I'll Be Right Here

In the Poconos until the weekend.  It's the first ever Sites Family Vacation... a bit like National Lampoon's Vacation, but without the hijinks and craziness.  Although, there's beer and a hot tub and the week is young!


Button ~ Eight Months Old

I honestly can’t believe it’s been a month already since my last monthly post of Button.  She’s learned so much in the past few weeks!  She is waving bye-bye and saying "uh oh!"  She is not only pulling herself up to standing, but sidestepping all around her crib and the side tables.  Her smile beams brighter than I’ve even seen when she’s standing up – so proud of herself, she is. She’s even tried to stand up in the middle of the room, but that doesn’t quite work without a hand-hold yet.  She is crawling.  Fast!  This little girl is on the move and we are no longer baby-proof.  Help!

Her bottom teeth are more than halfway up and a top tooth just started to poke through yesterday at exactly 8 months old.  This girl loves to eat!  At lunch the other day, she packed away a whole banana.  At dinner a couple of nights ago, she had a whole kiwi, a good portion of rice noodles w/cabbage, half a peach and hummus on broccoli!  She gets very demanding at mealtimes and simply cannot wait until I prepare her food.  She yells at me to hurry up!

And on that vein, she is Demanding!  She knows what she wants and she wants it NOW.  She’s still super sweet, but she most definitely has her own opinions and ideas.  She loves her brother to no end, but when he’s bothering her… oh man, he’d better watch out.  She’ll pull his ears or his hair and just chew him out.  He, of course, thinks it’s funny and eggs her on.

At this early messy phase of self-feeding, she gets a bath after nearly every meal and loves it.  What she doesn’t like these days are her carseat, having her face wiped, being told “no” (so it begins…) and getting dressed.

Here are her 8 month photos.  I have to say, this is an impossible age to work with to capture these shots!  What was I thinking when I thought I could get a year's worth of photos where my baby would simultaneously sit still, look at me, and not eat the props??  She doesn't want to do anything but crawl away from me or try to stand, so pleased she is to exercise her new-found mobility.  Getting her to hold the little owl calendar without devouring it whole or face-diving off the chair was a mega-challenge. And the big calendar... well, I just tried to strategically place it wherever she wanted to be at the moment.  Little stinker.  

Previous Months: Seven, Six, Five, Four, Three, Two and One.

Hang Onto Your Hats!

We had an earthquake on Tuesday.  An honest to goodness 5.9 Richter scale earthquake!  We're about 3 hours from the epicenter.  I was at work, felt the floor moving beneath me, and I was scared. I've never felt anything like it.  It was like being in an elevator, but it was the earth beneath us moving, not the lurch you expect when you reach your floor! 

Now we're bracing for Hurricane Irene over the weekend.  Some reports are saying it could hit NC first, go back out to sea, and meet with a warm front directly over top of us (Chesapeake region) that could stall her path.  I'm not liking this one bit.  Being from Michigan, we're not used to any extreme weather (snow storms and relatively mild tornadoes the exception) and we thought the east coast was relatively mild, too, except for the occasional post-hurricane rainfalls.  This week is crazy!  I've read that the Japanese earthquake set the earth's rotation slightly off-kilter and we should expect this craziness as a result.  I'm not sure about that, but it truly has been a year of extremes nationwide.  Could this extreme weather be the "new normal"?   I sure hope not! 

We're leaving Saturday afternoon for a week in the Poconos with my dad's side of the family, but we'll have hubby drop us off and then he'll head back home to hold down the fort before the storm hits.  He'll join us later in the week for some much-needed relaxation.  Time to batten down the hatches (and hope our basement doesn't flood!)  Be safe everyone!


Daddy Fights Alone

Bug: Why do you not watch fighting, Mom?

Me: Because I choose not to.  I don't think anything good comes from watching fights or fighting with people.

Bug: I choose not to fight, too.  I choose to be a nice boy.

Me: I like to hear that, Buddy.

Bug: Daddy fights really loud by himself when the game is on.

LOL!  Poor daddy... ever the faithful MSU fan, usually gets his heart broken (and his blood pressure up!) by our alma mater.


Her Favorite Toy...

Is not a toy.  It's the remote.  I rarely let her play with it because if the TV's on and she hits random buttons, I'm clueless about how to fix anything that goes awry.  Since she was in the bedroom (where there's no tube), I let her go to town with it.  She had a blast talking to her little "friend".


