Thursday, April 26, 2012

and we're off!

Atlanta and Florida are calling our names and I cannot wait!  I am in need of a little sunshine and relaxation.  Well...maybe not so much relaxing since there are kids involved but it's different from the normal day to day grind of our schedules.

We flying this time around because we got such a great deal!  Will is going to be on his third plane ride and little Eli will get to experience his first.  Or, shall I say Lew, Will and I will get to experience it.  HA!  Hoping that he does well.  It will be breakfast time when we take off which is good since he hates binki's.  Wish us luck.

I am almost done packing and it is quite amazing what one extra kid can add to your packing list.  Some things I will just have to wait tell we get there.

First up, a day in Atlanta with the SIL and then the next day we will drive to Ft. Myers Beach.  As Will likes to call it, the Poolholtower.  The beaches are amazing and so family friendly, you could not ask for a better place to vacation.  After a wonderful stay there we head back to visit the SIL some more!  

Four stars for our family of four!  Hope to post at least once but we will see!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Loving and Loss

Recently my neighbor lost her father, he was 80 and perfectly healthy.  It is never easy to lose loved ones, I still think about and miss my mom everyday.  This July it will be 11 years since cancer took her away from us.  It seems like just yesterday though.

When someone close to me has lost a loved one, I feel that words can never be enough to show how much you care.  So...I bake.

I made these cupcakes in festive spring colors and turned it into a bouquet.  I found the idea here.  My neighbor loved them and was very appreciative of the thought.  I am glad that I was able to brighten her day even if it was for that single moment.

When I see this flower cupcake bouquet, I know that my mom is healthy, happy and shining down on me.  After all she is the one that taught me compassion, love and friendship.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

right now

Right now I am listening to you cry in your bed.

Right now I am holding myself back because I would love to go and rock you.

Right now I would love for you to take a nap because you are gonna be one tired baby.

Right now I am not sure if it is the teeth or the shots that you had yesterday that is making it hard for you to sleep.  Maybe both.

Right now I will give you until 2:00 to fall asleep, then I will come to your rescue.

Right now I am wondering if I should have rocked you to sleep last night because you are really struggling now.

Right now I am totally ready for our vacation.  Can Saturday get here now?

Right now I am staring at the monitor and realizing we are probably going to have to lower your mattress because you can lift yourself up on to your hands.

Right now I am looking at my little guy he has topped the charts for his 6 month checkup.  28.5 inches long and 19.5 lbs.  95% for your height and 75% for you weight.

Right now I am glad that I did not go upstairs to rescue you because you have fallen asleep on your own.  

Right now I am glad that you cannot remember these baby moments of crying when you get older because these are the moments I wish to erase from my memory.

Right now I could stare at your sweet face forever.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The 23rd . . .

To my Biggest...Willsy @ 51 months....

51 Months!  Holy cow.  I cannot believe how big you have gotten.  Sometimes I feel like it was just yesterday that you were the tiny baby in my arms.  I can still hold you in my arms but you are long!  In fact you are one of the tallest in your class at school and definitely not the oldest.  I think you must have gotten the tall gene from your paternal grandpas.  They were over 6 feet.  Last time you were at the pediatrician they thought you might grow to at least 6'3.  

You have an infectious smile and can always make me giggle, even on a bad day.  Your latest fascination with Godzilla is pretty extreme.  You act out Godzilla like noises and often imitate what Godzilla might do.  Like breathing fire and coming after Super Baby better known as Eli.  Super Baby attacks Godzilla with his buckets of drool and somehow Godzilla always wins.  That's okay though, sometimes I think you will be my little actor.  Maybe you will be the class clown?  That's okay with me as long as you get good grades.

You sing songs you have heard from your shows, Thomas, Geo Trax and you now have moved on to more that I can relate to.  Like, "Rumor Has It" which you call "Boomer Has It" and one of my favorites, "Moves like Jagger".  You also love to act out the m&m commercial with the m&m singing, "I'm sexy and I know it."  Good thing you don't know what it all means...yet.

You are becoming a bit more agreeable about trying new things when I bribe you.  And frankly, I'm okay with bribing you to try something.  Whatever works.

You are starting to warm up to worms and anything snake like, ie caterpillars.  You love to dig in the dirt, and splash in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig.  

