Wednesday, October 28, 2009

'Lil Pumps!

The little ones represent!

We like to switch it up...

Spider Man and Lighting McQueen costumes....


Swedesboro, NJ...home of Tanta Tracy and Cousins Liam and Declan!  Face painted candy corns...who could ask for anything more?  And what is the deal with those low double pumpkin things I'm sitting behind???  Um, yeah....!!!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Treats!

This is what I call "BAKING"........
meaning, I don't!  Pre-cut and ready-to-bake orange pumpkin cookies and frosting from the jar (cream cheese frosting no less!  YUM!) are certainly good things!  I whipped up several colors with food coloring and put out a heaping bowl of candy corn and pumpkins.  All to Lauren's DELIGHT and happiness!  Now, I will admit the cookies and frosting were not the most delicious....but it was all about the decorating and not the act of baking itself.  Super fun!  Happy Halloween treats : )

Friday, October 23, 2009

The red-headed Pirate meets Blue Man Group...

Nothin' like a good painting craft while wearing a pirate patch!  Um, yeah, this may look cool and I did go get the camera and all to capture the moment for you but the clean up later was not fun and this is not washable paint!  One Halloween shirt ruined and blue paint on my sliding glass door.  Ah, but who am I, a mere MOTHER, to squash her creativity? 
Oh, and I failed to mention that really big awesome wooden ROCKING HORSE that is now hiding in the garage. (please see photo)  I mean, what is a mother to do with a big wooden rocking horse all painted up?  As my friend Kelly said (and she taught me well)  bedtime is the best time to "weed" through all of your child's artwork.  And Kelly said it best when saying, "And a piece of paper with a blob of colored paint on it does not equal art and I'm not keeping it and I don't feel bad!" 
Seriously, she gave me the freedom to not feel bad about tossing the MILLION or so pieces of art that Lauren accumulated in ONE, I repeat, ONE lousy year of pre-school!  I only keep the good stuff now and so I've eliminated....hmmmm, let's see....about a gazillion pieces of paper shoved in a big artist's envelope in the crawl space to someday be discovered by Lauren when she's 25 or something and says "Are you kidding me Mom?  You kept all this?  Why would I want this?"  : )

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trend Setter?!

Evan woke up from his afternoon nap with this one little sprig of hair sticking out the side of his head!  I mean really!!!!!!!!!  Cuteness factor unstoppable!!!!!!!!  : )


Welcome to the world of Lauren's Pirate Patch!  You can't see the lovely appliqued butterfly on the side or see the full $12 value of this little puppy.  Oh yeah, and we got TWO of them so when one is in the wash she can still wear one. 

And $12 it gives you this nifty little "slide the arm of your glasses" in the side pocket and "bingo" pirate patch while you still wear your glasses!

Welcome to the world of eye correction my friends!  THREE hours per day and you are most likely guaranteed GOOD EYES and hopefully NO GLASSES beyond the age of first grade.

So what does all this mean?  More work and discipline for mom and one awesome kid who takes it all in stride!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Yes my friends, judge me if you will, but you try an almost 11 month old on a plane for pit-near 2 hours and feel the anxiety of an unhappy Evan.  You too may resort to a (gasp) DUM DUM. 

My sister and I have discussed in great length the long list of things our second born children have done, consumed or have been allowed vs. our first borns. 

I myself am relishing in the fact that I am cool and didn't lose it on the plane and got about 15-20 mins of joy from the whole damn plane with this one lousy, measly little dum dum. 

And I also relish with great joy and gratitude at the fact that I had the opportunity to have this second child.  It has opened my eyes to a whole new world.  I have just LET GO of so much stuff that just doesn't matter.  But when you only have one child so much seems like such a big deal.  It is no wonder my sister and I are so different!  : )  (I'm the first born and the golden child thank you very much........just kidding Tracy!)

I would also like to send a shout out into the universe to all the wonderful and helpful people who are understanding and caring when they see a woman traveling solo with 2 kids.  The woman sitting next to me said, "it's harder on you than on them."  A woman got off the plane and as she walked past me as I waited with the kids for my stroller..........."Hey, we've all been there." 

And for the record, the kids were amazing.  Despite some ear pressure issue induced crying, they rocked.  Hey, I don't want to be cooped up for 2 hours on a germ-filled, recycled air cavity either!  I am happy to go on the adventure of air travel.  I always learn a thing or two about myself and how to navigate through it all e a bit easier for the next journey. 

Hey, if brother bro gets one, so do I!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Butterflies and Blackbirds...

