sail through the changing ocean tides

Ethan and I recently acquired a jogging stroller on Craigslist (thanks to my wonderful husband who risked his life to pick it up for us -- not that I'm neurotic or anything). It's rare we have a day with no plans and such breezy, beautiful weather so I thought we'd take the jogging stroller for a spin near the beach. Once I saw how captivated Ethan was by the waves and the sand, we quickly made other plans.

It's not his first beach trip by any means, but it's the first trip where he's all but clawed his way out of the stroller to desperately get to the sand. We rented a cabana and snuggled for a while, watching the waves crash against the shore. My birthday is tomorrow and can I just say that this hour of cuddly-Ethan-bliss was the best gift ever?! We had a picnic of organic Mum-Mums and water in sippy cups and then it was time to explore his surroundings.

I only had to take sandy fingers out of his mouth once which was impressive considering how covered in sand Ethan was by the time we left. He was giggling and excitedly babbling to himself as he dug his fists in the sand and watched in awe as the sandpipers pecked at the shoreline in front of our toes.

Nothing beats Florida winters. Nothing. Well, that's not true. Tiny sandy toes? Those win tenfold.

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the stops and in betweens

Excuse me while I dust the cobwebs off of this blog. It has been a tiring and trying week for us all. This past week has seen vaccines, the start of top teeth, sleepless nights, two consecutive diaper explosions that caused Ethan to finish our Stroller Strides class naked, refusals to nap and so many more equally cringe-worthy things that I could probably remember if my brain was a bit more charged. Maybe it's for the best I'm too lazy to recount them all.

We've been trudging on as best we can through this week of tough stuff. I've admittedly been watching the laundry pile grow as I opt for cat naps with Ethan on the couch in the afternoons instead. I don't think there has been a night I've gone to sleep without that level of tired that you feel in your bones. Of course, there hasn't been a night that Ethan has slept through so that feeling of bone-shaking-tiredness is one I've come to know very well at this point.

And then there have been the random, happy moments that slip their way in past the tears, pouty lips and fingers shoved in sore, teething mouths. This evening I had bitten into my dinner and burned the roof of my mouth. "It's hot!" I exclaimed in agony-laced terror and Ethan? He was cracking up. I mean cracking up in a way that trumps any obnoxious sitcom laugh track; cracking up like he was going to burst from laughing so hard. Each time I muttered the word "hot," he would throw his head back and laugh with all of this energy that I wasn't aware any of us had left. This went on for about ten minutes. I'd say the word "hot" and he would nearly fall over from laughing so hard. As random as it began, it ended. The laughter stopped and the serious look made it's way back over his face. Curiously, my husband muttered the word "cold." Ethan stuck out a quivering lip and began to cry. Then we were back again.

Sometimes the greatest skill one can possess is the ability to trudge through the gloominess and find their way to the other side. This wasn't a skill I was aware I possessed until I became a mother. Trudge we will, until the teeth stop hurting and the growing paints subside (did I mention that Ethan grew 4 1/2 inches in just four short weeks?!) and life regulates itself just a little bit. I'm optimistic that this will be sooner rather than later and I'm also more than content to spend the afternoons curled up on the couch with Ethan while we rest the misery away.


full disclosure.

Before I was pregnant, I never watched television. If it wasn't for the news and the fact my father has a television show, I would have gladly lived a life without television. I didn't understand why or how people could get so sucked into the absolute stupidest drivel and I'd be that person at every social gathering: the one awkwardly biting on my straw and scanning the room in an attempt to avoid the conversation about pop culture that I had no remote idea about. I confirmed on many occasions that, yes, I was apparently living under a rock -- and that was totally fine with me. From college on, the only other television shows I'd bother watching would be old reruns from classic television: Happy Days, The Waltons, The Wonder Years, Roseanne -- yeah, I mean it when I say I had no idea about pop culture once the '90's ended.

Then I got pregnant. At first I was ordering shipments of books weekly from Amazon and the "do you live under a rock?" question was replaced (by my husband) with "haven't you heard of a library?" Then turning the pages become too much work. Once bedrest hit, all I really wanted to do was lay on the couch, ice my preeclamptic ankles and mope in my misery. Which I did. While watching Bravo for a sickening amount of hours a day. Suddenly I got sucked into The Real Housewives. It was a cruel, mindnumbing addiction that I couldn't break.

...Suddenly I was no longer that person who would ask "what's a Nene?" at a social gathering. (Excuse me while I hang my head in shame.)

I'm (obviously) no longer pregnant or on bedrest, but the lingering addiction of the Housewives has stuck. My DVR recording settings are completely embarrassing but that's okay, because I'm admitting it: the Housewives have sadly become my guiltiest of guilty pleasures. (Yes, I am still hanging my head in shame.)

