Monday, May 2, 2016

Let Us Celebrate "Her"

We're less than one week away from that event which is automatically populated on everyone's SmartPhone Calendars or even typed onto a Hard Copy Calendar perhaps in a light shaded grey font. As someone today said "Everyday should be Mother's day".. ain't that the truth! I think we don't get to acknowledge our appreciation for anyone in our lives each day, as much as we would like to. So once upon a time (and I'm sure Wikipedia has the underlining facts behind it) someone smacked 1 day on the Calendar to make sure Mothers do not get missed amongst the day to day chaos of Life.

As this day approaches each year I hear so many Significant Others say "I don't know what she wants".. "She is so difficult to shop for"... "She said she doesn't want anything"... "No really, she doesn't like anything I get her"... Or there may even be the Post-Mother's day .. "Oh crap....!"

I asked some Moms I know "What would you really appreciate on Mother's Day?" Here is feedback I received and it makes my heart happy to be able to share this. Perhaps, those that want to do something nice for your Mom, your significant other, someone you know who is a Mom, perhaps someone who is like a Mom to you... these ideas will help! As someone who is a Professional Procrastinator... you still have time!


1. Breakfast in bed? Perhaps, Mama just needs a little extra time in the morning to sleep in as maybe in your household she's up early everyday figuring out what to feed everyone. Getting the kids up, finding clean clothes to dress them in, teeth brushed and fed. On Saturday night, turn off her alarm clock and tell her to stay in bed come morning ;-)

2. Or maybe, you know that Mom really well and she would love to walk downstairs and have a table set with her favorite breakfast that she doesn't get to make often since mornings are chaotic and it's always more of finding the quickest meal to scarf down. *Don't forget having a cup of coffee or tea ready!  Brownie points!

3. Be Tim the Toolman! Was there something that needs fixing in the house? You know, that thing that maybe Mama has asked (or you feel nags about) more times than once for, that is broken. Maybe, a picture frame on the wall? Something outside set up, patio furniture? A light fixture that doesn't produce light? The toilet that constantly runs? A leaky faucet? The tub drain that needs emptying? The door(s) that squeaks and just needed a quick spray for WD-40?

4. Exercise that Green Thumb! If the forecast is looking stunning and Mom loves gardening, maybe it'll be fun to head out to a local Garden and have her pick out flowers. Even better yet, pick some up with the kids. Ones that they like, bring them home and have fun in the dirt all together! If you want to send Mom out somewhere for a few hours, this can be a really neat Surprise for when she returns. Just make sure the kiddos are all clean and the dirt prints in the house are washed away. Also, grab a Bouquet of flowers while you're out and about! ;-)

5. Spa Day! Mom may be hinting at getting her hair dolled up, nails done, a long pedicure or massage. Send her off. Let her just relax and enjoy herself. Mama may be due with Baby #2.. or #3.. or #7. If you know she'd love that but wants to be with the family on that day, then get a Gift Certificate with a little note letting her know to choose to go when she feels up to it. "Don't worry I'll hang with the kids!" Just don't say you'll babysit.. we don't babysit our own kids, LOL!

6. Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! Even though Mom doesn't like her picture taken. We always love having pictures with the kids or a family picture. It may be just for herself to have, keep on her phone or make a nice print for the wall. Bring your camera with you and find a pretty spot to snap some photos of her with the kids. Better yet, set the timer (Smart Phones have them too) and take some fun photos together. If it's raining stay inside and open up all of the curtains to get a little lighting in the room. Pull out the umbrellas and go outside for some fun,, memorable photos of the day! If you're out and about do not be shy.. ask a stranger to please take a Photo of all of you! Strangers aren't mean, you wouldn't mind doing that for someone I am sure and they won't mind taking one of you. "Can you please take a photo of our family, their Mom will love it". Offer to take a photo of the Stranger even if they're flying solo, LOL! 
Note: ... and Oh! Don't take this first thing in the morning. Let Mom get herself ready ;-)

