Updated the 18-month letter with some great (new) pictures: HERE

I pre-scheduled this to post in my absence, but hopefully I'll be popping in sometime this week with a real post for you.


catching up: cape cod ... and arizona bound!

Finally got to download my picture from the camera this week, and uploaded some online. Here's the ones I've been wanting to share from Cape Cod (figured I should do that before we run away to Arizona tomorrow!):

Such a water baby.

When to visit the family I used to be a mother's helper for in college. The adorable babies I used to chase around are now pre-teens! And one is even taller then me!

(Makes me feel a little old!)

So relaxing.

Ducks - "quack quacks" are our favorite right now.

They plan to take this picture every year.  :-)  Love it!

One house in the neighborhood has the most gorgeous hydrangeas! I admire them every year, so I had to take a picture.
Now here's one I took last year...

Then this year...

Same spot. What a difference a year makes!

I thought she might be scared of the lobsters...

Definitely not!! Lol. She tried to grab it from me a few times!

Such a great trip. I'm already looking forward to next year.

As for now, we're on our way to Arizona tomorrow... plane leaving at 7:45am... oh boy.  I'm excited for vacation, but nervous for Gwen's first flight. Especially since she's getting a cold and I managed to knock her Inspired By Finn amber necklace down the sink drain.  :-(  No bueno. Lots of toys and snacks in the carry-on, and hopefully she'll nurse down for a nap at least once. Fingers crossed that all goes well.

Fingers also crossed that we don't get any house damage during Irene! I'm a little nervous about coming home post hurricane, considering our recent luck. Crazy week here in PA, started with an earthquake, ending with a hurricane!

Anyway, so much to do before I leave... so off I go.


what gets you going?

So, I need your help. The problem? The 5 lbs that I tacked on in the month we were out of our house. Seriously. The scale says it, and the fit of my pants says it! My body post-Gwen is definitely a bit softer and rounder then it used to be... but my tummy right now... and the sluggishness I'm feeling right now, no good. Running around like crazy, eating whatever is easiest and available, not having access to your own pantry full of your own food, and rarely having time to pack your own lunches... yeah, it takes its toll.

We're back home now, and the excuses won't cut it anymore. Its time to get serious about what I'm putting in my mouth... something I was looking to do anyway, before all of this brouhaha. I was looking at the Paleo diet, but that's way too intense for me. Besides I LOVE cheese and pasta, and cannot live without milk. So I thought I would just do my best to eat healthier in general, everything in moderation, and up my fruits/veggies; and I thought I would start with breakfast.

Breakfast is so damn important. I know that, but I keep letting it get away from me until I get a reminder. My most recent reminder? Eating that delicious omelet the other week, being contently full but not stuffed, and still not being hungry again until lunch!

So, I need your help. I'm definitely going to try to eat more eggs (with goat cheese, and onions, and pesto...mmmm), because they are easy and easily customizable, and a great source of protein. But there is no way I can eat eggs everyday, and there are definitely days when I won't have time to both cook and eat an egg. So what are your favorite, healthy, easy to whip up breakfasts that keep you satiated??


best laid plans...

I had plans to take lots of pictures Friday to show you our beautiful "new" house. Instead I ended up posting this message on my facebook Friday afternoon:

Prayers please. I'm panicking, our house is in shambles. Yeah, it's "clean" but nothing is where it's supposed to be. I don't even know where to start. Seriously bawling here.

Yeah, things didn't turn out exactly as planned.

Frankly, the house looked like crap. Stuff everywhere, paint job wasn't even good on closer inspection, furniture wasn't where it was supposed to be. I had a lot of trouble that day, called Trav crying a few times, finally decided that we couldn't actually sleep there that night. I think all the stress and frustrations of the past month had caught up with me.

Saturday I headed to my parents with Gwen, for a hair cut and visit with Gram. And my amazing husband went to work.
The house is still in shambles! But Gwen's room is cleaned out, the living room is Gwen safe, and its at least possible to move around the house. We just have to take it a step at a time.

Seeing family was cathartic, and after talking to Trav about his progress, I felt much more in control. So Saturday afternoon, on my way home, I called the restoration guy and told him we needed to have a talk. He called me back on Sunday and I used my stern voice (occasionally bordering on barely suppressed rage voice, but I was always nice). He was over at 7:45 this morning to walk through the house with a notepad, on which he recorded all of the things I wanted fixed.

At this point, we just need to sort and put away all of our stuff.... there's no way they'd remember where they moved things from. But he's having the paint fixed, had two guys with him to move the furniture, and is taking care of a few other things. Oh, and the cleaners will be coming back to do another once over when everything else is done.

Pictures then.

