Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mommy and Me: Cabin Fever

So yes, I am happy with the mom life that works for me - as I posted last week. No commute, 100% virtual, part-time advertising/marketing consultant while taking care of (and playing taxi driver to) my sweet little kiddos.

But there is a side effect to working solely from home.

Cabin Fever!

I have been getting pretty bored of my own house. The baby, the big kid, work, and regular life keep me quite busy, but I was in need of a change of scenery. Which repeatedly made me think of one of my favorite Muppet movie songs. From Muppet Treasure Island: We've Got Cabin Fever!

Luckily, I'm getting that change of scenery right now. And it includes an ocean view. It is the perfect prescription to cure the cabin fever that certainly ailed this mama.

Last week at home.....

Linked up to Mommy and Me Monday with Really, Are You Serious.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

An orchard of memories

One of the writing prompts for this week is "write a post inspired by the word apples". The moment I read the prompt, I envisioned summer days at my grandparents' house in northern Virginia.

Way back when, before she was a grandma, my grandmother worked at the apple plant, an imposing factory and warehouse that employed a sizeable portion of the community. Acres and acres of land near their home were working orchards, bearing apples of varied colors and sizes each fall season. A quaint red barn apple market was opened a few decades later when I was a child, and we would often walk for a sample of homemade warm pie or to select apples and other fruits, freshly delivered in trusty pick-up trucks from area farms. Just across the street from their little white house with the welcoming porch swing, "folks" could admire a giant red apple perched on the top of a building. My sister and I used to play a game upon arriving at the end of our 5-hour car ride; whomever spotted the apple first and yelled "big red apple!" won. (Of course, there was no actual prize, but sibling bragging rights were surprisingly valuable back then.)

It is funny, now that I think about it, how big a role apples play in my memories of summer weeks with Grandma and Granddad. I guess that's why I enjoy fall outings to area farms and orchards with my own family. We enjoy the rows and rows of fruit-bearing trees and the markets remind me of the market up there. I enjoy watching Amelia peruse the aisles of produce and homemade goodies. I feel like I am passing on a bit of my childhood to her. This year, Andrew gets to go along for the ride!

- - -
Linked up to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop this week

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why I ditched the commute: the mom life that works for me

The 1950s stay-at-home mom (SAHM) supposedly looked like June Cleaver: wearing her dress, heels, and pearls to vacuum. She supposedly had matching oven mitts to pull the pan out of the oven, and the pan was always oozing delicious goodness from something homemade. She greeted her husband at the door and took his hat and briefcase before serving the entire family with a huge pearly smile.


I have no idea what it was really like back then, what I know came from television. I'm sure that era did have the formality, the nice clothes, and moms who were called housewives. Fast forward to the twenty-first century, however, and you have a whole new distinction: the work-at-home mom (WAHM). Women's lib created more opportunities to get away from the home and chances to be more equal with men. Technology helped those working women to have a more flexible environment because work can be done on the go or from various locations. No more being tied to an office file cabinet and one huge desktop computer - we have laptops! And VPN access, and call forwarding, and cell phones!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Our family road trip in the Toyota RAV4

Did your family have a great Labor Day weekend?
Our Labor Day weekend began with a brand-new shiny red vehicle in our driveway!

The kind people at Toyota's PR firm arranged for us to borrow a 2015 Toyota RAV4 to take on our Labor Day weekend road trip to the mountains of North Carolina so I could tell you all about our experience.

I am a mid-size SUV owner, so my first plan of action was to find out if my family, our luggage, and the various baby gear could fit comfortably in a smaller SUV/crossover for a road trip. The interior of the Toyota RAV4 is surprisingly roomy. In fact, I could not tell much difference vs. my current SUV. The infant car seat and Amelia's booster seat fit just fine in the back, with plenty of space at their feet and in between their seats for various baby toys, books, and snacks.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Family love and adventures

As a teen, family vacations with my parents were not always at the top of my "most favorite things" list. Most teens want to stay home, hang with their friends, and walk a good 20 yards behind their parents anywhere, at all times.

