Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sweetie's Big Adventure

So, what to say, what to say? I feel like I could write several posts about our trip. One just about the traveling. One about the amusement park. Another about the water park. One about the hotel and staff. Something about the food. One about Milton Hershey and his company in general. Of course a huge ode to Hubby for his supreme awesomeness (what with all the driving, lugging, and putting up with 2 tired girls and all). Etc., etc., etc... All, of course, with plenty of pictures.

Alas, if I were to do all of that you'd all be in for one loooonnnngggg post. The internet version of the dreaded vacation slide show presentation.

With that in mind, I'll do my best to sum it all up as efficiently, and as interestingly, as possible. (still with a ton 'o pictures, though. Sorry).

As I mentioned in my last post, our car trip was really pretty good. It helped that, in addition to the towel, activity books, and blanket, we also had these things to keep us all entertained:

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Lots of great music.

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Fun car games (i.e. How many songs can you think of with the word LOVE in the title?)

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And, of course, Roald Dahl himself reading us the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory story.

We left at 4:45 a.m., assuming Sweetie would sleep for at least a couple more hours in the car (she didn't, save for maybe 20 minutes around 9 a.m.), and arrived at our hotel a few minutes before 2 p.m.

Our hotel was great! We stayed at The Hershey Lodge, which is extremely kid friendly, with very helpful and courteous staff, great perks (like free shuttle service to and from the park, and Hershey characters roaming the lobby), and lots of tasty on-site dining options. All well worth the price of admission.

Then - on to 2 full days worth of Hershey Park fun!

The first thing we had to do was size up Sweetie.

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Sweetie, it turns out, is a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. And she was given a mini peanut butter cup by the nice lady who helped measure her. Unfortunately, Sweetie mistakenly thought this was her ticket onto all the rides and not something to eat. However, given the 90+ degree heat, her "ticket" melted into gooey goodness before she was done with the first ride.

This is Sweetie and Daddy (well, at least you can see Daddy) on that first ride:

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She liked it well enough, but it was a bit too fast for her.

This was Sweetie's second ride:

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She was very insistent that she go on this one. But in the end, she didn't like it so much. The poor little girl she was with, as far as I could tell, wanted the drum they were in to twirl around (which is done by turning the wheel in the middle) as it orbited around the larger circle. But, as Sweetie put herself in charge of manning said wheel, there was none of that extra twirling going on for them. This ride helped solidify Sweetie's preference for rides that went around and round in slow motion, not fast motion (not that such a ride actually existed, but whatever....)

Actually, Sweetie did say that this ride was just right - not to fast and not too slow.

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But ask Hubby (who was standing at Sweetie's side the whole time) what he thinks of that statement, and he'd say she's a dang liar. It was fast! In fact, can you even see Sweetie in this picture? She's there alright. But, I tell ya, it was pretty difficult to snap the picture in time.

Now, this ride was just about as much as I personally could handle:

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It was the only ride that just she and I went on together. Thankfully, Sweetie's old enough - and tall enough - that she was able to go on most rides for her size all by herself.

After a morning at the rides, we took a break and went on the tour at Chocolate World.

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That was pretty fun and interesting. A nice, chocolate-scented/air conditioned respite from the outside world. It was also the place where Kisses the Hershey Kiss came into Sweetie's life.

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How she loves her new friend!

All too soon, we were back to the park and Sweetie was, quite literally, on the road again:

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And then she was flying high:

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After that, which included a quick trip over the bridge to Zoo America, we wrapped up our first day at the park. But not before stopping to listen to the traveling band (and juggler) - The Candy Wrappers - before heading back to the hotel for the night.

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Our second - and last - day at the park was spent mostly at The Boardwalk (a.k.a. - the water park) portion of Hershey Park. And because of this, I left the camera in the hotel room. Didn't want to damage or lose it, you know. Too bad, though, because the water structures and water slides were quite a sight to behold. It would have been impressive to get some good shots of it.

