Tuesday, August 31

Hello Friends! It's Tuesday and that means that it's time to join a couple blog hops.  And since I've been making so many new friends lately, I decided that I would share some fun Roy facts will you. (You lucky people, you!)

 We'll do the momma first:

1) I attended an extremely ghetto fabulous junior high and high school in Rhode Island.  I later found references to my school in sociological books in a college class. (and they were not positive references!)
     You know your school is ghetto when high school orientation contained the words ("some of you will not make it out of here alive", and they had statistics to back it up!)

2)  I enjoy watching Start Trek (I am not a trekkie, I do not go to conventions, own any costumes or speak Klingon)  I do however think that Picard is waaaaay sexier than Kurt.

3)  I am afraid of the phone. No joke.  I am one of those people who should never have been given a cell-phone.  I didn't even want one.  I was given one as a gift when I was 16 and I have spent the rest of my life hiding from it. When it rings, I eye it suspiciously like the person on the other end might eat my soul.  I am equally bad at returning phone calls.  If I call you back, you know that I love you.  Or I need your services (like the electric meter man)  

4) At 24 years old, I still do not possess a drivers license.  ::shocked silence::  I live in fear that people will find this out about me, and judge my ability to parent effectively.  I do have a permit and drive all the time.  I have just failed the stupid test on multiple occasions.  I get really nervous and flustered.  I will be taking the test again soon hopefully for the last time so I can move on with my life and regain some small shred of dignity.  Or I will move to Europe where that sort of personal failing seems to be more acceptable.

5) I'm pretty sure that I was born in the wrong century.  Village living sounds pretty flippin good to me.  I could learn to church butter (and look darn good doing it)  Also, I'm pretty sure I'd be better at driving a wagon than driving a car.  No license required people!

How hot is she? This could have been me...

6) I was three months pregnant when I graduated college in 2008!  Token pregnant girl role played here. This made sitting through graduation almost unbearable ( I had to pee the entire time and I was so hungry that I snuck peanut butter crackers in under my robe)  But I did it gosh darn it!  And now I can say to my children that if I could pass my college finals with incredible nauseau and swollen feet the size of basketballs than they really have no valid excuses.

7)  I didn't pass gas in front of my husband until I was pregnant (and then I gave up the pretence of lady-like behavior)

8) I won a school wide spelling bee in sixth grade.  Also in sixth grade I lost the valedictorian position by 1/10th of a stinking point to a kid named Nicholas.  I still sort of hate him a little.  His mother was on the school commitee and I'm pretty sure he cheated.  Sixth grade may have been the pinnacle of my academic career.
It was all mediocrity and disappointment after that.  ::sigh::

And now you know waaaay too much about me!  I think I will save the fun facts about other family members for another day.  Wouldn't want to subject you to too much at one time.  :)

Saturday, August 28

One of the cool kids

I bet you thought this post was going to be about Emma, right? Wrong!  It's about me.  I received my ever blog award yesterday from Dawn over at the  mom-a-logues blog.  I am super honored and feel a little bit like I was invited to the cool kids table.  So a big thank you going out to you Dawn!!!

The rules of the award are as follows:

1.) THANK the blogger who awarded it to you. (check!)

2.) Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation and experience using five words.

      Therapeutic, Honest, Friendly, Creative, Fun (that was kind of hard actually)

3.) Pass it on to 10 other blogs you feel have real substance. Ok, here goes!

Three Crazy Munchkins (real life best friend!)
This Present Life
The Adventures of Goober Grape and Monkey Man
Little T and Me
Jumping Jack
Taking Care of Twins
Semi Slacker Mom
Surviving Little People
Live, Laugh, Love

There are lots of others, I would pick but I was limited to ten. Rules are Rules!

  I had some sort of a horrible head cold yesterday, that seems to be lingering a little this morning.  (ugh, summer colds are the worst!)  I hope it clears up soon because I have a party to go to this afternoon.  A special little girl is turning four,  (Best friends daughter #1) and I have a very froufy tutu to give her!!  And some friends I haven't seen in a long time are going to be in attendance. STUPID COLD.   I am going to be quite dissapointed if I have to miss this event, but I wouldn't want to be the one that gets everyone sick.  Somebody take lots of pictures for me please? 

