Christmas tree picking is more fun with a 3- and 4- year old.
Happy holidays to all!
Our sweet black lab, Lucy, lost her fun, youthful, playful, tennis ball fetching, bone chewing, life a week and a half ago.
The cancer got her. The tumor in her neck regrew itself around her.
But she was happy til the morning we had to say good-bye. Her tail still tapped happily on the floor. Her eyes were still full of love.
That girl, in true Lucy fashion, wouldn't put her head down in my lap until all of her "crackers and escargo" (liver treats dipped in wet puppy food) from the vet were gone.
I miss her like crazy. It's silly to say you miss a dog. But I do. She was my first baby. She was my dog. She was my best friend. And she was by my side through everything in the last 8 1/2 years. New jobs, getting engaged, graduating from college, married, two babies, new house, etc. And through the tough, hard times. She was right by my side. And that's what is tough... I had to say good bye to someone that just loved.
She was the best. Everyone has their own best, but she was the best. Everyone loved her and she loved them.
Enjoy all that heaven is, Lucy. Running, fetching until you can't, treats, biscuits, everything. Because you deserve it.
Halloween was fun. We braved the sprinkles and went up and down our long street and had a blast!
Ava was Silvermist, who for those that don't know, is Tinkerbell's blue fairy friend. Emma wanted to be Strawberry Shortcake again and I think she rocked it better than last year!
We went to a few fun Halloween events where the girls wore their 'official' costumes and another where Ava was Alice in Wonderland and Emma was a slice of pizza. (She wasn't thrilled about the pizza thing until she realized she was itchy and could run and jump!)
Hope everyone had a fun and safe night last night!
I have great and exciting news. I am trading in my SAHM shoes for working mama shoes!
I have been offered a position with a medical organization that I have been trying to get into for ten years! To say I'm excited, is a big, fat understatement. ;)
I became a SAHM in January because my previous employer changed their company policy in regard to medical insurance benefits (which affected me negatively). It has been a big gift to stay-at-home with my girls and I'm ever so grateful to my husband for allowing me to do so (working harder and more).
And it's time. The girls need preschool and new friends. They need a good, structured environment, and I'm ready for some adult conversation!
So as you can imagine we have been touring, hunting, and interviewing different local preschools. Which has been fun, yet hard. Ava has been exploring each new school and Emma sticks by my side. It's a huge adjustment for everyone, but it is time.
It's been a while!!!
Happy October and happy fall, my fellow blogger friends!
I won't complain how life has thrown us curveballs or how insane it has been. But I will leave you with a pumpkin patch photo. :)
My husband took the girls to a great pumpkin patch an hour away. It has a corn maze, tons of pumpkins from their own fields, train rides, a scarecrow contest and ride, and much more! I love going every year, but couldn't make it since I attended a burial service for my dear cousin.
Are you ready for Halloween?! What are your kids going to be??
Ava is going to be Silvermist, the blue fairy from Tinkerbell's crew ($10 score at Target!) and Emma is going to be Strawberry Shortcake again.
Ava was a preemie. She barely fit into her preemie clothes when she was born. And what mom thinks to buy or even wash the newborn, let alone, preemie clothes from the baby shower?
Well, a great organization that I follow and support is hosting its first preemie and newborn clothing exchange. Interested? You can send gently used clothing to:
Sweet Pea Exchange
86 Hanover Avenue
Pawtucket RI 02861
Disneyland! I waited my whole life to go to Disneyland with my own kids. And people are right, Disneyland with your kids is awesome!
There's something more magical in the air..... The atmosphere is more magical, even the air smells better.
I'm here to say that despite what numerous authors on the internet say, you can do Disneyland in one day.... with two kids under 3 years old. You can! I promise! It just takes some planning, a lot of snacks, and a lot of patience!
My top 10 ways to do Disneyland in a day:
1. Get to the park early with a full belly of breakfast. Grab breakfast in your hotels' lobby, at Denny's which us right across the street, or pack a brown bag.
2. Pack lots of snacks in your stroller in a backpack. And over pack! Bring twice the amount, because as you wait for rides, to meet princesses for parades, you will hear 'I'm hungry!' Make sure you have at least one snack that has some sort of fruit in it.
