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Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a big, furry, delightful house guest for the weekend and no, I'm not talking about Elmo... thank God! Many words come to mind when I think of Elmo and 'delightful' isn't one of them, but that's another topic for another day.

No, our furry guest was a beautiful Weimaraner named Winston (I Might Secretly Be A Dog Person), my favorite dog on the planet.

Although the two of them have met before, Lucas and Winston are definitely still in the "getting to know you" phase of their relationship, as evidenced by these photos:

Winston wouldn't hurt a fly and was very tolerant of Lucas' poking and prodding. It was really fun to watch the two of them together and imagine what our lives might be like with a four-footed friend around permanently.

I spent the weekend calling Winston Lucas and Lucas Winston and it got a little chaotic at times, but Winston is such a joy to dog sit and in almost every way, a hell of a lot easier than a toddler!

Before I sign off, I am very excited to report that my blog has been reviewed on
Blog Brew Review, a very cool blog dedicated to reviewing blogs. With so many blogs and so little time, this site is a wonderful time saver! Please check it our when you have the time.

A special thanks to Natalie (Mommy of a Monster (I Mean Toddler) and Infant Twins)
for writing such a nice review. :)

And last but not least, to all the brave men and women, who serve our country, who have served our country, and those that have given their lives, and to all of their families, God Bless you... and thank you for fighting for our freedom. Happy Memorial Day to everyone!

The best is yet to be.

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Things We Do For Our Kids

Warning: For all of you truly "green" living, energy conservationists, please do not read this post! It will only upset you.

I didn't ask a lot of questions, so I'm not sure how it happened exactly, but somehow before Lucas got in his bath last night, his lovey ended up in it first. Three guesses who was on bath duty...

Luckily, he fell asleep as usual in my arms in the rocking chair while the lovely was in the dryer (on high) for 40 minutes and he even made it to his crib without it, because it wasn't dry yet.

He stirred and whimpered after a second 40 minute cycle, but didn't wake up and didn't seem to miss it, thank goodness!

At almost 9:00, while hubby and I are fading fast, I started to panic and had visions of Lucas waking up in the middle of the night crying because he wouldn't have his Comfort & Joy. Would you believe that the damn thing had to go through ANOTHER cycle before it was dry enough to place in his arms?! That's 120 minutes of dry time.

Isn't it ridiculous what we put ourselves and our poor household appliances through for the sake of our children (and a good night's sleep)?

The best is yet to be.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Do Everything Good

Who doesn't heart this?



The best is yet to be, especially with Jessica's attitude!

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Keeping Busy

I find the busier I keep Lucas during the day, the better both our dispositions, not to mention, tiring him out usually means more naps!

Climbing the stairs is a good place to start, but doesn't quite cut it most days, so each week we attend a music class, go for walks along the beach or throughout the small town where we live, visit each of the three different parks in our neighborhood and have Mommy & Me play dates.

I am forever trying to find fun new things for us to do in order to pass the time... especially the bewitching hours of 2:00 - 5:00.

Today we went to the Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland with our friends Jenn and her one year old, Tristan. It was a very fun day.

If you think that there isn't anything to do for one year olds at Legoland, you are sorely mistaken. Duplo Playtown was made for toddlers with it's little tot-sized buildings, slides and all the Duplo they can play with.

After a sufficient amount of play, we walked the boys through Miniland U.S.A., which includes reproductions of seven areas of the United States, all constructed with 20 million Legos in 1:20 scale. It truly is amazing and a definite must-see. The Las Vegas strip was my favorite.

The boys had a great time and we will be returning soon.

The best is yet to be.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Guest Post

It has been a while since we have had a guest post from your aunt Leah or a nice long visit. Luckily, while your dad was out of town this week on a business trip, she came down for a couple of days and with her, she brought this month's special message to you:

Lucas!

I haven’t seen you in 39 days and it’s killing me…literally! Okay, maybe not literally, but I’m really not happy with it. Sure absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I already adore you, so the time away from you isn't changing anything. I understand though, you and your family have been busy little bees the past month and a half. I mean, geez, you all went to Australia! I hope that you remember me when I see you. I’m not too sure what your memory bank is like at (almost) 12 months old, but it would be sweet if you totally recognized me and got all excited to see me. We’ll see...

Fortunately, your mom invited me to come spend two days with you guys in San Diego this week. I am super thrilled to see you and spend some time with your mom. I don’t mean to sound like the doting aunt but you are getting bigger everyday and learning new things about this world so fast, and like your Grandma Adams would say, you are growing older but I’m staying the same age. Right?! :) I cannot believe that you are going to be 1 year old in ten days! This year has flown by! Never before have those words been truer than about this past year.

