

So that goes to show that even though my husband and I had reasonable thoughts, that sometimes a little confrontation pays off. We obviously love these friends and even though it was one of the most difficult conversations probably this year, I loved them enough to ask. Sometimes a little confrontation goes along way with making your day better and finding out that what you thought negatively, wasn't the problem at all.

I encourage anyone reading this (if you got this far), that if something is bothering you then ask. If anything the outcome at least will bring you a little sanity and at least your family or friends will know what is bothering you. Its a high school lesson on relationships, but at least today I am a little more sane.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jon and Kate Plus 8

I will admit that I have been a long time viewer of the show Jon and Kate Plus 8. I started watching first out of curiosity (before I had kids)on how anybody could handle six children plus an older set of twins at the same time. Although their stress level was a little high (who wouldn't be with six screaming 18 month old children around), I actually commended Kate for being able to seemingly stay on top of things with her tad bit of OCD in organizing. I didn't like her bashing her husband or treating him like a child, but I figured it was part of the stress with eight kids. What once was suppose to be a documentary about the children turned into a annual series about the children. To me, it wasn't about how this woman could handle her kids. I sort of got that the first time I saw the first couple of shows. She would lead, and her husband would follow along with the other stream of volunteers that would enter her house. I watched to see what would happen next and to see how the children have grown. It is amazing watching a little person grow up and see their little personalities evolve.

Then a about a year ago, I stumbled on the Gosselins Without Pity blog. I was intrigued. The website seemingly had some inside information on the family. It talked about the new house even before they got it and other little tid bits that later came out in the shows. What I didn't like about it was all the bashing. Sure Kate is very high strung. She needs to think of Jon as her equal and not her employee. I honestly think that Kate is doing what she THINKS is best for her family. Would I love free vacations? Sure! Would I love to have seemingly easy money come to me so I can have a place that fits my family? Sure! Would I have a television show on my life? No. I couldn't imagine people filming me during the good, bad and very ugly days. It would be way too demanding on me. I would feel like my house would need to be immaculate everyday. I would want to make sure I was dressed nicely everyday with hair and make up done. I would feel like I needed to put on a fake facade if I was having a bad day for any number of reasons just so no one else would know I was having a bad day. Then most importantly to top it all off, I couldn't imagine my son filmed during his temper tantrums, his potty training, his blow outs, etc., Its nice seeing films of you growing up, but for me, it would be WAY embarrassing if the whole world saw me (even as a little kid) pooping in the potty. So I agree with GWOP's comments for the most part, but only the constructive ones. I hate the insults. Its not necessary in my world.

Then through GWOP, I found Aunt Jodi's sister blog Truth Breeds Hatred. It gave a little bit too much information sometimes. I kind of feel like if it was my sister in law's sister that she shouldn't of published some of the things she published. There should be some secrecy in the family even though the majority is filmed for the world to see right? In her own defense she was just probably wanting to protect her sister and the kids.

Now we hear and see tabloids, news stories, blogs etc., talking about the alleged affairs Jon and Kate had. Are they true? Honestly it is none of our business. It just isn't. After watching their first new season show this past week, I found the entire show to be rather sad. You could see the tension between Jon and Kate. You could hear the kids question on wanting their Daddy home. I hope, as I hope for most couples struggling in their marriage that those two will work it out. That they will seek marriage counseling. That divorce to them is the last option if it even is an option. If one person or both people were wrong, then they should admit that to each other and then begin the grieving/forgiving process. With that they should probably call it quits on the show. Its not just for the children anymore, but for their entire family to work on staying intact. I just don't think they can do that with scheduled shows and cameras around. Jon and Kate need to take the time from the scheduled television shows, appearances, etc., to work on each other. I just hope and pray that they do.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


No I am not talking about the Broadway musical Hair (though I love that play), but I had a question for everyone. As you get older, do you find that you just have a crap load of hair that just grows at a insanely rapid speed in places you don't want it to grow?

I am one of those women that practically have to shave everyday to not have stubble. I really am jealous of those women that can go a week without shaving and their legs are perfectly smooth. If I did that (and I have done that), my legs resemble my husbands legs, which I am sure is very attractive to my husband who sees them just about every night. Now its facial hair. Yes I said it. I seriously wish that besides my hair on top of my head and eyebrows that I could just go through a scanner that could painlessly rid of the rest of my body hair forever. I have hair growing in the WEIRDEST places and it is not fun nor cool.

I find this to be an increasing problem as I am getting older. By 60 maybe I'll look like one of those weird werewolf kids you see on The National Geographic Channel. I am just sick, sick, sick or the hair!

Is anyone else having the same issues?

Would You (Could You), If You Had To

Just hypothetical questions, but I wanted to play a little game today. I may do this once in a great while once I come up with new questions. The game is, What would you do, if you had to.

  1. If you had to move to a different country (lets just say things went to hell in the U.S.), then where would you move to and why?
  2. Would you steal to feed your children?
  3. Could you turn off all electronics (TV, Phone, Computer) for one week, could you do it?
  4. Would you be able to support yourself if your spouse was not around?
  5. Would you ever be able to be friends with someone that had a plural marriage?
  6. Would you easily be able to live in the time you parents or grandparents grew up in? Remember, lack of television, living through war (World War II, Vietnam), lack of fast food restaurants, no A/C and women more or less wore just skirts/dresses?
To answer my own questions:
  1. If I had to move to a different country it would be between living in Canada (I can't believe I just said that) just because its close and they do speak English depending on the city you go to or move to Russia. Russia is an option only because my husband is from there and I find the culture, language, etc., intriguing. I think if I didn't have family around that I would want to try living in Europe for a few years.
  2. If there were no options and it was between my children starving or me stealing to get something, then I would steal. There is no question about that. My child ranks above everything and I would do anything for him even if its against my morals.
  3. I think I could turn off all electronics. For the most part, I do that when I am away from vacation. I don't really talk to anyone on the phone or go on my computer. Television would be harder though only because for me I feel comforted hearing it in the background even if I am not watching it. I must have noise in my house.
  4. At the current state that I am living, I could not support my family if my husband for whatever reason was not around. I would have to either move back with my parents or find a very small place to live.
  5. I think I could be friends with just about anyone minus the pedophiles, rapist and those that fit in that category. I don't really care if you are gay, living in a plural marriage, etc., Hate the sin but love the sinner people. Its for God to judge on judgment day.
  6. Living in my parents day or grandparents day would be hard for me, especially because I am a woman. The rights and equality that women take today for granted were just not there when my Mom and Grandparents were young. I could deal without the television as there would be a radio. I also couldn't imagine what the world was like during war time in either extreme (World War II or Vietnam). I know we have men/women dying in Afghanistan and Iraq, but these are totally different wars. As for A/C, I remember when my elementary schools and Grandparents home did not have A/C. It was crappy but we all dealt. I think if we aren't accustomed to things then people just deal. Yeah it was hot, but we did things like turn off the lights, plug in fans, etc., As for wearing skirts/dresses, this would be probably the hardest on me because I HATE wearing skirts or dresses. In my Mom's day you could not wear pants to school. That was just something you did not do. Wearing skirts/dresses everyday would mean I would actually have to shave my legs everyday and sit "lady like". That for me would be exhausting.

