Friday, July 30, 2010

Prelude to My Mommycation

It is good to be back home again even though I had a wonderful time in CA where there was lots of sun and the temperatures were only in the high 70s and low 80s while back here it was in the 100s.

I honestly was wondering the day before I was to leave if I would have the guts to step foot on the plane.  I think my husband was wondering the same thing.  He even asked me if I would be on the plane the next day.

Do you believe in signs?

Two days before I was to leave I wanted to get the oil changed in my car but without my husband being around, I didn't want to have to drop my car off at the local garage for the entire day nor did I want to sit in the waiting room at one of the other garages entertaining two toddlers (it feels weird to not say infant and toddler anymore). 

My only choice was to do the drive-thru oil change place.  Perfect.  We could all stay in the car and there is usually not a wait to get in.   I now know why.

See there is this big sucker sign on my forehead, apparently.  My oil change ended up costing me $130 and the next day when my A/C stopped working I was laughed at by the mechanic at the garage we used to frequent before we moved.  I swear service providers can smell when you just want to be done with something and you don't want to spend the energy or time to do research for yourself.  I need to have a third opinion on my A/C now that I am home.

Then, while I was waiting for my car, my cell phone stopped working.  I love my Droid (Verizon's version of  the iPhone) but I have already had to have it replaced once.  I honestly thought I would have to have it replaced again.  The touch screen froze and then little boxes kept popping up on the screen.  I shut it down twice before it seemed to be working properly.

This was not a good omen.

The third thing that happened was I took a sample of our pool water to another pool store to have our water analyzed.  The pool store close to where we live is kind of spotty when it comes to testing the water.  I could take the same sample in and have it tested by each employee and I would have three totally different readings.

We have had a hard time stabilizing the chemicals.  I wanted to make sure everything was okay before I left so that I didn't return home to a green pond where our pool once was.  I took the readings I got with our personal chemical kit. 

Of course, the chemicals were off (even though our kit said they were fine) so I had to put about $50-$100 in chemicals into the pool. On the bright side, my pool was sparkling clean when I returned home. Now I have to take the kit back to the pool store where I bought it and have them test my water and compare it to my results.  When they are off (which I am 99% sure they will be) I get to ask for my money back. 

Things happen in threes so I actually was feeling better by the end of the day about setting foot on a plane the next afternoon.   I think my husband had his doubts.  I could hear the relief in his voice the next day when I told him I was on my way to the airport.

Stay tuned til Monday for more about my mommycation...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I am Off on my first mommycation (ahem...vacation) since my second daughter was born.

Thank you to all of those who have stopped by this week.  I promise I will return the favor in the next few days.  I value all of your comments and the fact that you take the time to read TPMG! In fact, I value all of you!

This was one of my first posts (when I had zero readers or followers)!


I am sure I will have lots of stories when I return.

Is My Nose Growing

Should I feel guilty lying to my two year old, again?

Nah. Is it really lying when it is for her own good? 

Seriously, how often in the course of a day do we lie to our kids? 

"Yes, dear, Dora is tired this morning and is still sleeping. She, Mickey Mouse, Oso, and all their friends were at a party last night so they didn't get to bed until late." It's nighty-night time for them. 

Yep, that is why you can't watch tv, my little addict. No one told me that once I opened the door to Tvland that I would never be able to shut it again. 

O.K. maybe they did warn me and I just refused to listen. I did what I had to do in my last trimester before my second daughter was born. Yes, sitting my oldest in front of the tv for more than one hour a day is partly how I survived that time. I never meant for my child to be able to recite the lineup on Disney on weekday mornings.

What was my point, again??? Oh, yes, the lies we tell our children. 

Do we feel guilty for those little white lies? No, at least I don't. Okay so sometimes I feel a little niggle of guilt but I try to ignore it and tell myself she's too young to remember. It gives my husband and I a laugh sometimes when she wants to watch Dora and we tell her no. 

