Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Chaos Before the Calm

Where are the ruffled socks?

Do I have the personalized hair bows? 

I cannot forget my engagement ring, or make up. That would be bad. 

Do I have the bag of snacks? drinks? bribes? 

Where's my speech? Is it good enough? Will they laugh? cry? GULP...stay silent?

It's here, the day before my sister gets married. 

Her rehearsal dinner is but a few hours away. The planning, the chaos, and the tears have been shared. The final fitting of the dress over, as I learned how to tighten the corset and bustle the train. We're all ready. 

It's time for the fun stuff now, the stuff that makes the memories.  

It's time for little girls in their dresses and party shoes. 

It's time for the vows and the rings.
It's time for the wow as she walks in, 
the shared smile as they see each other for the first time, 
and the kiss to seal the deal. 

It's time to reminisce with the extended family we don't see nearly enough. 

It's time to share a drink or two or three with the friends we've known since childhood. 

All too happen the everyday gets in the way. Work, schedule, routine, and conflicts make their voices known, preventing us from that promised dinner out or visit. Everyday life happens and it's so easy to get swept up in the montony. However on days like this, it gives us all a reason to pause, to make an effort to enjoy the moment. 

It's time to celebrate! 

The bride to be and one of her flower girls mid tickle!

It's #GoodThingsThursday at the Little White Whale. 
What's 'gooder' than a wedding? 
Little White Whale

Monday, August 20, 2012

I Like to Move it!

How fitting is it that my first Monday back with my fav, Stasha and her Listicles this late Summer involves redeeming facts about the family car?

I have been M.I.A. on Mondays recently mainly because of my recent travels- day trips, doctors appointments, and playdates, oh my! But today my schedule is free, of course except for our typical Monday grocery shopping. My date book is empty and so I can put forth the time this lovely meme deserves.

I have wrote about my conversion to worshiping in the House of Minivan. I defended my purchase when I wrote way back in December of 2010, about the kicking and screaming Bryan put forth as we settled on a our Kia Sedona. In Defense of our Minivan really summed it all up at that point - two kids, all their stuff, and the minivan.

Doesn't that just scream "American dream"?

But, I know there are some of you out there, still digging in your heels, spouting hate towards my beloved automobile.

To you I simply ask, why hate?
Where is the love, my friend?
 Minivans aren't the enemy, they don't have to be the antithesis of cool. They are functional, they are comfortable, and frankly, I cannot imagine my life as a mom without them.

Ten Reasons Why Minivans Rock!

1. No adult has to be the reject climbing over the seats to get into the back row.
All you third row SUV owners, don't pretend you don't know what I mean. Adults like leg room. They also prefer not to have to contort their bodies into shapes reminiscent of the Russian Rhythmic Gymnastics Team just to settle into a seat. Minivans access to the back row is relatively easy.

2. It's got lots of comfortable seating!
Enough places for kids to sit without beating the crap out of each other, unless of course you have five children, then I assume they're always beating the crap out of each other anyway, so this is nothing new. There's also something called "lots of leg room". Gasp! One can sit rather comfortably in most places.

3. Automatic Doors.
Press a button and the door opens.
Imagine, coming out of the grocery store. Full cart, screaming kids, and with one little push of a button, the door opens.
Obviously the designers of this option were parents, or have spent plenty of time in the parking lots outside the local grocery stores and Targets.

4. It's like a Living Room on Wheels.
I can't take credit for this one. My dear friend Sami formerly referred to her Ford Freestyle as this, but I think this fits the minivan better. Between the seats, the television, DVD, one could spend a lazy day just buckled in.

5. The Affordable Price Point
SUVs are expensive!
Minivans surprisingly start off significantly less. Who doesn't like more money in their pocket?

6. Take out the seats and voila, truck bed!
IKEA beware! With all the seats remove, we can pack a helluva lot of stuff in that space.

7. Decent Selection
Gone are the days where a minivan meant Chrysler or Chevy only, the minivan game is open wide. Between Honda, Toyota, Kia, & Chrysler the market is open. Even Volkswagen is in the minivan business now. Bye bye to the VW bus, hello Routon!

8. Status Symbol
Okay, so maybe this is bit of a stretch, but to me "minivan" equates passing into a certain level of adulthood. One who owns and drives a minivan is in the throws of parenthood- the screaming newborn, the whining toddler, the maniacal teen, the minivan encompasses it all. The rides to soccer games, doctors appointments, and family vacations- the universal family car.

9. The Space
It's easy to move around. Even when 21.5 weeks pregnant with kid 3, I can still manage rather easily to make way into all parts of the car.
Nursing a kid in the backseat while the older one plays on the floor with a book?
Done it!
Change into my bathing suit in the parking lot of Sesame Place?
Been there!
Play hide and seek while racing down the interstate?
Now don't be a moron.
However if parked, I do think there are some ample hiding spaces.

10. It's all mine!
I love our minivan.
It's the perfect fit for our family now, today and I don't doubt when kid 3 makes his/her debut soon, we won't feel like we're busting out at the seams. It's made it's way to the beach, amusement parks, soccer practices, and so much more!
It's a reliable member of the family.

Tell me about your car. Do you love it? Hate it? Is it what you need? What your family needs?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Girl Party

Once upon a time, a fire fighter asked a pediatrician to get married. 

She said yes and immediately began planning for the wedding of their dreams. 

 Having two lovely and adorable nieces, they were asked to be flower girls.

 As equally lovely and adorable was this woman's older sister, whom was asked to be matron of honor. 

Taking her duties, quite seriously, the matron of honor threw herself into planning a bachelorette party and bridal shower worthy of the bride to be's high standards

Nothing was too good for her little sister.
In turn, an evening in Philadelphia was decided upon. 
The evening included good friends, plenty of drinks, fabulous dinner, bowling, and one torrential downpour.

The very following Sunday, these lovely ladies as others gathered  to honor the bride to be with a 
"Love is Sweet"  bridal shower. 

While the bachelorette and shower were a success, Mo the flower girl was upset. Crying to her mother, she couldn't understand why she was not included in the bachelorette festivities? She enjoys going out to dinner and bowling was a favorite past time. 

"Why, oh why can't I come out with you Mommy?" she asks. 
Explaining that these events were for adults only Mo is left sad and deflated. 
"But I promise I'll be good!" she pleads. 
"I'm sorry Mo, it's for grown ups only". 

In response, the bride to be declares to the lovely little ladies: 
"How about we have a Flower Girl Day? It'll be a day just for the flower girls! We'll have lots of fun, just us girls. What do you think?"

A smile overtakes her face, as the talk of Flower Girl Day pushes the bachelorette party out of her mind. 

Flower Girl Day:
A day for two flower girls to celebrate with the bride to be (and their mommy and uncle). 

Two weeks before the wedding, Flower Girl Day is underway. 

It begins with presents for the two special girls:


& Books!

Then, like the ladies did a few weeks before, they make their way to the bowling alley.

Hugs are exchanged as the game finishes, as we prepare to head to lunch. 

Moving the festivities to the Pop Shop, we celebrate with fried pickles, french fries, pancakes, vanilla milkshakes, chocolate milk, and cherry cokes!

Finally returning home we share red velvet and yellow cupcakes as our Flower Girl day celebration is over. A most memorable day indeed for all those involved.  

Having a wedding? 
Do you have a flower girl or two? 
It's easy for them to get lost in the shuffle of planning the big day. I suggest you take a few hours and relish being a kid and have a Flower Girl day of your own!

Linking up with
Little White Whale and her Good Thing Thursday meme
Mama Track & My Time as Mom for their Meme:
Essence of Now

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I have a confession.

I like to talk.


Okay, the truth is I like to talk ... a lot.

I always have something to say, and more often than not, I say it.

I'm that lady that says "bless you" when there's a sneeze in the room.

I'm that annoying voice that commiserates with the mom with the crying baby in line at the drugstore.

I make eye contact and say hello to strangers who hold doors open for me.

I can't help it, my mom is the same. I guess it's safe to say it's in my genes.

I have a hard time minding my tongue, especially in situations where I feel knowledgeable.

Have a question about how to teach your kid to read?

I'm your girl!

Interested in breastfeeding?

I can help.

Would you like your three year old to swim?

Let me reach into my bag of tricks and share.

It's hard for me not to say anything. At times this is a good thing, but there are times where I need to keep my big mouth shut.

Less is more.

I'm not always the one in charge, even though I often believe I could do a better job.

I need to show restraint.

I need to shut up.

She looks up to me as I sit on the stands, a few feet from the water's edge. Her blue eyes widen as her instructor guides her on her back.

"Like a starfish Mo."

She obeys.

Legs frantic, as the rest of her body stiffens, uncomfortable in the water.

Calm down, Baby. Just relax. It's no different than in the ocean. 

Her chest rises and falls quickly. The panic obvious. As she calms, her breathing relaxes and returns to normal.

Her body tight, strong, and flat, like the starfish she is attempting to replicate.

I knew you could do it Lovie. You are so strong and you don't realize it. Keep going! Keep going!

Climbing back onto the side, "Good job Mo" her teacher relays.

Looking back to me, she finds my eyes. I smile and give her two thumbs up. Turning around, she watches as another girl complete the same starfish.

As her turn comes around again, she is asked to swim on her front. The flotation bubble that had been her lifeline the past three sessions, has been abandoned. Now she is required to swim by herself.

The big eyes make their return.

Reach, kick, calm yourself down. Keep that kick strong and really reach Mo! 

Sliding in the safe way, she pushes off towards her instructor.

Reaching, kicking.
Reaching, kicking.

Making her way to the lane lines without much assistance. She is doing it. She is swimming independently.

Wooohooo! Watch out Missy Franklin, here come's Mo. You're awesome kid! Awesome!

Turning around she heads back. The same frantic, panic look on her face, the same eyes the size of saucers, but her arms and legs, strongly paddling and kicking their way back to the safety of the wall.

"Good job Mo!" the instructor casually mentions as she makes her way to the next girl in line.

This was the first time she's done this! She's never made it that far by herself before. Don't you realize this is a monumental milestone. 8.11.12- the day Mo swam independently from the wall to the lane lines. It's kind of a big deal, worth more than a randomly spoken, 'Good job'. It's a great job, a phenomenal job, an fantastic job. 

Pulling herself up on the gutter, she sits and watches for a moment. Turning around, she looks directly at me,
"Did you see me? Did I do a good job?" she pleads.

If you only knew how proud I am of you right now. I want the crowd to give you a standing ovation. 

"Great job, now pay attention!" I say.

The class continues. Mo pays attention...most of the time, occasionally conversing with the girls on either side of her. (Like mother, like daughter).

Raising her hand, she answers questions. She volunteers to go first, again and again. She tries. She swims. She floats. She kicks and then she readies herself for the jumps.

Looking back to me, I wink. My support nonverbal for a change.

Reaching her arms out to the instructor in the water, she does a double take before she is able to subside her hesitations and throws her body towards the instructor with reckless abandon. Under she sinks, and then pops up, those eyes show the fear, the excitement, the energy.

Kicking and pulling she makes her way back to the wall, and pulls herself up.

She repeats the action again and again for the last five minutes of class. Dismissing the class, the teacher offers, one last "good job today!", before the little bodies return to their respective families.

Wrapping the yellow towel around her saturated body, I squeeze her a bit.

"Are you so proud?" she asks.

You'll never know baby. Every day, every single thing you do, my heart swells with pride. Every little accomplishment has me swooning over you. You are simply awesome. I am in awe of what you've done today. 

But instead of compliment on top of compliment. I show some restraint today.

"Am I proud?" I ask. "So, so very proud, Mo! You did awesome!"

That's enough for the smile to take over her face.

I didn't have to say everything that came to mind. I can relax and let her go, let her be taught, and let her listen to someone other than me. I can say less. I can be an observer.

I can let my silence speak for itself.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

20 down

Twenty Weeks down, Twenty Weeks to go. 
Kid three is officially:

I do believe a trip to Wawa for a ceremonious pint of the above pictured ice cream is in order for this occasion. 

In keeping with tradition, baby three's gender will remain unknown until delivery. For all those planners out there, (Danielle, Lynsay, Ash) I know it's killing you! 
Take a minute and make a guess. 

And for the record, only 19 weeks 6 days until Christmas. 
That's the joy with a December 26 due date. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Be happy for this moment.  
This moment is your life.
~Omar Khayyam

How often do I find myself wrapped up in the silly little things?

The laundry that needs to be done, the beds not made, the toys that have overtaken the family room. 
I can feel the stress rise. 
My blood pressure goes up, as the words spew from my mouth. 

"Clean up the mess!" 
"Put those toys away!"
"Let's go! Let's go! C'mon let's go!"

I'm in a hurry. A hurried and harried state, where I lose who am I. I don't like this person. I realize it and I need to change. 

Who am I kidding? 

Does any of this little stuff matter? 

Will they notice if their clothes lie an extra day in their laundry basket? 
Will they remember if their beds were neatly made every day? 
Will they remember the organizational bins mommy put in the living room to try and keep things in order?

The answer is simple. 
and neither will I. 

I will remember those silly faces,  

running through the waves,

those quiet moments of reflection, 

the disappearance of the baby as the little girl emerges,  

the cuddles, smiles, and joy in the moment. 

Be happy for this moment

fun filled, 

because this moment, 
this madness
 is life!

Little White Whale