Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mama Sunday - Special Edition

Theme: Decision

Sorry, no wine post today. Try again next week, please.

In fact, no posts at all for a week.

That's right. I've made a decision. For the good of my family - I'm taking a blogging break.

I'm really feeling that Sweetie sometimes starves for attention while Daddy is busy working on the house and I am trying to get blog posts written.

The next thing I know, Sweetie wants her own computer time - which is fine, and I'll give it to her. But after awhile I'm anxious for her to get off, just so I can get back on.

Today was a very tiring day.

Sweetie is particularly whiny. She's bored - not that she's using that word, but I can definitely tell that she's itching for something to do. However, everything we suggest, or she herself decides she wants to do (with us or herself alone) has more times than not ended in whines and tears. And fights with Mommy and Daddy.

I do feel bad. I understand she's frustrated and wanting us to interact with her. But today...

Hubby and I are so tired. Don't know why, really. But I'm yawning my head off and he's liable to snore on the couch at any moment.

We need more in our lives right now than hourly fights over who gets possession of the computer right now. We need to play together, read together, learn together, and spend time - together.

With that said - I'll see you in a week. I've got a whole lot of things to accomplish, on my own (cleaning, reading, crafting) and with the family (reading, dancing, playing and so much more).

Yep. Family Week.

And that's my final decision.


In the mean time, please check out my friend Courtney's new blog - Mama Mia, Here I Go Again. I'm so proud! She's another SB mom, raising her healthy daughter. But she's got extra challenges as well. She just posted her first entry today and it looks like she's going to have a busy week. But hopefully she'll post more soon. Stop by her site, read about what's going on for her, find out why she's so awesome, and welcome her to the neighborhood, won't you? Thanks!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #68

Sweetie and I were getting ready to leave the house the other day. Remembering my most recent adventure, I was intent on making sure I had everything I needed before we left the house.

I noted aloud:

Okay, I have the house key. I have the Saturn key.

Hey, Mom! We don't live on Saturn. We live on the Earth.


If you have been reading me for awhile and/or you know a thing or two about spina bifida, you'll know that I have certain special equipment to help me take care of my personal care - namely, catheters and vinyl gloves.

The gloves come in handy for lots of things, actually - from coloring my hair to dying easter eggs.

So on our trip last weekend when I asked Sweetie to find a book she was looking for in the blue bag we'd packed, she instead found my little blue bathroom bag.

Mom, I can't find the book. But I found the gloves for dying Easter eggs. I'll put them right here so they don't get smooshed.


On a related bathroom note, the three of us recently went to The Popcorn Store. Before the show, Sweetie and I took a side trip to the bathroom.

Now, Sweetie's been in the bathroom with me a countless number of times. Including other stops in small public bathroom stalls. But I don't think we've ever been in one that was this small before. So, in this instance, there was no escaping each other.

Therefore, this bathroom stop was the first time Sweetie's ever taken any real notice of my catheter.

But what did she say about it? Not much - she simply surmised:

Oh, grown-ups use that.


Guess what?! Sweetie actually had a Water Day this week at school. Yahoo!

As we were leaving her classroom, I noticed we'd forgotten her swim bag. I sent her back to her cubby to retrieve it - leaving me surrounded by several of her classmates.

They had lots of questions for me:

What's wrong with you?

What's that on your legs?

Oh - that's like a cane, but it's a stick with a little thingy at the bottom.

I thought you were a robot!

Uh. Maybe a "Sweetie's Mommy Show-and-Tell Day" would be a good idea after all.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Worth The Price Of Admission

You know that Summer Program at Sweetie's school that I grumbled about the other day? The one with no Water Days as well as poor excuses for in-house field trips? Well...

Today was Wacky Wednesday at Sweetie's school. That meant inside-out shorts (that were a checkered pattern), a backwards shirt (that was striped), a silly top knot hairdo (that was actually very cute), and a long necklace that looked like a string of tiny Christmas lights.

It also meant Build-A-Bear came to her school with all the bear-building accessories a little kid could ever desire. Sweetie proudly brought home her bow-utiful, big bear to introduce to her Teddy, Bunny and Curious George.

