Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm an official Soccer Mom!

Those who know me know that I am not a huge sports buff, but I have to tell ya, I'm this little gal's number one fan...

Abby got all decked out in her soccer "uniform" for her first practice, she couldn't wait for the Saturday game to wear it.

I couldn't wait for her to wear these...

We could have gone for the regular ones and passed them down to Noah later, but Daddy tried these on her in the store, and we just couldn't resist.

This past Saturday was her first BIG game. Her team decided to call themselves "The Blue Popsicles". (I love it.)
She did AWESOME in her first game! The wind was blowing like crazy, but she had a total blast! She was really keeping up with that ball and got a few good kicks in. She was so cute "firing the cannon" (throwing the ball back into play). The little nicknames for the soccer terms crack me up.

Here she is with Daddy (the assistant coach) and Noah (the official mascot) after the game. (And did I mention that I'm the team mom? I brought the orange wedges and everything.)
I can't believe she is old enough to be playing soccer. She's been talking about it for months so this has all been pretty exciting stuff. Seeing those kids running around out there on the field was probably one of the cutest things I've ever seen.

I think I'm just as excited as she is for the next BIG game!

*Do you have a little Sport Princess? Check out this upcoming new series of children's books and photo contest!

For more WordFUL Wednesday pics - visit Seven Clown Circus!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Just when you think you have the perfect shot...

Sunny day, dressed in orange, side by side, standing still, and @ five feet from me - a perfect and rare shot, not only because cousin photo opps are few since we now live 700 miles away, but also because they were holding hands! Then -

they MOVE,

and RUN!

I'm chasing them with the camera at this point since they are still, unbelievably, holding on to one another...at least for a few more seconds.

It's definitely not the perfect shot I was hoping for, but at least I captured that sweet moment and have PROOF that these boys really do love each other...

because usually one of 'em is swinging a plastic golf club at the other one's head or trying to bulldoze 'em down with a giant exercise ball.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Momma

Give me your best shot at Better in Bulk

*To see more pics from our whirlwind Spring break trip including my cute little 5 month old niece - click here!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's Fishful Thinking Thursday STARRING Seven Clown Circus!

*To join in Fishful Thinking Thursday -
just click the fish, do one of the simple activities with your kids
anytime during the week, & write a post about it!
Then link back here to share your family's experience.

This week I am excited to feature Fishful Thinking Thursday's very first guest post by one of my favorite mom bloggers and Fishful Thinking mamas - Angie, ringmaster of the Seven Clown Circus! I noticed the FT bling on her sidebar a couple months ago and thought it would be fun to have her spotlight a Fishful Thinking activity and get her take on parenting positive kids. She has FIVE of them, and in my book, that pretty much makes her a child-rearing expert!

Angie chose the Favorite Photo activity - find a photo that captures a happy experience.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I remember the first time my children all really played together. It was the first time I could remember them ALL being involved in play that was equal and required collective involvement.

They all worked together towards their common goal, and you know what?

It was beautiful.

It was memorable.

It was simple.

It was the sort of activity the Dr. Reivich of Fishful Thinking recommends for helping to raise healthy and optimistic children.

If this day is any indication that my children love each other, enjoy being in each other's company, and have the potential to work very well together, then I'm confident we are all doing well.

Oh how I love them!


To see a few more Fishful Thinking mamas in action, check out these posts:

Done any Fishful Thinking lately? Link up!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

WfulW - My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

Abby insisted on packing her own suitcase for our spring break road trip to see the fam in Virginia last week.

I loved how she placed her glittery green glasses and a pink bunny right on top and made sure to pack her cute little heart dress. I couldn't resist taking a picture of it...

before I had to add to it and rearrange things a bit.

Otherwise, she would have had several books at bedtime, but no pajamas...

or socks.

*Click to see the TOP TEN pics from the trip, I couldn't wait until Wordful Weds. to post them!

And stop by tomorrow for Angie's Fishful Thinking Thursday guest post - can't wait for that either!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Break's Top Ten List!!!

Just having Abby out of school for spring break was wonderful in itself, but we were also able to take a quick road trip to VA to see family. We hadn't been there since September. So without further adieu...


