Two Months Ago…

As I was going through the pictures on my camera, I stumbled upon some photos from our last days in Greece at the end of June. Even though the trip was only two months ago, I was hit immediately with a sense of longing to hop on a plane and go back to where our days were simple and relaxing (not hectic and rushed).

Our last family trip to the beach.

Our biggest concern each morning was whether the weather was beach-worthy and after a quick breakfast, we’d change into our bathing suits and hop in the Jeep. On our way down the mountain, we’d pass by the neighbor’s herd of sheep with our windows rolled down and the Phineas and Ferb soundtrack cranked up (the children are responsible for our choice of music, naturally).

Sheep!

We’d spend the next handful of hours playing in the water and on the sand, enjoying the breezy weather and looking forward to lunch and naps.

While I’m so grateful that we had a month of this delicious solitude, somehow it never feels like enough. I need to find a way to capture that “slowed-down feeling” during the other 11 months of our lives because right now, all I see is an endless string of appointments and must-dos.

Signed,

Still Wishing It Was Summer Break

 

 

Full Circle

 

 

Yesterday, I saw Lexi and Payton sharing the little Thomas sofa. As soon as I snapped the picture, it tickled something in my memory.

 

I went searching through my blog archives because I was certain that I had an almost identical picture of Parker at roughly Lexi’s age doing the exact same thing.

 

I was right! Parker was about 19 months in the above picture compared to Lexi’s 16 months, but good ol’ Payton is still a fixture on that couch.

As I was reminiscing about my sweet baby boy, I realized that Lexi is almost the exact age that Parker was when I started this blog. Wow. And since I haven’t been running, I’m about at the same place in that regard, too.

Hmmm, perhaps it’s time to start planning for another marathon?!

 

Working Around Picky Eaters

It’s no secret around here that we continue to struggle with Parker’s picky eater ways. It’s not that he doesn’t like a bunch of different types of foods, it’s just that getting him to try new things in the first place is like pulling teeth. Sometimes, I think he would rather we pull his teeth than make him take a single bite of ________ (fill in the blank with anything here).

So instead of having the same circular conversation (where everyone ends up frustrated and defeated before the meal even starts), I decided to try a new tactic. I thought that perhaps if he helped me make different foods and then had a chance to rate those options (and be rewarded for trying them), we might have better luck. I chose ‘pizza’ for our first night of experimentation since he’s already familiar with it and I wanted this first experience to be a positive one.

First, we made four different types of individual pizzas: cheese (the only type he would eat so far), pepperoni, pineapple and ham, and finally, tomato and basil. Each pizza was made from scratch and Parker helped with each step in the process.

Our pineapple and ham pizza, where I made Parker dance the hula before he took a bite.
The tomato and basil pizza – my personal favorite.

While the pizzas were cooking, we made a score card and placed a single chocolate next to it (as a reward for eating that slice of pizza). Before anyone blasts me on this – I realize that having chocolate as a reward is probably not the best system, but we have almost zero sugar in this house so Parker will jump at the chance for a little bit of dessert.

The ‘score card’ with pictures of the different types of pizzas and the chocolate he can earn by trying something new.

I put a slice of each type of pizza on his place and this was the look he gave me.

Mom, do I have to try it?

The first slice he grudging tried was the pepperoni. Low and behold…

He loved it! I think I’ll call the above look “shock and awed.” He couldn’t believe that he liked it! After the success of the pepperoni (which has now ousted cheese as his favorite), he wasn’t quite as hesitant to give the other two a go.  Even though he didn’t end up liking them, he gave a herculean effort and finished each of the slices. Here was his final assessment.

Parker’s score card: Two smiley faces and two gagging faces.

All in all, this experiment was a complete success! I’m floored that he tried them because without this companion ‘game,’ he wouldn’t have come within 10-feet of basil, I can assure you. I am so proud of him for playing along and I think we’re going to keep this as a Friday evening ritual. This week, I may make chicken, pork and shrimp fried rice to see which one he likes best (he’s never tried any of them).

Do you have any picky eater tricks you can pass along? I’d love to hear them!

 

 

Where’s Lexi?

I know I say this about once every couple of months, but boy, is my daughter a cutie pie. Peek-A-Boo is currently our favorite game around here and she’ll either hide behind the kitchen island for hours on end or cover her head with a tote and peek out of it. Her laugh is completely contagious and we’ll keep playing until one of two things happens: (1) she gets hungry, or (2) she gets her arms tangled in the straps and gets annoyed.

Here’s how the game goes:

Where’s Lexi??
There she is!
Let’s play again, mama!

Seriously, how can you resist that face?

PS – I promise she isn’t balding in picture #2, the light is just reflecting off her blonde locks.

 

 

And My New Rivet & Sway Frames are…

Street Smart! I had so much fun reading through your responses and Parker helped me keep a tally of which Rivet & Sway frames were in the lead.

Rockin’ my Street Smart frames in Cherry Bomb.

My glasses were ready less than one week after I placed my order (which was completely painless) and opening my package was like Christmas morning.

I’ll be honest with you, one of the things that I was afraid of when getting my glasses online was that my prescription would be wonky or the fit would be weird. I was so incredibly relieved that the Rivet & Sway technicians got it just right. I wore them right out of the box for a full day of sightseeing in New York City. Considering that I was a full-time contact lens wearer, that’s pretty dang awesome.

Their awesome branding.

The great thing about getting to keep the try-on frames for three days before having to send them back was that I actually got to wear them around the house for hours (while wearing my contacts) to see if there was any discomfort or any distortion in my line of sight due to the shape/thickness of the frames. Nothing bums me out more than shelling out hundreds of dollars for glasses only to find that I hate wearing them.