First Ride

I was a horse-crazy kid.  I did summer horse camps for several years in a row in my teens and faithfully devoured the hobby magazines.  When I was nearly done with my marketing degree, I discovered that Michigan State had a two year equine submersion program.  It called to me.  I graduated with my bachelor's in business then re-enrolled at State for the horse management program.  It was awesome.  It opened the door for me to be a horse owner myself.  I owed Muddy, an off-track thoroughbred for almost 10 years before he passed away when Bug was a year old.  It also lead me to where I am today - working at a prestigious horse farm on the East Coast.

That said, I promised myself I wouldn't push the "horse thing" onto my kids.  If they showed an interest, I would go from there, but I wasn't going to make my thing their thing.  Last weekend, Bug was helping me a work event and even though he's been coming to work with me since he was 6 weeks old, it seemed to strike him all of sudden that he was interested in the horses.  He asked if we could get one.  And a fence.  And a trailer.  He said he would feed it and brush it and ride and "mom could scoop the poop."  Then he talked about horses more over the next few days.  I jumped on it.  He was signed up for his first riding lesson by Thursday.  I was pumped!

We got to the riding stable and met Goldie the pony.  He took to it like a little natural.  Wasn't the least bit afraid.  It was awesome.  When he finished his lesson, he asked when we're going back.  When we got home, he said now that he knows how to brush and ride a horse, we can get one of our own.  Tucking him into bed tonight, he said "I had a good day with the horses today!"

We will be back.


And she crawls.

It's been a big week for our little Button... standing, crawling, saying all sorts of fun sounds and squeals.  Her crawl is a left-knee-down, right-foot up-sort of thing.  She doesn't like both knees down at once.  She goes two moves forward and then needs a rest.  She'll be zooming around before long.  She is so proud of herself.  We are, too.  Have an awesome weekend!

She was after this.


Only in New York

This was a conversation on our way to work.  Bug was referring to the telephone poles.

Bug: Do monkeys climb those?

Me: Maybe, but not here.

Bug: Why not here?

Me: Because we don't have monkeys in this country.

Bug: Oh, they're in New York.


Summer Reading - Book Reviews

Because you care what I think about what I’m reading, right?!  These are my very poorly written book reviews of what I’ve had my nose in recently.

Remember this photo from my "I might have a problem" post?  Well, I've finished some of these books and haven't the others.  I'm still working on Brat, Understanding Exposure, and Mommy Mantras.  Guess I've been more interested in the leisurely reads lately!  Here's my two cents:

The Hunger Games – By Suzanne Collins. Fun, quick read.  I loved it, although, I’m not sure why because the whole futuristic/World-is-not-what-we-knew-it-to-be type of story is not my typical cup of tea.  Add to that that it’s about children fighting to the death.  I really can’t believe I even read it, but I loved it and I’ve just finished the second of the three books in the series!  To get an idea of what an easy read it is, I finished The Hunger Games in just three days, while nursing Button or before bed.  They’re making a movie now (due next March), with a total of four films planned.  Yay!

Baby-Led Weaning –  By Rapley and Murkett.  Good for those clueless about this style of introducing first foods, but I honestly didn’t read through the first chapters about the history of feeding babies, other parents’ stories, etc., etc.  I cut right to the middle where it talks about what foods to start with, when, how, and most important to me – won’t they choke?!  I got the info I needed (gagging is good!  Well… it serves a purpose anyway) and then tucked it away to refer to when Button’s a bit older and is ready to move onto more complicated foods.

Organized Simplicity – By Tsh Oxenreider.  Remember my theme for the year?  Simplicity.  I’m sticking with it and while I’ve read through this entire book, I haven’t yet completed the assignments.  I’ve worked my way (slowly) through my house to de-clutter.  I’m just about done, with the exception of the basement storage room.  It feels so great to put out the donation bags for the local Cancer Federation full of clothing and stuff we now longer need or use.  I’m waiting to do the whole house room-by-room heavy cleaning until I can fling open the windows again.  Fall project!! 

Planting Dandelions – I saw a review of this book and I thought it sounded like something I’d enjoy, so I put it on my Amazon wishlist.  Several weeks went by and I was surprised (thanks, honey!) when it arrived on my doorstep in the recognizable brown box with a smile.   At first, I had mixed feelings about this book.  It’s a memoir and while I was enjoying the read, I kept thinking to myself “why am I reading about someone else’s life when I hardly have time to function within my own?”  But, I kept reading.  And I liked it!  And although I didn’t always relate to the author’s life experience, there were other times when I truly felt she could have been peeking through the windows of my home and writing exactly what she saw.  For as many blogs as I follow, I might be the only person who read this book before knowing the author is a successful blogger by the same name.

Simplicity Parenting – By Kim John Payne. GREAT book!!  That’s all I’m going to say right now. I’m going to do a whole post on this later.
There it is!  Now, onto book three of the Hunger Games! Oh, I will be so sad when I’ve finished them all… So excited  for the movies!


