Monday, February 28, 2011

Heavy

"Know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything is different."  --Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes author)

As a child, there are few things more important than playtime and snacks. Little ones look upon the world with innocent eyes. Mommies, daddies, and grandparents are infallible protectors.

Today, I am a grown-up suffering from a major reality check. More and more mommy friends are seeking counseling and anti-depressants. I have friends battling cancer and heart disease. People I love are stuck in abusive relationships. Death has even come too soon for a few.

Is this what you call a mid-life crisis?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Solar energy

The sun is here again today! We're lounging outdoors on a day with highs in the mid-70s. An ocassional breeze blows, stirring our hair and lightly nipping our flip-flop clad feet. Our newly painted hot pink toenails glisten in the sun. Birds are enjoying the seed from the feeder and chirp contentedly to each other. Neighbors walk by with their dogs and strollers, always with a smile and a wave.

This is my kind of weekend.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Potty Training: Part 3

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Potty Training: Part 3

I know, I know, I've been talking about potty training for many months. I obviously do not have a "trained in 3 days!" type of kid. She is just too darn smart. She can outwit me! (And maybe I was a little too quick to give up the first couple times? Nah.... it's because she's brilliant.)

This time? We are closer than ever! We have been talking about dry pants and grown-up kids who do not tinkle or poo-poo in their pants. We told Mickey Mouse at Disney World that Amelia tinkled in the potty the night before. I have even shown her my own dry undies a couple times a day.

Sunday night, during their bedtime routine, Amelia began asking Daddy many questions. "Does Mommy tinkle in her pants? Does Daddy tinkle in his pants? Does Cinderella wear big girl undies?" Clearly, she was processing this idea again.

Friday, February 25, 2011

F2F Friday: Monkey Bunns


Featuring another crafty mommy friend with a knack for creativity!

Are you a cloth diaper mama? Have you tried cloth pads? Love hand-knit adorable baby and children's items?

Check out Monkey Bunns.


Ashley, describe your store/products:
I make cloth diapers (pocket diapers, newborn fitteds coming soon, and hand knit diaper covers), mama cloth (nursing pads, postpartum/overnight pads, and regular mama cloth), baby and children items (especially fun hand knit items). I don't have a lot of overhead being a WAHM so I'm able to keep my items at a low price. I also know the frustration of things falling apart on the first wash so I make sure everything is well made and most items (very few exceptions) are washed up for you before I ship them. I do a lot of custom orders and love to make fun gifts and sets.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lesson Learned

I’m an expressive person. Some may say dramatic. I find it very difficult not to wear my heart on my sleeve – or to keep my mouth shut, for that matter. In the early teen years? This was not an admirable trait.

Imagine… a middle school in a small northeast Tennessee city, circa 1991. I was an emotional, sensitive 13-year old. One of my friends was acting distant and a bit cold towards me.


Did I suck up my feelings and ask my friend what was going on? Of course not! I did what most 13-year-old girls would do. I wrote a note about her.

I write a note to one of my sweetest friends. I write something like this:



“What is wrong with Maura these days? She isn’t talking to me, and I’m soooo annoyed. She’s acting like a snob – just like Bess!” (Bess would the #1 snobby girl in school).

What a silly, silly girl I was. I thought that wonderfully juicy note would stay quietly secure in my friend’s bookbag. Nope, she showed it to Maura! Who, in turn, marched immediately over to Bess and handed it over.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Sugar high

One of my favorite vacation splurges? Dessert!
I like to eat it and keep photos to remember! Mmmmm.

Iberostar resort in Jamaica

Gelato in Nice, France (as seen on Samantha Brown!)

Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas

Boma restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Nathazu"

Our second full day in the magical land of Walt Disney began on a Disney bus ride to Animal Kingdom.



We arrived minutes before opening and were greeted by Minnie and Mickey Mouse, dressed in their safari best with their faithful pal, Pluto. I love this about the Disney parks – they don’t just open the gates with a grunt and a wave. They make opening a storybook adventure from the very start.


At the Magic Kingdom, families with small children head directly to the Flying Dumbo ride. At Animal Kingdom, you speed-walk to the safari ride. Amelia, animal lover that she is, really enjoyed this ride. She giggled as the jeep/bus bounced and bumped over the “African” terrain. She pointed and grinned as we passed various animals. Hippos, crocs, rhinos, giraffes, and a lion… oh my! And her favorite (since visiting the Atlanta zoo a couple weeks ago), a silverback gorilla.