She looks at us. We wait for the tantrum to begin. But, all she says is, "tv...nappers". Yes, my little darling, the tv is tired and needs to take a nap.

Needless to say my daughter now has quite a vocabulary at almost 3 years of age and her response is no longer just "tv...nappers".

(This post's format was slightly changed when reposting it.) 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Splish Splash!

Emily wanted to play outside-her favorite thing to do. With the weather over 90 degrees, I filled up their little sand box (that has never yet been filled with sand) and let them splash around.

Madison wanted to play with the camera after throwing out all of the water toys and then trying to get out herself.

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit here, and 5 Minutes for Mom and more wordful Wednesday can be found at Seven Clown Circus.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Want a Gummibar?

The day after my husband bought our joint anniversary present-an iPad, Emily asked to see something "cool" on it. 

Bob immediately started checking out the videos on YouTube just so he didn't have to listen to her asking repeatedly.  Nothing can drive you down the short road to crazy faster than a two year old asking the same question fifty times in two minutes.

And then...

He introduced our daughter to Gummibar.

Oh I’m a gummy bear.
Yes I’m a gummy bear.
Oh I’m a yummy tummy funny lucky gummy bear.
I’m a jelly bear.
Cause I´m a gummy bear.
Oh I’m a movin’ groovin’ jammin’ singing gummy bear.
Oh yeaoooh. 

Emily laughed and jumped around, groovin' along with Gummibar.

When it ended..."I see something cool again, Daddy". 

Then, my husband had to click on all of the other Gummibar videos to.   I got to listen to the rollicking tunes of "Nuki Nuki" (it's all about a pacifier), "Choco Choco Choco", and even "Itsi Bitsi Bikini".

The next day, we helped our friends pack up since they are moving.  Bob took his new toy and introduced their son to Gummibar.

Gummibar was a huge hit in their house to.

It is something about a cute loveable gummy bear dancing around that gets you every time.

WARNING: Remember the "Barbie Girl" song by Aqua?  If you were prone to hearing that song in your head for days at a time after hearing it, do NOT click on this video.  Also, the gummibear is dancing and shaking in his underpants. Just thought I should warn you.

Maybe it is a good thing that my husband is taking "our" anniversary present out west for his business trip.  That's okay I may have to rescue it when I am out visiting. Only so I can listen to gummibar on the way home.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Attack of the Cocopop Machine

We have a standard run of the mill grocery store a few miles away on the other side of town.  We also have a specialty grocery store a few miles away in the opposite direction which is where I normally shop.  Probably because no matter what I am looking for I can find it on their shelves. 

The other day I was shopping and maneuvering my cart when I heard a loud pop.  It was close by and out of the corner of my eye I caught movement.  I had the urge to duck.  But I didn't.


What could possibly hurt me in the grocery store?  (Besides those unmaneuverable car carts.)

It was a Cocopop machine.  Have you seen these?

They apparently produce a fresh made all natural multigrain snack that shoots out of the machine hitting a shatterproof (I would hope anyway since those flying discs hit the plastic pretty hard) piece of plastic before falling down into a pile.  They are loud and if you are walking nearby and unaware, you may think you are under attack.  They are much louder on impact than what you hear in the video.

I had to stop and stare at this anomaly in our grocery store. 

These cakes that resemble rice cakes got me thinking.  They might make good snacks to throw in the diaper bag.

