10/31/12

Pumpkins (Like You Care)

I know, I know.

Everyone on the blogosphere is posting pictures of their pumpkins like they are something friggin' special.

So annoying, I know.

But... I took the damn pictures, so humor me and look at them, alright?

Truth be told...

I had no idea how to make carving a pumpkin fun for  a three year old... he can't use a knife, so that was really out of the question.

He also has pretty much zero interest in painting, so getting our artsy on was out too.

So I said to my self: "Self. what does that kid like?"

Well.... He really likes to hit things.

And so... I stole an idea from his school, where they have a log full of thumb tacks for the kids to hit.

First, I dug around in Husband's junk yard garage, and found this box of random screws and nails.


Then I tap-tapped those suckers into a pumpkin, and handed Lovebug a rubber mallet for him to finish off the job.


This was a perfect project for a three year old... he was very methodical about his tapping and kept demanding more nails.


The end result, is kind of weird, but I love it anyway.


I also painted a ladybug pumpkin, for Ladybug, obvi.


And that big guy in the back is our obligatory, only-looks-good-in-the-dark, jack-o-lantern.

He's not perfect, but you try carving a pumpkin with two hooligans trashing your house... not so easy!

Just a few more hours... and I will light that guy's face up, and drag my kiddies around the block so they can fetch me ma dinna!

Yes!


PS... Don't forget to enter this Giveaway! Only two days left! Plus.. hello... diamonds!

Sandy Slumber Party

Just one last thing about that damn Hurricane; promise.

When she hit... Husband was out of town for the night...(why work trips are only scheduled during weather phenoms and when kids are puking is beyond me...)

Anyway...because I am a nervous wreck sometimes, I bribed my sister to stay with us.

I was like... "We have beer."

And she was like... "Yup."

So, it didn't actually take too much work on my part...and I felt 100 fafillion times more comfortable riding out the storm with my sister/bestie by my side.

When it started getting late, and the wind really started picking up... I decided that a tree was definitley going to come crashing down on our house.

I cant help it... I get anxious!

I casually suggested we all sleep in one room, at the front of the house... far, far away from trees.

I mean really... who can say no to sleeping with a one year old and a three year old in close quarters during a Hurricane?

How great does that sound right??

Of course, leave it to Lovebug to make things interesting.

The second he laid eyes on the air mattress I set up for my sister, he saw an octagon ring a la The Ultimate Fighter...

and basically spent the rest of the night choke holding slash beating the shit out of her.


Best sister ever.



10/30/12

Moving on From Sandy...

A few months ago, I wrote about my Grandparent's beach house... where my siblings, my cousins, and myself spent much of our childhoods.

Yesterday... our family beach house survived Hurricane Sandy.

By, "survived," I mean... the house is still standing, and it could be much worse.


I am going to be honest.

These pictures make my heart hurt.

They make me very, very sad...

I know how hard my Grandparents worked to make every inch of that home beautiful, and these pictures just break my heart... for them.

But for all that these pictures are... more than anything, they are a shining example of how very blessed my family is.

All of this damage happened to a beach house...

A luxury; one that my Grandparents worked very, very hard for... but a luxury all the same.

We are well aware that many others were hit much harder by Sandy's wrath, and our hearts go out to them.

As for us... we are thankful that this happened to a piece of our family history, and not a piece of our every day lives.

We all have somewhere to go tonight.. with a warm bed, and food on the table... we all have our health.

This is a second home, a summer home... and with hard work and time... it is all fixable.

Sometimes I feel the need to blog these things to help clear my head, but also to give my family a record of how things were at a given point in time.

Four months ago things looked like this:


And now... they look like this:


But that's okay.

Because for as happy as my Grandfather was to have the entire family together on Father's Day...

I do believe watching us all work together to clean up Sandy's mess will make him just as happy.

Only then will he understand how much respect we have for the history that they have given us.

You don't just love a beach house when it's sunny... you love it when it rains, too.

And so... we are allowed to be sad, but only when it is combined with being grateful.

Things could have been much worse.

What are my Grandfather's thoughts on all this??

Let's just say he is not a man of many words... he believes in a good strong drink, sleeping in separate beds, and keeping your chin up.

He said this:

"It's just a house."

And there it is folks... it's just a house.