That said, it made full sense for Ethan and I to stand in a line for an hour to meet Kyle of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame. I was owning up to the fact I had even bought her book to have her sign but I wasn't ready for the news cameras that we had to keep dodging. I thought of how I would rather eat my eyeballs than be caught on camera in line -- in the heart of Boca -- waiting to meet one of the Housewives. Ethan slept through our trek through the line. He woke up just as we were rolling on up to the red carpet to meet Kyle. I'm fairly certain even he was giving me the side-eye.

I was caught even more off guard when Kyle was incredibly sweet and insisted on Ethan being in the picture even though the boutique staff were being huffy about the apparently impossible maneuvering of his stroller to be placed next to Kyle. But since she was so incredibly nice to my son, I'm guessing I can admit it all here...I am totally, totally addicted to the Housewives. And Kyle is actually really, really cool.

(And Ethan totally loved Kyle's hair. I'm just thankful she wasn't close enough for him to start yanking it.)

bloggers you should know: kim from the glitter and the gray

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Kim from The Glitter & The Gray

Hey there, all! My name is Kim, and I write a little blog called “The Glitter and the Gray”. Why is it called that, you may or may not have asked? Well, because as a stay at home mom to an adorable two and a half year old named Jack, my life is a mixture of a touch of glitter and a touch of gray. Much more of the former, now that I’ve settled into this new role, as I’m sure many of you can relate to!

I live in a tiny little town in the Catskill Mountains of New York with my husband, Jay, our two pain-in-the-butt cats named Snack and Hobbes, and of course, Jack. Jay and I have been married since September of 2007, and have been together since 2003. Jack came along in April of 2009.

This is the three of us back in October for my brother’s wedding!

Since then, things have been a bit of a whirlwind. New jobs, moving, etc. Truth be told, sometimes it all seems like a bit too much to handle! I think that’s why I love blogging so much. Even though I don’t always have the time these days to sit down and let all of the thoughts pour out, when I do, it clears my head! And the sense of community is like none other. Just visiting other blogs, reading the ins and outs of what other people are going through in their lives, I think it can make people feel not as alone, you know? And as a stay at home mom? There are lonely days, of course!

Our little family has resigned ourselves to making 2012 a banner year. We’re aiming for changes and growth. While still employed, thank goodness, my husband is on the hunt for a new, better paying job. I’m opening myself up to things I may not have done previously. I just joined a newly formed playgroup in my town (it’s such a tiny town, there wasn’t one previously!), I’m trying to make friends for both myself and Jack, trying to make myself and what I do more well known on one of my biggest resources: the internet (TA-DA!) all the while running around and playing with cars and trains with the little dude…trying to figure out half of what he is saying…he has a slight speech delay! ;) He’s made leaps and bounds in the past few months though, and it sure is nice to now have someone to talk to in-person during the day!

Oh, did I mention we’re slowly renovating the house we’re currently renting? If you like before and after pictures, come take a look!

I think that’s me and my little corner of the internet in a nutshell. Feel free to stop by and say hello…and maybe stay a while. I love “meeting” new people!

It has been an absolute pleasure talking to you via You Are The Roots, a big thank you to Lindsay for the opportunity!


take his picture by the pool 'cause he's the next big thing.

Ethan begins swimming lessons on Thursday. The swim school offers several open swim sessions in addition to the lessons, so I thought it'd be a good idea to take Ethan to an open swim session today so he's familiar with the water before he begins his lessons. He's one of the few babies his age who haven't already been exposed to the water due to his contracting RSV at five months. My husband felt fairly confident he'd love the water given how excited he gets about bathtime but my Overly Paranoid Maternal Neurosis was unstoppable. And, as it usually is, said neurosis was totally unnecessary.

Ethan loved the pool from the moment we stepped into the water!

He had such a blast floating around the pool! I felt bad when it came time to take him out of the water, as he was just so content floating around and exploring the water. He was totally a natural, putting his own face into the water as he floated and kicking his legs as he navigated through the pool on his little raft.

Did I mention that he actually swam under the water? Twice?! Because he did. And I might have lost ten years off of my life each time, but he popped up from the water and kept on splashing without a care. Not a pout, frown, whimper, cry or tear. (From him, anyway. I make no comments about my own behavior during the second that felt like years that my child was submerged under the water and swimming his way towards me!)

The entire point of this open swim was to familiarize Ethan with the water before his swim lesson on Thursday but it was probably more of a nerve-calmer for me. He was never concerned. He's got this. No problem.

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sick days.

My day today began at midnight when I woke up to a very unwelcome bout of food poisoning. I'm pretty sure I only clocked an hour or two of sleep total until it was time for my husband to leave for work and me to somehow dust off my Super Mom cape and pretend that I was confident in my ability to get through a day tending to a precocious seven month old and simultaneously running to the bathroom and silently praying I wouldn't be joining my cats in the Puke All Over The Floor Club.

