Once upon a time in Miss A’s world…

So this evening Miss A and I were camping out, watching My Little Pony and enjoying our time together, when I had to go to the bathroom. It happens. And when you have a 3 year old, it’s never easy to navigate the right time for it to happen. This time, she was wrapped up in watching My Little Pony so I just went upstairs to go to the bathroom without saying anything.

No sooner had I sat down on the seat, I hear, “MOMMY! WHERE ARE YOU?”

I reply, “I’m in the bathroom! Be right there!”
She yells back, “But Mommy! I need to tell you something!”
I yell: “Okay! Be right there!”
“BUT I NEED TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!” Enter hysterical crying here. I was gone for less than a minute and she was hysterical.

I finish up on the potty and wash my hands and go back downstairs and she is just wailing. I give her a hug and ask her what she needed to tell me.

“I’ll tell you TOMORROW. LEAVE ME ALONE.” she yells.

So I back off and give her some room. She calms down. Silence for a few minutes. Then…

“Mommy, did you know Rainbow Jack can fly?” I assured her that I did.

“Now that you’re calm, do you want to tell me what you wanted to say a minute ago?”

“I just did!”

A Boston Update

Well, we’ve been in Boston just over a week now and all is going better than expected. We are almost fully unpacked, and later this week our new couch is being delivered. I think at that point, we’ll be fully moved in and settled.

Miss A started in her new pre-k program and is loving it. She adjusted really quickly. The first day we dropped her off, we took the tour to find out where everything goes and how her day will be scheduled but when I asked her if she wanted us to hang out, she said “Nope! You can go now!” Her teachers said she’s been having a great time and she’s one of the most polite three year olds they’ve ever met. That makes me proud. I know we’ve worked hard to instill good manners, and they definitely reinforced that at the daycare she was at in Florida.

I was talking with a fellow mom at church this weekend, and she works as a guidance counselor and she clued me in that Boston schools don’t work like Florida’s do. In Florida, you basically are assigned a district, and your child automatically goes to the school assigned to that district. In Boston, there are zones, several schools in that zone, and you have to pick a school in that zone for your child to go to…however, in order to increase your odds of getting a spot in your school of choice, you have to sign your four year old up for K-1, which is prekindergarten but in a public school. That’s actually GREAT news because it’s free, except for after school care. So that’s my task for the week — especially since registration ends this Friday!

On the job front — Mr. Dad is LOVING his new job, and it makes me so happy. It’s a lot less stressful when I know he’ll be home at 6pm instead of “maybe” around 7 or 7:30. I had a great interview last Friday so I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed. I’m working on contract for the company I worked for back in Florida, and enjoying that, but I know it will come to an end so I’m trying to be as proactive as possible.

The weather has been good. There was about 3 inches of snow the day we landed, but then the temperature got up to the mid 50s a couple of days later and it all melted. I went for a run one evening last week and it snowed very lightly while I was out but it was warm enough that none of it stuck.

Finally, last weekend Mr. Dad’s sister, S and her boyfriend came up from Connecticut for a visit and we took the T into the city and went to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market. The geeks in us were drawn to Newbury Comics, which was awesome, and we ate in the Quincy Market Colonnade. Miss A just loved taking the “orange train” to and from the city, and it was a lot of fun. We’d have stayed a lot longer if she hadn’t gotten too tired.

Here are a few pictures just from around the house from the past week. You’ll probably notice a theme. Miss A has never lived somewhere with stairs before, so they’re an obsession for her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My child is sneaky.

Last night I was babysitting my niece and nephew (ages 3 and 5, respectively) and Miss A was at the house with me. My sister’s family just moved and their house is all in boxes, and right in the middle of the room was a box with a bowl full of candy in it. Of course, children ages 3-5 are drawn to candy like moths to a flame and somehow unearthed the box and proceeded to dig in before the parents realized what was happening.

So, of course, after noticing they had eaten about ten pieces of candy each, we took the bowl away. Somehow, they had a stash.

I was making dinner for the kids, and it got quiet. Too quiet. So I went looking for the kids and I heard some whispers and giggles coming from behind an open door.

I peered around the door, and what did I find? Three little ones, giggling, hiding, and secretly opening up their hidden candy stash. All three looked up at me with their candy hidden in their hands behind their backs. Miss A said, “Mommy, go away!”

Oh, those sneaky, sneaky kids…

 

Good news!

I’ve been absent from blogging for a bit…a bit more than I’d like. The holidays came and went (and I promise I WILL get pictures posted) but the main reason for my absence has nothing to do with the holiday season.

In early December, we got some fantastic news. Some unexpected news. Some news that I’m still giddy about, nervous about, excited about and scared about.

