Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Back to Reality

Well, we made it home safe and sound, and definitely a lot more tired! Those days when vacations were a time of rest and relaxation might still happen in the future, but with a 2 year old in tow, sleep is something you don't get much of. Especially when you share a room! But nonetheless, our trip to San Diego was fantastic. G LOVED Legoland, the ocean, and of course, the pool. And we loved getting 5 uninterrupted days with our little man. We are reminded of the joy in the simplest little things, and relish the time we got to spend with our baby (who's not so much a baby anymore!) A few highlights:

Legoland ended up being perfect for a 2 year old. He had so much fun on the rides, the Bob the Builder show, watching the little Lego towns (a working Nascar raceway!), and playing in the water! We couldn't get him off some of the rides, he wanted to ride them over and over and over. I had to tap out one time to get B to ride with him because I started getting dizzy after the 5th turn. (Tip: Go to an amusement park when all the other kids are in school - no lines!). I was surprised he wasn't scared on any of the rides, and loved every second.

He also loved the ocean! He couldn't stop running in and out of the water, and he loved getting knocked over by the waves. (He's still telling people about it today!). It's amazing to see these little people learning to run and jump, and also with no fear whatsoever. I don't think I was that brave when I was 2.

In the end, it was an awesome vacation, and a wonderful time spent with my family. I'm having withdrawls from being with him (and the sunshine!), but I know it's almost the weekend. Which means 2 full days with my little buddy.

God Bless Vacation - I hope you all can find some time to take it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Legoland - here we come!

One of the things we have always loved to do is travel. And it's made even more fun now that we have a 2 year old in tow. True, our vacations might be a little different, a little less structured, and require a little more pre-planning than in the past, but that doesn't mean they are less enjoyable. In fact, having a 2 year old along for the ride makes you appreciate things you might have forgotten to appreciate.

Such as the beauty of looking out a window, and the fact that you are indeed up in the clouds. Our 2 year old notices this... while I've been on too many airplane rides to really appreciate the view. Or the joy of seeing something like the vast ocean - to a first timer, it's awe inspiring. And just seeing a pure little person, with no judgements, no concerns - interacting with another child that not only doesn't speak their language, but looks a little different. It reminds you that none of that matters, we are all people, and we all enjoy being with each other.

So... since we already subjected Gavin to exploring the world (see Mediterrean Cruise), we thought we'd do something a little more close to home, and a little more centered on him. We are taking him to Legoland! We're also headed for the sunshine (who knew Seattle would have 80 degree weather at the end of September), and we'll spend a bit of time in the pool and on the beach in San Diego. Not only am I so excited to just get to spend 5 days with my family, I love seeing Gavin discover something new. And as I look at the Legoland website, it looks like there will be a lot of things to discover! Check back next week for an update on Gavin's experiences with Lego's, the beach, and possibly the best zoo in the US!

And when you can... stop and look at something from the eyes of your little one. See the wonder, the excitement, the enjoyment of the littlest things. Let them hold an ant. Point out the beauty of a new flower (they are still blooming!). Or see their reaction when you give them a new food to try. It'll remind you how wonderful and exciting the world really is, and hopefully take you away from work, bills, chores, etc. even just for a minute.

Stay Classy San Diego... and Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Random Monday

Gavin is so full of words these days, I'm just going to give you a random smattering of comments today. Enjoy those budding writers, artists, musicians, rocket scientists, teachers, and nobel prize winners that we all call our kiddos.

"I don't like spinach mommy"
"Mommy, you hold The King, I'll hold Lightening McQueen"
"I LIKE Kindermusik"
"Happy Birthday Daddy" (In the middle of grace during dinner)
"I'm not hungry. I don't want any dinner. Oh... Mac and cheese. I want that."
"God Bless You Daddy" (when he sneezed)
"Daddy's Driving. Mommy's riding in her chair" (in the car)
"I want a shake milk mommy"
"I need to put on my belt seat" (the switching words is so cute)
"I love you mommy"

Had to end it with the favorite. Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Marketing to kids

Being in the advertising industry, I know it's inevitable that companies will market to children. I have wondered at what age it really works. Companies can market to their hearts content, but if kids don't actually have any money, is it as effective? I always figured companies would put toys up on commercials so kids see them and say "mommy mommy, i HAVE TO HAVE that dancing elmo" (or whatever the latest craze is). I know it's inevitable, which is one of the reasons I limit the amount of TV that Gavin watches. And I'm grateful for the on-demand shows, because they exclude and/or limit the amount of commercials allowed (and even if there are any, we end up skipping right through them to get to the show).