This week your mom sent me a picture of you sitting in one of my old wicker baby chairs from Pakistan. I brought it for you several months ago when you were much too small to sit in it. I certainly thought it would be a lot longer before you were able to sit comfortably in it. But look at you now; it’s the perfect size for you! It makes me happy to see you in that, that chair is sort of symbol of your family traveling background. Your mom has a lot of neat things around the house from all over the world and I love that this chair is one of them. It’s also fun that I used to sit in it just like you! My parents would have loved to have seen you in it. They would have gotten the biggest kick out of it!


So while I know that living in LA is far closer to you then when I was living in Phoenix, it just isn't close enough. I have seriously been considering the possibility of moving to San Diego in a year or so to be nearer to you guys. I want to be able to drop by for dinner once in awhile or take you for the day while your mom and dad hang out. I just can’t do those things now living an hour and a half away. We’ll see about it, but it’s a definite possibility.


Well, precious nephew, that’s all for this guest post. I love you more everyday.


Love always,

Aunt Leah


Thanks, Leah. I have included the photo I texted to you. I love that you kept that chair and passed it on to Lucas. We have a find a photo of you when you were his age sitting in it.


See you next weekend for the big boy's birthday celebration. :)


The best is yet to be.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Second Chances

I am finally doing something that my friend Natalie over at Mommy of a Monster (I Mean Toddler) and Infant Twins has been encouraging me to do for a while now; enter Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

This meme is hosted by Mama's Losin' It each week she offers different prompts to chose from and you write about the one you picked, hence tapping into your more creative mommy side. So, here goes nothing!

Prompt #2: If you could do your wedding over again, how would you do it?

I was fortunate enough to have the gift of a wedding re-do and this time with the right groom!

My husband and I have been married for three years this August and like most brides, whenever I think about our wedding day, I feel all warm and happy inside. It was the perfect day.

My second wedding was exactly what I had wanted the first time around: small, intimate and all about the two of us and our love for our closest family and friends.

Since I had been married before and could care less about having another big princess/fairy tale-type shindig with everyone I have ever (or in some cases never) met as guests, we decided to keep it simple, yet elegant.

It was held in our home and we invited 40 guests (27 were in attendance).

You'd think with such a small gathering at home, planning would be a cinch.

Not the case.

All of the typical wedding planning frustrations over menu options, scheduling conflicts, budget constraints and discussions about cake flavors and invitation wording existed, but we had fun planning this amazing party and would both do it again.

We hired our favorite restaurant to cater, help with service, set-up and clean up. We hired a local Spanish guitarist to perform, rented tables, chairs, linens and glassware and asked a friend of a friend to make our cake. Champagne, beer and wine were purchased at Costco and I ordered my dress on Nordstrom.com. I was shocked when it actually fit, which has never happened to me before... EVER! It was the dress I was meant to wear.

One of the sweetest moments was when my sister sang an impromptu solo of "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life" and I love that after the cake was cut, our living room turned into Dance Party U.S.A.!!

Nope, I honestly wouldn't change a single thing.... Okay, there was the sweaty photographer that we had my mother-in-law ask to leave shortly after dinner was served. To be fair, there just wasn't enough for him to shoot. We stayed in the same location and he had the same three dozen guests as subjects.

I was pleased with his work and here are three of my favorite moments he captured:



Second changes are pretty rare and I count my lucky stars that I was able to have this one.

The best is yet to be.

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Lovey - Update

On the day you were born, the first family member you met was your Aunt Leah. When she arrived at the hospital, she brought you Arnold the Snoring Pig.

Arnold makes snoring sounds, talks in his sleep while his ears and body move when you press his hoof.

You can't quite press his foot yet without help, but you LOVE this pig and think that all of your stuffed animals have a "magic" paw. It's really cute; you hand us monkeys, giraffes and teddy bears and want us to make them move.
Clearly, no matter how many furry, fuzzy, plush toys you have, your heart still belongs to your lovey.

The best is yet to be.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Take A Picture, It'll Last Longer

They say parents take more photos of their first children than they do of subsequent children. I don't know if that's true or not, but I have taken roughly 3000 pictures (yes, I counted) of you since you were born. That's a boat load of photos!

I text one-a-day to your grandparents, dad and two aunts and in order to get a good one (i.e. you looking at the camera and hopefully smiling while doing something super cute), there are at least five others that no one sees but me. Unless they are really awful (i.e. completely out of focus), I can't bring myself to delete them. Hence the reason there are so many. I'm sure that it also is because you are my first and I'm so completely in awe of you and trying to capture every single adorable moment.

Occasionally, I will print out my favorites and have already filled two photo albums and countless picture frames. You are plastered all over our refrigerator and sent with greeting cards to loved ones who aren't tech savvy.

What else do I do with them?