7. DIY! Pinterest it! In case you've never actually seen that thing called Pinterest which Mom talks about every day. DIY = Do It Yourself. We all have a little Crafty spark in us! Check out Pinterest for a cute Homemade Craft for Mom. My husband last year made up his own "cement" and did foot & hand prints of our daughter. I asked if he could make this a Ritual every year for Mother's Day. It's those little things that will mean such a great deal. Make a card with the kids. It doesn't have to be perfect. That's not what DIY is about. It's putting your time into something for someone that is your whole world. Mom will look at that as time you spent with the kids which believe me, makes us happy! Hint Hint.. here's a link to Pinterest 

8. Mr. Clean! Mama may feel that all she does is clean, vacuums, dishes, laundry, then repeat. The laundry pile is insane. Who knows what is actually dirty or what can be worn a few more times? We start one thing and then distractions cause us to move onto something else. Then we find ourselves unsure of what we still have to do. Load up that dish washer after Mom goes to sleep Saturday night. Let her wake up to a clean kitchen, counters you can see, a table that doesn't have mail lingering around (hide the bills for another day), If you can't get to all of the laundry put it in baskets so it doesn't look stressful. Maybe throw some outdated things away in the refrigerator. Leftovers that have been "leftover". Empty all of the garbage cans in the house. Take the recyclables out. Vacuum up those hidden cobweb spots and corners where the kids left their snacks. Maybe wash those windows that you see the little hand prints and animals mouth residue on. If the kids are old enough sit down with them and create a Chore Chart. Let's reduce what Mom does so she can focus on some other things at home and in the Family! Ultimately, taking away Mom's chores for even the day that overwhelm us is an incredible gift.

9.  Dinner Date:  Is there a place that she heard others raving about and always say "I want to try that place". Call in some reservations for dinner. Don't forget to ask if it's a kid friendly restaurant and has high chairs, You just never know! ;-)

10. Picnic Anywhere! You can Picnic on a Lake, on the Beach, or somewhere not Far. You Picnic in the Yard, in a field or even in a Car! This is what I call saving a little money but making it a beautiful afternoon. Gather up from the house what's needed. The Diaper Bag, make sandwiches or swing by a local deli or a Subway for some grinders, put fruit in a tupperware (she has plenty of them tucked away in the cabinet). Get drinks, water bottles, juice, milk, whichever is everyone's favorite. Find a large enough blanket that everyone can comfortably sit or lay down on. Venture out or if you can't go far, and it's raining, put a tent up in the backyard. You can make a picnic special anywhere. As long as you're all together and have something to eat and drink, lol.

11. Love Notes:  If the kids are old enough to write everyone grab out paper, markers, crayons or pens. Whatever you can find. Pull out scrap paper or construction paper. Cut everything in different shapes: hearts, circles, squares, Yoda.. etc. Start writing things that you're thankful for with Mom. Does she always make sure there are meals ready? Do you always have clean underwear and matching socks? Does she always make sure everyone gets bedtime kisses and everyone is bathed? Does she remind you not to forget your wallet or keys each morning before you leave? Does she make sure the bills are paid so you have electricity and heat? I could go on, but you know all that a Mom does in a day and then some, what she does in a year. She may be the one to update the Calendar of Birthdays, celebrations and events. She purchases the gifts when you go places and makes sure your clothes are ironed. Let's recognize for all she does. Start filling out little notes to show your appreciation for those little things she does that keeps the home running and lives running smoothly. There may be some things she does which she doesn't even realize what an impact it makes on your life. Let her know through words!

12. Jewelry! Mama loves it even if she may not always get to wear it.  But what exactly would she want? Perhaps, a ring, earrings or necklace with all of the children's birthstones. A bracelet that has significance to what an amazing woman she is. A single pearl necklace to represent her little one or more depending on how many munchkins she has!

13. Wall Photo Decor! There's some photos that Mom absolutely loved. Whether, it was when the children were born or a special event. She loves it and you know she'd love to have that blown up on canvas somewhere in the house. There are so many online places or even local Print Shops that can get that done before Mother's Day. If not, still get it and let her know an extra special gift will be arriving late. Google for coupons/discounts too ;-) 

14. A Walk in the Park or Hike! Throw the strollers in the car and pack some sunscreen. Make it a day in the park, or along the ocean, maybe a pretty pond. If Mama loves hiking, grab the carriers for the kids and make sure everyone has their sneakers on. Don't forget the bug spray and grab a backpack with waters! Either way, you'll be breathing in the fresh air and helping to tire those kiddos out for bedtime. 

15. Wine! You know she has a favorite Wine. Send her a bottle, drop it off, or have it opened and poured in a glass for dinner. If you went to get real crazy you can even purchase her some new wine glasses!

16. Bath & Bed Time! Help! SOS! The kids are tired and cranky but so dirty from all of the day's events. Tell Mom to put her feet up on the couch and pick out a movie. Maybe she's ready for bed herself. In that case send her in the bedroom, and tell her to lock that door. You know just in case a naked little toddler decides they want to run around. Mom doesn't need to know about the trail of water from the bathroom to everywhere else in the house. You're handling the Nighttime Routine! 

17. Mama Needs New Clothes & Shoes! It's a new Season and Mama needs to dress the part! Head out to the Mall or Shopping Outlets and let her choose the stores. Or if she needs a few hours on her own tell her you have plans with the kids. That way Mom can take her time in the dressing and maybe even take a nap on one of their comfortable couches.

18. A Night Away! Do you know how an Elephant sleeps? Well barely, they can take a 15 minute nap tops at a time (while standing). They're always on their feet all day and only let their trunk hit the ground for 4-6 hours a night. Sound familiar? Okay, so us Moms don't have trunks but I'd say our sleep patterns are not too different. Even more, do we even get 15 minutes of nap time? Perhaps that would sound more familiar for our night schedule. Send Mama away Saturday night to get a full night's rest. Then when she returns Sunday spend the day together as a family. She'll love it & love you! Oh! Maybe she can meet up with a girlfriend for dinner before she heads out to her Solo Night Away of Sleep!

19. Weekend Away! Let's step it up a notch. Would Mom love to go away for a weekend with her favorite gals? Not on Mother's Day but if you can somehow coordinate with her favorite chicks and send her a way start planning now. What a surprise would that be? How AWESOME would you be? You'll always be able to think back and say ... "Remember that time I planned a Girl's Weekend away for you?"... Believe me, do that and you'll get a ton of Golf Days ;-)

20. Movie Night! Mama has to delete all of the shows on the DVR to make space for someone's sports games, kids favorite TV shows or the DVR just doesn't exist in your home. She's always sitting their, smiling and watching what everyone loves and just needs a night of her choosing to pick out a movie and control the remote. Sticky hands off everyone! Mama picks what we watch tonight. To make it fair to everyone you can even divvy up the week and have everyone take turns with a night :) 

21. Dine In! Bring the night full circle with a delicious Homemade dinner! Involve the kids too. Remember that Pinterest that we chatted about in #7? Check that out for great Dinner Ideas. Set the table up. Pull out the fine china (as long as you're doing dishes) or grab paper plates, napkins and plastic silverware. Mom will love it all! Here's a perfect time to pour a glass of wine or in a plastic cup!

22. Plan It Out! This ties into just about anything on this list. Something common I hear from other Moms is that they do not care what the day entails as long as their Significant other plans it. Perhaps, the night before or day (s) because.. you still have time says the Professional Procrastinator right here.. create a schedule for the entire day and share with her the itinerary or keep it a surprise! Believe me, there is nothing better then a Mom waking up and her whole day is planned and she doesn't have to do a thing but go along for the ride! Let her brain R-E-L-A-X for the day!

23. No Diapers: What's that? Mama doesn't have to change... one... single.. diaper for the entire day? You are the best!

24. Delivery! If you know of a Mama that's all alone on Mother's day with her kiddos or perhaps they're all grown up. Send her flowers, a meal or some fruit! Mail a card! Send her an e-mail, a voicemail, silly video clips to cheer her up. Send her something that's meaningful to her like a scrapbook or photo album. Just let her know you're thinking of her!

25. X's & O's: From the moment Mama wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep, any moment you can get. Give hugs and kisses. Even at the most random moment while you're waiting in line for a hot dog at a stand on the side of the road. At the parks, feeding the ducks. Whisper in your kids ears "Go hug Mommy..." ... "Give Mama a big wet kiss". Don't be shy, you can do that too! We often forget these little moments and that's all we need. Don't forget the sweet words... "I Love You"

These are just a few ideas out of 100's out there to make that Mom in your life feel special and appreciated. Ideas that can also be done and used each day as well throughout the year. I hope that special woman in your life has a wonderful Mother's Day! 

Let us Celebrate "Her" for all she does! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Story of The "Little Saint" Nevan

Charlie and I began dating when I was 17. From that point on it was just the two of us. Until we moved into our first Apartment 4 years later. We had gotten Nevan just a month prior to moving in on New Year's Eve. Nevan was one of a kind. I really mean that. Let me take a few steps back... 

My Aunt had found Nevan and his brother, Fenway, just newborn kittens with pointy tails right before a huge Blizzard had hit. Had she not have seen them we wouldn't have had Nevan. We originally didn't want a cat, no way, not us. As we were over my Aunt's for Charlie to work on her computer the kittens were running around. To this day I feel Nevan chose us. He climbed on Charlie's lap while he worked on the computer and even he said "this kitten is pretty cool". It goes without question we wanted him.

I chose the name Nevan because it meant "Little Saint". Being the time of the year and the circumstance I felt that fit him just right. And you know... it really did. 

The problem was we were not due to move into our Apartment until New Year's Eve and I was so sad. I mean this was OUR baby and I didn't get to see him everyday for an entire month before moving into our home. Charlie however did.. 

Charlie was amazing. I mean that. He made Nevan a home in his bedroom, it was out of cardboard boxes. Nevan had his own little apartment within Charlie's apartment. He set up a WebCam which was called the "NevCam". He created a link to the WebCam that any time during the day if I were home I could click on it and see what Nevan was doing. I shared it with anyone I knew and friends that were away at College would write me saying that in between their classes, their favorite thing to do was hop on the NevCam and see what mischievous he was up to. He was loved. 

Living in our first apartment together, starting fresh as a couple and with Nevan made us this family. I remember being in that moment still when we had him and put him down in the Apartment the first day. I remember him being cautious, sniffing around and then within an hour he was hyper jumping up the doorways.

He was a cat that ran to the door to greet everyone and always was the center of attention. He loved being loved. That was Nevan.

I won't go into our life story together because well that's 11 years more worth. I will try to sum it up. We later gained more fur babies. Minnie another cat and Peanut our Yorkie. This was our family. We never thought we could have children and these were/are our children. When we went through all we did to have Autumn our lives changed. She immediately was born into a family with loving fur siblings. They all loved her even with the stresses it all entailed. 

I've been documenting Autumn's life since she was born as everyone knows. I'm thankful for that. Especially knowing we lost one of our children sooner than we ever imagined. Nevan passed away last Tuesday. We both felt the fur babies would be around for Autumn to say their names and we can hear her say that she loves them. We'll continue to show her videos and photos of Nevan and talk about him daily because I want her to know about him and always have memories even if it's us sharing them with her. 

Nevan was an incredible cat. A loyal friend. He kept my belly warm every night of his life with us. His paws rest on my belly while Autumn was in there growing. He was there to comfort on days I just felt lost. He stayed by my side during each surgery I've had while healing. He was the sweetest of Cats and we'll love our first baby, our Little Saint, Nevan forever. 


Monday, February 8, 2016

Mommy Judging. True Story.

I think back to High School and how often kids were judging other kids. Whether or not we admit it we all judge in some form or another. We judge through our thoughts, gestures, words or sometimes by doing absolutely nothing at all. 

We're those parents that bring our child out after a snowstorm near waterfalls where it's icy. She loved it. True Story.

