Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Pictures - Thursday Night Bedtime

So Ray has been out of town all week - hence the additional lack of posting and reading as I decided to use up some leave at my now "old" job prior to starting my new job on June 9th.

I was going to post pictures of my outing at Julie's house, I will have to save those for next week. I am too tired tonight to edit the 100+ pictures Ray snapped that evening. Hence why I don't give him the camera much.

A few things I have learned from staying home this week:
1) My kids like to fight. And Audrey likes to pinch. And Ashley likes to push. And I don't like to act like a referee.
2) Potty training sucks. End of story.
3) But taking away sippy cups all of sudden became a piece of cake.
4) Grocery shopping with two kids in a Harris Teeter with both of them pushing around their own sized shopping carts also sucks.
5) The days go by way too fast. I thought they went by fast when I am at work all day...I can't believe it's already Friday.

In addition to Ray being gone, I actually have a band concert at a function at their school tonight. I had to round up babysitters (thanks Edie!) for that as well as for the Thursday night practice (thanks Matt and Wendy!). So we got home kind of late from Matt and Wendy's house last night, and the girls crashed. Hard. Check out the "diva" with the High School Musical sheets and her Hannah Montana eye cover thingy.

Yes, she is asleep, and no, the flash did not wake her. Although it did wake up the next one who refuses to sleep in the bed. I asked her if she wanted to get in her bed, to which she said no.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day One - Success

To say the kids were tired from our crazy trip is an understatement. Ashley slept until 8:30am this morning, Audrey was up at 7:30am only because of the dog. (I found Audrey in the hallway asleep at 7:00am and put her in bed with me and when Tootles discovered she was there, she started to lick her).

And so far the plan to potty train has been successful - no accidents, and she looks damn cute in a big kid underwear.

She caught onto the sippy cup thing and threw a fit. I decided I would stick to potty training for now, get rid of her sippy cups later. Maybe Ray can fight that battle...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day and Beyond...

On the way home from the wedding we attended on Sunday night, we heard a tear inducing story about a female soldier returning home to applause at the airport. Ray said that when he went to San Diego last month, there was a gentleman in first class who gave up his seat to a soldier. It's those stories that touch my heart and make me believe in the American spirit. God Bless all Service Men and Women today...

On an unrelated note, we are not back home yet from Virginia. I am still here, Ray is back in North Carolina. And I am off all week, so tomorrow I am taking the girls to an amusement park on the way home from Virginia. I am making my brother come with me to help out, even though it means Mike has to rent a car to do so (Thanks Uncle Mike!!).

I have grand plans for the rest of the week - really finish potty training Audrey and get rid of all sippy cups. Not sure why I do this to myself, but what the heck, may as well make the week exciting. So if my blogging this week is spotty, that's why...

Clorox Wipes

When I received these in the mail, I was in desperate need of wiping down my counter tops. And then someone stepped in mud and tracked it in the front door. And then someone else spilled some milk.
So yea, they got a lot of use that first day.
Clorox has come out with Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes that are thicker than the old ones. They work as a sanitizer or to disinfect by wiping and letting it sit for 30 seconds to sanitize or 4 minutes to disinfect. Easy as that.

As yes, I used them on the counters, hard wood floors, to pick up caked on mud. They worked great. I was able to use one wipe to clean the entire half bathroom since they are thicker. They also have a low streak formula, and did not streak on my counter tops.

When you are in a time crunch like I am, these wipes will definitely come in handy. Thanks to Mom Central for the sample.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sometimes, we are not meant to travel.

Actually, the trip is going well considering how many different places we are dragging the kids to. We left many friends in Virginia, as well as three sets of Grandparents, so going from place to place is the norm.

Last night, we had dinner with friends in Haymarket, and we decided since we had our empty and unsold, unrented house, we would just crash there. We had air mattresses for Ray, Audrey and I, and Ashley wanted to sleep in her tent (yes, we remember to bring this stuff, but not our clothes for the wedding).

The problem? The gas was not turned on in our house like we thought it was. No heat (lows in the 50s at night) and no hot water.

