Monday, December 13, 2010

Mamas and Papas Lightweight Strollers have arrived!

Hmmm...This giveaway contest comes at a perfect time for me.  It is time for a new stroller.  I have been conflicted about this because Lilly is now 2 1/2 and I am not sure how much longer I will need a stroller for her.  Regardless of how long I will use it for, with Lilly, I do need a new one.  Our big carriage has lived its life after 2.5 years of almost daily use.  Plus, we still have a mid-sized sedan and it takes up our entire trunk.  Annoying!!!

The umbrella stroller we have received great reviews and my friends who have it love it.  It folds in half and takes up much less room in the trunk than the big carriage.  The problem is that both my husband and I are too tall for it.  We kick it with our feet and strain our backs and arms pushing our 38 lb toddler around in it.

Now that my husband is a SAHD and we are approaching the cold wintery months, he would like to be able to take Lilly out places.  Lilly is a darter/runner and when we are at places like the mall, she needs to be in her stroller.  Hence the reasons for a new lightweight stroller.  It really is a safety issue with Lilly.

Just in the nick of time comes the Mom Bloggers Club giveaway this Thursday for one of five Mamas and Papas lightweight strollers.  They are from the UK and are a new to the U.S. baby gear brand that has five very cool lightweight strollers.  We all know that traditionally UK strollers are amazing.  I remember my mom had one when my brothers were little.  How I would love that big old pram now!  Mamas and Papas sell more than strollers.  They also carry very cool highchairs, baby carriers and toys.  They also have full-sized carriages in addition to the several lightweight stroller models.

Here are some of the models:


Mamas and Papas brand can be found at Babies R Us online.  Oh, and check them out on facebook or on twitter!

I am crossing my fingers that I am 1 of 5 winners this Thursday!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Procrastination is my word of the season

I had such great intentions this year. House decorated Thanksgiving weekend and gift shopping finished by December 1st. Those were my lofty goals. I know people who do this so I figured that I could be one of those people.

Apparently that is not the case. I have taken down my pumpkin decorations but they are not stored yet. And that is all folks! It is driving me nuts! Every time slot I have scheduled to get ready gets taken by other menial daily tasks.

I need serious help here!
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Facebook friend no longer IRL friend?

What to do, what to do?  I have a friend, whom I have known for over 10 years, who is a fb friend.  Throughout our friendship she has been a bit, well, flighty.  By that she means she would sometimes forget we had a date planned or she would reschedule at the last minute.  Whenever our lives were in the same place (single or SAHM) we would seem to get together more often and just connect more, in general.  Then when life circumstances changed for one or the other of us we would lose touch.  I would try to get together, make several phone calls to catch up but it seemed as if she was busy with other friends.  In fact, as soon as I started working last year I tried to make a play date arrangement but she was never available.

The thing is, that just when I would think, "That's it, I am just going to forget about her and move on and stop trying," she calls me or invites me to something, etc.  However, I think this time really is it.  I almost feel like I did something to offend her or something but I see her too seldom to do that.

Here is the thing.  Or things.  We have mutual friends.  It is very complicated to explain but, while we used to all see each other at the same time, we don't really anymore.  But still, the relationship is there.  Also, I really liked this person.  Even when she was being flaky.  I liked her personality, her sense of humor, her husband, her realness.  We like a lot of the same things.  I guess I just can't let go.  At this point, we only keep in touch via facebook.  We comment on each other's status updates and pictures sometimes.  I think I am just wondering now if that is enough.  I get kind of sad when I see that she is doing stuff with other people or when I see how fast her kids are growing up.

What do you do when your friendships end, but there is still a little thread hanging on?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Belated thanks

The days leading up to and including Thanksgiving were a bit hectic for us.  I would go into detail but just thinking about it makes me tired!  Suffice it to say we have been dealing with croup, febrile seizure and, sinus infection and 2 doctor's visits, including one on Thanksgiving morning all since Sunday.  Phew!

I want to take this opportunity to remember all that I am thankful for this year.
In no particular order:
On-call doctors who meet you at their office on Thanksgiving morning
Modern medicine...In the past few weeks alone, Nanny, Baby Porter and Lilly have all needed modern medicine.
Good health insurance
And my job that provides it
My new co-workers
Heat (on this chilly morning)
My family
My husband
New family :)
Friends
Blog friends and blogging
Acupuncture
Lilly's health....while she has challenges, they are minor.
Good coffee
Sleep, when I get it.

I know there are more that I just am not thinking of at this moment.   I will try to be thankful each day.  Why does that so easily get lost in the shuffle of the everyday?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

an open letter to my toe

Dear baby toe,
I apologize for every time I hated on you.  I have called you names, made fun of your looks, callously (no pun in tended) ignored you when painting my other toes and squeezed you into super-cute but totally uncomfortable shoes for the sake of foot vanity.

Now that you are the color of a dark plum and roughly the size of one, I appreciate all the support you have given me over the years.  I never realized how your presence helps to balance me.  I promise to treat you better in the future if you will only cooperate and respond to the ibuprofen, elevation, ice and wrapping you are getting now.
Thank you in advance,
Melanie

Friday, November 12, 2010

Friends

I have two friends going through some very challenging situations right now. One had her baby at slightly over 30 weeks and so he is in the NICU right now.  She is already an amazing mom; pumping milk on a schedule to bring him and spending hours with him.

My other friend is expecting her 2nd baby shortly and is in the midst of a terrible divorce.  And she has a 15 month old.  And her family lives a 6 hour drive away.  She has nobody to talk to, really.  I hope that she knows now, after our hour long conversation tonight, that she can unload on me.  I can take it.

Both these friends are what I consider "lifers" in that we have been friends forever and will be for life.  The intensity of our friendships has changed over the years but the love is there, always.  Both live so far away from me and it has left me wondering how I can be a good friend to them.  I am reaching out as much as I can via phone and email.  I pray for them.  I hope it is enough, for now.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So, is this it?

Is this my actual bottom where I decide to lose weight once and for all?  I sure hope so because I do not feel like buying more clothes.  I have all the excuses in the world for having gained weight, many of them valid.  However, I need to stop the excuses to myself and be real.  I had given up the scale because I was being obsessive about it.  But then yesterday Lilly asked to weigh herself at my MIL's house.  Then she asked me to weigh myself.  I was not shocked, but duly alarmed at the number on that scale.  So I weighed myself on my own scale this morning.  The number, while not as scary as yesterday's, was higher than I would care to admit.

The time is here.  I am making a decision to eat better with less snacks and bringing my own lunch.  AND I MUST GET TO THE GYM!!!!  Seriously, it drives me nuts that I am not going, but every week there has been something.  As soon as I am feeling out of the woods from this crazy viral thing I have, back to the gym I go. If I have to go from work and pack my clothes in the car in the morning, then so be it.

