Convos with my Kid

Just for my brother :)

A Lesson on Permission
A:  **goofing off at table while at dinner and sitting next to Grandma**
G:  Aria, please sit nice.
A:  **still goofing off**
M:  Aria, knock it off, or I'm going to tell Grandma to pop you!
A:  **still goofing off**
G:  Aria, stop that! **pops Aria on the thigh**
A:  Ouch!  Hey Grandma, my mommy didn't say you could pop me yet!

A Lesson on Wants (this is something I wrote down when Aria was two and a half) at "Mexican Monday" for dinner
*waiter puts bowl of shredded cheese for my brother on table in front of Aria instead*
M:  No Bunny, that's not your cheese, that's Uncle Will's cheese.  
*hands bowl of cheese to Will* 
A:  No, that's my cheese!
M:  Maybe if you ask Uncle Will real nice, he'll give you some. 
A:  No! My cheese!
M:  Aria, you have to ask him real nice and he'll give you some.
A:  *in total Milton from Office space style* No, I'll get it myself.
*This little turd got out of her chair, walked around the table, asked to be picked up by Papa Gerald (who was sitting next to Uncle Will) and proceeded to lean forward until her hand collided with cheese*

A Lesson on Labor and Delivery Gone Wrong (or the night my child asked a thousand questions I was unprepared to answer)
*while watching an episode of ER*
A:  Mommy, what's happening to that lady?
M:  She's having a baby, honey.
A:  Well what's wrong with her?
M:  She's sick so the baby has to come out now.
A:  What's wrong with that baby?
M:  The baby looks like he's stuck.  His shoulder is stuck and they're trying to get him out.
A:  Why is he stuck?
M:  Because his shoulders are too big, honey.
A:  What are the doctors doing now?
M:  They're trying to push the baby back in because it's too big to come out, so they have to do surgery to get the baby out a different way.
A:  A different way?
M: Mm hmm, they have to cut open the mommy's belly to get the baby out that way.
A:  Why is that lady bleeding so much?
M:  Because something happened during the surgery and she's bleeding.
A:  What are the doctors doing?
M:  Getting the baby out.
A:  Why is that baby blue?
M:  Because that baby isn't breathing yet.
A:  Why isn't that little baby crying?
M:  I don't know, honey.
A:  What's that doctor doing on top of that mommy?
M:  He's putting his hand inside of her belly to try to stop the bleeding.
A:  Where's the baby going?
M:  To be with some better doctors who can help that baby.
A:  But why isn't the mommy going?  Who's going to go with that baby?
M:  The daddy is going to go with the baby.
A:  Well then who's going to stay with the mommy?  What's going to happen to her?
M:  I don't know, honey.  My, you sure are full of questions tonight.
A:  Yeah, I know.

A Lesson on Frustration
M:  I'm sorry Aria...mommy's not really mad at you, I'm just frustrated.
A:  Why are you frustrated?
M:  I just am, dear.
A:  You know what Daniel Tiger's mommy says to do when you're frustrated?  She says "You need to take a step back and ask for help."
M:  That's good advice honey.
A:  Let me see you take a step back.
M:  Mommy is busy right now and I'll take a step back later.
A:  You don't know how?  Want me to show you how to take a step back?  It's real easy.  And then you ask for help.  You can ask me for help, mommy.  I'll help you.

A Lesson on Lack of Play Dates
A:  Mommy, when will we go back to Matt and Graham's house?
M:  I don't know, honey.  Mommy and Ms. Beth have been real busy lately and haven't had much time for play dates.
A:  Oh.  I miss play dates.  When can we go back to Hoppy Feet?
M:  I'm not sure honey.  Not for a while because you have two more weeks of swim lessons coming up next week.
A:  Oh.
M:  But summer is coming and I'm sure we'll be able to have lots of play dates real soon.
A:  Yay!  I want to have a play date at Matt and Graham's house...and I want to have a play date at Hoppy Feet... and I want to have a park play date (but only at the park that Matt and Graham go to, we have to be at the same park) ... and I want to have a beach play date.  Do you know what a beach play date is, mommy?  It's when we have a play date at the beach!
M:  I'll see what I can do, honey.