Friday, May 22, 2009

In Memory

Today marks a solemn day for my husband and I, as today was to be the 26th birthday of our friend. Sadly, he passed away over a year ago. I think our biggest regret with him, is that we never reconnected after a falling out between us.

My old friend (now gone from this world) and I used talked hours and hours on the phone and met up with each other on weekends when we were in high school. I believe I have the longest lasting phone conversation with him to date, which was six hours. I can't believe I talked to anyone six hours on the phone with anyone, but I did with him. It was the type of relationship we had and he unlike most boys his age, my dear friend was very chatty. Later on I dated his twin, which sort of put our friendship into another direction (his decision, not mine). Then I met my now husband while still dating this twin and we started seeing each other on the side. Wrong as it may be, it was fate. Obviously this put a damper on the relationship my husband and I had with the twins.

Thankfully about a year before my friend died, I became friends/acquaintance with my old boyfriend. We obviously were not the best of friends but we were able to ask how each other was doing and just know little tid bits on each others lives. I appreciated that. It was then in February, when I got the dreaded call from a high school friend of mine informing me that my old friend had died. I honestly could not believe it and thought it was a sick joke. I wish it had been, as I knew losing him in this world would be beyond devastating to his family and all the people that cared about him, especially his twin brother. He was too too young to die. My husband and I still had yet to rekindle our friendship with him...

I later went to his wake, which was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. One of my good girlfriends went with me for support, which just shows how wonderful she really is (thank you for that). I was able to say goodbye to my dear friend and give the family my deepest condolences. The next day, my husband, Mom and I attended the funeral. That was hard...really hard. My husband broke down in tears and had to take a moment before the funeral began. I held them back doing my best to be strong. During one part of the funeral people were asked to stand up and tell a story, experience or anything they would like about my old friend. I just couldn't. My husband stood up (much to the surprise of a few partipants) and talked about how at one time my old friend got a flat while riding his motorcycle and had to hitch a ride with my husband on his motorcycle. Both boys were quite big, so it looked pretty ridiculous for two guys to be riding down the road on such a small motorcycle. I remember the grieving twin looking up towards my husband and smiled an appreciative smile. He was grateful for that story.

So I am thinking of you today my dear friend. I remember all the fantastic memories I shared with you. I remember the first time meeting you and sadly I remember the last time I saw you. I remember when four girls including myself skinny dipped and you were the only boy wearing my extra small boxers. I remember how you loved your cars and I believe had at least five before your 19th birthday one of which was your dream car, an RX7. I remember your laugh and the funny jokes you used to tell. I remember how your Dad, brother and you reeved your engines so loud outside of the old folks home (we were visiting Granny) that you probably scared the "blue hairs" to death. I remember all these wonderful things about you and like anything I wish that we now could rekindle that old friendship and form new memories. You are very much missed in this world my dear friend. I am thinking about you today.

Memorial Day

This upcoming Monday marks another holiday in the U.S., Memorial Day. To some it is a day that we just get off work and go shopping, but to others it means quite a bit more. It is a wonderful day to reflect in what so many men and women did selflessly in making the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation.

Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day honors those men and women that died while serving their country. At first this holiday was to honor those Union soldiers that died during the Civil War, but was later Memorial Day was expanded after World War I to honor all women and men who died while in the Armed Forces.

I myself never served in the Armed Forces. I once had a nomination to attend West Point but love interest kept me at home (silly me). Before that I thought I would love to drive tanks, but found out that MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) was reserved only for men. I do however have a love and appreciation of the Armed Forces.

My Great Grandfather was just 21 when was fighting in the Philippines in World War I. In those days he was part of the cavalry. Later in life he served 22 years at West Point Military Academy and was one of the men that helped rebuild West Point after the great fire. He knew Marty Maher and my Grandfather and Great Aunts/Uncles played with his nephew. He served his country proudly even though he was originally a Norwegian that merely jumped ship as a stow away to come to America so he could eat. Today he and my Nana are buried in West Point Cemetery.

My Grandfather and Great Uncle both served in World War II. My Grandfather fought in North Africa and nearly got killed as the driver was shot in the head five minutes after he switched seats with him. My Great Uncle was on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. He will admit he was there, but there is a keen sadness in his eye remembering that time period. Both were valiant and brave men who later retired out of the military.

My Uncle fought in Vietnam and served as a tank crew member. My Dad was a Marine, but was injured in D.C. which probably saved his life despite the year of knee/leg pain. His best friend was at the Battle of Ong Thanh and lived to tell about it. All these men loved their country and thankfully lived to tell about it.

In present day it is the conflicts in the Middle East where soldiers fight everyday against terrorist and selflessly for other people's freedom. My best friends both were in Iraq and Afganistan. One was in the Anti-Terrorist Unit in Italy , who shot a 350 Bravo. I remember occasionally getting videos from him of the Taliban trying to shoot rocket launchers at them and how close they would come. Thankfully both made it home but I prayed everyday for them. Now I know of one person currently serving in Iraq. It is my friends' brother and I too pray for him and all the soldiers to make it home safely.

Memorial Day should be a day of reflection and prayer at some point during that day. Take a moment and pray for our fallen soldiers and for their families. Pray for the troops serving overseas that can't see their family everyday. Think of the countless sacrifices these women and men did for our country to preserve our freedom and independence.