In the meantime... a few things I'm grateful for:
1. My shower head! LOL. I so love my rain shower head and missed it.
2. My own bed, with my own sheets, and my own blanket.
3. Gwen having her own room again... we all sleep better, and its nice being able to talk to my husband (instead of whispering) when we're getting into bed in the evening.
4. Internet access!! On a computer, with a real keyboard!
5. Working from home tomorrow.

And one week until vacation in AZ.... yipes!


Go Green Giveaway Event!

You know that I'm always striving to make greener choices, and take the greener option whenever possible. I'm definitely still a novice "greenie", but I'm working on it!! So, I jumped when I saw a chance to take part in the Go Green Giveaway Event, happening October 5-11! The theme of this event is “going green” and each participating blog will be featuring natural/organic products and family friendly items, and hosting a giveaway.

This event will help to put the spotlight on eco-friendly and natural products from green companies! I'm excited to learn about some new (to me!) companies and their items, not to mention, enter to win some great stuff too.

The Go Green event is being organized by Untrained Hair Mom and if you are a blogger with a "green" or eco-friendly blog and are interested in participating, you can check out her page for more info!


Are you an eco-friendly, organic company or are you a individual that makes a family-friendly, natural product? If you are interested in being featured here and sponsoring a prize, let me know! Email me: meegs1982online at yahoo dot com

For everyone else, definitely check in on October 5th, for a great giveaway!!


18 months

Happy Half Birthday!

This year is flying by so quickly, and you are changing so much. I can't believe that in just 6 short months, you are going to be 2 years old!!

Everyday you are becoming less and less of a baby, and more and more of a little girl. You are funny, silly, smart, stubborn, loving... a veritable whirlwind of emotions and constant movement. When you don't want to do something, heaven help us!! But when you are feeling snuggly, there is nothing better then your huge grin as you shower us with hugs and kisses.

You are still my string bean... 19 lb 4 oz (<5%), and 32 in (60%)!! Long and lean. Its probably because you never stop moving! Climbing on chairs, opening cabinets, running after the dog; you are always going.

In the younger toddler room at school, you are the only girl right now. But you love it! You love all the attention the boys give you, and have no problem getting your way! There is no pushing you around. You are my tomboy, in a beautiful dress.  :-)

This past month has been a stressful one for us. We went on vacation, thinking we'd be home in a week, and instead, we ended up out of our house for a month now!! It was hard for you at first, I know you were confused about what was going on, but you adjusted and made it work. I hope that you can always do that, take what life throws at you and just work it out.

On the plus side, you now absolutely adore Willy, your Pappy, and love running over to him and throwing your hands in the air so he'll scoop you up! You guys have a great time together, going for little walks, or just sitting together. 

You are adding a ton of new words everyday: shoe, please, thank you, love you, water, up, Pappy, excuse me, duck, boo-boo, Emily (your daycare teacher), Riley (a classmate). And those are just a few. You repeat so much of what we say now... we really have to be careful!! You love to brush your teeth (12 of them now!), flush the toilet, bring everyone their shoes, and take off your diaper (oh boy.). You like balls, trucks/cars, and the little dogs and cats that come with a play vet shop that you got for your birthday. One of your favorite books is a cloth one that your Nana got you, all about getting ready for bed (it has a small cloth bear that moves from page to page doing things).

You are still a boob-girl, 18 months and counting! I can't imagine you wanting to stop anytime soon, but we'll see how things play out! Its a source of nutrients, of course, but it is such a comfort to you as well, and a way to center yourself when things are going too fast. I'm glad that I can give that to you, and I hope that I can be that for you long after our breastfeeding relationship ends. 

Gwen, you can be so trying sometimes... since you want to do everything your way, and are still learning about boundaries. But you are also the most rewarding part of my life. I never could have imagined feeling this way about someone, and I am so lucky to be your Mama. If time won't slow down, I'll just have to do my best to savor every moment before it passes.

I love you forever,

6 months
12 months
18 months


you say its your birthday...

My birthday celebration started on Saturday, when we headed to Ro & Pat's place for some lunch (Ro made chicken and dumplings, mmmm....), Brew.sters ice cream cake (mint ice cream, vanilla cake, a thin layer of marshmallow between... double mmmm), and pedicures for Ro & I.

Gwen was loving on GG's sunglasses...

So Ro & I got them each another pair while we were at the mall.  :-)

Sunday morning we went to the Pop Shop to use my birthday coupon. I chose the most amazing omelet ever!

Goat cheese, pesto, caramelized onions, and bacon.
Trav got an omelet too... and Gwen had some PB&J Bettys  (pancakes with peanut butter chips in them, and jelly on top. very tasty!).

Monday, my actual birthday, was wonderful too. I woke up, peeked at my iPhone and wondered why the hell I had so many emails. (Duh!)  I'm a lucky and loved girl.

Lunch was out with some coworkers.