I hope the rest of you are having better luck this weekend!

Friday, August 27

Please be Patient

Please be patient with me as I am trying to make the blog look the way I want it to look.  Unfortunately I have absolutely no computer skills what so ever, which makes this difficult.  Also I only really get about ten minutes to myself at a time on the computer, so that makes it take a whole lot longer!  So things might be disappearing and then magically re-appearing, or showing up somewhere different!

This is how I feel about blogger right now!
Also I would love to have 3 columns, but I have tried to do this multiple times now and all attempts have ended in frustration. A lot of frustration.  Stupid blogger.  Is there a way to do this without starting all over again on everything on my blog? Please help if you have answers/skills. It would be much appreciated!

Thursday, August 26

Toddler Talk Thursday Week Five!

Today's TTT is about TV / Movies

I have talked about this before on this blog, but I personally do not see any harm in letting the Peanut watch TV.  Of course I would never just plop her down in front of the TV and let her watch all day long, but a show or two a day is not going to do anything negative to her development.   In fact, I have noticed a positive effect, in that her vocabulary has increased from watching children's programming.   You may be rolling your eyes, but it's true.   I catch her parroting words from shows all the time.  For example, on Sesame Street when they do the letter of the day, she often will repeat it with them, same thing with words they emphasize. 

Most of the time, I try to make the shows as interactive an experience as possible. I ask her questions about what is going on, and what she thinks the characters will do next.  It is also just a good excuse to get some great snuggling time in, as sometimes that is the only way I can get her to sit still for a few minutes!

Her all time favorite show is Curious George.  I'm really not sure why, except that she is really into naming animals at the moment, and there are usually plenty of opportunities for that in this show.  But she gets ridiculously excited if I let her this show in the morning (there is a little happy dance, clapping and a "hooway Geowge!" involved)  A few months back we took her to see the Curious George exhibit at the Children's Musuem in Boston and it was a big hit! 

Emma hugging her favorite character "Geowge" at the Children's Musuem in Boston
Another favorite of hers from Peep- this was a super fun exhibit, highly recommended!

Another favorite of hers is the Peep & the Big Wide World show, also on PBS.   Something about the big blobs of color (that represent different birds) must be really appealing to the toddler mind.  Plus the fact that the shows are so short and the storylines so simple is also appealing to both mom and Peanut.

And a third show that we just discovered online this weekend is "Shaun the Sheep".  If you are the type of person that enjoys Wallace and Gromit, you will love Shaun the Sheep.  It is by the same person, and it is one of those shows that both kids and parents can really enjoy watching together.  Each episode is only 20 minutes long, and each episode contains three shorter episodes, so the plots are super simple and short and you can choose how many you want your child to watch.   This show is accompanied by tons of giggling, and lots of animal noises and excited gesturing in our house.  Although I will warn you that the theme song is waaay too catchy.  It has no business being that catchy.  It is turning me into that weird lady humming "Life's a treat with Shaun the Sheep" in the grocery store.

As for movies, we're all about Dreamworks and Pixar over here.  But I also throw in some Veggietales, classic Winnie the Pooh, and Christmas shows.  Movies once or twice a week is ok with me.  I make a big deal about letting her choose which one she wants to watch, and then we get a special snack (usually some popcorn or fishies) and we snuggle in together.  This lasts about ten-twenty minutes and then we're on the floor playing blocks or reading books, and once in a while remembering that there is a movie on (at the exciting parts)

So that's what we've been watching over here, what are your kids favorites?  Feel free to link up with us each week and let us know what your toddlers been up to! (and maybe get some great tips and ideas from other mommies going through the same stages you are!)  You can link up at any of the three lovely hosts blogs:
Family and life in lv   Crazy about my Baybah or Sippy cup mom

Monday, August 23

Congrats Little Brother!

Congratulations Kenny! Notice how "little" he is compared to me 

My "little" brother graduated from Wentworth Institute yesterday afternoon!  We are all extremely proud of him, as it's been tough going these last four years, between qualifying for loans, and even having to commute at times!  He is now the proud owner of a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, and while I have virtually no idea what that actually means, I'm impressed all the same.

