Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ABC Wednesday - K - Kids

I know, Kids....easy one but it was really hard to pick just one picture out of the 55,000 on my computer. Here are my two and my girlfriend's two youngest. I love taking pictures of kids together. There is always so much personality in them because you can never get them all to look at the same time.

Wordless Wednesday

Join Wordless Wednesday or come see some more pictures here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I was very surprised this morning when I saw I was tagged by CrazyNLove Mom. Who knew?
I am honored to be tagged by anyone but especially someone I don't know.

Eight Facts About Me:

1) I am for the most part uncomfortably truthful.

2) I would die for my children.

3) I am girly but goth. I like dark drapes and dark walls but I also love Shabby Chic with tons of florals. My two personalities never do battle, they are both very calm and relaxed.

4) I have two sisters but most people don't know about one of them.

5) I can't take enough pictures. I need to document every moment.

6) My husband was my "boy toy" so it always shocks me that we are married 11 years this year.

7) My husband and I have a wonderful balanced relationship. We rarely fight. I can probably count 3 - 6 in the past 11 years or 16 if you could the dating.

8) I wish I had a better relationship with my in-laws. They are from Spain and sometimes things get lost in translation.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Monochrome Monday - Hiding In Plain Sight

Well you're not like anyone else
(You're not like anyone)
You're just an instant flash of light
That shines... - Stevie Nicks
My daughter is my personal muse. I love taking pictures of her and she loves having her picture taken.
She constantly poses herself. This was a pose she decided on with a "mommy take my picture." We were waiting
my son to finish his gymnastics and she wanted to "play" with him so badly. In her boredom she took refuge in a
shoe cubby and sat. I got the camera and started to take pictures of her.  Behold, the genius that is my daughter.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

WIP Meme - Week In Pictures

Join my lonely meme and create a running, photo diary of your week.

I am trying to create a legacy for my children and Photos are the best way. When I look back at my childhood photo albums I wish my mom was around to tell me the details of the photo like:

Where we were going?
What was happening?
How old was I?
Who are those people?

Scrapping is a great way because you get some photos and some journaling, but who has time for that these days?

JOIN THIS MEME by adding the button to your post and coming back to comment so that I can come see yours. You can find the button and link on my side bar

September 21, 2008 - I got my daughter the cutest rag doll outfit last year for this year but it is too small. Doesn't it figure. She was only wearing 12-18 months last year and shot up this year to a 2T-3T. This is a 2T but damn I should have gotten 3.

September 22, 2008 - This is a costume she wore on her 2nd Halloween, and it still fits! Go figure.

September 23, 2008 - I used the video camera this day!

September 24, 2008 - Here is my baby. Come on, could she make my heart swell an bigger? She loves her preschool and wants to go every day. All dressed up with a little hand-me-down backpack she can't wait for those school doors to open.

September 25, 2008 - My favorite man and my favorite 3 year old were having a very educational moment. More on this cute moment this week.

September 26, 2008 - Indoor picnics are big in this house. My kids think anytime you place a blanket on the floor it is called a picnic. This was their first time watching Super Why and they were loving it. They actually asked me to take this picture and you will never hear this photographer complain. Ok, it's not the best composition but my camera has been having trouble with it's shutter, so I press and hope for the best.

Camera Critters - The Praying Mantis

Camera Critters

Sometimes Lining Up Toys Is Just That!

I recently searched out lining up toys and was quite discouraged to find that everyone who spoke about their child lining up toys was concerned about this being normal.

I checked out the 3 bigger sites (National Autism Association, First Signs, Autism Society of America) for Autism information and symptoms and found nothing regarding lining things in their signs and symptoms information.

Why does lining up toys have to amount to anything? If you look around kids see things lined up all around them. Cars on the road, cars in parking lots, people walking on the sidewalk, baking that we do at home, groceries on shelves. Having things lined up is just being orderly.

This is not to say that lining things up is not a sign of a bigger problem but if it isn't coupled up with a whole lot of other symptoms such as milestones not being met or other more blatant signs than hold your concern.

There has been so much lining up toys in this house over the years but honestly, lining up things is just ONE trait out of many that points to Autism.