So we spent a chilly night, and then went back to our friends house to shower in the morning.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What did we forget this time...

So remember when we went to Disney last year and we forgot diapers? And just last weekend when we went to the beach, we forgot Ashley's swimsuit. All sort of minor things that could easily and cheaply be purchased.

We are in Northern Virginia for a wedding.

We forgot the clothes for the wedding. A suit for Ray; the dress I bought at the outlets for me...


Oh, and I just realized? I forgot my pjs. And I am taking the girls to an amusement park on Tuesday....I forgot the stroller.

You think a list might of helped?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What happens when I actually go to bed at 10:00pm

Monday night Ray went to the gym while I put the kids to bed. It sometimes is easier if one of us puts them both to bed instead of me doing one kid and Ray doing the other. They seem to like us reading books to them together.

I read the allotted two books and sent them off to bed. By this time, it was close to 9:00pm and I retreated back to my bedroom to watch Dancing with the Stars. Audrey continued to come out of her room and bring me things - her pillow, her blanket, toys, whatever she could find. I finally convinced her to stay in her room and I finished my show and turned off my lights. I was exhausted from our weekend, and normally one night a week I tend to crash early (if 10:00pm is early). I checked on Ashley who was dead asleep and I peeked in on Audrey who was in her bed, just not asleep yet. I figured I would check on her in a little while to make sure she was covered up. I went to bed and promptly fell asleep.

I woke up at 11:00pm to look down the hall. I saw Audrey crouching down by her bedroom door. Then I notice she had no shirt on, so I got up to help her get dressed and back in bed. Then she stood up and she had absolutely no clothes on, nor a diaper. Little punk got completely buck-naked. So I march her back in her room where she proceeds to tell me she peed on the floor right after I stepped in something wet. Lovely. Not only did she undress herself, she peed on the floor and then very matter-of-factly told me so. Ray came upstairs and helped clean up the pee on the floor while I dressed the little devil and got her back in bed. She finally fell back to sleep.

And when I peeked in on her the next morning before going to work? She was asleep on the floor. Hopefully it didn't smell like pee.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Minor League baseball rocks...

This past weekend, we decided at the last minute to go to Myrtle Beach for the weekend. It was the end of Biker Week 2008, but really, all those Harley riders are pretty nice. Plus, we don't stay on the main drag, so we don't even really see them much. My only regret for the weekend was the fact I FORGOT MY DAMN CAMERA. I didn't even have my Canon Powershot in my purse.

Saturday we spent time at the beach, then headed home for a quick nap for Audrey. We were back out of the house and off to Broadway at the beach so the girls could ride some rides before dinner. This is becoming a must for our trips there, and it is driving Ray nuts. Anyway, we went to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant (where Ray orders pizza, go figure) and we were off to our very first (except not really as we took Ashley when she was six weeks old to a game) Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball game.

They had these seats called "The Beach" and it was like sitting on the beach complete with sand and beach chairs. The girls had a blast running around and playing in the sand while we enjoyed part of the game. We only stayed until the 5th inning as it started to get chilly and I didn't bring any sort of jacket for me or the kids.

But really why minor league baseball rocks? We walked out of there with two coupons for a gallon of windshield washer fluid and 10 coupons for free donuts from Dunkin Donuts. They were giveaways in certain innings for not letting the other team score a run and striking out someone. And we got 10 coupons for donuts because the guy at the gate said we had two small kids and we needed more donuts. I am not sure if he meant we needed more or the kids. Ashley was a little confused as she thought they were actually going to give us a donut on the way out.

All in all, it was a great weekend away. Now we have to get geared up for this weekend's trip back to Virginia to visit family and friends.

I love baseball. I love watching baseball. I love eating the food at baseball stadiums. I love minor league games because they are so freaking funny sometimes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New What?

On June 9th, I start a new job. It's still with accounting, but I will be a financial consultant and getting away from the routine of an accountant in a corporation. Great job, unbelievable benefits, great hours, family friendly.