When parents become grandparents, though, the dynamic really changes. The same goes for other extended family. It is a joy to see my children interact with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I like to watch the unique games they play together and listen to their conversations. Amelia has experienced beach activities, toured Hawaii, picked fresh berries, chatted with a donkey, and had countless hours of playground fun with extended family. Andrew is beginning to recognize and remember family faces as well, and I look forward to watching him grow up with amazing family members too.

It is almost time for our annual beach vacation with my side of the family. Amelia is excited, and I look forward to that extended time all together.
Having help with the kids on vacation is an added perk!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mommy & Me: Tallulah Gorge State Park #Georgia

Labor day weekend gave us another chance to get away and enjoy family time. We traveled in a brand new Toyota Rav4 (review coming soon!) to the mountains of Western North Carolina. On our way home, we stopped at Tallulah Gorge State Park, just over the border back in Georgia. Near Dillard, Georgia to be more precise. The gorge and falls are really gorgeous!

We had the stroller with us, but it was easy access to overlooks 2 and 3 on a trail paved with fused rubber mulch (the path removed hundreds of tires from landfills!). If you want to visit and feel adventurous, you can take a path of 640+ stairs to a bridge that crosses the gorge - strenuous! But it looks like you would catch a phenomenal view from the bridge.

Friday, August 29, 2014

More chips and dip!

My area recently got a new Chuy's restaurant. There was quite a bit of excited chatter from friends who knew of this tex-mex establishment. I missed the media preview night, but the people at Chuy's were so wonderful to send me a gift card so I could try it myself and tell you all about our opinion.

I cannot do a better or more in-depth review than my friend over at Redhead Baby Mama. She gives the whole inside scoop from media night, from decor, to chips, to drinks, to the very tiny freezer. (Only the French fries are frozen here - they believe in fresh, fresh, fresh!) Great photos too!

Chuy's Mexican Food Is More Than A Kitschy Face 

So, I forgot to take photos when I dined out with my family recently. I was too busy stuffing chips in my face. And ever since, I have been craving creamy jalapeño dip! I am not a fan of very spicy foods, and this had the perfect tiny bit of kick with a flavor I can't quite describe. All I know is, I want more. Chuy's offers bottomless chips and creamy jalapeño dip at your table. In addition, the Nacho Car (a nacho bar made out of a vintage car) is FREE every day from 4p - 7p with taco meat, other toppings, and a variety of dips including queso and Boom Boom Sauce. We basically pigged out on dips and loaded chips. So much so, that I wasn't hungry for dinner!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Adressing my child's fear

How do you address a fear in your child?

Amelia, age six, first-grader extraordinaire, has been experiencing an increased phobia lately. She is terrified that kids will throw up at school. At first I thought it was a worry that she herself would get sick, or that perhaps her gentle heart would once again feel the pains of her friends. But she assures me it is neither. She is simply afraid that someone will throw up - and I won't be there. Last night, she was crying in her bed until she finally called out to me. She was actually afraid to go to school just because someone might throw up.

In 170-some days of school last year, one kid in her class threw up. Just one.

Weird, huh?

Well, imagine my surprise when the trusty (sometimes) Internet told me that this is, in fact, a real phobia!

Emetophobia: The Fear of Vomiting - see info and description from

So, apparently this is a type of panic disorder. Amelia is reminded of vomiting because she says "kids are coughing all day" in school. She hears all the coughing (probably heightened these weeks because everyone seems to catch a cold when back-to-school), and feels actual fear. Her avoidance technique is to want Mommy. She becomes fearful, wants to be with me immediately, and becomes very sad. She is afraid that someone will vomit at the start of the school day and she will be stuck without me for several hours. She worries at night that someone will vomit the next day. She can barely tolerate the coughing from other children in her class. I am thankful that her fear presents itself only occasionally, but I am beginning to become concerned that it will actually send her into a panic one day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#WW: Weekend tubing in Ellijay, GA

Amelia went on an outdoor adventure with daddy the other weekend. They "shot the rapids" tubing on the Cartecay River in Ellijay, GA. She had a lot of fun! She enjoyed the class 1 and class 2 rapids, met some ducks, and soaked in the sun with a joyful smile.

Next time, Mommy will have to go! Minimum age is six, so I had a date day with my little man instead.

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