Monday, March 31, 2008

Great Truck Clip for Toddlers

When Mommy's Sick, what does baby do???

This is such a hard question! I came down with some sort of stomach bug (or really bad food poisoning) yesterday afternoon and I was so lucky it was a Sunday. I could barely move from the cramping and could not do anything with Z. I was so fearful of getting he and S sick and ended up spending much of my waking hours in the bathroom. I was so fortunate that my illness fell on the weekend and that S was here to take care of Z (and me!).

Today I am feeling a little better, not 100%, and here I am alone with Z. S is starting a new job today and I pray that he does not get sick. When he started his last job he got very sick and missed 3 of his first 6 days! I hope that this does not happen again.

It is so hard to take care of someone else when you can barely take care of yourself. I feel like such a horrible mother today. I am constantly washing my hands (and Z's) to try to prevent him from getting this (it won't be fun for either of us if he does). We had a chat earlier about how mommy's tummy hurts and that she will be laying down a lot today and that we won't be able to go to our class or anywhere fun today. He was very quiet throughout the talk and then looked at me and smiled. He started to "talk" for quite awhile (I think it was a story about daddy) and then went off to play.

Thankfully there is a couch in the playroom so I will spend most of my time laying around and "playing" with him. We have lots of puzzles, books and other fun things near the couch to enjoy. I will also set up my exercise step equipment so he can climb later. Bubbles are also something I can do from the couch ;) And my hour limit of TV will not be in play today. Oh well....I don't think a little extra TV one day will kill him. Right???

Well wish us luck! I think I am on the mend and I am stocked up with food that S bought for me. He made me a huge vat of chicken soup yesterday so when I am ready for food again, I should be all set :) I just hope that S and Z stay clear of this! Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Toddlers and Teething

Well it is 8 am and the babe is still asleep. This is very unusual as he is like an alarm clock....every morning at 7:20 he is up and calling for us to be up too. Why the extra shut eye this morning? We were up most of the night with him sobbing about his teeth!

I hate teething. Why must it be so painful for most children? It tortures them so and leaves me baffled as to why. According to the doctor, Z is getting the most painful teeth right now....the incisors. He got his first two incisors around Christmas time and now he is getting bottom two. I feel so badly for him! He was sobbing "Momma" with his little finger in his mouth trying to get rid of the pain. It was heart breaking hearing him cry like that.

Nothing seems to work to soothe Z's teething pain other than a little Tylenol (and that doesn't even always work). I feel like we have tried it all. We have used baby Orajel in the swabs...very neat concept and sometimes it would numb him enough to fall asleep but if he ever woke up.....the pain was there worse than ever. It was also nearly impossible to get it to the spot where we needed it! So we gave up on that awhile ago.

Z does like teething rings (well one in particular) but it only lasts so long before it has lost its cool and then his interest. If you try to give Z another teething ring after the first, he refuses. So they are only good for about 3-5 minutes of pain relief. We have tried the frozen washcloths (as they were recommended by so many people) but Z did not like them at all. I can't say that I blame him, who wants to chew on a frozen piece of terry cloth???? I tried it when Z refused it and I have to agree with him, no good!

So for us, we are left with Tylenol when he is in extreme pain (Motrin gave him the shakes) and good old fashioned love. I rocked him for a bit last night when he woke at midnight screaming. It was actually kind of nice and reminded me of the days when he was first born (however he is much bigger and more awkward now). I got him to go back to sleep for about and hour. S had the second shift and I think I heard him reading him a couple of books. Nothing like reading at 2:30 am. Finally our sweet baby fell asleep and is just now stirring at 8:15. It was a bumpy night for all but he sounds happy now. I can't wait until those two little teeth poke their way through and we can all get a good night sleep again :) Happy Weekend!

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Touch of Spring on a Snowy Day

Well I haven't watched the weather this week and was very surprised to see the snow this morning! Yesterday Z and I were playing outside in the 50 degree weather, watching the last of the snow patches melt away. Today I am looking out my window at a winter wonderland.