And this did not come out of left field. And yes, I am still taking classes, but I am not finishing them when I thought I was. I obviously can't read a class schedule. But I could not stay in this job anymore. To go to a job you are not happy at is hard. It's one thing to not like working (who does?), but it's another to sit at a desk all day not happy.

So the craziness of last week? This is why. I was getting the offer for the new job, resigning from my old. Not fun. I hate doing that stuff. I hate confrontation, I hate making people mad.

So I am at this job this week until Wednesday. Thursday we are going back to Virginia for a wedding and to have a BBQ with Julie and her family. Then the following week I am taking a week's vacation and hanging out with the kids. Then one more week at my current job, and then off to my new one the following week.

I am so not stressed anymore.

RagĂș® Fresh and Simple Pouch

Sitting down together as a family is extremely important to me. It's something I want my kids to remember when they are adults and no longer living with us.

But as a Working Mom, it's hard some days to come home and make dinner. I am constantly making meals the night before just so that I can pop it in the oven when I get home so have more cuddle time with the girls.

One night a week, Ray works late making client calls. It's those nights I really don't want to cook. And it's those nights I frequently turn to pasta.

And now doing so will be that much easier. RagĂș® just came out with Fresh and Simple Pouches you just pop in the microwave for 90 seconds. There is no sugar added (a huge plus when feeding sugar-sensitive Ashley) and no artificial additives or preservatives. They taste great, and if it's something I don't have to dirty a dish for, then even better.
Not only that, but you download a recipe booklet that includes a bunch of great time saving tips and meal planning suggestions for healthy meals for your family. Go to for more information.

Thanks to Mom Central for the review...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

RS Designs

I am just full of information this weekend. That and I am totally loving being able to schedule posts in blogger. Very cool.

Anyway, you may notice a button on the sidebar of this blog. It's for RS Designs, the very cool ladies that designed mine and SJ's review blog. If you want a redesign, seriously, go there. They are unbelievably affordable and extremely quick.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

More from my trip...

I am still digesting the trip last week...I have press materials to look at still, blog posts started. I have received a few emails this week from some of the guys I was there with.

One of the people I met was Jason from The last night there, I sat next to him and dinner and chatted about the blog world, geocaching, and how Raleigh is a bike-friendly city. We also chatted about the random stuff we get in the mail, and promoting contests.

And he has a great contest right now. He is giving away a Fuji Crosstown 2.0 bike, and according to him, anyone can ride it.

Here is the link to the contest, and leave a comment to enter.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Pictures - Last Soccer Game

Tuesday night was Ashley's last soccer game of the season. Most of the season was spent picking flowers out of the grass, running the opposite way of the ball, or just not paying attention. Needless to say, we are going to try cheer leading in the fall. Soccer just isn't her thing, although at the last game she did manage to actually kick the ball once. Still, it did nothing to interest her in the game anymore.

She would rather take her time getting down the field...

She kind of looks interested...

Now this is what she was waiting for.

Rice Krispies® - Childhood Is Calling

I am constantly thinking of ways to build memories with my kids. I want to have traditions like Sunday morning pancakes and family movie night. Before long, we will only have these memories as the kids are going to be young adults way too soon.

Rice Krispies® has partnered with Playing for Keeps to create Operation Spark. Operation Spark provides insights and advice about how to strengthen the family connections and turn everyday moments into quality time.

Exactly what I am talking about.

The other cool thing Rice Krispies® has created is a site called "Childhood is Calling". It provides music, games to play with kids, recipes, ideas, the list is endless. Check out the site and let your kids check out the site. And if your kids are into cooking as much as Ashley is, they have a section on cooking with kids. Have fun!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Audrey is so not the forgotten child