Sweetie and Hubby waited in line for probably more than 1 hour (while I waited for them at the bottom) for what amounted to about 30 seconds worth of fast-paced fun on one of the water slides. When I asked her if she liked it, Sweetie said,

Well, it felt like I was scared. But I was really great!

And that about wraps it up. It was a sometimes scary, lots of times exciting, mostly really great, fun, family trip. We came away from it with a little sun burn, a few souvenirs, a very high opinion of the Hershey company, and lots of great memories.

Hope you enjoyed it too. :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mama Monday #72 - A Day Late

Theme: Cooperation

Aaaannnndddd.... she's back!

Sorry about that. We've been away for a mini vacation. But now we're home. Exhausted. But home.

How appropriate it is that Cooperation is this week's MSO theme. Because Sweetie was oh so cooperative during the majority of our trip to and from Chocolate Town. Really! I'm not even being a little bit sarcastic. She honestly was, by and large, just great! (of course she was - she's Sweetie!)

Nine hours in the car going to Hershey. Seven and a half hours coming back (40 less miles cuz we didn't miss any signage - as we did on the way down - sending us on a detour through the PA cornfields and back roads). And Sweetie hardly peeped at all. She was the epitome of cooperation and loveliness.

In fact, one time we complimented her - about half way home - telling her how proud we were of her behaving so well during the long car ride. And that sent her off into a mini whine-fest about how long it was taking. But even this was resolved with a little rest stop action before we all (kinda/sorta) happily hopped back in the car to cover many more miles to go.

Of course, give a girl a dish towel, a couple friends, an activity book, and - most importantly on a sweltering hot late August afternoon in a car with no A/C - a nice warm blanket to cover up in (It's not a blanket! It's my friend Water Bottle's house. she tells us), and I suppose anyone can see how easy it is to get through the long haul home.

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I'm also duly impressed with Sweetie's cooperativeness during our stay in Hershey, as Hubby and I would often tell her one thing, and then decide for ourselves that we were in fact going to do another.

Sweetie, let's leave the park now, go back to our hotel, go swim in the pool, and then out to dinner.


But, as our whim changed, so did the plan - dinner at the park, back to the hotel, out for dessert and drinks, and no pool at all.

No matter - Sweetie went with the flow just as smooth as could be.

What a good Sweetie we have. We all had a great, fun trip. Our first big vacation as a family, in fact. And it all went off just fine.

A little cooperation sure does go a long way.


Lots more pictures and stories of our trip to come in the next day or so. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #71 - Lunch With Friends Edition

Hey! You'll never guess, but Sweetie and I had lunch with friends this past Monday.

Specifically, we met Sweetie's first-ever daycare provider and her 7- year old daughter at Burger King. This wonderful woman (the daughter of someone I used to work with) provided daily care to our Sweetie for the first year of her life, Tuesday through Friday. Her daughter at the time was 3.5 / 4-years old.

Even though Sweetie hasn't regularly been cared for at their house since she was a small baby, she still talks about these friends all the time. In fact, she considers this little girl to be her best friend. Amazing! And wonderful. :)

Since this little friend of Sweetie's is now 7- years old, I was afraid that she'd be so over Sweetie and hardly give my precocious 4-year old the time of day. Turns out - I had nothing to worry about at all.

She and Sweetie greeted each other very enthusiastically. In fact, later that afternoon at home, Sweetie recounted for me,

Hey, Mama! (My friend) gave me a hug-and-pick-up hug! Yeah, that's a new kind of hug. A hug I've never even had before! She gives great hugs!

As Sweetie and her friend played, I sat and chatted with my friend. She now has a younger daughter who's just over 1-year old, so it was fun to ogle this little cutie and hear about how life is in general for this family that we regrettably don't get to visit with too often.

At one point my friend told me how her daughter recently asked her,

Mom - have (Sweetie) and I ever had a fight?

No! Not at all.

Oh. That means she's my best friend!

Well, for her first year of life,
(Sweetie) was over at our house almost every day. You two played a lot together that year. It's almost like you were sisters.

Then, just a little while later in our visit on Monday, my friend's daughter came to report to her mom that a woman (thinking our girls were related) had just told her how much she and Sweetie look alike.