That bear alone, I'm sure, was worth the extra money I paid for her to participate in this otherwise lackluster Summer Program.

Better yet - it all made for one silly, cute, and happy Sweetie.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mama Monday #68

Theme: Magical

Hubby, Sweetie and I just got back from an overnight trip with my side of the family. We went to Colchester, CT to see this. Not exactly our idea of a dream vacation, but it's what my dad wanted. He and mom (and occasionally one or more of my brothers) have gone to the last several annual events.

But this year Dad wanted us all to go. And so we did. All 20 of us - 22 including my uncle and his girlfriend who came down for the day. Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. Throw in the oldest niece's and nephew's significant others and you've got yourself one big family.

So the show itself was more interesting than I thought it would be. About 200 acres of trucks, tractors, piles of dirt for the earth movers to move, vendors and food. It was a gorgeous day and, with a play area for the younger kids, we were able to entertain ourselves there for quite awhile.

But for us the best part came later, when we all went out for a big family dinner, then back to the hotel for some pool time before turning in for the night. Sweetie was ecstatic that her bed game could be swimming. This, from a girl who's never been in anything deeper than a back yard kiddie pool (well, if you don't count a quick dip in the lake with Daddy when she was 7 or 8 months old)!

She did great! No fear at all. And while the whole lot of us had fun playing Keep Away and generally rough-housing in the water, everyone from her Daddy, to cousins, to aunts and uncles and boyfriends and girlfriends took a gentle turn with Sweetie and her younger cousin - holding them, playing with them, and keeping a close watch on them to make sure they were safe, happy and out of harms way.

I swam some as well - something I haven't done in literally 10+ years. But I did escape the water before the real craziness set in. At that point I soaked in the hot tub before joining mom, dad and my oldest brother as they watched the action from the sidelines.

Sitting there, taking it all in - all the splashing, all the loudness, all the joy, fun and excitement going on - I was struck by the true magic of the moment.

Wow. This is everyone. We're all here, right now, in the moment.

I remember visiting my grandparents in MA when I was a little girl. I grew up in OH and so every summer we'd drive up for a week or two of vacation. All of my dad's side of the family lived (and still do live) in MA so this was the time, once a year, when we could all finally get together and visit for awhile.

I remember the adults often talking amongst themselves, marvelling in the fact that - this is it, we're all here. This is everyone. None of us would be here if not for my grandparents. Without them starting their family of 4 boys, none of the rest of us would be here - at least not in this place at this time.

And so we've come full circle. Now, as a grown woman with a family of my own. Now, as the youngest member of my immediate family with all my older brothers married with children. Now, with my oldest niece and nephew who are young adults/older teenagers forming their own relationships and placing the building blocks for their own futures. I see the magic again. I see what we've become and who we are - all because of the love my parents have for each other and for all of us.

This is it.

This is memory making.

This is family.

This is all we need.

This is truly magical.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sniff, Swirl & Sip Sunday #3

Welcome back! Come on in, sit right down, and enjoy some of today's offerings.

White: 2005 Steeple Street, Chardonnay

This is a California wine with a California feel. Cool and mellow, dude. That's what's it's all about. I tasted this for the first time a couple weeks ago, right after having tasted a Reisling. Where the Reisling was a bold taste experience, the Chardonnay was refreshing and easy. Described as having a creamy oakiness and full of citrus aromas and flavors, The Steeple Street Chardonnay would pair nicely with fish, poultry and pastas.

Red: 2005 Landmark, Grand Detour Pinot Noir

Hubby and I first tasted this wine at a Pinot Party we had back in May. Each of our guests were to bring along a Pinot to share - Gris, Grigio, Blanc or Noir. One couple brought this Landmark. And not just because it was what they were easily able to find at the nearest convenience store. No - they specifically sought this wine out and were eager for us all to imbibe. Shortly after the Landmark was uncorked, Hubby was spotted sniffing, swirling and sipping this luscious Noir along with the buddy who introduced it to us. Then I had to have my own taste. In a word - awesome! This wine from Sonoma Valley, CA has everything - full fruit flavors with hints of cinnamon, toffee and toast. Supple tannins make it an easy medium-bodied red to pair with your next Sunday dinner of roast beef, salmon or pork. Then pour yourself a second glass to go along with that chocolate dessert. Divine!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #67 - The Life & Times of This Here Sweetie Edition

Every so often I ask Sweetie a philosophical question. Just to see what's going on in that cute little head of hers, you know? For instance, I once asked her,

Where were you before you were born?