Now who wants to hire him?

Love you little brother!

Friday, August 20

Funny Girl!

    I love Friday nights.  My husband goes out with his best guy friends for a beer (or to play dorky games at someone else's house) and Emma-Jean goes to bed at 7:00.  We had pizza tonight which means there is virtually no clean-up and I get three hours of uninterupted me time.  It's bliss.  Usually this involves a glass of wine, some blogging, some internet stalking, maybe a chic flick, some trashy TV show, or some crafting.  Possibly a combination of all of the above.  I really appreciate that one night a week and I know my husband does too.  He needs to get out of the house more than I do, which is why it's great that he's not the one who stays home all day :) I really love that he has such a great group of friends. Soooo important in a marriage!!  And it helps that I happen to love hanging out with their wives!

But anyway... I had to share these recent pictures. Peanut has such a little personality!  She has been making the weirdest faces lately to try and make us laugh.  And it works, although I have to say that I was a little creeped out by this one at first:

Can you tell that she is making her eyes look in two different directions? Freaked me out the first time! But it definitely gets a reaction out of us! Now it just makes me laugh because she does it every time we sit down to a meal.

But see mom!  No permanent eye-damage done, I was just goofing!

Whose weird kid is this?  :)

Tuesday, August 17

Social Spark

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I have been very envious of all the mommy blogs out there that have so many great product reviews on them, so I decided to give SocialSpark a try.  I have recently seen a few blogs with positive reviews about the products and services they have obtained from this website, so it appeared  to be legitimate.  It also seems to offer a way to make money by matching bloggers with relevant ads that can than be placed on your site to start bringing in a little extra income.  And we can always use that around here! Being a stay at home mom does have it's disadvantages. (the biggest being having only one income currently)

The sign up process was very easy and took me less than ten minutes. (which was fantastic because as a mom that's about as much free time as I have during the day!)
I was asked to fill out basic information (name, address, email etc.), to write a description of my blog along with some relevant tags, and to pick the category I thought my blog would fit into best.
Then just to verify that I do in fact own my own blog, I was asked to insert a small amount of code into the body of my blog in order to claim it as my own.  For a minute I was intimidated by this, as I am not a fan of messing with my HTML code, but the instructions were very clear.  Even someone as code inept as I could very easily manage this step.   And it didn't make any visible changes to my blog.  Phew!  I've worked hard to make it look like this!

As I have just signed up, I haven't had much of a chance to interact with this site yet, but I will try to keep anybody who is interested, informed as to how effective it actually is.  I am hoping to trade some free product for honest reviews from my family and maybe possibly make some spare change as well!

Does anyone have any experience with SocialSpark that they'd like to share?  Any knowledge you have about using this site would be much appreciated, positive or negative.

If you are interested in checking this site out for yourself, please feel free to click on the purple button at the bottom of this post!

Visit my sponsor: I Signed Up for SocialSpark!

Monday, August 16


For those of you who aren't friends with me on facebook, here are some pictures of Miss Emma-Jean frolicking around in the tutu and matching hairband I made for her last week.   I had so much fun picking out the tulle!  This might be my favorite part of having a daughter yet.

Friday, August 13

Why Ke$ha makes me furious...

Dear Today show,
      NOT COOL!  I did not appreciate watching Ke$ha slut it up all over your stage at 8:30 in the morning.  It made me feel like I needed to shower and then go to confession.  Why did you feel that it was appropriate to feature such filth at such an early hour?  I especially loved the ending to this song where a bunch of androgenously dressed fairy boys (is that supposed to be sexy??)  rubbed their hands all over her boobs and crotch. 

Here is a sampling of the quality lyrics she chose to showcase this morning, in case you missed it.