See?! We really must be sisters!

Another thing Sweetie's friend couldn't get over? Well - she had to ask Sweetie about three or four times,

How are you?

just so she could hear Sweetie answer,



And on that note, here's a story relayed to me by my niece, who babysat Sweetie this past Wednesday (instead of Nana, who's enjoying a lovely vacation).

My niece took Sweetie to McDonald's for lunch that day (Oy! Enough with the fast food already!). On the way, Sweetie informed her cousin,

You know? I'm great everyday. And I'm smart everyday too. But I'm silly only some of the days. Not everyday.

Really, Sweetie? I think I'd have to disagree with you on that one. Not the great and smart part. That's certainly true. But the silly part. You bring a whole lot of silly into our lives every single day.

And we love you for that.

FYI - the next few days are going to be crazy busy around these parts. Don't know how much blogging I'll get in. It may be a few days before I'm back at the keyboard, but don't despair. I'll have lots of stories to share upon my return.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Sisterhood of the Unraveling Pants*

* Warning: Pure fluff ahead. I don't know about you, but after the day I've had, I could use a bit of fluff.

I own eight pairs of pants. Additionally, I have several pairs of jeans, shorts and capris. But for the purposes of this post, we'll only focus on the eight pairs of business-casual pants that I have to chose from for my daily work wear.

1) My light tan pants: The ones I wore today. They fit me well and are in good repair. They're fine.

2) My black pants: I love the way these look on me. They're great! But - they're maternity pants. Yes, that's right. Maternity pants. Here's me - skinny-as-anything me - sportin' around town in my fancy pants maternity wear. And of course, since they are maternity, they have a weird thing going on at the waistband. Functional and practical during pregnancy. Not so much useful or attractive when not pregnant. So much so that I can't possible even consider wearing tucked in shirts with these pants. Instead I have to wear loose fitting tops that don't draw attention to the strangely bulging waist. Plus, I think there's a small hole in them somewhere.

3) My dark green pants: Pretty much all of my pants have to be hemmed. I'm short - abnormally so. At least, not proportionally so. Comes with the territory of having spina bifida. So even petite pants have to get a good chuck cut off and stitched up. My dark green pants are no exception. Trouble is, these were hemmed just a wee bit too short. Plus, they're an odd sort of material that at first felt smooth, but now feel - tacky. Kinda hard to explain actually - just suffice it to say, they don't feel good to the touch or look good in the length.

4) My olive green cargo pants: These are about two sizes too big for me. They're all-over baggy and I absolutely must wear a belt with them or else the public will definitely be getting more than they bargained for when they see me walking down the street.

5) My blue pants: Now these? These, if anything, are too tight on me. They're an awesomely comfy pair of pants that kind of feel like I'm wearing sweats, but I look much more put together than that in them. But, like I said, they're a tad tight in the waist. Oddly enough, I think they also look a bit baggy on me. I don't know. I've never actually studied myself in them. Is it even possible to have pants with a snug waistline but baggy everywhere else? If so, I've got 'em right here.

6) My brown pants: These pants definitely look baggy on me. Or maybe it's just that they're constantly twisty on me and therefore always look wrong. They also have a side zipper that, when the pants are not on me, zips up just fine - smooth as butter. But once I have them on, the zipper simply will not budge past the midpoint. They stay on just fine. And they did once zip up all the way. I certainly haven't gained weight since purchasing these pants. So I don't know what their non-zipping deal is. All I know is that they're another pair that I can't wear tucked-in shirts with. Hey - you're zipper isn't zipped, Lady! Nope - don't wanna hear it. Also, the hem is letting out and needs to be restitched.

7) My other brown pants with red and white pinstripes: Another side zipper pair that will not zip up past a certain point once on my body. But these are a degree or two worse than the previously mentioned brown pants in that I pretty much have to pray to the Zipper Gods every single time I adjust my pants each day. Oh, please, please, PLEASE, with sugar on top, please zip up! I don't think my boss would happily accept my pitiful excuse of: Sorry I can't come out of the bathroom to work for the rest of the day - my pants won't stay up.

