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recent books i’ve read

Saw this fabulous pillow on Etsy. Love it!

I don’t know what you have been reading lately. What have you been reading? I just finished this book, below. I loved it. I typically sell my books on Amazon upon completion; however, this book I am keeping for my personal library as a reference. With a message that speaks to my fast paced lifestyle and my constant attempt to slow things down I think it is an excellent reference book. I hope it is a collection of essays that I return to for insight and inspiration when things get to be too much, too fast, and too unmeaningful.
 
I just wish I had more time to read. Between working in Brian’s office in the mornings, taking care of Beatrice and Whitaker in the afternoons and evenings, keeping pets for friends when they go out of town, and training for a half marathon race, I find it difficult to etch out reading time. Do you? When do people find the time to read books?
Mitten Strings for God: Reflections  for Mothers in a Hurry

I must say that I enjoyed it more than any book I have read in a long time. It comes with my recommendation!


Beatrice debuted her dancing skills before her parents last week. It was the first time we have seen her in class. It was so much fun. We were really impressed. Mom kept Whitaker so that we could fully enjoy the performance. Brian and I both smiled the entire hour. It was so funny.

These were impromptu. Brian recorded from his phone so ignore the clarity. I hope you enjoy them!!!

You won’t believe it but, Southern Mamas has come to the rescue AGAIN.  There is actually a class to help stop toddler tantrums!!!! This is unbelieveable. I wonder if it really works. Have you or anyone you know tried this?

via Southern Mamas

momsoncall2.jpgDon’t fret. You will survive toddlerhood and the “no” stage.

Especially now that the Atlanta pediatric nurses behind MomsOnCall.com are offering their popular toddler parenting seminar online. The course aims to help parents find out:

  • The one thing that your child needs most but will never tell you.
  • Why kids misbehave and discover how to motivate your child to achieve and make good choices.
  • Three household rules your toddler can understand.
  • Things to say to your children that motivate them to want to behave
  • How to handle discipline, sleep issues, tantrums, going out to eat, potty training, and much more!

Sign up for the on-line toddler seminar here. The seminar also is offered live in Atlanta. Click here for info.


I didn’t even know that two year olds can ride bikes. Did you? I guess, I still have a lot to learn in this weary old parenting world.

Okay, I admit it. I am probably, well not probably, I am one of the mothers that this book mocks. Yeah, with the MOMs Club ferver and Kindermusik affair, I must confirm that statement.  But, I am not above finding this book funny. I can laugh at myself and every minute of my motherhood experience.  Thanks Southern Mamas for another awesome post!

Naptime is the new happy hour 

via my ever favorite: Southern Mamas

naptime-happy-hour.jpgDo you secretly mock mommy-and-me-style music classes? Moms who scrapbook? Or hipster parents who are just too cool?

Do you suspect that moms who say their kids watch absolutely NO TV are, indeed, lying?

Then you might enjoy the latest mommy lit offering by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor: Naptime is the New Happy Hour: and Other Ways Toddlers Turn Your Life Upside Down.

Wilder-Taylor, whose first book was Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay, takes on the trend of moms who do everything they can- including lie – to appear to be superparents in the eyes of others.

Wilder-Taylor, mother of three, shares her irreverent take on parenting, including making fun of parents like me who made our own baby food and schlep our kids to Kindermusik. Hmmm. This read might hurt a little. But if you can’t laugh at yourself…

At least, the book makes a good gift for that first-time mom who feels overwhelmed by the new world of pseudo superparents she just entered. And serves as a painful mirror for the rest of us.

Pass the chardonnay, please.

Beatrice LOVES strawberries.  So, we decided to pick strawberries last Friday afternoon at Jacob’ Produce in Rocky Ford.  It was my first time going to the strawberry patch as we picked a whole bucket!  It was worth the 15 mile drive to the farm.

Here is a link to the photos:


Southern Mamas poses the question: should kids under 2 watch television?  I, too, wonder about this.  Call me horrid, but I confess.  I try desperately to interest Busy-Body-Beatrice in television. She watches it less than an minute and then goes to other things. I would love to have an hour to myself while she learns the alphabet or sign language.  How about you?

Her Post: 

elmo.gifIt’s so tempting to plop a child down in front of Sesame Street while you scramble to get a few things done.But the American Academy of Pediatrics says children younger than 2 should watch no TV. Yet, many of us ignore such advice, do it anyway and, as a result, feel guilty every time we hear Elmo’s squeaky voice.