3. Bring refillable water bottles. There are a couple of water fountains throughout the park.
4. Pick up a map. Plan the day around things like shows and parades for some down time for the tots. It will be nice to sit for everyone and to watch the entertainment. Then you can scope out the bathrooms, water fountains,etc.
5. Bring a stroller. Even if you don't use one in normal life. You will be thankful to yourself. It's a place to put the snacks, tired kids and treasures you buy along the way.
6. Go with the flow of what your child wants to do. Even though you may want to meet Rapunzel and may have to wait 75+ minutes in line to see her long mane, but does your child really want to see her?!
7. The Princess Faire is really worth the hour plus wait. There are three princesses waiting happily to spend a minute or three with your child. You can take as many pictures and video as you would like without seeing the pressure of a long line. It's precious one-on-one time with the real deal. Same with Pixie Hollow to meet the fairies and Tinkerbell.
8. Make sure each child eats and has a rest period during the day. Snacking and eating sweets is fun, but real food keeps little bodies going and non-cranky. A rest period of a show or a meal in a restaurant could be ideal, but so could a stop at a bench or watching the little ducks right outside of Frontier Land.
9. Fast passes are available to all guests and could be used to go on rides that are very popular at a shorter wait time. Just remember to hang onto everyone's tickets. Also, there's a system in place for both parents to ride a favorite ride even with little kids.
10. Have fun! Remember you don't have to do EVERYTHING that day. There's a lifetime to make another trip to Disneyland in the future. And it keeps the magic alive for the next trip and something to look forward to!
Was it the funny eyes? My frizzy hair? Or the cute moments captured of our girls?
I want to direct you to a fabulous photographer in the East Bay part of the Bay Area. It's a husband and wife team, Julie and Luke, and Julie is just wonderful!
Check out how she made our little family a little famous on her cute blog, by clicking over to Julie and Luke Photography.
So we have decided to save the money we don't really have for preschool and teach the girls at home. I know that preschool is important for structure, socialization, and to get ready for school. But I think our set up will do just great! The girls did attend a home day care/preschool so I feel they learned so much there in regards to playing, sharing and songs I don't even know.
I'm excited! And so are the girls. As of today they love calling me "teacher."
I printed out work sheets that look a lot like the ones our preschool/day care used and will start with the alphabet. We are apart of a great playgroup that meets weekly.
And to give myself more confidence, I did get a special certification in early childhood education. So I got this. If I'm going to be home, I must make the most of these precious toddler and preschool moments. And those will be teaching my girls.
Today is the day!
Happy 4th birthday to you, Ava!
Happy 3rd birthday to you, Emma!
Now to eat ice cream at breakfast, thank you Black Bear Diner. :) Pick up stuff for their party. Shop. Eat birthday cake! And snuggle my girls. Oh and stalk the Sprout channel to see if their birthday message pops up!
Hello! Here for a quick post... Life has been a little, um, crazy?! Girls birthday is in two sleeps, party in four.
Lucy had surgery yesterday. So my love/hates are as follows:
I LOVE you Lucy.
I HATE that you had to have surgery yesterday.
I LOVE your vet, Lucy.
I HATE that the tumor she took out was the size of a softball.
I LOVE that we found a vet hospital that has been so loving and understanding (and affordable!).
I HATE that you still have the cancer that entered your lymph nodes.
I LOVE you Lucy.
I love summertime.
I hate the 100+ degree heat.
I love my girls and how smart little girls they are growing into.
I hate that they aren't babies anymore. I hate that their little cubby little thighs are gone.
I appreciate the $1 movies local theaters are providing.
I hate that we had to leave two theaters today because they were sold out.
I love Redbox for saving the day.
I love connecting with old friends ...especially ones that share their free zoo passes.
I hate that we don't get to catch up the entire time, while we chase our littles around.
Want to play along? Visit Noel at Beautiful Life here.
Hi little buddy. Please stop throwing your fur everywhere. Thanks.
And I will protect you from the fireworks. I'll make sure you stay inside. But please don't hide under Emma's bed. She is sometimes impossible to get to sleep...and last night you were the cause!
Your fur mom
Thank you for hanging in there despite the recent diagnosis. I'm still so heartbroken over it, but so happy you are feeling good and acting like your 8 1/2 year old puppy self.
Your fur mommy
Linking up with Noel at Beautiful Life. Want play along, you have all month!