It's summertime and we are always on the go it seems.  My purse and diaper bag are always stuffed with snacks for the girls (and for me to if I'm honest).  I get sick of eating the same things repeatedly so I came up with a list of quick foods to throw in our bags or in the car for those times when we are short on time.  I can almost guarantee that someone is going to be hungry at some point when we are running errands.  Hungry little girls equals fusspots in our house.  This, we try to avoid at all costs because if the girls are not happy, no one is happy.
On the Go Snacks (that do not require refridgeration or utensils):

Fruit such as bananas, apples, or oranges
Wheat crackers or graham crackers with peanut butter
Granola, cereal, or fig bars
Oatmeal cookies
Tortilla chips
Rice cakes
Dried fruit
Dry cereal
Sunflower and pumpkin seeds
Trail mix
Roasted chickpeas and wasabi peas
Baked lentil chips (I just bought these the other day and they are actually really good)
Fruit roll ups or fruit bars
Fruit snacks
Homemade or store bought jerky
Sliced homemade breads (ex. banana nut) or muffins

I usually sneak some M&Ms in my bag to.  You never know when you will need a chocolate fix or a bribe.

What are your favorite on the go snacks?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How to Properly Eat Cake

My one year old seems to have the proper cake eating etiquette down.

Dip (her finger in the icing) and nibble. Then dive and chomp.  And finally pick up, smoosh, and shove in mouth.

I know most of us adults would rather skip ahead to the shoving it into our mouth stage.

Our guests (family and close friends) watched with rapt attention not wanting to miss "the moment." 

You know the one...the moment depicted in old photo albums that was shot by your mom or dad or whoever was manning the camera.  It is of you devouring (or licking, gulping, smooshing, or divebombing) your first piece of cake. And for many of you, your first taste of cake.
Madison's sister, Emily, had no interest in eating her little birthday cake that I had labored over and baked from scratch.  She dabbled in the frosting and daintly nibbled at it and then picked up the cake, smooshed it in her hands as everyone ooohed on.  Then, she unceremoniously picked it up again, turned it over, and smooshed it into the high chair and all over herself. She maybe had a taste of frosting.  Maybe. A taste that apparently did not meet her rather high standards.

This time we got smart and only gave Madison a cupcake. 

Then, there is the shot of the aftermath.  The one that shows your little ones covered in sugary goodness from their head and probably down to their toes.

 This was Emily at her 1st birthday party.

 This was Madison at her first birthday party after the cake eating portion.  As you can see, she was a little more ladylike.

Do you have any good first birthday stories or one of a kind pics you captured?

For more Wordless Wednesday, visit here, and 5 Minutes for Mom and more wordful Wednesday can be found at Seven Clown Circus.

By the way, see my latest giveaway below.  I posted late yesterday (right before midnight).  Nothing like burning the midnight oil.  I joined Twittermoms and Glue Dots to do some summertime projects with (and for) my daughters.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Glue Dots: Summertime Bonding with TPMG

Glue and my then 18 month old just didn't mix when it came to crafts.  My daughter used to try to eat the glue.  I needed another alternative.  As a scrapbooker, I pulled out my glue dots for toddler-friendly craft projects and never looked back.    Now Em is almost 3 and still loves to do crafts.

Since I became a member of our local moms club, I often use Oriental Trading crafts at playgroups.  The benefits of using glue dots are that they are not messy and they are easy for the kids to use.  A lot of the other moms use them to.  Don't you feel validated when other moms do things similar to how you do them?  Or is that just me?

The glue dots also bond instantly to most surfaces (except in my experience not so well with felt).  Hallelujah, no having to wait for projects to dry.  I hated how Emily would be running around with her wet gluey sticky projects.  Meany mommy would have to explain to her that they needed to dry before she could show them off or play with them. 

I also like that the glue dots are acid free which means they will not damage the product they are adhered to (such as change the color of the paper) so you can put your child's art project away for years to come (or just until they forget about it and you throw it away).  You know you do it to!  It is okay to admit it.  Honestly, we all do it.

Glue Dots and Twittermoms joined together recently for a Glue Dots Summer Bonding Project contest.

Here are two of my favorite projects that I did recently with glue dots:

High chair banner for Madison's first birthday party
Em got involved since she a) loves crafts and b) she loves birthday parties. She put the stickers and the Glue Dots on and pressed the card stock onto the Glue Dots.
As you can tell one of the little triangles fell off.  It kept getting knocked into as people walked by her high chair and Em kept tugging at it. 