You heard it hear first.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I hate being sick

I have been sick for a whole week.  On Sunday and Monday it was just kind of starting and I felt under the weather.  Tuesday I felt pretty terrible, but it was a half day at work so I just toughed it out and stayed at my desk as much as possible.  Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I was in bed or on the couch.  I thought I was getting better on Thursday so I cancelled my doctor appointment.  Friday I felt like hell and my eyes were stuck shut in the morning.  The one eye was completely blood shot and goopy.  Blech.

The doctor said I was infected from the neck up.  I was put on z-pack and eye drops.  I still had my Shutterfly party since I essentially took 3 doses by then of the z-pack and 8 doses of eye drops.  The party ended up being fun, even with only a few of us; but tired me out completely.  I woke up Sunday feeling, you guessed it, terrible.  We made the drive out to the Poconos to pick up Lilly and I started to feel better.

The plan is to go into work tomorrow.  Vin thinks that I should stay home and rest one more day.  I probably won't listen to him because I have a full day tomorrow already.  I can't afford to be sick another  minute!

I had so many plans for this past week.  I got absolutely nothing done.  And in fact, I think my room is in worse condition than it was before.  Boo for being sick.  BUT, I do have to give credit where credit is due.  My hubby let me sleep and rest while he watched Lilly and he went to get me soup and other assorted food items and medicine.

Friday, November 5, 2010

OPI gel manicure gets...

....a big old thumbs down for what it has done to my nails.  They look beautiful while the gels is on my nails.  I was totally in love and was willing to spend $35 every two weeks.  Before my last application I asked the woman at the front desk if my nails should have a break because they seemed a bit weak.  She felt them and said they were fine.  I asked the manicurist the same question and got the same answer.  Well the joke is on me because my nails are peeling so badly and have broken down to where they were when I first got the manicure.  My nails looked great for several weeks but it came at a great cost.

In other news, I have been really trying to follow the dietary recommendations of my acupuncturist.  In case you forgot: cut out dairy, diet soda (or really any soda), cold drinks, add warm foods and add cinnamon.  Generally speaking the only dairy I am consuming is in my coffee in the morning.  I keep my Brita on my counter so that my water is now room temperature.  I have been having a harder time adding the warm foods, especially in the morning.  I am not sure why, since I love oatmeal.  It is a time issue, really.  I was doing great with the cinnamon, but it started to trigger some acid reflux, so I stopped for the time being.  The biggest change I have made, drum roll please, is that I have cut out soda!  I started by cutting down, and within another week I cut it out.  I did have some over the weekend.   But I don't like the way it makes me feel.  I was never a huge soda drinker until I lived with the hubby.  He LOVES soda, so we always have it in the house.  In large quantities.  And when I was pregnant, water plain grossed me out and I lived on 7-Up.

I was planning on getting back into the gym this week and then I get terribly sick.  Actually, last Saturday night I had it all planned out for the next day.  And then Lilly had a seizure at 6am and I was in the Overlook ped Er with her all morning.   By then my day was just shot.  Then whatever viral infection Lilly had I then got.  I was under the weather on Monday and then by Tuesday night I was sick as a dog.  This afternoon I started to feel a bit better.  In fact I had made a doctor's appointment for this afternoon and cancelled it.  So maybe tomorrow I will feel better enough to go do the elliptical for a bit?  Crossing my fingers...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

acupuncture follow-up

I have been getting acupuncture once a week for  a month now.  I love it and totally get why people say it is addicting.  The feeling directly afterward is amazing.  I feel so relaxed and calm.  I do feel as if I have been better able to handle many things happening in my life.  It is not 100%...just ask Vinnie!

My carpal tunnel is so much better!  I cannot even believe it.  I sleep better at night, even if I do not go to bed earlier yet.  My digestive issues have greatly improved.  When I eat (large amounts of) dairy I notice a clear effect, and not in a good way.  I still have my cream in my coffee.  Almond milk in coffee = gross.  Seriously.

I am happy to embrace a healthier lifestyle.  In my mind I want to do it all at once.  Realistically, gradual is better and probably longer lasting.  I am anxious to get back to the gym but have not gotten there yet.  I will, I promise myself that.

I have to leave in an hour for my next appointment so I better get moving here at Casa Cappiello!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

hrmph.

It appears that people do read my blog.  They are just not official followers and don't make comments on the fun stuff.  Actually, they don't make comments at all.  I get notified in other ways.  You know what?  It is fine.  But I feel the need to make this clear:  my blog is my feelings, thoughts, musings, etc. about my life.  My husband and daughter get mentioned quite a bit.  Other friends and family may get mentioned tangentially or in passing.  I try to avoid passing judgement or writing about controversial family issues.  Believe me, there have been a few posts that I have written and re-written before finally deleting because I did not feel right about them.

I cleared up the issue already but I am a bit nervous that someone else has read something and is now upset with me about what I wrote.  If you are, well, you probably don't want to hear my first reaction.  But seriously, have enough faith in me to know that if I have something specific to say to you, I will.  And remember that this blog is how I am tracking my personal journey through life; the good, the bad and the ugly.  And sometimes the really painful.  Thanks for listening.  xo

Monday, October 25, 2010

new stroller?

Just this weekend my husband and I were saying that we needed to get a new stroller.  We have used our Chicco Cortina so much that it just is wearing out.  Plus it is so huge that it takes up the entire trunk.  We have a small umbrella stroller but I don't find it easy to use.  And Vinnie finds it even harder to use because the handles are too short.  I know Lilly is already 2, but we still need a reliable stroller.  We started doing some research but have not decided on one yet.

Today I received a message from the Mom Bloggers Club about a giveaway from Mamas & Papas lightweight strollers from Britain.  They are doing a giveaway for 5 people to introduce their strollers to the U.S.  I would just LOVE to win one of these.  The weight range is birth - 50 lbs, as compared to some of the others that have 40 lb limits.  Since Lilly is 37 lbs, 50 is better for us!  Additionally, one of the accessories is a toddler strap so that if/when #2 comes along Lilly can hold on.

So cross your fingers for me!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

new blog title?

I think the time has come for my blog title to change.  I am still a first time mom, but not a new mom anymore.  I have been thinking about this for some time but I am having a hard time thinking of a good blog title.  Anyone have any ideas for me?

I know there are a lot of people who read this blog who are not followers. Can you please do me a favor and "follow" my blog?  You can choose to be anonymous if you want; I just want to get my numbers up!

Thanks!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Nanny is moving

Throughout my entire life my Nanny has lived within about 10 miles of me.  I guess really it is the other way around since she has only moved once in my lifetime...from the house in which my mom grew up to her current apartment.  For years we had been saying, "Nanny is getting old."  For the past few years we have been saying, "Nanny is old."  

Last winter and spring were particularly hard for and on her.  She was sick often and it was a harsh winter so she did not get out very often.  As much as I want to see her often and help her with the her daily needs, I cannot.  I feel guilty that I have not been able to help her in the ways in which I want.  I speak to her often and see her at least monthly.  She sees Lilly more often because she goes to see her at my mom's house while I am at work.  