There's a place downtown,

Where the freaks all come around.
It's a hole in the wall.
It's a dirty free for all.
And they turn me on.
When they Take It Off.
When they Take It Off.
Everybody Take It Off.
There's a place I know
If you're looking for a show.
Where they go hardcore
And there's glitter on the floor.
And they turn me on.
When they Take It Off.
When they Take It Off.
Everybody Take It Off.
Lose your mind.
Lose it now.
Lose your clothes
In the crowd.
We're delirious.
Tear it down
'Til the sun comes back around.
N-now we're getting so smashed.
Knocking over trash cans.
Eurbody breakin' bottles
It's a filthy hot mess.
Gonna get faded
I'm not the designated
Driver so
I don't give a
I don't give a
I don't give a

   Awesome message right?  My favorite part was how many pre teen girls were there with their parents.  WHO DOES THAT??? Who thinks it's a fantastic idea to take their daughter to see a girl who sings about being perpetually drunk, sexually promiscious and hungover?  I even saw a few parents singing along with their children.  That's just plain creepy. I mean her lyrics are not even subtle, it doesn't get any more clear than the line: "Lose it now, lose your clothes in the crowd ! "  Anybody who feels comfortable singing that line with their eight year old girl should not be a parent.  I'm not even sorry if that offends you, it's just plain true.   And we wonder why teen pregnancy rates continue to go up and why we have pregnant nine year olds!!  Literal baby mamas. 
I hope to God that when Emma gets to the age that she wants to attend concerts, that there are still Lizzie McGuire's in the world.  What happened to her?   
 Emma is in for a rude awakening if she ever asks to go to a show like that, she will get laughed at.  Right in her face.  The End.
Ok Friday morning rant officially over...maybe.  I'm still pretty upset about it.  Anyone else?

Thursday, August 12

Shaving with Daddy

My little girl seriously loves her daddy!  She wants to do pretty much anything he is doing, and be with him while he's doing it.  Which brings me to the following pictures.  What was she doing, you may rightly ask?  Why shaving her face of course, I would reply!  Obviously!

 I think she may have missed a few spots...

And speaking of things on her face... the other day while mommy was in the bathroom, Emma got a hold of a navy blue fabric marker.   And I did what any good mother would do, I grabbed a camera and snapped a few pictures! 

Serves me right for thinking I could go to the bathroom alone. But seriously, she kind of did a really good job on her face.  I was a little impressed.  I think they look kind of tribal?  Maybe she has a future as a tatoo artist!

Toddler Talk Thursday


This week's topic is food.  If you would like to join in the conversation, and you are more than welcome to!! Head on over to family and life in lv  or   crazy about my baybah and link up. :)

    So luckily, Emma isn't that picky of an eater, although she has been getting picky about certain textures lately. Anything that is slimy or too squishy seems to be out of the question.   This is because I had major texture issues as a child (still do, seafood= gross) so I'm just getting what's coming to me, I guess.   Also she doesn't like potatoes in any form but french fries.  I don't understand that one at all because we sure do love our mashed potatoes around here.

  But some of her favorite foods include:

 * corn chips and red pepper hummus
 * green beans, peas, corn and brocolli
 * cheese of any kind! (and sprinkled on everything!)
 *any kind of noodle
 * french toast made by daddy on Saturday mornings
 * hotdogs (we get turkey ones)
 * chocolate whole milk
 * peanut butter on a whole grain mini bagel (super easy lunch!) 
 and her favorite fruits of the moment are:  grapes, blueberries, and clementines

For dinner, I always just give her a little bit of whatever we happen to be eating, and for the most part that works really well.  I don't want to have to make her a seperate dinner, and food that's on our plates always looks so much more attractive anyways.  :)

Wednesday, August 11

Front Door Bling

This was my morning naptime project!  It was inspired by This Tutorial  over at V &Co and the fact that I have several yards of that orange plaid flannel and I had no clue what to do with it.  My husband may or may not have worn it as a kilt to a college event back in his "glory days"... But I think it paired nicely with some jean scraps, and the cream and brown fabric.  The frame we had laying around, so that makes this a 100% free mini project.  (Took an hour and a half start to finish, including picking out fabric)

Obviously my wreath isn't as gorgeous or classy as the tutorial but I think I love it all the same.  I also added the jean initial because I thought it needed a little something.

What do you think? Cute or cheesy?

