Tuesday, July 31, 2012

4th of July Sparklers & Olympics

Actually they are 6th of July sparklers on Lake George, but they are in honor of Independence Day.   I love the look of wonder in Nathan's eyes, sparklers must be a pretty magical thing for kids.  This was his first experience and he was amazed.


Who else is loving the London Olympics? I've been trying to watch any chance I get but some events the kids just aren't interested in watching. I remember watching the closing ceremonies of the China Beijing Summer Olympic Games 4 years ago, while timing contractions the evening I went to the hospital to have Nathan. That was August 24th, 2008 and he was born at one o'clock in the afternoon-ish on Monday, the 25th.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fishing {and flirting} on Lake George

It's been almost a month since our camping adventure to Lake George and I have yet to post all the photos or at least all the photos I would like to post.

These were all taken on July 6th, the third day of our camping trip.  After doing Nathan's morning treatments in the van on our daily trip to Walmart {to make calls, pick up food, ice, and rejoin civilization for a bit} we hung out at the beach all afternoon.

Teagan wanted a pink {Barbie} fishing pole at Walmart and Nathan needed fishing tackle for his fishing pole.

By the third day of camping, Nathan was getting pretty brave and began wandering away from us, inching closer and closer to the beach/swimming area.

This just so happened to be Nathan's first experience fishing.  It also happened to be Jay's first time fishing with a Barbie fishing pole. {grin}

See his bobber in the water below, he thought the shore line was too crowded and decided to cast his line from the dock.

Oh and a token picture of me, see I really did join my family on the camping trip.  We also clearly can't read "STATE BOATS ONLY"....wooops.  Teagan was miserable, teething this entire afternoon.


I can imagine Teagan singing in the below photograph - "I only have eyes for you {Timmy}"

Cheers! Juice pouch to beer, I'll leave the foil to glass clinking to your imagination.

And I will leave you with a photo took of my friend, Kelly {Timmy's wife}.  Without her invitation, we would never have gone camping on Lake George.  Thanks Kelly!!!  PS. Nathan took this photograph - hence the half chopped head.  Other than that he is a terrific photographer in the making.

Friday, July 27, 2012

An {interesting} evening workout & The End

I really need to focus a little on finding little slots of me time throughout the day. This evening it was exercise. While doing push ups Nathan was driving his remote control car underneath me. As frustrating as it was to not even have a moment to do a push up, it was so stinking cute that I will never forget it.

In order to focus on completing a workout, I asked Jay if he could give the kids a bath. There was no way I could do a single jumping jack with Teagan at my feet repeating "hold you, mama" - again it's an adorable interruption but an interruption nonetheless.

By the time bath time was over, Jay washed their hair {extra credit!} to extend the bath as long as possible, Nathan came running downstairs still naked asking if he could do what I was doing. My wrists killing me from just assuming push up position, I said sure.

He got in his own version of a pushup position, more like downward dog and was doing his version of whatever I was trying to do, stark naked of course - HILARIOUS. I could use this comic relief during every workout. But I must make a mental note, I need to get some more meat on that little boys body, seeing him stretching and such made me notice how skeletal he was.


I've been MIA lately because Coxsackie overcame 3/4 of our household last week.  I feel very fortunate that I was spared.  The photo below was taken the day my husband stayed home with a high fever and sore throat and Teagan was still battling a couple days of fever and a mouthful of sores.

She also had an ear infection, my kids are good wax producers and for some reason or another Teagan is a repeat offender when it comes to ear infections.  She had an ear infection when Nathan was admitted to the hospital and it was just as difficult to give her the amoxicillin this time around.

And she must be just like her mama when it comes to antibiotic and yeast because it just so happens she developed thrush in her mouth and then passed it on to me.  This really really hurt when it came to nursing her.  I didn't even realize it was thrush until my friend {prone to and specializing in knowledge of thrush} pointed it out.  The one morning I woke up in so much pain {TMI Alert - turn back now!} that my nipples were cracking and bleeding.  I never once had any of these problems in the history of our breastfeeding relationship.  So again unknowing what it was and unable to find my favorite Motherlove Nipple Cream, I applied some triple antibiotic.  I didn't realize how bad that stuff tasted because the next time I fed Teagan she was disgusted and started shoving her fingers down her throat gagging herself.  I felt terrible.

Next time she asked to nurse she took a taste test {ha!} and was not satisfied.  I wasn't too bother because I was still in pain, still not knowing what was wrong.