I love this age, where everything is done with freedom and something as simple as the moon in the sky can make Audrey scream with excitement.
Despite her weekend full of snot, she has had so much personality lately. I think what I love the most is how much she interacts and wants to interact with her sister. Everything is sister this or sister that. I am trying to teach Ashley to say "no thank-you" when Audrey offers her stuff, which she is constantly doing. And Audrey is doing things so much faster than Ashley did, which is actually kind of scary. There is the Hannah Montana and High School Musical watching (High Musical to Audrey). There is the mostly going on the potty. Last week, she came home counting to ten in spanish.
There are still issues with her bedtime routine, which Ray will tell you is all my fault and that they go to bed just fine for him. She is constantly coming out of her room and giving us stuff, like her blankets and pillows. I assume it's just an excuse to get out of her room. This past weekend, she slept in bed with us when she wasn't feeling well. The one night we had the fan on and it was cold to me. But I could not get her to stay under the covers. You would think someone as little as she is would be cold and want to be covered up, but not her.
Saturday we were playing and I thought she was pooping and asked if she was. She responded that she wasn't. I told her she was lying and she said, "I not Lying, I'm Audrey." And she was very adamant about it.
On our quick outing on Sunday, we went to the bookstore and through the drive-thru at Starbucks for Mother's Day. If there is one thing Audrey will eat, it's french fries. We pull up to order, and Audrey immediately starts screaming out, "I want french fries Mommy!". We had to convince her it was not a french fry shop.

How someone so little and who eats so little has so much energy is beyond me...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I can't seem to get my act together...

Ever feel like stuff is just piling up, one thing on top of another, without stopping? I can't get back on my routine for anything. The alarm went off this morning, and I could barely open my eyes. Thankfully Ray got up first for the shower and gave me a few extra minutes of sleep. Audrey is still waking up in the middle of the night since being sick. I guess I fell asleep on the floor of her room last night because I was in there for two hours.

I just want to get one thing done in my house - the "great curtain project of 2008"; cleaning out my scrapbooking room; giving a good spring cleaning to the first floor of our house.

I am also in this weepy state over the fact that Ashley starts kindergarten in July. She told me yesterday that she is bored in Pre-K and doesn't want to go anymore. I think this mostly stems from the fact that one of her friends is no longer there as her Mom took her out to go on vacation for three weeks. The guilt hit me hard - I wish I could take her out and just hang out for a few days.

So I am trying to get back to regulary posting and picking up the slack on my other blogs. I was actually late with my submission this week for Trianglemom2mom. I think our editor is okay with it, as she has a three year old and knows how time can get away from us.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Horrible, horrible child...

The horrible child? Me. Friday was my Dad's birthday and he reads this as does my Stepmom. But did I bother to wish him Happy Birthday here? Nope. Left him a message at his house of which he was out of town for the weekend and I didn't call his cell phone because I didn't know he was out of town until today when Ray told me he called when I was out of town this week and told Ray that he was going to be out of town. Get it?

Anyway, Happy 53rd (I think??) birthday Dad. Here's to many more.

And Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there, whether you are a Mom to a dog, cat, or a child, I hope it was a good one. We played it low key here today. I got a Photoshop CS3 book to hopefully improve my abilities. You know, when I have time to sit down and actually look at it. I worked for a while on the curtains I am making. Hopefully in the next six months I will get to show them to you. Or not. The goal is to finish them by the end of May. I am really good at setting goals.

Audrey is sick. We actually ended up taking her in to the pediatrician on Saturday morning. She is completely stuffed up and running a fever off and on. With her asthma, we have to be careful with this kind of stuff. The doctor said it's probably viral, but gave her medicine anyways. It's so sad to see her bad off, especially at night. I know how miserable I am when I can't sleep when I have a cold, and she has ended up in our beds the past few nights.

The only other major event from this weekend (besides the whole Mother's Day thing...) was the launch party for the site I am featured on weekly for our local newspaper, the News and Observer. They had it at the kids museum Marbles in downtown Raleigh. We had a little meet and greet time we were obligated to be there. It was cute, and I took Ashley with me so Ray could take Audrey to the doctor. Here is a really random picture from the cake cutting...the lady (Sarah) in the middle is who runs the site and picked the bloggers. This picture is Leigh's daughter, Ella, who Ashley became instant friends with. They are close in age (Ella turns 5 this month, Ashley turns 5 in July), and they bonded immediately. We have determined we will be doing some pool playdates this summer as I see this as a friendship that can only get better.

