Monday, June 30, 2008

Go red!

I went to a wake tonight for one of my closest friend's mother.  She suddenly passed from a massive heart attack.  She had even been to the Dr. earlier that day complaining of back and shoulder pain but since she had been hanging curtains the doctor assumed her pain was a result of overdoing it.  He was wrong.  Later that evening she passed.  She had no prior history of heart disease.  She was only 63 years old, active, and healthy.  She was an absolutely amazing and wonderful woman and will be missed greatly by everyone. 

So, PLEASE PLEASE get in the know about the warning signs of a heart attack, stroke, and cardiac arrest for women.  According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women!

Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the "movie heart attack," where no one doubts what's happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.   
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.   
  • Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.  
  • Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness       

As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

On a much lighter note, I have to tell you what happened to me at the wake.  I lactated through my nursing pad AND shirt.  No lie.  Sorry for TMI but I just had to share because this is the kind of crap that happens to me... I have a knack for saying the wrong thing or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time!  I was pretty embarrassed.  The good news is that I gave my friend a good laugh.

So you'd think I'd prepare myself for an evening away from my baby right?  Well, normally I count on my trusty LilyPadz (which I love!).  They are reuseable breast pads made of a sticky silicone that sticks to you - they don't require a bra to hold them in place and you can even wear them under a swimsuit!  They really work!

So why wasn't I wearing them?  Well, I was wearing one, I can't find the other!  Sam thinks they are really funny and whenever he sees them he grabs them & finds some place funny to put them (even on his own body!).  So on the other side I had a standard pad, which didn't hold up for the lilyPadz.  Looks like I may need to buy another set before another embarrassing moment happens.

the dirty dozen

Yesterday Sydney was baptized (see slideshow above).  It was a really nice ceremony and she was P.E.R.F.E.C.T.  I was so thrilled because she was happy during the ceremony AND she let people interact with her all day.  You may remember from previous posts that she's quite the mommy & daddy's girl.  But it appears that she's now enjoying other people's company.  YEAH for my baby girl!

We had a party at our house after the ceremony.  Perfect weather, good company, and good food (excuse the lack of modesty there!).  And for the first time ever I did a good job gauging how much food would be needed.  Normally I have an enormous amount of leftovers.  While there were still left overs, it's a manageable amount that we should be able to eat up as a family without tossing extra.  In fact, I'm embarrassed to say that I was disappointed that there was only 1 piece of cake left over....until... I read a recent post of Shannon's.  After reading that post I realized just how indulgent I was being wishing I could eat leftover cake for a week.  I know it's not good for me.  And I know we should watch our sugar and processed food intake.  But man do I love me some CAKE (this one had a raspberry filling - YUM)!
Anyway, Shannon's great post (Thanks Shannon!  Just the reality check I needed before grabbing another bar!) motivated me to trek out with the kids today to our closest co-op.  The truth is, I'm not a poster-child for organic eating.  Our local grocery doesn't carry it so I have to drive 20 minutes for it.  I know that's a do-able drive but with the day-to-day living of caring for 2 little ones, combined with the higher price of organic food, I simply make it a low priority.  Plus, I get easily overwhelmed because it's not just eating organically that makes for healthy nutrition (there is a lot of crappy food out there that is made with organic products)... it's eating less processed foods, more pure foods, less allergenic foods (for the little ones), in combination with eating foods without pesticides (organic).

So, if you are like me and are looking for a place to start, I thought you would appreciate knowing about The Dirty Dozen and the Cleanest 12, a list of the 12 foods with the most and least amount of pesticides.  It gives a bit of focus for overwhelmed people like myself when organic is not always an option.  This list was created by The Environmental Working Group.  Check out their blog too as it's filled with great information.  I'm diggin' this non-profit group that helps keep US politicians and their policies on their toes.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

decorating for the holidays

Well, just thought I'd get all patriotic on y'all (that's a nod to my Texas friends!) and spruce this place up for the 4th.  I'm not sure I'm sold on the look but it's staying for a bit anyway (too lazy to change it back!).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

we're back!

We're back and our trip to Lutsen, MN was a success, for the most part. ;)  Driving 5 hours alone with both kids was easier than I thought it would be.  Sydney fussed only one time, for just a few minutes and stopped as soon as Sam started singing to her.  Now how cute is that?  For both the ride there and back Samuel did great, but got a little feisty toward the end (think kicking the DVD player!).  

