Archives for August 2011

Honeymooning Honeys Link Up!

Everybody loved linking up their wedding photos and sharing their wedding stories in my Down the Aisle link up (I even left it open for an extra week so more people would have the opportunity to link up! So it got me thinking…I bet people would like to share their honeymoon pictures too! But some people didn’t go on a honeymoon, but I’m sure you’ve went away on a romantic trip together, and that’s kinda sorta the same thing right? So here it is…my Honeymooning Honeys link up!

Link up your photos, your story, your memories…whatever…just link up! It will be fun! And bonus – you can link your Down The Aisle post to this one (good SEO practice, there!)

We went to Belize for our honeymoon for 8 days of scuba diving, which is something we both love to do.

Belize honeymoon photo

We flew into Belize City, and from there took a 3 hour tour boat ride out to a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. There were two other couples on the island and staff…that was it! It was INCREDIBLE.

island in Belize

The island was about the length of two football fields, and about one football field wide. It was tiny.

our honeymoon bungalow

There behind all of those palm trees was our honeymoon bungalow. The view was incredible for the small porch.

The water was SO clear…the visibility was 100+ under the water and it was as warm as bath water.

sunset_in_belize sunset_in_belize_2

The sunsets were stunning, and I wish that I had a better camera to capture the light.

nighttime_on_island_in_belize

Remember that we are on an island in the middle of the ocean. To say that it was dark is an understatement! This is me standing on the deck with the ocean directly behind me. Yep, it was that dark.

And although we were super tired from diving all day (we did 2-3 dives everyday!), we still had time to enjoy a beer after dinner.

Someday, I hope we can go back there to dive again. It was my favorite diving trip of all time, and the best honeymoon I could’ve asked for.

Now it’s your turn! Link up your photos and stories from your honeymoon!

Also linking up over at Project Alicia for Wordless (or in my case Wordful) Wednesday! Check out her site for a list of fantastic other blogs to link up with!

I’m Pausing For A Moment…

I’m not here today (Tuesday) because I am over at JDaniel4’s Mom blog trying to Pause Life for a Moment. If you spend entirely too much time on the computer and too much time ignoring your kids too little time enjoying time with your kids, head over and read the post because you will relate! And thanks Deirdre for having me over to guest post!

Also…you all loved my Down The Aisle link up so much that I decided to do another fun one! Get ready to dig out your honeymoon photos and link them up with your honeymoon story!

That’s right! Starting on Wednesday, you will be able to link up your honeymoon photos and/or story to share with everybody. It can be one picture or a ton of them, with or without a story…perfect for both Wordless or Wordful Wednesday!

Daddy Moment at the Monster – John Style

That’s right! It’s time for another Mommy Moment at the Monster! Except this time we are gonna have a Daddy Moment!

Let’s welcome John from The Adventures of Daddy Runs a Lot! John is the daddy to two little ones, as his blog title suggests he loves to run and is a fitness nut, and a writer…a true writer. He also keeps me laughing on Twitter and has been really supportive of Mommy of a Monster.

So once again welcome John! If you’re not sure what a Mommy (or Daddy!)  Moment at the Monster is, head over and read all about how Mommy Moments at the Monster came to be.

Go grab a cup of coffee and a donut, ahem, I mean a low-fat muffin, or depending on the time of the day maybe some wine and chocolate, and sit back and enjoy the story!

———-

I know stay-at-home mothers don’t have it easy. My plans weren’t to “show off” or anything like that. No, I simply wanted to take as much as possible off my wife’s plate as possible. She’d come home, and the stuff that came with parenting that didn’t involve playing with babies would be handled. Like the best laid plans, things did not go as I had hoped.

My wife works every Friday, and the first weekend of every month – those Fridays, we’re fortunate enough to have family members who actually fight for the right to babysit. That weekend, the kids are all mine. After one particularly trying week for her, I really wanted to try to “do it all”. We needed dog food, so I’d go to Petsmart. We needed milk and I needed deodorant, so we’d go to Target. I’d get as much laundry done as possible. And the kids (8 months & 15 months) would eat healthy.

I went into motion as soon as she left and put the girl in the pack & play, letting the boy “help” me with the laundry (I put stuff into the washer, he proceeds to find something to pull out of the washer). As soon as I hit the “start” button, there’s the smell that any parent knows. It wasn’t the boy, it was the girl, who was mostly asleep. I wait and start making breakfast. This was a huge mistake.

Just as I’m about to pour the pancake batter onto the griddle, she wakes up and starts screaming. Wait on the pancakes. Got it – off to change a diaper.