Can you guess what it is?

I’ll bet you thought I was going to say that we’re expecting. Well, we are! Just…not a baby.

We’re expecting a BIG move to Boston, MA!
(For those not in the know, we’re currently residents of Central Florida.)

Back in October, on a whim, Mr. Dad applied for a job with a company that makes one of his favorite games (he has worked in the video game industry for about 11 years), thinking he’d never actually hear back from them. Fast forward a month and a half and he’s been granted an irresistible job offer.  He starts on Monday, and Miss A and I will be joining him later this month! I’ve had a few very exciting job interviews as well, so I’m not anticipating it will take me long to find a job up there as well. I’m very fortunate and grateful that in the meantime that my boss is allowing me to telecommute.

So, our holidays were filled with a bit of holiday joy, and a LOT of packing up stuff in boxes, cleaning, selling/donating items we no longer need, and making all sorts of other preparations for the transition.

I guess it’s safe to say 2012 is going to bring a lot of change our way

Review: Moon Dough Truly Is New and Improved!

Miss A and I have been fans of Moon Dough ever since she received her first Moon Dough kit for Christmas last year. It truly is a fun alternative to Playdoh, and I loved how it conformed so well to the molds that came with it. She felt the same. She’d ask to play with it almost every day!

The original Moon Dough formula was not without its drawbacks, though. It was crumbly, so even though it never dried out, bit by bit, it disintegrated until there was none left. I would find it in random places in the carpet, and though it was easy to vacuum out, eventually that whole first Moon Dough packet was gone.

Team Mom recently sent me the new Moon Dough Push-n-Pop Ocean Pals kit for Miss A to try out! It features the brand new Moon Dough formula, as well as the new push and pop molds. Just like the old formula, it never dries out, it’s wheat free and hypo-allergenic, but I found that this new formula truly doesn’t crumble the way the old one did. In fact, three months later, we still have the original Moon Dough that came with the Ocean Pals kit!

Miss A enjoyed it just as much as she did the old Moon Dough. Here she is, playing with her new push-n-pop Ocean Pals!

 

 

 

 

 

Moon Dough is also quite affordable — you can find the kits at retail stores like Target, Walmart, and online at Amazon.com for $10-$20, depending on the size of the kit. Refills for the actual dough run $6-$10, depending on where you buy. This might make a fun and unique Christmas gift for the little ones on your list!

Disclosure: I received a product free of charge for purposes of
review but was not financially compensated for this review in any way.
All content in this article is my opinion and has not been influenced
by the gift of a product or other monetary compensation. Thanks to Team Mom for providing the review sample!

Mommy, tell me about Baby A

The past couple of weeks, Miss A has been very interested in how she was as a baby. One night, she asked me to read a book that was a favorite of hers before she even turned a year old, and I mentioned how she loved that book as a baby, and she loved it so much that her first copy got worn out and I had to buy a replacement.

(For reference, that book was Baby Einstein’s Touch and Feel Baby Animals. Miss A now calls it “the fuzzy book”.)

Ever since telling her that story, she will pull it off the shelf and tell me, “When I was a baby, I loved the fuzzy book, and then it broke and you had to buy me a new one and then I was a big girl!”

So this story about a book has turned into her asking me to tell her a story about “Baby A” almost every night. She absolutely loves to hear about the sweet and silly things she did as a baby, and looking at it from an adult perspective, I feel like it gives her a real sense of who she is and how she became the amazing kid she is now.

Tonight she asked to see a picture of Baby A, so I showed her the hospital photos we had done, and she asked what dress she was wearing. That dress still hangs in her closet, so I took it out and showed her. She said, “Ooh…how small! That wouldn’t fit me now!” And I replied with, “Would you believe when we took that picture, this dress was too big?”

I also practically had her in tears from laughing so hard about some of the things she did as a baby. For example, when she was first learning how to talk, she would pick up one our cell phones, hold it up to her ear and say, “Hello? Chip? Wassup? Goodbye!”

As I was rubbing her back, she was quiet and still, and I thought she was asleep. Then, out of nowhere, she busts out laughing! She had started to drift off and then remembered what I’d told her about the phones, and she just couldn’t stop laughing. It was kind of amazing.

But, wasn’t it just yesterday that she WAS Baby A? It feels like yesterday she was, and now I’m telling stories about that baby to BIG girl A. Kind of surreal.

What’s up and what’s going on…

So, some explanation for the absence that took me away from my regular blogging!

Back in late August/September I had some health issues, and without going too far into the details and giving a play-by-play, I finally got a resolution. But for the better part of two months, I was sick, and fraught with anxiety and panic attacks (part of the issues I was having was related to my anxiety disorder, which is now under control again) but now I’m back to my regularly scheduled life, already in progress.

