on a carousel

Sometime around noon, I decided the weather was way too beautiful outside to waste a day indoors. One of our local parks has a carousel and, for some reason, this park always slips to the back of my mind when I think of things to do with Ethan. He and I set off for the park and he was mesmerized from the instant he saw the carousel with it's flashing lights and cheerful music playing. We paid $5 and received 5 tokens which were good for fives rides on the carousel. I wasn't sure how he would react at first as I nervously sat down with him in one of the carts. I was too nervous to hold him on a horse due to my irrational fear the horse would go higher than I could reach and the carousel would prove to be a deathtrap like I always assumed it really was.

One of us loved the carousel. Hint: It wasn't me.

Aside from being plagued with generally unpleasant motion sickness, I can't stand rides. Something as seemingly tranquil as a carousel makes my teeth chatter with fear. I'm the obligatory bag holder or child watcher at theme parks or fairs while everyone else tries to convince me that the Dumbo ride serves a larger purpose than encouraging you to plummet 5,000 feet to your death.

Ethan, however, adored the ride. He was mesmerized by the flashing lights and sat in awe as he watched the horses in front of him go up and down. He whimpered when the first ride was over and, head spinning, I handed the attendant another token. Okay, we'd do this again. The spinning of the carousel started a cool breeze through our hair that felt nice on such a warm afternoon.

To cool off before heading home, we walked through the science exhibit. Ethan watched the bigger kids set off the rockets and drive the trains around the perimeter of the room. He was particularly interested in watching this little boy push a button that started a burst of air that made an air balloon rise up to the ceiling. The boy would push the button and Ethan's eyes would follow the air balloon up with this inquisitive look.

It was an awesome afternoon and one of those types of days that made you want to kick yourself for not thinking of it earlier. On our way home, we dropped in to visit with Grandma Edie and Aunt Megan so that Ethan could finish off his fun-filled day with loads of cuddles, snuggles and kisses.

Kid Music Personalized Children's Music CD Review

Seeing as how Ethan went through a period of time when he’d only sleep in the car and now refuses to nap without music playing in the background (a trait he undoubtedly inherited from me), we put a lot of stock into music and CD’s. If it’s something you’re going to be listening to over and over (and over) again, it needs to be something that remains as fun and interesting the fifteenth time around as the first. When we got the opportunity to review a personalized children’s music CD by Kid Music, I was super excited to try it out! Kid Music sent us their "Friendly Songs Collection" CD with all of the songs personalized with Ethan’s name. I loved this CD for so many reasons!

Every morning when Ethan wakes up, we sing good morning songs and do some stretches. The first song on the CD, appropriately titled "Wake Up", is the perfect soundtrack to our early morning exercises. The song begins with a cheerful, "wake up, Ethan, it’s time to play!" and continues into an equally upbeat, happy song that is the perfect song to begin the day with. This is one of those CD’s that you can listen to from morning to evening as it closes with a "Goodnight" lullaby that tranquilly reassures Ethan (by name!) that it's time to go to sleep.

The songs in between are a medley of heartwarming ("No One Else Like You"), educational ("The ABC Song") and silly ("The Dinosaur Shuffle"). They are perfect songs to sing along with in the car or while dancing around the living room. In addition to the great and catchy songs that you’ll be singing along to in no time, I really appreciated the great quality of this CD. Ethan's name wasn’t just mentioned once or twice, but constantly from beginning to end. If his name wasn’t popping up mid-verse, a cheerful narrator was chiming in with an "Ethan, are you ready to sing?" or another friendly tie-in to keep him entertained in the music. While he’s a little young to appreciate it as much as I do right now, I know hearing his name appear on his music CD will excite him so much when he's older. The CD label itself is cheerfully decorated and personalized to my Ethan. If you wanted to give one as a gift, Kid Music will even include a free personalized note on the CD label so your little one will always remember the occasion or who it's from.

Kid Music offers a slew of personalized children’s music CD’s so your collection doesn’t have to stop at just one. In fact, they offer personalized music for seemingly every occasion from birthdays to holidays and everything in between. There is a huge selection of lullabies, religious songs, party songs and more to choose from -- even songs about using your imagination! What’s also pretty cool about Kid Music is that in addition to simply getting your music on a CD, they offer teddy bears that play full length songs, too! It’s a cute gift idea or something comforting for baby to cuddle with on a long car ride or at naptime.