Your counting all the way to 20.  Sometimes you get confused but you never give up.  You are getting the alphabet, and that is a huge accomplishment as you don't really like anything academic.  You are a play all the time kind of guy.  But, we are working on it.  School definitely has helped and I will admit, that Team Umizoomi is a great show with wonderful learning techniques for you.

You have become such an amazing big brother and you really do love to help mommy watch over Eli.  You are also very protective of me and it makes me feel so very loved.  Thank you Will. I love you always, more than air.

To my 6 month old Squirmy...

You definitely live up to your name.  You roll from one side of the room the next.  I have had to put pillows around furniture in the house because you kept bumping into everything!  You squirm when I change your diaper which, I thought didn't happen for a while.  You squirm out of my arms after a bottle, trying to get away.  I have a feeling you are going to be doing a lot of things like crawling and walking before your big brother.  In fact, I think you are going to be my little dare devil.  You squirm out of you Bumbo chair by leaning back, it scared Daddy the first time he saw you do it.    

You love to eat.  After a morning bottle you like to play and then I make my breakfast which I quickly learned, that you need your breakfast at that time too.  You always try and reach for my cereal bowl even when I am feeding you.  Your hands start going up in the air when you see your food coming, it is hilarious.  So far you love sweet potatoes, corn, bananas, apples, and pears which I think you might be allergic too, so we are staying away from those for a while.  I have given you nibbles of some of the foods that we have had and so far you have gobbled it up.  Tiny pieces of bread, goldfish, yogurt, and cheese.  Will has tried to share popcorn and an ice cream sandwich with you.  The popcorn one, I didn't see because I was doing dishes and your brother took it upon himself to try and share his snack.  In the end, all was okay and Willsy was being such a great big brother by sharing.

You get up on your hands to hold yourself up, I like to call it the cobra, which is a yoga move and you look like you are doing it!  We have caught you a couple of times kicking your feet and you actually moving forward.  You use your arms a lot to move yourself around the floor which you do a lot to get to your toys.

I can't believe my baby is now 6 months old, half a year!  I am amazed how well and easy you have fit into our little family.  I'm glad we had to wait a year to have you because you are so worth every tear that was shed.  I love you Eli, more than air.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I have to say I love cupcakes.  

I love cake.

Yes.  I am a Personal Trainer who loves sweets!  

All in moderation right?  I feel like if it's there, it is okay to enjoy it every once in a while.

I love baking and whatever the occasion I find a reason to do it.  

I made a cake just because the Bears made it into the playoffs.  And when they won their first game, I kept making the same cake each weekend until they lost.  Boo!

So, here are some of the cupcakes and cakes I have made.

For Easter...I made Vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting and toasted coconut.  
And cadbury eggs as toppers.

An oldie...but I made this last year for Will's 3rd birthday party at school.  Vanilla cupcake with colored yellow butter cream.  This cupcake was a lot more work, thank goodness
 I only had to make 8!

My niece Lilly's Birthday cake.  Chocolate cake with a pink fondant.  We were going for
 rock and roll meets pop princess!

Will's 4th birthday cupcakes for school...Chocolate cake with Chocolate frosting.  Oreos for the eyes and an orange tic tac for the nose.

One of the legendary Bears cakes....Chocolate cake with chocolate butter cream.

Stay tuned because I am hoping to post some more creations soon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Funny isms' from my loving, silly little jokester, Willsy ...

Mom...Be careful when you clean my ears, you might push my brains out.

Mom, I don't think Eli should be in my room because I have too many toys.  And it could be dangerous.

To a kid at the play ground...This is my baby brother Eli, he lives in my mommy's tummy.

Mom I think I need to have a banana, because its an important food.

Will holding a wishing flower...Mom look this makes my allergies feel all better.

And something boy moms get to experience....

Will in bath...Mom, look when I keep pouring the water on my winky it gets bigger like daddy's!

I have to say age four is one of curiosity and non-stop laughs for Lew and I.  
Will is such an inquisitive and funny little dude, who always makes us laugh!  

Love you Willsy, more than air.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

a milestone for my baby...

Not one tooth....but two!  That's how we roll here...getting it over and done with is the way to go!

How cute is he going to be with those two bottom teeth?!  
I'm in total and utter love with this little guy.

5 months and 3 weeks.

Friday, April 13, 2012

dino days...

Happy Friday from my dino boys!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

because being a sahm does have some perks

What kind of mom are you?