Emily's Rewards Chart

You can see the before (my layout shot) and my after shot of Emily's chart project.  We are trying to get her to do certain things on a daily basis.  I am going to add some specific things under each category (like under potty it would include going potty but also flushing and washing her hands) and she will get stickers for those she does well each day.  We want to reinforce what she is doing well.  For every so many stickers she will get a small reward.  One of the moms in our moms club did this with her son and I thought it was a great idea.

For both projects I used Mini and Craft Glue Dots and also the Removable Glue Dots to hang the projects.

Want to get more ideas and stay up-to-date on news about Glue Dots?  Visit Glue Dots fan page on Facebook.

Want to try Glue Dots for yourself?

To enter TPMG Glue Dot's Giveaway:

Just leave a comment about what project you would use your glue dots for.  If the chosen entrant does not comply with this requirement and their name is chosen, another name will be selected.

One winner will be randomly chosen to receive 3 Glue Dots Dot n Go Adhesive Dispensers (1 mini, 1 craft, and 1 removable).  Remember to have your email listed in your Blogger profile or to include your email address in your comment.

The contest will end on July 20, 2010.  The winner will be notified on July 21, 2010 and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Contest open to U.S. and Canadian residents.

Good luck!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Glue Dots blogging contest to be eligible to receive a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Monday, July 12, 2010

Blogger Heaven

Remember when I mentioned a few weeks ago that my husband was going out west for several weeks?

That trip is coming up in the next few weeks.

Three whole weeks he will be away.

I get to go out to for a long weekend to visit while my mother-in-law stays with the girls.

I used to think that flying around the country and the world on business would be fun.  What was I thinking?

We will be investing in a web cam.  We should have picked once up last night when my husband bought his new toy.  An iPad.

I blame that purchase on the Angry Birds. That in itself is a whole other post.

Maybe I should mention that it was a joint anniversary present to.

I already googled all the places to visit and the places to eat where he is staying.

He works the Friday I will be out there.

Oh, what will I do?

I could spend an entire day in the hotel by the pool...with my laptop and no distractions.

Blogger heaven.

I could go sightseeing in my new cute sandals (which are already broken in of course).

I could sleep in.

I could write and write some more.

I could just drive around with the radio turned up.

Boy, the choices I will have to make.

I think I will just wing it.  For once.

That will be a first in a very long time-maybe to long.

*photo credit

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Shabby Apple Review: A Chic Online Boutique for Women

Have I mentioned recently how much I love clothes?  I always like finding new stores to shop.

Shabby Apple is an online boutique for women.  Their vintage inspired clothing is hip yet still chic.  I love the idea behind their clothing lines.  They believe that women should be able to dress comfortably and fashionably in one piece outfits without the need for tanks or sweaters to cover up to much exposed skin.  Their dresses have been featured in Woman's World, Baby Talk, Marie Claire, Glamour, Lucky Magazine, Redbook, Teen Vogue, and Self.

Here are some of my favorite dresses from their various collections:


They didn't forget about our little girls either!

I reviewed the Atlantic Fog dress.  I fell in love with it as soon as I tried it on.  It was simple yet feminine. The soft gray color was lovely and the fitted empire waist was flattering.  The fabric was so soft and I was comfortable all day in it even in the hot summer sun.  Best of all, the dress was well made.  The stitching and the fabric itself were of high quality. I felt that the dresses on the site were reasonably priced for the most part, especially if you dress professionally for the office or have a special occasion to wear a dress.

According to their blog, they are getting in new 1950s style aprons arriving this week which I can't wait to check out.  They also have fitness separates, maternity, accessories, dresses for preteens, and swimwear available on their website.

Right now if you enter SUMMER20 at checkout you can recieve 20% off of most items. See their site more details.  If you sign up for their mailing list to get coupons and special offers, you can receive 10% off of your next purchase. 