8) My corally/red pants: I love these pants! They're an odd sort of color that's not really red/not really orange. Okay, I guess you'd call them Nantucket red. It's a good color that goes surprisingly well with many different colors. But, they too are about one-and-a-half sizes too big for me. And the button is thisclose to falling off. Yes, I could sew it back on. I could even be preemptive about things and re-secure the button before it makes it's escape. But, I know I won't.

Instead, for now, I just sit and wait. and (not so silently) complain about my sorry collection of pants. Woe is me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mama Monday #71

Theme: Quest

What is a dream? A magical thing.
A rainbow of hope in your heart.
Your own secret corner where no one can go,
Where the path to fulfillment can start.
A dream lures you on, always one step ahead,
Until you have caught it. And then...
There's always another to capture your soul,
And lead your heart onward again.


May your dreams forever lead you on your heart and soul's greatest quests.


This poem was written on the cover of one of my high school diaries. I loved it so much that I then used it as my senior quote in my graduation year book. And now I'm teaching it to Sweetie, who requests to hear it several times a day. Right now I think she's taking the poem very literally, associating it with the dreams she has at night sometimes. But as she grows I'll be excited to see her revisit the words and message again and again to see how beautiful and inspirational they are, leading her on her own quest for happiness, peace and love.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sniff, Swirl & Sip Sunday #4

Hey, everyone! Guess what? The same winery that makes this amazing dessert wine, has just come out with this awesome dessert wine! I haven't tried it yet, but knowing how good the Moscato is, there's no doubt in my mind that this sweet red variety must be absolutely fabulous.

Meda Margherita wines prove to be superb, light endings to tasty, filling meals. And so it is with today's post - a simple, light beginning and end.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #70

I know it's still the summer, but something possessed me the other day to ask Sweetie to start thinking about Christmas. What's she going to tell Santa she wants for Christmas this year?

Not 3 minutes later, she had her paper and crayons out, asking me how to spell the words for her letter to Santa.

Here it is:

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And (for all of you who don't read pre-schooler) here's what it says:

78 Toy Switches and Lights

According to Sweetie, this is a toy that looks like the number 78 and it has a switch on it that you can turn to make it louder or softer and turn the lights it has on and off.


Well, Sweetie... I'm pretty doubtful that Santa can find something exactly like that for you, but he could probably swing something like this if you're interested.

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Yeah. I know. Not quite the same thing, is it? Sorry about that.


Sweetie's latest creative pursuit has been to learn how to use her safety zizzors better.

She's been practicing a lot!

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That picture was take a few weeks ago. Since then, she's gotten a lot more precise in her cutting with somewhat less waste.

Last night she cut out this:

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Pretty good for a lefty, huh?!

Now if only I could get her to stop looking through my magazines and deciding on her own that any image with a dotted line around it is fair game for cutting practice.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dr. Jekyll and Mommy Hyde

Wanna know a secret? I was a tough babysitter.

Honestly - I could be pretty evil. Telling the little rugrats to sit down! and eat! and listen to me! and go to bed!

I'm betting that if you're reading this and if you know me in real life, you're probably in a bit of a shock right now.

What?! Amy?! Mean?! No way!


Just ask Hubby. I don't even think he realized how strict I could be until just a few years back when he and I went to visit my elderly grandparents at their home. We visited during lunch time, and I was very concerned to make sure they were eating enough. I also took note of all the signs the day nurse had put up around their house, reminding them to take their pills and such. So of course I was then all Strict Nurse Lady telling them to take their pills! do their exercises! and eat enough food!

Hubby knew right then that, when we had kids, I was definitely going to be the lead disciplinarian.

And then... dah, dah, DAH.....

Enter Mommyhood.

Mama's in the Hood, 'Yo.

I am the first to admit - I can be pretty hard on Sweetie. I can easily lose my patience with her (again - I KNOW! - Me. Sweet lil' Amy with the usual patience of a saint. Loosing my ever lovin' mind when confronted with my stubborn pre-schooler).