I don't know, but that's a very good question!

More recently - and knowing she now knows she was in Mommy's tummy before she was born - I asked her how exactly she got there.

Well, I was a teeny tiny baby and I crawled up your shirt and you opened your mouth REALLY big - like this - and I crawled in your mouth. And you swallowed me into your tummy!

And then, of course, on another occasion I had to ask her if she knew what it means to die.

It means you turn into a statue forever and ever! (commense with the stiff exaggerated "O" shaped mouth, wide eyes, and rigid arms straight against her sides)

Oh, Sweetie. If only the answers were that simple. For now, though, you've got some really great ideas about this big thing called life.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

So This One Time?... At Fairy Dance Camp?...

... When Sweetie looked so dang cute? And I was so prepared? Cuz, you know, I packed the camera and everything? I even brought a book for me to read? And we were ready to go in plenty of time?

And then? I saw it was raining out? So I had us get our rain jackets? And I bagged up all the stuff we needed? And I ushered Sweetie out to the car? With her bag full of stuff on my shoulder? And I closed the kitchen door behind me? And after Sweetie was in the car? I went for my purse?

And it wasn't there? Cuz it was locked in the house? With my car keys? And cell phone?

And my heart started pounding?

And I almost started crying?

And it was raining?

So we went to the neighbor's house?

And I knocked and yelled like a mad woman? I'm your neighbor!? I'm your neighbor!? And they (unbelievably) let us in?

And I called Papa Dave to come get us? And take us to Fairy Dance Camp? Really fast?!

Then I called Fairy Dance Camp? And they offered that Sweetie come a different time? And I was all, Oh no! She'd be so upset if she couldn't come today!?

And then we waited for Papa Dave? And waited? And I finally asked Sweetie if she'd rather go today, having missed some of the Camp? Or does she want to go a different day for the whole time? And she said she'd rather wait?

And then Papa Dave arrived? With Uncle Rob? And we just went back to Nana and Papa's house for the day?

And Sweetie was fine with this whole thing? Even though she'd been looking forward to this day for a couple months now? And I was the one who was so upset about having to miss Fairy Dance Camp today?

But Sweetie had a great time in her dance skirt and shoes at Nana's house anyway?

And now? We have to do it all over again on another day?

Except? Without the whole locking-us-out-of-the-house thing? With no car keys?

Because? Then? I really will be able to tell you? About this one time? At Fairy Dance Camp?...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mama Monday #67

Theme: Responsibility

My life, like for most people - moms especially - is filled with many responsibilities

Here are some of the responsibilities I'm staring down right now:

I have a responsibility to answer some interview questions for an upcoming Parenting NH article.

I have a responsibility to write and submit a book review to 1 or 2 publications for a great book I recently read, written by a friend.

I have a responsibility to review some kids' products here on my blog (We got 'em. Sweetie's not terribly interested in them. Hubby and I aren't completely overwhelmed with their awesomeness or anything, although I'm sure the right products for the interested child would go over well. There - is that enough of a review for you?)

I have some shoes I ordered that I have a responsibility to pack up and ship back - probably at my own expense.

I have a responsiblity to keep my wine customers happy. Thus far this has meant having to call Customer Service quite often in the last week or so - sometimes keeping me on hold for upwards of 1 hour - and sometimes having to disappoint my customers with subsitute wines when the ones they prefer are out of stock.

I'm running out of scheduled wine parties and have a responsibility to get myself some new contacts, get on the phone or email, and start hitting people up to book a party with me.

I have bills to pay and get in today's mail (note to self - more wine parties would help pay these bills.... or would they? Right now, I'm kinda seeing the opposite of this being the case).

I have a responsibility to read our next Book Club selection. I'm a slow, albeit eager, reader. So this is going to take some major time and effort to get through the 300+ pages before early August.

