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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Link Around


I hope you are enjoying your Sunday as much as I am. 

If you need something to read, here are a few of the best posts I read this week. 


Enjoy your week. Valentine's Day is almost here! 
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Friday, January 28, 2011

When Daddy Reads

He shoves the same book in my face for the 6th time in a row. I smile at him and laugh.  Will you ever tire of this book? Even though he has an entire shelf of books, some days he just wants to read the same book over. and over. and over. and over again.


I'm not sure I have ever heard of a child who doesn't enjoy being read to, and at the age of (almost) 17 months, my son is no different. The sillier I get with the reading, the bigger the smile on his face grows.


He loves when his Dad reads the Dinosaur Books he got from Nana.  Daddy has that special touch to his reading. With his deep voice, his roars, and his growls, he reads in a way that I can't.  Then Nate looks at me with a face that says, This is how you should read it, Mom. 



And I can't help but smile because as much as each child should have a Mom who reads to him, it's even cooler when he has a Dad that can roar and growl and do all the things that Mom just isn't quite as good at.

{This Moment}


In Soule Mama’s words:

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.



Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Best. Snack. Ever.


At least Nate seems to think so.


Do you remember those little packages of spreadable cheese and crackers? Perfect for lunch pails or picnics?

I spotted them at the store and just knew Nate would love them. Why?

Because he is obsessed with dip. 

Just tonight he wanted me to dip his PB&J sandwich into my BBQ sauce.

Anyway, I was right.  He loves them.  Maybe a little too much. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Toilet Paper Fun


Nate, you don't want to play with that toilet paper role.  

Yes, Mom.  Yes, I really do.  Peek-a-boo!


But you're getting toilet paper everywhere.

But it's soo much fun.


Why don't you want to play with one of your other toys 
that happen to be all over the floor?

Because you don't usually let me play with toilet paper.
I play with those toys all the time.


Oh...ok. Gotcha. Well, can you at least smile and let me take a cute picture of you?

Nope. I'm busy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Link Around


Sundays are nice. Church, football, afternoon chill time, and just an overall feeling of calmness.  This picture of Nate relaxing and reading a good book at Nana and Papa's house has that Sunday-kind-of-mood to it.  

Here are a few of my favorite blog posts from the week if you're interested.

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

When You & Your OB Don't Click

Have you seen this article, When To Break Up With Your OB? Reading it got me thinking about my experience with doctors during my first pregnancy.

When I found out I was pregnant with Nate, I started searching online for OBs. I reviewed every corner of all the local doctors' websites and read every review possible.  I eventually settled on a practice consisting of 7 or 8 female doctors and nurse practitioners.  Based on their website and reviews, they seemed perfect.

But after just a few appointments, I knew that this wasn't the place for me.  I felt like they spoke down to me more often than not.  Overall, I just never felt comfortable.

I talked about it with a friend who was also pregnant and she recommended another practice that was in the same building as the place that I was currently going to.  They had delivered her first baby and she was going back to them for her second.  She couldn't say enough good things about them.

After talking it over with my husband, I decided to make an appointment with them and just test out the waters.  They were a father and daughter team and I knew from the first appointment that I was going to be much happier.  So I made the switch and never regretted it.


If you just aren't clicking with your doctor, don't be afraid to make the switch.  According to the article mentioned above, if you find yourself thinking, she's too busy, she's not listening, or she's disrespectful, then it's time to either talk to your doctor and fix things or move on.

What has your experience been like with OBs?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

{This Moment}

In Soule Mama’s words:

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.


For those of you who don't know, we are super excited to announce that we are expecting our second child. We are just over 13 weeks along and are due on July 25th.  So be on the lookout for lots of pregnancy-related posts in the months to come.  

Skill-Building


Isn't it great when our kids finally learn how to do something new? It really is awesome.  Seeing them gain independence by mastering one skill at a time is one of parenting's greatest joys.  

