Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's Hard to Believe...

I really can't believe my little girl is going to be ONE in six short weeks. The time has really flown by.

I remember thinking, after my son was born, that it took forever for him to reach this momentous milestone. I am not sure why, but I couldn't wait for him to turn one. I guess I felt like if I could get him that far, maybe I could actually handle this mothering thing. I feel bad now, rushing all those precious moments, but I couldn't help it. I remember not being able to wait until I could read the next chapter in What To Expect The First Year and get my monthly e-mails from Baby Center.

Now, this second time around, it has gone way faster than I imagined and wanted. I am pretty sure I am not going to do this I want her to stay a little baby just a wee bit longer. While I will be happy to put my pump in permanent storage and not be tied to the house for two naps, there is just something so precious about a baby.

As only babies do...I love when she reaches her chubby little arms in the air for me to pick her up and when she rubs her big blue eyes when she is tired. I love laying her down in her crib and watching her roll over, cuddling her little "lovie" and the HUGE smile on her face when I go in her room first thing in the morning. I love kissing her 10,000 times a day, since she is just too little to tell me to "stop pease."

Since I also know what fun lies ahead, I do look forward to our future together. I am counting down the days until we can get mani/pedis and hit the stores and I know my mom can't wait until we can do tea at The American Girl!  But, for these next six weeks, I plan to treasure all the baby moments that I can.

Thank goodness my brother's son will be born in April -- that should tide me over in the baby department...for a while!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

We're In It Together, Right?

So, my excitement over my story being published on the "Safer Chemicals, Healthy Family" Web site was extremely short lived. When I visited the sites Facebook page, I was met by comments, like this:

"ok, so she wants the govt to change legislation so that her "tide" will have to be made less toxic ie..more natural? am I reading this right? Because she didn't like the "natural" versions? there are a million great natural versions of laundry detergent that all come in great qty and great prices and work great, I've used them or known plenty that do. And they work WAY better than any of the conventional junk. Sorry but I just don't understand her point, besides not wanting her kid to eat it."

"I am just trying to get my head around 42 loads of laundry..." (it was an exaggeration, lady!)

"There's no reason why any laundry (or personal care) product should be toxic. Even the so called natural ones are made with solvent extracted ingredients. And what one person chooses to use affects everyone else around them, as entire neighborhoods are polluted when these chemicals are spewed out of dryer vents."

Woa, people. This reminded me when I went online to do research on Organic formula options in case I needed to supplement. I actually read comments from people pretty much calling me and people like me the devil for actually even considering formula. My heart ached for the women who went into these chat rooms for advice on breastfeeding because they were having trouble and people were just vicious and judgmental.

Aren't we all just doing the best that we can? Aren't we all just trying to raise our kids as happy and healthy as possible? And, aren't we supposed to be helpful and supportive of others trying to do the same?

At the end of the day, being so judgmental isn't going to help their cause. We are all just doing the very best we can and we should all be in it together!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Toxic Chemical Reform...and well, me!

It is official...I have been published.  No, its not the USA Today or People...but I am proud!  And, to boot, it is for a good cause.  Check it out...  It is on the front page...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

For My Dad

Since I have the best dad in the world, it's hard for me to ignore his request to "come up with a new nickname for my first grandchild."  I guess he thinks Mad Dog isn't quite endearing enough for his grandson.  Since I have repeatedly ingored his pleas for my kids to call him "Bob" or "Coach"...I will comply with this request.

I am a nickname person and I have a lot of them for my son:  monkey, mister, little man and tons of version of his name shortened or legnthened depending on my mood (and his!).  But, for the sake of this, I will use his initials, MDB.  He can't get mad at me for that when he is older, right?!?

I am beyond thankful that my dad loves my kids so much...happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It Takes A Village

The recent daylights savings really wreaked havoc on my the family's precious sleep.  And, not being the brighest tools in the shed, we also decided this would be the perfect time to transition Mad Dog from his crib to a bed.  I know, I know...not smart.  Needless to say, it was an ugly couple of weeks.  My son, who was a pretty great sleeper...was out of bed a hundred times, would finally fall asleep from sheer exhaustion, but would either wake in the middle of the night and/or get up at the crack of dawn.  He was cranky and frankly, so was I. 

I knew I needed help when I was actually dreading going home from work and dealing with the never-ending bed time routine night-after-night.  So, I did what every mother would do...cried for help from my Facebook "friends."  It was either that or military school. 

Shockingly, I received over 25 comments.  For one, I felt better knowing this was a normal part of toddler development and secondly, because they truly did save the day!  I took all their advice but nothing worked as well as this glorious invention...

Let me introduce you to The Good Nite LiteWhere was this in the 2,000 parenting/sleep books I read? 

In a nutshell, the night light is a softly glowing blue moon through the night which turns into a sun in the morning.  You can pre-set the times you want your child to go to sleep and when its okay to get up in the morning.  The first night, he was excited to get a new night light, kissed it goodnight and went to sleep.  (Note...this light isn't that good.  While we were waiting for the light to arrive, we did use some of the other advice we got (if you want it, let me know!), I just think this light sealed the deal!)