And don’t worry if your child doesn’t have a fairly common name like my Ethan as Kid Music has over 11,000 names to choose from. What I thought was pretty cool was that if your child's name isn't readily available, Kid Music will record custom names for any of their albums in just a few business days. No one has to be left out due to having a unique name!

I also learned something else about Kid Music and that is that they are always thinking of us moms! While lots of women sell cosmetics or other items in their spare time as a side-job, Kid Music offers moms the opportunity to sell personalized music CD’s (and the aforementioned teddy bears, too!) at a 50-75% profit margin. I’d admittedly be way more willing to attend a fun children's music party over a Tupperware party any day! They offer moms an assortment of start-up packages to choose from to get their own little music side business started!

All in all, Ethan and I are definitely impressed by Kid Music and hope to acquire more of their personalized music CD’s in the future! Here’s how you can learn more about Kid Music, order some personalized CD’s for your child or learn more about their “for mom” music business:

TO BUY: Visit Kid Music's website or check out their Facebook page!

For more information on the wholesale business, visit Friendly Songs, the sister company to Kid Music!


so i'll send you my words from the corners of my room and though i write them by the light of day please read them by the light of the moon

This morning we were late for Mother Goose Time. It was all my husband's fault. Okay, it was probably just a little bit my fault, too. He treated me to a morning of sleeping in since I was up late last night...only he underestimated the process of getting ready and leaving the house with an infant on a 30 minute drive. In the rain, at that, as today was gloomy from start to finish. In between packing the diaper bag, grabbing the camera, loading up the car, getting Ethan fed, changed and dressed, I somehow had to find time to get myself dressed.

I sat Ethan up in our bed and sang songs and danced while I got dressed. It's the only thing that works. He is the audience and I am the performer, desperately trying to entertain him enough to keep away the waterworks while I try to make myself look presentable enough to make it out in public. I brush my teeth and do a makeshift tapdance at the same time while trying to sing some silly song a la Jan from Grease through lathered up gums. I share my make-up mirror with Ethan while I struggle to get eyeliner on the other eye once he decides the show is getting a little stagnant. I've learned to put on mascara without a mirror at the same time as I'm slipping on my shoes. All the while, of course, singing some obnoxiously bad rendition of a song Ethan probably can't even recognize.

Just another morning in our house. Just another morning.

I realize at 9:35 that we're still home. We can do this. We take the route the GPS advises us to take which I always avoid because it's filled with back roads through unfamiliar places and I'm as terrible at navigating as I am singing. It's the fastest route, the GPS assures me, and I listen because I have a hopeful little boy in the backseat who deserves to have his spot in the circle of happy babies and children engulfed in singalongs.

We get there. We miss the song where the teacher welcomes all of the children to the circle, but we get there nonetheless. I can't help shake the feeling of being rushed and the awkward feeling that comes with it. I feel like I could have an egg cracked on the top of my head and can't quite place what is wrong with this picture, like my legs are sitting across the room from my torso and I can't seem to figure out what is different. For once, many of the other children spend the class crying (I blame the weather) and my child is all giggles. He rolls around his blanket and talks, coos, laughs, looks around at all of the other babies as he wiggles around and moves his limbs in his own unique little dance. It was worth rushing for. It was worth the moment of panic when I honestly can't remember if I only have make-up on one eye.

Watching babies wiggle around on blankets is one of those entertaining bits about motherhood that I never thought about with a longing sigh. You know the staples: baby's first zoo trip, first smile, first laugh, holding a sleeping baby or taking a whiff of their clean baby scent fresh out of the bath. I never looked forward to watching my baby wriggle around on a blanket but, let me tell you, it is up there with my favorite parts about being a mother to an infant so far. They each have their own little wiggle-methods, their own way their limbs flail about as they twist around in their own little dance. It's adorable. It's worth rushing for. It's worth praying to the navigation system gods that your GPS knows where it's taking you when it tells you to turn down a street you've never even heard of as the rain pours down on your windshield.

For me, the days are rare that I'm able to begin with a mad rush and not only keep my composure but genuinely enjoy the day. Today was one of those days. Today was one of those days where I got into my pajamas, sat down and smiled at what a fantastic day that it was.


all of the beautiful colors are very, very meaningful

Grandma Edie (that'd be my mom) and I brought Ethan over to our local ceramics painting studio to make something special for my husband. He just accepted an offer for a new job with a company he's super excited about working for so Ethan and I wanted to make him something special for his new desk.

