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Thursday, September 17, 2009

~RIP Mary~

I was informed this morning by my husband that Mary from Peter, Paul and Mary has passed away after losing a battle with leukemia. Typically I don't write too much about celebrity deaths, but for this one I will.

Peter, Paul and Mary was one of my Moms favorite bands, so as a child I would listen to them quite frequently. I think I have always loved hearing their music. It always was so calming to me. Ask me the lyrics to the majority of their songs and I could (however horribly) sing them to you. I remember how my Mom would tell me how much my Grandfather HATED the song "If I Had A Hammer" when she would play the record over and over again as a teenager. He threatened probably after the tenth million time hearing it that he would going to take a hammer to that record. It bonded my Mom and I in a way because that would just make us want to belt out "If I Had A Hammer" even more so in honor of my Grandfather' s disgust of that song. I think of that story every time I hear that song and often when I think of my Grandfather I think of that song. It is just something ingrained in my memories and my Moms memories as well.

I will also think no one can sing "Blowing In The Wind" or "Leaving On A Jet Plane" like Peter, Paul and Mary could. Despite the great artist that have attempted to sing that song, they are still the best at it.

I also want in honor of Mary to share with you my top favorite Peter, Paul and Mary songs.

1. Leaving On A Jet Plane
2. Puff The Magic Dragon
3. Blowing In The Wind
4. If I Had A Hammer
5. Stewball
6. Lemon Tree
7. Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
8. 500 Miles
9. Cruel War
10.Don't Think Twice, It's All Right
11.Early Morning Rain
12.Day Is Done

Rest in peace Mary. Your music brings a lot of happy memories of my childhood. Thank you for that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Things You'd Never Thing You'd See

When I first met my husband we were teenagers. I feel in love with him as a teenager and have been with him through so many life experiences and thankfully have grown together and bonded through them. He has not changed too much except with taking on and stepping up with the responsibilities in our life (mortgage, bills, kid). He is still that same quiet, funny, confident and handsome man I fell in love with. There are just things, especially when you meet the love of your life so young that I would never think I'd see him do. So in honor of my husband, here it goes.

I'd never think that I'd see my husband:

...get pooped on, peed on or puked on by anybody. Obviously my son has done all of this to him. He never freaked out either. It was matter of fact, but usually it was telling me to get something...and quick.

... play hockey with a two year old kid using a two foot miniature hockey stick and having a blast.

...see me in the most embarrassing situations that I would of died from horror as a teenager (giving birth would be one of them). He stayed there and cheered me on or was always there to help, even if there was a chuckle thrown in there a time or two.

.. try and lure our son who HATES diaper changes by showing how Elmo doesn't mind getting his "stinking tush" changed by pretending to change Elmo. It was so cute witnessing it and so creative that I had to giggle behind a blanket.

...enjoy (admit it honey you do) finding cool or cute clothes for a little kid. He really does love the Tom and Jerry shirt on our little bambino.

...on multiple occasions get his face smeared with food. Hilarious...and no it was not me!

....take a bubble bath (complete with Elmo watermelon soap) in a tub with wall art, boats and various toys and yes my son was taking a bath too : )

...sing different songs from Sesame Street or any kid song, but he does and with enthusiasm!

...sit and watch on a daily basis just because our son loves it Sesame Street. He did not grow up with it like I did, but he will watch it.

...ask me while folding laundry who sock this is mine or my sons. I have small feet, but really?

...kick butt on taking responsibility in fixing things in our house. I knew I picked a good one!

I'm sure I'll have part two, three, four and so on with this post, but I had to post this one. Are there things you'd never think you would see your husband do that you would never think he would do when you first met him?

Fall Is In The Air ~ Craft Time!

Now that my little guy is getting older , he is getting more and more interested in doing crafts be it colorings, paintings, etc., I think he truly enjoys them for the 15 minutes (sometimes more) it keeps him occupied. Therefore I think this Mama needs to go and stock up on some more craft supplies for her little man.