I suppose with everything being digital nowadays, they can all live peacefully on my computer and wherever I want to look at them, I can. ***Note To Self: I must remember to do a back up!!***

Even before my little bundle of joy's arrival, I was a huge photo taker and always the one at events with a camera. I have thousands of them, mostly in zip lock bags, some in albums and a lot in collage frames. I have visions of beautifully organized and labeled photo boxes (yeah, with all my free time, I'll get right on that!) and a family photo wall, which may be more realistic.


Photos... How do you store, share, display and enjoy yours? Any fun, creative ideas to share (beyond scrap booking, as I just don't think I have the patience for that)?

Meanwhile, say "Cheese"!

The best is yet to be.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Graduation Day 2

Two graduation days in two weeks!? See We Did It! for last week's reason to celebration.

Today, Lucas successfully completed his second eight-week Kindermusik
class! Another diploma for the refrigerator door. :)

This was a great class and we have, once again signed up for another session.

The best is yet to be.

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You Spin Me Right 'Round

Not unlike most toddlers, you have a fascination with ceiling fans. You love them! Dare I say, you are a bit obsessed. It must be the rhythmic motion of the blades spinning round and round, or it could just be the breeze that they provide.

You love to point out fans everywhere we go and prefer for them to be moving. If they aren't on, you stare and point at them until they are.

We only have one in our home, in my bedroom. It is on 24/7. We don't have air conditioning in our house, so it is almost a necessity, especially with the summer months approaching. It is the first thing you notice when you enter our room.

This weekend, while I was away for two glorious nights on a girls spa getaway in San Luis Obispo, Daddy took you to The Home Depot to buy you a ceiling fan of your very own.

I think this photo says it all:
Installation is tomorrow.

The best is yet to be.

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Stunt Man

Confession Time!

Two weeks ago you fell off the changing table.

It was on my watch and I am riddled with guilt and very thankful that you were fine 30 seconds after it happened.

After screaming bloody murder for 15 seconds, the next 15 seconds you spent trying to squirm out of my arms because I thought you were mad at me for letting you fall.

As soon as I put you down on the floor, you crawled faster than I have ever seen you, over to a huge bottle full of change in our bedroom, one of your favorite things to play with. Upon reaching it, you started laughing and it was as if the fall didn't even happen.

I can't help but wonder if you just might have a career as a stunt man or a leading man in your future.

I know letting you fall off the changing table is no joking matter, but it was an accident and very careless of me to walk away without strapping you in. Throughout the night of the fall, I checked your shoulders and arms repeatedly to make sure that you could move them and continued checking for bruises the whole following week. I have definitely learned my lesson.

By the way, the photo above was taken this morning. Lucas wanted to check in on his college fund and I couldn't resist taking the shot.

The best is yet to be.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Energizer Bunny

"Too much of a good thing is wonderful." - Mae West

Or is it?

Usually my alone time is spent working out or running errands, but on Tuesday, while I was waiting for my friend Coreen to bring her newborn baby home from a doctor's appointment so that I could meet her, I had three glorious hours to kill with -- get this -- nothing specific to do.

So, what's a girl to do?

I spent them at the
second Happiest Place on Earth: South Coast Plaza (an upscale shopping center in Orange County, California).

Three, amazing hours by myself to wander through one of the most beautiful shopping malls on the planet. Did I mention that I was by myself? :)

First, I strolled around the bookstore, my usual "go to" me time spot and found several new books to add to my list of books to read that I hope to someday find time for, then I meandered through Pottery Barn and ZGallerie and remembered having a home without baby gates or locked toilets and then I leisurely tried on a pair of pants at Ann Taylor and bought a pair at H&M (along with a couple of things for
Lucas because I can't seem to leave the house without buying him something!) and then I took myself to lunch at Champagne Bakery. It was a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful morning! It made me feel, dare I say, human again.

I have always relished my "me time", but now that I'm a mother, it feels like such a forbidden luxury. There really is something to be said for just being on your own with nothing to do. Boredom is so underrated.

Of course, there is a caveat. You see, whenever I have the opportunity to enjoy a little time away, the days that follow are HoRrEnDoUs.

Take, for example yesterday and today... let's just say, what the H-E-L-L happened to your morning nap and where do you get all your flipping energy, because I'd like some too?!? You have been particularly feisty, irritable (which I keep telling you, as well as myself will happen when you don't take a nap) and into everything. AGGGGHHHHHH!!! I guess what they say about pay back is true.

Incidentally, I had a delightful visit with Coreen and loved meeting five day old baby Flynn. Bless her little heart, all she did was sleep.

The best is yet to be.

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Happy Day!

Just a photo today.


The best is yet to be.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

We Did It!

Since my February 26, 2010 post, You Should See The Other Guy, if you are one of my (three) regular readers, you may have noticed after my tag line I have been counting down the 100 days of Lucas wearing the Doc Band.

Today is Day 85 and it is Graduation Day!! 15 days early!! We are so excited.

