a year ago today.

A year ago today, after leisurely sleeping in on a Saturday, I brushed my teeth and immediately vomited as the minty taste of the toothpaste touched my tongue. A year ago today, I woke up feeling hot, sticky, clammy and sweaty for the fifth day in a row. A year ago today, I wrote a whiny blog post about my rotten luck having a stomach bug on Halloween.

A year ago today, I decided to take a shower. Thinking that maybe, just maybe, I didn't really have a stomach virus, I peed on a stick. Two pink lines appeared in absolutely no time at all. So a year ago today, with the shower still running, I sped off to the pharmacy and picked up more boxes of pregnancy tests.

And a year ago today, all 27 tests that I took showed the same result. A year ago today, I wrapped up all 27 of those tests in a big gift box and gave them to my husband when he got home from work. My mom and sister were out of town and because I wanted to tell my whole family together, a year ago today I sipped on water and sat across the table from my dad at a restaurant acting like nothing at all was new and unusual.

A year ago today, I created this blog.

A year ago today, I had this gut feeling that the itty-bitty little dot of cuteness actually growing inside of me was a boy and that we would call him Ethan.

A year ago tomorrow, my husband and I were embarrassingly enough dressed up as Amber and Gary from Teen Mom.

And a year ago tomorrow, hands orange with bronzer, we handed my parents a book titled The Grandparents Handbook and watched as their faces lit up upon learning that there was a little one on the way. A year ago tomorrow, my little sister's gaudy costume jewelry clanked as she jumped up and down and frantically tried to ask if I was really, really, really pregnant. (A year ago tomorrow, I was really, really, really pregnant.)

And today, on this very day, October 30th, 2011, that very little boy is taking his morning nap all swaddled up tightly while the rain pours down outside. On this very day, he is hours away from carving his very first pumpkin and a day away from experiencing his very own Halloween.

Quite simply, a year ago today I learned that my life would never be the same again. My life would be better than I could ever imagine. In a way, my life began the second he arrived and I first heard his cries. A year ago today, I received the greatest news of my life.



I've always assumed that when you have kids, things just get really, really fun again. You know, in that overly magical and whimsical sense. I was right. The prospect of building Ethan his first bear at Build-A-Bear was so exciting that it was only right to make it a ginormous family affair. There we were, cameras flashing and taking turns making wishes on hearts, bathing a stuffed bear under a stream of fast-blowing air and working on said bear's birth certificate as if we were taking a standardized test. Ethan was a bit confused but, in the end, left snuggling his little bear who somehow ended up being named Wendel.

Ethan's grandma -- my mom -- was unfortunately at home not feeling too well and therefore unable to make the Build-A-Bear festivities. There were enough of us to yell "we love you, Ethan!" into the little sound recorder placed in Wendel's paw where Ethan probably won't notice one voice missing, but mostly Grandma Edie was there in spirit. (Though she never would have gone for our selection of the plaid hoodie and tattered bluejeans. Love you, mom!)

Wendel's birth certificate has been tucked away safely into Ethan's baby book and as Ethan snoozes away for the evening (you know, not to jinx that or anything), Wendel is taking it easy on Ethan's baby swing. It's the little things that make for such bigmemories when you have a baby. Just as fun as I predicted, but I never could have guessed how much!

canvas 4 life review + exclusive discount code and gift card giveaway - CLOSED

My husband and I bought our home in October of 2008 and our walls are still pretty bare, especially in our living room. The large wall above our couch has been bare since we moved in. My husband and I knew we wanted it to be filled with photographs of Ethan but we're pretty indecisive. Deciding on a size, a frame color, a frame style -- well, it was too much effort. The second Canvas 4 Life asked me to review one of their canvases, I knew that we'd use a photograph of Ethan. My husband and I decided on one our favorites of him, wide-eyed and smiling with the cutest look upon his face! As soon as the canvas arrived, we knew it was going to take that blank space right above our couch. And so, just like that, our living room became home-y and happy, filled with the warmth of Ethan's little smile!

