Saturday, July 31, 2010

Brothers


    I know that this is not the best picture, my camera was having issues, but I like that it shows my two boys playing.  Little B has really started to like toys. He will now lay on the floor and look, smile and try to get toys.  He has learned about the jumperoo also.  I love that my boys are playing together.  O has really started to enjoy this also.  The fact that he can interact with Little B makes him happy.  I love to see him smile and coo at him and then Little B do the same thing back.  I knew this time would come but I just did not know how it would make me feel and how truly happy it makes me.


Friday, July 30, 2010

The Hunt is on

    
     We got a call last night from our tenants letting us know that they are going to be breaking the least and moving. Now this comes at a time when we just decided that I was going to stay at home with the boys, which means one income and now two mortgages. I am not a happy camper. But I am trying to remain clam, even though inside I am freaking out.
     We have had these tenants for almost two and half years. They are our first and only tenants we have had.  They have done a great job maintaining the place and their rent is always on time.  Work is moving them to Texas so they will be moving on next month.  Keeping this house and renting it was a big leap of faith for me; I wanted to sell it my husband wanted to rent it.  He has done a great job finding the tenants quickly and making sure they maintain the place like we did.  The were great tenants and are going to be hard to replace.  Again my first instinct is to sell but I know we will try and find renters. I just don't want to have to show the place and clean it up and maintain it until we do.  I just have to remind myself everything happens for a reason.  There is a reason the tenants are moving out. I am just not sure what that reason is.  I can do this, I know I can and my family will be alright.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My first giveaway!

    I am very excited to announce my very first review and giveaway!  This one is great for all those mommies, daddies or teachers of young children. I was approached by a company that is developing a free service for young kids to play, learn and explore online without any adds. 


     Let me start with a little background about Zoodles.  The company was built when one of the owners, Mark, was watching his four year old struggle with the computer.  After speaking with other parents and learning that they wanted more say over what their children were doing online he and a friend created Zoodles. 
     Zoodles is a free web browser that has a great directory of games for young children.  The games are grouped by age, grade, subject or character and then there is a description of each game that explains what the game is about and what skills it teaches.  This makes it easy for parents or teachers to preview the games before they allow their children to play them.  It also makes it easy to develop a plan for enriching a child's education. As a parent having the games grouped by age made it so easy for me to quickly view the games that were appropriate for O.  It was nice to have all the work done for my and have all the games in one place.  I have limited O's experience on the computer, up till this point, for the simple reason that I had not done the research to find age appropriate games for him.  He is now loving working on the computer and wants to do it daily.  As a teacher, up till just this year I taught first grade, I love the fact that the game are not only grouped my age but also by subject.  This will be nice feature to use when I am looking for games to go with a specific lesson or if I have computer time as a center in the classroom.  There are sites with games, such as Starfall, which have already been approved to be used in the classroom in the local school district in which I taught in.

     Another great feature of Zoodles is how easy it is for young children to navigate through. With a simple click on the desktop icon Zoddles opens up for the child to a menu where they can easily choose their toy box and begin playing.  The pictures make it easy for young children to select their toy box and begin exploring.  Each child's toy box can be customized with a player timer, ad-blocking, violence filter, and the ability to block or promote content based on subjects with a premium feature account for a small fee
     Once the toy box is open I love how easily O can navigate the browser.  His options are only the games and I don't have to worry about him clicking on something that he should not be and ending up moving a file or on the Internet on some other site. He can only choose from he games that are in his toy box. The games that he visits frequently, the PBS Kids Sprout is one of O's favorites,are listed on his favorite page and he has learned to click on that page easily.
     The last thing that I really like about Zoodles is the parent control and emails of my child's activity and progress.  The ability to change the focus of the games available to O and receiving the emails letting me know is progress and activity is great.  Now O always has  someone watching over him as he is working on the computer but with Zoodles I feel comfortable to look the other way and pay attention to little B knowing that I have adjusted the settings for O's computer time and I will be getting an email letting me see where he has been and what he has worked on.
     I am happy to say that I am very glad that Zoodles contacted me to do this review and giveaway because it has allowed me to comfortably allow O to use the computer in our home.  He has enjoyed being able to play the games and my husband and I feel comfortable knowing that we have set the parent filters and he is seeing and playing age appropriate things.  I will be telling all of my mommy friends, teacher friends and colleagues about Zoodles.  
   
