Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Olive is 3

Wow, how time flies....

Olive turned 3 a couple of weeks ago. I'm still in disbelief that my little bitty baby could already be three years old but I'll say, so far so good. We had a family brunch on her actual birthday, which was a lot of fun. Then this past weekend, we did a party with a bunch of her little friends from school. What an amazing group of 3 year olds!! We also had a couple of other friends join us and it was great. I couldn't have asked for anything better!

Today I took Olive to the pediatrician for her three year checkup. Did I mention that I LOVE my new ped?? She is great. She too is a mother, which means so much to me. She is very caring but also very matter-of-fact. She gives it to me straight, tells me what I need to hear and how to do it without being condescending or judgmental about the way I do things. Sometimes I know what I need to do (a little extra "tough love") but she tells me WHY I should do it and how important it is. For me, it is validation for being what sometimes feels like a "mean mommy". So after seeing her today, I must say I feel really empowered. In control. Ready to tackle the next toddler tantrum. (well, ok, I am not exactly looking forward to the last one but I know it will happen sooner or later...)

So we started right away...I limited Olive's milk intake to 2 cups today and gave her unlimited water. I fed her dinner with no extra options and she could eat what she wanted and when dinner was over, I put the food away. I put her to bed a little earlier. I fed her a full-sized vitamin. Tomorrow we will tackle our 1-2 hour nap/quiet time (she's been "resting" in her room for about 20-30 minutes, if I'm lucky). The list continues...

I think I even feel empowered enough to take her advice on Baby Bit too and move her upstairs tonight to her own room. Maybe. But she did sleep all night last night (9-6:45) in the Pack n Play in our room, all nice and swaddled. But tonight she fell asleep early so I will have to wake her to feed her again...maybe I will wait until another night... maybe tomorrow.... this is becoming a stream of conciousness...I should probably go to bed myself. Night night!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Change is Hard

We've had a lot of change this summer. A LOT.

It's been mostly good stuff with some that's not so good. But it's been hard on all of us. We are finally settling in a little to our new house and new routine, including school and ballet for Olive. We're getting by but there have been a lot of tears (from all of us) of sadness, anger, frustration, and overall exhaustion. I'm finally starting to feel like a little bit of progress is being made and my head is clearing just a little. I can breathe again, if only for now.

So as I always promise, I'll try to be better about blogging. I have lots of great recommendations for children's books that we've discovered (my mom is a big fan of taking Olive to the library).

Now...I'm off to make princess lollipops for Olive's 3rd birthday (which was actually last weekend but her party with her little friends is on Sunday). Until later...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Little Pink Pansy has been nominated for an award!!

You're the first to see our new logo!
Please help my business, Little Pink Pansy, win a fantastic award sponsored by NBC and American Express. We've been nominated for the Shine a Light award and if we win, we would receive $100,000 to use for marketing and promotion. WHAT AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY!!!
Here's where you come in....we need help to get 50 endorsements by tomorrow (Sunday, Sept. 13th) by 11:59PM EST. Please visit http://shinealight.ivillage.com/sbo-profile/?ProfileID=9545 to endorse us. We are a small business and need all the help we can getting noticed!
Please pass along the word to all your friends!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back to School with Food Allergies

For those of us whose children have food allergies, going to school can be a scary prospect.

Olive's new school is not nut-free (as her last one was) which has caused me a lot of anxiety. However, the staff has been phenomenal in their support of children's special needs. Apparently in this (much larger) school, there are only 3 kiddos with nut allergies. This is so strange to me as in her previous school, I think there were 3 kids in her class of 10 with nut allergies. Anyhow, the principal and teachers sat down with the parents and we reviewed action plans for possible reactions and what to do in case of emergency as well as what things are and are not safe for our children to eat (if you haven't been following my posts, you may not realize that there are SO many more things besides just peanuts and peanut butter that aren't safe for Olive). In another very positive step, the school sent a great letter to the parents in our classrooms and I thought I would share it here in the hopes that another FA (Food Allergy) family could use this as a method of communication within their schools. Also, at Olive's school, they provide the snacks for the children. Since she is not able to eat all the same foods as the other kids, they give her the ones that are safe for her (fruit, cheese, etc.) and I keep a stockpile of other non-perishables (pretzels, cheese crackers, fruit snacks) in her classroom to use as a substitute for the others.

Here's the letter:

Dear Fellow Parent/Guardians,

Occasionally a health concern arises in a school setting that requires enlisting the support of parent/guardians and the classmates to help make the classroom a safe and healthy place for all. This letter is to inform you that a sutdent in your child's classroom has a severe allergy to peanuts/tree nuts. For this child, strict avoidance of these allergens is the only way to prevent a life-threatening allergic reaction.

We are asking for your assistance in providing our students with a safe learning environment. Even touching a small amount of a product or acidental ingestion containing peanuts/tree nuts could result in a life-threatening situation that requires emergency medical treatment. To reduce the risk of exposure in the classroom, we are asking that you consider not sending any products containing nuts for your child to eat during snack or lunchtime and for birthday treats as well. Some examples include: peanut butter, peanuts, or snacks specifically containing peanuts. Products produced on shared equipment are also a concern for these children, but we understand that avoiding this altogether would be difficult. Please read ingredient labels carefully, but understand we may still double check since they are often confusing. If your child has eaten peanuts or tree nuts prior to coming to school, please b e sure their hands ahve been thoroughly washed prior to entering the school.

Parents of two children with this condition have offered their contact information should anyone have questions about the allergy or how to respond.

(this is where my email/phone # and another parent's are listed)

We believe all families understand a parent/guardian's concern about safety and will join us in ensuring the environment is safe for all students. If you have any questions regarding ingredient lists, safe snacks, or other questions, please feel free to contact or email us. Thank you for your help in making this a safe school yar for all!

Not bad, right? Hopefully this helps the other parents understand our concerns. I know lots of parents feel inconvenienced by requests like this but I think we can all understand the parent's need to guard their children as best they can.