A Tribute To Veterans
Jerry Calow (copyright 2003 )

In Vietnam, Korea and World Wars Past
Our Men Fought Bravely so Freedom Would Last
Conditions Where Not Always Best They Could Be
Fighting a Foe You Could Not Always See:

From Mountain Highs to Valley Lows
From Jungle Drops to Desert Patrols

Our Sinewy Sons Were Sent Over Seas
Far From Their Families And Far From Their Dreams
They Never Wrote Letters Of Hardships Despair
Only Of Love, Yearning That One Day Soon:

They Would Come Home, They Would Resume
And Carry On With The Rest of Their Lives

The P.O.W.¹S Stood Steadfast
Against the Indignities And Cruelties Of War
They Could Not Have Lasted as Long as They Did
If They Had Relinquished Their Hope That Some Day:

They Would Come Home, They Would Resume
And Carry On the Rest Of Their Lives

Medics, Nurses, and Chaplains Alike
Did What They Needed To Bring Back Life
They Served Our Forces From Day Into Night
Not Questioning If They Would Survive:

They Mended Bones And Bodies Too,
They Soothed the Spirits of Dying Souls

And for Those M.I.A¹S, Who Were Left Behind
We Echo This Message Across the Seas
We Will search For as Long As It Takes
You¹re Not Forgotten And Will Always Be:

In Our Hearts, In Our Prayers,
In Our Minds For All Time

A Moment of Silence, a Moment of Summons
Is Their Deliverance of Body And Soul
To a Sacred Place That We All Know
Deep In the Shrines of Our Soul:

In Our Hearts, In Our Prayers
In Our Minds For All Time

Thursday, May 21, 2009

For Parents To Be

My cousin who is due with twins in December has lately been asking my sister and I tips, advice, etc., She is not close enough with some women to ask delicate questions and none of her friends are in that stage of life where they are having kids. I hesitated at first because I hated the bombardment of advice other people gave me when I didn't ask or would over explain a million times over then necessary if I did. Obviously what works for one Mom will not work for another Mom, but here are my tips.

During Your Pregnancy
  • Take extra time for yourself, because in a few months you really won't have the time or desire to do so. Sleep as much as possible too...if you can.
  • Don't bother registering for stuff other then clothes for far in the future necessities (like when they are no longer infants anymore. Both my sister and found what we thought worked for us pre-baby did not work for us once we gained some experience being parents.
  • Certainly tour the hospital where you are staying. Have a plan in place in case your water breaks on who is taking care of your dogs, other children and driving you whether you are at work or home.
  • If you can (and you like to) get yourself a pedicure before you are due to give birth. Sometimes you will feel like complete yuck after you give birth but at least your toes look awesome.
  • Read plenty of pregnancy books and things online. DON'T read far into it and become overly paranoid with dooms day people. Other people may make you paranoid as well and some are not the most educated people (those people really do suck). If you are worried or concerned about anything then ask your doctor.
  • Buy both good sports bras and nursing bras. You'll need them.
  • Purchase nursing pads even if you are not breastfeeding. I needed them before I even gave birth.
  • Buy plenty of pads for your house (both heavy and light). One friend liked putting hers in the freezer, but that wasn't my thing.
Right After Birth
  • Okay people did NOT tell me I had to pee right after I got into my postpartum room. Then you get to wear these mesh underwear, a ginormous pad, a cooling pad (those are great), witch hazel pads and lastly you spray yourself. You sort of feel like you're wearing a really cold diaper.
  • Speaking of mesh underwear, take packs of these home with you from the hospital. If you mess up those underwear, you can easily throw them away. If you mess up your underwear then you have to clean them.
  • Get a few of those bottles you clean yourself after using the bathroom. Its nice having one for each bathroom so you don't have to worry about it once you get home. Obviously clean them if they get dirty, but they are also great for bath time for babies because for me it made it easier to spray down a soapy baby's head.
Once You Arrived Home
  • If you are engorged and you don't have time for a shower, then buy a head of cabbage. Literally they are the best thing ever to put on engorged breast. Yes you smell like cabbage but they fit perfectly and it cools you down for a while.
  • If people ask how they can help, then tell them to bring food that can easily be heated up. There is nothing like getting free food and food that you can easily prepare instead of having to cook everything.
  • Get plenty of rest and if people are over then just excuse yourself for a nap if you are tired. In order for you to take care of your baby, you also need to take care of yourself.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I know many kids that get attached to animals, blankets, etc., as both security items and comfort items. I myself love blankets. I don't carry one around, but I love going home and being wrapped up in one even if it is 90 degrees out. I just love my blankets. My husband, I have no idea what his security item is. I don't think he has one. I knew that when he was a little kid he would go to sleep by circling his finger in a small hole in his room. After a while, the hole got bigger and bigger. He doesn't do that least I don't think. I haven't looked behind my headboard to see. My son on the other hand has a more interesting way to comfort himself, he picks and sniffs fuzz.

Yes I said it, he really likes to sniff and pick fuzz. It really doesn't matter where the fuzz comes from either be it stuffed animals, soft blankets, sweaters, rugs, slippers, dogs, etc., It is like it is his coping mechanism of some sorts. I can easily spot for instance if I am at my parents house for a family gathering or at my friends house where my son will resort to getting his next fuzz pick. If you have a very woolly sweater, then be prepared to be randomly picked at (sorry). If you have a dog (I keep thinking about my friend's dog Gracie on this one) then his/her fur will be picked for a sniff.

It is sort of entertaining, but sometimes like if someone does not know my son, like at a social gathering, and he just goes and picks some fuzz from that person that can be a little embarrassing. It is his thing though. I just wonder how long he will do this fuzz picking thing. I also wondered where he got this fuzz picking thing like if I did that when I was a kid or my husband did that as a kid. After asking both my mother and mother in law, they never saw their kids do that. After some further investigation, I found out that it was my Dad's coping mechanism. I couldn't ask to many specifics on this fuzz picking practice, because both my Dad's parents are gone. I did however conclude after seeing my Dad's childhood bud, Pink Ears the Bunny that perhaps this little comfort item of picking fuzz probably came from him. Poor Pink Ears had very little fur on different spots of his body and where Mr. Pink Ears had clothing, he had more fur. Pink Ears looked like he had the mange. I wonder how many of my sons stuffed animals will resemble that in years to come.