(She told me that they were having a parade)

(She said, that they were all going to the "barm" or farm)

(They wanted to watch Blue's Clues with her)

(They are all waiting to hug the bunny)

My daughter was a very early talker and she was able to tell me what she was doing. My son who started Early Intervention at 23 months and now is in speech and OT working on his lisp and his grip (all connected to his speech delay) used to put things in lines too. Some people told me he was autistic when he was 23 months old. The reason? He was lining things up! Give me a break. You can see the beginning here. He is doing great, the lining ended right around the time it started.

I started researching all things related to Autism when he was 23 months. Always concerned, always watching, always worried but never stressed. I wanted to make sure that when people talked I had the answers. Educate yourself. Read everything. Talk to your pediatrician but in the long run, make sure you are armed with the knowledge to get your child the best possible care. Early intervention is important but don't let people tell you that lining up toys is a RED FLAG to Autism! I did that! I wish now that I had been stronger to tell them to "F" off. I was so shocked that someone had thrown the autism word out after discussing my son lining things up. If this is the case than all of my friends who line up their kitchen spices or refrigerator supplies in alaphabetical order should get evaluated now.

People with autism also process and respond to information in unique ways. In some cases, aggressive and/or self-injurious behavior may be present. Persons with autism may also exhibit some of the following traits:

* Insistence on sameness; resistance to change
* Difficulty in expressing needs; using gestures or pointing instead of words
* Repeating words or phrases in place of normal, responsive language
* Laughing (and/or crying) for no apparent reason;
* Preference to being alone; aloof manner
* Tantrums
* Difficulty in mixing with others
* Not wanting to cuddle or be cuddled
* Little or no eye contact
* Unresponsive to normal teaching methods
* Sustained odd play
* Spinning objects
* Obsessive attachment to objects
* Apparent over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to pain
* No real fears of danger
* Noticeable physical over-activity or extreme under-activity
* Uneven gross/fine motor skills
* Non-responsive to verbal cues

Know the signs. Go to Autism Speaks for more information.

EDUCATE YOURSELF and know that lining toys up is not the blanket of doom!!!!

Cuteness by Goddess

The other day my 3 year old Goddess took a much needed afternoon nap. Naps are a rare occurrence in this house unless you are the 36 year old Teach who takes one at least 4 times a week.

When The Teach came out to tell me that she had fallen asleep I was concerned. She had dance in 1 hour and since she loves it I really wanted her to go. If not, I would probably spend the next 7 days listening to her ask about it.

I tried to wake her, "Do you want to go to dance?"

"Yes." But she never opened her eyes.

I woke her 2 1/2 hours later worried about bed time.

Bed time came and she went to bed. Probably because this house at bed time is run like a ship. Lights get turned off, milk gets offered, teeth are brushed, piggy back rides to bed, prayers, kisses and a good-night, I love you, see you in the morning.

I was shocked and elated because Dancing With The Stars was starting and I could watch without interruption. Well, it was good until 15 minutes later the Goddess poked her head in my room and said, "I didn't kiss Handsome good-night."

We took her in to kiss a sleeping Handsome and put her back to bed.

15 minutes later, she poked her head in and said, "Can you turn off my light? It's too bright."

This was the first time I had had this request. She has never slept without a light.

I turned it off as she requested. Kissed her good-night and got back to DWTS.

10 Minutes later she came in and said, "Can you find my lantern? It's too dark."

Leading her back to bed, I gave her the Barbie lantern that sits on her shelf. Again, I kissed her and headed back to DWTS.

The next 5 minutes she came out to ask for the potty and a drink.

It was going on 8:45 when The Teach led a wide awake Goddess into the room saying, "why don't you just let her sit with you."

Ummm...well basically because I was watching TV and reading and why can't you let her sit with you??????

I didn't say any of that. Instead I said, "ummmm...ok."

She sat next to me on the edge of the bed talking about how her brother was sleeping. Why was I watching this show and what are those people doing? I shhhh'd her every second because it was late, I wanted to be alone, I was missing what the judges were saying, and her brother was asleep and I wanted to keep it that way.

She can't stop talking or whisper so I was getting more annoyed at her until....

She put her head on my arm as she sat next to me and said, "Mommy, you are my very best friend."

Awwwww....my heart grew 10 times it's size and I told her, "awwww, you are my very best friend too honey."