Only I had waited too long, and it was a full change of clothing. Not a problem – I got this, I dress her all of the time. And then I clean up the pack & play, because, um, ew. And maybe I put out a near fire where an oven mitt was touching the griddle. But, kid was changed, house was standing, and now I had pancakes cooking.

Before they were done, though, the boy started crying. As I finish cooking the pancakes, I feel wet down my shirt. Oops, I hadn’t changed his diaper since the first go. Change him, change me, salvage burned pancakes and we all ate breakfast1.

After breakfast, I threw the girl back into the pack and play, threw the wet clothes into the dryer, threw in another load of laundry (realizing, only after I hit the start button that the boy had bad been taking the dirty clothes out of the washer and into the dryer, so I stop the dryer and take anything that felt mostly dry, throwing it back into the washer) and decide we all need to go for a walk.

I get out the dual stroller, put the girl in, put the boy in, strap the dogs to my body, and off I go. Midway through, the girl starts screaming. And there’s the smell again.

Rush to the end of the walk, get the dogs inside, and change the girl. And her clothes. Wash out the stroller (if I were smart, at this stage, I would have realized that plans outside of the house might not have been a great idea).

Put the stroller in my truck, put the kids in their carseats, head out shopping.

Kids fall asleep in the truck, but I wake them getting them into the stroller. We buy dog food (and laugh when an over-excited sheltie jumps into the stroller to say hello to the kids . . . they’re too cranky to do much but cry).

Go to Target as the kids start to wake up. Actually have a great time in Target as people simply coo over the kids. Buy Goldfish crackers and milk. Decide to go to Starbucks.

Realize that Starbucks is not exactly accommodating to a double-wide stroller as I knock over a display sign trying to find a place to sit down. Fortunately, they were all very nice & set things back up, keeping an eye on me.

Feed the kids Goldfish as I enjoy my iced coffee. Realize that there are more goldfish ending up on the floor than in my kids’ mouths. Make not to apologize because I know I won’t be able to clean up all of them.

Knock over same display getting out of the store, realize that I barely cleaned up any of the stray Goldfish. Forget to apologize.

Go back home.

Change both babies because, well, I’m going to stay ahead of the curve here.

Put girl back in pack & play, take out some of the dry clothing and start to fold it. Hear a grunt from the laundry room. Realize the boy has taken out all of the clean clothes, thrown them on the floor with the dirty clothes waiting for the next load, and was jumping into the pile of clothes and rolling around them as if he were jumping into a pile of leaves.

Note that I’ve, technically, done about 1/3 of a load of laundry now.

Take boy out of laundry room, standing in a weird position to keep him from entering, put the wet clothes in the dryer, do one super-sized load of part-already clean, part-dirty clothing as the boy screams.

Note that the girl has started screaming.

Remember that they haven’t napped today, and that getting them to nap usually takes milk and/or formula.

Go to prepare two bottles and realize that all of the bottles 2 are dirty and in the sink. Go to put the non-bottle stuff in the dishwasher only to find that it’s full of clean dishes.

Put away clean dishes, wash dirty bottles, go deaf from screaming children.

Prepare bottles and note that the girl has stopped crying.

Give the boy a bottle of milk (as he reaches for the bottle of formula) and get him to fall asleep on me.

Two minutes pass and the girl starts to cry.

Try to shush the girl and end up waking the boy.

Stand, put boy down (so he cries louder) and pick up girl.

Feel the “squish” before the wave of odor hits me.

Throw off my own shirt (this was an especially bad blowout and I wasn’t sure if I had another shirt to wear that was clean because, well, couldn’t you tell the laundry situation was somewhat dire?), pick up girl, pick up boy, head upstairs.

Start changing girl. Get “it” all over me.

Realize that we’re out of wipes.

Put girl on the floor, butt-ass-naked, pick up the boy (who is still screaming), head downstairs and soak several paper towels in water.

Head back upstairs, put down boy (louder crying), put girl on changing table, go to put diaper on but pull off a tab. Lament having to waste a perfectly good diaper and put another diaper on. Realize that all of her clothes are somewhere in that mess of laundry downstairs. Pick her up.

Go to throw the exploded diaper in the bin. Miss.

Sit on the floor and cry.

At this time, the boy stopped crying.

Silence, save for tiny little sobs coming from somewhere inside me.

Then a pat on my back, and a “shhhh shhhh shhhh shhhh,” from the boy. It’s the very same plan-of-attack I’ve used on him every time he’s had a “so exhausted, I’m crying” spell.

Take both kids downstairs (girl nekkid, save for the diaper), sit in a recliner, give the kids their bottles.

My wife came home to find us all asleep.