For the first time since she was born she went to bed without nursing - as long as she could see the splitting she would say "yuck, boo boo".  I felt that our time was up, that she was forced to wean and her last experience was me poisoning my nipples and making her gag.  Goodness gracious is that some guilt and a half to live with.  I felt like crying.  But when she refused to sleep I went back up, it was darker, she couldn't see, and see nursed.  She also nursed in the middle of the night and those last two nursing experiences, ending on a good note is all needed to close that chapter in our book.  And this was all on my 29th birthday.  I was very ready to be done breastfeeding and I am at peace with her decision to wean.  Whether it was forced by illness or if it was coincidental, it is still over and I am okay with it.

Now I get to treat both cases of thrush without having to worry about us passing it back and forth.  Once I found out what I had, I started applying coconut oil which is good a good anti fungal.  I also ordered grapefruit seed extract and gse tablets listening to the advice of my instagram peeps and thrush friend extraordinaire.  This is one of the most highly recommended naturally remedies for thrush.  I actually met my friend to get a starter supply while I waited on my amazon delivery.  I would say my thrush is 100% gone.  Teagan is giving me a hard time when I try to swab out her mouth with the diluted gse solution, no surprise there.  Today I started putting 3 drops of the liquid concentrate in any beverage I gave her.

Now please, everyone needs to bubble up and give me a break from illnesses!!!


To make up for my absence, I will be in photo dump overdrive this weekend, camping trip, beach trip, hiking!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dove VisibleCare Softening Crème Body Wash Review! {$500.00 Spa GiftCard Sweepstakes}

I written about self care before, many times actually because it is something that is always on my mind.  Finding the perfect balance between "me time" and "family time" is perhaps the most difficult part of motherhood for me.  My mother always stressed how important it was to reward myself for my hard work.  I can remember working part time at a supermarket in high school.  I stashed away every paycheck in my savings account so I would be able to buy an inexpensive used car when I got my driver's license.  She would always remind me that it wouldn't hurt to take a little bit of that money and buy something for myself as a treat.  For the record, I never listened.

Now, as a mom myself, I consider "me time" as a bath (by myself, door locked, no rubber bath toys floating in the water, grown up shampoo, conditioner, and body wash).  Equally satisfying would be an hour at the gym by myself but we are no longer members of the YMCA, another instance of sacrificing self care for family.

I am also willing to compromise my ideal "me time" for any "me time".  If that means showering real quick in the morning while my husband is getting ready for work and handling our kids who wake up way too early, then so be it.  I take long baths but when I shower, I usually mean business.  Not my husband's daily half hour showers, but a quick five to ten minute lather, rinse, repeat.  Usually I will brush my teeth right there in the shower because if I go downstairs and the kids are in rare form (not quite so rare) I may neglect my teeth until later in the day when hopefully they let me take a few breaths.

So when Dove and Blogher asked me to review Dove's new VisibleCare Body Wash, I decided it was worth it to try something that might incorporate a little bit of pampering in a quick morning shower.

Do you know I didn't even own a loofah, shower pouf or whatever they are called until we went on our camping trip?  Well it's not required, you can simply apply body wash with a cloth, but I am loving my camouflage loofah.

So first impressions, I squeezed a little bit of the Dove VisibleCare Softening Creme Body Wash onto the loofah.  It is very thick and creamy and has a very subtle scent and it lathers very well, so really a little goes a long way.

I dont really have any dry spots with the exception of my elbows and my feet so I scrubbed my elbows and feet real well and then washed the rest of my body as I would any other soap.  I have always been a bar soap kind of girl, until know.  All I can say is, I'm really loving the world of body wash.

Visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!
Dove® VisibleCare™ Softening Crème Body Wash (Dove Product Description)
• Designed to soften skin and dry spots
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• Contains a mild cleanser, glycerin and stearic acid
• A white floral gourmand fragrance that includes an elegant combination of magnolia and pink jasmine

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A {quickie} health update

Teagan was sick over the weekend, really, really sick. She had a fever and many canker sores on her bottom lip, one on the tip of her tongue, and I found out after taking her to the pediatrician that she had some in the back of her throat as well. The NP diagnosed her with coxsackie. Whether it was that or something else, I don't know for sure but it was definitely a virus and I'm happy to say that today is day 2 of no fever and no fever reducers. She was on Advil an Tylenol around the clock. Now she is just on amoxicillin for an infection in her left ear. The sores in her mouth aren't bothering her as much and she is almost 100% better.