*Shabby Apple also partners with Unitus and donates 5% of its net dress sales to aid those living in poverty in India where some of their dresses are manufactured.  

* I was sent the Atlantic Fog dress by Shabby Apple in order to facilitate this review.  I also did sign up to be a part of their affiliate program.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Letting Others Grow is Hard to Do

There are some people who try to look at the good in everyone.

I am the type of person who believes that good will triumph, we learn from hardships that we face, and that there is always a tomorrow.  I believe that life is basically good. No I don't think that life is basically rainbows and sunshine, although that would be nice.

Sometimes it is hard to understand when you face people who are angry at the world and blame others for any and all misfortunes they face. Their outlook is not a temporary one but just their perspective of how they see the world.

I can't say I understand because I don't.

I always wanted to change that attitude with words, actions, anything because it was so different from how I look at things.

When I became pregnant and after my daughter was born, my whole outlook changed.

I have always been a fixer. I want to swoop in and steer people from disastrous paths or step in and smooth the way when it is rocky. I want to make peace when those I love are fighting.

I've noticed that that has changed.  Now I am more willing to step back or not try to step in and fix things. 

I don't jump in to play peacemaker when two friends or family members are fighting.  I let them work it out themselves.

Is it because I just don't have the energy to expend or maybe I am just the one who has grown up.

I can only hope that I can do this with my daughters as they grow and learn to make their own decisions.  They need to grow just as I am still growing.

How has your persepective of the world or the people in your life changed since having children?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Puppy Tale

My daughter loves my mother-in-law's dog. She's a little white fluffy dog. Well, she was fluffy.  Now she is bald since she just had her hair clipped for the summer.

Emmy loves to take her for a walk, play tug-of-war, and pet her.

She even has mastered taking Maggie out to go potty.

Sometimes the lines between human and dog get blurred though.

The other day my daughter told my mother-in-law she was going to take Maggie to the potty.  She proceeded to attach Maggie's leash and walk her into the bathroom.  She put her little potty seat on the toilet and tried to lift Maggie onto the toilet.  She struggled with lifting the dog and grunting, told my mother-in-law that Maggie was heavy.  My mother-in-law had to explain to her that Maggie goes potty outside. 

She also loves to pretend to be a dog. 

Remember the pic of my daughter's puppy dog hat that she insisted on wearing to the park?

Playing doggy provides endless amusement to my daughter.  Give her a command and she will obey.  Sit, touch your head, turn around.  She even tries to attach the leash so she can go for a walk.  This provides many laughs and giggles.  She even told my mother-in-law that she wanted to take a nap-in Maggie's dog cage.  To her disappointment, her nap was not in the cage. 

At the moment we only have a cat and fish for pets.  Does this mean we are getting a dog?

No, no, and no.  Really.  I said no. 

Okay.  Maybe.  One day.  But not soon.

Don't look at me like that.

Puppy dog faces will NOT work on me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Kazoo Parade

On Saturday morning, I loaded up my 2 year old to go with me for coffee and doughnuts.  On the way to the doughnut shop, I saw a sign announcing an annual kazoo parade. Apparently, it is an annual tradition in a small town.

Imagine over 400 people walking around town playing kazoos to patriotic numbers, dressed in their patriotic gear.  

I again loaded up my oldest to check out the parade after dropping off our sweet treats at home. My cappuccino sat in my cup holder and the newspaper lay on the passenger side floor. They could wait.  I had to see this.

I was almost tempted to go to the starting place-the town's high school-to walk in the parade.  But, there was no way I was walking in a parade with a kazoo touting my daughter without first checking out the event.  What if there were only 20 people in the parade?  I would have felt silly.  Of course, I certainly don't feel near as self-conscious as I would have when I find myself doing uncharacteristic things in public since having children (such as wiping boogers or picking up a temper tantrum throwing toddler to leave a store).    So I figured we would check it out this year and maybe next year walk in the kazoo parade.  It turned out that there were hundreds of people walking to the town square.