That is all changing next week.  Nanny is moving in with my aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania.  Oddly enough, Nanny was born and raised in PA and moved to NJ as a young woman.  She will be about an hour and 45 minutes away.  I will not be able to see her very often now.  My aunt and uncle want us to feel as if we can visit anytime.  But the truth is, we won't be able to make a monthly trip out there.  And really, I am not sure that is even what I am mourning right now.

The thing is, Nanny is not taking her stuff. She will take her favorite chair and her personal items.  But she is giving away her furniture, dishes, etc.  She will not be taking her ancient microwave on which you dial the amount of time you want.  She is not taking her television that is really a piece of furniture.  I wonder if she will take with her that Nanny-house scent?  It moved with her from her house at "188" to her apartment in Troy Towers.  

People keep saying that she has not died and I know.  However, the kind of relationship I had with her is dying.  She attends all my family's birthday celebrations.  The ones we have on a Wednesday night, not just big ones and she brings the brownies and fruit salad.  I took her with me to see one of my ultrasounds when I was pregnant with Lilly.  I learned how to make meatballs by watching her when I would go over for dinner every few weeks.  When I was in college I would drive by her house on my way home and if the downstairs lights were on, I would stop by.  She would heat up a little dinner for me and we would sit and chat late into the night.  After her open heart surgery I stayed with her for awhile when she was allowed to come home.   When I lived the next town over I took her to Mass on Sundays and then she made us breakfast.

I know that I am incredibly lucky to have had that kind of relationship with my Nanny.  My cousins have never lived this close to her and I am the eldest by a mile (or 8 years!) so our relationship is particularly unique.  I wrote above that our relationship is changing next week.  Truthfully, it has been gradually changing for a long time.  Having a family of my own necessarily changed my life and my availability.  


I have realized that as hard as this is for me, it must be a hundred times harder for my mom.  She moved out of her parent's house when she was 17 years old and got married and had me.  But she has lived in the same county, even, as her mom her entire life.  As much as we all know that Nanny will get a lot of great care at my aunt's house (she is a nurse and my uncle is a doctor) it is still a really, really tough transition.  I won't get into the inner workings of my family politics, but you all know that there is always stuff, politics and whatnot, that go on with something as big as this.  My mom was the first of the seven children to move out of the house, but she has lived the closest, mileage wise.  The other six are scattered around the country and have lived a lot of other places between moving out and settling down.  The difference is that they chose to make that move for whatever reason...job, spouse, whim.  I just know that my mom is probably very sad about this move, even if she thinks it is best for her mom.  Because of all this I am really going to try and make a conscious effort to be kind to my mom and remember what she is dealing with right now.  I will try to act with love and not react with anger.  Maybe by handling things this way it will help heal my heart that is a little bit broken right now.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Acupuncture and me

I am so excited!  I had my first acupuncture session today.  I have wanted to try it for some time because I really do believe in it.  My new insurance is apparently very generous when it comes to out of network providers so I was just looking into it.  Imagine my delight when I found that there is an acupuncturist in Maplewood on Springfield Ave!  I gave her a call a few weeks ago and spoke to her at length.  She has space 2 days a week inside Shakti Yoga where I took prenatal and Mommy&me yoga.  (Man, I miss yoga!)  Because the first visit is so long I could not get in till today.

I had to fill out an extensive health questionnaire before hand that the practitioner and I went over in detail.  We discussed my asthma and allergies; digestive issues; menstrual issues; stress and my desire for weight loss.  She let me know that she can definitely help me with all of the aforementioned issues except weight loss.  Rather, weight loss could be a side effect of the other issues being corrected.  That was what I had figured, but I was happy for the clarification.  Some recommendations she made initially are to cut out dairy as much as possible for both the asthma and digestive issues; try to have gluten-free pasta instead of regular; cut out the diet soda; have a warm breakfast, like oatmeal; and to look into Dr. Weil's anti-inflamatory diet.  Apparently conditions like asthma cause the body to have inflammation on a cellular level and it is helpful to eat foods to reduce it/avoid it.

Most of the needles felt either like a prick or nothing as they went in (or came out) but 2 in particular stung a lot as they went in and as they came out.  During the session (about 45 minutes) I did not feel them at all.  In fact I went into a state of deep relaxation and almost fell asleep.  That feeling lasted most of the day.  Even when Lilly was having a meltdown I was able to keep my calm.  I know that this is not  necessarily going to last all week, but the feeling of calm was nice.  I know nice sounds kind of blah, but since my norm has recently been stressed and edgy, calm is really nice.

I am very hopeful that my allergies and asthma will improve.  I know that I have frequently mentioned in this blog (here and here and here for example) that I want to lose weight and change my diet.  I am hoping and praying that this is the time that I can make that commitment and stick with it.  Giving up diet soda...no problem.  Eating a warm breakfast...same, in fact, delicious!  Giving up dairy...oh lordy.  I have done it in the past and my digestive issues did get better.  I just LOVE cheese and ice cream.  I think that I could still have the cream in my coffee since that is minimal.  At least for the beginning.  I am not so keen on soy substitutes so I would just do without.  She did say that if I was going to have dairy I should try to have sheep or goat's milk.  I am not sure how I feel about that...but I am looking forward to my next session already!

Does anyone else use acupuncture or other complementary medicines?  Tell me!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

OPI gel maincure

I know this may seem kind of a silly thing to blog about.  But here is the thing...I have terrible nails.  They are always breaking and short and fragile.  Then I start to pick at them or bite them.  I don't bit them so low that they look terrible, but they don't look pretty.  I really want to have a finished look, as my mom would say, in my new job.  I also had a wedding to attend a few weeks back so I looked into this gel manicure.  For those that care, it is a manicure developed by OPI during which you put your nails under the UV lights between coats.  It gave my nails a pretty solid base for almost 2 weeks.  I know someone who has hers for over 3 weeks, but mine was done by 2.  Part of that was because I have my hands in water and cleanser so much.  I mean, seriously, I am always cleaning something or washing my hands.  My nails are growing so prettily and the polish does not chip!

The drawback, of course, is the price.  I don't know how long I will keep this up, but it is worth the $35 price tag for now.  Pictures to follow!
OPI Gel manicure #2, week 2
My nails are growing!

late September already?

This past week was super hectic and all my good intentions to update this blog went right out the window. September has been insanely packed from the get-go, actually and I rather hope that it calms down a bit.

My co-worker who was out for a broken leg is back and we are now really getting underway.  I actually have a schedule for this week and I am excited to throw myself into it all.  I know that I will be very busy in the weeks and months to come and I am pretty happy about that.  Leaving Lilly breaks my heart almost every morning as she clings to my leg and tells me she wants to go to work with me.  I know that she is fine and playing with Vin within minutes of my departure, but the crying just adds to my sadness at being away from her all day.

I really love working and feeling as if I am using my graduate degree for which I worked very hard.  I know that I need to work, regardless of how I feel about it.  I am very fortunate to be home so early in the day, as compared to my friends who take the train into NYC and get home by 7pm.