Minnesota's north shore of Lake Superior is just beautiful.  I really enjoyed looking at the scenery as I listened to the beautiful accompaniment of Little Einstein's music from Sam's cartoon. ;)  But honestly Sam enjoyed the scenery too; though he was mostly interested in passing by trains, driving through the tunnels built into the cliffs around the shore, and driving past mining areas.  So I'd say we both got something out of the deal.  And Sydney, well, she just liked sleeping, watching her big brother, and blowing occasional bubbles.  

The drive reminded me of my Grandma's Marathon runs (the route is on the way to Lutsen).  I could literally feel the crowd cheering for me as I was on "lemon drop hill"... until suddenly I realized... I'm not running.  I'm driving.  Oh, and I'm in no shape for running and am 7 lbs heavier.  But, at the very least maybe that flashback will get me excited to start running again.  It's so surreal to me that running was such a huge part of my life 3 years ago and yet as time passes it seems like that was a different woman.  In fact, the only running Sam has seen me do is on command when he's in back-seat driver mode in the stroller: "faster, MOM!"  

Here's me 6 years ago running Grandma's (my favorite marathon of the 5 I've done).  The pic below that is me with my brother (not the one I visited this wknd) crossing the finish line together.

Speaking of Grandma's, it was just this past weekend.  Congrats to all the runners, including my sister-in-law!  WAY TO GO!

Back to our visit... we stayed right off the water thanks to my brother and sister-and-law letting us crash with them (thanks guys!).  The place was perfect for Sam because he LOVES throwing rocks into lakes.  He could do it all day.  I even caught him dreaming about rocks last night, yelling out "THAT'S MY ROCK!" in his sleep.  He must have been dreaming about his arguments with his cousin - he wanted to throw the rocks while she wanted to keep the "pretty" rocks.

It wasn't exactly a relaxing break since I was dealing with 2 small children on my own (though my brother & SIL helped me out) and my Sydney decided that would be a great time to cut 2 teeth and work on 2 more - but it was a great opportunity to see my brother & his family and revisit the north shore, which I hadn't been to in years.  Below are some picture highlights.

Here Sam is saying, "Don't take my picture!" (literally)
My brother and his family on the covered walking bridge:Cute nieces & nephew, don't ya think!Me & Sam (with his best "cheese!" face on):Sam with his uncle, aunt and cousins skipping rocks on the beach:
Sydney hanging out on top of the cliff with Mom while we wait for the gang to come back (we couldn't climb down there safely with the baby):Sam and his uncle:
Ready for retirement:

Sam also loved riding down this Alpine Slide at Lutsen mountain with his uncle (I was watching Sydney).  I couldn't believe this place doesn't make people wear helmets and you only have to be 2 to ride (with an adult).  Apparently people can fall off because occasionally prairie dogs will try to cross the track.  A whole new kind of road kill I guess.  But you'll be happy to know that no 2 year olds or prairie dogs were injured in Sam's adventure.  (This is not Sam below.)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

linkin' away...

I have a few cool links to pass along.

First, for you expecting mamas!  My friend Julie sent me this super cool site today & I thought some of you might be interested.  It's a baby name genie to help pick your baby name.

Second, for you mamas of infants and young toddlers!  Julie gave me a heads up on a recent article did on wet-wipes.  Turns out I've been using one of the most chemical-laden wipes.  AHH!  I often make my own wipes but have been pretty lazy in that department lately.  Directions for my hand made wipes (thanks to my friend Jenni) below. 

Third, another piece of good info from  Consider tossing your vinyl shower curtain.  Turns out that strong smell when you open the package is just an indication of the crap in those things.  Who-da thunk?  (and yes, that's sarcasm.)  Kinda reminds me of the strong smell from the new carpet we just got.  I don't think I even want to know what's in that carpet.  I'm not ready to give up carpet, people!  ;)  Anyway, check this out regarding the shower curtain. 

Finally, for you bloggers!  Looking to increase traffic to your site?  Though I wouldn't mind more traffic, it's not currently a goal of mine.  For those of you who are interested, zrecs had some great tips to increase traffic.