Happy eating and good luck at back to school!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Messiness of Motherhood

I'm eight weeks in to being a new mom again and I'm reminded how messy motherhood can be.

Let's start at the beginning...

First you get pregnant and sweaty and nauseous. By the end of pregnancy, many women are wearing pantiliners to feel fresh (and some do this the whole time, some even bleed during pregnancy).

The baby is born and thus we enter another phase of messiness. First off, there are the baby messes. This includes dirty diapers, wet diapers, constant spit-up, projectile spit-up, projectile urine during diaper changes, and much more. Secondly (and perhaps often overlooked) are the mommy messes. After giving birth, women bleed for several weeks (making up for all those wonderful period-free months). Breastfeeding mothers experience lots of milk leaking from their breasts. Not only are these things messy and disgusting, but they require a lot of tending to and also a lot of trash. Think of all the pads that are used during this time and with each one, you have the pad itself, the wrapper, and the strips that adhere them. For nursing moms, most will wear breast pads to help control disgusting wet spots on the front of their shirts. You either use disposable ones (lots of trash) or reusable ones (lots of laundry). For all babies, there are lots of diapers. Again, you either use disposable ones (lots of trash) or reusable ones (lots of laundry). Have you ever thought about the impact on the environment of having a baby??

As baby gets a little older, we start developing the toddler drippy noses, skinned knees, and mushy messy baby food. Later it becomes dirty sports uniforms, stomach flus, and spilled juice. I could go into a lot more detail about each stage but you get the point... No matter how neat and clean of a person you are, the job of mother is anything but glamorous and anything but clean. Inevitably you will experience spills on your favorite couch, a few crushed Cheerios in your car, and spit-up on your dry-clean only blouse. While these things are anything but pleasant, it's just part of the game, and well worth it for that beautiful smile and "I love you" that comes every now and again (but never frequently enough!) After all, it's the little things...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

D is for Delirious

Ok, let's be honest here... I have not been as good about our daily letter lessons as I had intended. Call it laziness, exhaustion, being overwhelmed, whatever... but I am still doing it and that should count for something, right??

Here is our "D" list. Some letters are just easier than others. For me these days, "D" just stands for "delirious". While Baby Bit has had a couple of nights where she slept longer than 3-4 hours, I'm still getting up twice a night most nights and let's just say that I'm a bit tired. But as any of you with toddlers know, there's no sleeping in or resting when you have a toddler. Sigh... so with bags under my eyes and a forced smile, I keep chugging along, enjoying this time with my girls and doing what I can to make life a little bit more stable for them. Luckily, we move into our new house this week so after that, things should calm down. Here are a few pics of Olive on our scavenger hunt.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Learning the ABC's

I have decided to try to teach Olive her ABC's.

She seems to know her numbers fairly well so thought I'd give a shot at letters. I know she can do it, I've just never had any idea how to teach it. I came up with this little daily plan, which is easy, fun, and quick. We'll see how it goes and I will try to keep you updated. If you have any other great ideas for teaching letters and pre-reading skills, please share as I'd love to reinforce this however I can.

Here's how it works: Each day (weekday, that is) we pick a new letter. (We are going in alphabetical order or else I'd get too confused). On one piece of paper, we write both the capital and lowercase versions of the letter (ex: A a) and on another sheet of paper, I create a scavenger hunt with objects that begin with that letter. I also try to use a couple of proper nouns that require uppercase letters. I try to use words and objects that she is familiar with and will see on a regular basis, as well as the names of her favorite characters or family and friends. Then the rest of the day, we look for the featured letter in other words, signs, etc. Here are some pictures of her with her lists. Feel free to use any of this to help teach your own kiddos their letters. (and notice that on the "C" day, she is eating one of the items from her list - "cookie" - after all, it was important for her grasping the letter "C", hehe).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Olive's 1st Day of School

Today was Olive's first day of her new school here in Florida.

She is in the "butterfly" class and was so excited. When we arrived at school, she went right to the table and started painting a yellow school bus with her teacher and some other children. She hardly noticed when I left. I had to ask for a hug and a kiss. When I picked her up, she didn't want to leave and when we got home, she kept asking, "can we go back to my school?" I think it was a successful day!

Besides that being great news, the head of the school and the teachers sat down with the parents of food allergy children and we had a talk about allergies and what to do in case of emergency, what foods are safe and not, and how to use an Epi-pen. It was very reassuring. A step in the right direction.

I'm excited to get back into a routine. This summer has been great with a lot of major changes (new baby, moving, still not in our own house yet, death in the family, etc...) but very chaotic. I think we all need some sense of "normalcy" again. However, Olive will be in school 3 days a week this year and I must admit I'm a little sad she'll be gone so much. But it does give me some wonderful one-on-one time with Baby Bit and I'm grateful for that. Happy School Year!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Wow, it's been quite awhile since I've blogged...I promise to get back to it again soon...

Life's been a little hectic, to say the least.

Our newest addition, aka "Baby Bit" arrived on July 2nd. A beautiful, healthy little girl that we just adore. We've been having a blast with her and Olive is absolutely infatuated.

We moved to Florida. Yikes. Yes, we moved 750 miles away with a 3 week old baby. We're crazy. We're currently bunking with family until we can move into our new house next month.

We're buying a house. That, in itself, is a nightmare endeavor but add it to the other things and well, you get the idea...

Hope to be back blogging away soon.... today we re-established some sense of "normalcy" for us - we went to the pool with some friends. Wonderful and fun and now we're all tuckered out and girls are sleeping. Aahhh... guess I'd better go get working on some more stuff for the move.

Later gators!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Betting on Baby

I am less than a week away from my official due date and anxiously awaiting baby.

For kicks, we're having people guess the date of baby's arrival along with approximate weight.

