Friday, December 28, 2012

7 Months & Christmas Baths

Can you believe it? He’s already over seven months. 

Although it feels as if it was just yesterday he entered into our lives, it also seems as if he’s always been a part of us. He fits perfectly and we can hardly remember life before him.
With three little elves running around its been challenging to do all of the activities I have swirling around in my mind. Pinterest has only fueled my creative juices and I seriously lay in bed awake at night excited about all of the new ideas I’d like to try in between toddler meals, chasing babies and changing diapers. 

Just before Christmas I decided to surprise the kids with a Christmas bath. It took less than ten minutes to throw together during nap time and they loved it.
-Peppermint scented water colored with red food coloring
-Holiday window decals from the $1 store that we already had (has anyone else thought to use these in the bath tub? Genius!)
-Shaving cream to make Frosty the Snowman
-A string of colorful lights 
-Scented pine cones I’ve had since last year and never used (my kids love exploring with their sense of smell)
-A bowl of shaving cream I colored with green food coloring and small spoons
-Red and green balloons
We talked and played for a full hour before the hitting and hair pulling started….it gave Mommy an easy segue to talking about keeping the Christmas spirit. 
We finished off with an easy snack idea I found on Pinterest.

Unfortunately, the kids claimed they didn’t like it although neither tried it. 

Fortunately, this worked in my favor—I mean, what woman won’t say yes to leftover spreadable cheese? Especially when it’s paired with crackers and a side of vino.



Here’s hoping the remainder of your holidays are warm and bubbly, colorfully festive, laced with peppermint-and-iced-snow smells, and free of hair pulling and hitting. 


 “Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.” – Thomas Aquinas

Monday, December 24, 2012

InstaChristmas

Our holiday moments according to my Instagram....
1. putting the finishing touches on the last of my homemade Christmas gifts
2. keeping things simple this year
3. egg nog made extra special
1. one of my favorite girls in the whole world, kiersten
2. brunch started our nine full hours of just hanging out and talking
3. mimosas and coffee
4. seeing kiersten's beautiful church decorated for Christmas
5. appreciating the old decor in all places nyc

1. more colored lights this year
2. morning coffee and beautiful sunshine. no filters.
3. i kept finding interesting new ornaments on our tree.
4. our beautiful friend robin gave us a popsicle maker i've been craving for a long time and my favorite cheryl & co. cookies to match. hmmm, what to eat for breakfast?
5. pinterest continues to inspire me
6. so my little guy would know how much we love him when he woke on his birthday morning
7. festive lights in the bathroom 
8. sequins to church. my rachel roy dress that i adore from my girl amy. 
9. i went in to the city this past saturday for a girls day out with my girl kiersten. a few hours into the trip i received a text with this picture and "here we come". my amazing hubs brought all three kids into the city on a whim because they wanted to go so badly when i left that morning. he did Metro North, 125th street, FAO Schwarz, Grand Central and the subway and never once intruded on my girls day. they all made it home in one piece, just in time for nap time and he managed to hit Barnes & Noble after. words don't even do justice to how i feel about this guy.
1. all aboard the Santa Express night train
2. making candy cane playdoh for our special friend Coop
3. shoes
4. the Santa Express
5. decorating our favorite Crocs with Jibbitz from Uncle Cameron and Aunt Sharon
6. Sissy got hit in the head with the door by big brother. i did my best to comfort her and then asked what would make her feel better. through hysterical sobs she said, "cofffffeeeee". so we did coffee.

And the added gift that has made this year's holidays rich with joy and laughter....
1. dancing to early morning Christmas tunes

We're headed out to Christmas Eve service at church and dinner at friends. Looking forward to making many more memories before the holidays end and more thankful for my kids health and safety than I've ever been. 



Friday, December 21, 2012

Sense and Disconnect

We have been without a computer for over a week and now having the keyboard beneath my fingers again feels really good. While the internet certainly makes me feel connected to others with constant and immediate communication, I was reminded of the greater benefits to being disconnected.