Tuesday, August 10

Last night I stayed up until 12:20am.  That's right, AM PEOPLE!  I am kicking myself today.  It seemed really important last night to work on the dress I'm making for Emma, but I didn't even finish it!  And then I laid there wide awake for a really long time.   So I was desperately hoping to sleep in this morning...not so much.   Both hubby (who zombie-dragged himself to bed at 11:30 last night)  and Bella were up at the buttcrack of dawn this morning.  Awesome. 

  I dragged myself out of bed at 6:15ish and stood in the cold shower for awhile willing myself to wake up. After the shower (which sort of worked?) I promptly threw on some clothes (a tankini bathing suit and shorts- they were clean, don't judge) and walked to Dunkin Donuts where I ordered the new iced mocha coffe.  On the way home I went into a sugar coma from the amount of chocolate they put in those things!  I have a sweet tooth but holy crap DD! I'd like to save some teeth.  Then I got home only to find that I'd been locked out.  Spent ten minutes calling Adam's name, ringing doorbell, calling cell-phone.  No answer.  I figured he had to miss me sooner or later, so I decided to fill up the kiddie pool, I was already wearing the bathing suit, so why not?  It was disgustingly humid anyways...

Eventually, my lovely husband heard the hose running and came to the door to let me in.  I went inside, made lunch for him to take to work, fed the munchkin, changed the munchkin, fed the cat, answered some email and then realized it was only 8:00 am!!!! It's going to be a long freaking day. 

So we went outside and played in the pool, and I took a lot of pictures, which made me happy :)   Of course she wouldn't pose for any of them, but they're more fun that way.  So here's a photo dump of this morning for you:

Also welcome to any Tag Along Tuesday visitors!  Please feel free to make yourself comfortable, and if you decide you'd like to stay for a bit leave me a comment with your blog name so I can find you and visit with you.

Monday, August 9

Check out my new Knobs!

So I don't know about you guys out there, but every apartment that I've ever lived in has had the same bathroom faucet. You know the cheap Delta one with the see-through knobs?  They look like this:

Which is fine probably for the first two months you own it, and then they tend to start to grow stuff inside those pretty plastic knobs! And then it's not so pretty...  I've always assumed that there was no way you could actually clean inside them, and cursed whoever decided that was a practical design for a bathroom faucet!  Seriously?? Who thought this was a good idea?

But then, some friends of ours were nice enough to give us their old bathroom faucet to use for Emma's playkitchen, and I decided that it was not ok for Emma to play with something that had mold growing on the inside of it.  So I googled.  (Thank God for google, I honestly don't know how I would get anything done without it)

And it turns out there a tiny plastic cap at the top of each knob that COMES OFF!  How did I not know this????? All you have to do is to take a phillips head screwdriver, and gently pry the small plastic piece off the top of the knob.  There are even small indentations that make this task easier.  Then once that small plastic piece is off, you can take another screwdriver and unscrew the whole knob from the faucet.  That way you can submerge it in the cleaning liquid of your choice (I just use plain old white vinegar and a little baking soda)

Then the only problem that I was left with, was the fact that another genius over at the Delta bathroom faucet factory decided that putting a tiny mirrored piece of cardboard (?) in the plastic lid would be a good idea and there's no way to clean under that, without wrecking it.  (Mine just crumbled away actually, they were that old and gross)

It looks like this:

Please excuse the blurry pictures, we've got really crappy lighting to work with here on the NorthShore today

 You can't really see it in the picture, but there's all kinds of crud stuck in front of that mirrored piece, being magnified at the top of my now otherwise pristine faucet! 

This is where magic late night inspiration struck!  I could take those mirrored pieces off and replace them with small circles of fabric that matched her playkitchen!  Then put the new shiny faucet back together and call it a day.   So here's how it looks now:

Isn't that super cute?? I felt like a genius when this idea actually worked :)  Don't you love that feeling?
So of course I also had to clean my bathroom sink and replace the mirrored piece there as well.  Hope the landlord doesn't mind too much!   For my bathroom sink, I used a simple blue curtain material with a little bit of shine.  I didn't take a picture of the knobs assembled in my bathroom, but here's a blurry late night picture of my new knobs!  (oh man, there's a sentence I never thought I'd type!)

note the hubby working hard at cleaning grime in the background!
So there's my cleaning tip for the year! This could really help lengthen the lifetime of your bathroom hardware, and the best part is that you could change the fabric anytime you choose!  So if you are re-decorating your bathroom, you could change the fabric in there as well.  Or you could get really fancy and cut a piece of your own glass to put in there, and that would look pretty darn classy!  And for a kid's bathroom, you could go crazy and put really bold fabric choices in there like I did for Emma's new faucet. 