Here are the only guesses thus far:

Olive - (she has two guesses): Today 6/25 or next Wed/Thursday 7/1 or 7/2

My doctor - Monday 6/29

My brother-in-law Seth - Monday 6/29

Dennis - Sunday 6/28

What do you think?

Friday, June 19, 2009


WOW, it's been almost a month since I've posted. You're probably wondering what happened to me?

Life has been crazy, to say the least.

We are still on official "Baby Watch" around here - could be any day. I'm feeling exhausted and awful and ready for her to come. My mom arrives on Tuesday so would be great if she could wait to show her pretty face until then but I hope she doesn't wait too much longer after that ;) Being 9.5 months pregnant while you are chasing a 2.5 year old is not easy. Enough said.

Add to that our other great news...we are moving!!! Dennis got a fantastic job in Florida so we will be leaving the area in July and life has been crazy trying to get packed up and ready to move too. SO many major things happening at once.

On top of this, Olive and our dog Jack have both decided that sleep is unnecessary so the baby is not even here yet and nobody is sleeping in our house. Sigh...

As a total aside...I have been meaning to blog about the book, "The Kite Runner" which I finished quite awhile ago. I'll be short and sum it up and just say that I loved it. I learned so much again about Afghanistan and history and it really makes you appreciate what we've got. Khaled Hosseini is a fantastic author that really draws you in. I also watched "Slumdog Millionaire" (which I did not think was as great as everyone said) but a lot of the poverty and lifestyle images were similar and it gives me a greater understanding of the headlines in the newspaper (that I read while sipping coffee, sitting on the leather couch, and watching my flat screen TV). I realize how fortunate I really am to have unlimited choices in my life (like the opportunity to move closer to family, to stay home with my children, to live in a nice home, to eat whatever I want for dinner). It's a good reminder to be grateful for the wonderful people in our lives too - they are what really make it or break it - and it's imporant to remember how much easier our lives are than people in many parts of the world. So, next time you're tempted to complain that you can't afford the new Lexus, pick up a book or newspaper and be grateful that you have a car at all, or have a job to go to in your car. Many people are not that lucky. So while I complain about being exhausted and pregnant and moving etc., I say it knowing that it could be much, much worse.

Hope everyone is doing well and I will try to post more frequently!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A wonderful surprise

I am blessed with a wonderful husband.

He was out of town earlier this week for a work obligation and wasn't expected back until tonight. However, they decided they didn't really need him there and he knew I was having a rough week so he hopped on the plane and came home yesterday instead. It was the best gift I've been given! My spirits lifted and I felt a little better immediately. Now I'm feeling a little bit back to my normal self after spending the last couple of days lying on the couch "resting" (how boring). I'm much too much of a busybody to spend as much time lying down as my doctor recommended (plus, it's a bit hard with a busybody 2 year old too!)


Monday, May 18, 2009

More to come soon...

I'm sorry for the lack of communication lately. I'm really not feeling well and getting antsy for this pregnancy to be over. I'm almost there. I will try to post more as I feel I can. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Trying to let it go...

To help some of my pregnancy woes, my doctor suggested that I be walking around 50% of the time and lying down with my feet elevated 50% of the time. No extended sitting or standing. All I have to say to that is HAHA. He does realize that I have a toddler with limitless energy so this is a bit of an unrealistic goal but I am trying to heed his advice, at least to a certain extent. I do need to rest more. But what that means is that many things go undone. And I'm not good with that. I'm a busybody through and through, one who never sits down for more than 1-2 minutes at a time. This is so hard for me! So I'm trying to just let it go and achieve what is absolutely necessary and not worry too much about the rest. Anyone have any secrets to this? Sigh... just a few more weeks until I meet this beautiful girl and I can't wait.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Baby Registries

Having a second child is both easier and harder in terms of baby supplies.

For the first baby, everyone is so excited and wants to throw you a shower and buy you lots of gifts and cutesy baby stuff. For the second, people hardly acknowledge his/her existence.

While it's true that we do have *most* of the things we need for baby #2 (especially since we're having another girl), there are some things that we borrowed or simply didn't have the first time around that I would really like to have now. Problem is, nobody wants to buy anything! First time we had all the furniture, clothing, and supplies pretty much taken care of. This time, NOTHING. There are always things you need, like diapers and usable supplies, if nothing else. Not that I'm complaining (well maybe I am just a little) but I do feel that every child is a blessing and should be celebrated as such.

So to make myself a checklist of the things I want and/or need, I created two registries for this baby. So if nothing else, I can buy gifts for her and feel like they are gifts and know that SOMEONE thinks she hung the moon. Plus, if you set up registries, they often send you extra coupons for fulfilling your registries later so what can it hurt? So I registered her at Babies R Us and another fantastic store (which blows BRU out of the water) called Buy Buy Baby. Buy Buy Baby does not have locations everywhere but they do also have an online feature, though not all items are available there. They are also affiliated with Bed, Bath, and Beyond so those many, many coupons you get from them are good there too.

So I am celebrating my second baby with as much zest and zeal as the first. I am determined not to let her get pushed to the side just because an older child demands my attention. I am still buying her some of her own clothes and other items because let's face it, while hand-me-downs are convenient for us, it's always nice to have something new for yourself (that hasn't been through the wash 1000 times to get rid of the sweet potato stains).