But what about when they figure out how to do something that is only going to make our life more difficult?  Do you still find it easy to celebrate those accomplishments? 

In the pictures above, Nate finally figured out how to open the door to the bathroom.  To him, the bathroom is a world of cabinets to be explored, a fun scale to stand on, a place to find bathroom toys, and, of course, we can't forget about the mysteries of the toilet. 

Despite the dangers that are found in the bathroom, learning to open a door is one of life's many skills, although it is one that we take for granted.

So, for the moment, I relished in the joy of him learning to do something new.  I thought about how much he's grown in just 16 short months. That teeny baby that once nestled in my arms can now walk and open doors all by himself.  Then I closed the door and told him that it's a "no-no touch"place.  Hopefully that is enough to convince him to stay away from the bathroom, however, my hunches tell me that he'll probably be even more inclined to explore his new-found skill and I'll have to start locking the door or put up a gate.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Seattle Aquarium

Courtesy of a fabulous deal from Groupon, my husband and I took Nate to the Seattle Aquarium during the holiday weekend.  I was excited to check it out, as it is a major attraction along the water in downtown Seattle.


The first attraction is an impressive aquarium that is sloped.  Your feet can be a foot away from the glass, yet the aquarium is touching your face because of the way that it is angled. 


Nate got a pretty big kick out of getting to get close to the many smaller aquariums.  I heard so many kids pointing at these fish and calling them names from "Finding Nemo."  There's Dorie!


Here is one of the 3 or 4 touch pools.  I can imagine that when Nate gets just a bit bigger and is able to resist the urge to rip apart everything that he touches, he will enjoy this part a lot.  But until then, we'll just let him look. 


I was impressed with this glass archway containing jelly fish meandering just over our heads.


They also have various toddler days.  These days are geared toward the little ones.  They have a special dive show just for them, as well as extra guides to explain the exhibits, answer questions, and engage in coloring activities or passing out stickers.


Getting close to some of the ocean's greatest creatures is definitely a highlight.



Don't sea anemones look like something from another planet?



This Underwater Dome was my favorite exhibit.  Salmon, sharks, ling cod, and deep-water rockfish swim around you, above you, and beside you.  It truly is a one of a kind exhibit.  A diver fed some of the fish and put on quite a show. 


The next time you are in Seattle, take some time to visit the aquarium. 
It is educational, amazing, and fun.

Do your toddlers enjoy places like this?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Link Around


Are you missing the sunshine? I am, although the sun did peek through the clouds for a bit today here in Seattle.  My husband and I bundled Nate up and went on a longer walk than normal.  It was nice. 

This picture was taken just across Lake Washington in Kirkland a few months ago when the sun was in full force. If you look really closely, you will see downtown Seattle in the background.

I read a lot of really great posts this week, so I'm going to share some of my favorites with you.

Enjoy!



Saturday, January 15, 2011

High School Dealing With 90 Teen Pregnancies


I was shocked and saddened to stumble across this news story. 90 teenage girls, roughly 20% of Frayser High School's female population, is pregnant or has given birth during the last school year.  Speculators assume that many of these girls are making pacts with each other and planning ways to get pregnant.  Because so many girls are pregnant or are taking care of little babies, it is seen as "cool" to be able to join this club.  

The girl interviewed in the video above did not find out she was pregnant until she was 5 months along.  This can pose some serious health risks to her and the baby, due to lack of prenatal care. 

So many schools just glaze over sex education.  They speed through it because it's uncomfortable to teach, immature kids giggle and make jokes, and no one seems to take it seriously.  

However, now there are close to 100 babies being born to teenagers in this one school alone.  

While I would hope that teenage girls will practice abstinence, obviously not every girl is going to.  Our schools need to get over the shock factor that teens have sex and begin teaching them how to prevent pregnancies.  Turning a blind eye to what is going on doesn't do anybody any favors. 