There are so many of us out there, either working from home or going out into the work force.  I feel like I have a pretty great gig being able to be home with my boys but still train my clients part time.  Some days, I must admit are harder than others and I wish in that moment that I was working!  So I thought I would device a list of pros and cons to being a stay at home mom.


  • You get to watch a lot of firsts
  • You get to be with your children all the time
  • No worries if your child is being well cared for at a daycare
  • You get those all important years of youth that put endless smiles on your face
  • Baking, crafting, tons of park time all at your own leisure
  • No missing out on school functions 
  • Get to meet other sahm moms at child's preschool
  • You get to be the one to help educate your little one
  • Plenty of snuggle time
  • Special moments of a movie and popcorn
  • Errand and Grocery helper always on staff
  • Always someone to talk to
  • Always someone to have just one more cookie with
  • Always someone to snuggle with, any time of the day
  • You lose your identity
  • You miss co-workers
  • You wear yoga pants way too much even though they are comfy
  • You can never have a moment of silence because you are constantly staring at baby monitor
  • You are on.  ALL. THE. TIME.
  • Dishes are constantly staring you down along with the laundry you keep piling on your bed
  • There is always an errand to run
  • You are the one that has to go to the dreaded well baby check ups with the shots
  • Since you are home, planning meals usually falls on you unless you involve a bbq
Those are just a few of the ones I was thinking of while I was doing one of my many stay at home mom items on my list the bath tub.  UGH.

What would you add to your pro and con list?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Boy Moms Rule!

The Easter Bunny brought Will a surprise egg a few days before Easter filled with jelly beans.  He was thrilled to say the least.  He carried the egg around pretty much the whole day.

Eli getting in on the egg dying action.  He just woke up from his a.m. nap so he is still
 looking a little sleepy.  Boys have the greatest pjs!

At Auntie Shan's house on Saturday for an Easter egg hunt!  Boys love digging in the dirt, rolling down hills and splashing in muddy puddles.  He did just that.

Willsy dying his eggs.  I have to say, Will is not into crafts unless it is painting.  So...he really did not get into egg dying hence the fake smile.  Some boys just don't like being crafty. 

Close up of our egg dying.  I forgot the vinegar and didn't have any lemon juice on hand.  Our eggs were VERY pale.  My boy didn't care that mommy forgot a key ingredient, he was happy to just stick his hands in colored water!

Eli sporting his mommy's roots!  Go BIG Red!  Blue eyed boys, melt my heart.

Willsy visiting Eli in his neck of the woods...I love these airplane sheets that were Will's.  I hope that my boys will be the best of buds.  Eli already giggles at Willsy when he dances around.

So true.  Eli often will try and grab the spoon out of my hands while I feed him.  This little guy, LOVES to eat.  I don't think I will have a picky eater on my hands.  Boys are messy and I am okay with it.

Daddy and Eli enjoying a nice spring day.  Daddy looks exhausted because he has been 
working a lot lately!  My boys all look a lot a like with a hint of mommy thrown in the mix.

Love my boys.

I am beginning to realize the many benefits of being a boy mom.

One day they will want to go fishing with daddy.  Mommy will get a spa day.

They will want to go to baseball games with Daddy, I might go but then I could go and get a massage.

They will want to go to Monster Truck shows, I will not want to go and I will go and get a pedicure.

They will want to go camping with Daddy, I might go but I could have a day to myself, reading and just relaxing.

Being a boy mom has many benefits.  As much as I always wanted to have a little girl, I am ALL boy mom.  After all, I am the luckiest woman in the world.  I have 2 boys and a husband, and I am their first loves.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Finding the Sunshine . . .

 Dear Eli,

I knew that I needed to type what I am about to write out because I think about it every time you wake in the middle of morning.

I am lucky.

I get to spend that extra quality time with you.  For awhile, I must admit it was tough getting up with you.  I was sleep deprived, depressed and totally overwhelmed.  I woke in the morning with major bed head, dark circles and extremely puffy eyes.  I was on empty.

I felt so bad that I was feeling so negative when we tried so hard for you.  A year.

But, we made it to month 4 and it was like you and I began to really know each other.  I felt like the sunshine was back in my heart and my head.  You were getting it.  You were understanding and following a schedule that I tried so hard to get.  I kind of felt bad that I pushed and pushed to get this schedule and really it was making me crazy and at times, your big brother.  For that, I feel really bad.

You are growing so fast and you definitely know your mommy.