BUT! I have to say that, more and more, I feel very defensive toward Sweetie if it gets to the point where Hubby is raising his voice at her too. Even though I just took the same tone with her and he's only trying to help me get her to listen. Even though I'm completely worn down from fighting with her myself. I still get this gut feeling of, Hey! Don't yell at her! She's only 4-years old! She doesn't understand!

I guess it takes hearing the angry voice coming from a different person to put me in my own place of understanding and compassion.

This Dr. Jekyll and Mommy Hyde Syndrome I suffer from applies to other personal relationships as well. For instance, there are some people in my life whom I love dearly, regardless of the fact that they may or may not have some - let's say - quirky characteristics. I, in fact, have no problem joking around about any given friend's "unique" qualities.

(Hey - I never said I was proud of my behavior, now did I?)

Woe be to he who quips a similar remark against the quirky behavior in my presence.

Don't you dare pick on my friend, you hear me?! I can do it - but you JUST. CAN'T.

(No, I don't actually go through with verbalizing these thoughts in most cases. But, boy, am I sure thinking them!)

Anyway, in terms of raising Sweetie - I hope I'm able to listen to myself and to her more closely as time goes on. I hope I'm able to slow down, take a deep breath, and help Sweetie get through whatever loathsome chore I'm trying to get her to complete at the moment. Instead of, you know, lording over her, demanding that she just DO IT! And be quick about it! And - for the love of all that is holey* and good - stop whining already!

New Family Rule** - Sweetie will stop whining so Mommy doesn't feel the need to yell so much. And vice versa.

Now - let's see if we can manage that, m'kay?


*Yes, I did mean to spell that h-o-l-e-y. As in - Yummy Swiss Cheese!

** By the by - our recently added Family Rule is still kickin' major tushie. Yes, I find myself reminding her a lot, "What's the rule?" But at that point she pretty much just gives me a defeated look and goes about eating her meal.

Now if we could only get her to eat more than just a little bit for lunch when she's at school.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mama Monday #70

Theme: Listen

Yesterday I posted an entry here in the hopes to get a little discussion going. And by the comments listed so far, we're off to a great debate!

I'm excited to get this issue out there, get it talked about some more. Because it's important to not only listen to what others have to say - to viewpoints that may differ from our own. But it's also extremely important to stop, think, and listen to ourselves.

Listen close and you'll discover the amazing journey on which your mind, heart and instincts are leading you and those you love.

Please take a moment to read this post and then throw in your own two cents. I'm so interested to continue this discussion and hear what you all have to say.

Wherein That Which Must Not Be Discussed Must Be Discussed


Uhhhhh. See. I have this here question for everyone. Actually, it's a debate/discussion I want to kick off. But at the same time, I actually don't want to talk about it very much at all.

Because talking about it may result in less security than not talking about it would.

Confused yet? I know I am.

Soooo.... in a nutshell... here it goes:

I'd love to know your take on privacy issues and security regarding parent-written blogs in particular.

Do you blog about your kids?

Do you use their real name(s)? Why or why not?

Do you post pictures of them? Why or why not?

Are you and/or your family concerned about the amount of your child(ren)'s information available on your site?

Or are you/they more concerned about what goes on in your child(ren)'s day-to-day real life safety levels than about what could theoretically come from blogging about them?

How do you feel about bloggers who have different views on blogging security than your own?

These are the things I want to know.

I know, and read, lots of "famous" mommy bloggers who go the full disclosure route - giving their kid(s) names, ages, and posting adorable picture. I love them!

I also know, and read, other "famous" mommy bloggers who don't name their children on their sites or post their pictures. Love them too!

Then there are all the thousands of bloggers in between. Each and every one of them having slightly different takes on blogging's safety.

I know for myself, in terms of the blogs I read, I'm truly grateful to be able to see pictures of and hear stories about their families in many cases.

For instance, I feel closer to my cousin and his family - who are currently overseas and before that lived in the states, but far enough away that I very rarely saw them - than I have in years. All because we read each other's blogs and see each other's pictures.