Your head has moved almost 11 millimeters, which we have been told for a baby that started treatment so late (you were 8 1/2 months when we began this process) is superb!

Call me biased, but in my eyes your head was always perfectly shaped, but I would be lying if I said I didn't see a noticeable change in the shape and yes, even improvement in the symmetry of your facial features.

I can't praise the staff at Cranial Technologies in San Diego enough for their care and courtesy, but it's really Lucas himself that was the trouper. He made this so easy for us because he never once fussed (unless he got too hot) over having to wear the Doc Band around the clock. I don't even think he noticed having it on and in some ways might even miss it.

I grew during the last 85 days too... I learned that I will do whatever is necessary to help my child and that no matter what our future faces with him, we are proud of him.

I learned that your family, friends and even strangers on the street might just surprise you with their kindness, support and understanding.

I also learned to have a little more compassion for those that have way more serious health issues.

We have come a long way and I am thrilled to be done with it!

The best is yet to be.

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Me, Versatile? - Update

Last week in my Me, Versatile? post, in accepting the Versatile Award, I had to share seven things about myself and it turns out that I revealed a couple of things that caused some follow up questions both on and off line (mostly off line, so if you don't officially follow yet, please do so).

Particularly, #s 5 and 6:

5. I have owned seven iPods... don't ask! Let's just say that I'm glad my husband and I own stock in Apple.

I actually need to change that to eight. Yes, it's true! I have had two iPod Classics - one was stolen and was a wedding gift from my husband, one Shuffle, three Nanos - one was water logged, one was run over by a car and was replaced and two iPhones - one I left in the Sydney Airport on our recent trip and it's replacement.

Crazy, I know not to mention expensive!

At this point, my do-it-all iPhone is really all I need, unless I want to talk on the phone while I walk and count my calories, miles and time using the Nike+ application. I know, I know, I'm high maintenance.

6. I was married for three years before I met Lucas' dad. It is so bizarre to think about it now because it seems like eons ago and I don't know that I've ever discussed that in my blog before.

Not sure what compelled me to share this, but I a) have no regrets about it (the marriage, not the sharing part) and am happy that my ex and are are still friends and b) am glad to learn that I am not alone. Thank you to those who shared their stories with me. At some point, I will write more about my first marriage.

The best is yet to be.

Day 85/100

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High Chair Help - Update

Thank you to all of you who weighed in with High Chair Help.

We settled on the Chicco Polly and so far, no complaints. I especially love having multiple trays/liners for multiple meal courses.

Oh, and it matches our home decor. :)

The best is yet to be.

Day 85/100

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Young Love

Poor Brenna is one of the only girls in our Mommy & Me playgroup. She is as cute as a button and so sweet and demure.

Here, she and Lucas have stolen a moment to gaze out at the garden together. Lucas was obsessed with a spinning flower on a stick.
The best is yet to be.

Day 84/100

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I'm Being Watched

My son is a certifiable stalker! I can't make a move in this house without him giving his stamp of approval or, better known as popping up out of nowhere right under my feet. In fact, I'm surprised that there hasn't been a broken finger yet.

I thought we had narrowly escaped the separation anxiety phase believing that it happened around eight months old, but we seem to be smack dab in the middle of it and it breaks my heart as well as creeps me out.

Mercifully, you like your babysitter so leaving the house usually isn't a problem, but leaving the room, when you know a car isn't involved is an entirely different story.

I love the fact that you are so attached to me and miss me when I'm gone, but could use without the wailing, crocodile tears and super sad face whenever I have to use the bathroom; you lose it when disappear into the walk-in closet and God forbid I have to run upstairs for something. I know this is just a phase and will soon pass, but oh, how I miss the days of being able to pee in peace.

The best is yet to be.

Day 84/100

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Minding My Ps & Qs

I can swear like a sailor and I know that it is an ugly trait.

For me, cursing has become somewhat of a habit, whether it's out of anger, frustration or to emphasize a point, sometimes there is just no substitute for a "hell", "shit" or "damn" (or worse).

And the worst part is that I am so used to using these four letter expletives that I don't even notice it anymore. Yikes! Well, I suppose the first step is admitting that I have a problem, right?

I have tried (half-heatedly) to temper my use of profanity since becoming a mother, but it isn't easy and replacement words like "frick" and "darn" just sound ridiculous and aren't quite as powerful.

I know it won't be long before you are repeating everything you hear and that's not going to be pretty. Maybe I should remind myself how awful I am going to feel if I hear this nasty talk coming out of your mouth knowing that you learned it from me, or I could put a dollar in a jar each time a bad word escapes my mouth? Bet that adds up fast! Perhaps learning how to express myself in a more productive and positive manner is the answer. Oh hell, wish me luck!

The best is yet to be.

Day 83/100

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

High Chair Help!