I’ve only had my Rivet & Sway glasses for a little over a week and I’ve already worn them for three full days in lieu of my contacts. My optometrist will be so proud of me since he’s always on my case about wearing contacts 24/7, year after year.

Finally, I’m not going to lie, my cherry red frames make me feel kind of hip. Cool. Edgy. As a mom in my mid-30s, I love when glasses can be a great accessory instead of just a nerdy necessity. 

My goofy face because, you know, you might not have recognized my ‘normal’ face.

As a big, fat thank you to all of my readers for helping me choose my new frames, Rivet & Sway is extending 20% off until August 26th. Every single pair of glasses they sell is $199, period. That includes the frame, ultra-thin and lightweight high-index prescription lens, scratch resistant and glare-free coating and the 2 day FexEx shipping is free.

They also have a 60-day no questions asked return policy with free shipping on all the back and forth. Whether your toddler breaks the glasses or you’ve just changed your mind, it’s all covered under their return policy.

In other words, you have nothing to lose! So, if you’re in the market for new glasses, head on over to Rivet & Sway and take a peek at their frames, which are all seriously cool. I promise that you’ll find 3 that you’ll love and want to try on.

Here’s the 20% off code (expires 8/26): CWHOUB19215963

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: The great folks at Rivet & Sway provided me with a pair of eyeglasses of my choice. No monetary compensation was made and all opinions in this post are entirely my own. 

First Day of School!

Back to school is my absolute favorite time of year. When I was a kid, I would obsess over Trapper Keepers (do they still have those around?), lunch boxes and first day of school clothing. I would wake up hours before I needed to (mostly thanks to the jet lag of coming back from Greece) and I would pace the house until it was finally time for school.

I think I loved each new school year because it was a fresh start. I would wonder: Would
my best friends be in my class? What would my teacher be like? Would I get to use my new protractor? Totally not joking here, folks. Those of you who have known me forever can attest to the fact that I have always been a smarty pants geek. Thankfully, I was a jock, too, which saved me from being a complete social pariah. Anyways, the point is that I have been waiting for Parker’s entry to kindergarten since the day he was born.

Well, my baby boy is finally off to school and you know what? He is totally mellow about the whole thing. He walked through those halls like he owned them and he ran into his classroom, found his cubby and started playing right away with barely a wave goodbye. When I went back to pick him up almost 7 hours later, he was cheerful and upbeat.

As I was driving away towards the house, he said, “Mommy, you don’t have to walk me to my classroom next week. Just drop me off out front and I can get there myself.” I looked at this little person in my rear view mirror and I silently wondered when he got so big and so confident that he could make his way through a new building without holding my hand.

I replied, “Okay buddy, but I’m always here if you need me.”

He looked at me and smiled. “I know, mommy.”

Boy, you’d think that he could at least pretend to need my reassurance for just a little bit longer, right?

 

Disney’s “The Odd Life of Timothy Green”

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an advanced screening of the new Disney movie The Odd Life of Timothy Green. After three days of running around Manhattan like a crazy person, I was so looking forward to sitting still for a couple of hours and escaping into the story. Let’s just say that I had no idea how deeply I would fall into this movie.

While I had seen the trailer for The Odd Life of Timothy Green, I wasn’t remotely prepared for my emotional reaction to the characters from the very beginning. You see, at its core, this movie is about home and family. Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton) are a happily married couple who desperately want a child and when they are told that having a biological child isn’t a possibility, they are left with nothing but the hopes and dreams of what their child might have been like.

I’m not sure if I ever shared with all of you the story of when I knew I wanted to be a parent. I was out for coffee with a good friend who was moving away and we spent hours talking about the future. Towards the end of our conversation, she asked me out of the blue, “Cyn, if you were to die tomorrow, what would be your one regret?” My answer was instantaneous: I would regret not getting to be a mom. I grabbed my keys, hugged my friend goodbye and took off for the house. I ran to find my husband and, breathless from racing through the house, I asked him the same question. Without hesitation, his answer was the same. In that moment, we knew that waiting for the ‘perfect time’ was pointless – we desperately wanted to be parents.

That story flew through my mind as I watched Cindy and Jim Green struggle with her infertility. While I was blessedly able to get pregnant quickly, my heart ached for them because their devastation was so clearly conveyed.

With a bit of Disney magic, Timothy Green (CJ Adams) is born out of their yearning and from the day he enters their lives, he enriches and teaches and touches every person he meets. Speaking of Timothy Green, I have to tell you all, the little boy that plays him is fantastic! He has such an inherent sweetness and honesty to him as well as a maturity that completely belies his youth. I have no idea how he can convey such depth of feeling, but even though I kept repeating to myself that it’s just a story, it’s just a story, it’s just a story, I found myself fighting tears throughout the movie. Tears of sadness, tears of joy, tears of hope – good grief, I was a blubbering fool by the end of the film!

The story is set in the small town of Stanleyville and it is so much more than just a story about a couple who wants to have a child. It’s a story about relationships that enrich us and it asks us to dare to hope that everything really can work out for the best even when it seems that the situation is hopeless. True to form, Disney keeps a steady pull at your heartstrings for the entire movie. 

The Odd Life of Timothy Green comes out August 15, 2012 and is rated PG. Go see it next week with your friends, your sweetie or your kids (don’t forget your tissues!) and then hurry back so that we can talk about it and be blubbering fools together. The tears are worth it. Promise!

Disclaimer: The screening was hosted by Disney, free of charge. No monetary compensation was provided for this post and all opinions are completely my own.