At 10:00 p.m. I shut the TV and we went to sleep holding hands.

Love her!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Amateur Movie Review - Then She Found Me

I was privileged enough to review a DVD through from Family Review Network. I love watching movies because honestly it is a rare occurrence in my life these days.

I heard Bette Midler was in the movie and signed on very quickly. If Bette is there, so am I.

Then I heard this was the directorial debut of Helen Hunt. Interesting! Who didn't love her in Mad About You?

Ok, the movie, yeah I am a chronic digressor.

The movie is about April (Helen Hunt), a NY kindergarten teacher who is approaching 40. With her biological clock ticking she learns she is pregnant by her juvenielle soon to be ex-husband (Matthew Broderick) after she falls in love with Mr. Right (Colin Firth).

The "Then She Found Me" part pertains to April's bioloical mom (Bette Midler) who finds her after April's adoptive mom (the only mom she ever knew) dies.

The movie a total chick flick touches on (biological clocks, adoption, artificial insemination, and the rights of birth mothers. There are great performances by the all star cast, but it was very soap operaish to me.

The movie is a supposed comedy but I didn't see it as one. I thought the story was good, very realistic, great cast, strong performances, and a good overall message. After saying that, this is not a movie that will stick with me long after the next movie comes along.

Chotskies gives this a 3 out of 5 star rating.


Sky Watch

Photo Friday - Spontaneous

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Friday Fill In

1. Seeing my kids in Halloween costumes are some of the things I'm most looking forward to in October.

2. Sometimes I just want to be.

3. I just might and that's why there is a saying, "never say never"!

4. When I'm down, I phone a friend.

5. With my husband and kids is where you'll find me most often.

6. A rainy day is good for staying in without the guilt.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to staying up late tomorrow my plans include getting my kids to participate in soccer and Sunday, I want to go back to church.

Thursday Challenge - BIG

Join Thursday Challenge

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

3 Year Olds Are Cute

The other day the Goddess was making sounds in the car with her mouth.

I am always concerned about choking so I asked her if she was OK.

She said, "that was me. I made the sound with my mouth. I have a "bless you" up my nose!"

Oh my God, I just wanted to pull the car over to hug her. She makes me so happy with her cute little toddler sweetness.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ABC Wednesday - JUMPING

Anytime your hair is flying, you are having a good time.

Check out ABC Wednesday to see the alphabet in photo form.

Wordless Wednesday - Cool Wall

My son loves his bedroom wall. Funny, it's been this way for 3 years but it has just become cool to him.

Product Review - Beau Coup - Beautiful, Stylist and Elegant

I am beyond impressed with Beau Coup, an exquisite party favor supplier. Their favors are beyond beautiful. They are stylist, elegant, hip, now, and different.

There is something for every taste, every occasion and every pocketbook.

Green Folks will flip over their eco-friendly choices, oh and speaking of choices, good luck being able to pick just one item. Throwing a wedding? How about Lavender wedding rice as an alternative to rice? or a Mini Palm Plant Favor?

Need bags or boxes for your favors? I loooooveee the Bride and Groom favor bags. Cute!

Baby Shower or Sweet Sixteen, heck any birthday, christening, or anytime? How about personalized Rice Krispie Treats? How cute is that? Or mini gumball machines?

Some of my personal favorites are:

Mini Wedding Brownie Pops

Two Peas in a Pod salt and pepper shakers.

Save the Date Magnets

Here is a mini snow globe from Beau Coup, they sell for $3.00 a piece or $18.00 for a set of 6. Come on, who wouldn't keep this wedding favor? Or, how about 1 for the bus driver, teacher, teachers aid, librarian, as a gift from your child during the upcoming holiday?

Need adorable stocking for a money, jewelry, a candy cane, etc? How about these?

Check out this adorable little snowman wine stopper. Have you ever seen something so cute?

There is so much to see at Beau-Coup you have to stop by yourself. Here is a link to some awesome party ideas for every occasion.

Check Beau Coup for your Favor, Packaging, Corporate needs.

Get high end favors at low end prices, check out Beau Coup and you will find yourself looking for a reason to throw a party.

Heads or Tails Tuesday

This week for TAILS (the prompt is) - How would you change where you live?
If we are speaking specifically about my home and not my community I would change everything.