After far too much deliberation, we decided on a cup to hold his pens and pencils. After even more deliberation, we decided on a blue color scheme. Apparently these are difficult and vital decisions to make. Who knew?

The studio employee helped us sponge the paint onto one of Ethan's hands and one of his feet and then press them onto the piece. It was quick, simple and surprisingly not too messy. Grandma Edie fed Ethan a bottle while I tried my best to write a quick message along with Ethan's name and the date in paint. I'm not an artist and that is an understatement.

Ethan was intrigued by the paint on his feet and watched intently as his foot was stamped onto the ceramic piece. As for the handprint? Well, that was a bit more challenging. Ethan enjoyed clenching his fist and squishing the paint around in between his fingers more than he did stamping it onto the pencil cup. Eventually we were able to get a perfect handprint and get Ethan all washed off in the studio sink! Because we're terrible at surprises (okay, okay, that blame falls all too entirely on me), we already showed my husband photos from our ceramic painting adventure. The pencil cup won't even be ready for pick-up for 10 days and yet it's already his favorite thing ever.

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


in my heart you'll always know there is a place only love can go; there is a place only you can go

We're ringing in Ethan's third month with a mighty unpleasant touch of Thrush and his little cheeks aren't the only things that are all flustered around here. Here's a confession to let you into our current mental states around this house: I definitely took these photos yesterday morning. In fact, I celebrated Ethan's third month for most of the day yesterday until I suddenly realized that it was only the 21st. We are not in a good place this week and I may or may not have kissed the bottle of Nystatin and opened it with the prayer that it is able to cure the anguish my little lovebug is currently experiencing. It's the same prayer I plan on saying to my bottle of anti-stress bubblebath that I'm looking forward to enjoying when my husband ever gets home from work to be on baby duty.

I also feel I can finally relate to the old adage I grew up with my mom saying to me as she laid next to me, stroking my hair while I sobbed and truly believed I'd never recover from whatever adolescent bout of heartbreak I was currently experiencing. You know, the old "however much you hurt, I hurt more" or the "when your children hurt, you hurt more" variety. Watching Ethan tug at his mouth and pull at the tiny curd-like blisters in his mouth has been so excruciating that I'm pretty sure I spent more of today crying than he did. And, trust me, he cried a lot.

Ethan is weighing in at 14 pounds, 12 ounces. He's wearing size two diapers and a size 6-9 months in clothes. Though it's been a little iffy during this whole Thrush thing, he's more or less sleeping through the night from 9:00 in the evening until 5:00 in the morning. I've been desperately trying to get him to take even a couple of ounces throughout this Thrush thing but prior to this starting, he's been eating 7-8 ounces every 4-5 hours. He loves music and loves to dance with me in the afternoons. He's started to enjoy swinging in his swing but mostly likes to stare at the animals spinning around on the accompanying mobile.

It's so hard to believe how quickly my baby is growing (and growing and growing and growing) but I am eternally lucky for every last moment of the past three months and all of the moments to come.

And a shameless plug (cut us a break because we are in need of one around here): as you may remember, Ethan was selected as one of ten finalists in Munchkin's nationwide Munchkin Bunch competition! The voting can be done five times (in a row) per day and ends on October 1st. We'd be forever grateful for your votes! Click on his photo below to visit the Munchkin Bunch's Facebook page to cast your votes!


and everyday is the start of something beautiful

I find myself exclaiming how much I can't wait for the days when we don't have to wait until five o'clock in the afternoon or later to take a trip to the park. Waiting desperately for the temperature to drop lower than 97 degrees gets a bit old when there are so many great things to explore outdoors. As September slowly fades into October, we're getting closer to the days when the morning is just as suitable outdoors time as the evening.

This late afternoon, Ethan and I met up with Grandma Edie and Aunt Megan at the park. We swung on the swings and Ethan explored the tot lot with his Aunt Megan. My mother told a little girl waiting for her turn in the play boat that it probably felt like just yesterday she was that little, pointing to Ethan. We rolled our eyes then and yet I must admit the speed at which time is passing by is really unbelievable. When I think about the fact that I have a nearly three month old little boy, I'm suddenly more hesitant about wishing away these long, hot, sticky summer days. I expand the length of our snuggle time knowing that all that is outdoors will wait for us for when the cooler days do come about.

