Friday, April 30, 2010

To Utah or to Nurse...someone tell me.

So here's the deal. I can't make a decision to save my life so I need someone to make this one for me. I would REALLY love to go to this Power of Moms retreat.....for many reasons. First let me give you the details...It's being held in Utah in June for 2 days. I live south of Boston and I'm nursing a baby 24/7. How could I make this work?

Griffy will be a year old in June and I'm really ready for him to be starting on some REAL food. He's not eating anything. I try him daily with baby food and he gags on all of it. All he wants is to nurse, nurse, nurse. I guess I could get the ol' pump back out and stock the freezer with bottles. Not that he'd take them but at least I would know he wouldn't starve.

It would be 2 nights...ok maybe 3 tops. So, do I use these next 6 weeks to wean the baby...get him to sleep through the night and go? Or do I not rush him out of nursing and maybe go next year?

I need to make this decision today..for my own peace of mind and because the "early bird" rate runs out if you don't mind could you let me know what you think asap? I'll be back to check the MANY comments I'll recieve after I finish nursing the baby. Thanks.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Wedding Day

No it's not my wedding anniversary. But it's wedding season...I wish we were going to a wedding. Maybe it's the J.Crew catalogs with all the dresses that have me thinking weddings.  Steve and I got married a week before Christmas.  We were engaged at Christmas time and we really wanted a Christmas wedding.  Steve was also starting flight school in January so we wanted to get married before that....

I would not change one thing about my wedding..not one. I loved my wedding. And I still love my dress! Can I tell you the story about my dress? It wasn't bought on a mother/daughter dress shopping day unfortunately. Steve and I were living together in Boston and on my way home from work I decided to check out the Filene's basement wedding dress sale....there is usually a line out the door to get in...girls fighting each other for dresses...a crazy scene. Not how I imagined shopping for my wedding dress. I told myself I'd just walk in and walk out...well there it was. Calling my name. I tried it on in the open dressing rooms with a million other girls and a few of them said...That dress was made for you. And it was. And the best was $199...marked down from $1500.

So, here are a few pictures from our day. That's me in the house I grew up in.
I love this of my younger brothers getting ready...

Don't you love a man in uniform?

My sister and I trying hard to fix the train..
It was freezing outside..remember it's December. I think Steve's hat is too big.
Don't you love weddings? What do you think of renewing vows? Steve and I talked about doing it once...I wonder if I could squeeze myself into that dress again.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Babies - Movie Trailer

I just found this movie trailer on DesignMom's blog ....I can't stop watching it. Griffy loves watching it too. What a cool concept..can't wait to see the movie..

My Own TV show...

Sometimes I think my job as a parent would be sooo much easier if there were no fast food restaraunts and no stupid television shows. Really..just those two things would help me out.  Do you know what I go through every time we pass a McDonalds in the car? Maybe I should start making up my own Happy Meals complete with toy. Wait...I pretty much do that every day with Will's lunch box. Why isn't that good enough?

And you all know how I feel about there a need for like 700 channels? When I was a kid (yes, here we go again..) there were 4 channels. PBS, NBC, CBS and ABC. I'm pretty sure that was it. Or maybe that's just what my parents told me. We weren't allowed to watch a lot of was Little House on the Prairie and Brady Bunch. I remember my dad watching Archie Bunker... I don't remember my mom watching tv at all. It was funny to me to go to friends houses and see their moms watching their "shows" know..soap operas. My mom didn't watch those...I don't think. Who knows though once we were all off at school.

I'm amazed at how tv has changed..and not just the number of channels on the set. I was nursing the baby to sleep tonight and decided to see what was on....It is ALL reality shows. Real people dancing, singing, losing weight, decorating houses, having babies, surviving on deserted islands, getting's kind of funny isn't it? To think that any one of us could be famous? Maybe they'll run a mom blog tv show...I could have a camera crew follow me around all day. Don't you  want to see me shopping in Target...changing diapers and nursing and driving kids around? You know you do.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cheating on my House

So on my walk today I discreetly took some pictures of some houses on my route...after Sarah's recent blog about homes in her neighborhood I thought it ok to do the same...I LOVE houses....especially antique ones. My dad is always telling me I should get my real estate liscense. I'm constantly looking at the MLS to see what homes are for sale. We really have no intention of moving....yet. I know this isn't the last house though so what's the harm in seeing what's out there? This house above is pretty cool huh? I think they have ocean views from the top floor...the house looks really neat at night all light up.