To brighten our day a bit and really focus on the season that we are in (it is spring? right???) we decided to make a fun craft. A girl from my MOMs club showed us how to make these and they came out cute. We plan to give them to S because it is his last day at his job (he is moving on to bigger and better things). We hope he likes them :)

They are handprint flowers and very easy to do. I traced our hands on colored paper and cut them out. Then I rolled the bottom of each hand and taped it together. Next I bent one end of a pipe cleaner and inserted into our flower. Finally, I took each finger and rolled it over a pen to form the petals. It is very easy but more of a mom craft than a child craft. Z did help to trace his hand and color the hands with pen though before I turned them into flowers :)

Happy Snowy Spring!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Barf Bags Make the Perfect Gift

Okay, I know that the title of this entry is a little strange and when I got my first barf bag in the 7th grade...I too thought it was weird. But in reality it is a very thoughtful and sentimental (if not bizarre) gift to give and get.

In 7th grade my friend J went on vacation with her family. She came back clutching this barf bag that was filled to the brim and decorated with lots of pictures that she had drawn. She handed it to me with a huge smile and said, "Here, I brought you back a souvenir!". I remember giving her a look of suspicion as I took the bulging barf bag. To my surprise and delight the bag was filled with treasures that she had collected throughout her vacation (and not what I had thought)!

Now the rules of barf bag giving are simple.....1. You must find an unused barf bag to place your treasures in (make sure that someone did not use it to place their used gum). 2. All objects in the barf bag must be free to you (I know this sounds cheap but it makes the collecting and giving that much more fun). 3. The recipient must be someone you care about and someone with a sense of humor!

I try to bring back a barf bag every time I go on vacation. I collect shampoos, soaps, the chocolates they put on your pillow, jams from breakfast, sugar packets, brochures, things I find, shells, airline snacks....anything that is free to you :) The possibilities are fact in my first barf bag there was a lipstick that J had found behind the dresser in the hotel...yuck! It is so much fun to find the objects and even more fun for the person to see what you brought back :)

So I now challenge all of time you go on vacation, bring back someone you love a barf bag filled with goodies. They will truly appreciate it (or think you are crazy)! But I promise that you will have a lot of fun :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Our Little Man

Come the first formal night on the cruise, I was a little hesitant to put Z in his tuxedo. We had had a long day exploring St. Maarten and I didn't know how he would handle being all dressed up. I put on Curious George (on our portable DVD player) and dressed him while he watched his favorite show. Once the show was over, he was all ready and went to check himself out in the mirror. He surprised us all with a big smile and then went straight to the door (as if saying "I'm ready to show the world!").

As soon as we left the room all of the attention was on Z. He was too darn cute! Everyone stopped to say "hello" or comment on how adorable he was. People asked where the tux had come from and made a big fuss over him (not bad for a hand me down tuxedo and a rented shirt). Before getting our formal portraits taken, we went to see Z's favorite band on the ship. It was a quartet and Z loved to listen to them sing and play. The band had really taken to Z and loved to watch him dance to their music (they even made up a song about him the last night we were there!)

Well Z strutted out on the dance floor (with a little coaxing from mom and dad) and when he heard the sound that his fancy shoes made on the wood floor.....WOW! He was tapping and dancing all over. The band and patrons in the lounge got a big kick out of this. And people walking by stopped to check him out ;)

After a few turns around the dance floor, we went off to get our formal pictures taken. Z did not like this at all! Our charming little gentlemen started to turn back into his squirmy, independent self :) We wanted our portrait done in front of the formal staircase and Z wanted to climb the stairs. Waiting in line for our portrait proved very challenging as he was fighting us to get down and climb the stairs. Thankfully we were able to keep him restrained or 3-4 families would have a little boy in the background of their shot :)

Once it was our turn Z was done with being still. He cooperated for a few shots but once the lady suggested one of him alone...he was done. I wish the portraits didn't cost 19.99 or else I would have bought the one she got of him alone. I was holding his hands and he was going "limp" to try to escape my grasp. He has a desperate look on his face of "Help Me!!". Well we did manage 2 good portraits and I think that would be considered a successful mission :)