(If you can't tell, I'm getting a bit cranky and hormonal - can't believe it's taken this long!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wasting Away the Time

I feel like Olive and I are so busy, busy, busy all the time that I thought we'd take today off and just sorta relax. I need it - my pregnant body feels like it's going to collapse (I don't remember being this tired at this stage last time?). We did go to the mall today to buy Olive some shoes for her uncle's wedding in a few weeks (that I'll have to miss, boohoo) and look for curtains for the nursery (we got shoes but no luck on curtains). I can't believe how exhausted it made me to just walk around the mall. Amazing. I am now 32 weeks pregnant so technically, I have another 8 weeks to go. The way I feel right now, I don't know how I will make it that long! So I've had to cut back. But I get bored easily and being around the house and actually relaxing and getting things done is pleasing but boring. Although I'm still two months out, I feel like I did at the end before Olive was born - like I'm just killing time awaiting her arrival. Strange, isn't it? I know this endless rain and gloom we've been having doesn't help either. Luckily today has been dark but not too rainy so as soon as this kid wakes up from her nap, I think I need to take her outside and let her run free for a little while. Expend some toddler energy. I just need to go somewhere fenced in so I can sit down! ;) In the meantime, think I'll go enjoy a cup of tea and revel in the quiet. It doesn't happen often enough and pretty soon, there will be no such thing... ;)

Friday, May 1, 2009

Celebrate Mama event tomorrow - Bethesda, MD

Tomorrow is the Celebrate Mama event in Bethesda, MD. This is a great event for "mamas of all ages and stages"! Vendors have something for everyone and there are children's performances like Rocknocerous, a ballet performance, storytelling, belly dancing, and more!

Last year, Little Pink Pansy was a vendor and had a great turnout. Unfortunately we weren't able to do it this year but we will probably be attending. It's a lot of fun and a great chance to support some other local businesses.

If you live outside of the metro DC area, check the Celebrate Mama website for a location near you.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Book Review: News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

(apologies, I can't get Blogger to do the accent marks)
I FINALLY finished this book that I have been working on for months. It took me so long because I haven't been reading much but on top of that, I just wasn't that into it.
This book is historical in that it tells of the kidnappings of several Colombians during the early 90's by Pablo Escobar and his cohorts. While the truth of the story is fascinating and intriguing (and I did learn a lot about Escobar and drug cartels and political corruption), I felt that the book dragged on in a lot of spots and provided a lot of detail that was boring and unnecessary. Perhaps I was hoping it would read a bit more like a novel but it just didn't fully hold my interest. It's hard to imagine how societies can become so corrupt and lawless but in reality, this is the case in many countries now. People fear for their lives and the government, police, military, etc. are not in control (and when they are, they are often corrupt too). In any case, this shed a little light on the mystery of Escobar and the international drug trade by focusing on the plights of the kidnapped people, detailing their conditions and what happened throughout their captivity. I was disappointed though in the way the story read. Perhaps I expected more out of Marquez but then again, this is not his expertise either. Or maybe some of it was lost in translation. On top of that, it tells in detail about many different politicians and I don't have a firm understanding of the way the Colombian government works so their titles were a bit lost on me. Overall, I'd give it 2 stars.
I'm relieved to be done so I can move on to my next book - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Too Tired Today

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring. He went to bed and bumped his head and couldn't get up in the morning.

This is one of Olive's favorite songs these days (perhaps because it's been so rainy this spring that she's heard it a lot!) Today is another rainy day and we are so tired. We spent the morning with some good friends who live just far enough away that we don't see them often enough. On our usual 20 minute ride to their house, it took us an hour to get there because there was light rain. Why can't people drive when there is light rain? It's not like the torrential summer downpours we get down South all summer. Or the awful snowstorms they get up North all winter. It's just a little sprinkling of rain. Enough to make things wet but probably not even enough to register in the rain gauges. Yet it shuts down traffic. I'll never understand...
Anyway, I'm tired today and don't have much to say so am going to try to get a few things done and lay down for a quick snooze while Olive is asleep. Happy Rainy Day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday's Tip: Don't Forget Mother's Day!

Next Sunday, May 10th is Mother's Day.

There are lots of things to do for Mom - a card, a spa day, flowers, out to lunch, you name it. But the most special is just letting her know how much you love and appreciate her.

This year Mother's Day is both a bit happier and a bit sadder for our family. It's happier in the sense that I will soon be a mother again so feel I have a bit more to celebrate. It's sadder because we lost Dennis' mother in February and it won't feel complete without her.

Whatever your family traditions, be sure to embrace every minute with Mama, Grandma, and your kids and enjoy the day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spring Cleaning (or Nesting??)

I'm hit with the sudden urge to purge.

I'm ready to clean my house top to bottom, both with cleaning and cleaning out. I am giving away and throwing away and organizing. I'm not sure if it's spring cleaning or nesting or a little of both but I'm antsy and anxious. I've got closets to clean, rooms to organize, toys to toss.
In my quest for clean, there are a few products that I really like and thought I'd share. Now, I'm always looking for a cleaner and healthier way to clean my house so if you have a greener option, please post because I'd love to hear it.

The other day I cleaned out my oven because there was something nasty that had spilled over and was making my oven smoke each time I used it (and hence setting off the smoke alarm). I had avoided doing this because I am pregnant and probably shouldn't be cleaning the oven but this product claimed to be "fume free" (yet Lemon scented, hmmm??) Anyway, I used it and let it sit for a long time (2 hours) and I have to say, it did a pretty good job on my oven. It was FAR from fume free though - my house smelled like lemon the rest of the day. But it did the job.
Aaah...the magic eraser...this works for just about anything! I have been using it lately to scrub baseboards, Olive's table (that often ends up with food or crayon on it), the backs of doors covered in pencil, the mysterious part of our French doors that all have a streak on them, and (you'll never believe this!) for pen on a computer screen?!?!!? That's right, Olive decided at one point to take a pen to the computer screen. I thought it was a lost cause but Dennis did a little research and heard that the Magic Eraser was a great resource and IT WORKED! This thing truly is magic...
Tide To Go - I keep this in my car for "on-the-go" spills but find I rarely use it. Last week, Olive and I were eating strawberries and some juice ended up on my very light khakis. I couldn't find one of these in the house so I just went about my business. Later that afternoon, I remembered that I had it in my car and while I was out, I doctored up my pants, thinking it probably wouldn't work since it had been many hours before that when the stain was created but it did! It ALL came out. The downside: the smell of this stuff made me want to pass out but it did clean my clothes just like in the commercial.
Do you have any great finds??