And yes, that would be a Hannah Montana shirt she is wearing. Thanks to my Mom who sent her two more shirts. Now she wants to sleep in them.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I realize I have been neglecting this blog the past few days...Friday pictures will be up at some point this weekend. That quick trip did enough damage to my sleep and then Audrey decided to get up every 2 hours last night. I have so much more I want to say about the trip and the wonderful people I met. I just need time to sit down and get my thoughts out.

Stress is something I think Ray and I handle well; there may be some days where we handle it better than others, but in all, we get through. I have been commiserating with Molly and seeing what she has been going through with having two houses (and a third baby on the way...). It's what we are living right now. In April, our renter of two years moved out of our house in Virginia. I guess I haven't really discussed it much because I keep thinking that someone will come through and do something with the house, either rent or buy.

I also haven't discussed it much because I don't want to get the "we did it to ourselves" thing. Yes, we chose to relocate to Raleigh at the exact time the market started crashing. We weren't forced into moving. Would we be miserable right now if we hadn't moved? Absolutely. We don't regret moving at all. If the price to pay for happiness is two mortgages, we will take it.

Thankfully, Ray's Dad has reactivated his license in Virginia and has been showing our house. And we have gotten some showings; even some more than once. We are keeping our fingers crossed. Which is all we can do at this point.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I am exhausted...

This has been unreal...want to know what I did today? Shot a gun for the first time in my life and went fly fishing for the first time in my life. And I actually did okay at both.

Who helped me not be afraid at clay shooting? Jason Fogelson (his wife left a comment on my last post, thanks Robin!) from Super nice guy, and a great clay shooter as well. I did okay, I just got knocked in the jaw once, and that was it for me.

And it is totally pathetic, but I am already sore from fly fishing. I have a bad habit of putting a death grip on things such as golf clubs and baseball bats. I did the same with the fishing rod, and I am sore in my shoulder from it.

A couple others I have met: Ruth from Woman's Day, Jason from, some guys from GMNext, Chad from Sticks and Stones.

I also met some folks from Orvis since we were at their facility today. I have plenty of information to share over the next few days....

Right now, I am trying to get enough energy to get out of my chair and get dressed for dinner. And guess what? I have to leave for the airport at 5:00am tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Um, Yea...

I don't even know where to start. Today has been a long day, and in a good way.

Unfortunately, it started out with a guy having a heart attack on my first flight. We weren't too far from the gate, so we pulled back into the gate and he was taken off the flight.

Then my next flight from Philly to Newburgh-Stewart was delayed by almost two hours. And then I shared transportation to the hotel with a race car driver who is also a soon to be reality tv star...and that person is female.

AND there are only 11 of us invited. AND I am the only "Mommy Blogger". I kept getting asked who I work for as everyone else works for someone...Woman's Day Magazine, some woman's outdoor magazine (I promise to get details tomorrow).

I did meet this guy and this guy (damn, can't find his site, I will get a card tomorrow) and they are super nice. And the soon to be reality tv star is super nice too.

The head guy leading this from GM not only lived in Virginia near where we did, but he is also a Hokie and can hook me up in Disney with some Fastpasses.

Sorry if this is not detailed enough, I will get more coherent thoughts tomorrow. I am tired from a long travel day, meeting everyone, figuring this whole event out. I am nervous and excited about tomorrow. I have an Eco-challenge in the morning followed by clay shooting and fly fishing. And I have been told there are prizes, and everyone knows how competitive I am.

Monday, May 05, 2008


The first time I flew by myself, I was meeting Ray in NYC. He was a consultant and at the time at a client there. I had no idea what to expect. And then I got off the plane and Ray was no where to be found. I called his cell phone only to find out he had to work late and he sent a car service to pick me up.

And that's when I started to cry. I had no idea where to find this car service person, or how much to tip him, or where I would end up, or even if the guy knew where to take me.

And of course, I worried for nothing. The guy was standing a few feet from me with a sign with my name on it. He safely delivered me to my hotel in Times Square and we ended up expensing a few things that weekend since Ray worked late that evening.