What a roller coaster that was, though. I could barely function, and went without sleep for nearly three weeks. And by “without sleep”, I mean, I was getting more sleep when Miss A was a newborn. The first night I got a decent night’s sleep I woke up feeling like a new person, and thankfully I’ve been sleeping just fine every since that.

Having gotten the anxiety and other health issues under control (which thankfully turned out to be a big nothing), I went to the dermatologist for a check-up. I had one particular “spot” on my chest I was concerned about being skin cancer, and while I was there, I thought…eh, might as well have her look at these two other things (which I really thought were just scars) on my nose.

The spot on my chest was fine. Spot #1 on my nose was fine. The other? Well, it turned out to be skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma, to be specific.

Hi folks, meet my cancer. It’s that little spot you MIGHT see on the side of my nose there. And this is my attempt at a bad-ass face.

Imagine that, a pale-skinned, freckled, red-headed chick who has lived in Florida her whole life getting skin cancer! I mean, what are the odds? (Sense the sarcasm, friends.) Truth be told, my mom was very strict about making sure I wore sunscreen as a kid, and I always have been as an adult. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had a sunburn. (And I know without a doubt which one of those times was what caused it…thanks, Warped Tour 2000…)

I guess pale-faced redhead trumps SPF30.

The long and short of it is that it’s nothing to worry about. I’m going in for surgery tomorrow to have it removed, and the procedure they use to do it has a 95-99% success rate. Meaning, I will go home tomorrow after the surgery cancer-free, and it has about a 1-5% chance of recurring.

And even if it does come back, it’s not life or death. This kind of cancer doesn’t metastasize, so it won’t kill me. It might just make my nose ugly. I’ll take that over death!

So what prompted me to get that particular spot looked at? Honestly, I’m not sure. I hadn’t even thought twice about it until the morning of the appointment I’d made to get the spot on my chest looked at. I never in a million years would have thought the spot on my nose was cancer. I just thought it was an annoying blackhead that kept coming back. It was just slightly larger than a normal blackhead, and I really just wanted it to go away, so I figured the doc would prescribe a cream.

Upon examining me, she looked at the spot on my chest and said, “Nope, that’s fine.” (was just an irritation), looked at nose spot #1, “nope, that’s fine.” (was just scar tissue) and when she got to (what I didn’t know was) the cancer spot, she paused, and said, “Oh. (long pause) Yep. Let’s biopsy that.”

In my head I was all, “WTF? REALLY?” But I’m glad I asked. Even if it’s not life-threatening, it’s good to deal with it now before it gets worse (and the disfigurement to remove it would then be worse as well).

So, all in all, it sucks, it’s annoying, but I’ll live and that’s what really matters. And I’ll take my battle scars as they come.

 

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween everybody! We just wrapped up a SUPER fun weekend of Halloween festivities! I haven’t finished going through ALL of the photos yet — missing from this are a few snapshots of Miss A “helping” me carve her first pumpkin, and the trip we took to the pumpkin patch with W and AL, but these photos are a start!

First, Miss A in her purple kitty costume, made by my mom. She’s been talking about being a purple kitty for Halloween since MARCH! These were taken at our church’s Halloween party. They did an excellent job. We had a potluck dinner, and the high school youth group did a fantastic haunted house — which scared Miss A too much, so Mr. Dad took her out. I went through, though, with a couple of seven-year-olds who clung to me with fright and then ran screaming from the place after the last room.

At the end, they did a “trick or treat”, where each kid who was dressed up got to say their name, what they are, and then go through a line of people around the courtyard to get some treats. She got candy and toys, but she was most fascinated by a butterfly stamp that was in one of the treat bags. She was also very excited that her daddy got to be one of the candy givers!

Miss A, the purple kitty.

 

Acting like a cat 🙂

 

A ghost statue, just her size. She kept hugging and kissing it.

This second set is from our friends J and S’s Halloween party. Their little boy, J, who is just as cute as can be, has been in the nursery with Miss A at church for the past year or so. Miss A decided to break out the princess costume for this party (though she will be trick or treating as the purple kitty. Anyway, here are some pictures of Miss A having fun at the church party!

Pushing a baby monkey (Eli) in the swing

 

 

Showing her boyfriend A how to mow the lawn.

Tonight we’ll be trick or treating with W and AL! I should have more photos of that tomorrow. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Oh, the Joy

At the beginning of the year, one of my resolutions was to find more joy in motherhood. At the time we were in the throes of the terrible twos, and well, now we’re in the throes of the terrifying threes, which, in my experience, has not been nearly as difficult as the terrible twos were, so it’s easier to find the joy. Miss A, at age three, has the ability to occasionally use logic and reasoning which means that we have fewer power struggles. But oh, the ones we do wind up having are epic.