I just miss her so and I want to be the one to teach her and play with her and....I could go on and on.  Vinnie is doing well with her while I am gone and she goes to her daycare 2 days a week now.  She is having a bit of a hard time adjusting to that, but I knew that was likely.    She has friends in school and she learns so much from them.  She comes home singing new songs and is counting in English and Spanish and recognizing many letters.  She loves to pretend play and it has become more complicated and involved.  She is starting to really recognize simple feelings, both in herself and others.  Lilly is just growing up before my very eyes!

Regarding my exercise and eating habits....it all went out the window, but is about to walk right back in that door.  I want to go to they gym, I was just insanely tired the first few weeks of school, and then did not feel too hot this past week with the blasted allergies.  This week I start again.  Back to the gym and back to healthier eating.  I promise!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

life got too personal...

I was on such a good blogger wave, blogging away about all aspects of life.  And then the proverbial shit hit the fan.  My hubby was laid off from his job in the beginning of August.  I really try to be as truthful as possible in my blogging and, because we were not ready to share that information yet, I had to abstain.

It will actually work out well right now.  Last semester was his 1st in college and as 1st semesters go, it was a good one but tough.  I was not sure if he was really feeling ready to tackle this fall semester.  Since he no longer has a job he is tackling it full force.  He will still be going part time at night, but I know that he is taking it seriously.  He has been home with Lilly the past 2 weeks while I started back at work.  Just call him Mr.Mom.  Does it make me sad that I am not the one at home with her?  Of course!  But I also know that she is in good hands and it is a wonderful opportunity that Vin has to spend this kind of time with her.  Already I am seeing a change in how she interacts with him and it makes my heart smile.  Next week Lilly will be going back to daycare 2 days a week.  Vin needs the time to get his resume in order and do homework and job searches and it will be good for Lilly to have that social interaction.  She is a bright, active and social little girl and she enjoys school.  

I am back in the throes of the school year.  Wow, is it different than my last position.  I love the people with whom I am working, what I am doing and the town where I am doing it.  Hoboken is such a unique place...it is really indescribable.  The parking is terrible and right now I have to move my car every 4 hours.  Hopefully I will be able to buy a parking permit (to the tune of $300!) so I can at least park for the day.  Also, being so close to NYC I have to leave my house by 7am to get there and parked by 8:20. 

Not only do I love what I am doing but I am so lucky to be starting off the school year in NJ with a job.  So many of my fellow teachers had been laid off in June and still do not have jobs.  I have a job with amazing health benefits and a decent salary.  

Here is a recent picture of Lilly & I.  
I think this post is long enough.  I have other thoughts to share about my exercise routine, weight loss, and my summer travels.  They can wait for another day.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

gym update

On July 14th I had posted about going back to the gym for the first time in ages.  I am happy to report to my fabulous readers that almost 3 weeks later I am still going to the gym!  I even utilized he fitness room when I went to a hotel for a wedding.  I am feeling better about myself and when I go I try to push myself as hard as I can.  I used to feel that it was all or nothing...if I could not go for a full hour or more than I did not go.  And so it was nothing, for a long time.  Now if all I can go for is 30 minutes, I do that.  Yesterday my hubby had a doctor's appointment that would have interfered with my usual time.  I went right after he came home from work, before his appointment, for about 30 minutes.  I did the elliptical and some stretches and came home.  Today I can do a longer workout that includes my strength stuff.  Hooray for me and for hubby for supporting me in this!

My heel has been acting up so I try to limit my treadmill time and use the elliptical instead and avoid lunges for now.  My self diagnosis: plantar fasciitis.  Luckily it is not severe enough for me to head to the podiatrist yet.  I am trying to wear my sneaks as much as possible and ice it after a hard workout.

I have been resolute in my decision not to step on the scale.  In fact I put in the back of the linen closet while organizing this weekend.  I am so, so tempted to see if that number has changed but I am not secure enough yet to feel okay no matter the number.  So, in the closet it stays.  I am focusing, instead, on how my legs and arms are firmer and more toned, my waist is coming back, and hello...I have a collar bone!  I wish I had measured myself before I started because that is always a good indicator of fat loss.

Next on the list is to cut out the sweets in my daily diet.  The fruit is amazingly delicious right now so the  plan is to substitute fruit for sweets whenever I have that craving.  I also need to get back to carrot and celery sticks instead of crackers when I need a crunch.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lilly I Am?

Let me set the scene for you.  Lilly is obsessed with the Dr. Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham, having us read it to her every night at least once.  She knows all of it, forward and backward.  Next, Vinnie had purchased a small bag of Sour Patch Kids and I had given Lilly the last few in the bag.  

Lilly asked me if the white stuff in the bag was snow and I said, "No it is sourish sugar."  She proceeded to lick the sour patch kid and dip it into the sugar and eat it.  Needless to say, she loved it.  She then offered one to me...a pre-licked, dipped sour patch kid.  I politely declined because, frankly, the only time I really liked sour patch kids was when I was pregnant with Lilly.  She then said, "Here Mommy, try it, you'll like it.  Try it and you may I say."  

How could I turn that down?  And you know what, I did so like that sour patch kid!

Monday, July 26, 2010

a life changing mop?

Can a new mop change my life?  It might be debatable but it could certainly make my life easier and my house cleaner!  Confessions of a Chaotic Housewife is hosting a giveaway for the new Rubbermaid mop that uses whatever cleaner you already use and microfiber pads.  I love that it is easy to use, does not require special cleanser and apparently the floor dries hella fast!  I think my floor mopping would increase and my floors would be way cleaner!

Friday, July 23, 2010

the scale and whatnot

If you follow my blog (I hope someone says yes!) then you will know that I was attempting to follow Weight Watchers.  I say attempting because I was only really doing it full heartedly for a few weeks.  I would do well for a few weeks and then fall off.  Then I would get back into it but then stop mid-week or something.  There was always a reason why I was not counting points that day or following it exactly.  Or I would start counting the points and then I would get a bit psycho about it.  Only to myself, mind you, but I hated feeling that way, so then I would stop.  i would weigh myself every day, multiple times a day and I would allow the results to dictate how I felt about myself.  I decided not to renew my membership, even after I saw both my SILs who are following WW and doing an AWESOME job!  (Go Kelly & Gina!) I have realized that after trying WW 3 or 4 times that it really might not be the plan for me.  

You will also know that I had fallen off the exercise wagon.  I was doing some Wii stuff but nothing regular and I was not utilizing my gym membership.  Last week I started back to the gym and I have been going regularly.  And it feels amazing.  I mean, I am a bit sore but I am so happy to be back.  I was thinking that I was going to be embarrassed that the guys who work there would know that I was MIA for so long.  I am not.  I am not worrying about what other people think of me.  I might have to remind myself of that every once in a while but I am not letting it get to me.  I am concentrating on cardio and my ab exercises (which I learned in PT to help my back) and stretching.  I am hoping to do yoga again soon, but for now I am just incorporating poses into my post-workout stretching.  I need to build up the strength in my wrists before I start really doing anything with weights again, so plank, table, and downward facing dog and cat/dog are perfect for that.