Win!  Three readers will receive a three month Premium Membership to Zoodles.

Mandatory: You must follow my blog publicly

Please use a separate comment for each entry.

Following my blog - 1 entry
Follow Zoodles on TWITTER - 1 entry
Follow Zoodles on Facebook - 1 entry
Follow me on Network of blogs - 1 entry
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Grab my button and post it on your blog - 2 entries

Giveaway will end August 9th at 10pm. The winner will be picked and announced the next day.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will select a new winner.
 
   This was not a paid post and honest opinions were used. The opinions are solely my own may vary from others. Thank you to Zoodles who supplied this product for the review and the giveaway.

Friday Hops

So I thought I would start some Friday hops a little early. I have found this a great way to find some really great blogs. I believe this is the way I have found some of my favorite blogs.  So if you have some time take a minute and join the fun.  These are some really great sites.












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I have announce my first giveaway! It is from a great product for young children.  My O has really enjoyed it and is excited about using the computer.  With trying new things and promoting my blog I am also trying the Giveaway Scout which is a site that is a search engine for giveaways.  When you get a chance hope over and check them out.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

He is four months old today

Has it really been four months?  I am not sure that I can believe it.  My little baby boy is four months old today.  I had such a hard time taking his "blue chair" pictures today thinking back to how small he was.


Here he is at one month old
     Every month I put B in out blue lazy boy recliner and take his picture.  This way I can see how much he is growing and how different he looks from month to month.  I did this with O and I love looking back at his "blue chair " pictures.  So I am sure I will enjoy looking back at B's pictures also.

He is in such deep thought

     B is a thinker and a watcher, just like his mommy.  He likes to be where the action is and watch what is going on.  He is my chubby little baby boy with cheeks that just say pinch  me.  He is such a blessing to have in this family and he is making me learn to take things in stride and go with the flow.
     I can't believe it has been four months since this little sole came into our world.  How much he has grown and changed.  I can't wait to see how much he will grow and change over the next few months and years to come.

Happy four months my sweet little angle!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mingle Monday Spot light blog

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I am so excited!  I am the spot light blog on a great blog hop sponsored by a great blog, KdBuggie Boutique.  I am very new to this blogging world, I only started this the very end of May, and I am still learning as I go.  I have been working on gaining followers and following other blogs. I am having fun as I am doing this and learning lots of different things, from new products for my home and children to how to improve my family life.  I love that I get a good laugh at least once a day and that I am finding ways to challenge myself.  So for me to be a spot light blog just makes me excited. It is something new and to me means that I must be doing something right to get my blog out there for people to read.  So if you get a chance today hope on over to KdBuggie Boutique's Mingle Monday and join along visiting new blogs.  Hey maybe next week you will be the spot light blog!





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Thanks Katy for featuring my blog.

Jill

Oh my it's HOT!

    Just in case anyone was wondering it is hot here in Maryland!  The last two days have been over 100 degrees.  Now I am still a go outside and play girl but it has been a challenge.  I have to say that on Friday, even though it was hot, I still went to my stroller class and did my work out.  So in order to stay cool we have been doing a lot of pool activities this weekend.  Saturday we were waiting for  the man to come to fix the dry so it was a pool on the deck day; but we still had fun.


Daddy even got in the little pool with the boys.


And so did little B.


Nothing like a skinny dipping little three month old and a blazing hot day.

We hit the pool for a birthday party that night and then it was to bed for sleepy heads.  Sunday brought another trip to the pool and more good times.


Little B and me in the little pool. We can't call it the baby pool because O does not like that.

Trying to keep the heat away and just relax.

Just getting a sip of something to help him stay cool.

After our days at the pool it was home for a good nap and hopefully cooler days to come.

Now to my readers who are visiting today how do you stay cool on very hot days?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Surfin' Saturday

I was just taking a minute to read some of my favorite blogs and decided to go surfin'. Since the boys are suppose to be sleeping yet O is screaming, I thought this would be an easy thing to do without much thinking.

Come and join in:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Blog hops

I thought I would do some blog hops and work on getting a few more followers.  So if you a visiting from a hop, thank you and welcome to my site.  If you are returning thank you and I am glad to see you back.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday!  It is my 5 year wedding anniversary today so I am celebrating tonight with a nice dinner out!