You fall asleep around 7 or 7:30 and you usually sleep tell around 4am.  Sometimes you wake up earlier and I can get you back to sleep with the white noise of your giraffe.  Other times you don't fall back to sleep, I now rejoice it because I know that these special moments we have together will not last forever.  I may be sleep deprived, but in 10 years are you going to want to snuggle on my chest?  Probably not.  You may snuggle.  But, I won't have that sweet baby smell of you.

So for now, I am going to be okay with you waking me in the middle of the morning.  Because one day soon you won't.  I won't have your warmth snuggled up against me, hearing you breathe that close to me,  and feeling our hearts beat together.

I am glad that I have finally found my sunshine and I can appreciate the wonderful gift that is you.

I love you more than air, my sweet baby boy Eli.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

making a move and pouring it out

We always knew that we would not stay in Annapolis forever.  It would never be the place where we would find our "forever" home.  Now that Willsy has one more year left of preschool, it's time to make a move and finally get settled into a place called, "home".  The area we are in now, I would love to stay in because we are in an outstanding school district.  But, to buy a single family home here, it will cost in the upwards of 600k.  That's just a starting point.

I always thought, that once Lew had finished his duty in the military we would move back to my neck of the woods in Virginia.  But, when he got out I was settled in a great job and I loved where we were.  So we stayed.  My family would love for us to move back to Virginia.  It would be nice, however house prices are just the same as they are here.  I am done living in a town house.  I want a big backyard and a front porch.  I want four bedrooms and space that we have been lacking for so many years.

At the moment we are thinking Georgia.  Lew's sister is there.  And family is a plus for me.  The boys can be close to their other cousins.  We can get a big house in our budget.  Lew's work can transfer him.  I can work anywhere.  The boys will have an auntie willing to help their mom out every now and again.  It's warm!

There are so many pros to moving and they out weigh a lot of what is keeping us here.  I have already starting looking at schools for Willsy and what he is used to now.  As for when we would go, hopefully by the end of the summer.

I know I will miss my family so much because they are a big part of my life.  Especially my sister who is 2 years older than me.  We are extremely close, so that will be hard.  With technology these days, I can talk to her face to face if I want to.  We can always visit each other.

I have to do what is best for my family.  And finding some roots for us is exactly what we need at this point.  Inside I might be kicking a little, but there is a little part that is excited for this next adventure.

Linking up today for Pour Your Heart Out with Shell...such an amazing blogger and fellow boy mom!

Monday, April 2, 2012

because he's a bit unsure...

Not the greatest shot.  I was a bit lazy and took a picture with my phone of the actual bunny pic.  But, bargaining was had in order to get Willsy to sit next to the Easter bunny.  He has never been a fan of characters in costumes.  We have several Santa pictures to prove it!

I just think this picture is hilarious because Will is as far out of the picture as he can be.  The look on his face is totally priceless and I love it.  Eli, well of course he has his belly sticking out.  This kid can eat!  Daddy got him to smile and Will has his eyes glued on me.  I can only imagine my future pictures.

What did Willsy get out of our little deal?  A Godzilla, of course!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Big and Smalls

My guys.  We have found our rhythm.  Our days are usually planned out.  Mommy training in the morning.  Naps for smalls.  Playing dinosaurs for bigs.  Just so happens to be your new obsession.  Yes.  Trains have taken a bit of a backseat to all things.... dragon, dinos and godzilla.  

Meanwhile smalls you have broken out in a rash, are drooling everywhere, chewing on fingers and chewing on mommy's wrist.  Today playing super baby, i.e. flying you around the room, I noticed a bottom tooth working its way through!  Totally brought tears to my eyes.  I always cry at little moments like this.  I think by the end of the week, that tooth will make an appearance.  I can't wait to see what you will look like with your first tooth.

Spring training has begun and bigs is supporting his cubbies!  Just for you amanda.  
Go Cubs Go!  Go Cubs Go!

Bigs and his hair growing out.  I like it a little longer.  Daddy would rather have it cut shorter.  Kind of helps mommy that you hate getting it cut because I love your hair.

Smalls...I totally wish I had the clothes that you have.  Being #4, I was always given the hand-me-downs.  Some were better than others.  But, you have quite the wardrobe.  This mini Boden after swim cover up is just the cutest.  Daddy is not too sure about it.  I think in Florida in the evenings, it will be perfect after a swim.