We need a high chair!

Currently, we are using the fabulous Chicco 360 Rotating Hook On Chair and have it attached to our kitchen bar, but with as much as you enjoy dropping food on the floor and with all the yummy summer fruit soon to be available and warmer weather, I'd love to get you outside occasionally for meals. Not to mention my desire/fantasy to have a civilized family dinner around the actual dining table.

I still really like the Boon Flair high chair, but I'm also still not willing to fork over $230 for it.


Like with any of this baby crap, there are TOO MANY CHOICES and I need help!! I visited the Web site Wize, which reports on the best and worst products, but I'm sorry "It matches my kitchen perfectly!" is not a review.

Any suggestions out there?

The best is yet to be.

Day 81/100

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Mr. Friendly

When we go out to dinner, Lucas likes to hold court from his high chair by waving and smiling at everyone that passes our table. Waiters, beware!

It's hard to believe and even harder to explain to an 11 month old that not everyone that comes in contact with him is a "baby person". More often than not, people will stop and say hello, but if they don't he is bound and determined to get a smile, at the very least.

I love it.

You are our little Mr. Friendly; warm, bubbly and generous. Nothing brings me more joy than people telling us how happy you are. I hope that these are qualities that you always possess.

You were in a particularly good mood last night and picked up dinner for your two doting parents, who are VERY much baby people. :)


The best is yet to be.

Day 81/100

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Time Is Of The Essence

Time and I don't get along much anymore.

There are just not enough hours in the day and I feel as though I am always trying to beat the clock.

My piles and "To Do" list seem to grow instead of diminish.

I have always prided myself at being good at time management and I have always been acutely aware of how much time it takes to do things. Even more so, now that I am a mom.

During any given day, I feel like I have such few short precious windows of opportunity to get anything accomplished in the way of household tasks or personal things. Simple tasks like: brushing my teeth, scarfing down a sandwich, folding laundry, returning a phone call, paying a bill, catching up on bad TiVo, or my favorite, while you nap activity: BLOGGING. Now you know why I'm posting this at almost 1:30 in the morning!

Most of the household chores can obviously wait, but some of the personal items are downright vital to my well being and sanity and I'll be damned if it's nearly impossible some days to squeeze it all in when you DON'T nap. All I can say is Holy Frustration... for both of us!

Sure, I can do some things while you are awake, but you are usually right underfoot wanting (and deserving) my undivided attention and if I'm not giving it to you, I feel extremely guilty. It's a never-ending struggle because once you go down for the night, I'm running around like a chicken with their head cut off doing things, when I really want to be spending time with your dad or relaxing before it all starts up again tomorrow.

I know I'm not the only mom that feels this way, so I'm curious, how do you balance it all? The meals, laundry, phone calls, grocery shopping, planning, organizing, personal time, heck, even relationships? Especially you moms with more than one child? I'm anxious to hear how you keep on good terms with time.

The best is yet to be.

Day 80/100

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lotions & Potions

We've been home over a week and I'm still trying to unpack and put things away and I don't know why, but this made me giggle today...

Up until our last trip we shared my toiletry bag, but now that you have almost as much bathroom stuff as I do, you require your very own:


The contents are pretty funny too. Butt Paste really is the best diaper cream out there.

The best is yet to be.

Day 79/100

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Me, Versatile?

Natalie, author of Mommy of a Monster (I Mean Toddler) and Infant Twins honored me this week with the Versatile Award and I am deeply touched.

Natalie is relatively new to the blogging world (as if I'm some old pro!?) and is doing an awesome job of sharing her crazy wonderful world of having three under three with us. If you don't already follow her, you are missing out!

In order to accept this award, I have a few things to do:

Share seven things about myself with you.

1. If I could change the world, I'd put a little more "please", "thank you" and "excuse me" into things.

2. Sitting in stop and go traffic makes me want to put my head through the window. It is the ONE and ONLY thing that I DON'T miss about working. I avoid the freeway like the plague during rush hours now.

3. Way before N1H1 and West Nile Virus, I was a compulsive hand washer and now that I'm a mom, it's almost out of control.

4. I have always had a bad case of wanderlust and I wish I had more time to travel. If I could be anywhere in the world right now, it would be sitting at the Deux Magots cafe in Paris blogging and sipping a Kronenbourg 1664 (it's okay, it's almost 9:00 PM in Paris).

5. I have owned seven iPods... don't ask! Let's just say that I'm glad my husband and I own stock in Apple.

6. I was married for three years before I met Lucas' dad. It is so bizarre to think about it now because it seems like eons ago and I don't know that I've ever discussed that in my blog before.

7. I don't have a clue how to apply eye make-up (a part form mascara, which I couldn't live without).

For more on me, read: The Joy Of Blogging and I've Been Tagged.

Thank the person who gave you this award.