I write about the “TV or No TV?” struggle in my confessional, or rather, my column in Sunday’s Savannah Morning News Accent section: “Bad Mommy: My toddler watches the boob tube.” You can read the column by clicking here.

Feel free to let me know what you think of the “TV for toddlers” question and whether you think “edutainment” is really good for children younger than 2. Or if the term educational TV is just a euphemism to make us feel less guilty.

Easter Potraits 2008

I included all of the proofs in the slide show because there of a few funny pictures.  The session was a hoot.  

I have to be honest, it is difficult for me to make a decision. How in the world does an indecisive person choose pictures. 

We know that we would like one really large one — a close crop of her face, or one that includes the rabbits?  A sweet looking picture, or one where she is laughing? 

What is a mother to do?  I am so indecisive!

With confidence I can tell you that Miss Bea is going to have a shoe fancy.  This is not my first post revolving around she and shoes.  Remember my other post and my other post?  This big win from Bugaboo Shoes confirms it (you can read my post here or see it at Southern Mamas, here). She is destined to be a shoe hound with baskets full of sole treats, lace rewards, and heel goodies. 

It must be in her stars. She is a Pisces after all — ruler of the feet.  Look out boots, cleats, clogs, flops, heels, high-tops, loafers, moccasins, platforms, sandals, slippers, sneakers, and wing-tips, the shoe bow-wow has arrived.  You have found your biggest little fan!  

Now that I have recognized this recurring theme in her short little life,  girls we have got decisions.  We commission you to help us select our prize.  

Which shoe would you choose?  What is your favorite?  The vast selection at the bottom of this post. The verbage is long for a blog – but the pics can be browsed quickly.

Upon browsing Bugaboo’s Website, I found this company is beautiful, soulful or should I say soleful.  Born from tiresome shoe shopping for their adopted daughter, the company arose. 

You can read about it, here.    

Now, back to business.  The assortment follows.  Which one is your favorite?

Did you see they even have a shoe called Beatrice!  Really, shoes are calling her name!

Shoe Description

Unique, Stylish, Quality Leather Shoes, with breathe ability and flexibility for developing feet.
Josie

Josie  Our classic design; these cheerful shoes can put a smile on anyone’s face.  Wear these with a dress and tights or without socks and shorts; these are the ultimate functional shoe. We love them and so will you!
Abigail

Abigail  Girlie, but not too girlie; You will want a pair of these for yourself.
Zoe

Zoe  These great little sandals wear more like a shoe with coverage and protection of those precious toes. With glitter and bright hues these are sure to please any princess.  Flowers can always brighten a day.
Samantha

Samantha  This shoe has amazing style and fit alike. The flower applique is cut out by hand and then carefully sewn in the perfect position to give this preppie shoe pizzazz. Highly durable, this shoe can be worn with almost any kind of outfit. Wouldn’t these look perfect walking through a flower patch?
Sherry

Sherry  What girl doesn’t enjoy a little sparkle in her life? The ultimate sassy shoe and every little girl’s dream. Every girl will love these.
Paulie Ann

Paulie Ann this shoe is for the girl, that wants to be girl and make a statement. Sweet and tender or trendy and flashy, these shoes can set any tone with the right outfit. What girl doesn’t love flowers?
Beatrice

Beatrice  Too cute to pass up!
Willow

Willow  These are about the most adorable and funky shoes we have ever seen!
Savy

Savy  Wow! will be the response you will hear when your little one has these dazzlers on their feet. For short walks to the beach or with that perfect sassy dress, these shoes are all for show.
Molly

Molly  Who said protective sandals can’t be adorable? That is why we love these shoes.  Gotta love them!
Tiffany

Tiffany  Oh, how we love these shoes! Sweet and adorable with alittle bling to boot, our Tiffany shoes will win your heart.
Lola Lu

Lola Lu  We have to say it! These shows are a perfect fit to any closet. A solid color shoe with stylish stitching and a splash of color, these shoes have the ulimate matchability. Every girl needs a pair!

so cute. thank you sister for the shoes. they are so cute, so outdoorsy, so i-wanna-hop-on-the-trail-and-hike-ish.  you’re awesome. thank you.

want your own baby Teva’s?  go HERE.

adiri.jpg A primer on Bisphenol A (BPA) and the current status on baby bottles that do or do not include BPA.

