Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Big Bird

I just about died the other day when I walked in my family room and found this:

I didn't set this up in any way, shape or form. He just decided that Big Bird needed a friend (or maybe the other way around), and the rest just came naturally.

It did kind of melt and break my heart at the same time to think that the kid has such strong feelings for a life size stuffed animal. Makes me think he really needs more human toddler friends, even though I take him out around other kids almost every day.

This big bird was mine 20 some years ago. When you lift his little tail feather, you'll find a cassette tape player where you insert a Big Bird narrated story tape. I wish I still had that tape, but it's long gone now.

This bird's feathers are more brown than yellow these days and he weighs about 20 pounds, but Niall carries that thing around like it's his prize pig.

He started off in my family room when I was about 3 years old, then he was passed down to my little cousins, who are now 10 and 12, and now he's back home again. I'd say he's had a pretty good life. It's good to have a new buddy for good ol' bird again.  I'd say the best buddy he's ever had.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Steppin' Out

So it's been a little while since I've posted.  Unfortunately, my excuse was not that I was away on some incredible Memorial Day beach vacation or just enjoying some much needed R&R.  It's that Blogger has been seriously messing with me lately.

I can't sign in anymore because the top of my page where the login button was has just completely disappeared.  It's hard to explain how I cheated the system today, but I somehow did and hopefully I'll be able to do it again tomorrow.

So anyway, we did step out this weekend-- just to the pool, but what better way to spend the start of the summer, right?

We signed up for swim lessons with Niall last summer; his favorite strokes are freestyle and butterfly ;)

...no, it was just enough to get him used to the water and not be afraid of it.  We would blow bubbles and kick and splash and all that fun stuff.

This year, he has no recollection of any of that.  He'll dip his feet while sitting on the ledge, but he ain't leavin that wall.  So we've got to ease into it a little, but I'm sure he'll be loving it again in a few weeks.  Otherwise, his half man/ half fish of a dad might be completely heartbroken and disown the kid.

But even though we didn't completely submerge, Niall did manage to look really good sporting an adorable a really cool little toddler surfer outfit, so there's a plus.

hat: Target
Rashguard (shirt): Target
Swim Shorts: you guessed it, Target
(they're really cute- you can't see the details, but they're blue and white stripes with a pirate on the side)

bathing suit: Target

I have a Target problem

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {Starbucks Boy}

A boy after his mama's own heart...

No, I didn't let him drink an entire frappuccino; just the last sip :)

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guest Blog: staying fit with a baby

Today I have a guest post up over at "The Juici Life" blog.  Jessi is a really funny, quirky (in a good way) blogger who writes about trying to live life to the fullest.  I'm really excited that I was able to do this post for her.  Check it out at The Juici Life.  I also copied and pasted it below:

Hey everyone! My name is Kerry and I’m a 27 year old mom to a little handful named Niall. Just kidding, he’s a really good boy-- but he really keeps me busy.

Niall will be exactly a year and a half old this weekend, and I’ve been thinking about how that whole time being pregnant and those first months post labor feel like ages ago. It’s all kind of a blur- especially the part about how I managed to stay fit during and after my pregnancy.

So I forced myself to reflect…

I got lucky with a very smooth and healthy pregnancy, aside from a solid 2 and a half months of being on the verge of throwing up, but never actually doing it. As much as I hate the old gag reflex, I almost wished that it would come so I could just get rid of that nauseous feeling.

Once I got through the “morning” (all-day) sickness, I realized that I had to be careful. Several months of not eating much of anything and then going on an “eating for 2” rampage could have been disastrous.

I knew that when I finally had my appetite back, it would be really important to fill my body with the boring stuff: fruits, veggies and whole grains (boo)-- not milkshakes and supersize combo meals (yum!), as much as it would have been nice to ignore my conscience.

I walked a half hour every morning and 15 minutes every evening until it got too cold outside. Then, when the winter came, I would do a prenatal yoga DVD and dance in my family room. Yes,I would blast oldies and have a solo dance session that, if the neighbors had seen, they probably would not associate with me ever again.

So then came the labor. I worked really hard for months, preparing for a completely natural birth-- and ended up with an unexpected c-section that had me on the mend for almost 2 months. I had to pack a bag at the beginning of each day to bring downstairs with me, so that I wouldn’t be going up and down too much. Any plans or attempts at getting back in shape were pretty much thrown out the window.

Despite some serious challenges, I was miraculously back to my pre-baby weight by month 4 post birth. And do you know what I credit? My mother in law signed me up for a baby & me yoga class. I thought it would be cute for Niall, but I didn’t think that I would really get anything out of it. I was so wrong; it changed everything.