He woke up at 5 am the next morning and started screaming.  I used the intercom on his monitor (whatever, I didn't feel like walking up the stairs) to softly explain that he couldn't come down until the sun came up.  Although he did cry for a bit, he FELL BACK TO SLEEP!  The next day and ever since, he has been going to sleep without any issues and when he wakes up he chats/sings until the light turns yellow.  I can't help but smile when I hear him say, "Mommy, it turned yellow and orange, come get me!"  I am going to try and set it for 10 am on the weekends and see what happens...just kidding!

So, there is something to be said about it taking a village to raise kids.  I guess, as we enter 2010, the village now equals Facebook.  Whatever, I'll take it!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sometimes (and I mean sometimes), husbands know best!

At some point over the weekend, I was sitting on the bed, rattling off all of the reasons I was worried about the trip to Michigan for Thankgiving weekend.  Since the hubs has been listening to me worry/obsess/re-obsess for 10+ years, I can really never tell if he is listening, in agreement or just generally thinks I'm nuts.  While I am pretty sure it is the latter, that didn't stop me from badgering him with question after question...where will Mad-Dog sleep now that he is in a big bed?  What if the fridge is too stuffed and I can't bring all of Lulu Belle's gluten free food?   What if Lulu-Belle doesn't sleep in the car?  What if Mad Dog doesn't nap?  What if, what if, what if...

My darling husband, just looked at me and said, "Don't Spend Your Whole Life Worrying About Your Whole Life." 

Well, there.

Be Fri and St Ends Forever

I don't have a sister, but what I do have is pretty darn close!  WMZ and I have been friends since we were 2 (with naked pictures to prove it) and have been through it all together -  fun times, sad times and plenty of adolescent-angst to go around.  At some point during our 30 years of friendship, we layed side-by-side on the carpet in the back of her mom's station wagon and made plans for our future, sounding something like..."when we grow up, we will marry best friends"...

Does this dream ever come true?  Well in our case, IT WILL!  One of my best friends is going to marry one of my husbands best friends -- you don't get any better than that!  Well, unless we live next door to each other with white picket fences and a underground tunnel so we can come and go as we please and...

Her pending nuptuals have got me thinking about my high school.  I married someone from HFHS, as did my brother and my husbands brother.  Now WMZ will too.  Aside from the four of us, I can count 12 other couples.  That is 16 total, and there are probably more.  I wonder if other high schools are as incestual as ours?  Must have been something in the water...

Congratulations and I can't wait to share this joyful time with you!  Welcome to the world of hockey wives!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Precious Memories Never Die

I had the pleasure of watching one of my oldest friends get married this weekend.  As she walked down the aisle, I couldn't help but remember the day we met and how I knew instantly, at 8 years old, that we would be friends forever.  Her wedding was special -- not only because she found her soul mate -- but because I could see the happiness and love in her eyes.  What more could I ask for?

This joyful occasion also gave me the chance to re-connect with my camp friends.  These visits, while never often/long enough, are the times I crave and look forward to more than most anything in the world.  Being with these women, still, after all these years, instantly transports me back to some of the happiest, care-free times in my life.  There is something so special about my summer sisters.  We pick up right where we left off, no matter how much time has passed. 

Posie's wedding also gave me the chance to spend time with an old counselor and camp sisters (who, by the way, have grown into such beautiful women.  I felt like a proud mommy...even though they were only a few years younger than me.)  If you went to camp, you would understand!  Whenever I spend time with my camp friends, it makes me want to pick up and move to be closer to them, closer to the memories. 

More than anything, now that I have a little girl, I hope/pray/dream she gets to experience this, well, magic!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

To My Better Half

Today is our 4th wedding anniversary.  Ok, so I know it isn't the BIGGEST milestone, but it is to us.  A lot has happened in four years, including the birth of our two beautiful kids, which has tested our love more than we could have imagined and solidified our love more than we could have imagined.  So, happy anniversary to my, absolutely, without question, better half.  Here is why I continue to love you more and more everyday:

10.  Your jokes, the ones I have been hearing since high school, still make me laugh.  While I might not let you see it all the time and act annoyed, you can always make me smile!
9.  You always seem to know the right thing to say to make me feel better or put things in perspective. 
8.  You are kind and loyal.  I know it and so do your legions of friends who would do anything for you.
7.  You watch TV on mute, even when I go to sleep at 8:15 p.m.  But, when I can't sleep and turn on the TV with the sound, you are ok with it (or at least pretend to be!)
6.  You love my parents and brother like your own.  And, you would do anything for your parents and brothers!  It is another example of your devotion to family and I couldn't ask for more.
5.  You work so hard to provide for our family.  I know I take it for granted, but I want you to know I appreciate all your efforts, including the dreaded budget.
4.  You like to spa, go on "do nothing," fancy vacations, gamble, go out to dinner (and order dessert), watch HGTV, bum on the couch for hours and do fun stuff with the kids -- all the things I love to do.  Ok, so you don't like shopping, but I can live with that!
3.  You don't sweat the small stuff and always think before you speak/act.  I admire this about you so much.
2.  There is NO better Dad in the world.  My heart fills with love when I think about you with our children.  Your devotion to our famliy is evident and amazing!  
1.  You put up with me...all of me.  I know that I don't always make life easy and worry about things you didn't even realize people worried about -- but never a day goes by that I question your love and devotion.