Have a great rest of the weekend.  I'll be gone for a few days and off the computer (will I survive?).  I'm heading up north with the kids to visit my brother's family.  I'll be traveling 5 hours each way by myself with them.  Wish me luck!  I'll need it.  I'm almost done packing and it looks like I am packing for the Duggars.


Homemade Baby Wipes

1 Roll of High Quality Paper Towels (or substitute wash cloths for you environmentally conscious folks).  I use Viva paper towels - they are strong and soft.
2 Cups Hot Water
2 Tsp Organic Soap (I use California Baby Body Wash)
1 Tsp Baby Oil (I use Burt's Bees)

Cut paper towels in half (save one half for next time).  I use a serrated knife.  Heat water for 2 minutes in microwave safe container.  Add soap and oil and stir until disolved.  Pour the hot water mixture in a 2.5 quart container.  Immerse smooth end of paper towels in water mixture.  Immediately flip the paper towels and place the rough-cut end into the water mixture.  Allow to soak for 5 minutes.  Remove saturated center cardboard and pull out a towel or two from the center to throw out (they would have been glued to the cardboard).  You are now ready to start using - pull from the center.  I place mine in a wipe warmer to keep them moist & warm.  In hot temps, use within one week to avoid mold.

Friday, June 20, 2008

share & take turns!

Tomorrow a girlfriend of mine is coming over with her two boys.  Knowing that Samuel has had an especially hard time sharing lately I decided I'd be proactive about the issue.  I told him if there were any toys he thought he might not want to share tomorrow that we could put them in his room tonight.  Well, it seemed like a great idea at first, that is until his pile of "no share toys" exceeded his "share toys".  I think he might have put aside every single toy he owns had I not eventually put a limit on it.  So much for great ideas.  I do hope this plan will help though, but I'm certain there is a "share toy" that suddenly tomorrow will become a prized possession.  Maybe if I remind him that he agreed to share, it will help calm the storm.  Who am I kidding?  He's 2 1/2 - there isn't a ton of reasoning you can do at that age.

I forgot to report on Syd's 6 mo. stats!  She's long and lean.  How on earth did my athletic 5'2" frame produce that?  She's 27" (85%) and 14 lbs 15 oz (12%).  For her height her weight is off the charts (in the negative).  The Doctor actually seemed slightly concerned about her weight because in the past she'd been at the 30th percentile.  But he and I agreed that she looks really healthy and just take one look at her pictures - there is plenty of baby chunk on this baby! :)  But the slow weight gain, in combination with her reflux, and the fact that she's had periodic blood in her diapers (sorry for TMI!) means we need to keep an eye on things - though I'm certain she's just fine.  She's even starting to scoot and somehow make her way toward toys (look out Samuel!).  I suspect crawling will be in the not too distant future.

I know I have talked a lot about the kids lately and have not offered much in the way of useful information (which was the original point of my blog).  I apologize.  Though I hope my family at least is enjoying the kiddo info.  I'm just so swamped over the next couple weeks I don't have a lot of time to prepare the info posts that I like doing.  If anyone cares, I appreciate your patience.

One bit of useful info I do want to pass along now is the personalized name sets that Pamela is offering at Digitreats.  You can get digital papers for approx. $5 with your child's name on them (provided she already has your child's name completed).  They are really cool sets and would be so perfect for scrapbooking and many other digital projects.



Thursday, June 19, 2008

leavin' me hangin!

Sam has been such a riot lately (well, and a handful!) that I just have to write down some of these funny things he's been saying - so in the blog they go.  Today I said, "give me five!", as I put my hand out.  Sam's response: "No, I'm gonna leave you hangin' ".  WHAT?  Leave me hangin'?  Whateva kid!  I only carried you for 9 months in my belly! (Every Mom has a right to play that card, right?)

Sydney has been busy talkin' up a storm.  So again I asked Sam what she was saying and he said, "She's not saying I like cars.  She's saying I love you."  Well, I'll take that!  (You may recall from a previous post that Sam interprets Sydney's motor noises as meaning "I like cars.")