After finding that the library was closed, I parked where I thought the parade route was and hustled my daughter out of her car seat to get a look at the parade. Emmy was so excited when I told her we were going to a kazoo parade.  Em was just introduced to the kazoo at Madison's 1st birthday party.  I had put them in the children's goody bags.

Apparently, the event had a large turnout in part thanks to hometown girl Kate Micucci who talked about the annual parade on Jimmy Kimmel when she was promoting her movie When in Rome.

Micucci was apparently the "grand marshal" of sorts for the parade. At our first stop along the parade route, we missed the parade.  We only got to see a car or two drive past.  We got back in the car and drove further into town, closer to the square.  We arrived just in time to watch the first kazooers walk past.

Next year, we'll have to walk in the parade.  It turned out that there were more people in the parade than actually watching the parade.  I stood on the street corner with my daughter joined by an elderly lady on my right and three elderly folks across the street.  No one else on the sidewalks.

Emmy laughed and clapped along with the kazooers.  She loved the Jeep with the dog riding shotgun.  He looked like my mother-in-law's dog so Em thought Maggie (my mother-in-law's pooch) was in the parade.  I had to explain that he just looked like Maggie.

My daughter also liked that two people threw candy which she quickly grabbed up with her two little hands with some help from me and the white haired lady standing next to us.  When they threw the candy she just stared at it for a minute.  Then she looked at me like, "Mom did you SEE THAT.  They THREW me!"  She wanted to stuff it in her pockets but her shorts had no pockets and she refused to let the candy out of her sight.  So there she stood with it clasped in her little hands. When we walked back to the car, she put the candy into her little purse.

I explained to her that she was to little for the hard candy that she got at the parade and that we would have to give it to her Daddy.  The entire way to the grocery store, she talked about how she got her Daddy yummy candy.  I let her pick out a little bag of M&Ms at the checkout in the grocery store.  It was only fair since when we got home, she ran into the house to give her Daddy the hard candy that "she got him".

I'm off to start practicing my kazooing for next year's parade.  If I can find my kazoo.

*I had taken two pics with my camera but for some reason they still have not arrived in my email inbox from my phone.  If they ever do I will upload them.

Monday, July 5, 2010

$50 CSN Stores Gift Card Giveaway

CSN Stores had contacted me to do another giveaway for TPMG readers.  I of course said yes, yes, yes.  You will have the opportunity to win a $50 gift card code to be used on any of CSN Store's websites.

CSN Stores was founded in 2002 and in just a few years has grown into one of the top 3 online U.S. retailers of home and office goods. They have over 200 online stores with everything from platform beds to cookware and toys.  Originally, they started out with only 2 employees and today employ over 400.  Their sites and products have been featured in many media outlets including The Today Show, Woman's Day, and

With $50 here are a few things you could buy from my favorite CSN Stores' websites:

Little Tikes Classic Whale Teeter Totter at  

To enter to win the $50 gift card code from CSN, here is all you have to do:
MANDATORY: Visit one of  CSN Stores' websites and leave a comment about one product that you would like to own. (1 entry) 
To receive additional entries:
*Become a follower or a subscriber of The Practical Mom Guide and if you already do so just leave a comment stating that you already follow (1 entry)

*Follow TPMG or CSN Stores on twitter (1 entry)

*Become a fan of TPMG or CSN Stores on Facebook (1 entry)

*Tweet (maximum of once daily) about this giveaway and don't forget to leave your twitter name
Copy and paste: Win a $50 CSN Stores Gift Card at #TPMG Please RT. (1 entry per tweet)

*Enter another giveaway at The Practical Mom Guide and leave a comment with which giveaway you entered (2 entries for each giveaway you enter)

*Add The Practical Mom Guide to your blogroll or display our button (5 entries)

*Post about this giveaway on your blog (5 entries)

This giveaway will end on Monday,  July 19, 2010. I will announce the winner on July 20th here at The Practical Mom Guide. If I am unable to contact the winner or they do not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.