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New blog template

How do you like this new blog template?? I got it for FREE at Blogaroozer.com. There are lots to choose from and it's very simple to do. Check them out!


I try to read the paper in the morning over breakfast. I must admit, I don't do it every day and I don't read every story. But I get the headlines and highlights. I also read the Metro section of the paper to find out what's going on in our area.

This week, there have been two separate instances of a husband killing his children, wife, and then himself. This is so sad in so many ways. In both cases, the men were facing financial difficulties. One of the men left suicide notes, the other did not. I'm not sure what they are thinking but it seems that they are ashamed of their financial problems and possibly trying to "spare" their families the embarassment, guilt, etc. of dealing with it. It's so sad when you think this is the only way out. The even sadder part is that they took the lives of those who loved them too.

I also read this morning about a top financial guy from Freddie Mac (I think, don't quote me on that) that also committed suicide. These are the incalculable costs of a recession. It's not just that we're not buying luxury cars and overpriced houses. People are in it so deep that they can't figure out another way out.

So I just say that if you or someone you know is facing financial difficulties, there are lots of resources to help. You're not alone. And please know that if you ever got into any kind of trouble (financial, legal, whatever), there are people who are there for you and will not judge you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Goodnight Mom

While perusing through some old magazines to decide which ones to recycle, I stumbled across this cute little excerpt from Parenting Magazine (November 2008) edition. In each magazine, there is something at the end called "Last Word" which usually gives me a good chuckle. Reading this one was no exception. It's based loosely on Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.

Goodnight Mom (with apologies to Margaret Wise Brown)

In the messy green
family room
There was a telemarketer
ringing the telephone
And a crying toddler
because his brother
just popped his
red balloon
And a picture of --

The cow jumping over the moon
(which someone colored on
with permanent marker)
And there was a missing
teddy bear, and a girl with
gum in her hair

And one to be scolded
And laundry to be folded
And a very hungry spouse
And something stinky in the house
(that no one else seemed to smell)

And a comb and a brush and a colicky
baby who just won't shush
And a frazzled mommy screaming #*%#@

Goodnight messy room
Goodnight scribbled-on moon
Goodnight cow getting out while she can
Goodnight telemarketers and the
popped balloon

Goodnight long-gone teddy bear
Goodnight cereal bar smeared all
over the dining room chair

Goodnight spitup
And goodnight leaky sippy cup
Goodnight much-too-little house and
goodnight grumpy spouse
Goodnight comb and goodnight brush
And goodnight to a certain 4-year-old
who just needs to hush right now I mean it

Goodnight Elmo
Goodnight toys we'll pick up tomorrow,
or the next day
Hello chardonnay and TiVo--
"me" time finally - Sarah Jio

Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's

Hurry to your nearest Ben & Jerry's today between 12-8pm for a free cone! Delicious, sinful ice cream FREE!!!!! You can't beat that. Especially if it's a nice spring day where you live. And if it's not, a scoop of ice cream will make any day better! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Strides for Success

Are you a runner, jogger, or walker? Do you enjoy helping women and children?

Come join us for the Strides for Success 5K & 1K Fun Run/Walk on Sunday, April 26th, 2009 at Fairfax Corner Shopping Center (11950 Grand Commons Avenue) in Fairfax, VA. This event is put on by the Junior League of Northern Virginia and proceeds go to benefit women and children in the Northern Virginia area through various outreach projects such as our Back to School Health Fairs, JamPacks (stuffing backpacks for kids who wouldn't have school supplies), shelter projects, and a partnership with the Children's Science Center, among many other things.

The event is lots of fun and features two separate races - a 5K and also a 1K Fun Run/Walk. Strollers are welcome in the 1K only but sorry, no dogs or headphones allowed. Last year, Olive and I did the 1K Fun Run and let me tell you, it was FUN!

Registration Information: 5K: $30 through April 20; after April 20 the fee is $35.
5K Children 10 and under - $15.00
1K Fun Run/Walk: $20.
Children 10 and under $15.

This year, I am much too big to participate so I'll be volunteering instead. This is a great event with lots of fun for the whole family. There is also a post-race brunch and a tent with children's events. The 5K starts at 9:00am, the 1K will start shortly thereafter, around 9:15am.

For more information, please visit http://www.runwashington.com/archive0209/features/stridesforsuccessinfo.html# where you can register.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Check out PIXIE BOWS!!!

My dear friends and colleagues (Holly & Sharon) have been working on their Pixie Bows business for quite some time. They finally have their new website up with their fresh new designs. Their styles are pretty much all that Olive wears and gets so many compliments on them. I'm really excited about their new line, with lots of new funky clips besides just pretty bows. I will soon be carrying them on Little Pink Pansy too so go visit them at Pixie Bows and post here which styles/colorways are your favorites so I can be sure to include them on the Little Pink Pansy site too!

They also have a blog that will keep you updated on their business and feature some great hair accessories. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Post a comment and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Break

We are now officially on "Spring Break" from Olive's school. Since we did our big trip a couple of weeks ago, we are now taking it easy and just enjoying being home (and getting to see our teacher friends that we don't see too often!) Today we went to a fun concert of a local kids band - Rocknocerous. Olive is all talk when it comes to live music. She was so excited to go to the "concert" and showed me all the dance moves she was going to use when we got there. But, as is often the case, we arrived and even though there were about 5 or 6 of her friends there, she got shy. My child, SHY. Which is really funny if you know her - she's anything but shy, but for some reason she gets quiet in this large groups sometimes. Nonetheless, we had a great time, then enjoyed some spring break eats (chicken nuggets and ice cream) with friends and made a day of it.

If you haven't heard of Rocknocerous, check them out. Their music is catchy and fun and they do lots of local concerts in the DC area. They also have CDs for sale as well as other paraphenalia (you'd be surprised at the number of kids who show up to these things wearing their band t-shirts!). A good compromise for parents and kids alike!

