Days like these

57922_10200392086796703_1124923120_n

Monday Josh and I took the girls to the city (NYC) for the day.  Other than being around our family, the only plus side to living in Connecticut is having the ability to wake up, get in the car, and head to the city.  While we were getting ready that morning we kept telling Corinne we were going on a trip which got her super excited although I’m pretty sure she had no clue what we meant!  The girls were great on the way there, Kenzie slept most of the ride and Corinne played with her Doc McStuffins bag.

Once in the city we strapped the girls in the stroller and walked!  Yup, we walked!  We didn’t do anything fancy or elaborate.  We walked around downtown, ate some yummy NYC pizza, and took them to Washington Square Plaza.  For those of you not familiar with Washington Square Plaza, it embodies all things NYC.  It’s full of people of all walks of life, different performers, and a dog park.  It’s great for relaxing, playing, people watching and playing.  As we were making our way to the park we found the Bubble Man, as I have nicknamed him, and we stopped to have some fun!

527094_10200392154878405_188278485_n 536227_10200392150438294_33295613_n 551363_10200392083196613_1874398689_n

It’s such a simple concept which was part of the joy of it.  He wasn’t trying to sell anything or profit off of us.  He was out there entertaining kids and having a great time himself.  Surprisingly the girls jumped right in!

After our bubble fun we walked about 20 more feet to a park and played with the girls!

549004_10200392085636674_835446542_n         733926_10200399359738522_440395915_n

It’s like days like these that are my favorite!  The four of us spending the day together not doing much at all!

mbmixerbuttonidea  Today we are linking up with some wonderful Women who happen to be amazing Moms as well!  Stop by the Mommy-Brain Mixer and see what else is going on!

Easter Festivities

Like most Holidays, Easter came with a new excitement now that we have the girls.  Being able to experience the festivities with them and seeing the genuine joy that they feel is truly something remarkable.  It also is an ongoing reminder to take time and enjoy every moment of every day.

We started our Easter weekend with a small egg hunt at a friends’ house on Friday.  It was the perfect introduction to this tradition for McKenzie, and Corinne.  It was also the first semi-warm day since last Fall so it was nice to be outside!  The girls and the other kiddos there had a blast!

DSCN3584   DSCN3560

Saturday was our usual routine of Gymnastics and Dance classes for Corinne and I.  The rest of the day was spent running into a million and one stores for all of the last minute items and our weekly grocery shopping.  Before the girls went up to bed they left their baskets out for the Easter Bunny so he could leave them some treats!  After the girls went to sleep Josh, Tiago (our room mate) and I started putting together their Easter baskets.  To me, Easter baskets are more about the thought and are for fun.  I never even knew until after high school that it was possible to buy the pre-made wrapped in cellophane kind.  Not that there is anything wrong with those, it just takes all of the fun out of it for me!  I enjoy doing these little things for them.  We filled our eggs with jelly beans, stuffed their baskets, and set up the table for them.  With two dogs in the house that are especially found of all things candy, the baskets needed to be up high!

DSCN3590

Thankfully the Easter Bunny was finally able to get his paws on the Doc McStuffins doctor’s kit that a certain little girl has been wanting for months!

Corinne and McKenzie woke up bright and early Sunday morning excited to see what treats the Easter Bunny left for them!  Lol!  They were very happy and excited when they came down and saw the easter eggs throughout the downstairs, the baskets on the table, and a note the Easter Bunny left for them.

45219_10200379985374175_2116816135_n

DSCN3613   DSCN3628 DSCN3609 DSCN3630

 I know you love Corinne’s fabulous outfit!  Her new thing is to “change her outfit”  after we put her to bed every night.  It is amusing to see what she has created every morning when she wakes up!

For Easter dinner we went to a lovely families house!  They are a great big Italian family, that love to eat, laugh and spoil our girls!  Ha ha!  The food is amazing and I always eat too much while we’re there and bring home way too much food!  Besides the amazing hospitality, one of the highlights of spending time with this family is listening to the Women talk about their labor stories and breastfeeding their little one’s.  It’s so cool to hear them talk about nursing, there is an absence of bragging or needing to prove themselves, it was just what was done.  They all nursed one another’s kids when needed too!