As I undressed Z and put him into his jammies that night, I couldn't help but smile. Z had charmed the world with his little tuxedo, his big endearing eyes and his adorable smile. It had been such a special night and one that I will never forget.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter on the Farm

Sorry I have been MIA for a week or so. Between my grandmother being in the hospital (she is okay now), a volunteer project I have been working on for our church, trying to get life back in order after the cruise and all of our other committments...I have been a little frazzled (I still have not picked up our two fish from my friend C who has been so kind to fish sit). I unfortunately had to put bloggging and working out aside (two of my favorite things). But I am back and I hope to share stories about our vacation with you this week. Today I would like to tell you all about our Easter Holiday on the farm.

We went to my in-laws for the weekend to spend Easter. We always spend Easter with them and Thanksgiving with my family (we share Christmas). Z has such a great time whenever we go to my in-laws. He loves being outside on the farm and walking around with his Grandpa J and his Mimi. They have tractors, cats, brand new kittens, a dog and Z's newest find....a pond to throw rocks in!

Z spent most of his weekend standing by the door saying "oussii?" (outside) He loved being out there so much and despite a little chill, would have slept out there if we let him. Throwing stones in the pond was a big thrill for him and he must have thrown a hundred of them over the two days. He also got to help the boys with the spring yard work :) What a treat!

Easter was much more fun with Z this year now that he can walk and "talk" :) He helped to dye eggs, got very excited about his Easter basket (and all the other goodies people got him) and actually hunted about 10 eggs in the outdoor Easter egg hunt. He would find an egg, point to it, walk over and pick it up and then bring it to the basket and slam it in (thank goodness they were hardboiled!) He loved this game until he spied a bunch of practice golf balls that his auntie uses and then those became the hunted objects instead of the eggs (balls trump eggs in Z's world).

Now being from the cold north we always hunted for our eggs and baskets indoors. There was usually snow on the ground and it was just warmer and easier for the Easter bunny to hide our goodies inside the house. So hunting for eggs outside was a change for me but it was fun.

It was a wonderful weekend and Z had a great Easter :) Thanks everyone :)

Monday, March 17, 2008


Well we just got back from our vacation (which was awesome) and now I am facing the dreaded task of unpacking. I hate unpacking!

I LOVE to pack for a trip. For this vacation I was working on my packing list 2 months ago and the actual packing took about 2 weeks. I really get into it and love to figure out what we need and how it is all going to fit into suitcases that are lighter than 50 lbs. Thank goodness we went away before the airlines changed their checked baggage policy. In a few months each passenger will only be allowed one carry on and one checked bag (weighing less than 50lbs). If you travel with any additional luggage, you will have to pay. If that policy had been in place for this trip, we would have spent a fortune :)

Between the four of us (my dad, Z, S and I) we had 6 large suitcases (two of them over the 50lb mark), 3 carry on bags, a diaper bag, a laptop, a box of rice milk, a stroller and a car seat. The woman at the ticket desk thought I was crazy to have packed so much for only a week (8 days really). I would like to find her now and tell her that we used almost everything that I so carefully packed! It is not easy to travel light with a toddler.

So where did we go you ask? We went on a Caribbean Cruise and it was fantastic. I plan to share much of what happened over the next few weeks and talk all about traveling with a toddler...but for now I am going to continue my vent about unpacking.

As I said before, I love to pack. I also love to unpack once I get to my destination and put everything away nice and neat. I even don't mind packing up everything to go home.....but once I get home.....I am done! I woke up to 7 bags staring at me this morning. They were filled with dirty laundry, souvenirs and all of the other treasures we brought with us. I just don't have it in me to tackle this task right now. With it still being winter here, we don't need any of those summer clothes so there is no motivation to unpack :) I will get around to it sooner or later but for now I would rather reflect upon my wonderful vacation and upload and order my photos from Snapfish.