Jay next. He felt tired and week all day at work Monday. We attributed it to lack of sleep since we were dealing with miserable, feverish Teagan the night before. Well he was barely able to stay awake on his drive home, and I really though he was being dramatic because in all honesty I got even less sleep than him the night before. Teagan, who is still nursing, wanted to nurse around the clock. Since everything else was bothering her sores, I let her nurse on demand because I didn't want her to be dehydrated with a fever.

Back to Jay...we realized that he too had a fever at his parents house. I scarfed down my dinner and 600 mg of Advil later (for my husband) I drove my half sick/half healthy family home.

Jay felt fine as long as he was taking a fever reducer, with the exception of his throat which was on fire.

In the meantime, my father in law took Nathan off my hands for a few hours to give him some individual attention and to give me a break. After going to Nathan's favorite McDonald's, yes he has his favorites, he went back to his grandparents house where he fell asleep. Nathan napping is very odd, Nathan napping at my inlaws' house is not unheard of.

When I picked him up, he was "hot and cold" at the same time and lethargic. 75% of family now with fever. Actually Teagan had not taken pain relievers at all that day so she was beginning to be fever free on her own.

Last night my dad took a peek inside Jay's mouth and saw the reddest of red throats - Strep throat! Two family members to keep track of on amoxicillin.

Then came the three trips to Walmart:

1st - my dad picked up a new thermometer since our in ear thermometer was mysteriously no longer working

2nd - I returned highly inaccurate thermometer, purchased the same in ear thermometer we had, some red and white (someone's favorite colors) Powerade in anticipation of operation keep Nathan hydrated today.

3rd - I made my last trip to pick up Jay's $4 prescription of amoxicillin for his strep throat. So very thankful for the $4 prescription program.


After the initial dose of Tylenol helped break Nathan's fever my dad applied some cold washcloths to his forehead and he perked up instantly. I gave him another dose of Advil before bed to keep the fever down but he woke up this morning like nothing was ever wrong. Thank God.

I began to experience my own "symptoms" which I'm thinking were imaginary sympathy symptoms. I've got a teeny bit of hypochondriac in me.

So now everybody in my family is well or is on the road to well. Jay needs another few doses of his antibiotic before his throat is feeling 100%.

Still praying I'm spared. Either way I'm going to keep my family in isolation for another day or two.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Of campfires and s'mores

From the moment we parked at our campsite, Teagan saw our neighbors campfire and starting singing Happy Birthday as loud as she could.  On our second day of camping, we made our own campfire, since we endured a downpour of rain the first night.

Little Miss T couldn't contain her excited.  With big brother nearby, she followed her daddy's lead and threw leaves and twigs over the cement fire wall into the fire pit ceremoniously singing Happy Birthday and periodically blowing.

Lake George Camping July 5th

Nathan was perfectly happy watching from a safe distance.

Lake George Camping July 5th

Here is our campsite with the addition of the tarp that took daddy the better part of the afternoon to set up while Nathan napped in the van.  Both kids fell asleep on our way back from Walmart (to buy tarp and rope) but Teagan woke up crying from teething pain (these 2 year molars might be the death of me).  I gave her some advil and threw her in the carrier on my back and walked her down the the beach.  She pretty much cried the entire walk, taking breaks whenever I would point to a bird or a squirrel.  I didn't bring my camera down to the beach so all these photos were from when we returned in the evening.

Lake George Camping July 5th

Nathan found the green Hawaiian Punch he picked out at Walmart and Teagan continued to tend to the fire with Jay.

Lake George Camping July 5th

Lake George Camping July 5th

I swear sometimes, she is a little crazy like her mama.

Lake George Camping July 5th

Lake George Camping July 5th

Dinner was taking forever with two burners on a propane campfire stove so I made the kids some quick PB&J sandwiches, hold the PB for Nathan.  Teagan sat right next to her BFF, the campfire.  The fire really was just starting, otherwise the cement she is sitting on would have been burning hot.

Lake George Camping July 5th

Lake George Camping July 5th

Our dinner was still cooking, but the kids wandered across the road over to our friend's campsite.  With doggie in hand, Teagan explored the woods...

Lake George Camping July 5th

...and watched Timmy <3 making his campfire.

Lake George Camping July 5th

This was what Jay and I ate.  Boiled broccoli, a package of teriyaki rice, and chicken.  I forgot all seasoning for our chicken so I remembered my friends mom (Becky) made tasty meatballs in a crockpot mixing equal parts grape jelly and ketchup.  That's what I used to cook the chicken and when the chicken was done I just drained out the super sweet sauce and mixed with the broccoli and rice.  I don't know if I was really hungry but this was DELICIOUS!