Despite Disney’s clever “Nahtazu” slogan (not-a-zoo… get it?), I found myself saying “this reminds me of the zoo” several times. With a child Amelia’s age, however, this is not a bad thing. She loved the safari ride, the animal-viewing pathways through trees and rocks, and the giant “aquarium” with blue, yellow, and silver fish of all shapes & sizes.


We met a few bigger-than-life animals as well. We were introduced to Terk, King Louie, and Baloo (a.k.a. “big purple bear”, per Amelia). We high-fived and hugged Pluto and Goofy. And in the Camp Minnie Mickey area, we mingled with chipmunks, bunnies, Daisy and Donald Duck, and more.





Amelia was a trooper while waiting for Mommy & Daddy to ride the fast choo-choo ride: Expedition Everest. Now THAT was worth a ticket to Animal Kingdom! It’s quite the coaster. Here’s a hint if you don’t like long lines: SINGLE RIDER! Steve and I both walked onto the ride in mere minutes. And the park developers cleverly created a courtyard space for non-riders to watch and hear the squeals of delight from the plummet down the mountain.



Animal Kingdom is a great park to visit on a second day at Disney. Because honestly, there is much less to do there. This allows for a shorter day without feeling like you’re missing half the park. For us, a shorter day was crucial after 11 hours at Magic Kingdom the day and evening prior.


We ended our Animal Kingdom visit with the Lion King show. Parade floats plus animatronic characters plus wild costumes plus acrobatic talents make for a very entertaining experience.

And the highlight? My very own Amelia was pulled into the show! I was a bundle of nerves wondering if my not-yet-three-year-old mama’s girl would freak out away from me, but she enjoyed the moment. She pranced around the stage with her shaker and I’m sure, melted the hearts of many a spectator.

video

I always knew she was a STAR!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I dedicate this award to...

... my sassy and smart little girl. Without whom my life would be really calm, restful, and predictable. I would have nothing at all to write about!


MamaToots, a fellow blogger and mastermind behind ToddleToots included me in this award today. I am honored, and I graciously accept the badge. If you haven't visited Toddle Toots yet, be sure to check it out. The blog is truly adorable - and unique too! It's a very interactive blog where readers submit their own funny and cute "toots" from their kids. "Kids say the darndest things", right? Well, when yours surprise you or make you break into a fit of giggles, send it in to MamaToots! She'll share it and make others laugh along with you.

There are some rules that go along with this award:

1. You have to Thank the person who awarded you and link them back in your post.
Thank you, MamaToots from ToddleToots!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hakuna Matata

(Missed day 1 of our sunny Florida vacation? Check it out HERE.)

Hakuna Matata means “no worries”. Pre-vacation, I had my share of worries. Trying to decide what to pack, how to pack it, how to organize for the most optimal all-day Disney experience. Worrying about crowds. lines, and whether or not Amelia could handle the marathon adventure.

I worry too much.

Post vacation? No question, it was a definite success. My preparations paid off with only a minor glitch. I managed to forget ibuprofen in my park survival bag and (naturally) ended up with a mega headache. Thankfully, Disney gift shops sell (ridiculously expensive) Advil to keep me moving. All was well.

Morning in the Magic Kingdom: We arrived via boat from our resort, a mere few minutes before the gates opened.

 

Amelia was a bundle of excitement.

 

To the castle! To the castle! It is hard not to get caught up in the emotion of the crowd. Everyone is happy with excited energy. For a moment, we all turned into children again.


















If you have small children at Disney World, it’s a good idea to head directly to the Flying Dumbo ride.


Sometime next year, they will be opening a brand new Fantasyland with TWO flying Dumbos! Not a bad idea, since this line gets long very quickly.


While Amelia waited with Daddy for her first ride of the day, I spotted a celebrity and decided to make his acquaintance.

















Amelia saw her share of Disney stars as well. Tigger & Pooh, Buzz Lightyear, and even Mickey & Minnie Mouse!













It was a very long day of rides, shows, and characters. And throughout it all (as long as we kept her full of snacks), Amelia remained happy, wide-eyed and amazed – even a little silly at times.



