Here is the big thing: I am not getting on the scale.  I slipped last week at one point and I could really tell how it mentally brought me down for a few hours.  Besides that one slip, I have not weighed myself in about a month.  I feel crazy good about myself right now.  I know that I did not lose all the extra pounds in one week at the gym, but I just feel better about myself.  I am a little bit firmer perhaps and my legs always get definition quickly.  The main thing is how my state of mind has been able to remain positive. Even this morning I was feeling so good about myself and like maybe I even lost a few pounds so I thought, "Maybe I will just step on the scale and see."  I resisted because if I stepped on the scale and I had not lost any pounds I risked losing my positive outlook.  Maybe someday I will be able to step on a scale without it affecting how I feel about myself that hour/day/week.  But until then, I have sworn off the scale!

Now I just have to remember all this when the going gets tough and work starts back up September 1st. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

S'mores Smiles :0)




I have always been a s'mores lover.  A perfect s'more has all the perfect elements: toasted, gooey marshmallow, slightly melting chocolate and the crunchy graham cracker.  I am not sure I remember when I first had a s'more, but I am sure it was one on one of the many camping trips I took with my family as a child.  I was a Girl Scout and s'mores are a Girl Scout Camp tradition.  As my brothers and I got to be a little older we would all go camping together.  Some of my best memories of those trips are from when we were sitting around the campfire at night, singing along with Jeremiah playing the harmonica, drinking a few cold ones and eating s'mores.  It really did not get much better than that, in those days.  


These days my s'mores making is a little different.  My husband has never camped (though he said he will give it a try!) and I am not anxious to try bringing my husband for the first time with a 2 year-old.  A couple weeks ago I was in the mood to go camping, and what says "camping" to me more than anything? S'mores!  So we made them over our grill and they really did make me smile.  It was definitely not the same experience, but the taste brought me right back to those wonderful times sitting around a campfire with friends and/or family.  


So why write about S'more now?  Because I am writing this for a contest to win a S'mores prize pack as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.  (So I guess my answer would be E. Just because) So check out Kraft to see how you can win some prizes.  What is your favorite s'more memory or way to enjoy s'mores?


edited to add: I was a winner so I will be receiving my S'mores smiles gift pack...yummy!







Wednesday, July 14, 2010

the gym

I went to the gym tonight for the first time in, I don't know, forever.  It was just one of those things that I did not got for a few days because I was super tired.  Then it was hard with Vin being in school 2 nights a week so the only time I could really go meant that we never saw each other.  Then I had toe nail surgery.  Then I sprained my ankle.  In between Lilly would be sick.  I just stopped going.  Because, you know the feeling, I was embarrassed to go back and I was feeling fatter and more out of shape than ever.  Tonight I left Lilly's room before 9pm, which is a huge feat as of late.  So instead of making up the excuse that it is too late and that I won't have time to do a full workout, I was just going to go.  And I did.  I did the elliptical for 25 minutes and I worked it hard.

A woman who I would often see at the gym was also there.  I noticed that she may have lost a few pounds or toned up a bit.  I was tempted to have a pity party that I too would have lost weight if I had continued going to the gym.  But I stopped it in its tracks and decided to think that I can also lose some weight if I continue to workout regularly.  Hooray for me!  That small change in thinking is a big change for me.  

I was doing some working out on the wii and have increased my activity just by being home for the summer.  However, I strongly feel that I need to go to the gym for that mental break.  I could work out in  my house, but there are other things I could also be doing.  (Cleaning up from dinner, laundry, vacuuming, reading for work, you catch my drift)  At the gym, I plug my ipod in and GO!  It helps clear my mind and my stress and rids my mind of feelings of being overwhelmed.  If only they had babysitting....

Monday, July 12, 2010

A sigh of relief

We had the neurologist appointment to find out the results of all the studies that were done a few weeks ago.  Everything came back completely and wonderfully normal!  She has simple febrile seizures and we just have to stay on top of any rise in temperature, as little as it may be.  Thank you everyone for the thoughts, prayers and well wishes.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Potty Training

Oh lordy....we are in full potty training mode at the Cappiello house.  The funny thing is that Lilly has been  going on the potty since she was about 19-20 months.  It was not all the time, but there was some consistency, i.e. before and after bath.  She would even tell me sometimes and I would race her to the bathroom and she would go.  She stopped a lot of that after some of her seizures in recent months.  I think going on the potty took a back seat, which was fine.  Still, when she poops she tells me and she wants to get changed immediately.  Randomly in the past few weeks she would tell me that she had to go potty, even in places like the grocery store.  Sure enough she would go when I would put her on.  And frankly, I wanted to train her during the early part of the summer so that she has a chance to become very successful before she gets to school (daycare) in the fall.

So I have been staying at home with her so that we do not chance a pee pee accident in the car.  It has actually worked out rather well because we are in the middle of a pretty crazy heat wave her in the Northeast.  It hit 104 or so the other day!  Lilly is doing well.  Today is day 3. She will pee a tiny bit and then tell me she has to go potty and we run to the potty and she goes.  So she is catching herself before it starts running down her leg.  That is better than she did the first day so we have made real progress in 2 days.  Of course she has waited for nap time when she wears a diaper to poop.  I have a feeling that we might encounter some resistance with that portion.

In other news...I think that we are both adjusting to being home together.  In the beginning of the summer vacay she wanted to nurse all the time, especially when laying down for nap.  She has not nursed for nap time in ages, unless she was ill.  But I guess she was thinking, "You are home, I am home, let's nurse!"  Unfortunately for Lilly I was not on the same wavelength.  It took a few days of crying before she eventually fell asleep but she is doing really well with going right in now.  And when she awakens she plays in her room quietly for a bit.  Lilly has also been waking up later in the morning and staying in her room and playing.  This has been delightful!  The first few days that Vin left for work without taking Lilly to school she cried and cried.  The poor thing had no idea why Daddy was leaving without her.  She is over that by now, too.  We have a follow up doctor's appointment next week with the neurologist so I will give that update then.

Wish me success in potty training and stay cool everyone!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baby on the Brain?

A friend of mine is going through a miscarriage and she has an amazing outlook on the entire situation.  She has basically said what will be, will be and if another baby is in their future, then it will happen.  Besides sorrow for her and her family, her outlook caused me to question some of my own recent thoughts.

Here is my not-so-secret secret...I really, really want to have another baby, like, now.  If I had been hired on permanently at my last position, getting pregnant now would probably be in the cards.  I would have also considered trying for #2 if I did not get a full time job.  I would get as much consulting work as I could and go from there.  But the fact remains that I did (HOORAY!) get a full time, permanent position for which I am grateful and inordinately pleased.  And that also means that we need to wait before having another baby.

I have always wanted to have a big family....maybe 4 or 5 kids.  As I got older and I was not married I trimmed that number down.  After Lilly was born I finished graduate school as you all know and money was very tight at that time.  In fact, it is just now that we are starting to have some breathing room.  I would like to have a lot more breathing room before we have another baby.  I really do not want to start a job (that is only 10 months to begin with) and need to leave early for maternity leave.  That means we would have to plan it so that I would be due in the summer time when I am off.   I know all about best laid plans, but I suppose a good plan is better than none.  The good thing about waiting, besides having more money and getting my career on track, is that it gives me time to lose some weight.