I honestly don't care that my son has his own little ways to comfort himself, with the exception of picking a stranger's fuzz. I just wonder how long it will last. I can say that I can't remember nor see my Dad picking fuzz and sniffing it, so I don't think it will be something my son goes into adulthood doing.

Do you have a interesting comfort/security method or item you have?

Like Mama, Like Dada

I am becoming more and more increasingly aware that my son is half mini me and half a miniature version of his Dad. The obvious thing he takes after is his looks. While he has my big eyes and hair, many of his facial features resemble my husband. The looks, the expressions are really uncanny when you look at young pictures of my husband and see photos of my son. Just from looking at my husband's childhood photos, I know exactly what he is thinking because my son has the same looks of annoyance, pure glee, shyness, etc., What I guess I did not expect was how much he is like us through personality and his little actions.

Now anyone that knows my son is that he is just full of gusto. He is either on full force or he is asleep. He is the type of kid that does not walk around mud puddles but likes to walk and probably stomp right through them. He loves to experience new things with gusto. He eats with gusto and drinks with gusto. He is the liveliest little person I have ever met. It is just not him being a toddler, but in fact it is his little personality. I smile watching this kid who has such a zest for life, because he has the same personality I had when I was little. I was a true firecracker.

I will always tell everyone my son's stubborn side comes from my husband. Its a running joke in our family who he gets the stubborness from. However, there are other things that just weren't exactly taught that my son is repeating from what his Dad did as a child. For instance, when I was little and it was time for bed, my parents had to think of fun ways to get me to my bedroom. I wasn't a brat or anything. They knew I wanted to be up and if they could think of a game it would be easier on the both of us, they would do it. I don't now how many times my Dad gave me horse back rides or I was wheelbarrowed to my bed. My husband on the other hand would look at his Mom and Dad and inform them that it was 8 o'clock and that he was going to bed. No fuss, no games, and no complaining. That is my son for the most part. There are obvious times he does not want to go to bed, but for instance last night he went up the stairs by himself (my husband followed) and he pointed to his bed. He wanted to go to sleep. He does this quite often in where he asks to go to sleep on his own accord. I am not trying to brag, but I seriously don't know any kid that does this on a regular basis.

There are also other things my son does that mimics my husband when he was a child. When my son coughs, he will most likely fart as well. I never had an issue with two things happening at either end at the same time, but my husband did as a kid. He can now for the most part control that, but the first time that happened to my son, my husband had to laugh remembering that he did that as a child. My son LOVES the same foods my husband likes, while I look at them and want to gag. That could be pickiness on my part, but who knows? My son is also very quiet like my husband (although still full of energy) and he talks only when he wants to. That is my husband. It also know when my husband and son are very comfortable when they are sitting as both will curl their toes inward. That certainly is not something I do.

To go a little further to explain my thinking, I wanted to talk about the similarities of my sister's son. My nephew and my son were born three weeks apart. If it was not for my nephew I would just think that perhaps that gusto my son has is just part of having a little boy. Before my son I knew very little about little boys. The two I believe will be great friends some day as I once was great friends with my own cousins that were my age, but they are totally different in personality. My nephew is a very sweet child who is very cautious and very observant. Unlike my son, he will look before he leaps. He studies his surroundings and then may approach or decide not to approach a situation. He is in fact EXACTLY like my sister when she was a child. I obviously don't know too much about my brother in law's childhood, so I can't compare my nephew to him. I will say that my nephew certainly is a little carbon copy of his Daddy. There is no question that if you had a room full of toddlers and Dads, that you could easily pair those two up as being Father and Son.

I guess my thought is the old saying "the apple does not fall too far from the tree" is more correct then I ever thought it would be before little kids entered my world. I just find it amazing.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Addition

I am adding a new addition to my Oh The Places to Go section of my post, Wegmeyer Farms. A fellow blogger friend of mine had a fantastic time picking strawberries with her kids. I love strawberry picking! They also have different season pickings during the year your family and you can pick such as raspberries, blackberries and pumpkins!

I'm A Hunky

I write a lot about my husband's Russian heritage. I find it fascinating really with the history, the culture, the food, etc., I am also proud to be a Hungarian aka a Hunky. I have a deep appreciation of my parents, Nagypapa and Nagymama for bringing me up teaching me about my ancestral culture. I think with their guidance, not only has it taught me to be appreciative of my own family's history, but to be also open minded and appreciate other cultures as well.

My Hungarian culture goes back to a town so small that most people would not be able to find it on a map. Someone sort of have to know it is there to be able to find it. When I was nine years old, I had the privileged of visiting a few European countries, one of which was Hungary. Thankfully my Dad did some research and found this town. So on a warm, summer day in August the family made the drive from Budapest to the village my ancestors came from.

The town in itself didn't change much since the turn of the century to when we saw it in the early nineties. I know this because my Great Grandfather took a photo of the entrance of the town to perhaps to remember before he left to America. I remember being a nine year old kid and just staring at the dirt roads, the Eastern Rite church that seemingly guarded the small village and the little houses that had clay tile roofs. To be honest, I was in awe. I knew my Great Grandfather and Great Great Grandparents had walked on the very same road I was on. They saw the same things that I saw. And as my hands ran across the white picket fence that surrounded the graveyard, I knew that my family was in there too.

My Dad knew very little Hungarian, but enough to get us around. We found the priest's home and my Dad asked if we might see the inside of the church. My God was the inside of the church beautiful. The icon screen was adorned with the most amazing icons that seemingly reached from floor to ceiling. I remember having mixed emotions as a kid of, "Oh no not another church" (we had seen about a thousand different churches in Europe by that time) and in awe that "My family worshiped here." I am thankful now as an adult that my kid self, took in the experience and sat down at a random pew to one take it all in and two to experience sitting in a pew as if the liturgy had started in my ancestors church. While I was sitting in the pew, I remember looking down at a small liturgical book. Being a curious kid, I opened it. On the inside of the book, was the handwritten inscription of my last name. It was my Great, Great Grandfather's liturgy book. I was so elated that I showed my family. We were all pretty excited about that finding. I then put the book down as the priest had to close the church to venture off into the village for some more exploration.