I know my brother just loves when I write things about books :)

Sorry I'm late...I was sick most of the weekend, thanks to the perfect cocktail of tree pollen and mold spores we have going on down here.  Seriously springtime...enough!

Now that the weather is getting warmer, it's time to start developing your summer reading list!  Fall, winter, and spring are seasons meant for reading hard, gripping, insightful books.  But summer...summer is for reading fun, cutesy, beachy, lovey-dovey kind of books.  The books you could get through in a day or two if you had nothing else to do but sit poolside all day long and sip on pina coladas.  The kind of books that you pack for vacation and know you'll be finished with them before you get home.  The kind of light, easy reads that keep a small smile on your face the whole time you're reading them.  No Gone Girl or The Book Thief allowed....just fun, easy, light reads!

So here are five books that I'm hoping to indulge myself in this summer.  What's on your summer reading list?

purchase >> here  (or maybe you'll get lucky and find it at a discount store)
I saw this book just browsing through the sale racks at 2nd and Charles a few weeks ago and remembered seeing it on a list of top 100 books to read in 2015 or something like that.  The reviews mentioned that it was non-fiction and was a first hand account of a man and wife on an athropology trip to a remote island somewhere in the Pacific.  It apparently tells of their extensive misfortunes while on this trip and is supposedly absolutely hilarious and "LOL funny".  Well it was only $2, so of course I bought it :)

purchase >> here
A man is hired as "internet security specialist", but his job is to read every email that gets sent to and from every employee in the company.  And then...he falls in love with one of his coworkers as she's sending emails back and forth with one of her girlfriends in the same company (or so that's the gist I get from the Amazon description).  Looks cute!

purchase >> here
I just love Chelsea Handler!

purchase >> here
Did I say fun, light reads?  Well...I'll just sneak this one in!  First off, I didn't even KNOW the movie was based on a book, so that's exciting.  Second, in reading the reviews, the movie strayed so far from the book that reading it is like reading a whole different story.  So that's neat!! I'll be sure to read this one when I'm NOT sitting on a beach somewhere!

purchase >> here
This is a sequel to Broken.  Not gonna lie, it's ... mature.  But hey, ya gotta have a little filth on your summer reading list, am I right?!  Who doesn't love cowboys?

You have some of my list...now go get started on yours!

Book Review: Lone Wolf

It took me forever to finish it, but I've FINALLY finished my lunch book at work!  Lets be honest, a girl can only get so much reading done in 30 minutes in a busy break room with a ton of chatter, all while trying to stuff my face with whatever tasty leftovers I have.

Purchase on Amazon >> here

All in all, a decent read.  It was my first Jodi Picoult book...I've been reluctant to read her because I've heard that all of her books are tearjerkers.  I mean, I've seen "My Sister's Keeper" (a Picoult book-based movie)...supposedly all her books are like that.  I enjoyed the book, but I'd say about 1/3 of it was mildly boring.

This book wasn't as bad as I was expecting.  Maybe it's because I just couldn't get too attached to the characters.  Or perhaps it's because each chapter was told by somebody different, so I didn't spend forever reading just one person's story.  Or maybe it's because it took me over two months to get this done that I got so detached from it in general and developed more of a "just finish it" rather than a "what happens next" mindset.

The basis:  There's an accident and Luke Warren's life hangs in the balance.  His two children, 17 year old daughter who's been living with him for four years and his estranged son who moved out and of the country 6 years ago and hasn't been home since, have to decide what Luke's wishes would have been if he were awake enough to voice his opinion.  The problem:  his kids disagree on what they think the outcome should be.

Throughout the whole book, there's commentary about wolves (because Luke Warren was a wolf conservationist).  To be honest, I could have done without that.  I feel as if it took away from the story.  I know that learning about everything he did with the wolves was supposed to help the reader also form an opinion of what Luke would want in the end...but I really feel like most of it just illustrated how much of a crazy man he was.  I mean, the man went to Canada to hopefully be accepted into a pack of wild wolves, and subsequently lived with them, fighting and eating alongside them, for two yeas!  To me....crazy.  