The other thing is that Lilly is already 2 y.o.   I always thought that I would want my children to be 2-2.5 years apart.  My brother and I are 4 years apart so I know it is not a terrible thing, but I do feel that my brothers, who are all closer in age to each other were closer growing up.  Plus, I am 35.  I know that women have babies even into their 40s, but I don't know, I just don't want to do that.

 Am I just being a complainer?  Well, even if I am, it is my blog...ha ha!  Honestly, I am just processing everything and I think that is normal.  I know that things will work out the way they are supposed to and that there is a reason for everything.  After all, Lilly was not planned and she is the best detour my life has ever taken!

Monday, July 5, 2010

My first homemade pie

Look at how plump those berries are!
My mom reminded me that I used to help her all the time, but this was my first completely from scratch pie.  Well, I did have a little help from Lilly!  I was going to make it for our bbq on Saturday but I did not want to rush myself and we were short on time as it was.  I was prompted to make this pie because of the gorgeous blueberry harvest this year.  NJ is the blueberry capital of the world, or if it is not, it seems that way!  Here is an interesting article recently published about NJ blueberries.  This year's blueberries are plump, sweet and firm.  I think between the three of us we are going through a pint a day.  This week at our local grocery store they were 4 pints for  $5 making it an even sweeter deal!


Isn't it pretty?
I decided to use Martha Stewart's recipe from the Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook.  The crust proved to be easier than I expected.  There were a few little things that happened this time with the rolling out that I can learn from for next time.  And the filling, well that was just as easy as...pie!  I even used a star cookie cutter for that 4th of July decorative touch.  The pie itself was scrumptious!  But seriously, the blueberries were the real stars and I could just taste how delicious they were with every bite.  The crust was flaky and light and did not compete with the filling.  Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and served still warm....it was heaven!





Thursday, July 1, 2010

Too much TV?

I have always been the type to have something on while I am home, whether it be the TV, radio, etc.  Even when writing a 20 page research paper I needed the TV on.  And to be perfectly honest, that is how I have remained, even with a little one in the house.  Lately I know it has been getting a bit out of control because Lilly always wants the television on now.  What it came down to was that  I needed Lilly to be able to watch a show or two so that I could get dinner ready after getting home from a full work day.  And when she is not feeling well, we let her watch her favorite Little Bear because it always makes her happy.  I know, I know, it sounds like I am making excuses, and maybe I am.

However, summer is here and I am home with Lilly for two months, minus a few days here and there.  I have formulated a plan of sorts.  My plan is to let her watch some, Sesame Street or the like, in the morning while we eat breakfast.  Let's face it, I am not at my best until I am a little awake and have imbibed some coffee.  Additionally, I am planning on doing some early morning chores that I have generally left for later in the day.  So if I can unload the dishwasher, etc. while making aforementioned coffee, I will be ahead of the game.

Then during the witching hour we might put on a little Fresh Beat Band or Yo Gabba Gabba.  That is when I can get dinner started.  Obviously things might change based on weather or if she gets sick (please don't get sick!) or if I just need a little break!

You might be asking what prompted this.  Lilly and I came downstairs this evening after we had been putting away laundry.  Vinnie had gone to pick up the pizza and the TV was not on.  Today was a beautiful day in the Northeast and I had the windows open to let in the fabulous breezes.  Lilly sat at the coffee table with some markers and a coloring book and all of a sudden I heard it.  The silence.  I have become so accustomed to background noise that its absence was just delightful.  I realized in that moment that I wanted to cut down on my need for the TV and radio.  I will keep you all updated on how I am doing with this new undertaking.  I think I will find a lot more time to get stuff done!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

T-Day...warning...long post!

Sorry this took so long to put up.  I wrote it in stages.

So today (6/25) was testing day for Lilly.  Last night when I was speaking to the doctors it became apparent that she might not have the testing because of the cold/ear infection she has.  She has been on antibiotics since Tuesday so I was hopeful that it had cleared up enough for today.  They said I should plan as if we were going forward and they would check her in the morning.

Last night was difficult because she could not eat or drink anything but water or apple juice and then nothing after 6am.  I generally don't nurse her too much at night anymore.  She usually sleeps until 6ish so I nurse her then.  Of course last night she was screaming for about an hour to nurse starting at 4:00am.  She finally fell back asleep and I got to sleep for about an hour.

The one nice thing about driving to the hospital at 6am is that while driving through the reservation I saw a great blue heron.  I have always been fascinated by them and so seeing him (or her) gave me a sense of calm.

At the hospital Lilly was the belle of the waiting room.  She was talking to everyone, reading her books to me and dressing and undressing her baby too many times to count.  She went right in and even plopped on the bed on her belly to watch the nurse write down my answers to the questions.  She put the hospital-issued socks on her hands and made puppets and waved hi to everyone who walked by.  Of course as she saw the beverage cart roll by she started asking for applesauce and juice and pancakes and...you get the picture.

The anesthilogist was really great and determined that she was okay to be sedated.  At this point I was relieved because I did not want to have to do this all over again next week.  When the nurse was asking me if she went on the potty because they needed a urine sample Lilly said that she wanted to go on the potty.  Sure enough she went right on the little urine catcher they put on the toilet for her.  I was afraid she would not have enough urine because she had not had a drink since 8pm the previous night.

When it came time, I carried Lilly to the MRI room.  That was where it turned terrible as I had to hold her hands down while they put the mask over her face and she was sedated.  Then I had to go out and wait.  The MRI was completed in less than the allotted 45 minutes.  I then followed behind her as she was wheeled to the EEG room.  That took longer than I had expected but everything went well.  The nurse came to get me and she said that Lilly was asking for Mommy.  When I walked into the room she tried to get up but fell right back down.  She started laughing at herself and she was so loopy.  She could not even hold her head up for several minutes.  We walked back to recovery and after a few minutes Lilly was able to eat some crackers and drink apple juice.  She was desperately trying to befriend the baby in the crib next to us.  He was not as interested, poor bunny.

It takes about 24 hours for the sedation stuff to be out of her system so we had about a day of clumsiness and crankiness.  All in all she did really well, though.  She did not vomit or anything.  She did start to run a lowgrade (99.5) fever so we started the Motrin routine.  We have an appointment to see the neurologist in mid-July to get the results.  Meanwhile, if something big came up they would call us ASAP.  I am assuming that for now, no news is good news.  


So if you made it to the end, thank you for reading.  I wanted to give everyone as much information as I could but it was also good for me, mentally, to get this out of my head and onto "paper."

Monday, June 28, 2010

cool jewelry giveaway

My old elementary & high school friend, Jen makes her own awesome jewelry that she sells through her etsy site.  I am not lucky enough to own a piece yet, but seriously, they are pieces of art.  She is hosting a giveaway right now...check it out here!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I promise...

....to have new posts up soon!  I am done for the school year on Thursday!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

....and I got the job!