I have been so busy lately that my post haven’t been very personal.  I keep thinking that I will get a chance to leave a post about each little exciting thing — but there just isn’t enough time.  So, here’s what has been going in my Moon Dreams and Day Beams: 

1. Beatrice took her first steps last night!  We are so proud of her.

2. We went to a 30th birthday party that was SO much fun.  All the guests wore black and white while the birthday girl wore her favorite color. It was our first date in a very long time. It was Beatrice first time spending the night away from home!!!

3.  Papa got Mama new ride. Way to go Brian. I LOVE it!

4. I found this silver platter for 2.99 (!!!) at a thrift store.  Now, I have to figure out how to clean it.

5. We have found out that Beatrice will eat ANY thing, even onions!  And, she loves raisin’s.

6.  I have been forgiving my husband for asking me on a Valentines Date and forgetting to show up.   Yes, I do love him. And yes, I have forgiven him.

7.  I have been busy loving Miss B.  This takes up most of my time as it is a full time job. I don’t have much time left to blog. She’s the reason for the season so blogging comes in last place on my list of things to do. 

Happy Tuesday!

It’s the year of the Rat in Statesboro!

Chinese Spring Festival

The new Statesboro restaurant called Southern Buffet located at 418 Northside Dr. is having a Chinese Spring Festival on Saturday, Feb. 9th from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. They invite you to bring your children to join them in
experiencing this traditional Chinese Holiday. They will have some
games, gifts, and will write your name in Chinese and give a red
envelope to every child coming. On this special day – One child under
10 is free with two regular buffet purchases.
Happy Chinese New Year!!

    

 Mamas Have Got To Eat!

Even Little Mamas!

Happy Wednesday

And, so do little dogs (that’s a bone Barry has under his paw).

  Lilly came to visit last week while Amanda and Jon went to D.C. for the weekend. Actually, they went toJon’s sister Jessica’s wedding.  Four WHOLE days away from home. Lucky sister, right? 

Mom and I took the girls to Free Spirit Pottery one afternoon.  If you are looking for something fun and free to do in the ‘boro with small children Free Spirit  is a great idea. They give babies a complimentary plaque.  It is totally 100% free.  You can opt for a hand print or a foot print.  We were hoping for a hand print; however the girls had something else in mind.  After trying the hands a few times we finally surrendered.  We used their feet.  Apparently, after a certain age babies like to curl their fingers. 

You may think this would be a short trip.  Rather, it took us between 1 -2 hours to pick out the paint colors, try the hands SEVERAL times, get the girls painted and then washed, etc.  It was a fun afternoon!

Would You Like Some Paint on Your Face?

Lilly Gets Her Hand Painted.  Take 1.

 

Pressing Lilly’s Finger on the Plaque.  Take 2.

 

Okay. Okay, We Will Use The Foot.

Screeching in the driveway 15 minutes late, Beatrice and I abruptly and barely put-together arrived at our morning date to “bead.”  As newbies to the craft we had to make a last minute run to Wal-mart in the rain to purchase beads at 9:00 a. 

Even I, the not-s0-crafty mother, have to admit it was fun. My finery was less spectacular than the other three beaders, but it was fun to make. Their pieces look really, really good.  But, mine is just right for me.  I like it!

As I attempted to take a photo of my work, a saga unfolded.  Watch and see:

 

She hasn’t noticed.

 

She sees it.

She’s coming.

 

I want to see that. 
 
 hmm…very interesting.  I really like this Mommy.

 

 I want it Mommy. No. Huh-huh. Bracelets are not for babies.

Why not!
 
 Waaaah.
 
Barry wants a look-see.
 
Nice jewels.
 
It’s nice and all, but I really just want my back scratched. 

 

I take off the new jewels and the family is happy. 
THEY ALL jump in my lap with excitement!

Happy Friday, Ya’ll!

Brian and I squeezed in a mini-date on Sunday. We scored enough time to go to the movies.  Yahoo! 

Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List 

It was fun to get away to The Bucket List matinee.  I love Jack Nicholson .  And Morgan Freeman. I fell in love with Morgan’s work back in Shawshank Redemption .  He has been on the top of my fave list since.  So, it was a no-brainer when we decided which movie to go see.  Despite being a little predictable and corny, the film’s “heart” can not be overlooked. 

The movie’s comedy is prevalent enough to present a light-hearted take on an often sobering theme:  immortality.  It is hilarious at times and touching at others. 