I can't say enough great things about our canvas. Ordering it was so easy! Gone was the struggle of deciding on a frame style and color and then having said photograph framed. After a couple of clicks, our beautiful canvas arrived ready to brighten up our living room. Canvas 4 Life lets you have full control over your canvas, making it suited to your personal tastes. They have an amazing range of sizes -- from 12" x 10" to 60" x 40" -- allowing you to create the perfect sized canvas for whatever space you're considering. They allow you the option to quickly adjust your photograph to black and white or a sepia tone if you so desire and even adjust the finish. They offer a choice of uncoated, matte and satin finishes so you can decide which suits your image the best. I was really impressed with the fact that you also are able to choose your desired depth, be it 0.75" deep or 1.5" deep. One of my favorite features was that you're also able to choose if you want your image to be wrapped around the canvas or printed solely on the front. Another impressive feature that Canvas 4 Life provides is an image quality detector and enhancer. They ensure that your image looks it's best for printing and are able to make any minor adjustments to ensure the quality during printing.

Did I mention that all of these options and features are at no additional charge?

I was extremely impressed when I saw the extremely fair pricing that Canvas 4 Life offers along with their free shipping policy. The quality of our canvas was absolutely flawless. Canvas 4 Life describe their prices as "unbeatable" and I'm going to have to agree. I've purchased professionally printed canvases before and can vouch for the fact that Canvas 4 Life offer absolutely unbeatable prices. Every last bit of our canvas arrived in picture-perfect quality without a smudge, scratch or imperfection. I was expecting an absolutely adorable product (after all, we did choose a photo of Ethan!) but was still completely blown away by what we received. My husband and I have definitely added our Canvas 4 Life canvas to our list of most prized possessions! We are totally, totally in love with our canvas!

HOW TO BUY: You can design and order your custom canvas by visiting Canvas 4 Life's website.

SAVE 10% OFF OF YOUR ORDER: Canvas 4 Life have generously offered You Are The Roots readers a chance to save 10% off of your order! Enter promo code urootsten upon check out to save your 10%!

Want to win a $10 gift card to Canvas 4 Life? Here's your shot!

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!
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  • Tweet the following message (can be done once a day for one entry a day) and comment with the link to the tweet: #WIN @Canvas_4_Life $10 GC #giveaway 11/12 US. tinyurl.com/3rxxldv
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Giveaway ends 11/12/11 and is open to US residents. Winner will be selected at random and notified via e-mail.



give me a photograph to hang on my wall, superstar

Ethan filmed his very first television segment today!

Okay, let me pull out the obligatory backstory. My dad kind of has a unique career: he has a television show that airs on the Versus network. Maybe it wasn't so cool when I was in middle school and the boys I had crushes on would show up to school wearing his t-shirts, but now that I'm an adult, it's pretty cool. Among the many irons he has in the proverbial fire and his crazy whirlwind schedule, my dad has always been a daddy. Now that Ethan has arrived, my dad is both a daddy and a grandpa above everything else. In addition to just filming a television show about fishing in the Florida Keys, my dad tacked on an extra segment on enjoying family time with his grandson, soaking up the Florida Keys and all nature has to offer. It was a long two hour drive to our destination but Ethan couldn't have cared less about the drive. He had a blast with his grandpa and observing all of the sea creatures that he has such an affinity for. (I totally made the right decision when I decided use an ocean theme for his nursery!)

We had a blast filming today and the weather cooperated perfectly (which says a lot, considering right now we're on the receiving end of the remnants of a tropical storm). First up was Theater Of The Sea where Ethan was given a special backstage tour -- which led to receiving a kiss from a dolphin! Ethan intently watched the dolphin show and was completely mesmerized by all of the turtles and parrotfish swimming in the lagoons. We filmed the second part of the segment at Robbie's -- an Islamorada staple -- where Ethan helped his grandpa feed the gigantic tarpon who reside at the marina!

It was such a fantastic day and so much fun watching Ethan not just wrap up his very first television episode, but interact with a dolphin and swim with parrotfish -- all at the ripe old age of four months! I'll most definitely keep everyone up to date as to when his episode airs, though I'm fairly certain it will be late December or early January as his episode is the one to kick off the latest season.

My son, the television superstar, is now sleeping soundly. It was a long day of dolphin kisses and fish feeding and snuggles with grandpa but a great day!

Ethan's Wardrobe Provided By...
Fishing hat: Love, Oma Handmade Children's Hats
Outfit: L.A. Art & Stitches


you're the one i want to be with when the sun goes down

I've been missing in action around here but I promise it's for good reason.