Dinner was a big sushi platter, followed by this:

(Amazing cookie cake!)

All-in-all, it was a wonderful birthday. I can't believe I'm 29 now, my last birthday in my 20s! Time flies.


on its way to me...

I swear this was all needed and not retail therapy!! ;-)

Our new ceiling fan for the kitchen:
Flush-mount, light colored, energy star, with light.

Gwen's new swimmi diaper, since she's outgrown the last one:

I'm really, really bad about washing my face before bed each night (I know, I know), so I thought I would give these a try:

I love Burts stuff... so I thought it was worth a shot. I've been using their acne treatment face lotion and spot treatment in the mornings and I'm LOVING what its doing for my skin!

And I bought this to try, since I'm almost out of my Burt's shampoo (I like the Burts, but it doesn't hurt to try some other kinds too!):
Also sulfate and paraban free.

There we go! Little things to put a smile on my face.


I wanted to come here and write a post that wasn't related to all this house stuff, but its like a drumbeat in my brain right now.      house::house::house::house::house     After some better days of being less distracted, I'm back to being unable to concentrate.

I stopped by the house last night to pick up the mail and because I just wanted to see it. It was a bit dark to tell, but it looked like there was priming done on the hall and stairs, and maybe the living room. Definitely not the kitchen or dining room. I'm hoping they make some good progress today, because otherwise getting back into our house this weekend is looking less and less likely.

I guess we'll see.


This is what's good about the current situation.

It makes me so happy that Gwen and her Pappy get to spend so much time together and get to know one another a little more. More then once she's grabbed his hand, walked him out the door, and away they go for a walk through the neighborhood. He just laughs and laughs when she does it... "Imagine, she wants to go for a walk with me!"

Forgot to mention a highlight from this weekend... Gwen took a 3-hour nap on Saturday!! Crazy!


paint and picture...

We met one of the guys at our house this weekend to give him the paint colors. Here's what we went with.

Morning Sunlight   360A-2
I swear it looks more yellow and less peachy in person.

Dining room:
Martha Stewart Living Cavern

Living room and Hall:
Sterling   780E-3

Can't wait to see the final result.

Sunday we visited with my Gram, which was great.

I snapped this one this morning... I love these pants so (they were a cape cod purchase). She's snacking on yellow watermelon and looking quite the "little girl!"

Slightly blurry... sorry!

Hopefully we'll be in our beautifully clean and fully painted house by my birthday! (Now that would be a present!)



I'm behind on emails (work and personal), behind on blogs (reading and writing), behind on returning phone calls, and am just getting around to mailing a package that I meant to send out weeks ago. The cleaning crew is behind too... though hopefully we should be able to move back in this weekend.

::cross your fingers!::

Working on a big organizational project at work with my boss. It keeps me away from my desk for most of the day, so no time for emails or blogging. And that's all I have time for now... hopefully back to "normal" next week.


Gwen and I are both dealing with summer colds right now, and she's cutting the last of the first set of molars... and maybe starting to get the top eye-teeth. So poor girl has been a bit cranky. But we had a nice weekend, and getting to see 1) familiar faces and 2) her pup, seemed to help a lot with getting her to feel more settled.

Friday: Trav brought home the pack'n'play that we're borrowing from a friend until we get back into our place. It was a godsend! Gwen went from waking or halfwaking 3-4 times a night, to waking once at 10-10:30ish and then sleeping until 5 am when she always comes to bed with us. Bliss!

Saturday: We headed to the house for a bit so Trav could mow the lawn. Didn't go in at all, but it was nice to be there. Afterwards we went back to Willy's so Trav could shower, which he did while I sat in the car and read magazines so Gwen slept in the back! She slept from the time we left our place until Trav got back into the car at Willy's, woke only briefly, then slept the rest of the way to Ro & Pat's place. We ate lunch there, hung out, then went swimming. Gwen had a great time in the pool (as did I, it felt like bathwater!), and was so relaxed that after a while we leaned against the wall (still in the pool) and snuggled, and she fell asleep! Then it was back home for dinner and an early bedtime for the babe.

Sunday: Willy left for the week to go camping with his boyscout troop, so we have the house to ourselves the rest of the time we're there! We went to a diner for breakfast, picked up a water table from Kmart, took a short nap, headed to the grocery store, then stopped to pick up Daisy. Willy loves Daisy, but we didn't want him to have to worry about her during the day while we were at work, so she was staying with a friend. But now that he's away, we grabbed her. I'm so excited to have her around again, I missed that crazy pup. After that is was back home to cook up some yummy, honey chicken tenders (breaded with fried onions... soooo yum) for dinner, and an early bedtime for all of us.

Now its Monday. And August! A busy week ahead... but hopefully by the end of it we'll be getting settled back into our own house!