My Mommy Manifesto

Before Bug was born, I started my own Mommy Manifesto.  It’s just a list of “must do’s” that I made for myself as I imagined becoming a parent.  I continued adding to it once he was born, but I haven’t looked at it in well over a year.  I pulled it out the other day. 

My Mommy Manifesto:
·         Honor the importance of family meals
·         Do activities together, rather than acting as a chauffeur
·         Don’t overschedule
·         Talk about each day’s highlights and disappointments
·         Grow a garden together
·         Share passions
·         Volunteer
·         Enjoy the outdoors
·         Travel, travel, travel
·         Day trips – explore locally
·         Write down goals and work toward them
·         Save money together
·         Cook together
·         Meditate together
·         Be and encourage good role models
·         Find their unique gifts and foster them
·         Laugh!
·         Relax!
·         Try to experience something new everyday
·         Always greet them with enthusiasm
·         Stay educated so I make wise choices
·         Take care of myself so I can be a giving and forgiving mom
·         Create traditions

Many of the things I wrote down, we do without even thinking about.  Some practices will come a bit further down the road as the kids get older and others I definitely need to work on.  Even if I fail in some of these areas, I hope that, no matter what, they know they were loved.


The Boy with the Amazing Memory

The things that come out of my son’s mouth often surprise me.  He is smart, funny, and more often than not lately… sassy, but the thing that amazes me the most is when he tells us a memory.  My earliest memories start at around three years old and they are very foggy.  I *think* I remember going to see my sister at the hospital with my dad just after she was born.  In this memory, he’s holding me at the nursery window and I’m wearing a yellow dress.  I honestly have no idea if that’s accurate or something I conjured up (dad??), but it’s what I feel like was my earliest memory.  I was 2-1/2 years old. 

My son’s keen memory started before he could speak.  When his Aunt Juju visited us when he was a baby, she played a blinking game with him.  She would blink her eyes and he would blink back.  I didn’t see them playing their little game and only found out about it after she’d left our house.  In fact, if I remember correctly, it was a couple of months later when she was talking to him on the phone.  He was sitting in his high chair, listening to her talk to him and he started blinking his eyes.  I noticed it right away, but didn’t say anything.  He kept doing it.  I told my sister “Bug keeps blinking funny” and she said something along the lines of “Really?!?  We were playing a blinking game when I visited!  Maybe he remembers that?”  He did!  He recognized her voice and was played their game over the phone.  He was between six and nine months old.

  August 2009

As I write this (on Wednesday), we’re on our way to the airport to see my husband’s parents.  They have a long layover before heading to Ireland at an airport just a couple hours from our house and we’re taking the kids to visit with them.  As we started driving, Bug says “I remember I give you my pretzels on the airplane.”  That he did.  “And then I falled asleep.”  Yes, he did.  Bug is 3-1/2 years old.  The last time we flew, he wasn’t yet two.   We flew a lot that summer, getting in a bunch of family visits before we’d have to pay for his seat.  Earlier this week when we talked about our upcoming outing to the airport, he said we have to find the wheels for his car seat.  He remembers that I had a car seat carrier on wheels that he rode through the airpo. By the way, if you travel with a baby or toddler, they are awesome!  Ours broke (we bought it used on ebay) and I threw it away long ago.  I truly am astonished that he can remember it.  I'm blown away that he can remember these things!


Worldwide Breastfeeding Week

Breastfeeding is something I’m quite passionate about.  There’s nothing that compares.  I could try to describe the connection I feel with my kids while nursing them, but I don’t have the words.  It’s just awesome.  I started my nursing relationship modestly, but before long, I had the courage to do it just about anywhere.  Once we took our show on the road, I thought it would be pretty cool to record all of the places my little man had breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  To celebrate Worldwide Breastfeeding Week, I’m sharing my list of all those places.  The girl and I are keeping it a little closer to home, purely because we don’t get out as much, but we have hit several states and the Pirate Festival! 

Have Boobs, Will Travel!
Phillies Game
76’ers Game
Washington DC – Watershed, Botanical Gardens, Capitol City Brewpub, Cherry Festival Lawn
Pickety Place, NH
Fanieul Hall, Boston, MA
Fort MacGuire Air Force Base, NJ
The Battery Park, Iron Hill Park, Brandywine Zoo, DE
Rehoboth Beach, DE
Somewhere on the road in VA, NC, GA, FL, OH, PA, MD, SC, MI
Sanibel Island, FL
Dressage at Devon Horse Show – at the Grand Prix
And countless restaurants and homes of friends and family!

Where have you taken your nursling on the road?