We've had a freak bout of beautiful weather down here in South Florida and Ethan and I have been taking advantage of the cool breeze by spending as much time as possible outdoors. We've added late afternoon walks to our agenda, stopping to feed the ducks and waterbirds along the way. We've spent hours at various local parks, swinging on the swings or enjoying the breeze by way of a carousel.

The cooler weather has been such a welcomed surprise as well as an excuse to bust out the Crawler Covers and long sleeves. As is customary in unpredictable South Florida, we're not sure how long this will last, but we're most definitely going to enjoy it.


boo at the zoo!

Yesterday we attended Boo At The Zoo at our local zoo, the Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park. I've said it before but I'll say it again: the holidays are so much fun when you have a little one! Since it's the start of Ethan's first holiday season, we're taking the opportunity to participate in all sorts of holiday events. I was already excited for Boo At The Zoo but even more excited when the weather proved to be cool, breezy and perfect!

I originally anticipated more of our warm weather so I decided to make Ethan a little dalmatian puppy instead of his "official" Halloween costume (which is a bit on the warm side). Sticking with the animal theme, I was a bunny and my amazing sport of a husband had no qualms with donning toddler-sized lion ears and going as a lion. We entered Ethan in a costume contest which he lost to a toddler dressed as a Royal Guard but it's okay, because I'm pretty sure every zoo-goer stopped to fawn over how cute he looked as a little puppy. (He did make a pretty adorable puppy.) Since we entered the costume contest, he got to walk around the fountain in the Halloween parade which made the whole thing worth it. His face was totally priceless as he tried to figure out why we were walking around in circles and why everyone was dressed so silly!

It was most definitely an amazing day. Ethan got in lots of trick-or-treating practice and got to see so many exciting animals! The holidays just become so magical when you have a child to share it all with and watch them take in all of the things that make the holidays so special and different.


i just want to be where the sun shines down, i just want to be with you

Today is the 22nd and that means that I am now a mommy to a four month old. It's cliche and overdone, but still I'm not sure where the time went. It seems that it was just yesterday my water broke as I stood in the bathroom at my parents' house. It seems that it was just yesterday when the doctors called out, "dad, get ready with the camera!" followed by a long wave of newborn baby cries. It's really mindblowing to think that it's already been four months!

We have Ethan's four month check-up with his pediatrician on Monday and I'm already preparing a list of things I want to discuss with her. He is in this developmentally rich time in his life, each day opening another door to another phase. I now have a child who is alert and soaking up so much of the world on a daily basis. He spends so much of the day laughing and learning, smiling as he discovers so much of what we as adults take for granted.

It seems that the fragile newborn has left and been replaced with a precocious child who loves to laugh, has an affinity for Fleetwood Mac and an extreme distaste for birds. He spends storytime and mommy & me classes immersed in the music and studying the room, fascinated by all of the children who are also engulfed in song.

My favorite part of having a four month old -- aside from the daily adventures as no two days come close to resembling one another -- are the belly laughs. The ones where he laughs so hard that he squishes his chin into his chest as if he's suddenly become coy and timid; bashful, even. There are parts of having a four month old that I can't share the same fluttery feeling of love for: teething and Ethan's newfound abhorrence for the carseat. Teething has rendered Ethan unable to spend fifteen minutes without shoving his fists into his mouth, letting out a miserable cry as he pushes at his gums. We've replaced pacifiers (which Ethan has no interest in any longer) with teething chews in the diaper bag. A Teething Bling necklace has become part of my daily wardrobe.

Ethan is in a size three in his diapers. He's wearing 6 month or 6-9 month clothing, depending on the size and the fit. As of a few days ago, he's officially said goodbye to his infant seat and is now solely in his convertible seat! It's still eerie to peak in the backseat and see him sitting in a Britax Roundabout 55 instead of the Keyfit 30 we brought him home from the hospital in, but I'm trying to accept the fact my little guy is growing up and has no desire to lay like a baby in his infant seat anymore. On that same note, he has started to love stroller rides now that the infant seat is no longer involved...and prefers to face the outside world, to soak it all in, rather than me. I won't take it personally!

Life is a constant adventure these days but in the very best sense. These days I wake up with a desire to see what the day brings, to watch him learn and blossom and develop as he grows up (albeit oh so quickly!) in front of my eyes.

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