So, back to my originally question - at what age does marketing to kids really work. Well, I found out today. Every morning, Gavin and I get up, get some milk, and sit down to watch a show. He always gets to pick what he wants to watch - and will tell me whether it's Little Einsteins, Noddy, Caillou, Blue's Clues, Wonder Pets, etc. (Listing some of his favorites...). But today, we sit down, and I say "What do you want to watch?". Gavin looks at me, takes his milk out of his mouth, and says:

"Sprout, Please".

I'm in for it.

Monday, September 14, 2009


One thing you'll notice about my blogging, is that I rarely blog on the weekends. See posting about high tech, low tech, and no tech, and you'll understand why. I spend 5 days a week at the computer for my job, the last thing I want to be doing in the evenings or on the weekend is be at the computer. Sometimes it's a necessity for work, but when I have a choice, I will choose to play with my little boy, talk to my husband, or watch the Sopranos. (Thank goodness Fall TV is about to start!). I know not many people read this anyway, but I'll try to keep it updated throughout the week, and I ask for your forgiveness for missing the weekends. Just know that I'm out there trying to enjoy some time with my family. Because no matter what... your family is what matters most. When friends might move away, and jobs may drop by the wayside... you'll still have your family.

Go hug yours today.

Random Mondays

I feel like Monday's are usually the drained out bottle of the exciting weekend, even if the weekend is dull and rainy like Labor Day, or beauiful and sunny like this last weekend. I'm dedicating Monday's now to random thoughts - hopefully fun little tidbits of the weekend, or just things to get you thinking.

Today, it's going to be things that make me smile:
- Making my little boy laugh
- Hearing him start to use grown up comments (i.e. that's a cute skirt mommy)
- Seeing a group of little ones playing together (or playing randomly as it sometimes is at this age)
- Spending time with friends
- Getting a nice note from a friend
- Kisses
- Having the neighbor girls lean out their window to say hi to Gavin as we walk by
- Watching Gavin practice his jumping
- Knowing that my husband will never be like Tony Soprano
- The love of the two most wonderful boys

I hope you have things that make you smile today, and every day. It's good for the soul.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A hot meal

As a parent of a small child, we can often forget what it feels like (or tastes like might be better) to have a hot meal. Every once in a while, you have to step away, go out for dinner and really ENJOY eating. We were able to do that this week, have a nice adult meal (on 9/9/09), a glass of wine, and yummy food. Even though it's just a couple hours away from home, it can really recharge the soul, the relationship, and the tummy. I am a foodie, and really miss eating out as much as I'd like to (at resturants other than Red Robin and Mexican). I love the unique new foods you get to try at restaurants that you just don't have the time, patience, or ability to make for yourself at home. A yummy tuna tartare... an heirloom tomatoe salad... succulent duck with wine sauce.... and of course good company - that's what keeps the food soul happy.

Having a little one may mean that you eat more mac and cheese, hot dogs, and cold meals than you have since YOU were little, but it doesn't mean it has to end completely. Take a couple hours, find that great local resturant you've been wanting to try (let me know if you need suggestions!), and go have an adult meal. Whether with your significant other, a good friend, or a group of moms also in need of a night out. Get out, eat well, and enjoy that hot meal. You can do the "pick that up off the floor 200 times" exercise tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

High Tech, Low Tech, No tech.

These days, it's hard to find someone that isn't plugged in and online. We have computers, cell phones, digital cameras, PDA's, and more to keep us wired to each other and to everyone. There's Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Blogs, you name it... it's there. Being a mom in this day of high tech-ness means somethings are a lot easier - such as sharing photos with friends and family, taking videos, communicating with family and friends in distant places. But what's the cost of all of this technology? How many "friends" do you have on any of the social networking sites that you haven't seen or spoken to "live" in years? Does it matter? Are we becoming a nation of wired individuals that it's taking a toll on our personal relationships? What will this mean for our kids?

Don't get me wrong, there are definitely a lot of benefits to being wired. How nice it must be to not have to wonder where your kids are at, you just call them. If they are going to be home late, they just call you. Your grandma can't make it to your wedding, that's ok, just stream it live! Gavin gets to Skype with his grandparents when they are in another state. You can't remember if your friends birthday is the 5th or 6th, just look it up on Facebook. You want to go out to dinner, but want to see if you'll like the menu before you go... great - look it up! (When was the last time anyone opened a phone book??). Imagine all the great information you could have at your finger tips for those book reports in high school!