Now my memory is hazy on this and I am not sure if the Priest or another relative of mine knew about this, but we were told that there was also a statue out in a pasture that was dedicated to my Great Great Grandfather who was once a judge in the town. We easily found the dedicated structure, as it was quite noticeable in an empty field and the statue was not a statue at all, but it was a beautiful Byzantine cross with the depiction of Jesus on it. I was proud of it as my Great Great Grandfather must of meant a great deal to the village. Afterward, we made our way back to the entrance of the village where the cemetery was located. We promptly found the grave of Janos and Mary (my Great Great Grandparents) and the family together said a small prayer over their grave while my Dad cleaned off the surrounding area.

The trip ended a few days after that and although I did not appreciate everything that I saw like I would now, the memory of that village ingrained into my memory. My only regret from that trip is not asking for that liturgical book. So a few days ago, I found the village's very small website and emailed the mayor of the town asking for the contact information of the priest. My plan is, to ask if I might have that book. I would also like to help the church in any way by donation of money or see if my own church could donate anything that they could do without. I know that that small town is struggling today and anything that could be donated would help out the church or the people of that village. If I do get in contact with the priest (and I will get in contact with him somehow) and he would rather keep the book because of the historical value, then I would obviously understand. It wouldn't hurt to ask.

My hope is to one day return to my small village. To appreciate it in its entirety. I would love to attend liturgy in the church, as this church started my religious roots. I want to see the graveyard again and hopefully see if the cross that was dedicated to my Great Great Grandfather still stands. I just want to take it all in again, because although I am an American, I am a Hunky too.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Zoo Plans

I really love the D.C. Zoo. I think it is a beautiful Zoo as it has so many trees and interesting habitats for all the animals. What I don't love about it, is the damn hills. Please note the picture I chose for this post is obviously not of the D.C. Zoo...haha.

This weekend, my sisters family, my parents and my family made it out to the zoo for our annual zoo trip. My sister got there on time, but for once my family (and my parents since they rode with us) were running late due to traffic. Initially we planned on parking in the same lot as we thought that would be best for everyone. However, we were an hour late and while my sister parked in Lot A, we could only find parking in Lot D. My sister told us to meet her around the Elephant House. Let me tell you, I was cursing silently the hill, my sister and everyone that got into my way up the eternal hill climb. Obviously we needed to find a neutral place and since we all weren't overly familiar with the zoo, the Elephant House (for us) was the easier place for us to find, so really it wasn't my sister's fault at all.

We had a wonderful fun filled day with the little guys and the rest of my family. The weather was perfect, the two toddler boys were on their best behavior and spending time with the family really was wonderful. Since we had met my sister earlier in the day at the elephant house, which is near the beginning of the zoo, we spent the better part of the day traveling down that stupid hill.

Once it was time to leave because it was getting on time for nap time, I found that our lateness actually paid least for my sister and her family. My husband offered since we were very close to one side of the zoo to drive my brother in law to his car so they didn't have to truck up that stupid hill after a full day of walking while the rest of the family looked quickly at the petting zoo area. After looking at some very noisy cows (I never heard cows that mooed so loud in my life), the rest of my family minus the two husbands, got bags together, strollers folded so we could be ready when the men would arrive. The two cars arrived shortly after and pulled into the bus drop off zone. We quickly threw everything into the cars, babies got buckled and we speed off before the zoo patrol could say anything.

So my rule of thumb is, if you are meeting people at the zoo then park in different parking lots (Lot A and Lot D if you are at the D.C. Zoo). This way where ever you are at the end of the day, you could either drive or whomever you met up with can drive you or your spouse to your car while you wait with the kids. It really is a life saver.

Sis, next year it is your turn to tromp up that forsaken hill. : )

Why I LOVE Costco

Usually Costco and I have a love/hate relationship on weekend between the free samples of food and the insane customers and lines. I hate how busy that place is, but I have to say that company ranks high in my books with customer service and satisfaction.

A little over two years ago, while I was preparing to move out of my parents home, I bought a couch. It was a beautiful tan, microfiber, cushy, sectional couch. I loved the quality as microfiber is one of the most durable upholstered items you can cover furniture with other then leather. The couch lasted through two moves, me and a infant/toddler. I can't tell you how many times I had to clean that couch from all the spit ups, slug tracks (kid snot) and the occasional sprinkles that would happen during a diaper change. It was then a couple weeks ago after some "a-hum" moments, that the frame of the couch broke under the pressure. It wasn't like there was major swinging on the chandelier thing going on, but it in fact broke. Couches should be made to withstand that.

I looked at the broken couch and thought there goes the next months debt payoffs because we would have to buy a new couch. My husband, who is so lucky with getting things for free or majorly discounted, made a call to Costco's customer service. The manager said that she didn't think that they would be able to give us a refund, but she would put in a call to the buyers to see what she could do. At 9pm the next day, we got a telephone call from the same manager as she was leaving work to go on vacation. She told us the wonderful news that Costco will refund us the entire amount that we initially paid for and to take our broken couch back to the store. I was SHOCKED!

I was really sad to see the couch go. I am so attached to silly items, but I really was sad. It was the couch I worked so hard to save up for and it was the couch I had when I came home from my wedding day, spent my pregnancy bed rest on and fed my baby. Obviously we couldn't keep it for sentimental reasons. After some initial looking around, we ordered a new, beautiful dark chocolate leather couch with one side being a chaise and the other side having a reclining feature. A new couch and it won't cost us a thing! I now have a new found loyalty to Costco and a whole new appreciation for their customer service. Costco rocks!!!!


I was on a little hiatus last week if you didn't notice. I spent Monday working away on different projects and things. Once I got home, I noticed my little boy wasn't feeling too well. That started the course of events for the rest of the week with fevers and not eating. Turns out (after the second trip to the doctors office), my little guy had an ear infection and strep throat. Poor little man! He was really good despite him being so uncomfortable. Actually, I couldn't ask for a better baby on a normal day with how well behaved and good spirited he was. Today I am back at work and missing my little man so much! I miss my little day time buddy, but I am so glad he is on the mend.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Weekend Events

Need an idea on what to do this weekend with your family or a special place to take Mom for Mother's Day? Check out NOVA Parenting Activities! There are lots of fun ideas all around the area.