1) Meeting (and holding) my BEAUTIFUL 5 month old niece for the first time -

2) Cute cousins together again and all dressed in green
for St. Patty's Day -

3) Abby reading Oliver "The Foot Book" all by herself -

4) A big ol' family dinner at Mexico and seeing
Michael in a sombrero -

5) Perfect weather (EVERY DAY) and a picnic at our
favorite neighborhood park -

6) Making a Krispy Kreme run to celebrate my bro's 17th b'day.
(I told him he had to wear the hat.)

7)Having a strawberry milkshake at Johnny Rockets...
or at least, part of a milkshake -

8) Basking in the sun on the mini-golf course -

9) A ride in Gramma's "new" '92 bmw convertible -

10) Squeezing in a couple quick visits with friends that the kids had been begging to see and visiting with a friend of mine who I hadn't seen since Abby was a baby...and did I mention the perfect 70-degree-sunshine-abundant weather?

*Link up your "Makes My Monday" photos over at Cheryl's place - wish I could have seen her while I was in VA too. The trip was too short!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fishful Thinking Thursday - The resemblance is uncanny...

*To join in Fishful Thinking Thursday -
just click the fish, do one of the simple activities with your kids
during the week, & write a post about it!
Then link back here to share your family's experience
& inspire other moms to join in too!

A few weeks ago, the kids and I created our Goldfish Family widget over on Cafe Mom - just one of the cool perks of the new Parenting Positive Kids group. (The featured activity this week is the Silver Lining game from the Fishful Thinking site - great way to teach your kids to find the positive in a negative situation or event like losing a soccer game, etc...)
Abby and Noah had fun deciding on what hats and accessories we should wear. They thought it would be pretty funny for Daddy to wear a leprechaun hat.

Little did we know that we would be getting a St. Patty's Day care package in the mail from our good buddies back in VA. Jenny told me that she put a leprechaun hat in there especially for Pat after seeing this post with our new Goldfish family photo.

So, of course, I couldn't resist...

Abby was giggling like crazy as she set the hat on Daddy's head while I snapped the picture of our very own St. Patrick.

It's a good look for him, don't ya think?

(Pat may need to do the Silver Lining activity if he sees this post since he may not be too happy that I posted this pic of him, but to put a positive spin on it - the kids and I sure thought it was funny. Thanks, Jenny!)

*Check this out - Self Efficacy vs. Self Esteem - another great article by Dr. Reivich. Interesting info on the importance of building our child's self-efficacy by helping them to recognize their strengths & how that increases resilience.

Done any Fishful Thinking lately? Link up!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bring on the Lucky Charms!

Need a few St. Patrick's Day ideas?

Click our Smilebox and/or this post from last year to see what I threw together at the last minute. (I didn't get a picture of the green toilet water though. The kids thought that was hilarious!)

Click to play this Smilebox greeting: Pot of Gold!
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox greeting

This year, I actually bought the Lucky Charms a couple weeks ahead of time. They were on sale, and Abby had already been reminding me to buy some because St. Patrick's Day was coming up. I was surprised that she remembered!

It seems that we've started a bit of a tradition around here. :)

Now if I could just learn to make corned beef and cabbage, or better yet, one of these...

I saw this Kiwi Lime pie recipe over on Family Fun too. How cute is that shamrock? That site comes up with the coolest ideas!

Speaking of tradition, here's another St. Patty's Day smilebox for this year!

Click to play this Smilebox greeting: Little leprechauns '10
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
This free ecard personalized with Smilebox

*Come back on Fishful Thinking Thursday for a funny story about that leprechaun hat!

This or That? Tuesday @ The Winey Mommy

The Winey Mommy

My bloggy pal, Chelle, is kicking off her very first This or That? Tuesday so I thought it would be fun to play along!

Simply copy and paste the scenario below and write out a post with your choice of 'This' or 'That' answer. Copy the button code into your post and then come back and link up on the linky (over at Chelle's place)! After you link up go and visit as many of the other link ups that you want--who knows, maybe you'll find a fabulous new blog to follow! Here is this week's scenario:

You show up at a party of an acquaintance. It's an evening party and you don't know very many people there. For whatever reason you decide to show up alone--and pray that your friends will indeed make it.