Speaking of Sydney, she had her 6 month shots today and handled them like a champ.  OK, that's a lie.  She screamed bloody murder at the mere touch of the stethoscope.  But doesn't it seem like all parents say little Johnny was "a champ" or little Jane was "a real trooper"?  It's like when people ask you, "Is she a good baby?"  What the hell kind of question is that anyway?  I mean, if she were fussy (which frankly she is sometimes - though luckily she's outgrowing that nasty reflux) am I supposed to say, "Nope, she's a bad baby"?  So, to you readers out there (hello?????), I'd like you to know that my dear Sydney is a good baby and handles shots like a champ.  *wink*wink*  At any rate, to us, she's perfect.

I wanted you to also know that I already received the paci clip that I mentioned in last Friday's post.  That sure didn't take long!  Only 3 days - and over a weekend!  Anyway, it's quite cute!!  It is smaller than I thought it would be, but I suppose the smaller chain explains why it doesn't have the "snap in half" safety feature that the longer Hanna Andersson paci clip has.  It takes more time than it should to attach the paci to it since that doll gets in the way, but luckily I shouldn't have to attach a paci to it more than once a day.

Sydney is entranced by the cute beads and it does it's job of keeping the paci off the ground - so it's a hit.  Parts of the doll are not on the paci chain itself so I worried that those beads might be at risk for falling off and become a choking hazard but they seem very secure and the company I bought them from (well, the company that Amazon routed me to) assured me that they are secure and to toss at any sign of defect.

Until next time,


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

so much to do, so little time!

Wow, talk about way too many things going on for me right now.  We're having carpet installed in our basement tomorrow so I've been frantically trying to paint.  Just to add more chaos to the equation I'm trying to get in all our doctor appointments by the end of the month (our deductible goes back to 0 in July).  Sydney turned 6 months so she has her 6 mo. well check today (poor girl will get shots) and of course I need to get her 6 month pictures done too.  Oh, and did I mention that Sydney's baptism (and party) is in a week and a half and between now and then my brother will be in the area so I may be taking a 4 hour trek up north with the kids to hang out with him and his family.  Somewhere in the midst of all this chaos I need to care for and entertain our 2 kids.  So all of that is plenty to keep anyone busy, right?  Well, apparently I like to make my life difficult and add more projects to the list.  

I have great memories as a kid going to Olan Mills every couple years for a family photo.  So I always make a big deal out of pictures for my kids.  And as usual, I can't just pick an outfit we already own and go with it.  It's not that I need the outfit to be new.  I just usually have a certain look in mind and normally that look does not yet exist in the kid's wardrobe. ;)  So, last night, at 12:30 am, after painting the basement, I decided to make Sydney a couple of hair-accessories for her pictures.  (By the way, she really doesn't have much hair to speak of so that in itself makes me crazy.)  Anyway, you probably think I've done this before, right?  Well, I haven't.  This is SO par for the course for me.  I always seem to try new things just before a big event.  While I like the fact that I'm willing to try new things, why is my timing so terrible?  You'd think I'd learn and do a little practicing first!  But who has time to practice?

And of course I can't make the baptism easy for me either.  So I hope to make her a bracelet and I decided to add a little pearl beading to her baptism gown (which was actually my gown).  I thought that would be a nice way to use my gown while making it her own too.  Now, have I beaded a dress before?  Absolutely not.  This project, thankfully, is turning out to be pretty easy though.  I'm not that lucky with many projects I try at the last minute.  Case in point:  Sam's first birthday cake.  I had never decorated a cake before (aside from opening a jar of frosting) but I decided to attempt a Bavarian cream-filled layered cake cut up and decorated like baby blocks.  What was I thinking?  While it tasted wonderful, each block looked more like the leaning tower of Pisa.  But you know what?  I always feel good about things if I at least tried.  And tried I did, so to me it was a success.  Here is the result.
Wish me luck as I tackle all my current projects.  I'll be sure to post the results!

Make it a great day!  Tricia

Sunday, June 15, 2008

favorite pics of the week

Well, with it being Father's Day & all, this week's pic must include Tad!  I love the picture below because it shows how sweet Tad is with the kids (I honestly couldn't have picked a better Dad for my kids!).  But also, this documents Samuel & Sydney's first fight over toys.  They both wanted that blue elephant so bad and good for Sydney she was standing up to her big bro & trying to fight for it with all her might!