Friday, April 3, 2009

When things go right...

Today we had some furniture delivered to our house. The delivery window was 10-1 so I figured that we'd probably be seeing the delivery guys around 1:30 or 2:00. Of course, today was a day with downpour rain and "severe thunderstorms" predicted. Olive and I hit the grocery store early to be back just in case they came on time (which I doubted). However, will wonders never cease...they were here and gone by 11:15 and in the brief time they were here, the rain stopped and there was even almost some sun! Not ten minutes after they left, the downpours returned. Aaah....it's the little things that can make or break your day sometimes. Happy weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Daily Life with Food Allergies

A year ago, I would have looked at this tantalizing picture of peanuts and licked my chops before I dug in. Now, all I see is poison and fear.

Olive has a peanut allergy. I had no idea what a different life you lead when you have to worry about every food you taste. Dennis and I both LOVE peanuts. Some of his favorites are peanut butter and Reese's Cups. Some of my favorites are boiled peanuts (a Southern delicacy) and my world-famous (ok, not really) peanut butter pie. When I was pregnant with Olive, I ate trail mix every day as it was one of the only things I could stomach. Now we have to avoid peanuts. But not just peanuts, all sorts of nuts and other things that do not contain nuts but were processed in the same facility as nuts. etc. etc. It's an exhausting process but one you learn to deal with.

Recently though, there have been a few occasions where it was not so easy. While in Florida, I sat down with my parents and went over everything about her allergy, showed them lists of things to avoid, taught them to use the Epi-Pen and the appropriate dosage of Benadryl, and what things were typically pretty safe. While they listened, their joking response was, "I'll just take her to McDonald's every day." Haha, except I'm not sure how joking they were. I want them to be comfortable feeding her if we're not around and I'll really need their help when Baby #2 comes and it won't be much help if Olive is running up to me every little while asking, "is this safe?" I know, people who don't have to worry about this on a daily basis don't get it (I surely didn't until I had to) but it's still frustrating.

On the way home from our trip, Olive and I were nestled in for a little snooze on the airplane when all of a sudden my nostrils were filled with the delicious scent of peanuts. WAIT! PEANUTS??? I thought all airlines quit serving peanuts on planes?!? I have not been on one flight since we found her allergy (about 6 months ago) that had peanuts! And I realized that the man sitting next to us had just finished his bag. I almost went into super panic mode. My blood pressure started rising and anxiety kicked in. Luckily, Olive slept through all of it, unscathed. She was not directly affected by the peanuts in the closed air but it made me worry about her exposure and was this adding toxins to her system (raising her IgE levels) so that her next reaction will be more severe and she will have more of it in her little body??

We arrive home and a couple of days later, I went to have a bite of my healthy chocolate (dark chocolate plums, a great antioxidant) that I've given to Olive several times. For some reason, I decided to look at the label again and almost dropped the bag on the floor. Right there on the bag it did claim that it might contain peanuts and tree nuts. OH NO!! However, it was not listed near the ingredients as it usually is so somehow in our other eatings of this, I had missed the warning. Again, panic attack.

So as you can see...as if there aren't enough things for us to worry about as parents, food allergies are a frightening and constant worry. If there's a kid at school or coming to a playdate at your house etc., please be aware that these can be life-threatening and are a major concern to every parent who deals with it. Be sensitive to our seeming hypochondria as we are just doing our best to protect our precious children.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

little pink pansy on Facebook and Twitter

Now my business (Little Pink Pansy) has both a group and a page on Facebook. Find our page and "become a fan" for updates, discounts, and more!

We've also just started on Twitter so sign in and follow us @ littlepinkpansy!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Joys of Pregnancy

I am really blossoming.
As you can see, little baby girl #2 is growing like a weed (and so am I!) I will be 27 weeks along tomorrow (almost to the end of my second trimester, yikes!) with an estimated due date sometime around July 1st.
This pregnancy has been different in every way, which is why Dennis and I were convinced that it was a boy (two ultrasounds have said differently though so looks like it will be another sweet little girl). When I was pregnant with Olive, it was all very glamorous (ok, so not all glamorous, but more so). I had a desk job with a stool under my desk to prop up my feet. I could rest all the time, eat even more of the time, and come home and go to bed after work. This go round, my main job is taking care of Olive, an active 2 year old with her own agenda. She doesn't care that I'd rather be lying on the couch with my feet propped up and dozing in and out while reading pregnancy books. Nope, she doesn't care, and she doesn't slow down for anything.
So this time, pregnancy has been much less glamorous. And I've had all the yucky side effects that I didn't have the first time. For example, with Olive, I was "glowing" - this time, I am zitty and yucky. More nausea (which I'm just now starting to get over, but not completely, I still had to take my prescribed anti-nausea meds the other day). Varicose veins popping up everywhere. (eww) Feeling contractions and discomfort for months. And lots of other too-intimate details to share but let me just tell you that it hasn't been pretty. On top of this, I am so preoccupied by other things that I haven't had as much time to dwell on the idea of being pregnant and this beautiful little creature growing inside. When someone asks me how far along I am, I say, "uh, I don't know, I'm due around July 1st" (I had to look at my calendar to try to calculate for this post). I haven't read the weekly pregnancy books in a very long time (we used to do this religiously with Olive). I also took weekly progress pics of my belly the first time and while I'm doing that now, there are often several weeks that go by without pictures. My doctor reassures me that this is normal and actually a healthier way to parent, where you're not so overly concerned about everything. I guess he's right, but I still feel sort of bad...However, as we creep ever closer to D-day (Delivery Day), I am getting more and more excited to meet this girl and I know that it will all be worth it.
Anyone out there had totally different experiences with pregnancy? The good, the bad, the ugly? I'd love to hear...
**Apologies for the giant picture...this was as small as I could get it. It's probably big enough for you to visually see all my flaws.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Adventures in Parenting, the next chapter

As I've said before, I have been blessed to be surrounded by friends and acquaintances of every different style, interested in all sorts of things.