PS.... Click this link... for more advice from my Grandparents... I think almost all of it can be used here too.






And Then There's This...

If you were to show up at our house right now... it would look like this:


Because my Girlfriend has started doing this:


Of course, pulling the chairs away from the table doesn't keep her from climbing on them... but it does keep her from climbing up the chairs and onto the table.

Like last week, when she did this:


Yup. 

That's a real life, totally cluttered with crap table... with a baby sitting in the middle of it.

I have no idea what was going on when this happened, because Husband was in charge of watching my Girlfriend.

Husband says he left the room for two seconds, came back, and there she was.

As a result... our house now looks like this, all the time.

I know you're too lazy to scroll up... so here it is again.
Andplusalso... note the picture frames on the far wall...

They are super crooked, and a couple are missing...

I took this picture last week, so there are even less hanging now... like subtract 3 more at this point.

Because not only does she scale tables and chairs.... she climbs couches and throws picture frames, too.

She literally just climbs up there, reaches up... grabs a frame off the wall and frisbees it at our heads.

It's a super fun dodge-ball-slash-picture-frame-throwing game we play around here.

I mean...seriously... is there anything more fun than living with a toddler??




10/29/12

Hurricane Sandy...

This is a picture from my Grandparent's beach house, at 10:30 this morning... well before the storm is forecasted to really hit at 3 pm.


Hurricane Sandy is expected to be the most dangerous storm that anyone in our state has ever seen in their lifetime.

That is a big, and scary statement.

We are hopeful that trees will stay standing, power will stay on, and homes along the Coast will survive with minimal damage.

We are together, and we are safe.

We hope you are too.











10/26/12

The Best Push Present Ever (Giveaway!!)

When I was pregnant with Lovebug, and had no life other than trolling pregnancy blogs, and harassing my Husband... I learned about push presents (a gift from the father to the mother, for giving him the gift of a child).

It was very important to me that Husband pull through on this... and I pretty much reminded him once a week, like the annoying pregnant mammoth that I was...

"Push present.. feed me.. rub my back... push present."

I was probably super fun to be around.

Husband is a good guy so he more or less put up with my antics, but when faced with the push present pressure he always had the same response... "Ok...But what do I get for you?"

In the end... my Sister-in-Law helped him decide to get me this:


This, is my Kindle... which has been dead since a week after he gave it to me in 2009.

Now, a Kindle is a wonderful gift and my Husband is so sweet for trying, but really, neither one of us (or my Sister in Law for that matter) had any idea that after you have kids, "pleasure," reading comes in the form of picture books at bedtime.

Gone are the days when I had time to sit and read a book all by myself.

All that to say, last week I was contacted by the Loch Ness Monster of Men.

I had heard about this particular breed of man, but never really believed in their existence.

Until I spoke to Eric... the President of Juno Lucina, the only luxury jewelry brand that focuses solely on Push Presents for new mothers.

(I know... why didn't you think of that right??)

He asked if I would be interested in reviewing and giving away a diamond necklace.


I'm like... uh....

Does a bear shit in the woods?
Does Dolly Parton sleep on her back?
Does cookie dough count as a meal?

YES!

Eric's story was similar to my own, except when he couldn't decide what to buy, he didn't go for the Kindle.

Instead, he founded a company whose sole purpose is to give Mother's something special, meaningful, and unique... to help them remember the day that they became a Mom.

All this just to make his wife happy... see, told you... he's the Loch Ness Monster Man.

It gets better, (or worse, if you are comparing him to your Husband)...

Eric went on to tell me that he decided to name his brand, "Juno Lucina," after the Roman Goddess of Childbirth, who is believed to protect mothers and babies during pregnancy, childbirth, and beyond.

The pendant symbol is meant to portray Juno Lucina's hands cradling the heads of both mother and child; safeguarding them for the journey that lies ahead.


A push present with actual real honest to goodness symbolic meaning!

Who knew such a thing existed??

The more Eric talked, the more excited I got about the concept behind Juno Lucina: To spoil well deserving women on one of the most important days of their lives.

Who doesn't love that?

Plus, since it's a company created by a Dad, you know he's lookin' out for his boys when he throws in free 2 day shipping anywhere in the US...