Samuel pretending he's a truck with a truck wheel on his head.  Sometimes he makes us all put one on our head (Sydney included) and we are a truck family for the night.

My friend H & her daughter A came over this weekend to play!  I had a great time.  Samuel gave me a run for my money but what can you do.

Sydney loving her swing.

Just a goofy picture of Sydney.

Sam's new shirt from Grandma Sue.  It says, "This is my summer job."  Aint that the truth!

happy father's day!

This blog may be called "All Things Mom" but we can't forget the Dad's out there!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


P.S. Sam's gift to his Daddy:  Last night we were on the deck and Sam looked at the house and said, "Such a nice house.  Thanks for building it for me Daddy." (Tad built most of our house himself with the help of family & friends).  Now how nice was that?!  And it was just the sweet thing we needed to hear after an incredibly trying day with our 2 year old.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

who needs a baby whisperer when you have a 2 year old?

Today Sydney was blowing bubbles and making her "Brrrrrrr" noises that are TDF (to-die-for) cute!  She does it when she's either super happy or super sad.  Anyway, so Sam tells me that Sydney is talking.  I ask him what she's saying and he says, "She's saying, I like cars."  Hmmm... car noises = "I like cars".  Totally makes sense!  Now if I could get him to translate every cry for me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

friday the 13th came a day early for me

Have you ever had one of those days where every little thing just annoyed the crap out of you?  Yesterday was one of those days for me.  My primary enemy today:  The pacifier.  Poor Sydney is teething like crazy and could not keep that pacifier in her mouth.   I swear she has a way of spitting that thing out of her mouth at mach speed with some serious projectile action only to become pissed off wondering where her pacifier went.  And the kicker, I often can not find the pacifier because I'm searching in the local vicinity (while she's crying in my ear) when really I should be looking half way across the room with that projection ability of hers.

My favorite clip is from Hanna Andersson (Oh how I love that store!  If I were a rich woman I'd be a regular here!) because it's cute, wooden, doubles as a toy to investigate, and has a safety feature where the chain breaks in 2 if pressure is applied.  At $12, it's more expensive than the little plastic clips you can buy at Target but I've found it worth the price.  Unfortunately, I can not find Sam's Hanna clip that he used.  I kept hoping I'd find it but I was so annoyed by today's battle that I just can't wait any longer!  And wouldn't you know it, there must be an epidemic of pacifier spitters out there because this clip is back ordered until July 12!
While this problem really is quite trivial, I'm embarrassed to admit the level of aggravation it caused me today.  So, if a simple gadget can help me win my pacifier war, and focus on real issues, I'm sold.  And while I think the Hanna clip is worth the price, it's not worth the back order wait for me so I'm going to try one by another brand, Selecta.  It's very similar to the Hanna one, though I don't know if it has the same great safety feature.  It's more expensive than the Hanna one *gulp* (thankfully shipping is only ten cents at Amazon) but I'm justifying the cost by the fact that I shouldn't lose any more pacifiers.

I also noticed Amazon had some clips by another great brand, HABA Toys, like this one: Teddy Pacifier Chain.  Both brands, by the way, are made in Germany.  

I sure hope this ships fast for both Sydney's sake and mine!  This product wasn't on my top ten list of baby-must-haves but after today it just might be!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

kids say the darndest things...

This morning as I am getting ready to drop Sam off at a play-date I say to him, "play nicely with Tyler today, ok."  To which Sam said, "That's just a figure of speech, Mommy."  I had to do a double-take and ask him to repeat what he said because it just sounded so odd coming out of his 2.5 year old little mouth.  At first I thought he probably doesn't know what that expression means.  But then I got to thinking more and I wondered if maybe he knows exactly what it means.  Maybe to him, "playing nicely" IS just a figure of speech!  LOL!  It certainly would explain all those times where he didn't heed my advice.

Sure enough this afternoon I said, "That's a pickle".  To which Sam again said, "That's a figure of speech."  Well, yes it is, proving my point that he may in fact know what it means and apparently in his world rules fall under the category of "figures of speech".  Lord help me.  Forget "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader".  I'm not smart enough to get through to a 2 year old!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

another mommy-must-have for baby!