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Five Question Friday

This is a fun little blog to do on a Friday.  Happy Friday to everyone!

1. What were your school colors?


Blue and Gold.  They have been these colors from elementary school all the way through college.  I don't know how I mangage that.
2. What's the best compliment you ever received?

I would have to say that it was just this past winter when I recieved a note from a grandparent of a child who was in my first grade class, I am a first grade teacher, explaining how thankful she was for teaching her grandson to not only read but love reading.  She was a high school english teacher at one time and was so impressed with the knowledge and willingnest of her grandson to want to read.


3. Do you buy cheap or expensive toilet paper?

I would say cheep. What ever Sams club has.

4. Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you? Or have you had one for someone else?

One of my bridal showers was a suprise party. 

5. What is one material possession that you "can't live without"?
 
I guess lately it has been my laptop.  In the last year it has been traveling with me everywhere.


 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It's your love - Mamma Kat's writer's workshop

    One of the blogs that I follow and love to read does a weekly writer's workshop which I have been trying to do the last couple of weeks.I totally forgot that today was Thursday and did not have myself prepared, so I am going to try and write this while holding and feeding B since he has picked this day to have as one of his fuzzy days.  The prompt is to write about your wedding song and why you chose it.  Since tomorrow is our 5 year anniversary, I thought is was fitting.
    
     On July 23, 2005 I married a man  that was dearest to my heart.  He was a friend, a lover, a confidant, a provider and now a husband.  I love our wedding.  We put a lot of time into planning it and making sure that everything represented us as a couple as well as individuals. Every detail from the Naval Academy chapel, where we got married, to the cake to our wedding song was carefully picked and had a meaning. 


      Our wedding song was "It's Your Love" by Tim McGraw.  It was chosen because it was country music, which my husband loved and because of the lyrics.  It talks about how love can change you and make you better than you were.  I felt like this was in a way describing me.  I was not a girl that had many boyfriends, I was always the friend of the boys or one of the guys.  I was independent and did not need or want a boyfriend or even a boy to open the door for me.  But things seem to change when I met my now husband and as the song says "it's your love, It just does something to me".  In this case it just seem to change me and make me look at the world and things a little differently.  I have to say that having Rob walk into my life has made me a better person, so again to the lyric "better than I was, more than I am".  This wedding song was chosen to represent us as a couple as well as individuals and I have to say it still does.  We are still growing and changing as a couple as well as individuals and it is our love that is doing it!
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I still think it is a great song!

Mama's Losin' It

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Grateful for

     I have been just thinking lately and trying to look at the world through different eyes.  I am trying to be more aware of my surroundings and being present at all times.  I have just been thinking about how lucky I am to be the person I am and have the things that I do.  So I thought I would take a minute and list all the things I am grateful for; they are not in any order just listed as I think of them. So here it goes:

I am grateful for:

1. My family and friends
2. My husband
3. My boys
4. My home
5. The ability to stay at home with my boys
6. My health
7. My children's health
8. My husband's health
9. Being able to travel the places that I have
10. The vacations that my family has taken
11. Being able to travel to visit my extended family
12. Being able to introduce my boys to their great grandparents
13. Having the education that I do
14. My parents and all they have done for me.
15. Living close to my parents so my boys get to know them
16. My friends
17. My neighbors
18. The ablitiy to read
19. The ablility to write
20. The opportunity to write and get better at writing

I think I am stopping for now. I am sure I will be able to come back and add to my list as the days go by and I have more to be grateful for.

A picture of my boys whom I am very grateful for.
Now it is your turn.  What are some of the things you are grateful for?

Trendy Treehouse Shutter love Tuesday

I follow a blog that had a link to this photo blog and it just looked fun.  I love taking pictures and back in the day I had a really good camera to take pictures with, but I now I just deal with what I have and do the best I can.  This week the theme is faces.  I had to dig way back into O's pictures to find this one.  When I saw the theme for the week I had two pictures in mind.  I went with this one.


It is one of my favorites!