As a previously athletic and very active person, I was devastated to find that I couldn’t even do a simple groin stretch 6 weeks after his birth. It was BAD. I had to do the “modified” version of everything, which absolutely killed me. I wanted to give everyone a disclaimer that I wasn’t normally like this, but I decided to just put a cork in it and, slowly but surely, make something happen.

By the end of that 10 week class, I was completely back to normal and able to go running, walking, dancing, you name it. And I actually weighed less than I did before my pregnancy by 6 months later.

I think it’s just a matter of getting past that initial lack of motivation. Now, I look forward to my morning exercise routine every day. So whether it’s joining a gym, asking a friend to run with you, or buying cute work out clothes that make you want to look good, just find a reason to get back out there and you’ll be back to your old self eventually ☺

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Can't catch a break

Niall is one heck of a trooper, that's all I can say.  The last 6 months have been a whirlwind of:

  • bad reactions to vaccinations
  • flu
  • chicken pox
  • 2 emergency room visits
  • stitches
  • 4 upper respiratory infections
  • allergies (too young to be tested; self-diagnosed by mommy)
  • 103.5 fever
  • 4 month long intermittent cough

And now.... strep throat.  The kid can't catch a break.

So I decided that today, I don't care about being the perfect mom who only lets her toddler watch 10-15 minutes of educational TV per day.  We're watching a fun movie, dangit.  And we're going to enjoy it.  Isn't that the best part of being sick?  That's the part I remember.... that, and eating mac 'n cheese.

We're doing both.

But I seem to be enjoying it a little more than Niall.  This little book worm decided he was tapped out after 30 minutes of "Tangled" and started reading his sign language book.  Well, good for you, buddy.  As for me, I'm zonked after a long morning of urgent care and filling prescriptions, so I will continue to have a lazy day (at least for the rest of the movie). 

After tomorrow, he won't be contagious anymore and we'll go back to our regular routine.  But for now, I'm allowing myself to enjoy some R&R without incessant eye twitching and going cabin fever crazy.  We're just gonna ride this thing out.

And P.S., if you are in this picture from brunch at the Martins yesterday, I sincerely hope you and/or your kids don't get strep.  So sorry!  We had a blast seeing you, though :)

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Flashback Friday

How bout these apples?

11 months ago:


One week ago:


The only thing that kept me from crying, looking back on the ones from a year ago, is that I think he may be even cuter now in that swing than he was back then.  Hard to believe it's the same kid!

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Old Station

Here she is... Ol' Bessy. Ok, I made that up.  I have no idea what this old train station's nickname is. Whatever it is, she's a beaut. And still running like a champ.

It's a commuter train station that takes passengers anywhere from West Virginia to DC and all the way up past Baltimore. But in between the passenger stops are the old freight trains. The mother load. The real spectacle.  I just have to hold onto hope that Niall can't read the graffiti as it blurs past us.

I'm trying to picture my reaction when Niall is 6 or 7 and points to the side of a train, asking me what certain four letter words mean.  Well, there's plenty of time for pondering on that; no sense in trying to figure it all out tonight, right?

We got very lucky with this trip.  Not only did we get to see a 20+ car freight train whiz by, but we also got the crossing of the another huge train coming down the other side of the rails at the same time.  Jackpot.

And the amazing part is that as loud and powerful and intimidating as these monster machines were, Niall was seriously not one tiny bit scared.  He was just in complete awe.  Calm as could be as he shifted all of his focus to the clanking and chugging on the tracks--- while doing his part, making the "Chooo Chooo!!!" noise for the trains so they wouldn't have to, naturally ;) 

I've been told on multiple occasions that I will never have to worry about this kid having ADD.  I've never seen a toddler focus on the same task for 45 minutes like this one does.  And when it comes to trains, you will have his undivided attention for however long you want.

But the main event didn't come without some anxiety provoking anticipation.  There were about 15 minutes or so of this...

Did you notice the man in that first picture?  Take a closer look.  I thought this was funny.  He was extremely uncomfortable with me letting Niall stand on the platform.  Which I completely understand-- except that the train honks when it's about a half mile away, the bells start dinging like crazy, the lights start flashing, and you can see it from REALLY far away.  I would never let Niall near the tracks if the train were actually coming.  So there's my disclaimer.

I think Niall would tell you that it was all worth it, though.  And that we'll be back very soon.  Nothing like a day at the station.

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