Thanks to everyone for the prayers/positive vibes/encouraging thoughts/etc.  They worked I got the job in Hoboken.  I am really, really excited about this!  If you are my facebook friend you already know about it. Basically I will be a support for teachers in the preschool classrooms.  The great thing is that I will be working through the Board of Education so I get to transfer my pension and I get all the BOE perks (namely, health insurance).  It will be a new position for me, but not a 360 from what I have been doing this past year.  I love Hoboken and the people who live and work there.  The commute sucks.  A lot.  But it is less miles to Hoboken than to new Brunswick.  For those not familiar with NJ, I will be driving with the traffic going to NYC.  Hoboken is the last exit before the Lincoln and Holland tunnels to NYC.  So you can imagine at 8am it is a bit of a mess.  But I did it for 5 years and I was way less organized then.  Funny how kids force you to get organized, huh!

It is 11pm on Sunday night and I want to get a little reading in before I turn off the lights so this is good night.  I started this series last week and am on the latest book.  Of course when I am done I will need to wait until the author publishes a new one.  I hope everyone has a great week!  Oh, and if you are not a follower but read my blog please consider following it!  Thanks  :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

catching-up

I have not written in what feels like ages because life has been a little hectic.  I have gone on 2 interviews: 1 for Early Intervention which I was offered on the spot and 1 for a position in Hoboken for the BOE.  More on that 2nd one later this week, I hope.  The Early Intervention position is hourly but functions more like a contract.  I can work around my schedule and have as many/few clients as I can handle.  This is something I have really wanted to do so I am thrilled by this opportunity.  I am hoping that I will be able to build a relationship with this company and then if/when we decide to expand our family it will allow me to stay home with #2 a little longer than I would otherwise be able.

In the midst of graduation, being let go, interviewing, etc. I was also dealing with Lilly getting sick.  Again.  It started off in her usual way...with a febrile seizure.  We brought her to the doctor and was told she had laryngitis/croup and to expect the barky cough to start that night.  Sure enough it started about midnight.  Well by day 2 of the cough and shortness of breath I was getting very concerned.  I had really been trying to be calm because I know so many people end up in the ER unnecessarily.  I called the doctor before I put her to bed Thursday (we had been to see him on Tuesday) and based on her symptoms he told us to go straight to the ER.  Now, I was thinking as we walked in that it was kind of sad and disconcerting that I was beginning to know many of the faces in the pediatric ER.  Lilly was seen ultra quickly and was given an oral dose of a strong steroid to calm her breathing.  It worked within the hour and we were on our way home.

By Saturday Lilly seemed to be on the mend.  Her temperature was back down in the 97s without ibuprofen and her cough was barely noticeable.  She had a slight runny nose, as expected.  Sunday morning I woke up to her having a febrile seizure in the bed next to me.  Vin and I got dressed and brought her to ER once again.  There seemed to be no infection and nothing else going on.  Back home we went but since it was Sunday of Memorial Day weekend I was glad we went.  Plus the ER doc told me that I should always bring her if I feel I need to, especially after a seizure.

I have an appointment for the diagnostic testing Lilly needs for the day after my last day of work.  i am not thrilled that she will be sedated for approximately 1.5 hours, but at least we will rule out any other causes of the seizures.

Meanwhile I have been trying to work out with the wii when I can.  I REALLY want to get back to the gym as well, but finding the time seems impossible.  And food, well, I have not lost and I am trying not to beat myself up for stress eating when Lilly was sick.  At least I know that when I am stress eating now it is still not nearly as bad as before.  Like I might have a doughnut.  Okay, 2 doughnuts.  But I am not eating doughnuts, cookies and 2nd helpings of dinner and maybe some ice cream after.

As an aside, Lilly has been obsessed with "ham" or Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss for the uninitiated.  I think Vinnie and I know that book by heart.  Her next fave is There is a Monster at the End of this Book.  She CRACKS up!!   To know Lilly really is to love her.  She just lights up my world.  Which reminds me...only 12 more work days until I am home with my bunny for the summer!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday night

I am sitting on my favorite spot on the couch right now looking around my living room.  There are veggies from Lilly's dinner in odd places, naked babies strewn about, pull-ups that were taken off by Lilly because she wanted to be naked, 2 baskets of laundry to be folded (and there is more in both the washer and the dryer), play food and dishes scattered around, and I cannot see them but I know that there are dirty dishes in the sink and cat litter to be changed.

My hubby is out at a Mets game and I was home by myself with Lilly tonight.  She was having a really hard day.  I think she was still recovering from our chaotic, crazy weekend as well as 2 vaccines this past week.  I felt like I was cleaning all day.  I mopped the kitchen floor, did a little food shopping, ran the dishwasher, put in several loads of laundry, gathered some of the garbage (hubby did 95% of that) and cleaned out my car.

So I guess I am wondering what I did all day that I still have so much to do at 11pm.  I spent a lot of time putting out fires a.k.a. helping Lilly calm down after tantrums and part of this evening catching up on Parenthood on my dvr.  But I did a lot even so.  Oh well.  I guess it is just the life of a mom.

Definition: Snuggle

The definition of snuggle is varied depending on who is using it and at what time.

1. A substitute for late night or nap time nursing.  i.e. used by me: No, it is not time to nurse but we can snuggle. Used by Lilly: Snuggle Mommy, snuggle! said in screaming voice at 4am or nap time.

2. The act of laying down next to your child until either s/he falls asleep.

3. The act of laying down next to your child and not waking until your husband comes to find you 2 hours later or better yet your child uses a bike horn in your ear and/or pours her water all over you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's official...I have graduated!


At the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ.  
My friend Nicole, my rock, maybe the best thing I gained from grad school.
Lilly tried on my cap.  She loved the tassel.
Vinnie, Lilly and I in front of the Izod Center.



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Back in the proverbial saddle again

So, (imagine a long, drawn out version) I have not been to the gym in goodness knows how long.  My diet off the wagon big time the last weeks and I was losing motivation to restart it all.  I weighed myself today and I have gained a couple pounds.  boo.  I decided to re-commit myself to my eating plan.  I stayed on track today.  It would be so simple to not count/write down little treats here and there.  Doughnuts call my name all freakin' day long!!!  I would like to know how they even learned my name.  heehee...

I worked out with my Wii Sports active and started a 30-day challenge today.  I also really, really want to get back to the gym.  I miss it.  Hubby wants to see if we can cancel it but I want to see how I can rearrange my schedule so that I can get there.  Oh and I drank tons of water today.  More than my usual, that is.

I just have to stop lying to myself.  I cannot eat candy and sweet treats like some other people can.  I can and will do it this time!  But I will eat some cake on my graduation day!!!!