Thank you! Gracias! Merci! Danke! Grazie! Shukriyah! Natalie, you rock. :)


Pass the award on to three fellow deserving bloggers:

Leah
, who's not a mommy yet, but is my sister and writes LA 'n' LA about her new life and adventures in Los Angeles.

Tara, whose blog, Blondie 'N' SC is just too pretty and heartwarming for words. If you are seeking warm fuzzys, visit her page right away!

Coreen, mother of one and expecting Baby #2 any day now writes The Adventures of Captain Fussypants & Caleb the Wonder Dog
one of the wittiest bloggers I follow.

Contact the bloggers I've picked and let them know about the award.

Thanks, again Natalie and happy blogging, everyone!

The best is yet to be.

Day 79/100

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You Gotta Have Friends

"Friends are the family we choose for ourselves." - Edna Buchanan

Baby "Sprinkles" are becoming very popular for second, third and subsequent babies, especially with my group of friends. I now have SIX girlfriends pregnant with their number twos. I love the idea of these low key gatherings; there's not as much pressure or formality as with full blown Showers and the games are kept to a minimum, thank goodness!

Last night we celebrated two of my mother-to-be-again friends with a joint Sprinkle and it was a lot of fun. I hadn't seen my friends in several weeks so it was good to catch up and reconnect. I miss them when too much time goes by without seeing their faces.

They say that friendships change once you become a mom because priorities shift and family comes first, but I honestly haven't felt that with my core group of girlfriends. A part from not having as much one-on-one time with them as I used to, they are as encouraging and supportive as always... both the still single and looking for Mr. Right and the fellow new moms.

Sure, I'm closer to some than others, but whenever possible, I try to make time (sans baby) to spend with all of them in a group setting or a cozy lunch for two and stay guneinuely engaged in their lives and what going on in their worlds as I can via Facebook, texts, e-mails and phone calls.

I have learned over the years that friends are as essential to me as breathing.

My friends are my life line to sanity, fun, growth and understanding and provide love and support through good times and bad. We celebrate each others successes and mourn with each other over our losses. I am blessed to have such wonderful, smart, beautiful women in my life and I hope that we always stay close.

The best is yet to be.

Day 78/100

By the way, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, I am trying out a larger font size... Whatdaya think?

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Drama King

On the plane from New Caledonia to Sydney (a three hour flight, for which I was with you solo) you started throwing your head back, wailing and arching your body when I tried to keep you from hitting the tray table in front of us. Needless to say, you were M.A.D. and downright pissed off that I wouldn't let you do what you wanted. Luckily the back of the plane was virtually empty, so before things got too out of hand, we moved.

As you banged away I thought to myself, I'm usually not one to "give in" that easily, but I was on my own and hadn't experienced this type of outrage from you before and at 30,000 feet, I know better than to argue with a toddler.

Since that first episode, you have become quite the little pro at what I can only label as The Temper Tantrum, or The Ultimate Meltdown. When you want something, you want it NOW!!

Oh joy....

Is this how these episodes begin?? I (naively) thought that these outbursts debuted during the infamous Terrible Twos? Could they be a whole year early, and how long do I have to put up with them if they are?

I get it... I think. Toddlers seem to understand WAY more than they can express. I can't even imagine not being able to communicate your needs, wants or desires. Even if hitting the tray table in front of you is completely out of the question. As your language skills improve, is it safe to assume that these tantrums will decrease? Please offer me some hope before I have a kicking, screaming, back arching fit of my own.

I found this interesting blurb in the April 2010 issue of Parenting magazine:

Apparently, caving to a tantrum-throwing toddler is in our DNA. In a study conducted by scientists from London's Roehampton University, mother rhesus monkeys gave in to their shrieking infants only 39% of the time when pair was alone, but a whopping 81% of the time when strangers were listening.

Uh, yeah, is all I have to say about that. When your child acts out and you appear out of control, it's completely embarrassing. Let's just say, I've done a lot more deep breathing andcounting to 10 since I became a mother.

The best is yet to be.

Day 77/100

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Turn That Thing Off!

I have a serious question that I doubt anyone can answer, but I'm going to throw it out there anyway:

What is the deal with the volume level on children's toys?

Most of the ones we have mercifully have a high and low volume setting, but not all, which are set to the permanent **OBNOXIOUS** setting. I mean, c'mon!! Really? Some of them are just too annoying for words.

And why are the voices coming out of these brightly colored pieces of plastic always women? And wining women at that? Men's voices can be cheery and delightful too.

Granted, sometimes the jingles are fun and even catchy and a great way for munchkins to learn nursery rhymes, colors, shapes, letters and numbers, but why do they have to be so LOUD?

I can't help but wonder, if they are so disturbing for us, what damage could they possibly be causing sensitive little ears?

The best is yet to be.