But we're not in a rush. We're simply enjoying these moments.

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


no matter what we do, it's always you and me and you and it's always me and you

On Monday mornings, Ethan and I attend Mother Goose Time at a local library. Sometimes it's a struggle to get there as it begins at 10 o'clock which is when Ethan normally eats and then naps. I've been trying to switch up our schedule and get him to fall into a routine that fits in nicely with Mother Goose Time and I think I finally managed to do just that. At the end of the storytime, there is a corresponding craft for the older children to do. Ethan started to get hungry and fussy just as the craft began which was actually perfect timing. While the bigger kids colored and glued, I fed Ethan a bottle and then he napped on the drive home.

Ethan loves the singalongs at Mother Goose Time. Today he sat in his Bumbo seat and stared in wonder as all of the voices filled the room. We clapped his hands and he became the wheels on the bus and also reached for the stars to find both Jupiter and Mars. On days like this morning in particular where we're running late for a myriad of reasons from spit-up to lost keys, I do everything in my power to ensure we don't miss Mother Goose Time. All of the tears, stress and cursing at red lights along the way become worth it when I get to watch the way Ethan stares in wonder during the singalongs.

There is nothing that I roll my eyes at more than when parents of celebrities insist they knew their children were destined for stardom from infancy or when parents of infants insist upon their child's brilliance and advancement. While neither of those are my intention (I'm not that far gone yet), mark my words that my little boy loves music. My favorite is when I play music for him and he insists on babbling back or making soft coo-ing noises in order to sing along. He "sings" along to several different songs while intently watching my mouth as I sing along to the music, too, though his current favorite is Brick by Ben Folds. I'm aware that everyone who has read this paragraph is now giving me the side-eye and thinking that I've finally lost it (I swear, I haven't -- it might be close, but I'm not there yet!), but for whatever reason, Brick is the only thing to get him to sleep at bedtime or naptime. Sometimes we sing it upwards of five times in a row before he lets sleep take over his eyelids. (Just try to sing something else and you're back at square one. I learned that lesson the hard way.)

My grandmother was an incredible singer and I like to joke that her talent skipped everyone else and landed with Ethan. Somewhere along the line, someone has to be destined to inherit her voice. (Or so I keep telling my tone-deaf self.)

Tonight for dinner I made Asian Noodle Bowls with Steak & Snow Peas. This was one of my husband's absolute favorite meals before he was diagnosed with Celiac but I decided to recreate it in gluten-free form tonight. It was an easy transition as I used gluten-free stir-fry rice noodles and gluten-free soy sauce in place of soba noodles and standard soy sauce. Whether you're gluten-free or glutenous, here's the recipe.

Stir-Fry Rice Noodles (gluten-free) or Japanese Buckwheat noodles
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak, cut into chunks or strips
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
Handful of unsalted, chopped peanuts

1. Boil noodles until al dente, drain and set aside.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season steak with salt and pepper. Cook steak until medium-rare (turning once), 2 to 6 minutes per side.
3. Transfer steak to a spare plate, cover with aluminum foil. Save juices in skillet.
4. Add snow peas to skillet, and toss with juices. Cook on medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, for 2-3 minutes. Add noodles, soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons water; cook for 1 minute.
5. Transfer to serving bowls and top with steak and peanuts.

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


so cover this warm night in a blanket of starlight

We decided to wrap up a great weekend with a picnic at the beach right before sunset. I packed up some sandwiches, snacks and fruit and off we went to sit in the sand and enjoy the salty, ocean air and beautiful weather. There was an unrelenting ocean breeze that complimented the unusually cool Florida weather perfectly. It seemed many others had the same idea we did as the beach was packed with parents walking the shoreline with their babies in tow. The weather was too perfect to pass up such an evening.

My husband remarked that we must do this again sometime and I wholeheartedly agree. Sundays are normally quite sad as we sit at the dinner table and dwell over the fact that Monday is rapidly approaching and we have to wait oh so long for the next weekend to arrive. I used to walk the beach when I was pregnant or bring a book and sit in the sand to surround myself with complacency and the baptismal feeling of the ocean flooding over my toes. I think the salty air did it's job again and filled us all with a sense of relaxation and tranquility on this lazy Sunday surrounded by seaweed, sandpipers and one another.