So S and Z....I will get around to unpacking, but for now this part Irish girl plans on putting her feet up to relax and unwind from her wonderful vacation! I will fill you in more about that later :) Happy St. Patrick's Day to all :)

Oh....S, R and O....congratulations on the birth of baby girl M :) I can't wait to meet her!!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Toddler Outdoor Toys

Okay, so I really have warmer weather on my brain this week…..I can’t wait for my vacation! I have been looking into fun things to do with Z when the weather gets warmer. We try to visit the two parks in our town once or twice a week (this year we may go more now that he is older) but it is nice to have options for him right here at home.

My mom bought him a great Step 2 sandbox last year for his birthday, which he loves! It is very sturdy and we can’t wait until the snow melts so we can play with it again. Z also loves his Step 2 wagon and I am excited to take out the Radio Flyer tricycle he got for Christmas (we need to get a helmet though). I think he is still too young for a swing set (especially the one I want) so this year the plan is to get him a slide, a water table and maybe something to climb on???? I will have to check out craigslist soon ☺

We tried two different pools last year and I didn’t love either one of them. I first got this water park extravaganza! It had a palm tree that sprayed water, a blow up slide and so much more. It was horrible and destroyed our lawn! I then got a spring pool, which was better but it took so much water to fill it up. It was also very difficult to dump out every few days. This year my plan is to go for the old school hard plastic pool. That way I can fill it with a little water and dump it easily at the end of the day!

I can’t wait to be playing outside with Z! I know there will be bugs but I don’t care ☺ I want to take walks with the wagon, go out for runs with the jogging stroller and play in the sandbox. Spring….here we come!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ode to Spring

I love the seasons….I am so happy I live in a place where we have four distinct seasons. If you asked me which of the seasons was my favorite, I would say fall. I love the crisp air, apple picking, hot cider, pumpkin carving, falling leaves, the beautiful colors and delicious smells of fall.

The more I think about it though…I think my favorite season is the next season ☺ Let me see if I can explain. Back at the end of fall I couldn’t wait for winter. I wanted it to snow so badly! I couldn’t wait for warm soups, cuddling in a warm blanket by the fire, being snowed in with my family, building snowmen and all the other glorious things of winter. Now that it is March…I am so sick of snow!!!

I am now ready and eager for spring to start. I can’t wait for green grass, tulips, playing at the park, the fresh smell of spring, wearing lighter clothing and longer, warmer days! However, I know that once spring is here and gets going…I will be sick of the black flies, mud and rain and be longing for summer!

Summer brings the beach, cool lemonade, swimming outdoors, trips out for ice cream and two weeks to relax at the lake. It also brings my birthday and anniversary! However, once summer comes and the heat and humidity start to get to me (I don’t have central air) I will be longing once again for the cool crisp days of fall. So I guess in reality…my favorite season is the next season. So come on spring….you are my favorite right now and I can’t wait to see you again!!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Every week Z and I get so excited to walk into Ms. R’s Kindermusik studio. Ms. R is one of the nicest and enthusiastic people I have ever met. She loves children and is a phenomenal music teacher.

If you have not yet heard of Kindermusik, I suggest checking out their website. Find a class near you and they will allow you to try it once for free. If the teacher in your area is half as good as Ms. R you will not be disappointed!

Z and I started Kindermusik just before he turned 4 months. Back then he was barely sitting up and would just watch the older kids sit, crawl and walk around him. The first class, called Village, is geared for children 0-18 months. This makes for a wide span of ability but it is so fun to watch each child grow throughout the class. Each Village class is 8 weeks long and they usually offer 2 a session.

Z has truly transformed in Ms. R’s Kindermusik classroom. He went from observer to active participant. He now runs around, plays the instruments, dances and claps along. He has not found his musical voice yet but as soon as he does I know he will add singing to the mix. Z loves music and I know that Ms. R is a big part of that.