I have a responsibility to call Sweetie's pre-school and complain about my dissatisfaction so far with their so-called Summer Program. I'm paying extra money for her to watch videos and NOT have promised Water Days. Yahoo.

I'm on vacation this week - Hubby is not. This means it's my responsibility to entertain Sweetie all on my own. Family is in town starting tomorrow, though. So visiting them will certainly help fill the time. And Fairy Dance Camp is Wednesday morning - so there's that. Otherwise.... I may very well go insane dealing with/fighting with/entertaining dear little Sweetie who has been very grumpy lately (and, therefore, making me very short tempered and grumpy too). Right now she's playing Hullabaloo while I take care of this responsibility - writing my posts for my regular readers.

(Well - at least she's doing something active, if not interactive with her ever-lovin' Mama.)

I have a responsibility to put the house in order - at least getting the laundry done, the bathrooms tidied, the rugs vacuumed, and the dishes washed (by hand).

And I have a responsibility to keep not only myself, but my family happy as well. And right now with my tired, grumpy, overwhelmed state of being - I'm finding this responsibility to be the most difficult to fulfill.

Hubby wants to see a movie that I don't want to see. Going with him would compromise what I want to do and not make me a very pleasant moving-going companion. Not going with him deprives him of what he really wants to do.

Sweetie wants to play on the computer. I have to write/work on the computer. Letting Sweetie play for too long deprives me of getting some of my responsibilities fulfilled. Which I guess I don't really mind - I can do other things. But enough is enough, you know? Not allowing her to play means that A) she's completely upset, B) I will be on the computer instead and, thus, not playing with her (note the presence of Hullabaloo in our lives).

And me? I can't even tell you what I want to do....

Hmmmmm.... not worry about any of this stuff? Go to bed early every night - like I did last night - and just proclaim, Fiddle dee dee! I'll worry about that tomorrow.? That's a start, I guess. But very difficult, if not impossible, to do. And definitely not proactive at all.

But there you go. That's about as much responsibilty as I can take right now - committing to extra sleep.

Too bad the rest of the world doesn't revolve around me and what I want/need, huh?


Updated to say.... You know, getting up and actually doing stuff really makes you feel better! The bills are paid, the interview questions are answered, the pre-school has been called, the laundry is in the dryer, Sweetie has been happily building with her blocks and playing with her Play-doh for at least an hour now... and maybe I'll even find some time to read today while Sweetie plays outside. Things are looking a-okay after all.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sniff, Swirl & Sip Sunday #2

Today I'll be reviewing 3 more wines from the inventory at The Traveling Vineyard. Come along with me on this senses-stimulating adventure.

White: 2006 Speiss, Eden Valley Riesling

I just tried this wine for the first time at a wine tasting I conducted yesterday. This is a dry white that is full of vibrant citrus and floral flavors. Reislings are a great wine to have with seafood, and this one is no exception. Pick this one from South Australia next time you want to throw some shrimps on the barbie. Also a great choice for those of you who enjoy spicey foods - you can't go wrong with Riesling!

Red: 2004 Paseo Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon

This is the wine that convinced my self-professed-only-white-zin-loving-mother-in-law that she just may have to branch out a little bit more. From Maule Valley, Chile, the Paseo is rich with aromas of cassis, black pepper, vanilla and toast, while the flavor is fully fruity. Pairing nicely with everything from steak to vegetarian options to pizza, there's truly no way to go wrong with this choice.

Blush: 2006 Paseo Reserve, Syrah Rose'

Okay, okay. I admit. This is one wine I haven't yet tried. But given the rave reviews I've received and personally endorse from the Paseo Cab Sauv mentioned above, I'd say this rose' from the same winery has also got to be a winner. So if you are someone, like many wine drinkers out there, who tends to stick with the white zin/rose'/blush family of flavors, why not pick this one up and give it a shot? This Chilean choice with its bright, lively color and elegant label will also please you if you usually choose wines by the beauty of the bottle. Whatever your motivation or manner of decision making, this wine is sure to make you happy, as it complements both a wide variety of palates and pairs perfectly with a wide variety of food options.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #66 - Fun With Daddy Edition

Wouldn't you know it... just as soon as I posted last week's Sweetie Saturday, she started in with more great Sweetie-isms. I think the first one she said was directed to our cat, Spoon!.