Day 76/100

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

My First Mother's Day

Today was my first Mother's Day.

That still sounds weird.

I bought a card for my Mommy & Me friend, Jenn and it sums up this crazy ride very well:

The pay is short. The hours are long. It's a 24/7 kind of job. Training is learn-as-you-go. Patience and wisdom required from day one. Retirement isn't an option. Being a mom is a lifetime job and nobody does it better than you!

I love to bitch about my job, but I really do love it and today was especially perfect.

It started off with a nice long hot shower followed by scrambled eggs, waffles, crispy bacon and orange juice, and then a couple of much needed hours at the nail salon getting the full treatment while I read blissfully.

I haven't even gotten to the perfect part yet...

Spending the afternoon with my two favorite men.

An early dinner at one of my favorite local bistros.

Not even 7:00 and we are all jammied up... my favorite time of the day!

Cocktail napkins from your dad... talk about perfect and he obviously reads the blog!!

I hope every Mother's Day is just like today.

The best is yet to be.

Day 75/100

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Mother's Day

If it's a weekday between 12:00 and 3:00 and I'm in my car, I'm undoubtedly listening to Dr. Laura. Love her or hate her, you can't help but respect her.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger's themes are protect the child, practice family unity, use sexual restraint, stop making excuses and don't interrupt.

"Tell me what you think, not what you feel," she says and ends every segment with "Now, go do the right thing", a no nonsense plea cast out to her listeners intended to encourage us to be better people.

I don't agree with everything she says, but just about and I love her no BS delivery.

Not only do I listen to Dr. Laura in the car, but I read her blog too and I swiped this quote and photo from there:

"She who forms the souls of the young is greater than any painter or sculptor." - Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople C 347-407

I have known some wonderful mothers in my life, including my own and Mother Laura and I am proud and very humbled to be a part of this group and blessed to be your mom.

Happy Mother's Day!

The best is yet to be.

Day 75/100

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Aches & Pains

Aside from the sheer exhaustion, I never knew that motherhood was so physically demanding or dangerous. Most nights, I feel like I'm getting enough rest, but I am still sore ALL. THE. TIME.

You weigh almost 25 pounds and I swear your diaper bag does too!

My back hurts, my feet hurt, my shoulders are tight, I have a constant crick in my neck and in the last 11 months, I have stubbed my toes and have more tension headaches and broken nails and than ever before.

I can visibly tell that the muscles in my left arm are more defined than the ones in my right arm because I favor my left when holding you balanced just so on my hip. I must remember to alternate.

I chase you around the house all day long keeping you out of harm's way and making you laugh.

I crawl around on my hands and knees when we play together.

I bend over so many times a day to wipe up the floor and pick up toys that you'd think I'd have six-pack abs by now. Sadly, this is not the case, and before you chime in, I know, I know, I should be bending at the knees.

I slouch, hunch, lean, contort, reach, twist and turn in the most peculiar ways out of pure necessity.

At the end of the day I often discover mysterious bruises on my body, usually on my butt and probably from either the car door, door leading to the garage or baby gates.

My hands have always been dry but have gotten worse with all the bottle washing and diaper changing. I should own stock in Purell hand sanitizer. I still can't wear my wedding rings without breaking out in a rash.

I am using muscles and a physical strength I never knew I had in order to multitask and care for you in the best way I know how and while it is all worth it, this mama needs a massage... pronto and at least once a week!! Maybe a good long soak in the tub will do for now.

The best is yet to be.

Day 73/100

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Eleven Months

11 months? Already?! Say it isn't so. The last four weeks have gone by too fast and you have experienced many fun firsts, including:
  • Your first boat ride across the Sydney Harbor.
  • Your first visit to the zoo.
  • Your first visit to the ER. :(
  • Your first sunrise our first morning in Sydney.
  • Your first meal at a restaurant in which nothing came out of the diaper bag except for a bib.
You also:
  • Acquired another two stamps in your passport.
  • Learned that there are television screens in cars, thanks to the taxi driver in Sydney. Your dad and I are hoping you'll forget. Fat chance, right?!
  • Know where your belly is and recognize the words "bath", "book", "baby", "bottle", and many more that don't begin with B!
  • Pat us on the chest as a form of affection I hope...
  • You've had your first of what I fear is many temper tantrums (more on that in a later post).
  • You can walk around holding on to furniture and can stand for several seconds without holding on to anything.
  • Exclusively wear size 4 diapers and size 12 clothes.
  • Climb up the stairs.
  • Still have blue eyes.
Nothing brings me more joy than being your mommy and watching you grow, learn, laugh and play every day.

Next month we will be celebrating your first year and I am going to enjoy every second until then because something tells me that after June 6, you are going to be a very different baby.

Forever and always I believe that the best is yet to be.