As an aside, this is the scale I have.  It is kind of annoying me because sometimes when I step on it I have drastically different weights from one minute to the next.  For instance this morning my weight was the series:
1. x (x=weight)
2. x-4
3. x+.4
4. x-6
5. x
6. x
I know I should just let it go, but if I know it is that different I want to make sure I get the closest number possible.  Today I picked the one that made the most sense and also came up the most.  And it is a new scale.  grrr.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

tiredness

I am really tired.  Like bone-tired, can't think of how I will survive without good, solid sleep tired.  I am not sure what happened.  I think part of it, a good part, is that I am emotionally tired.  Another large part is that I think the last time I got several consecutive nights of good, solid sleep was about, um, 2.5 years ago.  Basically from the beginning of pregnancy onward it has been a struggle to get great sleep.  Now, I survive pretty well on less sleep than most people.  However I believe my limit has been reached.  I need Lilly to sleep tonight and I need to go to bed NOW!

My Four Monkeys giveaways

1.  On My Four Monkeys blog she is having a Gazillion bubbles giveaway.  I love Gazillion bubbles and Lilly loves them too!

2.  I always love new books and I have a particular fondness for children's picture books.  My four Monkeys is giving away a book by Mark Teague called Firehouse.  It looks adorable and is perfect for all your fire truck loving toddlers and preschoolers!

truth in blogging

Okay fellow bloggers.  Here is the deal.  Sometimes I really want to write about a situation.  But I know if I do there is a big chance that someone close to me will read it and most likely be hurt by it.  Not that I would be writing anything very negative.  I am sure that these are situations that happen in everybody's life.  But it probably would feel different to be reading about yourself on someone's blog than just experiencing it in real life.  I would imagine that it would mostly be because everything would be from my point of view.

Anyway, I just wonder what other people do.  I am guessing most people just don't write about it.  Which is what I do (or don't) even if sometimes I really, really want to.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kanzashi hair clip giveaway

My Four Monkeys has another giveaway that is pretty cool.  It is to kick off her new Etsy shop.  They are really beautiful hair clips that are home made.  This one ends a week from today on 5/24 so enter now!

Melissa & Doug giveaway through My Four Monkeys

My Four Monkeys is one of my favorite blogs.  She is hosting a cool giveaway that ends tonight.  I know, I know, I am so behind on my giveaways.  This one is for a  Melissa & Doug ice cream play set.
  As a teacher and a mom I love Melissa & Doug.  Lilly has loved everything made by them as well.  Enter away! 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The SodaStream Review

I had won a SodaStream machine and several sample flavors through a giveaway on Savvy Coupon Mommy's blog.  I have had it about 2 weeks and thought I would give a little review.

First of all, I thought it was so cool to have won something.  I never win anything and this was something I really wanted.  Okay, my husband is the one who really wanted it but I thought it was a cool concept.  In fact, I did not get to make a soda for about a week.  Vinnie loves to make it!  The first time I made one I did so while Vinnie was out at school.  I remembered how to do it, kind of, but was missing one crucial step.  You are supposed to twist the bottle to the machine before you start the carbonation process.  I did not.  The first hit of carbonation sent the water spraying all across the kitchen and me.  Oh and this was the morning of Lilly's birthday party!

Here are a few things I really love about it.  The regular flavors do not use high fructose corn syrup.  The diet flavors do not use aspartame.  The downfall is that they do taste rather diet-y.  The machine is very streamlined and does not take up much space.  It also does not need to be plugged in!!  I do not have many outlets in my kitchen so this was a huge plus.  It uses regular water.  What is easier than that?

So besides the diet-y taste there are no negatives that I can see for now.  We have made a lot of bottles and have not needed a cartridge change yet.  There is a store in South Orange called Kitchen a la Mode that I understand sells the cartridges and the flavors.  This will be convenient and shopping local is a plus.  I don't know yet how often we will need to change it.  It might be a good idea to keep an extra on hand.

The verdict?  We love it and will continue to use it.  We had a party last weekend and Vinnie did a little tasting for some people.  It was fun and people were awed by the fact that you can make your own soda.

Do you have one?  What is your favorite flavor?

Friday, May 14, 2010

It feels as if I am propping my eyes open with toothpicks

Lordy am I tired.  This week was so emotional.  It started out with Mother's Day and my birthday on Sunday, being let go on Monday, having an interview on Thursday and finding out on the way home that another co-worker was let go, some other in-between crap and tomorrow is my Convocation.  I am about to go upstairs, read my book U is for Undertow Kinsey Milhone Mystery and listen to some Enya:  A Day Without Rain.  Reading helps my mind empty itself of any crap floating around.  The music calms my soul.  I know that playing Enya to relax is played out.  I get it.  But it still works for me.  And at this juncture, whatever works will be utilized to its fullest extent.

Last night I did not go into Lilly's room when she started crying at 10pm.  She fell back asleep.  She did not come into our room until 5am-ish.  Tonight I let her cry again for about 5 minutes.  So far she went back to sleep.  It is so hard as a parent to stay out of the room.  We had gotten pretty good at letting her cry and recognizing her different cries.  After she was sick and had the last few seizures I did not leave anything to chance and went in if she cried for more than a few minutes.  It is difficult for me to let go of that need to check on every little whimper.  However I am doing her an injustice by not letting her fall asleep on her own.  She became accustomed (very quickly I might add) to getting up around 10pm and hanging out with us.  But 2 y.o. girls need their sleep and so do their parents!!

So what the heck am I still doing awake???  Blogging and finishing the dishes and feeding the cats.

Happy weekend!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hopeful day

Today I had an interview.  I think it was a great interview.  I may or may not have be what they are looking for, but either way I think it was successful.  I was confident and knowledgeable and I don't think I said "um" too many times.  I am really trying to be open about this whole situation.  If the job is meant to be mine that it will be.  If it is not, then something else will come along.

And you know, even though I detest the Hoboken traffic, it was good to be back!

updating my blog

So I decided to "monetize" my blog.  I am not sure what that really means at this point.  If it gets annoying for readers please let me know.  My intention is not to turn people away.  I want more people to read my blog, not less!  One of the ways I am doing this is by linking to Amazon if I am discussing something.

For example, instead of linking to the Radio Flyer site when discussing the cool trike that my brother got my daughter for her birthday, I would link it to the Amazon Radio flyer site.

I am going to have to try it out a bit and see what I think of it.  My thought was that if I am writing this blog anyway and I no longer have a job as of June 30th, then I will try to make some money from it.

Comment and let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Day, New Perspective

Just a quick note before I leave for work this morning.  I had a great night of sleep (thank you Lilly!) and was able to wake up refreshed with a new perspective on this whole job situation.  Well, maybe not a brand new perspective, but there are some new thoughts.

I am going to do the best job I can for the remainder of my time there.  My job is to support the teachers, and in that I support the children.  I am going to get the most out of this job - experience wise - as I can in the next 7 weeks.  I am not going to stress over the team dynamics, which are pretty terrible and stress me out many days.  I am going to get great references from my co-workers and my directors for that job that I know is waiting for me.  I am going to be grateful for my experience this year as a working mom because it has changed how I work with parents and has given me more empathy in that area.  I am going to look forward to being a SAHM again for the summer (and perhaps beyond).  I am going to be open to any and all possibilities of being a work-at-home mom, consultant, anything!

And right now I am going to go clean up cat puke before I step in it on my way out the door!