80 Clicks

A friend of mine told me about a Mommy blog, Her Bad Mother and how she was doing a fun project of 80 clicks around the world to see how many Mommys from different countries could write about the five things they love about being a Mom. I decided to jump on the band wagon and joined in! The project is calledThe World According to Mom.

Here are my favorite five things about being a Mom:

1. Seeing Things with a different perspective.
I love seeing things through the eyes of my child. Teaching him about animals, holidays, my faith, my husband culture, etc., just gives you another perspective about the world. I never knew how some things that seem mundane to adults could be so exciting to little ones and it really makes me as a Mom appreciate the little things in life.

2. Hugs, Cuddles and Kisses
My little guy, although all boy, loves to give hugs and kisses. I love seeing my husbands face light up every time our little guy gives him a wet kiss on the lips or cheek. My little man also loves to cuddle and will purposefully sit in either my husband or my favorite couch spot and motion for us to sit next to him. He is a cuddle bug!

3. My relationship with God
I never knew that a child could bring you closer to your faith and love for God, but my son did just that. Before I was pregnant, I will admit that I hardly prayed (really prayed) or went to church. Now the outlook on my faith and teaching my son the love of God and our faith is just so much more important for the both of us. I am thankful every day to have a healthy, beautiful family. My son is my own little miracle that God blessed me with.

4. Normalcy
If I could be a little selfish here, I really appreciate that my son forces normalcy in my life. No matter how bad of a day I had or what happens, the show must go on. I have had some pretty stressful and emotional things happen in my life since my son has been born and sometimes taking the focus to something more important (my son) has really been saving grace sometimes. He is my world and everything else is secondary.

5. Growing Up
I honestly want to cry when I wrote the fifth reason on why I love being a Mom. I love that my son is growing up, but he is growing up too fast! I love seeing the different things my son has learned and picked up. I love seeing his little personality emerge. I love seeing how much he looks like my husband and even has the same facial expressions. I love the fact that he is stubborn (like both his parents) but really loves to love. He loves animals, loves new adventures, and loves people.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

She Still Got It

....Shirley Temple that is. Like my Mother, I grew up watching Shirley Temple movies. My favorite was The Little Princess. Now one may think that this is just movies for little girls, but in my house we do try not to stereotype videos, toys, etc., into being "just for girls" or "just for boys". My little man has a kitchen set and he loves making pretend food and eating his pretend dishes. Therefore, Shirley Temple (although girly) has been introduced into our household to yet another generation.

Yesterday afternoon, while my son was playing, I popped in Curley Top (thank God for GREAT finds at yard sales). Although many of you probably do not know the movie plot, I am sure you all remember the song "Animal Crackers". If not then perhaps the chorus line of the lyrics just may do the trick:

Animal crackers in my soup
Monkeys and rabbits loop the loop
Gosh oh gee but I have fun
Swallowing animals one by one

or maybe the video may jog your memory

My son as he is still small, did not watch the entire movie. Heck movies with dogs (dogs are his favorite) don't hold his attention nor should it. He did enjoy the songs that played in the movie as they were lively and had a little kid was singing them. I had to smile though watching his little reaction as he danced and clapped his little hands, Shirley Temple yet again is enjoyed by a new generation. She still got it.

Space Savers...where to put it all

When you have kids, especially small children your once "neat" home becomes a smorgasbord of small toys that attempt to kill you everyday by stepping or slipping on their small plastic parts. Although I can not save you from the every day stepping on little bits that kill your bare feet, I can provide some good ideas on how to organize it.

In my house, I need what is durable and something that will last. I once tried to have cute little wicker boxes/baskets but quickly found that wicker does not last. At least in the house with a almost two year old boy. Therefore, I found that canvas boxes were the way to go. I try to have toys organized by type, but for a quick clean up, you can just throw all those small little toys in a container and put it up on a shelf while still looking a bit stylish. At Babies R Us, these canvas boxes go for $9.99 a piece. Target sells two in a pack for $34.99.

Another great idea by another Mommy friend was to use small mesh laundry bags (generally used to wash delicate items). She found that heavy plastic bags were quite the hazard in her house. I think it works well and she can toss the bags into her child's toy box.

I also like to reuse items in my household to store toys or other little kid items. After I finished using my Swiffer cleaning pads, the plastic container with the lid sparked an idea. I now use the old containers to store craft items like crayons, markers, etc., Why go out and buy those expensive little containers when you can use something you would of thrown away?

I am also all for toy boxes. I don't have one in my house yet, but we do have a storage container outside on my deck to store toys that are large and can either be played with outside or rotated with a different toy. My son always is happy to see new toys rotated into the house and usually plays with it as if he received a new toy. Another thing to think about (if you are purchasing furniture) is something my sister did. If you want to get an ottoman, then perhaps find an ottoman that has a storage feature. This way toys can be brought out or hidden when needed. I also value coffee tables that do this same thing. I once loved light looking coffee tables, but quickly found that having a tad bit of extra storage really does the trick.

Those are my little helpful ideas that I thought of and that I got from my other Mommy friends. A little organization doesn't hurt.

Do you have any other great organization ideas?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Music Of a Different Culture

I honestly think despite that if you were born in America or your parents were born in America, you should also value and learn about your own roots. We all at one time (unless you are Native American) came from somewhere other then the U.S.

There is a pride I have of being Hungarian by the things my parents taught me about my own ancestor's culture. I wasn't born in Hungary nor were my parents. I grew up eating Hungarian food, attending Hungarian festivals and learning even a few Hungarian phrases. Although my husband thinks it is funny that if people ask what am I, I won't say American (though that is the obvious answer), but I will tell you I am Hungarian, German and Scandinavian.

I am also profoundly proud of my husband's roots. He was born in the former Soviet Union, now Russia. He grew up totally different then me. It baffles my mind that he didn't watch the same cartoons I did (although he did say he watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), eat the same American foods, or even celebrate the same holidays I did as a child. On August 21, 1991 my husband was in Moscow when the Soviet Union fell. I was also in Europe and I believe in Hungary as a nine year old. My Dad thought to drive into Russia, but quickly changed his mind when he saw what was on the news. However I was unaware of what was going on in the world. I was a care free American kid playing on Bogár utca (Bogár Street)with another Hungarian boy, while my husband watched tanks rolling outside his window and asked his Mom if he could play on them.