ShutterLoveTuesdays

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cloth Diaper Mommies Please help

So I decided that with B I was going to use cloth diapers, and I am glad I did.  Not only am I saving money but there has been no but rash at all.  The few times that I have used disposables I have had a red but baby so the cloth are a big hit in my house.  I currently use Softbums and that is all I have.  I am very happy with them, but I want to try so others too.  I have been shopping around, on the Internet since there are no stores that carry a large variety of cloth diapers, looking at the different kinds and brands.  I think I have shopping carts in about 4 different stores with diapers in them waiting for me to decide which ones to buy.  I can't buy them all, so I am calling out to mommies who use cloth diapers.  What diapers do you use?  Which ones are your favorite?  My little B seems to be a heavy wetter so I am looking for a good diaper for that.  I would also like a good daddy friendly diaper that he can use without even thinking, I love him.  What is a good over night diaper?  So I can't wait to see what the cloth diaper mommies out there suggest.

Thanks for your help,
Jill

Monday is for Blog hopping

I am starting my week with a few blog hops. 

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Have a great Monday!!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Th Paper Mamma Phot Challenge

This weeks challenge is Action.


I took this picture at the beach just last month.  O and his daddy had just finish digging a big hole.  He was running to go jump into it.  This kept him occupied for about 20 minutes then the hole became a place to drive his trucks. 

Check all the photos out:
The Paper Mama

A family day

     Yesterday we had such a nice family day.  It was a pool day and both boys like the pool.


It was a hot day so the pool felt good and since we were able to stay home for part of the morning B got a morning nap in so he was in really good spirits.  He really seemed to enjoy himself.  He was kicking and splashing his arms.  Now O, he always enjoys himself at the pool.  He just does not like when the blow the whistle.  He does not like loud noises so the whistle is not his friend.  He is always looking at the lifeguard to see if the whistle is going to be blown. 
     After our time at the pool it was home for naps.  I love the nap time after a trip to the pool.  Everyone slept which gave me that quite time. It was so very nice!  I even had to wake everyone for dinner.  After dinner we headed for a trip down town.  We parked at the academy and walked to the docks.  We stopped for some much needed ice cream and sat on the docks to enjoy it.  O really liked his ice cream.

Now B, he was just a good sport and was along for the ride.  He did seem to enjoy being out even though it was so hot.

After the ice cream we watched the boats and walked to say hello a neighbor who works at one of the local restaurants down town.  Then is was back home and everyone to bed.  We had such a great day and bedtime even went smoothly with everyone going right to sleep without any complaints.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Follow by example

So I have been amazed lately at how much O has become a big boy. He is in that developmental stage now were he does a lot of role playing and mimics the adults in his life.   I find that he uses his phones to call people that we know to ask the questions and he is always fixing something or building something.  He will even walk around feeding his baby doll just like mommy feeds little B.  Now I really need a picture of this but he will only do it when I am feeding B and of course I don't have the camera ready. Today O went with Rob to work with Granddad on Aunt Ada's shed.  They were putting the roof on.  So he came home and was telling me all about it.  He then proceeded to go out back to play.  I looked outside and found this:


When I asked him what he was doing he responded with "I am working on the roof like Granddad and Daddy."  He then showed me how to carefully get down and back up again.  He said that he climbed up like Santa does.  Don't ask me where that came from.  I guess because his favorite book for the week is Elmo's Night Before Christmas.
     Oh how people can make such an impression on one little boy.  He sees them do something and he is home trying it himself.  I have to love him for it, but boy do I have to watch what I do and say.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I am going hopping

I am trying to take just a little bit of time today to do a hop or two.  Come join me!




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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Buttons

     I would have to say that I have not been working on a blog for very long, since this is my first blog and I started it back in May, and I have been working very hard to learn how to do different things to make my blog interesting and eye catching.  So today I finally got a button for my blog and I think it works.  Now this has taken me some time to do, mostly because I kept getting sidetracked with other things.  I feel like I am on my way to having a successful blog that people may like to read!! Go me.  Not only have I figured this out but today I got an email from a company about reviewing their product and hosting a give away.  So now I really think I am on my way to success.  I am not ready to say who the company is or what the product is but I am excited about the opportunity to try yet something else that is new and figure out how to add a give away to my site.  I am also excited about the product, it looks like something that is right up O's alley and is going to enjoy.  Stay tuned for that. 
     I am just happy with myself and the fact that I seem to be figuring out something new that is challenging me.  I just have to learn how to mange my time so that I can work on this as well as take care of my boys, clean the house, make dinner, go on play dates, go on adult dates and give find time to take care of my self.  Well that is really what this blog is all about.  So hopefully I really did get this button to work and I don't have to write about the fact that it doesn't in a later post.  Please if you are reading this check it out and don't be afraid to bust my bubble and let me know that it is not.  I want to fix it if I can or just take it off till I can get it done right.