But I do think there are some challenges to be so connected. One... if you don't respond to a voicemail within a "reasonable" (different definition for different people, mind you) amount of time, you are considered possibly dead and thus subjected to even more emails, voicemails, etc. that you don't want to or don't have time to answer. It's difficult to have a conversation with someone who is always checking their blackberry, or their phone, or their computer... you wonder if they are ever really present in the conversation. People rely so much on technology, they forget there is a wonderful world out there of people that actually want to talk to you, see you, and spend time with you. And not spend time with you while you are looking at your phone. It makes me sad every time I experience it, and every time I see it. I am not one to answer my phone just because it rings - I would rather be present in whatever I am doing at that time. My biggest pet peeve is people that talk on their phones for extended periods of time (I totally understand the answer and say "let me call you back" in case it is an emergency...) right in front of your face. Or the ones that would rather surf through the internet then have a conversation with you.

Is technology making us better parents? Or is it creating a barrier that doesn't need to exist? How do we manage it and provide a good example for what our kids should be doing - focusing on personal relationships or virtual ones? My personal opinion... put down the phone, close the laptop, and focus on the people right in front of you. And if there aren't any right in front of you... go find them.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Growing up

Sometimes it's hard to think that my tiny little baby is growing up. He's becoming a little boy. Mind you, he's still two, but every day he gets smarter, wiser, and more independent. I still want to think of him as my baby, and I think he will be until perhaps there's another baby in the house. This weekend we saw a friends' brand new baby (Molly - so cute), and she was SO tiny, it put it in perspective just how big our little boy is now. I barely remember him being so small he couldn't really move. I can't imagine his mouth anymore not full of teeth. And considering the chatterbox that he is, it's hard to believe there was ever a time when he wasn't talking. It seems like every new stage, I say... this is my favorite. It appears that every stage IS my favorite, and my favorite just happens to be this little boy who's grown up from a helpless human being, to one that looks at me when I put lotion on and says "that's nice, Mommy". My favorite is looking into those big green eyes, and seeing the independent little man that still does need his mommy. And I think about how much I still need mine, and it gives me a sense of calm and relief to know it won't end. No matter how grown up he gets.

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's Daddy's Turn

Pretty much since Gavin was born, he's been in "mommy mode". And since he could start talking, it's become even more obvious. My favorite (though probably my hubby's least favorite), was one night when Gavin wasn't feeling well, and wasn't sleeping. Him and I were up for about 2 hours (of course started with the "mommy! mommy! mommy!" from his crib). I was exhausted, and there was no end in sight for him to fall asleep. I finally had to tap out and get daddy in there to try to calm him down. Here's an excerpt of what I heard on the baby monitor as I'm trying to go to sleep:

- "Buddy, Daddy's here"
- "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"
- "It's ok pal, daddy's here. Let's rock in the rocking chair"
- "I want Mommy! I want Mommy! MOMMYYYYYY!" (more screaming, escalating louder)
- "But daddy's here, mommy's sleeping"
- "MOMMY!" ... (pause)... "Bye Bye Daddy... mommy!".

He actually stopped to look and wave at Brian when he said "Bye Bye Daddy". I had to laugh, and sigh, and get up and go see him. Of course as soon as I walked in there, the crying stopped, and he was fine. We rocked again until he fell asleep, and though I felt loved, a part of me cringed at what I'm sure my husband was feeling. Most times when G gets hurt, or needs something, he wants his mommy. "Mommy carry you" is one of his favorite phrases. I've always known that it wouldn't be forever, so I've tried to relish being wanted and needed. But now... the time has come.

It's "Daddy Time". Now he wants to show everything he does to daddy. He wants to sit in daddy's lap, and the other night for the first time he cried for about 5 minutes (with real tears) cause daddy wasn't home to tuck him in to bed. All he could say between sobs was "daddy!". I'm like "but mommy's here... ", in a vain effort to comfort him, eeking some of those feelings in that I'm sure my hubby has felt for the last 5 years. Last night was another shift... Usually Gavin only wants me to feed him his dinner, but not now. Now it's Daddy's Turn. He wouldn't take a bite, until daddy gave it to him. Though I do admit a tiny piece of me is a little sad, I am so happy to see Brian's face light up when Gavin "needs" him. It'll probably take a little getting used to, and I'm sure will even out at some point, but until then - I'll relish in the happiness I see on BOTH my hubby's and my little boy's face when I hear "Daddy Carry You.".