Would you rather show up under dressed or over dressed?

My answer: I'm sure I'd be under dressed regardless. I don't have much in the way of party attire. The last evening party I went to was a Fairy Tale Ball with Abby which was so much fun. I actually bought a new dress for the semi-formal occasion, but it really wasn't all that fancy schmancy. I was counting on the matching tiaras that I bought for Abby and myself to dress it up a bit.

(Spring '08)

Of course, she was so adorable in her Cinderella dress and glass (glittery plastic) slippers, I wasn't too worried about anyone paying much attention to me.

She was certainly the belle of the ball.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Should I stay or should I go? (& an update!)

We've been planning to take a road trip up to VA to see my family during Abby's spring break.

We were supposed to leave yesterday.

Some things came up at Pat's work and changed our plans a bit. He may still be able to go with us, but if not...

Is it crazy to attempt a 12 hour road trip by myself with a three and five year old?

It is, isn't it?

The only reason I'm even considering it, despite my better judgement, is because our back-up plan to go Memorial Day weekend (after Abby is out of school) did not go over well with the kids....especially Abby.

I told her that if we stayed here for spring break, we would do lots of fun things. There is a new treehouse exhibit at the botanical gardens...

"But Mom! Treehouses are not as SPECIAL as family!" she cried - big crocodile tears.

Can't argue with that - especially since it's been six months since we've seen everyone, including their two-year-old cousin, and I've still yet to snuggle my precious little five-month-old niece.

Pat is still thinking that it may work out to go. We should know more tomorrow, but in the meantime, I keep thinking maybe I could be brave and just drive the kids on up there.

Then again, taking both kids to the grocery store is sometimes a nearly impossible feat. Just imagine twelve hours worth of gas stations, dirty public restrooms, finding places to eat, having to pull over to switch movies on the portable DVD player, wishing I had go-go gadget arms when reaching back to handing them snacks....and did I mention that they don't nap or sleep well in the car? And on the off chance that Noah does fall asleep, when he wakes up in his carseat, he gets really upset.

Um, yeah.

I think I just answered my own question.

Update (3/15): Pat got the go ahead! Phew! The mommy guilt has been lifted & my homesickness will subside at least for a few days. We'll be leaving late tomorrow afternoon, stay the night a few hours up the road, and then drive the rest of the way on Weds. morning. The kids are SO excited to go to "Papa's house" and to stay in a hotel on the way up there. It's the only time they are allowed to jump from bed to bed at 11 o'clock at night while we wait for Daddy to bring up the bags. They also get a kick out of picking a little box of cereal at the continental breakfast in the morning. Powdered donuts are always a big hit too.

Now to schedule some posts for later in the week. I've got a funny St. Patty's Day pic I've been waiting to put up...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fishful Thinking Thursday - "The best day ever!"

*To join in Fishful Thinking Thursday -
just click the fish, do one of the simple activities with your kids
during the week, & write a post about it!
Then link back here to share your family's experience
& encourage other moms to join in too!

A picnic blanket, pb& j, strawberries, harvest cheddar sunchips, shorts, flip flops, a game of hide-n-seek and the sun shining so bright that we could hardly keep our eyes open...

"This is the BEST day ever!" Abby kept saying.

We'd been waiting so long for a day like this, I was just as excited as she was.

Noah was most excited about getting to wear shorts. He was jumping up and down & yelling, "YAY!!! Shorts!!!" as he was trying to pull them on.

I was afraid "the best day ever" status might be lost after spending an hour and a half in the pediatrician's office that afternoon to find out that Abby had a ear infection and Noah had a sinus infection. But several rounds of "I Spy" and hopping around on the CandyLand-colored floor tiles while waiting for the doctor seemed to keep them entertained.

For sure, the day would lose its awesome factor, I thought, after the doctor attempted to remove some wax from Noah's ear to get a better look. He cried for 10 minutes straight and was still upset and whimpering as we drove towards the store to drop off their prescriptions.