Tonight I met with my local Mom's group for dinner (which was a lot of fun - thanks guys!).  I brought Sydney and knew I'd have to nurse her, something I use to completely fear doing in public.  I used to feel like such a clod and in my mind surely the entire world had seen much more than they bargained for.  To make matters worse, as Sam got older he started pulling the blanket that was covering us down, making it nearly impossible for me to remain discreet.  I'm sure it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought but in my mind I envisioned a crying baby, a sweaty mommy, and... well... sorry for the scary visual but I felt like boobs were flying everywhere.

Maybe they were, maybe they weren't, but at the time I felt like the people around me would probably prefer a quiet baby than a screaming one so I nursed in public when I had to despite my fears.  

This time around I'm smarter (well really I just have a smart friend named Julie!) and I've found a fantastic nursing cover by Bebe au Lait.  I just love it and I was able to nurse in public tonight with complete confidence!  It hangs around my neck so Sydney can NOT pull it off and is made of enough material to ensure discreet nursing.  The material is thin (in fun designs!) and neither Sydney nor I get hot.  And the best part - a firm edge that allows the cover to stick outward a bit making it easy for me to look down and see Sydney while also retaining complete coverage.  The corner of the cover even has part of a burp cloth attached, which definitely comes in handy.
This, is absolutely in my top 10 must haves!

By the way, some time ago I said I planned to blog about my top 10 must-haves for baby (in my opinion of course).  Rather than put that in one post I've decided to post separately about each one since I'm too darn chatty for 10 gadgets in a post.

2 down, 8 to go.

Monday, June 9, 2008

darn those gas prices!

Well, we all know how ridiculously high the cost of gas is right now.  I think twice before I even make a run to Target these days.  To think I once wouldn't bat an eye at driving 80 miles a day when I commuted for work to the cities.  Thank goodness my new job (which hasn't exactly started yet by the way) is from home.

Given the current average American gasoline price of $4.04/gal I thought it was worth mentioning as a great resource to shop around for the cheapest gas.  Enter your zip to find local gas stations and their prices (btw there are resources on this site for Canada too).  This isn't a new site so apologies if this is "old news" to you, but I felt it was worth mentioning.  Thanks Mom for passing along the link; leave it to you to know how to bargain shop gas!

We are contemplating a couple summer road trips but if these gas prices get much higher we may reconsider.  I had also hoped to fly out to see my brother this fall but I suppose airfare must be ridiculous as well.  I'm not ruling any of our plans out at this point but I'm a little bummed that here I am with more time on my hands than normal (since I am not working) and yet less money to spend that time traveling (since I'm not working - lol).  Isn't that always the way it goes?

Until next time, Tricia

Sunday, June 8, 2008

favorite pics of the week

Time again for favorite pics of the week!  Sorry to any readers that got my email of Sydney's pictures at 6 months as a couple of these are duplicates from that.  This week I've even included a video of Sam fishing. He's got quite the cast!

Samuel & our sweet Jenny dog:

Our little hippie chick:
More fishing:
Time with Daddy:
Time with Mommy:

Check out Jenny!  She fell asleep with the ball in her mouth.

Gone fishin'!  
By the way, normally we do enforce the "must have life jacket on when on the dock" policy.  Not sure why we were such slackers yesterday.  Though he is standing over only a foot of water & we were there of course.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

happy 6 months baby girl!

Our baby girl turned 6 months old today!  It's truly very hard for me to believe.  That newborn phase is always such a blur, isn't it?  At least for me it is.  I try my best to capture every precious moment in my memory forever.  But in the end I'm always left wondering where time went.  

Lord knows I love pictures - I took 40 today alone!  But I wish we could also somehow capture forever how things feel for us at each particular moment - her little fingers and toes, her tiny frame easily cradled in one arm, her head resting on my shoulder, the sound of her deep breaths and yawns, that newborn cry and of course that newborn smell.

I get a little sad and nostalgic when I think of the time that has passed, but then I remember how much I love who she is now.  It has been the same way with my son.  I always feel like I don't want him to grow up but each new age became my favorite for new reasons.  

The (tiny!) filmstrip above shows an age and size progression of Sydney in her little tub the hospital gave us.  The filmstrip pictures are (L-R): 3 days, 3 months, and 6 months old.  The picture of her in the middle with the over-the-top flower on her head (I couldn't resist!) was taken today at 6 months old.