My husband grew up watching Nu Pigadi . He ate pelmeni and drank Kvass. He spent various weekends at his Grandparent's dacha and helped them pull weeds and tended the gardens. He remembers Coca Cola being a rare treat and often a 12oz can would be divided between three other people. Children in Russia just grew up very differently then American children did in his same era. I am constantly fascinated by his stories and love learning about his culture.

Which brings me (finally) to introducing the video that I embedded above. This video is of a group called Lubeh (Любэ). I absolutely love this music and funny enough, I was the one that introduced it to my husband, although he does claim that some of the songs sound very familiar. I wouldn't be surprised that he did listen to this group has been around for at least twenty years. They are also the same group that took Russian National Anthem and made it into a rock song. Pretty cool in my book. In my opinion, this Russian group is much like the American group, The Eagles but with a tad bit more patriotism for their country. I encourage you all to listen to it. Click on the play list and just hear it out. They don't curse, sing to heavily or insult anyone so the kiddos can be around when you listen to it. I also like that there are english subtitles underneath some of the play list videos. Just enjoy a glimpse of Russian culture.

Job Worries

I am one of those people that love the hunker down and just stay at a job. I don't really call it loyalty. I call it feeling comfortable on where I am at. As long as they treat me okay and pay me good, then I'm yours for life...or until a better offer falls into my lap. Then with the economy the way it is and the day to day questions on if a business will go under or you may lose your job, it makes me want to hunker in just a little bit deeper.

Some days I don't know where my job is going. There was a bid on my contract, then a protest and right not it is seemingly in limbo and has been in limbo. I really love what I do. No one bothers me, my boss is amazing and I come and go when I need to. The pay is also amazing and when I moved to this job it was a 55% increase to my pay. So I have a love/love relationship with this position despite the rockiness of it all. I just honestly pray that things work out here, that I'll get to do what I want to do for just a while more until I can pay off some more debt and secure my family's finances.

I just wonder sometimes if I am doing the right thing. I know I'll have a job secured for a few months if the contract goes down the tubes. However, I just don't want to jump to a new place before anything is said with a new boss that may or may not be cool with my constant in and out calls to Mommy hood. Would the hours suck? Would the commute suck? Am I being a pansy by staying here and just waiting it out or am I doing right? I suppose only time will tell. For now I'm just worried like millions of other Americans.

Pray for us all.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Little Tid Bit

Probably nothing new to veteran Moms, but yesterday I figured out an easy way to quickly prepare a single inexpensive kids dinner and also serve something healthy by using most of the major food groups. After today, I will never buy one of those Gerber Toddler microwave dinners (even though they are pretty good) that run $2.99 or so a meal.

Yesterday I tried to feed my son some Progresso chicken noodle soup. I really love Progresso soups because unlike Campbell's soups, they aren't skimpy on their noodles, chicken or veggies. I believe I bought a few cans on sale for perhaps a dollar a piece. It has huge chunks of chicken, cut up carrots and egg noodles. Another plus was the soup was low on sodium. However, my son did not want to eat the broth, he simply wanted the soup contents. I thought fair enough, so I took a strainer, drained the broth out and gave him a plate of warm chicken, noodles and carrots for dinner. He really loved it and he gobbled up half the can. Plus it was a whole lot easier and less messy with me not needing to feed him or broth going everywhere. Tonight my husband and I again wanted a non friendly baby meal. So guess what? He ate the other half of the can! Two dinners! I love it when I figure out things that just make it so much easier on my life and that my kid also enjoys.

Do you have any great little tid bits to share?

Toys Parents Wish They Had (for their kids)

After much thought from my last post and maybe its because I am in a lazy mood. With this gloomy weather we are having and will be having for seemingly forever, being lazy and feeling sleepy is my middle name. Here are some Mommy things or toys I wish that toy manufacturers would do or sell. If they do then enlighten me.

The Little Toy Picker Kid Vacuum
I wish they made up a walker toy that was obviously safe but would pick up little tiny toys that you always hurt your feet on. I know that Tonka made a riding toy that picks up Tonka shapes, but I wonder if they pick up more then that?

The Real Everlasting Toys
I have a love/hate relationship with my son's toys that require batteries. We have a million of those types of toys in my house. I just wish that all toys came with one size battery and that these batteries lasted long enough to go into your kids adulthood.

Toys That Turn Off
There should be a law that all toys that make noise have an off switch. I am not kidding when I say I HATE the toys that do not have an off switch. That toy disappeared somewhere in Jersey...

Less Packaged Toys
I understand that toy company's want their product to look good and not easily be stolen, but seriously the plastic ties that cover just about every inch of the product underneath the wrapping is a bit much. I had half a mind to return a toy the other day to return a toy when I found that a toy was knotted just not twisted with these stupid wire ties. Are you kidding me?

More Transitional Toys
I understand money needs to be made, but if there could be more transitional toys from infancy to toddler that would be fantastic. I really enjoyed Baby Einstein Lights & Melodies Discovery Center. That was one of the few toys that was a true transition toy.

Toys Without Over Inflating the Cost
Even in these hard economic times, I have find that toys prices go up and down like a yo-yo ball. I really noticed this when it was near Christmas time and I wanted to purchase a present for my son that I purchased a few months back for my nephew. The price of the same exact toy cost $20 more. I also noticed that the Micky Plane Ride-On Toy cost about $50 at Target. I had to do a double check because I knew that there was no way I paid that much for a ride on toy. I paid maximum around $30. Funny enough, the Target website says it sells for $34.99. I feel sorry for whomever is paying more then they should.

Books With Lasting Binding
So this could just be my kid, but it seems like all the books in my house, especially those favorites are starting to break in the binding portion of the book. My kid loves to read (please no more Brown Bear Brown Bear), but it is a toddler board book, not a James Patterson book. It should last, but like I said, this could be because my sons books are really well used.

Monday, May 4, 2009

When the odds are against you....

My husband recently sent me an article about my favorite Capitals player, Donald Brashear. I thought perhaps it was an article about his six game suspension or talk about "the enforcer" in a different light. What I didn't expect was the five page article discussing his most painful past.