Day 72/100

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Comfort & Joy

My friend Rachel gave you a Silkie Ribbon Comfort Blankie before you were even born and it has become one of your most favorite possessions. We call it your Lovey and on occasion, has been known to bring you more comfort than your dad or I can.

This 12" x 12" plush blanket is already very well-loved and
up until two weeks ago never left your crib (except to be washed). It has since made a trip around the world with us and along the way has been sucked on, dropped on the floor, dragged through our house, my friend's house, five cars, three airports, and two hotel rooms, wiped up snot, tears and vomit; and while completely disgusting, your precious Lovey has brought you some much needed security when you needed it most.

I have been told that we should invest in a back-up, just in case, but to be careful about switching them out with one another because apparently children have a very keen sense of smell and can spot an impostor a mile away.

I don't remember ever having a security blanket or toy that I was particularly attached to growing up and had never even heard of such a thing until I met my niece's (multiple) Ducky's. Talk about disgusting and well-loved, these poor ducks get their stuffing picked right out of them. Whatever works, right?

Lucas and his beloved Lovey.

I have read that having a security item is a good thing and helps foster self soothing, but now that we are back home, I'm going to try to leave it in the crib.

Does your child have a favorite item that they cling to when the going gets tough? What are the "rules" for it in your home and when (if ever) did the attachment end?

The best is yet to be.

Day 71/100

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Photo Highlights From Our Trip Down Under

As promised, here are some photo highlights from our trip:

Mommy and Lucas in the Circle Quay (Sydney Harbor and Opera House).

Sophie and Lucas - Lunch at
Le Méridien hotel.

Jammy time for Emma, Noemi and Lucas.

Visit to the Noumea City Aquarium.

A day at the beach - Lucas' first time in the Pacific Ocean.

While Lucas and I were enjoying the sun and surf on the island of New Caledonia, Daddy was driving in the Targa Tasmania and on Day 4/5, his partner crashed their car into a tree. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

Best friends and their children.

Our trip to the Sydney Zoo. Look at their view... lucky giraffes!

The best is yet to be.

Day 71/100

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Down Under

"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home." - John Howard Payne

I'm back! It's good to be home. I missed my little blog, but thoroughly enjoyed being unplugged for a while. Now, with my head swimming in posting ideas and new thoughts on motherhood to share, I'm anxious to get back to it....

First and foremost, we had a terrific trip! The flights to and from were torturous and very hard on us all, but we did it and are better for it.

I can't believe that I can now say that I been to six continents or even more impressive that, that my son has been to three!

Sydney is a beautiful hustling bustling multi-cultural city with tons of things to see and do and we made the most of our four days there by exploring The Rocks, the great neighborhood where our hotel was located, walking over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, visiting the famed Opera House and the Taronga Zoo.

In between our bookend stays in Sydney, Lucas and I spent a wonderful week with my friend Sophie and her family in Noumea, New Caledonia and got to experience life on an island. It was so good for my soul to see my friend again and I loved finally meeting her beautiful daughters, Emma (who turned six while we were there) and Noemi (3). They were very sweet to Lucas and he fell in love with them instantly too.

I am especially grateful to Sophie's husband Luc, who took the entire week off work while I was there to help out with their girls and their daily routine and even looked after Lucas so that Sophie and I could spend some time alone together. I love how even after not seeing each other for 10 years, we picked up right where we left off. That has to be the mark of a true friendship.

As I said in my Facebook status on April 25:
One 15 hour flight, one trip to the ER, one lost cell phone and unbelievable humidity = the price you pay to see your best friend again! Having a wonderful time in New Caledonia.

I can never thank Sophie and Luc enough for everything they did to make us feel comfortable and welcome and I don't know what I would have done without their help. Shortly after we arrived (literally minutes after we walked off the plane), we headed to the ER where Lucas was diagnosed with gastroenteritis. This led to multiple trips to the pharmacy, calls to their family's pediatrician and a later diagnosis of an ear infection and sore throat.

Agh! I now know what a mother's worst fear is while traveling and it's not that you'll run out of diapers on a 15 hour flight, it's that your baby will get sick on an island where you don't speak the language!

He seems to be 100% now, although he is still pulling on his ear, so we are going see our pediatrician tomorrow (I mean, later).

Maybe he was just missing his daddy, who was in Tasmania participating in the annual Targa Tasmania, a tarmac rally with competitive stages on closed roads. I will have to get Lucas' dad to share his experience in the form of a guest post, because I couldn't do it justice. I suppose the pictures might speak for themselves. Luckily no one was seriously hurt!!

It was the longest we have all been a part from one another and what made it more difficult was the lack of communication. We can normally text one another, but not without a phone (which I believe is in the Sydney airport somewhere...Grrr!).

Jet lag is starting to kick in... photo highlights will have to wait until tomorrow (I mean, later).

The best is yet to be.

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