And it isn't just the school district's responsibility to educate these teens.  Parents need to step up and teach their children that their actions have very serious consequences.  What was intended to be only one night of fun can turn into a lifetime of responsibility.  14, 15, 16, 17, and even most 18 year olds are not ready to handle that type of commitment. 

The good news is that teen births are down in most places in the US.  This article provides some current statistics.  

Shows like "Teen Mom" and "16 and Pregnant" do a great job of demonstrating the realities of getting pregnant at a young age.  Their "Prince Charming" isn't quite so charming anymore.  Being pregnant is more than just uncomfortable at times.  And once the baby arrives, life changes forever.  

I know I don't have all the answers.  But something is happening in Memphis at Frayser High School.  Somewhere along the line these girls are getting the wrong message.  Something needs to be done to wake these girls, and boys, up.  Because the reality is that children are not meant to have children.

Do you have any ideas? What do you think should be done to stop this teen pregnancy epidemic at Frayser High School?

Friday, January 14, 2011

{This Moment}

In Soule Mama’s words:

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.


I couldn't resist an opportunity to show off his smile. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Little Boys



Train a boy in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not swerve from it.
-- Proverbs 22:6

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Steady Days: A Review

There were a few books that I put on my Christmas Wish List this year.  One of them was Steady Days by blogger, Jamie Martin.  Her blog, "Steady Mom," has been a source of inspiration to me during my first year of being a mom, so I was definitely excited to receive the book on Christmas morning.


We've all heard this popular cliche, "Being a mom is a full-time job."  And it's most certainly true.  We are responsible for raising, entertaining, cleaning, disciplining, and nurturing a child (or children) 24 hours a day.  Of course there are those few hours when they sleep, but even then, on any given day, those hours can be cut short or eliminated altogether.  On those days, we can't whine about losing our lunch break, otherwise known as "me time."  Rather we must be on our game and ready to continue the raising, entertaining, cleaning, disciplining, and nurturing.  

Jamie's mission in life, and in this book, is to approach this job of parenting with intention and professionalism.  

From the opening paragraph: 

I am not a perfect mother. Often I struggle with impatience; sometimes I lack the enthusiasm I long for. I make many mistakes, just like my children. As they are maturing as children, I am maturing as a mother. In any career, experience allows us to grow, improve, and learn. But unlike other professions, many of us mothers have never had any training to prepare us for this new job filled with diapers, tanrums, and sleepless nights. We need to equip ourselves with practical tools that allow us to give our personal best to our young children, helping us thrive in our strengths and overcome our weaknesses."

If anyone knows about intentional and professional parenting, it's Jamie.  She welcomed 3 children into her family in just a few short years-only 22 months separate the oldest from the youngest. Through all of the chaos of the early years, she developed a strategy to maintain intentional parenting.  

Her book gives practical ways to develop a daily schedule while still maintaining flexibility. She provides ways to keep and record your child's memories, artwork, and life without having to devote hours to scrapbooking.  

Each sentence is full of tips, as well as inspiration. Nothing about this book is overwhelming, but rather peaceful and encouraging.  

Perfect for the first time mom, or the mom who has been parenting for a while but could use a boost of inspiration, I recommend this book for any parent. 

It is definitely one that is staying on my bookshelf and will be referred to over and over throughout my career as a mom.  

Thanks to Frank and Suzanne for this awesome Christmas gift!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

ChristineMarieFord Planner Giveaway Winner!!

We have a winner!

But first, thank You to Christine for providing me with a planner as well as offering to give a planner to one lucky reader. And a big Thank You to everyone who entered.  I wish I could give you all one of these wonderful planners. 

And the winner is...

Comment #93 (as chosen by Random.org): Jennie!

Jennie's comment: "I like the rustic brown suede lined journal book."

Congratulations Jennie! I know you are going to love this planner. 

If you didn't win, visit Christine's Etsy site to purchase any of her wonderful products.  Here are some of the most popular and favorite items for sale based on the comments that all of you left. 