Donald Brashear for all of you that do not know who he is, is noted to be the NHL's leading enforcer. He ranks up there as the player with the most penalty points and the most fights in the NHL. He instantly became a favorite of mine as I loved his "don't take crap from anyone" and even though his fellow teammates can hold their own, he makes sure that they are all okay. When once asked what he would do if anyone "messes" with Ovechkin, his response was something along the lines of "I'm going to get suspended." His attitude on the ice though does not always match his attitude off the ice. I once had the great opportunity of meeting my favorite player. He laughed at my nervousness on meeting him with a smile and a chuckle. During a photo op, he picked up my son, smiled and stuck out his tongue out at him to make him smile. My son gave him a good wack (sorry Brashear), but he was candid, sincere and had the personality of a big teddy bear. He won my vote and my husband's vote with the type of man he was to his fans. He wasn't caddy, rude or acted like he was better then anyone. He was a regular joe.

What broke my heart, was reading the Washington Post article, For Capitals' Brashear, Fighting's a Way of Life. It discussed his life and his upbringing to be anything but ideal. He was abused basically since he was born and later (and almost thankfully) put in the foster care system by his own parents due to parental prejudices, racism and their own shortfalls. The article notes that when Brashear was just six months of age, his Father wanted him quiet and since Brashear would not quiet down, his Father took him by the arm and flung him across the room. His Dad was an alcoholic and abused both his wife and his children. After Brashear's Mother fled with Brashear's older siblings, the abuse didn't stop there. She left her 18 month old child (Brashear) with the abusive Father while she took her other kids and married a new man. The new man although was not a drunk was not much better. After Brashear went to live with his family, this man abused and neglected Brashear so badly it is hardly forgivable. In the article it recalls that Brashear's bedroom was a dark and small space with not much in the room. As a typical sign of abused children, he would often wet the bed. To "teach" Brashear a lesson or in his own mind "protect the mattress", his Stepfather would often wrap trash bags around Brashear's waist. Brashear also recalls that as a child he would wish when he would hear his Stepfather walking down the hall, that he would pass his bedroom so he would escape any humiliation/abuse and felt that he was doing good when his Stepfather would leave him alone. Later Brashear was later put in foster care, which in my opinion was one of the few good things that happened for him. At least he was away from the people that hurt him the most.

The parents (including the Stepfather) don't deny any of their wrong doing to this day. They actually would like to have a relationship with Brashear. Not sure how genuine they are or is it because he is an NHL star that they thought having a relationship would be nice (perhaps a relationship equal dollar signs to them). My heart just literally goes out for this man and any children that have endured abuse rather it be physical, mental or emotional. No child should suffer that or endure that. My hope for Brashear is that he finds peace in his life, good people to be around (I'll volunteer just by knowing the man's personality), and finds his own happiness. I am honestly over joyed by his successes given what his background was. The odds were against him as he could of easily turned to drugs, crime or even repeated the abusive past he had to his own family. Bravo Brashear for literally overcoming and doing what you did on your own. You rose above it all. Enforcer or not, you'll always be my most favorite and valued player in my book.

Family Drive-In

Perhaps many of you are unaware of a true gem that is in such close driving distance. This gem is the Family Drive-In in Stephens City, Virginia. The Family Drive-In plays almost up to date movies (movies that are still in the theater) and plays a double feature for a fraction of the cost of a regular movie ticket. The prices have increased to maybe $8.00 a person (don't hold me to it as it could be cheaper), but for a double feature it is fantastic! You can bring your own food (we bring a cooler), but if you forget drinks or whatever, they do have a concession stand. It is also an ideal place to take your kids because if they fall asleep then no problem (even better actually because that gives you time alone with your spouse).

What we love to do when we go to the drive-in is pack the van with a big old comforter to lay on the floor after we fold the seats down. Pillows are also brought for everyone and perhaps blankets too (if the night is chilly). If your kids are older and would like to sit out of the car or if you would like to sit outside of the car, then you can just take some folding chairs and put that in front of your car. We also love bringing a cooler full of drinks and typically will stop at a Subway to grab a nice late dinner. Just be sure to get there early enough because with hit movies or beautiful nights, the drive-in could fill up. They do have a lot of room for cars and two movie screens playing different movies, but I am sure they have been sold out before. Movies always start playing as soon as it is dark enough, so there is no real set time.

The Family Drive-In opens up next week on May 15th and will run into the fall (until it gets too cold out). Check out the website frequently to see what is playing. I also included this link on the side bar under Oh the Places to Go! It is a family experience I highly recommend doing. Plus how many times have you gone to a drive-in? In my opinion, it is much better then any movie theater!

Week/Weekend Events

Events are posted on NOVA Parenting Activities! Remember this Sunday is Mother's Day. There are certainly a lot of fun events, especially for Moms that love wine! Keep checking back for more updates!

Friday, May 1, 2009

A Smile From a Car Window

Do you know that commercial where one person does a kind act to one person that pays it forward to the next person they cross, etc.,? I guess today (this morning) was one of those mornings for me.

I was on my usual rat race to work. Cars were stopping and going. People were tired, drinking their coffee while driving their cars. I was half awake trying to get to work as fast as I could because I was late...again. While I was stopped at a light, I looked down from my mini van (not sure why) to see a little face of young teenage girl looking back at me from a passenger side window. I am sure I looked like an old grump with a sour face and instead of her turning away, she looked at me and beamed a smile. It was a genuine smile. I couldn't help but smile back. Typically (at least us here Yankees in the North) look at people while on the road and either other people will stare back with blank expressions on their faces or one person will turn away and pretend like they didn't see them. I can't remember the last time I got a smile from a stranger and a teenager no less.

I know it sounds silly, but this girl seriously made my day just a little bit better. After her smile, I let people in front of me (even though they ended up driving REALLY slow) and I just overall was in a better mood all the way to work. So hopefully with my own "kindness" in giving another guy a break on the road or letting someone pass, then maybe they will in turn relax a little and do something nice for the next person and the next person after that. Its amazing what an innocent and genuine smile would do. Smile at someone today. You never know the effect it will have.

Weekend Events

If you are a Caps fan, the game is tomorrow at one o'clock. I know there are some non hockey fans out there, so if you need some ideas on what to do with your family then check out the NOVA Parenting Activities blog. There are a lot of cool things happening in our area this weekend!