Z has now moved onto the Our Time class, which is for children 18-36 months. He moved up a little early but seems to love it just as much. This class is still parent/child class but there it encourages them to be a little more independent. In the last four weeks since starting the class I have seen such a change in Z. He was very hesitant about picking out his own instruments at first and would let all of the other kids go he is much more confident and is one of the first in line. Kindermusik has classes for children up through age 7 and they also have Family classes if you have more than one child. I highly recommend checking out the website and trying out a class. I know you will be happy that you did!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Mama Test

My friend M sent this to me and it made me laugh out loud :) I figured I would share it with all of you so that you too could have a nice chuckle. Have a nice day!

"I was out walking with my 4 year old daughter. She picked up something off the ground and started to put it in her mouth. I took the item away from her and I asked her not to do that. 'Why?' my daughter asked. 'Because it's been on the ground, you don't know where it's been, it's dirty, and probably has germs' I replied. At this point, my daughter looked at me with total admiration and asked, 'Mama, how do you know all this stuff, you are so smart.' I was thinking quickly. 'All moms know this stuff. It's on the Mama Test. You have to know it, or they don't let you be a Mama.' We walked along in silence for 2 or 3 minutes, but she was evidently pondering this new information. 'OH...I get it!' she beamed, 'So if you don't pass the test you have to be the dad. ''Exactly' I replied back with a big smile on my face."

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Balls to Trucks to Dinosaurs????

I am truly baffled by my little Z :) He seems to be interested in all things marketed for boys and I do not believe that this is my doing or because of television (he doesn't see TV commercials). It is so funny to see him transform from interest to interest. Z was obsessed with balls for months. We played with them, read about them, watched movies about them and he even slept with them. His new love is trucks! He still loves his balls but if you put a real live truck (or truck book) out and a ball.....7 times out of 10 he will go towards the truck.

Z was given a truck book for his 1st birthday and he had no interest in it whatsoever. It sat on his shelf and whenever I took it out to read it to him he would slap it away and say "no". So one day, about a month ago, he went over and picked up the book and he hasn't put it down since! He is obsessed with trucks. We now play with them, read about them, watch movies about them and look for them on the road (he hasn't requested to sleep with one yet). I just don't get it.

It seems like all boys go through this rite of passage and companies know it and so they market to it. All boys things are trucks, sports and dinosaurs....which makes me think that dinosaurs will be next on Z's list. Who knows???

I am sure there is research out there that explains this strange phenomenon and it is my plan to look into it. For now I will just be baffled by Z's stereotypical boyish interests. I do have to say that we were at a friend's house one day and he did pick up her dolly and give it a big hug! This made me so shows his little sensitive side :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Formal Wear for Kids

Last May I was searching for a suit for Z to wear to a wedding. They were so expensive and I couldn't justify the price knowing he would only wear it once! I had remembered reading about this website in Parents Magazine called Gaga's. It is a website where you can rent formal wear for children (infants to size 14 kids). I visited the site and fell in love! It is such a great idea and I salute the person who thought of it :)

So here is how it pick out your formal or semi-formal outfit. The outfits are really cute and range in price (most between $17-$20). They have tuxedos, suits, flower girl dresses, party dresses, sweater vest outfits and so much more. They also carry a wide variety of inexpensive rental accessories (ties, shoes, socks, tights, hats, tiaras, handbags) that you can add on to your outfit. So you pick out your outfit and order it about 10 days before your event (this way you are sure to get it on time). You have a total of 3 weeks to have the outfit before you need to return it and your 3 weeks start the day you receive the outfit (6 weeks if you upgrade). It comes nicely wrapped with a lollipop for your little one (or you could always eat it like I did). The child wears it and then you put the dirty outfit in the postage paid envelope and send it back! It's that easy!!!!

We had 2 toddler tuxedos given to us as hand-me downs. I just ordered a white shirt, shoes and a black bow tie from Gagas to complete the ensemble for our vacation. Z is going to look so dapper ;) I can't wait! I ordered them yesterday and they should be here by Tuesday (you can pay extra to have them shipped overnight if you are in a real bind). So for all of you needing formal wear for an upcoming wedding or party......I highly recommend this website. It is easy, inexpensive and they look so darn cute all dressed up :)