You're so delicate, Spoon!.

And just a little while later, she followed this up with her proclamation that,

My feet are allergic to smoothies.


Speaking of smoothies, here's a good story...

Last weekend I bought Sweetie a pink ballet skirted unitard for her upcoming Fairy Dance Camp. On Sunday morning I had her try it on. She loved it! She kept it on for quite awhile.

When Daddy woke up he decided he'd make himself a chocolate smoothie. Sweetie asked if she could have some too.

Sure, but not while you're wearing your new dance dress.

Well... I don't want a smoothie, then.


But then, in the next 5 seconds when Daddy turned around to talk to Sweetie again, there she stood - naked as a jaybird, assuring Daddy that,

Well, I do want a smoothie. I only like them a little bit.


Told to Daddy as he and Sweetie lay in the hammock at Grammy and Grampy's house,

Mmmmmm... I smell the clouds. They smell like ravioli and... cloud oatmeal.


While "helping" Daddy clear out some junk from the attic...

Where's my trusty boat?

What are you looking for?

My trusty boat!

I don't remember it. - She never had a boat.

It's my trusty boat!

Then, she spied her trusty camera. A Fisher Price toy from our childhood, that showed pictures of animals from a 1973 trip to the zoo.

That's our trusty Sweetie! Always coming through for us with the cuteness.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Free To Eat Stew And Peas

...Well, vegetarian or fish stew, anyway. Cuz we don't eat red meat, you see. Whatever. That's besides the point.

Remember I said I was working on a new idea of how to get my dear little picky Sweetie to eat more? And how I didn't want to write about it yet cuz I didn't want to jinx anything?

Well, it's only been a week now, but things are looking good in this department. So let me tell you what I've done.... and what got me here in the first place.

See, the bane of my parenting existence has always been getting Sweetie to eat. To eat at dinner time, mostly. Breakfasts are no problem - she gets a breakfast bar or requests waffles, oatmeal, or the like. And lunches are generally fine - a PB&J sandwich or mac & cheese will work well for her.

But OMG! Dinner! The fighting! The whining! The bribery! Please just make it stop!

Much more often than not Hubby and I have to cajole and bribe and fight with Sweetie for a good long while - maybe 20-30 minutes - before she'll grumpily eat the very bare minimum required of her. It's a fight to the finish and I suppose we usually win - but not without some major back & forth and less-than-satisfactory compromises.

Last week, well... let's just say I HAD HAD IT! I'm not going to go into the whole story, but a particularly bad non-food eating experience had me explaining to Sweetie that I was NOT going to fight with her about food anymore.

Thinking about this further, I decided I'd take it one step further. I told her we had a new family rule:


Either she ate what she was given or she went to bed. That was it. No other choices.

Hubby and I agreed with each other that this was so - she ate or was sent, calmly, to her room (or whatever Time Out room we designated at whomever's house we were at). No bribing her with treats, no big fuss or angry tone. She just needs to eat... or leave.

So... Sweetie heard this new Family Rule. Understood the conditions. And agreed to it.

At first, I seriously drilled it into her brain - I asked her in the morning what the new rule was. I asked her at night right before bed. I asked her at every meal. I really wanted her to become One with it. And she quickly did.

Now it's been a full week since we started this. And let me tell ya... we are living our own little personal American Dream!

Not one fight. Not one whine. She eats her meals and sometimes asks for more!

We've even tested the theory by giving her less than kid-friendly dinners - like shrimp, noodles and veggie stir fry. For that she did calmly request that she not be given any broccoli, which we granted. But lo and behold, she asked for - and ate - more pea pods than she was originally given.

For that meal she also didn't finish her whole bowl of food. But she ate more than she usually does, so we were impressed nonetheless. And when she was done, she simply said,

I'm done now.

Using my last ditch effort, I asked her if she'd take just one more bite.

No thank you. I'm done.

Well okay then. Manners and eating. Can I get an Amen?!

I admit, last night was just the tiniest bit dicey, only because I asked her if she wanted me to make her 4 or 5 chicken nuggets. She wanted only 4 - but I ended up cooking 5. Because doing so would leave a goodly amount for one more Sweetie-sized serving. I didn't intend for her to eat that last one - Hubby could.