Recently, Olive and I were playing with another child and her mother. The mom got chatting about how she doesn't push gender roles and doesn't like to comment on her daughter's physical attributes but rather her personality since girls are usually complimented on their looks and boys on their ability. What a great idea...I like to compliment Olive on her good behavior and abilities but I do also comment a lot on her looks. Though I find I comment a lot on most small kids' looks (ie, what a pretty dress, cute shirt, etc.). Not two minutes after this conversation, her daughter did something really adorable and I found myself saying, "Annie, you're so cute!" Uh, oops. "What?" the mom asked. "She has such a friendly face," I lamely replied. Insert foot into mouth. Later, on the same playdate, the mom comments on how the little girl's bedroom is not done in pink but rather more neutral colors - green and red. It was a fun room and I think it's great not to push the girl stuff but then I realized that I will soon have two little girls and guess what colors their rooms are - Olive's is pink and green and Baby #2's room is purple and green. I fell into the "girl" trap again. I left thinking maybe I should go home and neutralize my kids' rooms. (then I walked into them and saw how beautiful they were and couldn't bring myself to change a thing!)

A few days later, we had an Easter egg hunt for the kids at the park. Olive meticulously stuffed her eggs with jellybeans and marshmallow bunnies ("so the children will have candy" she said). Fun and cute. We checked our candy carefully to be sure it was all nut-free and safe for Olive to eat. We arrive at the park and one of the other children, who just recently turned 2, is not allowed to have sugar. Huh? Oops... So guess what he put in his eggs - dried fruit and NUTS. AAAHHH. Talk about a heart attack waiting to happen! Luckily, Olive is old enough to understand that she couldn't collect those particular eggs but it's still something we had to watch. But I was also feeling bad because my child brought candy and cookies for everyone and they don't even eat sweets at all?? I'm all for not letting the kids overindulge but I feel like they should have some fun treats every now again. It's part of being a kid, right? (as a side note, this mama also takes her kid to a homeopathic doctor vs. a regular pediatrician and skips all the vaccines).

Anyways...sometimes these things make you feel a little inadequate but I have to remind myself that just because I let my little girls have pink bedrooms and eat candy on occasion that I'm not a bad mom and everyone has to do what's right for their family. But I just hate feeling judged...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday's Tip: Be Child-Like

Olive and I are here in Florida visiting my family and having some fun while poor Dennis is stuck at home transforming my former office into a new bedroom for Olive (she will move in there since it's bigger and the baby will get her old room - a perfect nursery). My parents and I took Olive for her first trip to Disney World over the weekend and let me just say - it was MAGICAL. Amazing. WAY better than I ever would have dreamed. And definitely more exciting as a parent than it ever was a child. Olive was a champ - she went and went and went. We rode several rides, watched the parade, climbed treehouses and play areas, met with lots of characters, and even stayed up to watch the fireworks over Cinderella's castle from our hotel room. All in all, an absolutely perfect trip (except for missing Dennis!) I've had so much fun both at Disney and here at my parents' house with her just enjoying being a kid again that I thought that would be a good tip for today. Just have fun - cut loose - be a kid - and don't worry what anyone else has to say about it (they're just jealous!) Here's just a (very) small sampling of some of our pics from Disney to share.

Arriving at the airport, ready for fun

At the entrance to Disney - Olive, me, and my mom

Olive and my mom watching the parade at Main Street Disney

Riding Dumbo the Elephant

My dad and Olive, with her souvenir Minnie Mouse ears

She got her face painted like Tinkerbell!

Meeting with Mickey and Minnie

Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty)

our favorite princess, Cinderella

Princess Belle (from Beauty & the Beast)

Remember these guys? Chip and Dale - she thought they were so silly ;)

Breakfast with Minnie Mouse

Breakfast with Goofy

Breakfast with Donald Duck

Breakfast with Chef Mickey

Breakfast with Pluto

Dancing on a platform and screaming (with arms in the air) - "We're going to party FOREVER!"

On the way home, we stopped at a fruit stand and ate fresh grapefruit. Dig in!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Doggie Discrimination

I consider myself an animal lover.

I always had pets growing up (dogs, cats, mice, turtles, fish, snakes - eww those were my brother's - my parents didn't hear my pleas against it) and still have a pet to this day (a small Jack Russell mix dog named, appropriately, Jack). When I visit someone's home who has pets, I always find myself sitting on the floor or couch curled up with the animals and scratching their bellies.

However, recently I've started seeing a new influx of pit bulls and bulldogs into my neighborhood and it makes me a little uneasy. I like to think of myself as a non-judgmental person (not that I don't have slips but I try not to judge others) but I have no qualms saying that I am openly discriminating against these dogs. Perhaps it's the pit bulls' aggressive nature that scares me. After all, I see them when I am out walking my (small) dog and usually with Olive at my side. What would I do if one of these beasts came after us? Sorry, Jack, but you'll have to fend for yourself...Olive & I are taking off. And a lot of these dogs around here are off the leash... "Oh, he's harmless". Hmm.... Well I'm just not comfortable with that. Perhaps my other fear is that I see who is walking these dogs and I guess that means I am discriminating against the people too. They are often a little shady looking, wearing hooded black sweatshirts and baggy jeans, smoking cigarettes and looking rough. Not the kind of guys you want to run across in a dark alley (or on a narrow sidewalk when you are walking your dog and toddler). Plus, not to mention...look at this dog's feet - how gross and creepy!!! For comparison sake, here's a picture of our friendly, lazy, dog Jack: Let me know your thoughts on the subject...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday's Tip: Watch a stupid movie