I have previously mentioned my "butterfly thing" (I will save you from the elephant thing right now).  Now, we are not talking scary tchotchkis  involving butterflies and elephants all over my house.  I am into more subtle and or non-descript ways that these winged beings effect me. (and what is the difference between affect and effect?  wondering)

So my daughter and I have this song.  It's "our song."  I dream of being at her graduation from high school or her wedding or some crazy big moment in her life and this song will hold special meaning for her and I'll hear it and bust a major major bucket of tears.

She requests that I sing it to her on most tuck-in-for-bed nights.  I love knowing she thinks my voice is perfectly wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!
So I share it with you tonight....


Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see.
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the lifght of a dark black night.
Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of a dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly.
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

~Paul McCartney
(and let's not even get started on Paul : )

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Union, IL Cider Fest...Good wholesome Family Fun!

Checkin' out the cool tractors...

Cider Press...whew, that's alot of work!
Makes you appreciate apple cider!

Learning to sew the old fashioned way...

Hangin' with my homey at the homestead cottage...

Running around the "barn" after the barn raising demo...

Just a 'Lil Pumpkin...(Brother Bro)

Mom and Dad are cool....

Moby Wrap Pics...Read Good Karma below this post first!

Heather, Andrew, Evan "moby wrapped" and Lauren (December 2008)

Heather "wrapped" Evan and I up and gave me a tutorial : )

Good Karma....

A few months ago I noticed a conversation on Facebook taking place between my friend Heather and her husband's cousin Faith.  Faith is pregnant with her first child and Heather was raving about her favorite baby product of all time, the "Moby Wrap" (  Heather was telling Faith that this product just might save her sanity in those early baby days when you are sleep deprived, crying (you and the baby!) and want nothing more than to have your little one close to you.

Heather visited me last December when Evan was maybe 2 weeks old.  Her gift to me was a Moby wrap.  The wrap was a wonderful thing for Evan and I in those first few weeks as well.  I was breastfeeding and he wanted nothing more to be close to me, my heartbeat and breasts!  Little did I know he was not getting enough breast-milk nourishment after a month and he loved nothing more than to fall into a sleep coma on my chest all wrapped up tight and warm and cozy.

After Evan got a little older I kinda forgot about using the wrap and also didn't feel 100% confident in my wrapping and knotting techniques.  (however, the more you use it, the better you get......Heather was a pro and used the wrap daily for almost a year with her son Andrew)  So when I started reading the conversation between Faith and Heather I thought that Faith should have my wrap and it would be like receiving a gift from Heather and me.  Besides, with baby gear used for such a short period of time it just makes good sense to share the wealth.

So I talked to Heather about getting Faith's address and sent her my lovely sage green moby wrap and instruction manual with a note to pass it on to another mom when she was done using it.  I then sorta forgot about the whole thing until yesterday when I got the mail and didn't recoginize the return address on an envelope, yet is seemed so familiar.  I turned the envelope over to see "I have enclosed a small gift to express my appreciation. Thanks."  Still wondering who this was from, I opened it up to find a lovely baby thank you card with a beautiful butterfly sequined coin purse.

Once I realized who it was from, I thought how funny that Faith doesn't even know me and she sent me the most perfect gift.  One that I would have picked out or bought for myself or Lauren.  I have this "butterfly thing" and so does Lauren.  (well, it's probably more like MY butterfly thing that I've given to her!)  I adore butterflies.  My favorite being the beloved Monarch.  Butterflies have all this symbolism and meaning to me in so many ways.

So how delightful to see this little beaded butterfly beauty!  Lauren immediately went to get her purses to consolidate her money into her new coin purse.  (she just kinda thought it was gonna be her's!)  I just felt like this whole experience of sharing and passing it on, paying it forward, friendship...whatever you want to call it....had made me feel right with the world.  Like everybody can do some small little thing and if you do it with love and do it from the heart it truly will come back around to you again and fill you up with joy.

Thanks to Heather and Faith for "restoring my faith" in the world (no pun intended!) today!  I am also happy to report Faith is having a baby girl in a few weeks and she will be named Clementina Lila.  I will be thinking of her wrapped up snuggly close to her mommy just like Evan was to me and Andrew was to Heather.  Evan is 10 months old now and it's amazing how fast it goes.

Every time I see the little sequined butterfly coin purse it will remind me to enjoy the moment.  Sometimes it is easy to wish away the "un-fun" stuff that comes with parenting (and some days that is A LOT!)  This week for me it was making, getting, feeding and cleaning up FOOD.  My friend Janet said these are called the "messy years" and someday we will be aching for them.

LIFE IS GOOD!  Enjoy a little moment today.  Let the goodness sink inside you....breathe it in.  Inhale the love.