We are on spring break this week.  Well, Will is.  Hoping to get some walks, park time, and maybe some special adventures with the boys in.  Can I just say, Will is over the moon excited for the Easter Bunny.  Every since he celebrated at school, it is all he talks about.  We have done some practice egg hunts, and totally gets a kick out of it.  He even puts little toys in the eggs.  We even got him to see the Easter Bunny today, I will post a picture of that soon.

Happy week friends...

COOL WHIP and a Delicious Recipe . . .

As a child, whenever I saw the famous blue top of COOL WHIP Whipped Topping on our counter top, I knew my mom was going to make a dessert that would be enjoyed by the whole family. Not only did she use it for our everyday desserts, like berries topped with COOL WHIP, but it was a staple in most of her desserts come holiday season.  Her famous fruit salad was held together by non other than the delicious, COOL WHIP.  When she put the desired amount into the salad, she would hand me a spoon and let me eat the leftover whipped topping, right from the container!

Being my mom's assistant chef, I often got to help her create new desserts using COOL WHIP.  One of my favorites as a child and still is today, is when she would mix it with chocolate pudding to make it like a mousse.  Of course, just putting it in there was never enough.  Once the mousse was in a bowl she would top it with even more COOL WHIP.  I used to call it, the fluffy white yummy.  That coming from a 5 year old.  Who am I kidding?  I still think of COOL WHIP as the the fluffy cloud that completes most of our desserts!  

Not only did my mom help me find my love of all things desserts, but COOL WHIP did as well.  It is such a versatile topping that it completes so many dishes.  My sisters always love to hear what I will make at the next family dinner.  In the past, I have made a Pumpkin Trifle, using COOL WHIP as one of the layers.  As well as a chocolate trifle.  Again, the trifle wasn't complete without the tasty whipped topping in between.  Summer pies are another of our favorites at family gatherings. A fresh lemon pie topped off with COOL WHIP, makes this tart dessert something sweet!

Now that I have a family of my own, I have found my own uses for COOL WHIP with a few oldies from my mom.  I love dressing up simple everyday desserts with the whipped topping because it always adds the perfect final touch of yummy. Now that summer is just around the corner, so are fresh fruits from our local farmer's market.  My family loves fruit salads filled with blueberries, blackberries and strawberries, and of course we always add COOL WHIP.  It really enhances the berries and is like the "cherry on top", of this easy, everyday dessert.  A favorite of my son's is a chocolate chip brownie, covered with COOL WHIP.  Of course, I have to make it a little more special and add a heart sprinkle.  The creamy combination of COOL WHIP and chocolate is so good, it can't get any better than that.

As much as I love simple everyday desserts, my husband loves chocolate cake that is completed using COOL WHIP as the topping.  The recipe is quite simple and you can always make changes to your own liking, but it always has to have the whipped topping!  For warning, this dessert has tons of calories.  But, adding the COOL WHIP seems like a fair trade off.  The light whipped topping and chocolate again, is like the perfect pair to us.

Divine Chocolate Cake:
1 box of chocolate cake mix (you can use any kind of chocolate you like)
Half a Jar of Caramel sauce (I use the kind you would top your ice cream with)
1 Cup of Heath Bars (Here is where you can add your favorite candy bar)
1 Container of COOL WHIP

Make cake as directed on the box.  While cake is baking, crush your preferred candy bar so that is finely chopped.  A rolling pin works well here!  Once the cake is completely cooled, poke holes in the cake using a chop stick if you have one, if not a fork will work as well.  Here is where it starts to get decadent.  Add about half a jar of the caramel topping, if you want to you can add more.  It is up to you how much you want the cake to have on it.  The cake will absorb all the caramel.  I usually let it sit for about 15 minutes.  Now for the yummy part, add the whole container of COOL WHIP to the top of the cake and spread it out evenly.  Don't over spread it as you want it to stay fluffy!  Then you add your candy bar topping.  Spread evenly.  

With this dessert, which is usually had on birthdays and special events, the COOL WHIP is the perfect addition and really completes it.

I am hoping that my boys will pass down the tradition in their families of using COOL WHIP in everyday desserts, just like I have.  That, or I will have to teach their future wives all of our favorite recipes.  Just how I ate out of the container, I am waiting for the day that my son grabs a spoon and helps himself to the deliciousness that is COOL WHIP.  I have to say  without the yummy whipped topping, desserts in our house just aren't complete.

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