I swear that Brian teared-up during the movie, although he suggests otherwise. I did not cry, yet I saw others who were. I must admit, I am not a “cryer” as it takes fine acting, reality, and drama to push tears through my ducts. 

We both left the movie pondering our own mortality and considering our personal bucket lists.  I suppose everyone has a “bucket list” per se.  Hmm…do you have one?  What is it that you just don’t want to leave here without doing?  I desperately want to go to Africa, on a Safari. I want to go to South America, too.  The short list is: I want to do more international traveling. How about you?

Here’s a quick off-the-cusp list for me:

1.  Experience an African Safari

2. See the Great Wall of China

3. Give Birth to Another Child

4.  Float on the Amazon River

But, wouldn’t all this be really expensive?  Yes, I think so.  How much would it cost to do the real ”Bucket List” from the movie? Not counting the cost of a tattoo, it’s about $105,730 for two. Yikes! Maybe I better include: get a better paying job, win the lottery, or cash in on the HGTV Dream Home. 

What is on your bucket list? Leave me a comment so that I can dream. Maybe I will add your list to mine!

  

Whew, we made it. And, we made it good, girls. Yay!

Balls, boys, girls, toys, laughter, smiles, merriment and jovial pleasurements filled our house today.   Beatrice and I were hostesses for a morning playgroup.   As hostess-playgroup-newbies it was wild, crazy, chaotic, and loads of fun. 

We go to a lot of play dates but usually shy at the opportunity to have people at our house. 

Due to a long night from the night-weaning process (and, I do mean L-O-N-G), I opted for a culinary quickie including donut holes and sesame street crackers. The store-bought snacks were yummy! I didn’t even have time to get juice for the group on my morning sprint for food to serve.  We had cold water. Poor kids, right?  Despite the lack of home-baked-ness the donute holes & crackers were a hit. 

Brian is thrilled that we hosted the amusement because the house got an all over cleaning.  “Can you have these more often,” he bargained today.  “I will help clean if you will have more of them,” he volunteered.

Even Barry and Sugar liked the event.  ”Please have another one soon,” they barked.   They scavenged the living room rug for all morsels of dropped food upon the conclusion of the event.  They scored a few cracker bits and pieces of donut.  Our maid (ie. me) REALLY likes that!

The whole family is ready to do it again, and again.

  Beatrice told Elmo and Barry to be on their best behavior before her friends arrived.

Before I had kids, I never thought I would breastfeed. Now that I recollect, I never really considered what I would do when it came to feeding my child until I was about 9 months pregnant, heading down the home-stretch.

Like it so often happens in life, I found myself pregnant at the same time as my sister and my friend Chrissy. For each of us, it was our first. Naturally, since we were all professionals who were all due around the same time, we kept each other abreast of all of our lastest findings: the safest car seats, the best rated cribs, the “must-read” pregnancy books, clothes sales, parenting tips, etc. And in our search for “the best” we all were in agreement that the best nourishment for our new bundles of joy would be breastmilk. And so each of us was committed to giving it a shot.

And so what seemed like such a simple decision, took us all by surprise when we found out that is a most complicated undertaking. We all hear how it is “the most natural thing” and how “our bodies are made for it”, but there’s no way to truly know what it’s like until you’re “knee-deep” and swimming right in it.

As with many of you reading this post, I can just hear your stories; both good and bad. Probably like many of you, I just thought: “Okay, so you take the baby, hold it to your chest, and viola, the feeding begins!” It’s easy and it’s natural, instictive. Yeah, right! Then I find out there is a whole new vocabulary like “latching on” and “colostrum.” All of a sudden, I wondered why I didn’t do more homework and really research this topic during my pregnancy – but no matter, I’m from the old school. Once I decide to do a job, I do it!

After breastfeeding my daughter, I’ve learned these basic truths:

-No matter how determined you are, it takes two to tango: Your little one has to be ready, willing, and ABLE (yes in caps) to breastfeed, no matter how much you want it to happen.

-The sooner you start pumping the better. Ask the hospital for a pump and get on schedule: This really helps get your production on track. I rented a hospital grade pump from a home-health store. I was producing milk like a machine!

-There’s no substitute for experience: Talk to other breastfeeding moms if this is your first time trying it. You’ll be suprised at how much you learn from a group of women who really love to talk.

-Don’t give up! If this is what you want for your little one, it IS possible even with a preemie and mulitiples. You can do it.