Being disconnected often finds you more time to be connected to the ones you love. Doing more while being fully present so you don't miss the special little moments.
More time to sit and paint, build and observe.
To really see the world through their curious, wondrous eyes. 
I was reminded that all of this instant connectivity we think we have with everyone is just a big, fat facade. 

Being truly connected is through a voice, 
a smile, 
funny moments together, 
seeing with collective eyes, 
hugs, 
touch,
smells that have the ability to transfer you back to a time and place,
and taste.
 (He did this all on his own. I was at the sink and Cash started crying. He stopped and I looked over to Big Brother saying, "ahhh" and feeding him.)
There's just no better way to be with our loved ones than through our gifts of of listening, seeing, smelling, tasting and touch.

I love so many things about having my computer back and the ease of reconnecting with friends and loved ones who I wouldn't have the gift of staying in close contact were it not for its existence. But, now with iPhones, Skype and Facebook, among other outlets, its just becoming easier and easier to connect in a less physical way.
Last week I felt my stomach churn when Gatorade was spilled on my computer. Today, I realize I needed the absence of what I felt was a necessity to remind me that everything I need is right beside me. 
If I want to truly enjoy the family and friends God has blessed me with then I need to disconnect to truly connect. Because when you connect through your senses you feel it more in your heart.
And within there lies magic.
"Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul."
-Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 14, 2012

Meet Heather, A Very Special Holiday Guest Blogger


In this special season of thankfulness and giving, we often let ourselves get caught up in the stress of our to-do's instead of remembering the important reasons for the season. 

We all have many things for which to be thankful and I am pleased to introduce Heather to share her story of strength and survival. It is also a reminder to be grateful for things we often take for granted and that sometimes trials are often the life events that help to grow the most. 

Meet Heather....

No one thinks that he or she will hear the words “you have cancer.”  Hearing those words never crossed my mind, but when I did hear them, I was afraid beyond belief.  When I heard those words, it was supposed to be a harmonious time for me, for I had just had my baby.
In a short period of time, It went from one of the best times in my life to the worst. I found out I had a cancer with a direct link to asbestos exposure; I had pleural mesothelioma cancer.


This was so surprising because I always thought asbestos was banned, and I did not think that I had been exposed to it.  Many people, including me, could not fathom how I could have gotten cancer linked to asbestos exposure.  Finally, I figured it out.  I got asbestos from my father’s work clothes.  Since he worked in construction and handled materials with asbestos fibers, he would always come home covered in white dust.  Little did he or we know, that innocent white dust contained millions of asbestos fibers.

People who were 36 years old like me were not the typical mesothelioma patients.  We were not the ones who had worked as plumbers, electricians, mechanics, on shipyards, or in other types of trades.  We were not the wives who handled the asbestos filled clothes of the workers who worked in these types of trades.
Now, there is another generation of people being diagnosed with mesothelioma.  These are young people like me, people in their late 20’s and early 30’s.  Most of them were like me and loved to see their daddy when he came from work when they were younger.  They would jump into his arms, pretend they were him by putting on his work jacket to feed the rabbits, and just hang around him while he did house repairs while still being covered in his asbestos filled clothes.  Sadly, these people are just getting their lives started; they are just getting married, beginning new careers, and having babies.  Then mesothelioma makes these entire new experiences stop.  There is always good news, however.  Treatment options for mesothelioma are steadily improving, and more people of all ages are surviving this dreadful disease.

Hearing a physician say that you have cancer is devastating to hear, but many people, including me, continue to hold onto all hope.  We are able to fellowship with one another as a community.  We support one another, and we celebrate all the victories together.
Many people have asked me why do I continue to share my story, and why do I continue to do what I do.  I tell them a simple answer.  I am bringing awareness to this disease, and I know with awareness, change will happen.  
I hope my story offers hope to someone and keeps someone from living in fear, and if it does either of these things, then I know I am doing the right thing.
Please show Heather some love! "Like" her Facebook fan page and keep up with her journey and advocacy efforts (she also happens to have some great Elf on the Shelf ideas featured that I may just steal!).