-Front door
-Siding and color
-Kitchen layout
-Family Room paneling would come down
-Switch the laundry room and the bathroom around
-Take down the wall paper in the living room
-Build a mantel around the fire place
-Make some recessed bookcases in the hallway

I think I should stop here. I had no idea that my list would be so long.

Product Review - Weight Watcher's Yellow Sponge Snack Cake

Last week I received a package of Weight Watcher's newest snack cake........

Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling

I have been watching what I eat for four weeks so getting a box of sweets was like heaven for me. Tearing open the box and sliding out the pretty blue and white box from Weight Watchers I smiled thinking about the fact that I was about to eat something for the sake of a review.

Getting a plate from the cabinet I pulled an individually wrapped Twinkie looking cake from the box. I was beyond excited. You would think that someone had just given me a Junior's Cheesecake and a fork.

I sat down across from my husband who was very amused as I took my first bite of sweets in 4 weeks. This was my very first Weight Watchers snack cake and I have to say, I don't know why I waited 4 weeks to have a sweet. It was moist and the filling was good but not sugary. I loved it.

Sitting back I looked at my husband and asked if he would like to try one. He said, "no thanks."

I told him, "good because I was really only asking to be polite, and I didn't want to share these".

Why you will love these:
  • They are good!
  • It is a convenient, sensible snack food!
  • It is individually wrapped and easy to take with you.
  • Each snack cake is only 1 Weight Watchers point.
  • Cheat without the guilt (but remember the serving size-it would be easy to grab two)
Why your kids will love them:
  • They look like Twinkies!!
  • They taste good!
  • They are considered "your snack"
On my shopping list this week: Weight Watcher's Carmel Cake, Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake and Golden Sponge Cake.


Ruby Tuesday

Last week "the Teach" asked if we could submit pictures with just a little red. Here are my children walking with the Hub "the Teach" in my household. My son was trying to catch up to his dad and sister because I had to stop to adjust his helmet.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Product Review - Kids Fun Cards

Kids Fun Cards are like sending a hug in your kids lunchbox.

Kids Fun Cards, are adorable, funny, kid friendly post cards. You can put them in your kids lunchbox, on their pillow, in the backpack, inside there text book, in an overnight bag or anywhere else they need a special little something from home to make them smile.

My kids, loved the pictures on the Mystical Little People set and laughed as I read them what each card said. I put them on their car seats every morning so they had something to open on the way to Pre-K. They love getting mail.

Since my kids are under the age of 6, I enlisted the help of some friends.

The first has used them with her youngest daughter who is 9 years old (Kitten). Kitten thought they were funny and everyone at her lunch table (especially the boys), thought so too. Kitten's mom says Kitten is keeping all the cards that she gets. My girlfriend has always been a note writter with her family and this is a different way for her to slip a note into her daughter's lunch.

My second girlfriend used them with her 10 year old son. He loved them and his classmates thought they were "cool"!

The cards come in packs of 5, enough for every day of the week. This is a great idea for kids who think finding a love note from mom on a napkin is hokey.

If you have been looking for something cute and different Kids Fun Cards are for you. Give your kids something to look forward. Your kids will thank you.

BTW...see Kids Fun Cards for some really inventive lunch ideas such as:

One Color Lunch- Make everything in your child's lunchbox orange or red or green! Nothing says 'green' quite like a green-tortilla turkey wrap with a green apple, green pear or green grapes. Try cucumber, snap peas and even edamame. Add green M&M’s and a green napkin and the theme is complete. (gummy worms make for a great Shrek Lunch too!)
Pirate Lunch- Pirate napkin, chicken leg, carrot “swords”, Pirate's
Booty. Complete the theme with an eye patch & gold chocolate coins. For a healthy alternative, dried cherries, pineapple or other dried fruit on a cocktail sword or inside a small treasure chest make great jeweled treats.

Halloween- Add a freaky trinket to their lunchbox. What could be more fun than a shrunken head, light up pumpkin necklace, glow stick, rubber snake or gummy eyeballs? Perhaps a ghost pencil and eraser? Try an all orange lunch. Pumpkin seeds are amazingly nutritional and a great alternative to candy treats. Pumpkin muffins and caramel popcorn are generally low in calories. And don’t forget your halloween napkin!

And tons more....