Flashback, goodie, I found of Lucy and Ava when she was .... One? Right after Emma was born.
I'm linking up this week once again for my free therapy session with Noel at Beautiful Life. Want to join, visit her. It will make you happy!
I LOVE the naptime after a long playdate at the park with great friends.
I HATE that the girls will be up late because of said nap.
I LOVE my friends.
I HATE that we can't see each other everyday.
I LOVE that my girls get to have a lot of toys.
I HATE that it creates such a mess ... In seconds.
I'm much more cheesy nowadays. My girls' birthday is a month away. They are growing up. They are getting big. And will be in school before I know it. I am reminded how much this time is important with them now because of these things.
The cuddling. The hugs. The pleas for "just mommy."
I'm loving it.
But what tests my nerves is the whining. The fussiness of of an almost 4 year old. The stubborn almost 3 year old.
Is it just me? Or do I have zero patience? Do my neighbors think I'm crazy?!
My note to myself is to enjoy these days. Enjoy the frustrating and joyous moments with my girls.
I LOVE a clean house.
I HATE cleaning it in hot weather (sweating at 9:30 a.m., no thanks.)
I LOVE taking the girls to the public pool in their new cute suits, with new pink googles, to cool off.
I HATE the big, splashy kids in the kiddie area.
I LOVE days off with my husband.
I HATE the eve of his first day back.
I LOVE my dog.
I HATE that she won't stop shedding.
I am pleased to announce my very first guest post from Katie who blogs at Moore From Katie. She's written a great post about nutrition while being pregnant. But these are great tips for anyone! Enjoy!
Healthy Nutrition Tips for Pregnant Mothers
If you’re an expecting mother, you know that what you eat during pregnancy helps your baby grow and develop; committing to a balanced and nutritious diet goes with the territory. However, what constitutes a healthy diet for women in general is not sufficient during pregnancy.
When it comes to your diet, maintaining a healthy weight only means to add approximately 300 calories daily during the final two trimesters to accommadate your growing child. Before making too many changes to your diet, consult with your doctor. Not only will your doctor provide helpful information about your delivery options, like pain management and umbilical cord blood banking, but he or she should be apprised of all your small changes to your diet.
Dietary Needs During Pregnancy
Grains: Many women experience a drop in energy as they progress into their second and third trimesters. Getting the carbohydrates you need to keep your energy level normal is more important than ever during this time. Grains are a primary nutritional source of carbs, and whole grains are the most complete source for mid-pregnancy energy. Replacing white bread with whole wheat, white rice with brown and plain pasta with whole wheat varieties are healthy choices.
Vegetables: Pregnancy is a prime time to make your peace with leafy green vegetables. Red lettuce, broccoli and spinach provide folate, an essential nutrient in pregnancy. Even if you are taking folic acid, make sure to include these greens.
Fruits: Fruits provide a variety of vitamins that are important during pregnancy. To be sure that you get a well-rounded supply, eat a variety of your favorites and try new ones too. Remember that eating the fruit rather than drinking fruit juice provides more dietary fiber for digestion and fewer calories.
Protein: Your baby needs a constant source of protein to grow. Meat, chicken, seafood, eggs and legumes will deliver vitamins and iron to your baby.
Dairy: Your baby's bone and teeth development depends on your intake of calcium. Drinking low-fat milk with meals is a good habit. If you are lactose intolerant, try calcium fortified soy milk, yogurt and some cheeses (just make sure they are pasturized).
Water: Water helps the nutrients you eat reach your developing baby. It can also prevent or ease any constipation and swelling caused by pregnancy. A pregnant woman should drink about 10 cups of water or fluids a day.
By paying attention to good nutrition during pregnancy, you can give your baby what he or she needs to grow and develop. You can make some healthy changes to your diet that will not only be good for your baby, but good for your body as well.
Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.
My girls are so lucky to have their father as their daddy. He is loving, sweet, funny, playful and considerate. He loves fully from his heart of gold and he looks forward to his days off when he gets to spend it with his girls.
He has always, always taken care of his girls when I had to go to work. With a smile and with a full heart of love. He would look forward to his daddy-only days. He would deal with projectile spit up, crying, and moody toddlers. And with the primarily breastfed baby who would scream while given a bottle. And he even handled having two babies at once better than I.
From day one, he has loved being a daddy. Every stage. Every milestone. He has cherished it all. And I am so thankful and happy that he is the daddy of my children and my husband.