Ethan must have sensed my lack of enthusiasm today as he was more than happy to spend the entire day snuggling with me. And by the "entire day," I mean a decent amount of time when he was not preoccupied by his new ball pit or the gaggle of Christmas and Hanukkah presents I'm finally getting around to setting up for him. The best part of today -- aside from the snuggling -- was that we didn't put on pants all day. No Pants Days are totally the greatest.

Know what's also pretty great? Growums! Ethan and I won a Taco Garden growing kit and today seemed like the perfect day to do our indoor gardening.

It was the perfect sick day activity: planting vegetables and herbs in the comfort of our own home where Ethan could solely be clad in a diaper and no one could give me the side-eye for making sure the garbage can was never too far away from where I was situated. (Unlike food poisoning, Growums are awesome. Ethan and I promise to keep you posted on the sprouting and development of Hal E. Peno and pals.)

I feel a little tinge of guilt at wishing today to be over. For a sick day where I felt so rotten that I had already accepted my impending demise, Ethan sure made it a worthwhile day. Taking a day off from the world and spending it snuggled up on the couch under a cozy blanket with Ethan was the best medicine. I surely won't miss the nausea but I already anticipate missing our huddled-up snuggle-spot on the couch once the week inevitably plays on and life becomes busy again.


seven months.

Ethan is seven months old today. He's now on that upward climb up from half a year, making him even closer to one full year. I've been spending more time thinking about his first birthday party and doing some party planning, but it never actually hit me how quickly the time was flying by.

At six months, Ethan began solids with his first taste of homemade organic vegetable purees. He has had sweet potatoes (his least favorite), zucchini (his most favorite), butternut squash, summer squash, green beans, carrots, peas and a medley of carrots, green beans and lentils. It all has been going wonderfully save for peas which caused Ethan to break out in a skin rash. This month, we are beginning fruits. Ethan received his first taste of organic fruits yesterday with a homemade avocado puree which he loved.

Ethan is wearing clothing in 9-12 month sizes, depending on the brand. He's officially in Size 4 diapers, a change which seemed to happen overnight when his size three diapers just no longer fit when he woke up in the morning. His eyes are still a beautiful shade of blue which I'm holding onto hope will stick! He has his two bottom teeth and is getting incredibly close to cutting top teeth, too. This 7 month old also has one heck of a social calendar: we do Stroller Strides, My Gym, weekly playdates at friends homes and -- swimming lessons. This coming Thursday, Ethan takes his first ever Water Smart Baby class at the swim school. I just might be more nervous than he is.

He isn't crawling yet, but I've had a gut feeling for some time that he may skip crawling altogether due to the discomfort that his reflux causes him whenever he's flat on his stomach. He is, however, standing like a pro and can hold onto the couch or the crib rail while holding himself up with ease. Sleeping still isn't as perfect as it was, but we have gradually reduced the number of wake-ups in the night from two to one so maybe this is a sign that Ethan won't completely detest the idea of his crib in the near future.

His current favorite toys are his Green Sprouts stacking cups, his musical drums and our cat, Amelia, who allows him to stack the aforementioned stacking cups on her without protest. The YouTube video of Feist singing Counting To 4 on Sesame Street might win above all of these things. Let's just say it's Ethan's most favorite song.

I think this age right now is my absolute favorite. I've said this in the past and I know myself well enough to know I'll probably say it again in the future, but I am loving every last thing about this age. I've been watching him absorb the world since he was born, but watching him implement the things he has learned into his daily life has been incredible. He knows to hold his arms out for me when he wants to be picked up. My husband has graciously showed him how to bang on his tray when he wants more food. It has simply been wonderful watching him learn and develop and become the person who he is.

Accepting the fact that the 8 pound, 4 ounce newborn we brought home from the hospital is now closing in on 25 pounds and creeping uncomfortably close to one year is another story. Really, where does the time go?

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mommy who?

The weekends are special days for Ethan as they mean marathons of uninterrupted time spent with his daddy before work steals him back on Monday. I try not to take it personally when, on the weekends, my cuddling isn't enough to make Ethan stop crying or my singing isn't enough to make him smile when he wakes up in the mornings. During the week, I walk into Ethan's nursery and he flails his arms at me with a need to be picked up and cuddled and a smile on his face as we make plans for the day. On the weekends? He has this cheated look on his face when he sees it's me walking into his room to retrieve him for the day. He just has to hear my husband's voice from another room and he perks up, desperately craning his neck to try to find his daddy. I don't take it personally, even when I'm covered in pureed avocado at ten o'clock at night while I'm trying frantically to prepare Ethan's food for the week and my husband is laying on the couch watching The Office. I mean, I am tempted to toss the avocado pits at my husband's head, but I don't take it personally.