So she saw that I did the 5 and she did start to freak a little. But I reminded her of The Rule and assured her Daddy would eat the 5th one. She quickly calmed down, ate her 4 beloved chicken nuggets, and happily went about her evening.

Even at Grammy's and Grampy's this past weekend for lunch - she ate her entire PB&J sandwhich with no problem (albeit inside at the kitchen counter - her request - while everyone else was outside on the deck. No biggie. At least she ate).

And pizza at Papa and Nana's? Usually a long, angry, tiring trip to Bribe City? No problem - she came right to the table and ate her entire slice (even the crust!) with not one reminder from me.

Truth be told, I really feel like Sweetie is relieved to have this rule in her life. It's as if we've freed her from her dreaded role of Food Whiner. Like she never was terribly interested in fighting so much, it's just what she was supposed to do.

But now? I'm telling you - Hubby and I are so happy to not have to fight with her at every meal that when we express to her how proud we are of her, well... she absolutely beams!

Now I don't have to remind her so much of the rules. I just end each day by asking her,

And who's following the new Family Rule so totally awesomely great?!

Her giddily proud answer...


You betcha, Sweetie. You're doing so great. Keep up the good work.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Mama Monday #66

Theme: Honesty

I'm currently reading the novel Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. I read it before, about 8-10 years ago. And picking it up this time around confirms to me just how much I love this book. I'd definitely say it's in my top 10 (maybe top 5) best books ever list of favorites.

This story involves a series of mysterious philosophy lessons delivered to a teenaged girl named Sophie. As Sophie gets her lessons in philosophy, so does the reader. Thus, I'm getting very familiar with the teachings of many of history's great thinkers.

For example, I just read Sophie's lesson about Socrates. I've already studied Socrates in HS and college, but reading the information again in the context of this novel makes it all the more thought provoking, intriguing and exciting.

One of the theories Sophie's philosophy teacher explains to her through Socrates practices is the following: Wisest is she who knows she does not know. That is to say, Socrates knew he did not know everything. He accepted this, was troubled by it, and spent his days questioning and learning as much as he could.

Others in his time (and throughout history), by contrast, proclaimed that they knew everything. They touted their intelligence, having people give them money in exchange for just a little bit of this abundance of knowledge they had.

However, once Socrates confronted these self-proclaimed smarty pants, he started questioning them. Not abusively, but in a conversational way. He truly wanted to find out just how much they knew. But in doing so, because they couldn't answer all of Socrates' questions, he pointed out to them just how little they knew.

Again - Socrates was wise because he knew how little he knew. It troubled him that he knew so little, and therefore he was excited and genuinely interested in learning all that he could. He was a true philosopher.

Children are just like Socrates in many ways. They are little philosophers - always questioning, always seeking the truth, constantly learning, and always experimenting with what they know.

Little kids are the best at this. Some say that 9 or 10 year olds are the "best" age because they're old enough to reason with and carry on a good conversation. But I say younger kids - pre-school/kindergarten aged - are the best. Because no matter what, whether you like it or not, they will give you the truth (or at least the truth as they see it).

So often Sweetie will tell Hubby and I a complicated story about why something is the way it is. Many times this explanation will include some nonsense words and mumblings. She's trying to tell us why the situation is what it is, breezing past the vocabulary she doesn't yet have a firm hold on. That often leaves Hubby and I asking her,

What does that mean?

Her immediate and confident answer?

It doesn't mean anything!

She knows she just used a whole bunch of made up words. And she knows she doesn't exactly know what she's trying to express. And she's good with that. Eventually she'll get it and that's all that matters.

My niece is studying to be a teacher. She explained to me once how, up until the school-aged years, kids often seem to have such awesome memories. And they do - because they're trying to learn so much and they don't know yet what can be filtered out and what is more valuable knowledge to retain (please correct me, Abby, if I got that a little mixed up). They just keep it all with them. It's all important when you're just starting out in life, right?

I for one am thoroughly enjoying my Little Philosopher. My little Truth Seeker. She is honest in her quest for knowledge. For now at least she's giving us her honest opinions and living out the most honestly inquisitive life she can.