Anyway...give it a shot.

Have a great Monday, folks!

(my next lunch book:  The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks...summer's almost here, time for a fun, lighthearted summer reading list!)


20 Ways to Stay Sane While Camping

1.  Do NOT go camping in the rain.  It sucks and nobody (repeat:  NOBODY) will have a good time.
2.  When the majority of the people on the camping trip want to go to home (including the dog), GO HOME!
3.  Even if the park says "don't bring in your own firewood", it's a crock...bring your own because their firewood sucks and won't stay lit because the inside is still wet.
4.  Bring something to do inside the tent for when it rains.
5.  Bring something to do inside the tent for when it rains and whatever you brought for #4 breaks unexpectedly.
6.  Bring TWO extension cords because the logical place to put the tent is just over 20 feet away from the electrical hook up.
7.  Don't feed the geese on the first day or they won't leave you alone. (we actually were smart enough not to feed the geese)
8.  Make sure your first aid kit has burn ointment in it so when two of the three people camping get burned by the same propane stove, you can alleviate the pain and stop the burning.
9.  Park near, but not too near, the bathroom...because it's a long walk with a sleepy toddler who has to go real bad.
10.  Don't forget the towels, even if you don't plan on swimming.  You'll get wet enough from the rain to need them.
11.  Do NOT buy those cute camping tableware sets...because doing dishes when camping SUCKS.
12.  Don't forget coffee filters for your percolator...because the holes in the basket are definitely big enough for the coffee grounds to fall out of.
13.  When mutiny is afoot, bribe with presents...such as a kaleidoscope kit and a stuffed animal.
14.  When using bug spray on your clothes, do not then use your shirt to wipe off your glasses.  The bug spray is corrosive and apparently eats away at some plastic and you will no longer be able to see out of your glasses and then will require you to buy new ones upon arriving home.
15.  Bring other bug spray besides OFF...you know, the kind you spray on the ground to kill all the ants.
16.  Don't leave your cloth chairs out in the rain.
17.  Remember fishing poles ... they are of no use when left in the garage (and fishing is an activity you can do in the rain!)
18.  Don't make reservations ahead of time that you don't want to cancel later...thereby forcing you to go camping on the most miserable weekend of the season.
19.  Leave your non-camping wife at home :)
20.  Don't go camping unless there is a temperature-controlled building with a room all your own, a pool with tropical trees, a big comfy bed with lots of fluffy pillows, and a maid.

Poor Sophie was cold, wet, and ready to go home

First time getting in the lake as soon as the rain [finally] cleared

Sophie's only form of entertainment

Look at this awesome caterpillar we found!

Dave and Aria had never seen what happens when you put certain types of metal into a fire...everybody loves a color fire!

THIS is what happens to your glasses when you wipe them off with your shirt that you just sprayed bug spray all over

the PERFECT s'more! >> the secret:  keep it away from the flames and use dark chocolate


Convos With My Kid

A quick installment of Convos with my Kid!  We're going camping (blech) in the rain (double blech) this weekend and I'm hoping (not quite as secretly as I would like) that Aria will have a horrible time and I'll never have to go again.  Or maybe she'll love it and we can go more often on non-rainy, non-buggy days so we can get our money's worth out of all the supplies we bought.  Needless to say, I'm the least excited about going camping compared to Dave and Aria.

Aria has been particularly "grown" lately....

A Lesson on Baby vs. Big Girl
D:  You're my baby.
A:  No I'm not, I'm a big girl!
D:  But you'll always be my baby.
M:  Aria, mommy is grandma's baby...and even know I'm big now, I'm still grandma's baby.
A:  You're grandma's baby?  That's because you cry all the time, mommy.

A Lesson on Punishment to Location Ratio
D:  Aria, knock it off or I'll put you in time out!!
A:  Where are you going to put me in time out?  We're riding in the car!