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm Review & Giveaway - CLOSED

We are huge Earth Mama Angel Baby fans in this house. My love for this company blossomed when I was pregnant and has just continued blossoming into my journey into mommyhood. Earth Mama Angel Baby have created a great deal of products from pregnancy to postpartum to breastfeeding to baby, all of which are completely natural, toxin and cruelty free.

I was really excited to try their Angel Baby Bottom Balm for quite a few reasons. I love Earth Mama Angel Baby because their products contain absolutely no toxins. The thick, white diaper creams on the market are not only messy but contain some ingredients that I would prefer to not put on my baby's skin. Angel Baby Bottom Balm contains organic olive oil, calendula, St. John's wart, shea butter, tea tree oil and other ingredients that you've both heard of and can feel comfortable putting onto baby's skin. From the first time I used this, I loved how lightweight it was.

There was no thick, white cream to make a mess or stain anyone's clothing. The balm goes on mostly clear and feels clean and light against baby's skin. It doesn't leave behind a heavy, sticky residue. This is the only bottom balm on the market containing organic olive oil and naturally occurring antifungal and antibacterial herbs. While we don't cloth diaper, the Angel Baby Bottom Balm is perfect for those who do cloth diaper and is compatible with all kinds of cloth diapers. Because they really do produce products for everybody, Angel Baby Bottom Balm is also vegan as it doesn't contain beeswax.

Because it's packed with naturally occurring essential oils and ingredients, there are endless uses for Angel Baby Bottom Balm aside from assisting with diaper rashes and helping to prevent diaper rashes in the future. It soothes thrush and can help provide comfort against bug bites, razor burn and other minor rashes. I can vouch for this completely as I had an allergic reaction to a new hair product containing coconut. My face was red, itchy, stiff and swollen. I borrowed Ethan's Angel Baby Bottom Balm and dabbed it on my face after washing. My skin was instantly soothed and aside from the instant feeling of relief, the balm helped calm my skin and heal it. I can honestly say there aren't any other bottom balms on the market I would feel comfortable lathering all over my face which speaks volumes in itself. Why would I want to put those other icky ingredients on my baby? Earth Mama Angel Baby get that.

Ethan receives Angel Baby Bottom Balm at each diaper changing and I'm happy to say he's never had an instance of diaper rash and the balm is incredible at alleviating any redness that has developed. Instead of heavy perfumes, the Angel Baby Bottom Balm smells gently of essential oils that are so relaxing especially at bedtime. Ethan and I are huge fans of Angel Baby Bottom Balm and we will never be using anything else on his bottom!

Earth Mama Angel Baby are giving one of my readers the chance to win their own container of Angel Baby Bottom Balm! This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents and closes on September 30th, 2011. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via e-mail.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Make sure your e-mail address is visible or included in your comment!
  • You MUST be a follower of You Are The Roots on GFC (Google Friend Connect) to be eligible for entry!
  • Comment and let me know that you want to win!
BONUS ENTRIES: *Mandatory entry must be completed for these to count!
  • Like You Are The Roots on Facebook and leave me a comment with your name (first name, last initial) or URL so this can be verified!
  • Like Earth Mama Angel Baby on Facebook and leave me a comment with your name (first name, last initial) or URL so this can be verified!
  • Sign up for Earth Mama Angel Baby's monthly newsletter (top of the page) and let me know you've signed up!
  • Follow Earth Mama Angel Baby on Twitter and leave me a comment with your username so this can be verified.
  • Tweet the following message (can be done once a day for one entry a day) and comment with the link to the tweet: #WIN Angel Baby Bottom Balm from @EarthMamaHQ US/CAN 9/30 http://tinyurl.com/3gbj8r7
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook (can be done once a day for one entry a day) and comment with the link!
  • Enter another one of my giveaways and leave a comment here letting me know which one you've entered (one entry per additional giveaway entered)
  • Vote for me on Picket Fence Blogs (look to the left to see the buttons) - counts as one entry, can be once a day. Leave me a comment to let me know you've voted!
  • 5 Entries - Blog about this giveaway. Comment (one comment for each entry, 3 total) with a link to where I can find your blog entry.
  • 5 Entries - Grab my button and comment (one comment for each entry, 2 total) with a link to where I can find it.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...