As the smarty pants grown ups that we are - sometimes her honesty is more than Hubby and I can handle or harder to swallow than we'd prefer.

But as philosophical parents who appreciate just how little we know - watching Sweetie grow, learn and love honestly is the best life lesson there can be.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sniff, Swirl & Sip Sunday #1

Have you noticed that for the last several Sundays (at least!), I've kind of slacked off in the meaningful essay-style posts? Yeah, well... I say, when you've got a good thing going, carry on!

But yet, I don't want to be completely meaningless. What can I give y'all that is both easy enough for me, yet interesting/helpful enough for you?

Aha! When in doubt, bring out the wine!

Welcome to my very first Sniff, Swirl & Sip Sunday post! Each Sunday (for the rest of the summer, at least) I'll provide you with some specifics on a great red and white wine. Maybe I'll even throw in a blush from time to time. It will be fun. I'll even give you the links to where you can learn more about the discussed wines and/or anything else sold at my Traveling Vineyard site.

And away we go!

Red: 2002 Paradis, Cask Reserve 21 Cabernet Sauvignon.

This is THE wine that turned me into a red wine lover. From Monterey County, CA, it's a truly delicious cab sauv rich with aromas of berries and chocolate. I could sit, swirl and sniff this wine all afternoon. But actually sipping it, paired with dark chocolate chunks, sesame honey almonds, or aged gouda cheese - it's just to die for. Yum!

White: 2005 Meda Margherita, Moscato d'Asti.

This Italian dessert wine is absolutely delightful! Every wine party guest I've had taste this has L-O-V-E-D it! It's got a little bubbliness to it and it's sweet, but not too sweet. The Moscato pairs great with strawberries, melon, pastries... or could cap off your meal quite nicely all on its own. Sweet and scrumptious!

Blush: 2006 Rushdale, Robertson Cabernet Sauvignon Rose'

The Traveling Vineyard does not offer much by way of rose' wines. So you know when they offer a new one, it's got to be something special. Paired with chicken, shrimp, or asiago cheese and crackers, this South African wine's flavors really come to life. What a nice wine to sip pool side on a hot summer's day!

So, there you go. Click the links, look around My Cellar, and find yourself a nice little treat. Also great as a gift for all those summer weddings you're heading off to.

Be sure to come back next Sunday to see 2 or 3 great new selections. Until then, happy sipping!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sweetie Saturday #65 - The Lame Edition

Uhhhh..... Again with the uhhhh.... Is Sweetie getting too old for this? Maybe. But I sure hope not.

Let's see, I already told you here about the pretty poop pile. And here about the drawers droppage. So there's that.

I have a new trick up my sleeve about getting my picky eater to actually eat a thing or two. But it's still in its testing phase, so I'm not ready to jinx anything yet by writing about it. Soon enough I'm sure it will be a post on its own, though.

Also, Sweetie's more and more interested in reading. But I kinda have a whole separate post in my head dedicated to that as well.


Oh! I know!

About a month or more ago Sweetie made a book at school, called My Animal Book. It's simply some Sweetie-colored and cut out pictures of 3 animals - a monkey, a lion, and a kangaroo - and corresponding cut out pre-typed poems. All glued on construction paper and put together like a book. It's pretty cute.

Anyway, this has been the bedtime book of choice for awhile now. But we have Sweetie read it to us instead of us to her.

Even though we know which book she's going to choose, we ask her each night what we're going to read.

My aminal book!

Your what?

See, for as long as I can remember, Sweetie has said aminal instead of animal. We've never bothered to correct her. You know, cuz it's cute and all. And who's it really hurting anyway?

But now that she's reading we're getting on her more and more about saying, and reading, words correctly.

Now it's to the point that we've corrected her so much that she always requests,

I want to read my an-i-mal book.

Good job, Sweetie! You got it!

And... that's it for today, then. Guess we're in a dry spell. Oh well. Better luck next time!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

If It's Not One Thing, It's Another....

Have I ever mentioned here how much I hate loud, sudden noises? How I'm literally scared of thunder and lightening? I even kinda/sorta/maybe think I heard somewhere that it could be related to spina bifida. Anyone else out there with SB who feels the same about noises as I do? Just wondering.