Anyway, last night I was preparing dinner, I heard quite a commotion coming from Miss A’s room. When I got to a point I could pause the cooking process (and, since what I was making really just consisted of me heating up the oven, so Miss A was only unsupervised for maybe three minutes at most) I went to see what she was up to….and what I saw left me completely floored.

Had I not been so shocked, I probably would have remembered to grab my camera and take a picture.

In a span of two minutes, she had emptied out her entire toy organizer/box and was in the process of throwing the toys around the room, like a spinning tornado, ripping through her room and leaving a path of destruction in her wake. I had never, ever seen such a mess in her room before.

Now, one of the only power struggles we have with Miss A is getting her to clean. Sometimes she is really, really good about it, but other times she just wants to play…and come on, she’s THREE, what else can you expect? So I told her she could play, but after dinner she would need to clean up her toys.

During baking time, I sat down and did a letter matching game with her and we had SO MUCH FUN. She can now match her upper and lowercase letters. Oh, and math! It’s her new favorite thing. She loves addition. She will group things together and add them up. Like one group of two toys, and another group of three? She will group them, and then say, “two plus three is FIVE!” This girl loves learning and she is just like a little sponge, soaking it all up. It makes me such a proud mama!

But, while that was super fun, after dinner when it came time to actually clean up the aftermath of her destruction? Queue power struggle.

Thirty minutes into the process, I found myself telling her very firmly (and maybe a bit louder than I normally would) “Miss A, I am SO serious! If any toys are left on the floor, I WILL call the garbage man to get them!”

To which she replied by cracking up and saying:

“Mommy, you’re yelling at me! It’s so funny when you yell at me! You laugh me so much!”  (People don’t make her laugh, they “laugh” her.)

Clearly, the seriousness in my firm mommy voice was NOT getting through.

Later that night, after a few more power struggles (“No, we can’t skip brushing our teeth.” “No, it’s not okay for you to throw a cup of water at me.” “No, it’s past your bed time, we cannot color.”, “No, we just brushed your teeth, you cannot have chocolate milk.”) She said, “Mommy! I know you want to yell at me, but you CAN’T.” The funny thing is, that time, I wasn’t yelling at her, so maybe she was cautioning me not to?

Long story short, her room got clean AND we got through the bedtime routine, ending with smiles and giggles and hugs and kisses. When all was said and done,  those moments are a total joy and make the occasional power struggles worth it. But when Mr. Dad got home last night, I told him…there are some nights that parenting kicks ass, and other nights where it kicks your ass, and last night was one of the latter.

 

CLOSED — Win a 15-count Package of Saline Soothers saline nose wipes from the makers of Boogie Wipes #giveaway

This giveaway is now CLOSED. Thanks to all who entered!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the sickies landed in our house again! All three of us were hit with back-to-back colds (some of us are still recovering) and the constant use of tissues was irritating our sensitive noses.

For my daughter, we relied on our trusty Boogie Wipes, but what could Mr Dad and I turn to? That’s when I was contacted to review the new Saline Soothers, which is a new line of saline nose wipes for adults from the makers of Boogie Wipes!

I loved the Saline Soothers. They weren’t nearly as rough on my nose as tissues, and they came in a gentle menthol scent, which wasn’t overpowering, but was definitely a bonus for helping with the stuffiness. The package we received had 15 wipes in it, which was enough to get the big jobs done until we were feeling better.

They also came in a convenient, purse-sized, self-sealing package, which helped keep them moist even after the first few were used.

With cold season right around the corner (and thank goodness summer is almost over!) I highly recommend keeping a package of these on hand. Saline Soothers are currently available at Walgreens, and will be debuting at Walmart stores very soon. The 15 count package retails for $1.99, but in the fall they will also be introducing a 45-count box.

Want to WIN a package of Saline Soothers to try before the cold season hits? Here’s how to enter!

This giveaway is now closed!

 

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      Contest ends on

August 29, 2011 AT 9 PM EST

      . Open to US Residents only and the prize cannot be mailed to a P.O. Box. Winner will be chosen by random.org and contacted via email. Winner must respond within 48 hours of the email being sent or another winner will be selected. (

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  Disclosure: I received a product free of charge for purposes of review but was not financially compensated for this review in any way. All content in this article is my opinion and has not been influenced by the gift of a product or other monetary compensation. Thanks to Boogie Wipes/Saline Soothers for providing the review sample and giveaway prize!