This house probably has one of the best views in town....lucky.
This sweet house looks like Hansel and Gretels...
Wouldn't you love your own dock? Then of course you'd need a boat right?
This is just pure heaven for me. Not only do those homes have water views and walk to schools...library...but they're old homes. That right there seals the deal. I miss living in an old home...I know there is another one in my future...until then I'll just bang up my home to make it look old.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hey Soul Sister

I think every girl needs a sister. Unfortunately, Hannah doesn't have one. I'm so sad about that! The closest thing she has to a sister is her cousin and we're lucky to have her! They look like sisters...people mistake them for sisters all the time. I'm sure they'll always be close.  My sister and I are close..we talk pretty much every day. We still trade clothes for crying out loud.

Even if you don't have a blood relative sister..I hope you have a soul sister. And speaking of...don't you just love that song "Soul Sister" by Train? I do.

*What's the good of news if you haven't a sister to share it?~ Jenny DeVries

Saturday, April 24, 2010

6th Photo

I was tagged by the very sweet Melissa over at Miss sew and so ! She asked me if I would post a picture and blog again about the 6th photo I ever posted. Easy for me as I've only been a blogger for about 5 minutes!

So, this is it...the 6th photo I posted on my blog. Yes, it's a doorknob..but not just any ordinary doorknob. This is an Anthropologie doorknob that I HAD to have in my powder room. And you know what else? It doesn't even work. But don't worry...if you ever come over and need to use the powder room there is a sliding lock above it so noone will bother you. This doorknob was a real kicker to install let me tell you. Steve ultimately had to saw it down so it would fit properly. He made me swear we'd never buy another doorknob from Anthropologie....I think I was crossing my fingers behind my back when I swore that I wouldn't. Doesn't it look good???
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Friday, April 23, 2010


I can't stand the word staycation for some reason. But, as far as staycations go..we've had a pretty good one...and considering Steve had zero time off this week.  My sister and her family came off the Vineyard for a few days to stay in Boston. We got to spend so much time with them. Yesterday we went to the Museum of Science...this is us at the top of the building. My niece Annie is in the purple shirt...she calls Griffin, now we all call him Grickin.
I don't think I've cooked a meal all week...and although it's been a nice break I'm ready to get back to my routine. It hasn't been very healthy eating around here.
This was breakfast today...the one plain cruller was mine dipped into my coffee...MMMM! I can't tell you the last time I had a donut. You really feel like crap after eating one. And who orders a dozen donuts?? The kids were psyched. Crappy picture though...

So, that's all I got here. Vacation is winding down. ..back to routine, healthy eating, EXCERCISE, bed times....two months until summer......See you Monday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Martha from the Vineyard

This is Martha....the dress form. She comes from Martha's Vineyard. A few years ago Hannah wanted to learn how to sew and asked for one for Christmas. I had seen the ones in Pottery Barn but thought they were too expensive. My mom said she'd search for one and sure enough she found her for us. We love Martha...the neighbors were a bit spooked by her at first when we had her in the window.
My mom lives on Martha's Vineyard..lucky for us. After asking around about the dress form, a friend of hers who's a seamstress was moving and thought it was time to say goodbye to Martha. Although Martha lived on the Vineyard for a long time..she is originally from New York where she was a wedding dress model. Now she's in my daughters bedroom modeling Hannah's school clothes. I love that Martha has a story behind her.
Now we just have to get out that sewing machine and really put Martha to work.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ikea...the new Disney World

So when your kids are on spring break and you're not going anywhere warm what do you do? We go to I LOVE Ikea. It's like an adult Disney World...little arrows telling you where to go...rooms all set up for you to dream about...really kid with surpisingly decent food.

How cool is this bookshelf? I don't think I'd want to put anything in it....

I love these green countertops...and love the little one for the littles in the house...
I REALLY want open shelves in my kitchen...wouldn't these red ones be killer??
Don't you just love the little kids rooms in Ikea? Who wouldn't want to grow up in  this?
The kids love the french fries and mac and cheese...
Griffy got a new toy too....
I love the new fabric...I bought a few yards to see how it would look on my porch furniture....
Yes, I fit 4 kids and my stroller, a crib, crib mattress, lamps, a rug, a clock, and more stuff that I can't remember all in my car. I think Will is blocking his ears from Griffy's cries....

So, if you're looking for something fun to do over vacation that even the kids will enjoy...I guarantee Ikea will do it for you. It did it for us today...the kids and I had a blast.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Heavy stuff

I'm not really techy at all. I'm much more old fashioned..prefer a  handwritten letter over email...would rather play a boardgame over a  video game..but I have to say that I would probably pay a few hundred dollars per kid for an iPad or Kindle just so they wouldn't have to lug books around. Hannah's backpack weighs  more than she does..and not only that, it doesn't fit all the books she needs to carry so she carries an extra her violin..and her lunch. It's ridiculous.

Listen, I love books. You all know that about me now..I really have no desire for an iPad..even though they look really cool. But if I were a student don't you think it would make my life so much easier...and lighter?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On Praise and Recognition

I've been Mothering for over 15 years now. It's nice to hear that you're doing a good job every now and then isn't it? Who doesn't like a pat on the back or for someone to recognize that you work hard? Sure a pay check would be nice but that's not why we're in this business is it?  

My Dad is always quick with words of encouragement. I love that even at my age and with 4 of my own children, I still look to my own parents for advice and support. He reminded me yesterday to let my husband know that he's doing a good job too. Something I don't do enough of, I know. I get all caught up in my own day of diapers, driving, dinners and dishes that I don't realize that he's had a long day too.

I can't stand that game of "who's day was worse"...and believe me, it's usually me screaming.."I win!"....Yes, when Steve comes home from work, I'm knee deep in homework and housework but I need to remember that he's worked just as hard. Would it kill me to put a smile on my face (even a fake one) when he walks in the door instead of throwing a kid at him?

I tell my kids all the time to treat people how you would like to be treated...I need to do the same.

* Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight. ~ Phyllis Diller

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why I Don't Excercise...

You know when you know what you need to be doing but you just aren't doing it? Does that  make sense? I know I need to excercise...every day..I'm just not doing it. A simple walk every day would get me out and moving...but I'm just not doing it. It's one of those things that when I'm out there excercising I feel good..when I come home I feel great...but lately, even mustering up the energy to think about it makes me tired. The baby is not sleeping..AT ALL...and I'm exhausted. So, I'm going to cut me a little slack ok?

He's most likely my last baby...although, I heard Demi Moore (at 47) is considering another baby. If she can why can't I? Well, let's see...she's in fabulous shape to begin with. I could be in fabulous shape..if I just excercised daily. I eat's just the working out part that I'm lacking.  I'll get there..

So, back to Griffy being my last baby...I guess that's why I'm holding on to everything right him sleeping with me still. I really love having him in bed with me..especially when Steve travels..but what I don't really like is being a giant human pacifier ALL NIGHT LONG. I'm kinda done with that. Man, if he wasn't so darn cute.

Steve mentioned that maybe it's time to get a crib. I think I'm dreading that more than being the human pacifier all night long. At least with that I can stay in my bed and not have to get's called LAZY. I know we'll go out, get a crib, spend all weekend setting up and he won't spend one minute in it.

So, if I can give up sugar for 6 weeks I KNOW I can get my butt in shape before summer...right? So, here is my new something active (climbing the stairs with a 24lb baby in one hand and a full laundry basket in the other doesn't count)...every day. Not only will I look better in my summer clothes..I'll feel better.

Now, if we can just get this kid to sleep.....I'm off and running. (walking)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

There is a Better Way...

Spanking is not the answer. Spanking needs to be against the law. Why it isn't...I just don't know. There are many countries who have banned spanking and their children are better off for it...Sweden, Finland, Norway, name a few.

Not too long ago I was in Walmart...before I gave up shopping at Walmart. In the check out line a mother was threatening her small child with a spanking when they got home. He had been asking for candy...too many times apparently and the mother was sick of hearing it. The boy started crying and the mother said that the kid "deserved a spanking." Deserved a spanking. Does any child deserve a spanking? If your spouse ticks you off do you hit them? Your sibling? Your friend? Your co-worker? WHY...please tell me why it's ok to hit  your child who is small and helpless?

I was reading a column about spanking on a parenting website recently...a mom wrote in asking if she'd go to jail for hitting her kid. This mother was more worried about going to jail than hurting her child. There is something really wrong here.

Did you also know that corporal punishment is legal in 29 states?? WHAT??  I'm sorry, but again...WHY?? 

Years ago I picked up a copy of Dr. Sears' Discipline book. I was a big fan of his Baby book and the Discipline book resonated with me. Dr. Sears tells us to not use the Bible as an excuse to spank. The phrase "Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child" is not even in the Bible.....somewhere along the line this verse..."He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." Prov. 13:24....was turned into a green light for spanking.

Studies have shown that children who are spanked don't remember what they did to receive the punishment..they only remember the spanking. So, is this an effective way to discipline?

There is a better way to discipline our children. Plain ol' common sense tells us this is not the way....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Do You Ever....

Use your Grandmothers old jewelry box as a salt cellar? I love to repurpose things...especially something sentimental.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Baby Book Friday- cloth diapers

Does anyone else out there get excited about cloth diapers? My husband thinks I'm really weird. Maybe I am.

I started using cloth diapers with Hannah 11 years ago. Man, they have come a long way, just since then. We were living in Kentucky at the time...I was reading lots of Natural Parenting books and magazines and it made sense for me to try them out. I was surprised at how easy it was to adapt to them. I think what I loved most was washing day...(weird, I know.) We had a clothes line in the backyard and I can still see those cloth white diapers flapping in the breeze! I loved going out to the clothes line with my basket of diapers and clothespins...I probably had an apron on and bread in the I painting a pretty picture for you here??

Then along came Will and we moved to New life got busier and cloth diapers were just not fitting into my world there. I was driving kids around a lot to activities, I joined a club and played way too much tennis, (can you play too much tennis?)...needless to say, Will wore Pampers as a baby...and  he's just fine by the way. When we moved here and I got pregnant with Griffin I thought about cloth diapers again. My life was simpler...I was home more...and boy did they get cute! Look at all the colors!

I also make my own baby wipe could not be easier. I use an empty store bought baby wipe container...add warm water, aloe vera gel, a few drops of tea tree and lavender oils and a bit of baby soap/shampoo. I keep a basket of baby wash cloths nearby....

Now all I need is for Steve to put up a clothes line.....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sand on my toes and pizza

It was in the 80's felt like summer. After Stephen's baseball game tonight we threw caution to the wind and ate dinner on the beach.
 We forgot homework, routines, bedtimes. It's nice to do that every now and then. We ordered pizza..the kids got to drink SODA, we had a bonfire, we all came home with sand in our shoes. It's fun to shake it up a bit!  What do you do to shake it up??

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Dance

Baseball season has begun. I love baseball. Not playing it...watching it. Stephen had his first game yesterday...first game as a high schooler! How can that big kid up at bat be my son?? He was the starting pitcher and I could not have been more proud.

My neighbor told me yesterday about a 17 year old Notre Dame football recruit that died a few days ago. Apparently he fell off a hotel balcony while on spring break in Florida. He also was apparently drunk. Oh, does my heart go out to his family right now. This kid had his whole life ahead of him and a lot going for him. Just senseless. And so sad that this families tragedy is now a lesson I'm trying to teach my son.

When you are 15, like Stephen, or 17, like this boy, you aren't thinking about how precious life I am at 42. You are not thinking that just one little mistake can cost you your life. I get it. I was 15 once too...believe it or not. But now it's my job as your parent to guide you, to worry about you, to pray that you make the right choices...and let go. I feel like parenthood is this dance of pulling them in and letting them go. This dance gets more challenging as kids get older, I'm learning. He is not dancing as closely to me as he once was. He's dancing by himself more. And someday...he'll be dancing with someone else.

It's fun to dance long as you stay in control and don't lose your step. But, maybe we could slow the music down a little's a bit too fast for me right now.

*Say a little prayer for Matt James and his family today....and dance with your kids.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

My Clean House

Man what a long weekend. Here it is Monday night and I'm still trying to get it together. Our weekend was filled with family, candy, sun, candy, ferry's, candy, baseball and more candy. And can I just say...I did it! Six weeks sugar free!! Sunday I had a piece of coconut cake. ONE piece. Sure it tasted good but what I noticed was that I ate it slowly, instead of inhaling it as I normally would. I was almost afraid to eat it...sounds weird I know.  I had no candy either. Not one piece! And I didn't even want it. Today, I went back off it. I feel better with out it.
So, on a totally different subject...let's talk help. As in hired help. As in nanny's, cleaning lady's, landscapers, etc. Here is a funny story for you. In the last place I lived, my neighbor, who was now living in New England, but was originally from the South, said to her very strong  accent..."You Yankees don't know how to hire help". At first I didn't know if I should take that as a compliment or be offended. After thinking about it for some own personal answer to her question was that if it wasn't so darn expensive to live here maybe I would hire some help. She later went on to tell me that on her wedding day someone gave her a piece of advice that she has always followed. It was to "never grill, and never go to the dump". I grill and I go to the dump. Sure, Steve goes to the dump usually on the weekends but I do go if I need to. I am also pretty darn good on the grill, if I say so myself.

I've never had a cleaning lady...until recently. As in a few weeks ago. I guess a part of me feels that as a stay at home mom..that's part of my job. To clean the house. I have to admit..I'm on the fence about the whole thing. A few people have said to me that they cannot believe I've gone this long, with four kids, NOT having one. Some people think it's a waste of money. Here's what I think. You all know that my "thing" is cooking. And after my lengthy blog about it, you know how time consuming it is. Lately, I've been feeling like I can't keep up with the house...and there is a difference between keeping your house picked up and keeping your house clean. So, I hired a cleaning team to come in and deep clean a few weeks ago. Let me tell you, I didn't want the kids to come in the house. I almost told them to go use the neighbors bathroom. But, of course they had to come in. And 20 minutes later...the house was a mess.

So, is it worth it? I'm not sure really. The frugal Yankee part of me thinks not. But, maybe while Griffy learns to crawl and is eating crap off the floor...

* Cleaning  your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing~  Phyllis Diller

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mantel or Mantle???

This is what I did last night...played with my mantel. I'm a "stuff" girl. I like my stuff. I am in no way a minimalist...more is more is my mantra. I don't think I have a specific style or any rules that I follow...I just like what I like.

One of my favorite decorators...Tracy Porter has been a big influence on how I decorate. I've followed her for years...last year I was a regular on her blog and met some fabulous women who I now call friends. These friends helped me tweak my mantel last night after a trip to the consignment shop. Thank you girls!!! I bought the two mirrors for 18 bucks a piece! The glass is beveled and they are heavy! (still have the price stickers on them)  I also scored 4 gold framed botanical prints at 12$ each. Two of which are propped up on the mantel....Steve brought me the potted tulip plant on his way home from work last night...awwww!

The rest of my house may look like crap but the mantel is always a quick and fun place for me to get my fix. By the do you spell mantel...or mantle??? I think you can spell it both ways....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Drama Queen

I am a drama queen. (I am the one crying) sister is 19 months younger than me and she is one of the most laid back people I know. Look at her over  there..not a care in the world. Me on the other hand, freaking out because I didn't want to have my picture taken with Great Grandmother and Great Aunt who were 100 years old...(at least there is longevity in my family.) Can you blame me really? And, where were my brothers? Why were they not subjected to this torture?

I think I spent half my childhood in tears. Or yelling at someone. I was not easy to live with..I know this. I've apologized many times to my family for all that I put them through. But, at some point I realized, this is who I am. This drama crap is just as much a part of me as my blue eyes and my love of babies, books and the beach.

Now, what I am struggling with is dealing with another drama queen...who happens to live in the same house as me. Who is only 11.  But I am doing it. I've had my moment to's her turn now. I'm sure she'll apologize to everyone someday too.

* We do love this 11 year old drama queen more than anything and wouldn't change a thing about her!!!