Another Lesson on Big Girls
A:  Look mommy, a boogie!
M:  Aria, you better not eat that boogie...
A:  Oh I'm not going to eat my boogies and toenails anymore, mommy.
M:  Oh?
A:  Nope.  I'm not going to eat my boogies and toenails anymore because now I'm four, and four year olds are big girls, and big girls don't eat boogies and toenails.  That's so gross!
M:  Well OK then!

A Lesson on Gender Roles
A:  Mommy, how many more days until we go camping?
M:  Just one more day honey.  Tomorrow is Thursday...then the day after is Friday and we're going camping after I pick you up from school around lunch time.
A:  Well then that's two days more days until camping, not one.
M:  Yes dear.
A:  Mommy, who's going to put up the tent?
M:  Mommy and daddy are going to put it up, but if it's raining, just daddy will put it up.
A:  What can I do to help?
M:  You can hold the tent stakes for us and hand us one when we ask.
A:  Can I hammer them in?
M:  Well no honey, I think daddy will handle that part.
A:  No!  I want to hammer them in with that hammer I saw in the back of daddy's car.
M:  OK honey, but you'll have to ask daddy.
A:  Daddy already said I could hammer something with that hammer!
M: OK.
A:  Mommy, I have a new plan.  I'm going to set up the tent, you can help, and daddy can go find us some fire wood.  Does that sound like a good plan?

Have a good weekend, y'all!  Hopefully this rain will move out soon!

My weekend will be like this, but in a tent...oh goodie


Fab Friday Five - DOUBLE EDITION

I didn't do a FFF last Friday because most of the day was spent driving to Boca and the rest of the weekend was a blur.  So I'm doing a double edition this week (yay for you)!  No big theme...just a random pulling together of ten things.  Let's get started!

The Amazon Dash button (exclusive to PRIME members only)  

This was announced on (or around) April 1 and everybody thought it was an April Fool's joke...but it's not!  It's for real.  You have to request an invitation (and be a PRIME member) to get it.  Visit the website to see what brands are available.  I don't tend to use Amazon to buy my trashbags, k-cups, and paper towel, but maybe I might start if they come with an "easy" button!  If only they'd make one for the Cat Litter Genie refills that I always seem to forget to buy.

Citrus Whipped Honey Butter Jars
Citrus Whipped Honey Butter >> recipe here
The restaurant we ate at (three times!) this weekend while at the hotel in Boca had this amazing citrus butter.  I'm not sure how they made it as they said they don't use cream in their butter, but it was AMAZING.  It was light and sweet and tasted like sugary orangey awesomeness.  Especially when lathered (and yes, I do mean lathered as I used two little dishes of this stuff) on their whole grain blueberry pancakes.  So I looked up "citrus butter" and this was the ONLY recipe I found for an orangey-citrus edible butter...all the rest were body butters.  Maybe it'll taste similar, I don't know...but I'm going to make this for sure!! 
(The restaurant, by the way, is Farmer's Table at the Wyndham in Boca Raton, FL and the $15 burger is totally worth it if you get it with caramelized onions and goat cheese!)

Turn your child's artwork into jewelry >> Formia Design
Turn your child's artwork into a keychain!  How neat!  What a unique Father's Day present.
You can also turn your child's artwork into a doll with Child's Own Studio.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus fineline >> purchase here
I know I'm not the only one who struggles with drawing on the iPad or writing something down and it comes out looking like I had sausage fingers.  I even struggle with this when using a standard stylus.  But oh looky here...our favorite computer drawing company has designed a stylus with a fine-point nib for using like an actual pen on a tablet!  It comes in colors, is a bit pricey ($60), and is fully functional (complete with pressure sensitivity) with several apps (including the Wacom Bamboo Paper app available for tablets).  If I had an extra $60 to spend on one of these right now, I totally would!!