Happy anniversary to the best husband in the world!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Eggs, Toast and Tide!

Honestly, I never really used to read labels or worry about things like chemicals in my conditioner or poison in my plastics.  To me, if the house smelled like bleach it meant that it was clean, if it whitened/de-wrinkled/smoothed/skinnified then it was worth the potential side effects and whatever the microwave did that could heat a dish in 14 seconds flat was genius. 

However, Jenny McCarthy changed all that for me when Mad Dog was about 4 months old.  She scared the bejezzus out of me -- and all Oprah-watching moms out there -- that in the process of trying to protect our children from deadly diseases with vaccines we were injecting poison into their little bodies giving them a greater risk of autism.  Oh no, not scary.  Not scary at all.

Fast forward 2 years and I am a little neurotic about the whole thing.  I worry about the foods my family eats, (I am already having anxiety about the Halloween candy and how to convince my son the Organic chocolate I will be giving him is just as good as the stuff the neighbors dish out), what I put on their skin (I highly recomend California Baby) and toys they play with.  I can literally see the lead entering Lulu's bloodstream when she chews on one of the dog's toys. 

What got me started on this ranting and raving today?  My son drank a wee-bit of Tide this morning.  I have literally painstakenly rid my house of any and all chemicals...except, of course, for the laundry detergent.  The "green" stuff just didn't work as well for the 42 loads of laundry we do a week.  Why couldn't he have taken a swig of the dish soap made of moss or the glass spray specially formulated from salt.  Sigh.

All kidding aside, the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Family organization is doing some really great things to raise awareness and support for folks trying to make this world we live in a little safer.  I was especially inspired by this blog post today:

Take a moment to read it and if you feel obliged, click on one of the links on the right to show your support.  Perhaps then, when a little boy in a future generation drinks some Tide for breakfast...his Mom won't have to worry because it will be a little safer!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I am pretty sure I have never needed a vacation as badly as I do now.  I am also pretty sure I have said that before ANY vacation I have taken.  But, seriously, it has been way too long since a few uninterupted days of adult time.  There have been some trips, but trips = kids and vacations do not! 

I know I need a vacation because I am already dreading coming back.  Typical me.  Heaven forbid I live in the moment and enjoy it...I already have to think about what's next.   

Yep, we are headed to Las Vegas with four other couples.  They are normally friends we hang out with, with all the kids.  We start conversations but never finish them because a little person is needing/hitting/getting into something.  It will be really nice to hang out without the kids.  I am, admitdely a little nervous too.  I sometimes feel left out because their kids are older than ours and well, I really, really don't want to get in a bathing suit in front of other human beings.  Its like HS all over again. 

But, we are going and I need it.  My parents have graciously "given up" their home, solitude, routine and (shhh, don't tell them)... sleep to take the kids so we can get away.  I know a lot of other parents that aren't as lucky as we are.  Trust me, I don't take that for granted. 

So, one week from today...with breast pump in tow, its Vegas Baby, Vegas!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Welcome to My World

I guess I never thought it would happen to me.  I heard stories from moms, saying they actually couldn't remember what their life was like before they had kids.  At the time, I remember thinking...could life really change that much?  Yeah, it does and yeah, I don't really remember what it was like not to have kids.  But, what I do remember, is what it was like to only have one!  I remember thinking how hard my days/nights were, how exhausting it was to come home from work for my "night" job, how leaving the house was next to impossible and if I was EVER going to get my precious 10 hours of sleep a night again...and WHAM, number 2 was born!  Now, I laugh, because those days were a breeze!

My kids are 22 months apart.  That wasn't exactly the plan, but I wouldn't change it for the world. 

But, as I sprinted to my son's room this morning at 5:04 a.m. to stop him from screaming my name at the top of his lungs so he wouldn't wake the baby all while trying to convince him to go back to sleep by showing him it was still dark outside (didn't work, by the way) and finally getting him settled into our bed watching Handy Manny...I started to drift off to sleep and was slammed back to reality with the coos of the little one waking for the day.  And, as I sat at the kitchen counter watching my son dump the entire box of Cascadian Farms Purely O's on the counter, while spooning the pureed pears into Lulu Belle's mouth AND trying to hold my breast pump in place with my thigh...I was reminded how boring life used to be! 

So yeah, there is a lot to motherhood that the books didn't prepare me for.  But, they also didn't prepare me for the heartwarming, nothing-feels-this-good sensation I felt when my little baby girl waved goodbye to me for the first time today as I was leaving for work.