Thanks

A Masters and a Mom

Writers workshop

One of the blogs I follow does a weekly writers workshop.  This weeks prompts were ones I was not sure I would write about.  I decided on this one:

Choose a headline from The Today Show website and write up an opinion post based on the story you chose.

So I went to the site to see what I could find.  I hit the link for "Today's Moms" and found this article.

http://community.todaymoms.com/_news/2010/07/13/4668690-who-controls-childbirth-expectant-moms-or-doctors-

Just having a baby 3 months ago this hit home.  The article is discussing birthing plans and who has the say in how a baby is born.  With both of my boys this was a big discussion in my house and between my mom and I .  My mom is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital that I delivered both of my boys at.  I chose to use an Ob instead of a midwife with both boys.  Now I went back and forth with switching with my second because I knew more about what I wanted and what to expect with baby number two.  I will have to say that I don't have long labors, 4 hours with both boys, and my body is good at having large babies so I had perfect labors and deliveries.  But with that being said with baby number two I knew how I wanted to do things as long as both baby and I were healthy.  Now having my mom work as a nurse I believe helped me to do the things I wanted to do.  I was up walking around and off the monitor a little quicker than most other moms.  The doctor and nurse did work with me and my wishes to be up out of bed and no IV until the very end.  I did not want the IV at all but it was a compromise.  With my first child I labored at home and  got to the hospital just in time to push; so the fact that I was  at the hospital an hour before I pushed with baby number two was a compromise also.  I did not have a written birth plan but I did make my wishes clean and compromised with the nurses and doctors to have a great birth experience.
     I do believe that in toady's world the doctors can be very pushy and don't always stop to listen to what the mother is saying.  I sometimes feel that women in labor are seen as "sick" and have to be in the hospital.  I always felt that labor and delivery are  a natural thing and that unless there have been complications, which there were not  in my case, I was a healthy woman with a healthy baby and I wanted to be treat as a healthy person.  I think because my labors were so fast the doctors did not have much time to make decisions for me nor did they have to take the time to explain or convince me to do something I did not want.  I did hear the doctor's argument for the IV and was ok with it since she listened to me with my argument for not having one a compromise was made and we moved on. I only saw the doctor when I check into the hospital and then when I asked for her to come check me since I felt like I had to push.  Since I was right with my feeling pushing was what we did and my son was born.  But with mothers who have much longer labors and have to deal with a doctor much more than I did, they need to have a good relationship with the doctor and be able to sate their wishes.  If we decide to have baby number three I think I will really consider using a midwife and take the time to do the switch.  At that point my mom will have retired and I know that as long as the pregnancy has gone well that I can deliver this baby on my own and I will want the opportunity to do so the way I want to do it.  I have always said that I will do what ever is needed if the baby is endanger or needs some interventions to help him/her survive, but if we both are healthy I can deliver this baby without the interventions and I can make my choices to how I want it done.

I think this article brings up a good discussion about labor and delivery and makes a new mom to be stop and think.  The author's labor story was one that made me stop and gasp, but I know not all labor stories are like this one so I hope that it does not scare a new mom.  My suggestion to a new mom is to educate your self, make sure you can openly talk to your doctor and that you have some sense of what will take place at your delivery.  Make your choices carefully and have an understanding that things may change as you move through this time.  No two labors are the same!

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sweet sleeping funny face

One of the  blogs I follow as started a sweet sleeping face hop so that we can look at all of the sweet sleeping faces.  As a mom of a 3 month old sleep is important and what I want my child to do, well I would like my three year old to sleep also and at the same time as the 3 month old, but once they are alseep they are just so sweet.  So I chose to share this picture of B sleeping in his swing.  It is not so much his face that makes me laugh as it is his hair.


He is just one month old here and for the time being the swing was the place he like to sleep.

If you would like to joint and share some sweet sleeping faces here is the link.