A friend of mine sent me a really cool website called Family Education that has blogs, articles, advice, etc., It has basically anything you need from a parenting site. What is also has that I LOVE is their craft ideas that are also categorized by age group. I was thinking of buying a book with fun craft ideas, but these ideas are from all the books I was thinking about getting!

Fall has certainly arrived and the endless holiday coloring pages, fun crafts and keepsakes is at your finger tips. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teddy Bears Picnic

This week at school one of the themes is "Teddy Bears Picnic" where the kids bring in their favorite teddy bears, march with their bears and have a picnic for them. Surely there will also be that favorite tune of 'Teddy Bears Picnic' as well somewhere in the mix, but just hearing about it brought back fond memories and a fun conversation with my Mom.

After a quick reminder since my husband and I trade off on taking our son to school and I wanted to be sure our little guy had a bear to take with him on theme day, I had to call my Mom to tell her the theme this week. 'Teddy Bears Picnic' was a song I distinctively remember dancing to as a child with my Mom. I remember us both being very silly as we would march around the coffee table singing our little hearts out as if we were little teddy bears on parade. It is one of those memories I truly cherish from my childhood. My Mom loved the phone call and the warm memories as she obviously remembers those days probably much better then I do.

What I found funny was my Dad's reaction to the theme. He was telling Ben to stay away from those bears over the phone. The song interestingly enough made my Dad quite weary as a child. He figured that the picnic would be set up so the kids get gobbled up. My Mom and I had a different perspective as children listening to that song. We figured the bears were having a picnic so why not join them? We never thought it would be dangerous of scary. Our imaginations just ran with it. It is interesting to hear different children's perspective.

Today just to celebrate the theme just a tad bit early, I think I will turn on that 'Teddy Bears Picnic' song and dance and sing with my little guy. Maybe he will remember it and maybe it won't, but its sure to be lots of fun either way.

Toddler Translation Solved...At Least I Think

Some of you may remember a post I wrote the other day on troubles with toddler translation. Although some words can be very clear or you can kind of guess what they want, my little man had me stumped for a while wondering what the heck he was trying to say. Literally I would do everything trying to guess what he would want when he would say something that resembled "monkeys". I went down the list from food, to drink, favorite toys, security items, etc., He either did not want them or got disinterested in me trying to figure out the translation. Yesterday I figured it out.

He was saying "My" or "Mine Paci".

He can not say words with "P" or "B" (we're working on that). I did no think he was saying two words together except for a couple of two line phrases that are easily distinguishable. However it makes perfect sense. It was not the fact he wanted me to search out his paci each time but more of making it a statement that the paci was his. He will do that with other things, but just say "mine" and usually will either point to it or hug it if its a toy. So I think I have figured it out...finally because it is a little frustrating for a Mom trying to figure out what her toddler is trying to communicate but does not realize what he is trying to say.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why I Am Blessed

Often we fine ourselves guilty for wanting this or wanting that in our lives. Be it material possessions, hoping we could be closer to certain people or having that dream job, there is usually always something we dream and ponder about. While dreams and thoughts are fine, we also need to realize the true blessings in our life as well. I would like to share some of mine with you and hope perhaps you'll share some of yours with me. It doesn't matter how small or big they are. It is just a reminder to you all how really blessed each one of us really is.

~My son~
He is HEALTHY, energetic and lovable. Words can't express enough how much this little person has changed my world upside down but in the most awesome way. I feel honored and privileged to be his Mommy.

~My husband~
I am completely in love with him. He is the cat's meow. I have never known a man that listens so well and is so dedicated to his family. He loves to surprise me with awesome things like weekend getaways, finished house projects or tickets to a hockey game. Plus he cleans, cooks and is an awesome shopper...those are bonuses : )

~Son's Grandparents~
While I had mostly cool Grandparents, my son really has lucked out having some spectacular Grandparents and Great Grandparents. Each Grandparent thinks the world of him and on each visit greets him with great hugs and kisses. He really feels loved and has quite a special bond with each of them. It is an amazing thing to watch.

~My Home~
May sound funny to list this, but there are people that don't have a home or the ability to pay for one. While there are improvements and things I would like to do to it, I really do love our little family home. It is a house filled with great memories, love and family.

~My Dogs~
I love my little guys. They were in some respect like first children to me but I could lock them in a cage...haha. They have been there through my teenage and young adult years. As corny as it sounds they have been my best friends as they have always been there for me and can stand to listen to my horrible pitchy singing on a daily basis without howling.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11th

I can hardly believe that it is already the EIGTH anniversary of the September 11th tragedy. For me, September 11th has a lot of mixed emotions as it was an obviously horrible day for our nation, but for me individually it was the day I started falling for my now husband and got accepted into college.

My September 11th story, which isn't much of a story compared to many of those that were in New York or by or in the Pentagon on that horrible day, is something I would like to share. It is amazing I remember eight years ago so vividly. It is one of the most vivid days I remember of my past aside from my wedding and the birth of my son. I am sure the majority (if they are old enough to remember) can say exactly where they were when they heard the first stream of news.

I remember driving in my oxidizing red Ford Probe on the morning of September 11th. I was due to go to class that day and I remember being very anxious about meeting a counselor later that day at my community college to see if I could get accepted into my school of choice. To take my mind off the upcoming meeting, I tuned into Elliott on DC 101 when news broke that a plane had hit one of the world trade building in New York City. Elliott wondered if it was an accident I was a bit shocked, but thought perhaps it was one of those smaller puddle jumper planes that had hit New York skyscrapers before. I called my Dad immediately and he did not believe me. The internet was running quite slow in his office located just a few miles from The Pentagon. New broke again soon after while my Dad was still trying to get onto the internet, a second plane had hit the other tower. I remember Elliott saying "this is no accident" and remember thinking "this can't be happening here. Its the U.S." My Dad said he would get back to me as I was pulling into the parking lot and we were all wondering what the hell was going on. I parked my car quickly and ran into the cafeteria to see a crowd of students surrounding one of the televisions. These weren't little planes. They were huge 747s filled with passengers...innocent passengers. I never felt such mixed emotions of fright and empathy for the people in and around the World Trade Center. There was never anything like it. Who could ever imagine thinking you're watching debris from a monumental building but find out it is actually people jumping? Who could ever imagine that both of the towers would fall forever changing New York, its people and its sky line. Who could ever imagine seeing people screaming and running for cover on US soil? Who could ever imagine family and friends holding up signs desperate to find their loved ones...daughters, brothers, Moms, Dads, Grandparents.....babies...? I will never forget those emotions.

I went wearily to class, but soon found out it was canceled because of the morning events. No one was going to pay attention and everyone wanted to glue their eyes onto the television screen. I could of gone home, but I had a meeting with the Marymount counselor at 11am. At promptly 11am I met with my counselor who was a very nice young woman at a table in the student cafeteria. We all felt a bit shaken, but preceded like professionals. I got accepted to the school no more then 15 minutes later after a brief over view of my transcripts and other criteria she asked me about. Shortly after 11:26, as I was still sitting with my counselor going over the details news broke on the television that a plane hit The Pentagon. A group of students started crying. One girl asked if we could all pray together. I asked the counselor if I could be excused, which isn't like me. I usually am too afraid to ask to be dismissed from such an important meeting, but I had to. I remember holding hands with strangers, praying, shedding a few tears and not knowing what to do. All we could do was pray.

It was then I realized where my Dad was. His building was so close to The Pentagon. I walked outside and could hear fighter jets (you know what these sound like if you remember that day and was near Dulles airport). They were so loud that I could barely hear my Dad. He was telling me that he had left the office early and to just come home. Be careful. Be cautious since no one knew what the hell was going on, but just to come home. After a rather long commute, I finally made it home with my parents both greeting me at the front door. We hugged and tuned into the news on the TV. I made several calls to my then boyfriend who had the gall not to answer the phone. I obviously knew he was not at The Pentagon or in New York, but seriously it was a day of confusion and he needed to answer the damn phone.

Soon after my then boyfriend arrived at my house. We ate a rather normal dinner with my parents all the while listening to ever tid bit of news on the air. After dinner my parents went to bed and my then boyfriend and I sat down in the family room watching television. It was then I got another phone call. It was his twin brother. His twin wanted my guy to leave me and go out to play pool with him. It was annoying because I hate being ditched. I hung the phone up because if he was going to be rude then so was I. The phone rang again two seconds later from the same stupid number, which I later found out it was my now husbands cell. Instead of letting the person talk, I started yelling into the phone telling how rude this person is and to leave us alone. The person on the other line got on the defensive as he was asked by his buddy (aka the twin) to make the phone call and he didn' t know what the situation was, but FYI...they were outside my house. That person that had called, is my now husband. I immediately felt bad for yelling at him because he had no idea he was doing someone else's dirty work. I went outside to "apologize" to this guy. Outside I met several other boys waiting for my then boyfriend to come out of the house. I went up to apologize to "J" and he extended his arms for a hug. I remember him wearing his yellow and black motorcycle jacket. I even remember the smell on that jacket...boy sweat and cologne. He also gave me a hug a bit longer then most guy friends should give to their friends girlfriends. All the boys started howling as my then boyfriend gave a jokingly glare at "J" while "J" returned a devilish smile. I decided to let my boyfriend go have fun with his friends and thinking I had class the next day went back into the house to rest for the following school day. No sooner then I said goodbye, I figured out school was canceled per the news and figured I would go out too for some fun. At that point I needed some time out of the house anyways. I called back the number that kept calling to coax my boyfriend out of the house. "J" answered telling me that they were at Sheetz down the road. I decided to meet them there, so I jumped in my "awesome" car and speed down the way.

I remember that night speeding down 28 to route 7 to go to this pool hall in Leesburg called Shooters. I have never been there, but apparently the twins had been there on several occasions with their Dad. It was also one of the few pool halls back then that would let kids under the age of eighteen in. Being too young for pool halls almost seems like a million years ago. As we all entered the pool hall, a cloud of smoke filled the air. We settled on one pool table close to the windows of the place. A few girls that knew the boys showed up shortly after. I remember during one point a girl going up to this sad looking "J" character to see what was the matter. He was not about to tell her anything. Being somewhat not myself decided to be a bit of a show off and see if I could get him to tell me whatever was troubling him. He confided in me that he wanted a good girlfriend. A girlfriend like me. I remember thinking how sweet that gesture was and told him perhaps he would someday. He had petted my ego a bit and to be honest I found him rather cute. Another jump that made me look at him twice, which so was not me in those days was a conversation he jumped in on when I was talking to my boyfriend. I remember asking my then boyfriend how many kids he wanted. He said something like maybe two. Back then and before I had kids, I wanted twelve. As I said that, my then boyfriend looked at me astounded and told me no way. However, sly "J" looked at me with a cute boyish grin and told me he would give me that many.

Later that night I remember "J" making a move on a girl that was playing pool with her obvious boyfriend who had taken a break to the mens room. I remember laughing with the guys as "J" got a phone number from this chick and her boyfriend had no idea. Who has the guts to do that?

It started getting late and we all headed home. I was told by my guy to give him a call just to make sure I got home safe since I had the longest commute back to my house. As soon as I got home and started throwing my shoes off in my room, I called my then boyfriend from the house line. A few minutes later my cell phone rang. I wondered who the hell was calling me so late. I looked at the caller ID and it was "J". Apparently "J" now had my cell phone number because I had used my cell to call him when I was trying to figure out where to meet up with the guys earlier that night. I remember my then boyfriend asking me who was calling, baffled I told him who it was and he wondered like I wondered why he was calling. I answered and I got a "hey sexy". I laughed and told him I was talking to my boyfriend. He asked if I got online at night and if I had an AIM. In those days I was always on AIM at night to talk to old friends so I said sure and told him my screen name. I hung up with him and talked a bit more to my boyfriend then later hung up with him as he wanted to go to bed. Later that night I started talking on AIM to different friends and "J" messaged me. I forget now what we talked about, but that night as innocent as I thought our casual flirting was started something. The rest is history.

9/11 was undeniably a tragic day.. As I said, it is a day with mixed emotions for me. I remember feeling helpless, confused, angry, sad, and had an unusual bond with strangers that day because of the attacks. I also remember feeling achievement by getting accepted into my desired four year school so I could finish my bachelors degree. I never planned on chemistry between my now husband and I to start that day. It was just something meant to be, but man what a story.

God bless the people who lost their lives that day and God bless those that sacrificed their lives to try and help save innocent people.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Several weekends ago, my family and I stumbled on a discounted food store called Aldi. Let me tell you, we bought SO many groceries for a fraction of the price. A gallon of milk was $1.99 where as in Giant it is typically priced at $3.49. The store is not large by any means and don't think you'll find the typical named brand thing most food stores carry. One non name brand thing we did buy was a version of Lucky Charms and Apple Jacks cereal. My husband nor I could tell the difference on taste what so ever from the more expensive stuff to the cheaper version.

One thing to note is if you want to use their bags, you have to buy them. It is to encourage people to use their own bags to cut down on the cost so the store can cut down on the cost of the food it carries. Also, remember to bring a quarter. You need a quarter for a shopping cart, which was weird to me, but you get your quarter when you return the shopping cart even if you don't buy anything. Its a extra incentive to give the cart back to again cut down on store expenses. I believe for this shopping trip my husband and I easily saved $20 worth of groceries and we will certainly be returning again. Every little bit helps right?

Miami ~ Family Friendly

I think a lot of times when people think of Miami, they typically think of South Beach, the parties and all the beautiful, young skinny people. For Northern Virginians, it probably is not on the top of the list for a family vacation destination, but I have to say Miami is what you make it.

I have been to several beaches throughout my married/family life. Each are unique in their own little way, but I keep wanting to return back to Miami. I am sucker for palm trees, warm ocean water and plenty of area activities to keep me busy. Last year, I got to travel to OBX for the first time. I love the vacation as spending time with friends and their kids was awesome. They had a few places to go to such as seeing wild horses or visiting different light houses, but it is a sleepy town, which is not a bad thing...its just OBX.

Miami is really what you make it. You can have a ton of fun vacationing there as a single person, a married person without family or having your entire family vacation there with you. Make it as relaxing as you want with going to the beach everyday or as active as you want by traveling to other destinations around Miami that prove to be tons of fun. I wanted to clue in a few things you can do that are family friendly while visiting Miami.

Oldest Building in the Western Hemisphere
: A great stop while you want to see a quiet scenic area that is a well kept secret. The cost of admission is very minimal and the inside of the grounds is breathtaking. It is not a huge, but it is certainly a place anyone can appreciate.

Monkey Jungle
: What a fun little place to go to with your kids! It is a place (as said on their website) where monkeys run free and people are caged. Monkey Jungle is unique as it will allow you to feed monkeys little raisins and dried cranberries that you can purchase in their gift shop. I also love the weather policy, which is if you get rained out then you can get a voucher from the gift shop/ticket booth to come back at anytime within a year.

Jungle Island (previously Parrot Jungle)
: A little costly, but if you find some discount tickets online then it is well worth it. You are greeted soon after you enter the gate for a photo opportunity to hold parrots and sometimes a small baby alligator. The price of the photos are expensive, but holding them is pretty cool. What this place has that other areas do not is that they have a Liger, which is half tiger/half lion. This liger is HUGE and pretty cool. There are very few ligers in the world, so getting to actually see one is a huge treat!

Miami Seaquarium
: Very similar to what you get to see at Seaworld. They have all sorts of shows and experiences with the different animals. Their website usually offers discount coupons for park admission.

Miami Zoo: This is a really cool zoo. I will have to say unlike the D.C. zoo its nice that there aren't tremendous hills you have to climb. Also unlike the D.C. zoo, this place rents out family bicycles that is well worth the money. If you have small kids that can not peddle, then no problem. They can either sit on your lap or in the baskets for small kids in front of the bike (resemble a shopping cart seating). I had a lot of fun at this zoo!

Gator Park
: A lot of fun to go on an air boat tour. I will say if you have a squirmy toddler, then an air boat tour is not the thing to go on. The tour guide will safely bring you up to various gators in the everglades. The rides on the everglades are amazing because literally you can touch the bottom of the everglades with your hand, but with the air boat you can speed through the swamp land at an enormous pace. This is probably one of my favorite things to do.

Gambling: Obviously not a family friendly thing to do, but there are some great casinos in the Miami area. One being the Seminole Hard Rock and Casino and Gulfstream Park Casino are two of the casinos I have been to an highly recommend. They have slot games, black jack and poker. Its tons of fun if you can steal some time for some couple time.

Great Country Farms

One place that I would really like to venture out to is a place called Great Country Farms. I found it a few months ago when I wanted to go raspberry picking, but we never made it out there for some reason or another. They have all sorts of things you can pick for yourself, which is an activity I really loved doing as a kid. Not only do they have "pick yourself" items during different times of the year, they also have other events at their farm. Check out their calendar for events!

The next event will be the Cider Festival & Antique Tractors September 19th and 20th. They will have lots of different cider samples to share including peach and raspberry, which I never had. The festival will also have some antique tractors, which my car/vehicle loving son would love!

This will be another link I'll update on my sidebar on places to go. Check it out for area events as fall is sure to bring in lots of fun outdoor festivals!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Must Haves? Must Have Nots?

I love making lists, so I decided why not make list of must haves and must have nots for toddlers? I wanted to compile a list of things that were really useful for my family and things we could of easily done without.


1)Great non-spill sippy cups (Playtex and Gerber)
2)Snack Traps
3)Ride on toy with storage (easy to transport to houses and put extra toys in to play)
4)Smaller diaper bags. Now that bottles aren't necessary its time to down scale.
5)Containers to store different toys. This can help lower the clean up by bringing one out at a time.

Have Nots:
1) Different storage containers for toddler food. Really your tupperware is fine for this.
2)Toys that do not have an off switch.
3)Toddler utensils. Dessert forks work great.
4)Cloth bibs...believe me the plastic ones at this point are a lot easier to clean up.
5)Various brands of lego blocks. No brand ever fits the other.

Do you have any haves or have nots to include?

Great Blogs

Although I have had this blog link on my blogsite for a while now, I wanted to give another "check it out" shout out.

DC Metro Moms is a great website area Moms write about their daily struggles and triumphs that they go through. I have found a lot of comfort in "having been there and done that" with some of these Moms. I have also enjoyed many of their stories. Also listed on this blogsite is other links to area blogs around the country.

Check it out!

Toddler Translation Anyone?

My toddler after many months of worry has started finally really talking. He says a new word just about every day, which really is a relief as I was getting a tad bit worried with his verbal skills. He will try to mock things you're saying, try counting different objects, etc., However I have been trying to figure out a particular word he keeps saying and just can't get a handle on it.

Typically I can figure out what he is saying. Usually its something he needs like milk, snack, wanting more of this or that, etc., For the past two days he has been saying something that sounds like "monkey" and I can't figure out for the life of me what he is saying. He isn't talking about his stuffed animal monkey (tried that half a dozen times). Is it one word? Two words he is saying together? What is it? I do the guessing game with him and point to everything imaginable in the room he would want. All I get are head shakes and then he ends up forgetting about it. So whats the deal? What does he keep saying?

I am sure many parents get a little frustrated trying to translate for their toddler on what their needs or wants are. Is there an app for this (excuse the iphone reference)? Has your toddler said something that you could not comprehend for a while that you finally figured out what they were saying? If so, what?

Sing...Sing A Song : )

I am not one of those women that enjoy high action or suspenseful movies or shows. Truth be told, they make me nervous. Not sure if that makes sense to the world, but it does. I appreciate the special effects and different story lines, but it just isn't something I enjoy sitting down to watch. I enjoy romance, period pieces and basically anything to do with the arts (dance, song, art, music). This brings me to say, this fall is one of the most anticipated seasons yet. Not only SYTYCD (So You Think You Can Dance) is actually being broadcasted in the fall, a new show called Glee is premiering!

I love the arts and although a singing show (cough...American Idol) is nothing new, I was actually pleased to see a singing show in a non-reality based style. I saw the pilot and thankfully was late on seeing that because I was pleasantly surprised. I loved the story line. I loved the characters. I LOVED the music and singing. What is sexier then a man singing Leaving On A Jet Plane?

Tonight is the fall season premiere of Glee. I will certainly be watching. You should check it out too!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Scarlet Fever Anyone?....Sleep anyone?

As of right now, I am one sleep deprived Mama. I have not slept in days. I am literally running on Mommy adrenaline and caffeine. Why? My toddler was diagnosed with scarlet fever. It isn't as bad as it sounds. A scarlet fever diagnosis to me had the doc not told me what it was, would scare the living day lights out of me. Scarlet fever is just a bad case of strep throat, fever and rash.

I feel for my little guy, I really do. He too has not had a good night sleep because of the pain that he can't describe or voice well to his parents. All he can do is cry and fuss to obviously let us know that things aren't right in his little world. He isn't acting like my normal energetic little guy as he has not had the energy to play in days. Although I love the little cuddly boy that normally won't sit on my lap for more then a minute, I know he'd rather have the energy to play.

Hopefully with this new set of antibiotics in him and extra motrin for the pain, he will return to the lively guy that makes my little boy, my little boy. For any parent that has a sick kid, I feel for you. It has been a hard three days....

Great Find! ~ Tummy Ticklers

Rating: A+

So while I love the juice box saver containers that I recently bought for my toddler for a vacation and around the house, I also found another new product I love by accident that is just awesome.

Tummy ticklers is a juice pack that you can buy that has multiple prefilled apple juice containers that comes with one non spill lid. It is perfect for any toddler or young child, especially if you are on the go somewhere. For my family, it was perfect for a long car trip as I could keep multiple prefilled bottles in a cooler and pop on the lid when needed. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A New Beginning

There are those moments in life when a person starts a new journey or a new beginning that just takes my breath away. It could be because they are marrying their best friend, bringing a new life into this world or making a major move in their life. Often it brings me to tears. This weekend was one of those moments where I got to witness a couple beginning a new journey together into married life.

As I watched an old friend of mine walk down the aisle, I remember all too easily the nerves and the excitement I felt when I walked down the aisle on my wedding day. I remember my Dad saying something to me and me just being awe struck looking at my husband. I remember being nervous about messing up a line, not being able to drink the symbolic wine or hoping I don't spontaneously faint because I really get shy being the center of attention in a large group. I remember the excitement of starting a newly married life with my husband. Finally being able to sleep over in the apartment I had been paying for with my soon to be husband without my parents hounding me about it. I was excited for the day, excited for becoming my best friends wife and excited for all the things that were to come. My friend was starting a new phase in her book and I was able to stand there and witness that. Seeing her proud, excited, nervous expression brought tears to my eyes as she gazed my way and smiled her famous sweet girl smile. I smiled back, remembering to breath because LORD I did not want to cry.

This was the girl I met my sophomore year of high school. I remembering going to her sweet 16 party. The girl that dated the twin brother of my high school sweetheart. The girl that I remember going to see a high school choir performance when she sang a solo to "Together Again" by Janet Jackson. This was the same girl whose hand I held years after high school had ended when we attended a wake for an old boyfriend of hers/old friend of mine. We have cried together, sang (me very miserably) together and laughed a lot together. How quickly years seem to fly. How quickly we seem to go through lifes bumps and twisty roads and still somehow survive. She had found her other half and as corny as it may sound...she had became a woman.

My friend, as her Matron of Honor said during her speech, really is a treasure. She is loving, trusting, forgiving without fault, honest and humble. To me she was always just plain sweet. How wonderful it is to witness a new beginning. Even though I have been married for a short time, its unbelievable how much life has changed since the day I was married. We have had a baby, bought a house, family members/friends have died, we've met new friends, gotten new jobs, traveled and explored new places, etc., etc.,

I hope for my dear friend that her future is everything she wants it to be with her new husband. That her husband and her remember to act as a team. Remember that old saying of never go to bed mad at each other. Forgive and forget. Let life roll with the punches but make sure to back each other up. Love each other unconditionally. Its a fresh start, a new beginning that just leaves me in awe. Congrats to you my dear friend.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Popsicles..AKA Toddler Crack

My post is inspired by a friends blog who wrote about how her toddler daughter is addicted to apple juice. Her post made me smile thanking GOD I was not the only one to have a toddler addicted to something, because my son has an addiction to popsicles.

It started innocently enough when I bought them. It was an warm June day and I remembered a favorite past time when I was a kid eating popsicles with my girlfriends on my parents front porch. It was one of those summer "must haves" and I figured why not?

Fast forward a couple months. My son learned where popsicles are stashed and now knows how to open the HEAVY freezer (our freezer is on the bottom of our fridge) and pulls out popsicles for himself. Thankfully its the cheapo popsicles that come in a box of a zillion so you have to cut the top offs with the scissors, because otherwise I'd have permanent popsicle drips all over my house. It isn't that I don't want him to enjoy it, but seriously its a request just about everyday and one just is never good enough. I am pretty laid back about a lot of things, but thats a lot of sugar my already energetic guy does not need. Even if I got those sugar free nasty things and my son is mostly clean for a two year old, he drips. Heck I drip popsicle from time to time, but its just another mess I don't really feel like cleaning up. If I say no because its almost dinner time or he's already had out. My beautiful smiley boy goes from awesome, cool kid to grump-a-saurous.

Thankfully you can freeze how ever much you want from the box of ready to be made liquid popsicles. I thinks thats my only saving grace. He more or less understands no more popsicles is better then him thinking I am holding out on him. If he sees an empty freezer he's more or less cool about it. Disappointed but cool about it. Of course there are times when we just say "no", but in a house with a two year learn to pick your battles because fighting every one of them is just plain exhausting.

Great Grandparents

I have to say, I consider my son and our family lucky that both his Great Grandparents on my husbands side are around to not only meet him but to bond with him. During our trip to Miami (reason why I was not writing on this blog), he was able to again meet up with them and you could really see the bond growing between them. I wondered honestly how many kids get to even know their Great Grandparents and if so was there a bond or a connection?

My son's Great Grandparents are young. Great Grandpa (Deadea...not sure how to spell that in Russian) is 70 years young. Both Grandparents are very healthy, both have sound minds (thank God) and keep themselves busy. On two special occasions the Great Grandparents nearly insisted my husband and I go out so they could bond with our two year old son. By the end of the trip, my son was calling his Great Grandma "Gaga" (he can't quite say Baba). I was also able to see my baby take his Baba's hand and lead her to whatever he wanted. Not a huge leap for most two year olds, but my son has only reached up for his parents hands and no one else, even his other beloved Grandparents. I marveled at that because I could feel the love and was able to witness Grandparents gushing over their grandchild, which for me sadly is a distant memory as I haven't had Grandparents gush over me for over a decade now.

I remember one of my Great Grandparents, but not affectionately. I somewhat wish now we spent more time with her and I had more fond memories of my Great Grandma Ana. She was quite old when I met her in the nursing home. Running around on beaches, cooking yummy foods and playing together really was not an option. Instead this woman saw the pacifier in my mouth and wanted my parents to take that pacifier away. I remember thinking to myself as a young kid, "who does this woman think she is?" That stopped me from wanting to be near her. So as my parents and sister sat and visited with her, I remember playing on the patio railings and being quite smug with myself because I still had my paci.

Having Great Grandparents in my sons life has become quite special to me. Its something that sadly a lot of us don't get to witness. Did you have Great Grandparents in your life as a child? What are your memories of them?