Tomorrow, I will fly again by myself, but this time to Fishkill, NY for a trip sponsored by Saturn and Orvis. I will blog about it as soon as I can. Wish me luck!

SimplyMobile™ Mom

I am beginning to rely heavily on my cell phone. I no longer find keeping track of my planner efficient or easy. I end up leaving it at work or at home when I need to look something up.

And now? I use SimplyMobile™ Mom. I am telling you, for those of you who use your cell phone for texting, this will change the way you do things. You can:

- Add content to your phone that you read on any web-pages
- Share content with friends and family by adding it to their phones
- Connect to your Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo! mail from your phone
- Type notes and lists for quick access when you are away from your computer
- Have important content sent directly to you by text message

And the best part? It's free. And one question I had since "Moms" was in the title was can Dads or Grandparents or Uncle Earl (I have been watching way too much Hannah Montana...) use it?

Here's what the site has to say:
"The software was designed to appeal to the way mom's use their computers and their mobile phones. As an application built by GoWare on their innovative DoMo Platform, SimplyMobile may eventually be targeted to lots of different user groups—fantasy sports players, travel enthusiasts, stock brokers, etc. Each of these applications will operate based upon the behavior of those "vertical segments.""

And now if you sign up before May 19th, you could win an 8gb Apple iPhone and 2-years of service from AT&T just for adding content to their phone. For each content item you add, you will be entered into a drawing to win a brand new 8gb iPhone and a two-year service contract with AT&T.

Check out it out now, and thanks to Mom Central for another great find!

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes Gold™

Cereal is a plus in our house...not only for breakfast, but snacktime as well. And not just a snack for me, Ashley often requests a bowl of cereal for snacktime too.

The sugary sweet cereals don't make it in our house. I for one love plain cereals like Cheerios and Krispix. And now that Ashley can't eat too much sugar in the morning, a cereal like Kellogg's Frosted Flakes Gold™ is perfect.

I could not get the box open fast enough when Ashley saw it. And she loves it. A definite hit in our house. For me, having fiber is important to start my day as it tends to fill me up. I am often eating breakfast at 6:00am before heading out to work, and I need that breakfast to last until noon.

Thanks to Mom Central for sponsoring this blog tour...

I need a weekend from my weekend...

It was nonstop from Saturday morning until Sunday night at which Ashley was in bed at 7:00pm. Saturday we got up at were out the door by 9:00am - the plan to run to the bank to deposit all the money I had collected for our block party, and hit a local festival called Apex Peakfest. I had done my research, and the website said the festival started at 9:00am. We figured we would get there early and do the kid stuff before it got crowded.

First off, the branch of the bank we tried to go to wasn't open on Saturday. Then we got to the festival, and the "kid zone" part didn't open until 10:00am. So much for being early. Ray was first in a very long line though to buy tickets, and a little before 10:00am, the kids were riding rides and bouncing in bounce houses. We walked around some, got some ice cream for Ashley, and then headed out to another branch of our bank and to grab some lunch.

We headed home in time for me to grab my bassoon and music stand and head back to the same festival we were at as the band I play in was supposed to play at 1:30pm. Ray was going to get Audrey to nap and get ready for the block party. We were bumped by almost 30 minutes, but we refused to cut our show any. We played for our alloted 30 minutes and I was home a little before 3:00pm, the time the block party started. I loaded all of our stuff, got Audrey up, and headed down the street a little ways. We get permission from our town to block off our street and we roast a 100 pound pig. We also had a pretty large bounce house as one of the neighbors owns a local place called Jumpin Beans. There was also a huge water slide and a little bounce house perfect for Audrey's size. Ashley ended up in the water on the water slide multiple times, and once without her bathing suit on but her clothes. Audrey bounced her little heart out for about an hour. At 7:00pm, the kids were cooked. As in Ashley had a breakdown because she got splashed and Audrey kept tripping and skinning her knees.

The girls at the block party...