Good luck and thanks for participating!

*Contest only open to U.S. residents.
*I was not compensated in any way to host this giveaway.
The winner will receive the gift card code directly from CSN Stores.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Inexpensive Date Nights at Home

Sometimes getting out of the house for a date night just isn't possible.  With children's schedules, finding babysitters, the cost of a night on the town, and other difficulties, it is easier to just stay in.  But, that doesn't mean you need to forfeit date night.  It just means you need to wait until the kids go to bed.

Here are some inexpensive ideas for a stay at home date night:

Dinner for two 
Have dinner delivered or get takeout.  You may also choose to cook together.  Eating alone without the kids is still a luxury.  Have a picnic outside or eat by candlelight inside.

Movie night
Rent a movie and make popcorn and splurge on other goodies like boxes of candy or pop. Since it is summer, if you have a projector you can watch movies on the side of your house.

Take a walk down memory lane
Look through old photo albums of the two of you and reminisce.  Remember those new feelings of falling in love and what made you fall in love with your spouse.

Spread a blanket on the ground outside or sit in your favorite outdoor chairs and look up at the stars.  Pick a star for your star that belongs to just the two of you.  Check out a book about the constellations from the library and try to find them in the night sky.

Try something new
Sample wines and desserts from a local winery and bakery or try a variety of local or international beers.  Or teach each other something new. If he is handy at wood working, build something together.  Maybe you are good at cooking. Show him how to make his favorite dish.  The key is that you are doing something together.

Pamper yourself
Have hubby give you a foot massage and you can return the favor or maybe he would prefer a back rub.  Lounge around in your robes with your feet up.  Enjoy a relaxing bubble bath or an uninterrupted shower.

Get sweaty
It is hard to make time to exercise in the busy life of a mom.  Sweat it out with your hubby after the babies go to sleep.  Maybe do laps around your house or do cardio together with an exercise tape.  If you have a pool, go swimming.  If you have any outdoor games such as a volleyball net, play outside.

Shake your booty
Put some music on and dance the night away.  Don't forget the cocktails and that little black dress that has been hanging in your closet.

Have a competition
A little competition is good for the soul.  Have a game night.  Pull out the Wii, a deck of cards, or your favorite board game.  Twister is always a favorite classic.

Be lazy
Sit around and just enjoy each other's company.  Pull out a book and read aloud or read the newspaper together.  Pull out a crossword and work on it as a team.  Make time to just talk.

Go camping
Make smores and camp outside in your backyard.  Build a fire and snuggle.  Tell each other stories. Have an adventure.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fairies in the Backyard

The other night I picked up our daughters from my mother-in-laws house after a baseball game.  It was after nine o'clock but Emily was wide awake and chattering about the lightening bugs in the backyard.

My mother-in-law mentioned that she has hundreds if not thousands of them in her backyard.  She lives in a townhouse and the land slopes downward from her place.  There is grass and brush and it is lightly wooded with another development behind hers. She led me over to her sliding glass doors leading out to her porch.

The sight before me was magical.  At the bottom where the land sloped all you saw was what looked like miniature flashing lights.  It almost looked like a fairy had sprinkled pixie dust and it was reflecting the moon's rays.  Except, there was no moon that night.

Emily grabbed my hand and pulled me away from the door.

"Come see.  Come see," she said excitedly.

Apparently the best view was from my mother-in-law's couch.  Emily perched on the back of the couch to peer out the window.  Our reflections in the glass made it a little more difficult to see but not according to my two-year old.  She thought it was even more beautiful.

Here is a video from YouTube that is a little like what we saw but there were probably about five times as many lights and it was even more amazing because you were looking down at them.  The little flashing lights are the lightening bugs.

We have been impatiently waiting for the lightening bugs at our house but they seem to have congregated at my mother-in-law's.  Only a few stragglers have shown up, nothing like the masses at her house.