Happy 6 months baby girl.  I look forward to each new milestone (but don't grow too fast, ok!).

Friday, June 6, 2008

the art of manipulation...

...apparently is perfected at a very young age.

Sam was an early talker and verbal skills continue to be a strength of his.  Where he gets this I have no idea because, as likely obvious from my blog, my vocabulary has never, ever, been a strength of mine and the same can be said for my husband.  We're already arguing over who gets to help with the math homework and who is left to help with English.  Hopefully, he won't need our help because if he does he's screwed.

One thing Samuel has never been big on saying, however, is those 3 little words:  "I love you."  Maybe it's our fault; although we have said it often to him, we never asked or encouraged him to say it back.  I knew it would come in his own time and it didn't feel right to ask him to do it.  Well, I was right - it came at his own time and he's handing it out left and right lately... it's very sweet.  But clearly he has quickly learned how much this means to me because now during time-out, instead of crying, he looks over at me with his big blue eyes and says, very sweetly, "Mommy?"

"Sam, we'll talk when your time out is over."

"I love you."

"Thank you Sam, I love you too, but let's talk in a couple minutes."

"Mommy?  I like you too."

I'm  happy to report I've stood my ground & he stays in time-out during this whole charade.  But I can't help but feel that he's getting nothing out of being there.  Somehow I feel like I'm being "reverse-psychologied" out of time-outs by my 2 year old.  (And yes, my English may suck but I know that's a made up word.)  I mean, how much is a kid getting out of time out if he sits there and yells "I LOVE YOU MOMMY!" the whole 2 minutes?  Isn't he supposed to feel sad he's there?  Isn't he supposed to think about his actions and eagerly await time out to be over so that we can reconcile & hug?  

We are so in trouble.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

you heard it here first...

Remember that post I did about fingerprints on your stainless steel appliances?  I directed you to the following microfiber cloths that work like a charm.
Well, it turns out I'm not the only one taking notice of these cloths.  I saw one of my fav blogs, Zrecs, had a post on this yesterday where they linked to a recent article by BusinessWeek.  Here I thought that post I made about microfiber was sort of lame - but guess what?  Lame or not, I posted about them first.  And for a competitive chick like me, that's really all that matters.  Do you think my little blog is getting noticed by the outside world?  Or do you think my family is made up of spies for other blogs and more notable news organizations?  I'm watching you Mom.  I'm watching you Dad.  Sure, your comments seem innocent enough... but I know who's paying you to keep tabs on my content. ;)

OK, reality check.  It's all clearly coincidental.  But nonetheless I feel good about being "in the know" and in a timely manner.  Though I guess Europeans have been using these cloths for 15-some years... but better late than never, right?

One important thing that I clearly was not "in the know" about, however, is just how useful these cloths really are.  I recommended using them on stainless steel but it turns out they are good for just about any cleaning!  It's a great way to clean safely (no chemicals!) and in an environmentally-friendly way!  Now, I'm not saying to use them in your toilet bowl or anything, but these cloths could work great on just about all surfaces.

Check out this blurb from the BusinessWeek article:

"It's one of the greenest products out there. From the research we've done, microfiber cleans and removes dirt and bacteria with water alone. You do not need chemicals," says Judy Klein, director of retail cleaning for Newell Rubbermaid

If you're looking for microfiber, this option seems to be a good deal:

Clean-Rite 7-512 12-Pk Microfiber Cleaning Towels

I know, I know, it doesn't feel clean unless you get high off the chemicals in the process, right?  Well, I dare you to give microfiber a try.  I know I will. 

P.S. I haven't forgotten about my final Digital Scrapping posts I owe ya.  It's a work in progress...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

i'm a hippie??

My husband called me a hippie.  At first I thought he was mocking me, but then realized he actually meant it as a compliment.  I've never ever thought of myself as a hippie.  And any hippie out there would probably be totally offended that I was categorized with them.  Upon looking "hippie" up on I got the following definition:

noun. a person, esp. of the late 1960s, who rejected established institutions and values and sought spontaneity, direct personal relations expressing love, and expanded consciousness, often expressed externally in the wearing of casual, folksy clothing and of beads, headbands, used garments, etc.