1 I ate half-burned pancakes while both kids screamed and threw cheerios at each other
2 Yeah, I know that the toddler shouldn’t have actually had a bottle at this point – but, dammit, he wanted his sister’s formula and this was the only way to keep him from reaching for it at every turn

———-

Thank you for sharing this moment John…one all of us can absolutely relate to! And when dads step in and experience our day-to-day lives as SAHMs (or even WAHMs), the appreciation and understanding that they get to relate to helps make them better fathers and husbands. By you sharing your Daddy Moment with us, you are reminding us all that parenting is not easy, and it’s a team effort. Kids are exhausting. Trying to get things done with kids running around is nearly impossible. And all of that. Thanks John, for sharing your story with us.

There’s no manual out there for what we do, so sharing stories like this helps us all learn from each other.

Now head over to John’s place The Adventures of Daddy Runs a Lot and if you are new there, make sure to tell him that I sent you!

The Life Lessons Learned From Team Sports

Child Softball Photo

Me a long time ago

Team sports…how important are they to the development of children? I happen to think that they are crucial. Many kids play sports for the love of the game – my brothers both played football and basketball for many years while they were growing up, and they are still both fans of both sports. Some kids play as a way to learn the sport or to make friends. Others, are not at all interested in playing sports, but their parents kind of force them into it. That was the case with me when I was a kid.

I’ll admit – I thought it would be fun to play softball. I don’t remember how old I was, but I’m guessing maybe around 8 or 9. I could catch and throw the ball, and remember telling my mom it might be fun to be on a team. The next thing I knew, I was on a team even though I cried before every practice because I was so unsure of myself and didn’t want to look stupid if I struck out or missed a ball.

I loathed practices, didn’t make any new friends (most of the girls had been playing together for many years…I was the newbie), and was afraid to play any of the bases because I didn’t want to miss the ball and have the team not like me.

No.Self.Confidence. At all. But I kept going to practices, kept running around the bases and trying different positions on the field. And what I realized was that I was better than I thought – I wasn’t the worst on the team. In fact, the team was better because I was on it. I could play several different positions, but spent a lot of time on first base or as catcher.

I learned to trust myself; believe in myself. I learned to trust others to have my back, and that I needed to have theirs. I learned how to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. How to work with girls who didn’t like me, understanding we were still part of the team. I learned discipline, pride, that practice is the only way to get better. That there was always a leader or two and lots of followers, and that a team couldn’t work without each of them.

What life lessons do kids learn from team sports?

I learned all of those things because of playing softball. Those are things I wouldn’t have learned at school, that nobody can really explain to you. They are life lessons that you have to experience for yourself. All of those things are crucial to a child learning self confidence, trust, teamwork, and passion.

All of those things are so important. And why am I mentioning all of this? Because I believe in supporting good causes, like SUBWAY’s Baseball DeSIGNS auction on ebay. Through its partnership with Little League Baseball and Softball, SUBWAY has created the third annual SUBWAY Baseball DeSIGNS tour.

The tour features more than 50 baseballs designed by kids and signed by celebrities. Fans can visit SubwayKids.comand the Official SUBWAY Facebook page to see pictures of all baseballs in the display. The baseballs from the tour are now up for online auction and fans can bid on the baseballs.

100% of the auction proceeds benefit the Little League Urban Initiative. SUBWAY Restaurants have proudly sponsored Little League Baseball since 2005 as a way to encourage Little Leaguers and their families to live active lifestyles and eat healthy.

There are some pretty cool baseballs up for bid, so what are you waiting for? Head over to SUBWAY’s Baseball DeSIGNS auction on ebayand find a ball to bid on! It’s for a fantastic cause, and the balls would make great Christmas gifts…

Answer the question “What life lessons do kids learn from playing team sports?” for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate for sporting equipment for your child’s team.

Want to help more children stay active by playing team sports? Go to SUBWAY® Baseball DeSIGNS Auction onEbay. All proceeds go to the Little League Urban Initiative, which helps fund inner-city youth leagues and teams.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SUBWAY® Baseball DeSIGNS. The opinions and text are all mine. The $500 Gift Certificate Giveaway Contest runs from August 19 – 28, 2011. A random winner will be announced by September 1, 2011. Official Contest Rules.

Ethan Turns Four

Shaggy_Haired_Boy

Ethan is 4 now.

Curious

Independent

Stubborn

Warm

Affectionate

Standoffish

Getting ready to start preschool

Perfect.

Ethan is 4 now.

Mama’s Losin’ It I wrote this post for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop in response to Prompt #4:
Write a post that begins and ends with the same sentence.