Crisp Zucchini Bites with Garlic Aioli Dip (you have to try these!) @natashaskitchen
Crispy Zucchini bites with Garlic Aioli >> recipe here
While in Florida this past weekend, we ate dinner at my FAVORITE restaurant.  And I don't just mean favorite in Florida....I mean favorite in the entire freaking world (even above the Gordon Ramsey restaurant we ate at in London on our honeymoon).  Maggiano's Little Italy is located all over the place...and if you love Italian food, this place takes the cake.  It has a family dining option where you pick so many appetizers, entrees, and desserts for the table...and they'll bring out as much as you want and will even pack up the rest of what's left on your table for you to take home.  Anyway...my absolute favorite item there is the Crispy Zucchini Fritte with Lemon Aioli.  I could eat this all day long and not feel the slightest bit bad about the fact that it's fried.  And the aioli..mmm!  It's garlicky and lemony and tart and so so good!  So these fried zucchini bites right here look like they'll be an adequate substitution for all those days when I really want them but I'm nowhere near a Maggiano's.
(I need them so bad already I'm already planning on making them on Saturday.)

SketchBox April 2015 Review + Coupon - Art Subscription Box
Sketchbox Subscription box >> subscribe here
Even though I can't afford any of them, I really do love the idea of subscription boxes.  A monthly fee to have a box of neat stuff shipped right to you (or your dog via Barkbox)...how neat is that?!  There are a ton of these that I look at all the time...my favorite one, Blue Apron, I am determined to try at some point, no matter the cost!  But this is the first time I've seen this box by Sketchbox.  There are two varieties:  Basic ($25) and Premium ($35).  The boxes come equipped with about 7 art supplies and an art print made entirely using the products (not necessarily the colors) in the box.  The premium box says it has "more expensive" art supplies in it.  I just love this box!  Not that I have the time to sit down and do anything artsy (though if I continue to think about becoming a stay-at-home-mom when Aria goes to Kindergarten, I'll have lots of time!)

Big Hero 6  (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)
Big Hero 6 >> purchase here
Aria has been on SUCH good behavior lately that I rewarded her by renting this movie yesterday and letting her watch it (on a school night).  She really has been so great.  She was perfect for the total of 20 hours we were in the car both ways on vacation, she was extra perfect at the Passover seder, she overcame her fears and floated in the pool without one of us holding on to her, she's been cleaning up her toys when I ask, eating (some) dinner, and taking a shower (less than 10 minutes) without crying about wanting a bubble bath with toys instead.  So I rented this movie because neither of us had seen it and I heard it was awesome.  Of course, when the menu popped up on the screen, Aria said "Oh mommy, I've seen this movie! I like it!" and she informed me that she had watched it at playdate a couple weeks ago, but she wanted to watch it again.  This movie, y'all, is super great.  It's got this big loveable guy who's sole purpose is to help those in need.  And there's this beautiful sacrifice that had me balling on the couch with Aria saying "mommy, why are you crying?!"  I highly recommend watching it, even if you don't have kids...it's beautiful.

Bug -A-Salt Bug Killing Shotgun >> purchase here
We're going camping next weekend and, I'm not going to lie, I'm kind of hoping that Aria hates it so that we don't have to go too often.  Don't get me wrong, I like to be outdoors...if i'm at the pool or the beach.  But camping?  Blech.  There's bugs and constant dirt and more bugs and tons more bugs.  A friend of mine at work was telling me about this thing and how it's better than bug spray.  You fill the top canister with regular table salt, cock the shotgun one time, and flip the saftey.  Then you take aim at the offending arthropod (or arachnid) and pull the trigger.  Salt blasts out with such force it's like hitting the bugs with a bunch of teeny tiny bebes.  Oh yeah...I'm excited about seeing this thing work!
Check out some videos on YouTube...you'll be wanting to get one, too!

Outdoor sink and cleaning station >> purchase here
Look at this neat thing!  It connects to any regular outdoor spigot and becomes a hose holder, a functioning basin, and a counter top workstation.  Neat!! I want one!

My new years resolution every year! awesome simple idea. doesn't have to be another country. simply just a new town or state could do!

Yeah...if only I had the money and the time!

So there it is...enjoy your weekend, folks!



Sorry for the hiatus, folks!  We were in Boca Raton for Passover this weekend and I'm just now getting back in the swing of things.  You'll get two posts this week, so hang tight until then!

Thanks so much for understanding and have a beautiful day (even though here in the AUG the day is stunted with rainy weather and stupid Masters traffic that delayed my route to work by at least 20 minutes)!