Sunday, July 25, 2010

Baby signs....finally!

I began trying to teach Austin a few simple baby signs (sign language for babies) when he was around six months old. I only concentrated on three: more, eat, and all done. I thought that I would start with these, see how fast he picked them up and then I would add in a few more. Well....Austin is now 16 months old and has JUST started using them. He did "eat" a few days ago and is now obsessed with it. Actually, he is walking around the kitchen doing it as I write this....smacking his lips and putting his fingers to his mouth. He is so proud of himself. I have to admit it is pretty cute. And I thought, FINALLY!!!! It only took him a year. This morning I was feeling quite lazy and was attempting to lay down in Austin's room to get a few extra moments of rest before embarking on the circus of my day. Austin decided this would be the perfect opportunity to read "How Do Dinosaurs Go To Sleep?". After I read it once, he put his two chubby little hands together to sign "more". That woke me up! I was thrilled! Austin now knows two signs! You may be thinking, whoop de do....two whole signs. But this is a big deal. I have done these signs relentlessly for almost an entire year, every time I feed the kid. I know many parents who did signs with their children and most were eager to learn them and began doing the signs around 12 months. Austin unfortunately inherited my stubbornness so it just took him a bit longer. I am very glad that I stuck with it. Hopefully it will make meals times a bit less frustrating and cut down on the grunting and screaming. Then again, who am I kidding...we haven't even hit the "terrible two's" yet. At least it's a start, right?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lucky and in LOVE!


To add more to my thoughts from yesterday about friendships, Austin is quite a lucky guy himself. All those wonderful mamas I talked about in my previous post....well, they all have kids that my little guy gets to play with. One friend in particular, Ashley has a daughter the same age as Austin. They were born 7 days apart. I met Ash at Pottery Barn Kids storytime when we were both pregnant and nannying. Our mutual friend, Beth, introduced us and we've been buds every since. It was so nice going through our pregnancies together and watching our babies grow up together. Having someone to complain to about Austin secretly throws toys down the vents or laugh with about how Hannah will scream at you to put up the window shades has been invaluable. When she comes over, we lay on the couch together and just sit back and watch as our toddlers "talk" to each other and run around like crazed animals...throwing toys, climbing on chairs, and tormenting the dogs. This week I was fortunate to have had two days to spend with Ash and Hannah and I love them both more and more as time goes on. Austin and Hannah are best buddies. They are so cute together...they hug and kiss and hold hands. Sure there is a good amount of fighting over toys, but they have fun together and that's the main thing. On Monday they found themselves intrigued by the squeaking dog toy and today they, along with two hot (literally...it was 95 degrees out today) mamas, lazily lounged in the baby pool all day. That's right, all four of us. So, here's to Austin's blue-eyed girlfriend....he sure is lucky and in love!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

That's what friends are for.....











I have been thinking a lot about friendships lately. How much I value the wonderful women in my life. How fortunate I am to have such lovely ladies to give me advice on motherhood, lend me a shoulder to cry on, laugh with me, hand me a glass of wine when I am feeling stressed, invite me over for a playdate when I am feeling overwhelmed, and simply just be there for me. In good times and in bad. Although I have many friends here in Annapolis, my tell everything to, knows everything about me, closest thing I will ever have to a sister friend, Dana, lives all the way in Florida. She will be here in a few days for her annual week-long visit and I am counting down the hours. I miss her tremendously. I miss laying, squished in a twin bed together watching Lifetime in a dorm room, I miss dancing on the bar at BAR to Shot Through the Heart, I miss knowing she was only a wall apart from me for three years, I miss laying at the pool instead of sitting in class, and I miss staying up all night talking...about anything and everything. A true friend is something to cherish. I cherish you Dana. Thank you for being in my life. I love you.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

a little kitchen


I have been wanting to get Austin a little play kitchen for a while now. Even though my husband was against it, yelling that boys should have a grill not a "girly" kitchen, I wanted one. But not one of those huge plastic play things that take up half the playroom. I wanted an old fashioned wooden one. After many months of hunting kids sales and looking on Craigslist with no luck, I decided to make one. I found some inspiring photos of kitchens other moms had made on the website Ohdeedoh. Then I went on a hunt around the house to see what I could use. I had these two bookshelves from Michaels that I bought when I was pregnant with hopes of painting them for Austin's room. I never did it, so this was the perfect opportunity to use them. I had to enlist Jay's help with the power tools for the next part. We stacked the shelves on top of each other. Oh, by the way, the shelves sell for $29 each but I used two 50% coupons so I got them both for around $15. We then used some scrap wood we had in the garage for the back wall, small shelf, and the edging at the top and bottom. We headed out to Home Depot for the hooks and the pipes to use as the faucet (we got all of this for around $12). I found the wooden knobs at a yard sale for $1 which I painted. I also painted the "back splash" and and the edging as well as the stove tops. As for all the dishes...the tea set is from the Wee-Sale ($3), the polka dot dishes, measuring cups, and small white bowls are from Target ($2 each), the blue pot, orange pan and green utensils are Green Toys that I got from Amazon ($12.99 for the set), the large white and metal bowls are from my stash, and the metal cake pan, cupcake pan and mini pie pans are from Goodwill ($1 each). So all in all, this was a very easy project and Austin LOVES it. If we can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Is that Mary?


We just returned from our wonderful vacation to Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Boston. We had a fabulous time. We went to the beach, saw some sea life, collected shells, saw all the lighthouses, ate clams, shrimp, scallops, and lobster (yummy), saw the Red Sox play, watched the fireworks and swam in a public fountain (more on this to come) and we even saw someone we "knew". We were sitting at A Pie in the Sky, a little restaurant that you would probably miss if you weren't guided by your nose. Under a bright blue roof in a small town called Woods Hole on Cape Cod, there lies a place where you can have a fresh from the oven chocolate croissant and an organic raspberry smoothie for breakfast or hot clam chowder that tastes like pure butter along with warm crusty bread for lunch. We were such fatties on this trip we did both! During this second trip for some chowder, the place was packed. We were attempting to grab a table and sit outside to do a little people watching before leaving the Cape. I found a table but there were no chairs. As I was asking to steal a few chairs from the surrounding tables, a nice women brings over two chairs, one for me and one for Austin. As this kind stranger is talking to me about how cute Austin is....uh, duh....I am staring at her like she has five heads because I feel like I know her from somewhere. She must have thought I was so rude for looking at her in the way that I was, but I was so sure she looked familiar. We get our chairs, say our thank yous and dig into our lunch. As Jay is talking to me about Lord knows what....it hits me! I yell out, "Oh my God! It's Mary!" Jay is now staring at me like I have five heads. I tell him the story and quietly tell him to sneak a look behind him at the lady sitting at the green table with the baseball hat and glasses. He thinks I am making this up...that this lady is really Mary. But after much discussion and then a quiet but nice confirmation from her sweet friend....we discover it to be true. It was Mary. And Mary Who you ask....well for those of you who watch Ellen....it was that Mary. Her Mary. Mary Connelly. Her producer. The one with the black glasses who is always saying, "Sure Ellen". The one by the teleprompter who stands beside the camera man. The one who grew up in Massachusetts but now lives in California. The one who is married to a lovely brunette who happens to be a Red Sox fan. And the one who has a daughter that was the object of Austin's affection during that lunch. So needless to say we felt pretty cool after this encounter with someone "famous". Maybe she can get us tickets to the show?