So what do you think?  And tell me honestly, did everyone know about this except me?  Or is this taking you guys by surprise as well?

 Happy Cleaning!

Thursday, August 5

Today's Topic: Fun and Educational Activites Outside the Home:
Well, during the weekday we are pretty limited due to the fact that we are currently a one car family,  so activites need to be within walking distance.  Luckily for me, there are actually three or four playgrounds within a mile and a half of our apartment.  So we go to the playground quite a bit!  There is also the library, which I mentioned last week.
Another thing Peanut absolutely loves right now, is to go and run around at a field near our house.   She takes her little bucket and spends hours each week looking for little "treasures".   These treasures mostly take the form of rocks, sticks, pinecones and interesting looking weeds.   This activity takes a lot of patience on mommy's part because we walk soooo slow! (wouldn't want to miss a single pebble!)  But it is ridiculously cute to see her get so excited over such simple objects!  There are lots of oooohs and aaaahhhhs and "oh boy!s.
On the weekend, we try to be very active and do something outdoors (especially during the summer).  Luckily for us, we live on the North Shore of Massachusetts and there are a million little parks to visit.  We usually just pick one and go.  A recent favorite was Halibut Point state park in Rockport, Ma.   Mommy and daddy got a great hike in while Peanut really enjoyed playing in the rocky tidal pools!
If it is a rainy weekend, a few of our favorite places to visit are Ikea, (she loves playing on all the beds, and sitting in all of the kid sized chairs)  Jordan's furniture in Reading, Ma (they have an awesome liquid fireworks show every half an hour and they have these cute car shaped strollers with moveable sterring wheels that Peanut loves- they also have a Richards ice cream place, a jelly-belly store and a Fuddruckers)  and the North Shore Mall.  The North Shore Mall recently put in a cute little indoor playground that is perfect for toddlers and still in really good condition because it's less than a year old.
Also, a wonderful resource to check out if you haven't is the library's musuem pass program.  They have passes/discount coupons for many places in your local area.  We have been able to go to the Children's Musuem in Boston, the Peabody Essex Musuem in Salem, the Museum of Science and the MFA in Boston, as well as Stone Zoo and various MA state parks on the library's dime (or really steeply discounted)  It is a great way to visit places that are normally ridiculously expensive ( I refuse to spend $15 a person to spend two hours in a museum!)
Sorry there are no pictures of Peanut enjoying any of these activities, but we have company coming in an hour and a half and I still have to shower, get dressed and tidy the apartment!  You know how it is...

Tuesday, August 3

A year later...

I'm having a hard tmie coming to grips with the fact that it is August already and that in a week she will be 21 months old! And in a few months she will be two!  I know it sounds cliche but time really does fly by when they're so little.  Part of me can't wait to see her next phase of development, and part of me wants to freeze her just as she is so she can't get any bigger!  That way she will love me forever and never reach adolesence and realize she hates me.  But today I was feeling nostalgic for last year when she was almost nine months old (such a fun age!!)  So I thought I would share some pictures from last July with all of you so you can see for yourself how much growing she did in just a year!

A Year ago she was:

Smiling socially!! That one took awhile, she was a very serious infant.
Eating solid food, still can't get her to eat eggs!
Discovering the camera

Sitting up on her own
And getting stuck in boxes?
(this one is just funny..or maybe we're just really bad parents )

I love you Emma-Jean, even though each age has it's difficulties. I know that someday I will look back at the terrible twos and wish that I had just a few minutes with your 21 month old self.  I will miss the spontaneous hugs and the big gooey kisses and the silly way you say "pwease!" and reading you the same books over and over while you cuddle in my lap.  I love you Peanut!

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