Hmmm... based on the above definition I don't make a very good hippie.  I was born in the 70s.  I'm not one to reject established institutions, I wouldn't call myself spontaneous, I'm not overly lovey, and I wouldn't call my wardrobe "folksy". Wait, do running clothes count as "folksy"?  But, one part of that definition above really struck a cord with me:  expanded consciousness.  That is really one of the reasons why I started this blog (though I never put it so eloquently): to expand my consciousness regarding my family's health.  To take notice of what we are exposing ourselves to and what we are putting into our bodies.  I'm a big believer that what you put in is what you get out - whether in relation to how we are nurturing our body, mind, or spirit.  Everything needs gas to go and it's all about finding the right kind of gas for the mind, body, and spirit.

Does People magazine qualify as good gas for the mind?  Hmmmm...  It's a learning curve and I might be on the short end still.

When I think of hippie I also think of earth-loving people.  I wish I could say my motives were environmental.  I do care, and worry, about the environment but the truth is my real motivation for much of the mommy research I do stems from my desire to live healthy.  (I say desire because I'm not always successful at realizing the *healthy* part.  Though I did choose an oatmeal raisin cookie - o.k. fine, cookieS - today instead of chocolate chip.)  Anyway, I'm quickly learning that a lot of things that are not good for us are also not good for the environment, which really shouldn't surprise me.  It makes perfect sense actually.  So, thanks to these personal revelations, and thanks to friends like Shannon and her blog, I'm also learning to be more environmentally conscious along the way.  Though I have a long way to go.

So, back to my husband... he's a pretty "traditional" kind of guy.  A khakis and dress shirt Eddie Bauer reserved kind of guy (until you spend an evening with him playing Euchre over a couple of beers).  So, you can see why a hippie compliment sort of surprised me.  Frankly, I sort of thought he might think I'm wasting my time because both of us agree that the information out there is both daunting and biased and it's hard to know if the preventative steps we take are solving a problem or creating a new one.  But I think he likes that I worry about the good of our family and I think he agrees that it's better to try to be informed and to not just give up.  I'm getting to him too... I caught him picking weeds which I've never seen him do before (prior years the weed killer came out) and he said he did it just for us.

See, even us old dogs can learn new tricks.  And us younger dogs can too. ;)  I say that because one of us is turning a year older this week and it's not me.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  *wink, wink*

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

go old navy & gap!

This is a poor excuse for a post but I just wanted to share how excited I am that you can now shop Gap, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Banana Republic online (the companies fall under the same ownership) and have a combined $7 flat shipping rate & free returns!  Now, if only I could get that UPS return label to print off right. *sigh*

Also, in regard to digital scrapping - shutterfly has a 20% off sale for photo books through June 5.  I'm desperately trying to finish an album by then but I'm not sure that I'll succeed.  Wish me luck!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Favorite pics of the week

Around here we call our kiddos baby bears after one of our favorite books:  "You're All My Favorites" by Sam Mcbratney.  

It's an adorable book about how each child is their parent's favorite child, but for their own unique attributes.  I thought it was the perfect book for my kids because my son was always pretending to be a baby bear and I loved the message, especially given the fact that we have a relatively new baby added to our family.  So if you see me calling my son BB1 (1st baby bear) and my daughter BB2, you now know why.

I thought it might be fun to post a few of my favorite pictures of the week of my favorite baby bears.

BB1 below.  I love how serious he looks in this picture.  He loves to "work", as he calls it.  In fact, recently when I told him we had to go inside he said, while picking up drywall tools, "I can't. I gotta do some drywall work."   WHAT?  He is 2 1/2, and not 35, right?  Sounds like too much project time with Dad.  And then the other day when I questioned a noise coming from the neighbors garage he said, "That's an air compressor Mom!" in a tone that resembled "DUHHH!"
And just because he was lookin' so darn cute (& I can't forget to mention our sweet Jenny-dog pictured here too!):

One of BB2 looking cute as can be:
Do you think she's outgrown the bouncy seat since she is trying to sit up in it?  LOL!

Have a great week.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

digital scrapping, part 2 continued

OMG, I can't believe I forgot to fill you in on a wonderful freebie as part of my "part 2" post I created last night.  Any Thomas fans out there?  Check this out from Kylie M. Designs.  Perfect for scrapping or a birthday party invitation!