Anyway. You can imagine just how much I just LOVE Independence Day. Yeah - not so much.

Still, today I decided that I would try to suck it up and allow Hubby, Sweetie and I to go watch a fireworks display tonight. Every year I do feel badly that I'm keeping them from doing something that I know they'd enjoy. The only condition - we had to be situated far enough from the actual display that the noise was at least somewhat softened.

But - oh, too bad! - it's raining out. Fireworks displays have been postponed or outright cancelled. Sure, we've heard a few randon booms now and then, but they seem pretty far off in the distance and, therefore, pretty manageable for me.

Oh well. I just hope we're not in for a thunderstorm. It would be nice if I could get some sleep tonight.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mama Monday #65

Theme: Freedom

Yesterday we spent the day at my Aunt and Uncle's lakeside camp. It was a beautiful, fun and relaxing day.

At one point Sweetie went off in the canoe with my aunt, my cousin and her little girl. When they came back, Sweetie was soaked.

The group had stopped to wade in the water during their adventure. But Sweetie - fully clothed Sweetie - decided to take it a bit further than that.

So upon their return my cousin helped Sweetie change and lent her a nice, warm hoodie to wear while her stuff dried in the sun.

I thought I heard a mention about Sweetie's undies being one of the clothing items on the drying line. But when I asked her, she (I swear) told me she was wearing her underwear.

Later, though, someone brought up the case of the drying clothes again, saying that Sweetie's shirt and undies were almost ready for her to have back.

Confused, I asked Sweetie again,

You're not wearing underwear?


But I thought you said you had them on?

No, I don't. See....

And, thusly, she proceeded to quickly drop her pants - right in the middle of the whole fam damily - to prove to me that she, in fact, was going commando.


Every Saturday morning, the first thing I do is give Sweetie a tubby. She'll come wake me up sometime after 7am, and I tell her to get to the bathroom and get ready for her bath - I'll be right there. This has been our routine for awhile now. Sometimes she's excited to take a bath, and sometimes not so much.

One Saturday morning a couple months back, I guess she was particularly happy about hopping in the tub.

How do I know? Because I woke to the sounds and sights of my cutie little Sweetie, bounding into our bedroom...... absolutely buck nekkid.


Getting Sweetie's clothes on for the day or PJ's on for the night can also be a fun time in our house. Usually it's very routine and no big deal. But on more than one occasion Sweetie has decided that with every new clothing item donned (or for every item she's been stripped of), she must run around our house to show off (to whom, I'm not sure) her current state of undress/dress.

As you can imagine this goes from parades of nakedness; to just socks; to socks and undies; to socks, undies and shirt; to - at long last and upwards of maybe 5 minutes later - a fully dressed little girl.

Ahhhhhh.... Freedom. To be that young and carefree again. How wonderful to be so free.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Please Excuse Amy....

...for missing today's regularly scheduled post. I was on my way...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket my Aunt and Uncle's lakeside camp for the day.

We all had a great time! Especially Sweetie, who right away wanted to do what Mommy got to do - ride in the canoe!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

She loved it! But it wore Daddy out.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sweetie, though, still had tons of energy to play with her little 1st cousin once removed.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

While I sat myself down and enjoyed the pretty view for most of the day.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Until, that is, I had to visit the potty (or, as Sweetie referred to it, the pretty poop pile).

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Actually, for an outhouse, it really was a fun sort of place, complete with tons of interesting reading material.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Pretty soon it was time for folks to head back out onto the water

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And time for Sweetie and friends to head out on their second canoe trip of the day

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

After which she had to be stripped of much of her soaking wet clothing (you see, they stopped at a sandy part of the shore to - ahem - wade in the water) and put on this borrowed hoodie

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

But did I care? No! Cuz I was drinking this

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

But not to worry. Soon enough the drinks were accompanied by food. Burgers of all types - veggie, beef and turkey. You name it, they got it!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Shortly thereafter, it was time to say our goodbyes and thank you's for a lovely (if a bit chilly for July 1st) summer day.

Ahhhh... what a life! We can't wait until next summer to do it all again.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket