Friday, April 29, 2011

My Wish For You

Watching the Royal Wedding today didn't make me think about my own wedding, as I had originally thought, but rather to my daughter and what she will become one day and her own wedding. Kate was such a stunning bride, full of poise and grace, but if you looked closely at her mom, who is filled with joy, you can see a tiny bit of sadness in her eyes...because today she is losing her little girl. It is hard to believe that after taking care of, loving, raising, and always being there for your daughter, one day she gets married and, together with her husband, starts a new life. I wanted to write down what I will tell A on her wedding day,  that a long time ago when she was only 1 year old, I made a wish for her...

Dear A,

My wish for you is simple. I want you to grow up happy, knowing we love you more than we ever thought possible. I want you to find joy in what you do every day, and cherish how lucky you are to be able to do what you love. I want you to find someone who thinks they love you more than we do, and shows you each day how special you are to them. I want you to laugh each day as much as you do now, and always enjoy the simple things in life, like a flower petal on the ground, or a leaf that is left over from the fall. I want you to be kind to others, and polite to everyone. I want you to be gracious and thoughtful, but also determined and strong willed. I want you to be everything you can dream of, and then a little bit more. And most importantly, I always want you to be our little girl.

Daily Mom

Thursday, April 28, 2011

From Bad To...Great!

Isn't it funny how some days you think are going to go all wrong, turn out to be pretty good....well today was one of those days. It started off this morning great. A and I were off to the mall to meet for Stroller Strides (our workout group) and since we were early I had time to run into the Apple store to get a new case for my iphone, since my old one broke. We headed into Apple and found the cutest Kate Spade black with polka dot case! As I squeal "yes" to A and show her the new case I do a mental fist pump, task 1 of our day...check! Then one of the 50 Apple employees comes up to me and informs me (in a not super nice tone) that if I was picking that out for my phone it was useless...since it is only compatible with the iphone 4. Drats, I really liked this one. I ask him to show me the options for the "old iphone" as he referred to my poor little phone, and he pointed to two very ugly cases.
 "That is all!" I exclaim in a pretty hostile tone?!?
 "Yes; everyone else has upgraded to the 4".  (That must be cool man speak for the iphone 4)
Ha, likely story buddy. As I begrudgingly pick up one of the ugly cases to purchase, since the plastic on my broken case is super sharp and I have already cut myself, I am not chancing it with A who loves to carry my phone around. *Yes, I know. I also read the article in the recent Parenting Magazine about the harmful effects of letting children carry around cell phone, but seriously, it will be harmful to my hearing if she doesn't get it when she wants it. I am going to take my chances with the un-researched claims of radiation. *

Anyway...I unzip my diaper bag and reach in for my wallet when I is still in the bag I took to work last night. Crap! Oh well, I can manage with a broken case for a little longer. I retreat empty handed from the Apple store and head to my workout.

Kate is teaching today...oh joy...we are going to die! 1 hour later I am sweaty and already sore, as my GF's and I figure out what we are going to do for our weekly (Thursday) playdate and lunch. Since it is raining we opt for Tiny Town and lunch at Nordstrom's Cafe. Remembering I do not have my wallet, I run out to the parking lot to get my emergency TCBY fund that I keep in a little compartment in my car. Now, most people would have about 5 dollars in their emergency frozen yogurt fund...but not me, I have $20. Stop judging...let me explain. There is this new TCBY store that is opening soon near me that is self-serve. Do you understand?!? I control how much yogurt and toppings go into my cup, so with this in mind, $20 seems more reasonable now, don't you think :)

Anyway, we head down to Tiny Town and let the kids run around among the other 400 children who also thought Tiny Town would be fun on this rainy day. After about 30 minutes we get fed up with our kids being pushed, shoved, and used as stepping stools, so we pack them up again and make our way to Nordstrom's.

Once we are all settled into our nice little table in the back, with plastic sticky placemats for all the kids (pink for the girls of course, and tough ones for the boys) our lunch arrives.

 I bet you are wondering why my day, without a wallet and with rain turned out so great...let me tell you. I learned the most amazing thing today. Nordstrom's Cafe accepts Nordstrom's gift cards! Since, I always carry a Nordstrom's gift card with me (yep, always) I enjoyed a yummy lunch with my daughter and our friends and was still able to tuck that emergency $20 back in my car for TCBY!

All in all, I would say this turned out to be a pretty successful day...and the sun is coming out now, too!  

Daily Mom

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sherwood Gardens

There is nothing I like more than Sherwood Gardens. It is the most beautiful piece of serene park right in the middle of the most beautiful neighborhood in the city. I mean, honestly, how can there be a piece of land this beautiful in the middle of the city. Plus, it is a bit of a secret, since it is pretty tricky to get to, only the locals know about it :)

So as we packed a picnic lunch, our favorite Bed Bath and Beyond blanket (that sadly is not really waterproof anymore), the ball, and called A's cousins to meet us, we knew we were in for a treat!

Daily Mom

Better Luck Next Year

So, I am sure you are wondering how the Easter egg hunt went...well I wouldn't say it was her best work. Let me give you a little time line. We woke up at our regular time, around 7am, then had breakfast, played and headed off to church at 9am. After an hour juggling her around and playing with her cousins, we piled back in the car and made our way to my sister's house. Luckily A caught some shut eye on the way out there for about 15 minutes which greatly improved her declining mood. When we arrived, my sister had a mini Easter egg hunt, which A did pretty well in, considering we were outside (we did not train properly for the outdoor element and distractions)...good thing A's hunt at the club would be inside :)

My sister had rigged her hunt for her three girls to find a surprise bunny rabbit (oh yes, a real one) as their Easter present. I mean how much cuter does it get than getting a bunny for Easter. After the kids located the bunny and everyone held, pet, and snuggled Jelly Bean (the bunny's new name), we packed back in the car for the short trip to brunch around 11am.

If it were an eating contest, A would have dominated. She took down a huge chicken finger, steamed carrots, a plate of fruit, a large ravioli, and a human size croissant. Hey, I didn't say it was the healthiest brunch, but she was happy. After her belly couldn't hold anymore, we made our way outside to wait for directions for the egg hunt. As we look over and see lots of colorful eggs hidden in bushes and potted plants my blood pressure rises. We didn't practice for an outdoor Easter egg hunt, and we certainly did not practice for the eggs being hidden anywhere but on the ground. I make a mental note to factor that in to next year's egg hunting practice and chalk this one up.

After a bit of a grouchy A got all decked out for the hunt, ears and all, we make our way over.

As Brian shouted, three, two, one, go....A was already miles behind the other 2 and 3 year olds. Ha, this is not turning out to be a fair I do what any mom would...I pick her up and shuffle her past her competition to the far end of the hunt to grab some eggs. I felt a little badly at first, but then a dad of another small tot followed suit, and we cleaned up the far end! As our basket was getting pretty heavy (with her 4 eggs) and it was already almost 1:30pm (an hour and a half past her typical nap) we said our good bye's and made out way to the stairs to collect the rest of our goodies inside.

That is when it happened...the Easter Bunny made an appearance. Now, as you can guess from the time I have a very tired, and rather hot 1 year old in my arms. As if in slow motion, I dart for the outside staircase to avoid a bunny sighting and imminent meltdown when I am blocked by two of the oldest human beings alive. Since their accessories included a cane and an oxygen tank, I wait as they slowly made their way down the stairs. By this time the Easter Bunny is closing in hard on our location. I shift A to the other hip, and tuck her head...seconds too late. She sees the EB looming mere inches from her and starts bawling. Saying excuse me, as loudly as possible, in the hopes their hearing-aids will pick up my voice, I squeeze in-between the railing and the oxygen tank, hoping over the cane, and take the stairs two at a time, leading us to safety.

Phew, I need another 12 months before I can take this again.

Daily Mom

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our Very Big Day

What do you do when you look out the front door and see a 5 foot by 3 foot box on your doorstep? Well, first you have to look around to make sure no one is trying to distract you while they secretly break into your house and steal everything. Check. Then you have to kick the box to make sure there is nothing alive inside. Check. Then all that is left, is trying to drag this ridiculously huge box (which is rather heavy, on top of being awkward) into your house while holding a wiggling one year old. Check.

So this is how our afternoon went the other day...we found the box after naptime and started our examination process. There are only two people who would send something like this, and since it was not A's birthday or a special holiday (you don't get big Easter presents from non immediate family) I knew it could not be from her Aunt Amanda. That left only one mom. Since A cannot read yet, I told her it was from FAO Schwartz...thank you return label...and we started, timidly, figuring out what her Gigi had gone and done now.

We started by looking through the crack at the top of the box. Apparently whatever it was, happened to be too big for this box and was busting out of the top. As I lifted A up to see the two small brown and white horns, just peaking though the opening, I had a pretty good guess at what was inside. I knew this was going to be good, so I had to run and get the camera to capture A's face when we got this box open. With camera in hand, I opened the top of the box and lifted out a little (well let's be honest, not much about this is really little) brown and white head. You would have thought A just won the lottery. She was dancing, squealing, and running all over the family room.

As I struggled the rest of the giant giraffe out of the box, she couldn't get enough of it. You all know how much A loves giraffes so this was a very exciting afternoon for her. She walked right up and started petting and hugging and kissing it. Then she started to really get a good look at it, walking around it and touching it's side.

I thought she was being so cute and gentle to her new stuffed animal, when it happened....

The giant giraffe tipped (or really crashed) over! Apparently she was being gentle because A has learned she needs to be gentle to animals, real ones, and must have thought this was real, since she LOST it when it tipped over. A few hugs later, we played doctor to her giraffe, Zoe (named after the one at the zoo) who miraculously made a full recovery.

All this excitement must have made her pretty hungry, and since it was snack time we headed into the kitchen. As I am lifting A into her chair she is saying "looooonnnnng" and rubbing her neck (which is what we do when we see the real giraffes) so of course being the type of mom that I am, I went back to the family room and dragged Zoe through the house for snack time with A.

Daily Mom

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dear Easter Bunny....

For our adventure today we decided it would be fun to go and meet the Easter Bunny. Just to give you a little background, we have been prepping for Easter for about two weeks. We bought the little plastic eggs and have been setting up Easter egg hunts for A each day. At first she would pick up one egg and turn it over in her little hand enjoying the, we cannot have any of that if we plan on dominating during the Easter egg hunt this week, so we have been training her. She can now pick up a whole pack of eggs, one at a time and drop them into her dumb truck (yes, we thought practicing with a basket would be a bit over kill) in about two minutes. She is going to crush all those other one year olds! :) Did I mention we are a bit competitive? Huh, well now you know.

So back to our day....we arrive at  Kenilworth at 11:30 to get some lunch and then get in line for our picture with the Easter Bunny. We had been talking about it all morning, in the car on the way there, over lunch, and while we were looking at the fountain. Ha, this will be a cinch! A ran right up to the Easter Bunny's chair this morning before he arrived and was practically pulling down the plastic fence to get bad could this really go? Well, let me tell you, my child does not like the Easter Bunny. Not even a little.

After waiting in line for what seemed like 3 hours, in reality it was about 8 minutes, it was our turn! I set A down to walk over when she was ready, and she headed right over. Then she looked up and saw this giant white monster with a plastic face and stopped dead in her tracks. I guess the Easter Bunny looked a little bigger when we were right up next to him. I picked her up and we went over and gave the EB a high five...well, I did as A watched. I even petted it's ears, but nothing, she wouldn't even reach out a little finger, let alone crack a smile. I am sure I can get her to smile, I thought as I set her in the EB's lap. That is when she looked over her shoulder and LOST IT. I am not talking little tears, the kid is petrified. Naturally the camera man snapped a shot as I raced over to save her from a lifetime of scarring.

As we headed home with our token snap shot, all I could focus on was if this rabid bunny would affect her performance in the egg hunt. Note-to-self...if there is an Easter Bunny near the egg hunt area...take him down!

Happy Easter!
Daily Mom

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So what do you do on an 80 degree day in good old Baltimore....take the kids to the zoo of course! Have I mentioned before that we love the zoo?

A bunch of my girlfriends and I all met up and headed off for a fun filled morning and picnic lunch at the zoo. After we got all the kids strapped into their strollers, with a snack and their sippy cups we headed off. our group is so much fun because all of us are first time mom's, and we all have kids (two boys and two girls in the group) who are within 4 months of each other, which makes chatting about toddler issues (yes, we decided today that we no longer have babies we now have toddlers!) all that much more fun.

After a few laps around the otters, giraffes (yes, A was going nuts again), elephants, swamp lands (it probably has a nicer name, but trust me it is just a swamp area), and of course a stop to pet the goats, we settled by the giraffes for lunch. Each of us pulled out sandwiches for the kids, two turkey and cheese, one pb&j, and one just cheese, and we got chatting. As we talked we each ended up pulling out cheese, strawberries, puffs, veggie sticks, grapes, mash-ups, graham crackers, and mandarin oranges...naturally this brought us to our next eating.  

Turns out none of our kids actually eats all that much for lunch. They all took a few bites of sandwich, then were off playing with the flowers and pulling up the grass. After several failed attempts at trying to shove a bit more sandwich down them, we gave up and moved on to fruit. After that lost its appeal also, we moved on to baby crack...aka pirates bootie...aka puffs. In addition to all of our kids not really being big into lunch, they all hate milk. We counted that they each probably only drink about 5-10oz of milk a day. Huh...who knew, A was not the only one who was not a milk fan!

About 30 minutes later, lunch was smeared all over the four kids, who by this point were sampling each other's food and sippy cups, while we tried to corral them on the picnic blankets; and we were cracking up over how stressed we all get over milk and food consumption. In the hopes of making life easier and less stressful (mainly for our husbands) we decided to no longer worry about how much our kid is eating or drinking as long as they are still smiling and being crazy. We also came up with a conclusion about parenting and how it becomes a bit more flexibly over time. So our conclusion is kid #1 gets the crazy stressed out parent who measures how much milk the kids drinks in a day and has about 15 different healthy choices for meals. Kid #2 gets the more mellow, in-the-know parent who is still able to provide healthy snacks and could care less how much the kids is drinking as long as it is milk and water. Then kid #3 comes along and is lucky to get fed in-between carpool, daycare, and errands, while their sippy cup is filled with toilet water because it was the only cold liquid in the house.

It is true...girlfriends really can figure anything out...although we all agreed next time it would need to be over a few glasses of wine!

Daily Mom

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ball or Petals...

Today was supposed to be a rainy day, but it held off and turned out to be the most beautiful spring day. So obviously, after nap time  A and I headed outside to play. Now of course I brought her ball out, since it is her favorite toy, but today was a complete toss-up between the ball and the petals that had fallen from our magnolia tree. A could not decide which was more fun...picking up the half rotten petals and showing me, or throwing and kicking her ball around. Let's just say this afternoon was filled with a lot of picking up and kicking! petal

Let me get this one here...

No, I want my ball...oh look at that petal!

No, you are the best!

Wow...that petal is pretty...

Kick, kick, kick

So small, yet so beautiful!

I wonder how many I can hold?

Ewww....that one was squishy.

I love my ball!

I can only hope she always appreciates the simple things in life...

Daily Mom

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Neurotic Mom

So, I might have over-reacted today. There was this little brown dot on the back of A's head, which of course I thought was a cut from her itty bitty finger nails that always seem to be way too long...even when I cut them every three days! Anyway, so the little brown dot didn't both me at first, until in the bath I started picking at it to make sure it was a cut. Of course I was very gentle...her little head is still so tiny. Well, after I touched it, I realized it could not be a cut, and was probably a mole. Then the panic set in. Why had I not seen it before? Was it raised? Was it misshaped? Is my little girl okay?

I know it has a lot to do with the society we live in, but of course my mind jumped to the worst possible option. I immediately called our doctor and got an appointment for 4pm. So we had to miss our special night at Port Discovery that we had planned for two weeks, who really cares!

At 4:30 I was walking out of the doctor's office feeling a lot better and maybe a little embarrassed. It turned out to just be a scratch, or if it is a mole (it is literally that tiny you can't really tell), it is nothing to be worried about. If A already had hair then I would not even have noticed it! Apparently majority of kids are not born with moles (or freckles) and acquire them over the first few years. Well, now I know!

So on the way home we stopped to get some food for dinner at the grocery store and they happen to have these playground balls on sale! Now, A is completely in love with balls. The minute she saw them, she kept saying baaalllll, until I got one and let her hold it during the rest of our shopping. It was the least I could do after such a stressful day. Even if A had no idea I was a half second away from crazy. Here she is playing in our yard with Daddy and her new ball!

Daily Mom

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our Zoo Day!

I am not sure who loves the zoo more, A or me. Since it has been raining a lot over the past few weeks, we decided to really capitalize on this beautiful day and head to the zoo. So I called up one of my girlfriends and we packed lunch for the kiddies and decided to meet at 10am.

We pulled in around 10:15, which is massively impressive since we were due to meet at 10, and my gf and her little boy pulled in seconds later. After we got the kids out of the car and into their strollers, we took off on our zoo adventure. Remember how I said it was the first nice day in a while...yeah, the zoo was a little busy. After we got through the main entrance, not an easy feat, we hurried past about 5 different school field trips towards the polar bears. It seemed like a good place to start since it is on the furthest end of the park, and this way we could work our way backwards. The kids were not really into the two large white lumps laying on the rocks that we were pointing at and saying "bears", so we kept moving. We decided to hit the petting zoo next, since we figured most field trips would do that last, once the kids were a bit tired.

The petting zoo is amazing! There are donkeys, who stick their necks over and eat the crumbs out of your stroller, chickens, who come right up to the fence so you can get a good look, cows, pigs, sheep, and the best part of all....a goat pen with about 15 little goats just walking around waiting for you to come in and pet them. Of course A could not wait! The minute I unstrapped her from the stroller she tore off towards the goats. She investigated their bucket of hay, brushed one on the back with the little brush, and was in awe at the little brown and white goat chasing her around.

They also have some old western saddles and tractors for the kids to ride at the end of the petting zoo, so of course we had to stick them in for a quick picture! How cute are they!

Once they were good and tired we made our way over to see the giraffes before our picnic lunch. Now, I am not sure if you know this but A is completely obsessed with giraffes. Most of the animals we saw today got a wave or a smile, but the giraffes got a double wave and body wiggle. It is so cute how much she loves them! Unfortunately, it was getting to be lunch time, so we set up shop and let the kids have their lunch together on the blanket. Once again, that waterproof blanket came in handy!

After about two hours of looking at, playing with, and touching animals it was time to head back home. So we reluctantly got the kids all packed up and headed towards the cars. We did make a quick stop by the zebras and ostriches on our way out, so show them just one more exhibit!

Phew, I think today is going to be naptime for everyone :)

Daily Mom