Sunday? Just as nuts. We had church that morning; Ray and Ashley head out an hour early for Sunday school while Audrey and I attempted grocery shopping. I had a last minute call to teach children's church, so I rushed to get the groceries and to get to church in time to make copies and figure out what I was doing. Lucky for me, there were only 2 other girls besides Ashley (I taught the kindergarteners and just let Ashley come with me even though she isn't in kindergarten yet). Home from church with enough time for Ashley to eat and me and her go to her first birthday party of the day at a Little Gym. Home in time from that to have Ray take her to birthday party number 2 at a Jump Zone and for me to wake up Audrey as she had her first playdate with a classmate named Cate. Her and Cate played so well together; it was a little rocky in the beginning, but then they had fun. They left and Ray and Ashley came home - burgers on the grill and watermelon, and then bath and in bed at 7:00pm.

Now you can see why I need a weekend from my weekend...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Strawberry Picking

Last Saturday morning I took the girls to a local strawberry farm while Ray stayed home and did yard work. Ashley and I both love strawberries, and with the rain we have gotten the past couple of weeks, the strawberries are huge. Audrey won't eat them, but she had fun too.

What made it more fun was the ice cream shop they had there. Nothing like ice cream at 10:30 in the morning.

Hopefully I will have some good pictures from this weekend - I am playing at a festival in the next town over with the band tomorrow, and we have our annual block party as well. Have a great weekend...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I am jumping in a little late...

I have two daughters who love to watch Hannah Montana and High School Musical. Yes, even Audrey. She sings along to all the songs, dancing in her car seat.

Lately, Ashley has been wanting to dress like Hannah Montana. But to her, dressing like Hannah Montana means wearing boots or putting her hair in a ponytail. There are no requests for short skirts or belly tops as that isn't what she wears on the show. I honestly think it's cute.

I read a blog posting on ParentDish (and no, I won't link it here, it does not deserve the traffic, but it was linked from this great post) about the whole Miley Cyrus thing. This is the blogger's take on why the parents are to blame:

"It seems that too many parents these days are too tired or too busy to swim against the current. We want our kids to fit in. We'd rather not deal with the nagging, so we give in and buy the video game or doll or outfit without thinking it through. We defer to kids, instead of carefully evaluating products and programs to see if their messages actually reflect our values. Thus, we end up mindlessly encouraging and financing a disturbing trend."

I am pretty sure that blogger just called me a pathetic, useless parent. And it pissed me off.

My kids don't watch Hannah Montana because I am lazy. They watch it because it puts a smile on their face. They watch it as it gives them 30 minutes of chill-out time on the couch after being at a tv-less school all day. They watch it because when Hannah Montana sings or the theme song comes on, they get up and dance. They watch it because they like it.

And don't talk to me about evaluating products. I read way too many reviews on kids' toys. I tear out pages in parenting magazines throughout the year about this toy or that toy that stimulates this or that. I browse the various parenting product blogs for the best advice. I evaluate the hell out of what I purchase for my kids.

It's just my criteria may be a little different. Sometimes I just want a toy that Ashley will play with for hours. Take her Polly Pockets. She loves them. She sometimes asks to go in her room and play. And yes, she will play for a few hours with them. Are they provocatively dressed? I am sure some Mom will say yes, and that they won't buy them for their kids.

And to a degree, yes, I would like my child to fit in. No, that does not mean if all the kids jumped off a bridge, there go Ashley and Audrey like little lemmings. A few months ago, all of her friends in her Pre-K class were talking about High School Musical, and Ashley asked if she could watch it too. Did I let her watch it so that she fit in with her friends? I guess so, but in the end, it's a cute movie. And if you ask Ashley if Gabriella and Troy kiss at the end of HSM2, she will tell you no. Because she just doesn't get some of the stuff in the movie. What she gets is the singing and dancing. Would my answer change if she was requesting to go bungee jumping because all the other kids were talking about it? Absolutely.

Bottom line, I want to raise kids that will come to me and ask to do something, or ask my opinion on something, or hell, just tell me about their day. I want all lines of communication to be open at all times. If they do this while dressed like Hannah Montana, more power to them.