He's all: "You forgot to buy the push present? No worries Ma Dude... I got you."

Plus it's online only...

So if your baby surprises you and pops out at 37 weeks, your Husband can shop online while he watches you and your bambino snooze it up in the Hospital.

Andplusalso... even opening the piece made me feel special:


It was like opening a brand new Coach bag or something, (an experience every Girl needs to have).

So now for the fun part... how to win one for yourself!!

Juno Lucina is giving away one necklace from their signature collection in either yellow or white gold!

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter Entry form below! Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

The Fine Print: I was provided with a necklace from Juno Lucina's signature collection in return for doing a review and Giveaway... all opinions are my own. I honestly love the concept, and do believe that Eric is the Loch Ness Monster Man.

Pssttt... Click here to enter the Journey to Motherhood contest hosted by Juno Lucina for your chance to win a $1,000.00 piece of jewelry!! It only takes a minute!


10/25/12

Conversation With My Son...

Lovebug walks around the corner, and catches me plucking my eyebrows:

Him: (Horrified) "Mom! Don't! Don't cut your eye!"

Me: "I'm not cutting my eye, Silly, I am plucking my eyebrows."

Him: "Oh. Does fucking your eyebrows hurt?"

Me: "PLUCKING! Plucking my eyebrows!"

Him: "Oh. Plucking. Right."

10/24/12

Sticky

Girlfriend got into the teeny, tiny, stickers.

Stickers so small that they are extremely difficult to grab with adult sized fingers.

They were everywhere... her sippy cup, her nose, in between her toes.

It took awhile, but I was able to get them all, that is, all but one...

That was stuck like glue... to her face.


Every time I went near her eye to try to pull her little bindi off, she freaked the eff out...

Like: "Mom. I'll pierce my face if I want to...What is your problem!?"

So, I left it... and she rocked it until it fell off in the bathtub...

NINE hours after she got it stuck there.

No big deal.

I mean... she just krazy glued a sticker to her face, she didn't like... get stuck in the floor or anything.



PSSTT... Don't forget to enter the Giveaway! Two Winners!

Freckle-y

As soon as I was officially done nursing Ladybug, I started researching ways to naturally get rid of all those damn freckles on my face.

 
My freckles are actually a "pregnancy mask," (not pregnant) or a mild case of, "melasma"...

Which is basically a fancy way to say that the hormones you get while pregnant and nursing kinda mess with the pigmentation in your skin.

Not a big deal, but I wanted those freckles gone.

Two years ago, after I was finished nursing Lovebug, I went to a Dermatologist who said I had, "text book pregnancy mask," and promptly prescribed me with an $80 tube of semi-good cream.

It worked okay... but nothing ground breaking.

Fast forward to last month... as soon as I finished nursing my Girlfriend, I started googling around for options other than expensive creams and potions.

While searching, I stumbled onto tons of sites where people were raving and obsessing over Apple Cider Vinegar.

It was kind of like how people obsess over Fish Oil, or CrossFit.

These people used Apple Cider Vinegar for EVERYTHING... and swore up and down that it would change my life.

Of course, I was not looking for a life change... I just wanted to be a little less freckle-y.

We know I am easily persuaded... so I figured why not...

The verdict?
Admittedly, the sun is shining on my face in the second picture, so my skin looks really freaking flawless... which it's not.

But what you're supposed to notice, is the lack of freckles.

Pretty crazy right?

They are almost completely GONE.

Here's another picture, of my freckle-less face:


I don't just dump it over my head... in case you were wondering.

I use it as a toner after I wash my face, just a little bit on a cotton ball... and I'm done.

I swear it is changing my skin.

I majored in Napping English in College (sorry Dad)... so I have no idea why this works, but it does... or, it is; for me.

I do not claim to know anything about beauty tips or secrets... but I know that this is working.

I am officially joining the Apple Cider Vinegar Cult... and raving about it's magical powers to everyone I meet.


Now if only it could get rid of my dumps....



10/23/12

Cakes, Part II

Learning to decorate cakes this past weekend, was only half the fun.

Bringing my masterpiece home to Lovebug.... was really the best part of all for me.

The cauldron / witch / combo cake was actually for my Mom... the biggest witch lover in the East.

She turns 29, again, this coming Wednesday (ironic, because I am 29, too)... so the cake was originally meant for her.

