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Olympics Start Tomorrow!

 

 

How have you been getting ready for the London Olympics?  We might not be Olympic training around here, but we have certainly been keeping a close eye on who to watch!  One of our favorite Olympic sports to watch is swimming, so we will definitely be front and center when Lochte and Phelps are racing neck to neck.  Yesterday, I was watching an interview with Lochte and he definitely swims to his own paddle!  He will be exciting to see!  And, of course, I will also be cheering on my fellow female swimmer, Missy Franklin in all seven events.  Will she break another world record for women?  I hope so, Go Missy!  We are also huge gymnast fans around here.  My husband has a lot of gymnasts on his side of the family.  So without a doubt, we will be watching and rooting for Jordyn Wieber with her already 13 medals and who was crowned the World All Around champion last year.  Exciting!!

Maddie has been getting ready for her first Olympics by reading Olympig by Victoria Jamieson.  Well, more like, mommy reading as Maddie points and grabs the pages.  Olympig is a good story for kids to learn about determination and motivation.  Children learn about not giving up when the odds are against them, and having a goal and working towards it.  I’ve also been reading to Maddie a classic London story book.  It’s too advanced for her now, but I retell the story in a shorter and more simplified way, as she follows along looking at the colorful illustrations.  She seems to really enjoy it!

Something I like to do is give Maddie books for notable times in her life, such as trips, random holidays, special events, and write a personal note to her on the inside cover.  It’s an inexpensive keepsake and a book is something that will keep on giving.  Hopefully, when she pulls This is London by Miroslav Sasek off the shelf years from now, it will be a reminder of where she was during her first Summer Olympics, and it might just be a little keepsake for mommy as well :)

Do you plan on watching the Olympics?  If so, what event are you most excited about?  I would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

Wordless Wednesday: Noisy Peace

It’s mid-week and what better day to add a little humor!  I have a couple funny websites I love to read, just to get a few laughs, here and there.  I saw this from Nick Mom (illustration by Adrienne Hedger) and boy, could I relate!

When we go out to dinner (or anywhere), the noisier the restaurant the better!  The food doesn’t matter, the atmosphere doesn’t matter, but if it’s loud then we have a winner!  Dean and I can then eat in peace, and oddly, it feels like serenity.  We also opted out of a museum trip not too long ago, because we weren’t sure who would have a less enjoyable time due to our walking amplifier, my husband and I or the museum goers.  So instead we went to the park, again.  Wordless Wednesday is getting a little wordy.  Signing off, have a great day everyone.

Does something hold you back from going to a place you enjoy once in a while, but you wouldn’t have it any other way?  I would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

Vacationing: Kids or No Kids?

Illustration by Adrienne Hedger

In the past, I would point my finger anywhere on the globe and just take off.  It didn’t matter how long the flight was, or the number of days I was gone (well to an extent), or how long I stayed out in the evenings, or the activities I did during the day or the minor bumps that came along with traveling.  There were no restrictions.  And, a beach vacation was exactly what it was meant to be; no recollection of time, sprawled out on a beach blanket, nursing several nearby pina coladas, shades on, eyes closed, toes buried in the sand and waves crashing inches away.  So simple, so easy, so carefree.  A real vacation.

This year things aren’t so simple and there is a tough lingering question.  That question it not how many bathing suits should I bring, or which restaurants and lounges are in the area, or what activities can we do, or what drinks will be offered poolside.  The difficult mother question is, should we take Madison or not?  Am I ready to leave our 14 month old for almost two weeks?  Will she be traumatized?  Will I?

My 10 thoughts on not bringing children, or Madison, on vacation…

1)  Will Madison be distraught if we leave her behind?  She breaks down the moment the babysitter enters the apartment and doesn’t stop until bedtime!

2)  The poor grandparents!  Will they be able to handle a 14 month old, who is teething, for almost two weeks?  Will they ever want to come back?

3)  Vacation = Relaxation.  Will I truly be able to relax wondering about Maddie a 14 hour flight away?

4)  No checking out this year!  Need to get international service.  I will definitely need daily check-ins and maybe a messaged picture or two.

5)  Reservations about a 14 hour flight.  The last time I flew I was 6 months pregnant, having back pain, Maddie was hanging-out on my sciatic nerve and I was dealing with those other unmentionables, that all women can relate to, during pregnancy!

6)  However!  We will have freedom to stay out as late as we want!  I know there’s life past 7pm.  Lets find it!

7)  All the pina coladas, margaritas and sangria I want!  Reliving carefree days.

8)  Lets kick start that spark!!  Gets a little dim when everything revolves around kids.  We know it’s there!  Just needs a little Santorini fuel.

9)  No diapers, no clean up, no laundry, no temper tantrums.  Looking better and better!

10) I think we both need some adult time!