As for my own blog, I use a pseudonym for my daughter here. And on the topic of photos, I've recently switched my thinking on this - preferring to now post only those that don't show her face.

Still, to me, daily real-life practices and behaviors pose a far greater risk to my family and I than any info gleaned from this here site.

Then again, there is that valid thought that - why even give the "bad guys" the option to gather more info on my kid than they could otherwise get without the blog?

Therein lies the debate - To disclose or not to disclose? - that is the question.

The ladies over at Mommy Bloggers recently posted some great entries on these very topics. Find them here and here.

Now, it's your turn. Discuss amongst yourselves. Or, actually, in my comments. That would be good. Or via my contact info, if that makes you more comfortable. Even start your own discussions on your own blogs. Whatever. I just think it would be a great discussion to have. And interesting. And important. I think.

Now go!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #69 - Wise Beyond Her Years Edition

This past Wednesday was my mom's birthday. Sweetie asked her,

So, how old are you, Nana?

Oh, I'm really old. I'm 64.

No, Nana. Old isn't "old". Old is just a number - like I'm 4-years old.

Right you are, Sweetie. Old IS just a number. And do you know how old your great-grandmother is? She's 94!

That IS old!


I don't know if you know this, but Sweetie is so freakin' smart. Most notably is how easily she can get around on the computer. She knows the icon to click to get onto the internet. She knows where her name is in our menu bar (and thus where to click to get to And she knows where the Google Search field is and how to spell basic words to get her where she wants. For example (and, yes, I did check this out beforehand to see what websites turned up with this word...), she knows to spell "peep" in the search field, which leads her to the top choice in the results of

Last weekend Sweetie was wanting to go on the computer. As I had just sat myself down for a minute, I didn't particularly feel like getting up to help her get to the site she wanted. She said she wanted to go to

If you can get yourself there on your own - go right ahead.

Okay. (sits at the laptop, clicks and types for a bit, then....)

Aaah, mom. I forgotted how to spell "kids".

Then, as she finished her thought, she wordlessly hopped down from the desk chair and determinedly headed off to the bathroom. Five seconds later, she was back, muttering,

k-i-d-s. Got it. (obviously, there's something in our bathroom that she knows has the word "kids" on it. Darned if I know what that is, though).

A few seconds more and there she was - bipping around the fun kid's site just as happy as could be.


More Mrs. Smartypants stuff - a couple days ago Sweetie was looking at a page of a magazine we have lying on the floor in the bathroom. One page was fully open, with the other page folded around to the back, leaving only a small portion of that page's contents accessible to Sweetie's eye.

Mom, I see the word "you".

Where? (I looked and looked at the one full page showing and could not for the life of me see where she saw it).

Right there!

Then she pointed out to me where she saw the word on the page that was folded back. But, oh!, it was a mistake!

Oh! It says "your"! But I only could see that is said "you". I thought it said "you" by an accident! Ha!


Another magazine-related story: Sweetie and Nana were looking at a magazine this week when Sweetie correctly pointed out to her,

Look, that says ________ (our last name)!

Now our last name is only middlin' hard to sound out for the average kindergartener, I'd imagine. And certainly she knows what her name is and what it looks like. But to pick it out, completely randomly, from some old catalog at my mom's house - now that's impressive!


Lastly - even though we haven't done too much with her map puzzle lately, I did take it out a few weeks ago to show her that we were going to Connecticut soon. And that when we went to the Chocolate Place, we'd be driving all the way to Pennsylvania.

But before I got a chance to point out the latter, Sweetie pointed to the correct puzzle piece as she asked me,

That's Pennsylvania, right?

Right you are, Sweetie! Right you are.

You're just too darn smart.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Plugging Away - Linky-Love Style

Hi, All! Just stopping in for a quick minute to let you know about the article in The Boston Herald about New England Mamas.

Find the article here. It's a pretty cool interview. Mrs. Chicky is one cool chick! I'm proud to be a contributing Mama.

Okay, that's enough of that. Must get back to Harry. Good night!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Mama Monday #69

Theme: Sticky

Well hello there! I'm baaaaccckkk!