 We're those parents that have an extremely daring child that wants to somersault everywhere and anytime. She's nuts. She's crazy. We let her do her thing. She's fallen a lot. She's gotten bruises. She always gets back up. She loves it. True Story. 

I remember growing up feeling judged constantly mainly because in those days friends would let you know when someone was saying something about you. Right? Majority of the time at least. Sometimes you could just sense how someone felt about you, but others didn't want you to feel hurt. I also remember being told by adults that this will soon pass. We all grow up and all of a sudden become adults. When we become adults you no longer judge others? That's how I understood what happens. Boy was I ever more wrong. 

If anything it gets worse. As adults maybe we feel we've lived it? We know what's right and what's wrong. Of course everyone else is wrong. I think people try to be polite and say "no judging... but......." 

I bring this all up because since I became Mom I've never felt more judged in my entire life. I've received "advice" on things I should be doing or perhaps should not be doing as a Mom. I've also feel I've fallen into that category of judging. I ask myself what makes them better than me to look at how I'm parenting? Everyone talks about Mommy Wars and we need to end them, but it seems daily when I look through my Facebook feed or read others blogs on social media, it's never ending. This would become mighty long if I sat here sharing all of the posts I've seen of what parents should be doing (which I don't think I make the cut for). Here I am judging what they are sharing. It's this black hole... stay away... step away!

I'm trying to figure a way around this all. Maybe instead of judging we embrace our flaws or I should correct myself, what others feel are flaws? If I could go back to High School, I'd probably approach my bad hair choices ahead of time before others could critique me. Maybe my attire choices too? 

My question for you. How do you handle being/feeling judged? Not even just the actual words someone says to you, but what you see on Social Media that people share which may or may not be directed towards you but when you know you don't fall into that category, for myself.. I feel judged. Gosh, being a parent is hard. Teaching your children something you have no idea how to control or stop..

Shouldn't we all be in this together? Stepping back to teenage years, we were all in it together, right? Now as parents, as Moms we should be helping one another? 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Affordable & Free Toddler Adventures: Eastern Point Beach

Autumn was a November baby so of course the first 3-4 months I felt that cabin fever being cooped up inside our home every day. Looking back, I wish I had ventured out more from the start. Not that she would remember, but more for myself to get some air. Charlie and I were always out and about doing things before Autumn was born.

Once that 4 months mark hit it, Spring fever hit me too! I felt more alive, motivated and it was constant... "What should we do this weekend?". We have tried to do something just about every weekend that gets us out of the house. It's been fulfilling.. I think that's the word I'm looking for. Memorable.. it makes us happy as a family. Most of all, we can see Autumn in these moments is so genuinely happy. She'll have photos and videos to look back on to see just how happy she was, but we have these moments forever printed in our memory of her giggles and smiles... and just pure awe

I wanted to share some of outings as we also try to do things that don't cost money to give ideas for others. Happiness and Fun shouldn't have to be expensive. Of course having a new baby brings on changes and financial is one of them. We want to still have fun adventures together as a family where we spend the least amount of money and can enjoy the time with one another. 

This particular day we had ventured to two places. This was the second place we stumbled upon . I'll write about the 1st place in another Post. City of Groton, Eastern Point Beach Park. Since it's Winter (off season) there were no fees to enter. Having a tiny human that walks around is incredible. There were small raised rocks where she could climb with our anxious arms inches away.

A beautiful old house that is now used for the Beach with a wrap around porch that she walked and ran around. The patter of her little feet echoing was the sweetest thing along with her laughter as she pretended we were chasing her.

There were tiny moments in time I snuck in for quick smooshie kisses before she ran away, Little Miss Independent.. sigh...  There is also a playground at this park that we didn't even make it too. Autumn tired herself out running around, sitting in the grass, running away from imaginary friends or animals that we never made it to check out the playground. But there is one and it's fenced in. You get to sit there overlooking the ocean. It's a beautiful place to venture to!

As ever adventure begins it must end.. She makes it very clear when her day is over. Those heavy eyes and cute itch of the nose. She's the best.