-Make goals that are attainable: my initial goal was 1 month. After I celebrated making it that far, I tried to reach the 3 month mark. Once I made it to that goal, I was in a groove so I decided to push for another 3 months. Now, we are almost 11 months and going strong. I would have never dreamed!

-Convenience, convenience, convenience: This one is self explanatory.

-Don’t forget to buy some lanolin cream: Hospitals usually provide this as a parting gift too, thank goodness!

-Invest in a comfortable robe or pajamas since this will most likely be your dress of choice for the first 4-6 weeks. This is one of the only things I bought for myself. Some cute polka-dot jamies from Josphines that buttoned up the front. They were cute and comfortable. I didn’t mind answering the door (to my friends, of course) in them.

As for weaning your baby, that is where I’M asking for advice. I never thought I would make it to 11 months with my Sweet Pea (or Bea, rather) but here we are: she still likes to nurse before naptime when we are at home, right before bed, and at a very early 3:30am every morning. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that we still have this time together and I know this is great for her development. But sleeping in until 6am when Poppy wakes up is rather tempting…did I say VERY tempting.

So if you decide to try breastfeeding, whether you do it for 2 days, 2 months, or 2 years, just remember that you are blessed for the time you had together. Good luck!

More reading: 
  • Comparison of Human Milk and Formula
  • How to pump and store breast milk
  • La Leche League Human Milk Storage Information
  • Children’s Health Topics: Breastfeeding
  • Infant nutrition information from Seattle’s Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center
  •   Beatrice isn’t really into technology these days. But, she will definitely be more tech-y than her mother. 

    While checking up on April at My Beautiful Chaos, I stumbled upon this video which was
    created to inspire teachers to use technology in engaging ways – for children’s sake.  By embracing technology teachers can develop higher level thinking skills the video persuades. And, equally important, it serves to motivate district level leaders to provide teachers with the tools and training to incorporate technology into their curriculum.

    It is amazing to in-vision how tech-savvy our children will be. In fact, it is incomprehensible-ly, fantastically, exceptionally astonishing. I hope that Brian and I despite our ignorance and old-fogey-ness will embolden and enkindle Beatrice’s techie knowledge. Understandably, we won’t be able to keep up. Yet, I hope we stimulate and spark her interest rather than extinguish it.

    Great video. And, great post April!

    *Video From bjnesbitt on youtube

    Too cool for school – B gives a High Five!  

      The baby sign “thing” is going really well.  Admittedly, I abandoned the idea after several months of signing with no response from Beatrice.  Out of the blue, she can sign “more and dog.”  And, she can give us high fives, which Dad thinks is especially cool!      Signing is so much fun!

    So – a big think you to Caroline, Melanie, and Lea for encouraging me to check out the Baby Signs Program!

    Click here for the Baby Signs Complete Starter kit, here.

      I love to flip the dog bowls over and grab the kitchen towels. Oh, what fun!

    Remember what I told you about the dog bowls and the kitchen towels?

    Okay, I admit it.  It sounded too good to be true when Organic milk was advertised for $2.57 a half gallon sounded at Avalon Cow PortraitTarget

    But on our last trip to Savannah, I bought it anyway.  I didn’t make a special trip. Rather, I picked up some with our other shopping.  It’s a deal, right? I was super excited to find an affordable brand of organic milk.  Horizon or Organic Valley is often $3, sometimes $4 per half gallon. Yikes!  “I AM a frugal mama. Yippie,” I rewarded myself.  “Good mama, good shopper,” I patted myself on the back. Then along comes this Associated Press article about how some store brand organic milk, including Target’s Archer Farms bargain basement buy, was not truly organic.  You WOULD know. 

    Apparently, the organic milk in Target under its own label comes from Aurora Organic Dairy, which also supplies Wal Mart, Costco and Wild Oats with their store brands of organic milk. Earlier this year, there was some question whether Aurora was diluting the principles of organic agriculture in the interest of producing milk as cost-effective as possible.

    The good news: at least according to the article, Aurora has made improvements. Both Aurora and Target defend the product as organic, noting the company was allowed to keep its organic certification.

    It’s difficult enough for families to afford organic milk, which comes from cows that have not been treated with hormones or antibiotics. When questions like these arise, it makes you wonder if paying the extra money and (literally in this case)  driving the extra mile is even worth it.

    Do you buy organic? Why or why not?