I vote, No Kids!  Will Madison need child therapy in the end, no, and will mommy need to turn to countless sangrias, no, well maybe just a couple.  Even though traveling used to be easier, the things that made it easy before don’t seem to be as important now.   So what, if I have to check my luggage rather than have easy breezy carry on.  So what, if our transportation is running late to pick us up.  So what, if we don’t get the check-in time we wanted.  What matters is time together, either as a family or as that so-needed couples time.  Things for us have definitely changed, our worries have changed and our needs have changed, but changed for the better.

Are you taking a self-needed vacation this year and leaving someone or something behind?  My girlfriend is taking a vacation and leaving her cell phone and technology behind.  Now that’s tough!  How about you?

Until next ride,

Amy

Fun Fourth Favorites

Happy 4th of July everyone!  What a fun time to plan family and friend gatherings, hitting the nearest fireworks show, or heading out of town.  We all get busy; therefore, I love to keep things simple – quick and easy!  One of my favorite magazines is Real Simple.  They always have lots of easy, fun, creative ideas that anyone can do.  It’s my go-to stress free guide!!!  This year we’re going to Mystic, Connecticut for some family fun, but if we were celebrating at home these would be my simple favorite picks for the 4th of July!  (Click on the pictures for more info from Real Simple)

1. Red, White and Blue Cocktails for the adults!  What’s a 4th without drinks!!!

Cocktails

2. A fun drink for the kids and everyone else.  Mix different types of fruit with anything – even water!

Drinks for everyone

3. Don’t forget the snacks!  A simple and festive idea.

Snacks

4. There’s always something delicious on the grill.  Kabobs are easy and fun!  Love this honey glazed chicken idea with grilled corn.  Cook them both at the same time.  Yummy, easy, and quick!

Honey chicken skewers

5. Everyone will be waiting for a light refreshing dessert!

Dessert

6. Dessert or Snack!  Everyone loved these berry marshmallow kabobs when I made them for Maddie’s party!  With the colors, they look very 4th of July.   My shot doesn’t compare to the pictures above but you can get the idea.

7. Lets keep the kids happy, having fun and busy!  Making pom-poms is easy to do, only a few supplies are needed, and they can use them all day.

Kid's project

 

Do you have some fun creative ideas for the 4th of July?  I could always use more great ideas!  Enjoy your 4th everyone!!!

Until next ride,

Amy

Milestone

She’s walking!  She’s walking!  What an exciting and emotional week this has been.  I turned just for a second and saw Madison walking across the living room, on her own!  All week she has been surprising Dean and I with more and more little steps.  She has taken a few hard blows, a few chin crashes, a few tumble and rolls, a few contorted falls and some baby tears.  But she’s done it!  She is now a one year old and walking, officially a toddler, according to my parenting books.  Wait, officially a toddler?  No longer a baby?  Tear.

A toddler and walking, such an exciting milestone, in the mix of all the development stages.  The camera is full of pictures, the family has been informed, and of course, the exciting baby news has been shared with my mommy’s group.  We cheer Maddie on, as she stands and starts to walk towards us and as she waddles from room to room with the occasional crash.  But, what comes with this excitement is a little bit of sadness.  My baby is no longer a baby anymore, she’s a toddler.

The last thirteen months have been a roller coaster of bitter sweet.  Starting with the packing of the newborn onesies, then the 3-6 month clothes, graduating from the baby bath to bath tub, nursing to whole milk, holding the bottle on her own, sitting to standing to now walking and the list goes on.  Watching Madison grow and develop has been sweet and so much fun, with a bit of sadness as each phase of babyhood disappears, and the need for mommy becomes less.  Already independence?  I’m not ready!  Well sometimes I feel ready, but not this week.

Before Maddie walked, I would watch the other toddlers, younger than Madison, walk at the park and wondered when that might be her.  Everyone had been saying or asking, “Has your baby started walking yet?  You might want to try this.  My child started walking at __.  You should read this book.  My child was an early walker.”  Why do I let these things get to me?  I know every child is different.  I know Maddie has been on track with her development.  Maybe it’s yahoo news, or the unfortunate stories we hear, or the lingering “what ifs.”  I have a tendency to stress over little things, big things, and probably nonsense things.  It’s my own doing, trying to be the perfect mom to something loved so much.  Just chill-out Amy!  Maddie is!

These precious moments go by fast.  I’m truly learning that now.  I need to relax a little and just enjoy each moment as it comes and goes.  It doesn’t matter what other kids on the playground are doing and it doesn’t matter whose child is doing what.  I love watching Maddie develop into her own little person and watch her excitement when she does something by herself, even though it means mommy is needed a little less.  No one said parenthood would be easy, and who knew, the best and smallest roller coasters would require a few mommy tears too.

Uh oh, Maddie is on the move!  Those feet have already gotten her into something she shouldn’t be into.  Got to go!!

Do you remember a milestone in your life that you have fond memories of?  If so, I would love to hear about it!

Until next ride,

Amy

 

 

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