My blogging vacation/Family Week was highly enjoyable. Not that I stayed completely away from the computer. I still checked email, read blogs, and surfed the 'net as usual. But not having the responsibility of blogging - that was awesome. I read, played, cleaned, and went to sleep earlier than usual. Yay!

Sweetie had quite a week too.

There was Fairy Dance Camp (Part Deux - Electric Boogaloo)

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Lemonade Stand Day

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Excavator Driving

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(Hold up! Don't get all excited, now. This is only an illusion. Let it be known - here and now - that at no time was Sweetie in actual control of any heavy machinery controls.... much).

And last but not least, we treated Sweetie to her first time out on the links.

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She also said some pretty cute things this week. For instance, she's now clearly told us that,

...I love sleep overs! And even I've never had a sleep over.

Also, contrary to popular belief, she does in fact like silence in her life every once in awhile:

Daddy, I turned off the T.V. It was making peace and loud. And I wanted peace and quiet.

You may also be interested to know, in case you were wondering, that she's in complete control of her... uh... self:

I have to go potty! (we race to the ice cream stand public restroom. She assumes the position). Oh, no. It was just my underwear in my bum. I don't have to go potty.

And as far as wine recommendations from me? Well - you may very well like this one and/or this one. I do.

Have I covered everything? I think so....

Anyway, as I knew heading into my blogging vacation, I now realize more than ever just how sticky a situation it can be to be a blogging mommy.

I mean, here I am putting my story out there, intent on constantly updating my blog so I can tell you all about the wonderfully bonding experiences Sweetie and I share together. While at the same time I'm pushing Sweetie away, telling her to sit quietly or go play something on her own while I type away on the keyboard.

Quiet, Sweetie! Don't you understand?! I'm writing about how much I love you and how important you are to me. Now go away while I finish telling everyone about all the fun we're having together.

See? Sticky. A sticky, thin tight rope of conflicting ideas. Plain and simple.

So I'm writing this here entry Sunday night. Sweetie is in bed and Hubby is watching T.V. Tomorrow all I'll have to do is hit "Publish" and then be done with it. After all - tomorrow is Sweetie and Mommy Day. And so it shall be.

I know I'm going to be a lot more attentive to Sweetie's needs now. I always post a Sunday blog entry, for instance. And that usually means either Hubby has to watch after Sweetie for awhile while I type or she has to find something to entertain herself for the duration of my writing time.

Now? Hopefully I'll find time Saturday nights to write my Sunday posts. Or, if I'm lucky, Hubby will still occasionally be able to mind her for a bit on Sundays while I write. It's even possible that she'll take it upon herself to go play in her room for a good long time - enough for me to do my bloggin' thing.

But now if Sweetie comes running.... if Sweetie needs me.... I will stop and pay attention. Not that I've truly ignored her in the past. It's just, admittedly, I've certainly gotten annoyed when she's called me away from the computer for whatever 4-year old silly reasons she can come up with to get my attention on her.

Don't get me wrong. I am loving how independent Sweetie's becoming. I'm loving how computer savvy she is for her age. She's certainly very smart, creative, funny, outgoing and optimistic. I don't for a minute think she could be a better little girl than she already is had I given her a few extra hours each week. She is who she is and she's great.

It was simply never my intent to ignore Sweetie at the same time that I'm writing about her and I. My experiences as a disabled mom raising a healthy little girl - that's big stuff. Not every single day, mind you. But often enough. It's important enough to me that I even consider writing this blog to be my part time (albeit very low paying) job. But a job that I can share with Sweetie - not push her to the side while I tend to it. After all, without Sweetie, there'd be no blog.

I just don't want life - hers, mine, Hubby's, ours - to get any stickier than it already has due to too much individual time on the computer - for any of us. Too much separate togetherness going on here - not enough family togetherness.

So here's to more Family Time. More live entertainment. More outdoor play. More family conversations. More real time together.

Stick with me, Sweetie. You and I - we have interesting stories to tell and important information to share.

Together, we can change the world.