Sometimes we get so busy that we forget to take time out to do something just completely for fun, like watching a stupid movie that makes you laugh.
Last weekend, in the midst of the majority of the room transition (my office is becoming Olive's new room), Dennis and I took a break to relax and watch a comedy. We saw this movie, Role Models, which I think was surprisingly hilarious. It features Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin from Superbad), along with Elizabeth Banks (Scrubs, Zack & Miri Make a Porno). Also featured is Jane Lynch (manager from 40 Year Old Virgin). The basis of this story is that these two guys (Rudd & Scott) work for an energy drink company and they get in trouble and have to do community service working with kids. This is their hilarious tale of the worst role models who turn out to be OK in the end. Lots of debuts by other actors from these sorts of funny movies (the party guy from Superbad, the doctor from Knocked Up, etc.) Definitely gave us a good laugh and provided a little respite from reality. Like many of the similar kinds of movies, the language is foul and it can be a little questionable for the pure of heart but certainly a lot of fun.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Book Review: Truelove & Homegrown Tomatoes by Julie Cannon

I'd had this book sitting on my shelf for awhile. It was one that my mom had read and passed along. It was pretty cute for a fun read. The story is about Imogene Lavender, who lost her husband of 48 years (I think) and is on the search for love again. This tells her funny search for love in all the wrong places for women over 60 in small town Georgia. Imogene is an avid gardener and homemaker and this story brings us to a simpler way of life. A good, fun, easy read. I plan to read the next installment - 'Mater Biscuit - at some point. This is defnitely a girly book so don't even think about making your husband read it. Those who grew up (or ever lived) in the South and/or the country will particularly appreciate some of the banter and expressions. For me, it shows me how different my life is and how "citified" and "Yankee" I've become ;) (not that these are bad things, just different!) In fact, just this weekend, Dennis asked me if I'd been teaching Olive to call her shoes "tennis shoes" or if I'd been calling them "sneakers" like he does. I sighed and hung my head in shame... "sneakies" I replied, as this is the cutesy term that Olive likes. Guess I've changed in some ways but it sure is good to read a "down home" story to reconnect with my comfort zone. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday's Tip: Deals to be Found

Spring is coming and it's time to stock up on some fresh new clothes and shoes! I've included some promotions going on right now to help you find just the right thing at just the right price.

Online only, now through March 16th
Receive $10 off any $50 or more purchase - use promotion code LOVE at checkout
Free Shipping with any purchase over $29 - use promotion code FSDSW at checkout*
*Requires a DSW membership - totally free rewards membership that entitles you to extra deals after you spend a certain amount

March 12-March 15
Give 'n Get Special - Friends & Family
Receive 30% off plus they will give 5% of what you spend to your favorite non-profit
Online or in stores at Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factrory Stores, GAP, GAP Outlet, and Old Navy
Sign up at their website today to receive an email with a barcode to be scanned and used as many times as you want in-store or a promotion code to be used once online

Monday, March 9, 2009


Sometimes I am totally inspired by a person, an event, a book, or something else. Most recently I have been inspired by reading the blog Green Mamma, written by an eco-conscious mom with a beautiful toddler girl and another one on the way. I do actually know this woman personally but not very well. I like her blog as she provides tips on green living, great kids activities, books to read, and other anecdotes on life. She is an advocate of attachment parenting and breastfeeding well into toddlerhood (two things that don't exactly describe me) but I like reading her thoughts and ideas. Most recently she has inspired me with a post from last Thursday, March 5th titled "Books . . . this is a long one". In this post I was reminded of many of the things I wish to accomplish in my life - one important one being empowering women. If you know anything about my business (little pink pansy), you know that it seeks to help women achieve their dreams. She is also into photography and posts some beautiful pictures, like the ones in today's post "Chirping Frogs". Check out her blog and see if it doesn't make you want to do something great for yourself, your family, your world, and others.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Great Deals on Cute Children's Bedding

We have decided to move Olive into our spare bedroom (currently it is my office) and give Baby Girl #2 all of the furniture and everything in Olive's room. Baby Girl #2 has gotten new bedding but will keep the same furniture and setup that's there now. Olive now will have a bigger room and a bigger bed etc. In doing our research, we've found lots of great things at some great prices. Depending on what you're looking for, these places might be worth a peek.

Company Kids is a branch of The Company Store - a great place for linens etc. Company Kids has adorable bed linens, rugs & windows, room decor, bed & bath, personalized items, bags, and furniture and storage. Their prices are pretty good to start with but they also have a Clearance center. I'm currently searching here for shams, sheets, and a bed skirt for Olive's new bed as well as a coordinating pillow or something for Baby Girl's room.

The children's counterpart to the home furnishings store, Pottery Barn Kids is even better with their selections. Beautiful bedding, bath, furniture, toys, clothes, etc. are easy to find here. The prices can be steep but they have excellent sales (both in store and online) and you can find some real steals if you keep your eyes open (this is how we decorated their bathroom for less than $50). Another great option for this store is if you can find a Pottery Barn Outlet - click here to see if there's one near you. Both girls' comforters have come from here as well as some towels and sheets.

If you're in the local DC metro area, there is a fabulous store in Manassas, VA called Baby2Teen. They have everything from strollers and rocking horses to TONS of furniture and bedding (for all ages and stages). This is where we found Olive's new bed. Be sure to also check out their clearance room for some excellent deals on discontinued items.

Last but certainly not least is IKEA. If you have one nearby, you've undoubtedly been there to peruse their enormous showroom and find deals on everything from couches to baking pans and EVERYTHING in between. IKEA is an experience, a wonderful chance to stock up on accent pieces or furniture without breaking the budget. You can also purchase online if you don't have one nearby. Some of their stuff is very good quality but most of it is stuff you don't plan to have forever and pass on to your grandchildren. However, for outfitting a child's room or finding some extra accessories, it is the place to go. They also have good deals on some babyproofing items, and in particular the mounted baby gates.

Hope you found our research helpful. We are still perusing mattress options. We did see some really nice and comfortable ones at IKEA the other day for very reasonable prices. If you have any other great places to search, please post a comment.