We ended our magical Magic Kingdom day with the electrical light parade (which, by the way, is totally worth waiting for – beautiful!) and a fireworks treat from our boat back to the resort.















Amelia crashed almost instantly upon settling in her big girl hotel bed. I hope she had joyful dreams of her experience. Disney is an expensive place. But to us? Totally worth it. The non-stop sparkle in her eyes and never-ending grin on her face were nothing short of priceless.

Stay tuned… day 2 at Animal Kingdom coming up!

The next generation

I have a very special friend in my life. A friend who knows me as well as family. A friend I met in preschool. Our mothers tell us that we pranced out of our church preschool that first week, hand-in-hand, and announced our friendship. We were going to be "best friends forever!".



Thirty years later, we're still friends. Our friendship survived despite living in different states since the 4th grade. We even lived happily together in Atlanta for about a year after college. We have been bridesmaids in each other's weddings and sent baby gifts to each other's first-born children.

The first day of our sunny Florida vacation was spent with my dear friend, her husband, and her sweet 1-year old daughter. We met for lunch, visited the beach, and watched our girls play together.

Friday, February 18, 2011

F2F Friday: Liddy B & Me

When I got the letter that I'd be living with the RA my first year of college, I was bummed. Who wants the rules-enforcer a few feet away during that first college year?

But ya know what? It turned out wonderfully. Cheryl was a blast to live with and continues to be a good friend. She also has more artistic talent than anyone I've ever known! Move over, Martha Stewart! Cheryl is HOT.

Cheryl also has a daughter only 2 months younger than mine. And our other two roommates from that year? Also have kids the SAME age! We are all experiencing this roller coaster called Mommyhood together. Pretty cool.

I am thrilled that Cheryl was willing to be featured this week. Check out her precious little girl and her inspiring projects on 
Liddy B. and Me

Blog Name?
Started out as just Liddy B. back when the blog was just a way to share pictures of the new baby with relatives. It has morphed into a mix of family life and things I am making or doing for or with my family, and some things I am just making or doing or thinking about, so I now title it "Liddy B. and Me"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Magic


We just had a vacation to remember. Amelia's first trip to Disney World!

I wish I could write a fabulous post all about it, but my brain feels like mush and my body is aching from the marathon that is Disney World.
We watched as our favorite little girl gazed in wonder at the castle. We delighted in her giggles as she rode ride after ride after ride. We captured the moments of pure joy in our hearts and hopefully on film... although I have my doubts that photos are going to do this trip justice.

There is such a thing as magic. We found it in that special sparkle in Amelia's eyes. In a place where dreams really can come true. 

Photos and details to be posted soon...
(just let me recover a bit first!)


Wordless Wednesday: Mo' Money

Perhaps this is motivation for continuing to work...

My southern scenery when I take back roads to the office:

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Give 'Em An Inch

I adore well-written, identifiable, and knowledgeable parenting blogs.

One of my favorites is Avant Garde Parenting.
      

Who better to dispense advice for handling a preschooler than a smarty-pants PhD in Develepmental Psychology? One who spends time researching and learning at The University of Texas at Dallas? No one I can think of! I asked Jamie over here to share some of her wisdom. Something to apply both to my own life and, hopefully, to help some of you as well.

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Give 'Em An Inch...

...and they’ll take a mile, right?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

This week

Weekend blog hopping? Welcome!

Check out what I've been up to this week:
And... don't forget about the I YOU GUYS giveaway! Three commenters (or Tweeters) will win a little thank you gift from yours truly. It's not going to make you rich, but it's fun to win something!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Princess to be


Mama is not a girly girl,
I never wore bows or lace. 
I dress in jeans,
I lounge in sweats,
Just a touch of makeup on my face.


A boy was my plan,
Someone to grow strong as a man.
On the field,
Or in the stands,
I could be his loudest fan.


Then we looked upon the screen,
And a girl you were to be!
Sugar and spice,
Sure, those things are nice.
But - what would a girl mean to me?


Sometimes when we have a plan,
Life takes a turn of course.
A princess you would be,
So sweet and cuddly,
In a moment I had no remorse!


I think I went out that day,
To buy hairbows, dresses and rings.
Pink, pink, pink, pink,
with sparkles and shine.
Now life is BRIGHT with girly things!


You were meant to join our family,
You were meant to have your style.
You can still play ball,
You can tackle, you may fall.
But a beauty and a lady all the while.


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