Fortunately, across the street from the pharmacy/grocery store is an ice cream place. Being that the weather was so nice, we had to stop and have a treat. And still feeling bad about Noah's traumatic experience, I asked them if they wanted a Dino Sundae - a huge upgrade from the free kid's cones we usually get.

"A Dino Sundae???" Abby's eyes lit up. "This is the best day ever!"

Noah echoed her this time, jumping up and down, "Yeah, this is the best day ev-uh!"(especially since it was almost dinner time and I was letting them have dessert first.)

Awesome-ness had resumed.

On the way home, the kids noticed the sun was setting. We aren't usually out and about at that time of the day so it was really cool to see the blazing orange sun and the purple and pink hues in the sky.

"Look, Mom! It's following us!" Abby said as we drove down the road towards home.

When Daddy got home, the kids couldn't wait to tell him about our backyard picnic, their dino sundaes, and the sun following us home.

They didn't even mention the doctor's visit.

*Check out How to Get Your Kids to Look on the Bright Side on Fishful Thinking's Parents Connect message board along with other ideas to help raise happy kids!

Done any Fishful Thinking this week? Link up!
*I linked up with Cecily & Lolli too! They are cohosting a Photo Story Friday & Give Me Your Best Shot combo this week. Those folks who share their photos each week definitely have the awesome factor!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WfulW - The next Punky Brewster

One of Abby's favorite things about school is dressing up for "Wacky Wednesdays".

Getting to wear a heart dress, flowered pants, a princess shirt, and mismatched sock and shoes?

Doesn't get much cooler than that.

(Oct. 09)

Abby made sure to step it up for last week's "Wacky Wednesday" during Dr. Seuss' birthday week.

She could not wait to wear those glittery green glasses to school. She was so excited when I picked her up that afternoon telling me, "MOM! My teacher said that if we were having a wacky contest, I WOULD WIN!!!"

I had to get her on video for the full effect (and so she could tell me about the "snow" they made in class). Still the photos and video don't quite do her outfit justice.

She even thought to roll up one of her pant legs and one of her sleeves to up her wacky factor - guess she thought the glasses weren't quite enough.

She is so much fun.

I sure do love that kid.

For more wacky & Wordful Wednesday pics - head on over to the Circus!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Children's Book Giveaway @ Mom's Point of View!

My friends know that I am a sucker for children's books.

I can't get enough of them.

I'd move into the Barnes and Noble kids' section if they'd let me.

So when I saw a tweet from my favorite Godiva-Chocolate-Cheesecake-lovin' friend, Terri, this morning, I clicked right on over:

momspointofview @writingthewaves hey another book I think you may like is up for grabs on my blog.

Click here to read Terri's great review and enter her giveaway
to win a copy of Hayseed's First Race!

*This is the 1st children's book by Sally Schrock and 1st children's book ( & series) being released by Caballo Press and even has a fun little activity page for the kiddos. They can join Hayseed's posse here!

I have to find out how she's getting these free children's books to review - gotta get in on that!

I've also gotta get someone to give me a swift kick in the pants so I'll get my cover letter written and get my picture book manuscript sent out. My dad even did some pics for me. What am I waiting for?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

These boots weren't made for jumpin'...

Noah sure likes the snow, but he doesn't like the coat, hat, mittens, and boots that go along with it...

They are even SPIDERMAN boots!

Go figure.

(Fingers crossed this past Tuesday will be our last bout with wintry weather. We're in the south - it's not supposed to snow here in March. It's 60 degrees today so I'm hopeful!)

Friday, March 5, 2010

T.G.I.Friday Follow!

Friday Follow

Thanks so much to Midday Escapades, One @ Try, and Hearts Make Families for hosting this blog-hopping party each week! Such a fun way to find new blogs!

Speaking of fun, you've got to make one of these with your kids -

My three and five year old got a kick out of it! Just click over to Cafe Mom and check out Fishful Thinking's Parenting Positive Kids group and turn your family into Goldfish!

Noah insisted that Daddy wear the leprechaun hat.

I'd pay good money to see that in person. :)

*A Fishful Thinking parenting workshop and press conference went on in NYC this week, and I got to be a part of it! Click here to read more!