We love you and can't wait to celebrate tomorrow (retail sales doesn't care what day a holiday is, the show must go on!).
Happy Father's Day to all!
Follow or play along with No..el at Beautiful Life. It's fun and free therapy!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE ice cream.
I HATE the calories it contains.
I LOVE taking my girls to the park.
I HATE the bullies at the park.
I LOVE my whole entire family.
I HATE family drama.
I LOVE babies. The way they smell, coo, sound, etc.
I HATE that we cannot have anymore.
I LOVE picnics in the backyard.
I HATE the bugs that join you on your beautiful picnic.
*gimme a caption to that photo. :)
If you would like a tiny therapy session, head over to Noel's Beautiful Life and join in on this fun and simple Love/Hate link up!
I LOVE spring time, almost summer time here in California.
I HATE the hot weather. 90+ is too too hot for late May, early June.
I LOVE morning time snuggles.
I HATE the 6:30 a.m. wake-up call.
I LOVE my garden and all that we've kept alive and what's still growing (tomatoes, asparagus, pumpkins, strawberries, red bell peppers,onions).
I HATE the mystery animal that keeps plucking off the almost ripe strawberries. (You are disappointing my girls!)
I LOVED seeing my baby/my oldest/my miracle on stage at her recital.
I HATED that the dance co dipped deep into my wallet for everything. I've name it, "take all your money time."
1. When is your birthday?
2. What's the best advice your mom ever gave you?
Besides teaching me about leaving things at God's feet, these words have always stuck with me..... "Money is just paper."
3. What's your number one weakness when it comes to food?
Ice cream. I love it.
4. What's the latest recipe you've tried and loved?
Pioneer Woman's Chicken Florentine Pasta
5. What is your favorite post from last month?
To My Girls
6. What's your drink of choice in the summer?
Iced tea or iced coffee from home
7. What's the best advice your dad ever gave you?
Work hard and be a good business person by not ripping off your customers. He works his tail off, and gives from his heart.
8. What is God teaching you right now?
Strength and patience. Always patience.
9. What are you looking forward to most about the summer?
10. What is your favorite picture from last month? (May)
First trip to Disneyland with the girls!!!!
If you want to play along with a letter to you pet(s), visit Noel st her blog, Noel's Beautiful Life here.
You were my first baby, my fur baby. You are the best dog in the entire world. It makes me sad everyday knowing what has made you sick.
Recently we found the reason why your toenail fell off is because you have cancer. It hurts my heart to know that we cannot afford to put you through whatever it will take to *try* and cure it. Nor would we put you through that because it would you make you so sick and unhappy.
You are taking the cone around your head and the medicine to get rid of the toe infection like a rockstar.
You still continue to love us just like you always have. Pick up your toys in your mouth, despite the cone. Wag your tail like a puppy when we get home. Embrace the girls and the love, pets, pats and dress-up time they give you. And you lay on our laps when we cry for the absence that will be when you are in heaven.
I love you so much, my Lucy Lou. You have been such an amazing dog that I could of never dreamed of when we had the girls. I am treasuring every moment with you and will allow the girls to give you the fifty million biscuits they want to give you.
Your human mama
I'm linking up with Noel at Noel's Beautiful Life in her first Love/Hate link up.
I LOVE my kids more than life.
But I HATE the messes they make and their non listening skills.
I LOVE Disneyland.
But I HATE the drive home from Disneyland.
I LOVE my friends.
I HATE how much effort it takes to see them or connect with them sometimes.
I LOVE my sweet pup, Lucy.
I HATE HATE HATE how her age/health is getting in the way of her living.
Want to join this love-hate link up?! You will love it, I promise. Click here.
On Mother's Day weekend.. I celebrate my wonderful mom and my girls, and my husband who made me a momma!
My girls shape me into a better person daily and have shown me what true, unconditional love is.
My mom is the best. She has always been there, prepared me for what to expect during each milestone of my life (moving out, becoming a wife and a mom), and always has the "yes, that's normal" response when I think I'm doing something wrong as a mom. I'm not sure where I would be here in this mommyhood world without her.
And my husband too! For making me a mommy and for always being the voice of reason in the most perfect, gentlest way... When I need a break or when I question myself.
Happy Mother's Day!!!