No, I'm just kidding. I love the way Ethan lights up whenever he hears his daddy's voice or the way he giggles at whatever silly song or dance my husband is performing for him. I remember being totally immersed in my daddy when I was little, too (and I totally recall all of those times my mother muttered something to the tune of 'right, because I do nothing for you all day long!' while fussing around the kitchen in frustration as I cried out that I wanted my dad to tuck me in -- sorry, mom!).

This afternoon, we went to one of our local parks to ride the carousel. This is something my husband never gets to do during the week with us and I thought it would be nice for Ethan to share one of his favorite places with his dad. What a treat it was, especially as my husband is ridiculously tall and this means Ethan was able to sit atop one of the big horses! I usually make Ethan ride on the handicap benches because even the tiniest horses always go too high for me to reach and hold onto him. Wait. I just admitted that. Moving on.

After a busy week of playdates, gymnastics, Stroller Strides and just trying to enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasted, today was a nice way to end an afternoon. The park was crazy between multiple birthday parties, daycare field trips, a baseball tournament and an abundance of children just visiting the park with their parents but you could tell by looking at Ethan that it was only him and his dad. No one else in the world.

(I won't take it personally.)

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bubble day.

We have had a busy week of parks, playdates and desperately trying to regain a normalized sleep pattern. Guess which of these things have been fun and which have been absolutely miserable?

The good news is we're down to only two wake-ups per night. The bad news is that when in his bassinet, Ethan was already sleeping through the night for a while so this regression is hard to celebrate. The other good news is that on these playdates, I'm allowed to show up looking like a zombie and I'm met with sympathetic support from moms who understand the exhausted stupor I'm trying to float through without completely losing my mind and sanity.

Today was a good day, regardless. At 5:30 a.m., my exhausted husband surrendered and carried a still sleepy Ethan into our bed. Ethan and I proceeded to sleep until 8:30 in the morning. I don't think I've slept in that late since I was a teenager. No, really. 8:30 in the morning is my equivalent of sleeping until noon. It was kind of nice, even when I was being whacked in the cheek repeatedly by tiny infant hands to wake me up when he saw fit.

Wednesdays are Ethan's My Gym days and therefore our favorite day of the week. I can't even begin to list all of the things that we love about My Gym, but today was at the top of Ethan's list. Today was bubble day. Yes, bubble day is a special day in the eyes of my son. It's a special day for me, too, as all that fun made Ethan so sleepy that he fell asleep in the car and didn't even wake up when I changed him and placed him down for a nap in his crib. Success!

Sleep (or the lack thereof) aside, I'm realizing that Ethan turns 7 months in just four short days and that (even though I always say this nearly every month) this just might be my favorite age of all. That little boy might not how to sleep, but he sure knows how to melt his mommy into puddles with his big, silly grins. I swear the entire world lights up when he smiles.

bloggers you should know: sarah from a better and magnificent mom

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Sarah from A Better And Magnificent Mom

Hey there everyone! My name is Sarah from A Better and Magnificent Mom and I am so happy to be guest posting for Lindsay, here on You are the Roots.

Me and my little silly one

I am a first time mommy to my little munchkin, Maggie, who is about to turn 18 months. Mags is an active little bugger and doesn't like to be still for any length of time. With that being said, I have been thinking since the summer, about what we are going to do this winter to not go stir crazy!

Running around outside before we are stuck inside!

First of all, I knew that I wanted to sign Mags up for some "Mommy and Me" classes. We attended one last year, and on those cold, dreary days it was a lifesaver. It was so nice, just to get out of the house and have somewhere to go, with activities that would interest my little curious baby. This year, I was interested in a place that not only offered classes, but also offered some open gym time for her to run around and get the sillies out. I researched the local offerings and found that Gymboree has open gym times and that, plus some specials they are running, made the decision. We will be taking a music and gym class there and we can't wait to get started.

Just about the only picture I get these days...the toddler action shot!

The next thing that I thought about for this winter was maintaining our membership with the local mommy club that I found through Meetup. This website helps people with similar interests get together in their area. They have lots of different groups and I was fortunate to find a great Mommy group. Last winter we started with a few play dates, and then we started attending other really fun events. I think the best event we attended last year was the Halloween party and parade.

My little clown

My final idea for helping while away the time during these frigid winter months, concerns Maggie's Christmas gifts. For the past two years, Mags has been so blessed by all of the wonderful toys, books and games, that she has received as presents. There are way too many to play with all at once, so I have some of them stored away, and over the winter I will pull one new toy out about every month or so (putting away an old toy, to make room). It's kind of like sustaining the fun of opening new gifts over the entire year. Just another little help for those cold, otherwise grey days.

A rare seated time

So those are the plans! Thank you so much to Lindsay for letting me guest post. Hope you are having a wonderful day and feel free to stop over at A Better and Magnificent Mom, to visit!

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