Swarovski Earrings


Swarovski Crystal Earrings



Mini Suede Journal, Sketchbook



Thank you Christine!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

{This Moment}

In Soule Mama’s words:

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.


Even though this picture is a few weeks old now, I love the beauty and wonder that it conveys. This picture was taken at the amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Home


I came across this adorable video on Leigh's blog, Marvelous Kiddo and just had to share it with you.  Isn't this singing duo adorable?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year's Resolutions and a GIVEAWAY!

The New Year is the perfect time to talk about goals for the upcoming year.  I 'm going to share mine with you and then announce an awesome giveaway, so be sure to check out the details.

My Goals for 2011:

1). Get organized. I just received the perfect planner (I'm giving one away!) to stay organized throughout the year.  In the past, I've had appointments written on dry erase boards, meals written on the fridge, and other information in random places around the house.  It is my goal for 2011 to keep all of the information needed to keep my family running smoothly in one place.  My husband is already really good at this.  Hopefully, this year I can be just as good as him at staying organized.

Read on for details on how you can win a planner of your own to help you stay organized.

2). Become a better cook for my family. I have an arsenal of meals that I rotate through regularly.  My goal is to branch out and make new and different meals.  I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit this year and canned some jelly and made a few other dishes, but I want to do even more of that in 2011 and share it with all of you.

The Exciting Part:

Christine from the popular Etsy site, ChristineMarieFord, sent me a gorgeous planner just in time for the new year.


This planner is made out of dark brown, oil tanned leather.  It scuffs easily for a distressed look.  According to Christine, "if Indiana Jones had a day planner, it would look like this!"



Each page has two columns, one for writing down the events of the day and the other for recording appointments.



At the beginning of each month, there is a full calendar to view each month in it's entirety and page to write down everything that needs to be done during the month.


At the end, there are 40 blank pages that you can do with as you like.  I plan to use them for grocery shopping lists.  

 

Retailing at $89, this is a very worthwhile investment. 

Here are some more stats from her website:

- 200 pages total(both sides)
- 24lb natural parchment paper
- pages are approximately 7.5" high by 5.5" wide
- hand bound with green waxed irish linen thread
- leather place holder
- inside front pouch for storage
Contents:
- Personal Information
- Contacts 
- Planning Calendars from 2011-2014
- Calendar month at a glance 
- To Do Items/Goals for each month
- Weekly day planner with miniature calendars for each week
- Important Dates to Remember Section
- Notes Section
- 40 blank pages for anything else you need to write, draw or sketch
- pages are numbered for convenience (except for the blank pages)

I absolutely love this planner.  It is unique and organized wonderfully.  

The best part? Christine wants to give a planner away to one of you! 

How To Win:

-Visit Christine's website and pick out your favorite item.  Then come back here and leave a comment sharing it with the rest of us. 
-"Like" the Walk With Me Facebook page. 
-"Like" Christine's Facebook page. 

*Each task above counts as a separate entry into the Giveaway, but you must leave a separate comment for each in order for it to be counted. 


This Giveaway will end on Friday night at midnight. 

Thank you to Christine for providing the planner to me and to a reader.  I know that whoever wins will be extremely pleased with it. 

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sound Fireworks

Happy New Year!

I hope you and your family had a great time ringing in the new year. I love everything associated with New Year's Eve. The appetizers, staying up late, remembering events of the past year, watching other parts of the world celebrate, and listening to the popping of guns and fireworks outside are some of my favorite activities. I'm looking forward to the day when Nate can stay up with us, or at least try and then wind up asleep on the couch.

Have you ever seen how Seattle celebrates the New Year? I hadn't until last night. While it was far too late and too cold for us to even consider taking Nate to watch the festivities, we did get to see it on TV and it was pretty spectacular. An 8 minute long fireworks show happens at the Space Needle. It was truly a sight to see, even if only on TV.




There are going to be some exciting announcements and fun blog posts in the weeks and months to come.  I look forward to sharing 2011 with you!