As luck would have it, my Dad had other plans for her birthday, that did not include being in the same state as my beautiful cake... and so to Lovebug it went.


I made a big deal out of planning a whole spooky day for him.

A pumpkin patch, the costume store, and getting a big giant witch cake...

It was the trifecta of Halloween-ness... and almost more than a 3 year old could handle.

When I brought that sugary delight into the house and put it in front of my doll... he was thrilled.


He didn't even want to eat it... at all.

He wanted to poke at the eyeballs...


And tear at the witch....

She lost her nose, both arms, and fingers within minutes of me walking in the door.

Her spoon was the first thing to go... he was all, "Oh, wook. A spoon for me..."

::plunk:: off the cake it came.


He couldn't stop poking it... and of course, the only part he wanted to eat was the blackness of the eyeballs... which stayed on his lips for the rest of the weekend.


Trial and error has taught us that the way to make life work with a 1 year old and a 3 year old... is to give each their own special time, and attention.

If it has to come in the form of a giant, sugary, delight... then so be it.

Especially... if he has no interest in eating it.

Didn't see that one coming.

Psstt... Don't forget to enter the Giveaway! Two winners!

Conversation With My Husband

((Disclaimer: If you lived under a rock during the year 1999, and/or have never listened to questionable hip hop music... this post will make no sense... I am looking at you, Dad.))

I walk into the TV room... kinda like a penguin... waddle, waddle.

I am squeezing my butt cheeks like there is a $100 bill shoved up there.

"Don't I look better like this?" I ask Husband.

"You walk weird like that."

"Yeh, but don't I look better? My dumps are gone."

"Your dumps?"

"Yeh. Like a truck."

"Your dumps like a truck?"

"Yeh. Thighs like, what, what, what."

"What?"

"No. Thighs like what, what, WHAT. Three whats."

"What exactly is a 'dump'?"

"This..." I say, grabbing the spot between my butt and my hamstring..."This is a dump."

"That's your upper thigh."

"No... it's a dump."

"I'm pretty sure that's not the medical term."

"I'm pretty sure it is."

"Says who?"

"Says Sisqo."

(Husband leaves room.)



10/22/12

29 in 29 Update: Cake Decorating

The coolest thing about making a list of things I'd like to do before my next birthday, is that people from every corner of my life want to help me get 'er done.

Like my friend Amanda, who was super casual when she said... "I know how to decorate cakes."

She didn't say... "I am pretty much the Cake Boss, no big dee."

Amanda told me to pick out any kind of cake I wanted to make, so I suggested some sort of  witch / caldron / Halloweenish combo deal.

Two days before our class, Amanda made a cake for us to use as an example during our class... it turned out pretty amazing:


I know.

She also pre-made butter cream frosting, Rice Krispie Treats, and fondant, and divided everything into two... one for me, and one for my friend Erin, who joined the cake class extravaganza.

Preparing ahead of time helped us avoid things turning into a friggin' cluster...

It was a rare morning off for me, so I was thrilled that there was no surprises or chaos... just Girlfriends, and chocolate.


I thought the entire process was so interesting and really loved being able to learn something new... like who knew that the witch would be made of Rice Krispie Treats??


Amanda owns every baking tool and gizmo known to man, plus she has freaking endless knowledge about sweets...

Like... hello, did you know that you can use a clothes steamer to get excess cornstarch off of fondant to clean it up??


Do you even know what I am talking about, because this morning, I didn't even know what that sentence meant.

Two hours and nine hundred questions from me... (and none from Erin) later... we had these:


This picture makes me laugh because Erin has impeccable, classic taste (just check out her kitchen behind us), and is a little more reserved than me... her cake is totally perfect and every eyeball looks immaculate.

Me on the other hand... I am a little louder, and things are always a little chaotic and ridiculous when I'm around... my cake definitely reflects that... it's like a little extra excited or something...

Amanda said that every single inch of our cakes was edible, minus the lollipop sticks that held our witches together.

That said... you know I had to test that theory when I got home... which explains why my hands are shaking, and I am foaming at the mouth... too. much. sugar.










**Sidenote: Cake decorating happened immediately after I went to the Gym (because that makes sense.).. Anyway, the outfit = explained.

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