All in all Easter was a blast this year!  The girls had so much fun which always makes Josh and I happy.  How was your Easter?  I would love to hear how you spent it and see pictures!  If you wrote your own Easter post link it in the comments!

What’s Going On

I love to read other bloggers Currently posts so I thought I would do something similar.  For as organized and high-strung as I can be, I am extremely impulsive, so live in a constant state of being all over the place!  I constantly have too many things on my plate that need to get done and get done well.  I am the Queen of making lists and then having to make a list about my lists!  So I guess this is more of a blog showing my current priority list!

Get It Done Now:

I just finished the second of two books that I am reviewing for the wonderful Kathy Morelli and I have to get my reviews written up and posted.  The books were great and super informative but with my other readings I have to do I feel bad that I am taking so long to get this done.  Start my Community Project and Reflection Guide for my SBD training.  I am in love with everything I am learning and doing so far in this training,  I would like to obtain my certification sooner than later so I NEED to start my Community Project and Reflection Guide!  Get more homeschool organized, Corinne and McKenzie are loving doing “fun things” every day.  I would like to have a few weeks worth of activities and worksheets planned, printed, with their supply list, ready to go!

What I Want To Do:

Get more quotes and artwork on the walls in the girls’ playroom.  I have the frames, and know what I want, it’s JUST a matter of doing it.  Start working out more.  Ok let me be honest, I want to workout!  I am not one to focus on a number or stress over a size.  But I want to be healthy for myself and my family so I need to live a healthy lifestyle.  I would really like to know how others living in New England avoid the winter rut?  It’s hard when you are stuck inside day after day with the kids, I just have little motivation to be active.  It’s freaking cold outside!

What’s Going On:

Corinne is in the homestretch of Dance and Gymnastics classes.  Her dance recital is mid June and gymnastics ends around the same time.  Yes, we will be that crazy family that has like 30 people at her recital.  Hey, it’s her 1st and it’s also less than a week after her birthday so we are combining celebrations.  McKenzie is finding her voice and speaking it loud and clear in this house!  No more laid back and mellow Kenzie Bear!  She’s here and a force to be reckoned with!  My SBD training is amazing!  I am learning so much and it has sparked so much drive and enthusiasm that I need to reign myself in.  I am currently in the 7th of 8 weeks of online training and then there are two projects I need to complete.  I recently started a collection of tap and ballet shoes for Girls Inc which is a non-profit organization that is doing amazing things with young girls.  If you would like to donate some shoes or a Payless gift card please let me know!

What’s Happened:

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to speak on a panel of Birth Gurus!  I honestly was so low on the Todom Pole that I found myself listening to them speak in awe and forgetting that I was a speaker as well! I had some Labor of Love t-shirts made and am rocking them like crazy!  Ha ha!  Let me know if you want one!

What’s Caught My Eye:

Celebrity Apprentice, All Stars has us hooked already!  Omarosa drives me nuts but she makes for good rating so I’m sure she’ll be there for a while.  All my Housewives continue to crack me up and ! wonder what I watched before reality tv!  Nashville is still my current favorite and the soundtrack is amazing!

Well that’s it for me! Lol  What’s new with you?  If you do a Currently or a What’s Going On post, tag me so I can read it!

An unfortunuate reminder

This morning the girls and I went to our local Barnes and Nobles for some good ole story time.  Since the girls love to read and to be read to we can make a morning of it.  After about an hour of reading and some train table time we picked out a book to take home and headed out.

5485_10200278482956678_1398070930_n

As I was walking across the parking lot with my 17 month old on one hip, my purse on the opposite shoulder, and my two year old holding my free I see a woman watching us and smiling.  As I got Corinne into her car seat I see that the woman is now standing at the end of my car waiting to talk to me.  I gave her a polite smile and proceeded to walk to McKenzie’s side.  As I am attempting to strap McKenzie into her car seat the woman now walks up to us to the point where we are shoulder to shoulder in between my car and the SUV parked next to me and is looking into my car to talk to Corinne.  At this point I am feeling extremely uncomfortable, my adrenaline is pumping, and I am frightened.  My protective Momma Bear mode kicks in and I tell this woman that she needs to back up immediately.  She smiles, apologizes and tells me the girls are beautiful and I am so blessed but is still shoulder to shoulder with me.  I again tell her that she needs to back away and to leave.  The woman then states that she works for a company that repairs auto glass and that they are doing a free safety evaluation or some junk like that.  This angers me even more because I feel like if she is telling the truth than she just scared the daylights out of me to solicit me and I HATE solicitation.  At this point the woman takes a few steps back but she is still at the end of my car and still too close for my comfort.  She then states that she is going to walk around and inspect my glass.  I told the woman to get away from my car or I was going to call 911 immediately.  After repeating it two more times she finally walked away and I quickly got into my car.

The whole ride home I could not stop thinking about what happened.  Especially since Corinne was repeatedly asking me who that woman was and what she was doing.  In my head I’m thinking if my two year old senses that something was not right than clearly her actions were out of line.  After I fed the girls lunch and put them down for a nap I called my local Police Department.  I felt like even if the woman was 100% honest about what she was doing it still was not right and something should be done.  This is where it gets scarier for me.  The Police officer I spoke with told me that I am the fourth person within a week to call with a similar story.  He told me that at this point they do not think that she works for a glass company and that how I reacted was good and safe.  I gave him all of our information and a full description of the woman. and stated that there should be more security there.

I literally hung up the phone and started crying.  My mind went to that horrible place where you imagine all of the horrible things that could have happened.  I don’t know what I would do if something traumatic ever happened to the girls.  Today was a reminder of the need to constantly be alert when in public, to be aware of your surroundings at all times, and to follow your instincts.  I can not prevent the actions of others, I can only do my best to stay safe.

So please, keep your heads up, stay off your phone unless necessary, and hold your kids tight.  And when something doesn’t feel right to you, do something.

Our new favorite!

Image

I am always looking for fun activities that will entertain the girls and best case scenario teach them something at the same time.  A few weeks ago a friend posted a picture of her daughter sitting on the kitchen floor with a few pipe cleaners and a strainer and I thought it was such a great idea!  Today I tried it with McKenzie and it was a hit!  It took her a few tries to get it but than it was smooth sailing.  After she mastered getting them in I showed her how to bed the other side in.

This was the perfect activity for McKenzie while I was cooking dinner.  I gave her 5 pipe cleaners and she would put them in.  Clap for herself. Take them all out.  Then do it all over again!

ImageA few pipe cleaners and a bowl of some Rainbow pasta entertained Corinne.  We turned them into necklaces for everyone when she was done!

What about you?  What are your go to activities for you kids?

Music and Movement

On Friday the wonderful and amazing Leslie Pratt came to my Mom’s group and did a Music and Movement Demo for my Moms and children.  Leslie is bringing Music and Movement to the studio where I hold my classes and I am so excited!  If you are in my area and would like to register for a class or come to her upcoming Open House check out her website or shoot me an email and I will get you in touch!

Here are a few pictures of all the fun!

Image

DSCN3443

DSCN3442

                        DSCN3438         DSCN3433

 

Sunday Dinner

Roasted Pork, Sweet Potatoes and Loaded String Beans

DSCN3382

Don’t you wish you were invited to dinner today?

Ha Ha Ha!

I started the pork shoulder this morning by preheating our oven to 280 degrees and taking out the top rack.  To season the meat I made a quick marinade with green peppers, onions, garlic and rosemary.  I do a large chop of the veggies and lightly saute them with some EVOO and season with salt, pepper, cumen and Spanish paprika.  I then put it all in the blender with some more EVOO, puree and there’s my marinade!

DSCN3359

 DSCN3362

I poked a few holes on the bottom, sides, and top of the shoulder.  First place the meat in a roasting pan fat side down and pour half of the marinade on top and coat with a spoon or your hand.  Then flip so the fat is on top and pour the remainder of the marinade and again coat with a spoon or your hand.  Cover with a tight layer of tin foil and you’re ready to go!

DSCN3365

DSCN3364

DSCN3366

DSCN3378

I let the pork roast for about 4 hours and then I started basting it every 20 minutes.  After 5 1/2 hours I removed the foil and left it in there for another 45 minutes.  Take it out and it’s ready to go!

This is one of the easiest recipes out there!  If you want to skip the marinade step just season with your favorite flavors and drizzle with some EVOO and you’re ready to go!  I will be posting my secret sweet potato and loaded string beans recipes later this week!  Enjoy and as always have fun!

Beauty Tip!

Those that are close to me know that I am not a stylish and hip Mommy!  In my early twenties my high paying salary and living rent free with my parents contributed to a Designer Label phase, but other than that I have always been a simple dresser with an obsession with stripes.  When it comes to manis and pedis and accessories I usually fall short.  I wish I could blame it on being a busy Mom but that would be a flat out lie!  Before kids I rarely made trips to the nail salon, glammed up an outfit with some cute bangles or wore anything trendy.  It’s just never been my thing.  I am a die hard everyday make up wearer though.  And not because I think I shouldn’t leave the house without make up or anything silly like that, but my 3 years of sleep deprivation is extremely apparent without some cover up on!  Every single time I leave the house untouched I’m met with questions and comments about sleepless nights and needing a nap, yeah thanks!  Oh and earrings are a must, nothing super trendy or even dangly.  I wear the same Stella and Dot pair just about every day, I love and my children do not attempt to pull them out.

The one beauty regimen I struggle with is finger and toe nail painting.  I am not a fan of painting my finger nails, mostly because I stink at it and it always comes out bad.  In the summertime my daily shoe wear is flip flops so I am a stickler about keeping my toes painted.  Last summer I discovered the Fast Dry polishes and I could not be more in love with them!  They are the perfect solution for my impatient self and the colors are usually super cute.  The issue I seem to have is that when I wear darker colors, which I love in the summer, it is such a pain to get the polish off.  I usually only use a lighter color because of this.  We’ve all been there right?  Trying to take your polish off for what seems like hours and being left with tinted toe nails and frustrated!

Yesterday while the girls were playing in the tub I decided to take advantage of the situation and take my toe nail polish off.  Usually I use cotton balls (about 50 of them) or paper towels and of course there were none of either in our upstairs bathroom.  With two crazy girls in the tub, going downstairs was not an option, I grabbed a pack of baby wipes and plopped myself on the floor.  1 baby wipe later I had removed all of the CinnaWine polish from BOTH feet!  Yes, I both feet with 1 wipe!  I sat there in shock and disbelief while laughing at myself for how excited I was about my discovery.  So now I’m wondering, did everyone else know about this and I am just extremely late to the party?  Why didn’t anyone tell me?  Lol!  Oh well, I am super happy about my findings and will proudly add this to my list of all things you can use Baby Wipes for!

DSCN3350

Still Birth Day

When I began this blog last spring my goal was to write about my family, how the girls and I spend our days, my Doula work, and whatever other randomness I decided to throw in there.  I have to be honest that I didn’t give much thought to privacy and what boundaries, if any, I would set beforehand.  So far I have shared most of what goes on in our lives, without much censorship.  I hate to disappoint people but there isn’t much going on over here that you don’t know about!  There are some things that have happened in the past that I haven’t blogged about and I may never share in detail.  I have thought about sharing a few times but it has always seemed so inorganic because it didn’t have any relevance to what has been going on in my life.  Until recently.

As of early last week I began the pursuit of a second Doula certification through a wonderful organization Still Birth Day.  This is a phenomenal organization that is healing the hearts of many worldwide.  Still Birth Day is a resource for parents and families that have, or are dealing with a pregnancy loss.  They have resources for all stages and types of pregnancy losses including neonatal deaths.  The certification training that I am attending is to be a Bereavement Doula.  My services will include supporting woman through miscarriages, stillborn deliveries and neonatal losses in a wide range of settings.  Support can be words of encouragement, aid in finding resources, telephone support, being present during the various processes and emotional support during their mourning.   Years back Josh and I dealt with a late pregnancy loss so this all hits very close to home for me.  Our experience is not something that I tend to talk about for a few reasons.  Firstly the emotions are still very fresh for me, although it has been three years it is still not easy to talk about.  Secondly, I do not want to scare others.  It’s not the type of story you tell other woman, especially pregnant, and scare the crap out of them.  Mostly, it is not just my story.  Maybe someday I will share our story in a more public venue but I doubt it.  When I do share our story it is to help others and provide support, not just to tell it.

If you or someone you know has dealt with or is dealing with a pregnancy loss please direct them to the Still Birth Day website.  The resources available are phenomenal, the support they provide both online and and in person is so very important.