Lake George Camping July 5th

Teagan trying to emulate doggie sitting.

Lake George Camping July 5th

Lake George Camping July 5th

After dinner, we enjoyed some more s'mores.  Yes, I guilty snacked on these all day long, raw.

Lake George Camping July 5th

Lake George Camping July 5th

Lake George Camping July 5th

Lake George Camping July 5th


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thoughts on vacation

I used to think vacation should be week (or more) long trips to warm destinations. Ideally we would stay in a comfortable hotel room and sleep in an oversized bed with crisp white linen sheets, tucked neatly under the mattress every morning. But this isn't reality for me especially since the first thing Jay does when he gets into that most perfect bed just described is make a jumbled mess of the sheets.

After deciding on a long weekend camping trip as our vacation I realized that less is way more. Although I'm not overly fond of walking to a toilet in the early morning or having to make meals in the most complicated manner, I truly enjoyed the break.

Knowing very well I had limited access to batteries, electricity, and zero immediate access to cellular towers, I resolved to detach from technology as soon as arriving.

Vacation means taking a break and slowing down. And this is easier said than done. As a photographer, part of me wanted to keep clicking away, storing memories of my kiddos for myself, for them...and part of me wanted to stow my camera and just enjoy.

Luckily I did a lot of both, lugging around my camera when convenient and resorting to my phone's camera when even more convenient. I bet you didn't know that I am an amazing iphonographer specializing in instagramography.

...to be continued.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Setting up camp

We have been home from our camping trip a couple of days and we are playing catch up/get back into our daily grind.

I fully intended on editing and publishing client galleries via laptop on the road but I didn't trust what I was seeing due to the screen glare. I didn't want to waste time tweaking images if I may have to do it twice. So that's what I am currently doing, forcing myself to work late because I know the kids will not want to watch me work in the morning.

But I will post a few images from the first afternoon of our Lake George camping trip.

We arrived at our campsite and started to unpack our van. Jay got right to work choosing a level spot for our tent, Nathan set himself up in a nice clean spot (inside the tent) with his big plastic toy soldiers.

Setting up camp - 01

Teagan grabbed two handfuls of dirt and threw them both right into our tent.

Setting up camp - 03

Then she hugged a tree - camping is Teagan's Heaven.

Setting up camp - 04

We learned a lesson - put air mattress inside the tent before fully inflating.

Setting up camp - 02

Setting up camp - 05

More from our camping trip but for now I have to get a little more work done before I fall asleep.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

5 days in a tent

Tomorrow we leave our air conditioned house and set up camp along the shore of Lake George, NY.

It's after 9 pm and Nathan is asleep on my shoulder, his vest vibrating against my arm. I have yet to pack a single thing. I am usually a big planner. I've had a packing checklist printed along with our campsite reservation for a month and have purchase a few things like bottled water and stuff for s'mores (of course!) but there is so much left to pack before we leave in the morning. Correction, we still have everything to pack.

Our 5th anniversary is Saturday and I couldn't think of any way I'd rather spend it than in a tent with the people I love most, my family. I think a traditional 5th anniversary gift is wood, I nailed this one, I am giving Jay the woods!! (smile)

I've been told by a friend who is also camping with us, or we are camping with them rather, that there is no cell service. No cell phone, no wireless, no cable, no wii, no electricity - this all makes me nervous and very excited. I'm going to be unplugged for the most part with the exception of an 800 watt power inverter we will connect to the battery terminals of our car to power Nathan's vest and nebulizer.

So I will be off the grid for a few days but I'll share all our fun times when we return.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A day in grandma and grandpa's pool

We have a pool in our community but sometimes it's so much nicer to enjoy some pool time in the  privacy of grandma and grandpa's backyard.

There are perks other than swimming. Like Pez, the highly sought after candy hidden on top of the fridge.

Grandparents Pool

...and movies. The kids love watching their shows on their very own Spiderman TV.

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

But most importantly, we LOVE swimming...

Grandparents Pool

...and shooting water guns.

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

Teagan prefers to hang in the grass and explore the yard, periodically laying in the grass on her belly to get a close up look at the grass, dirt, and bugs.

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

We love Puddle Jumpers. They are the best swimmies we've tried yet.

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool


Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

Grandparents Pool

A bit photo heavy but I''ve been so lax at posting lately, I figured I'd fill it up. We leave for our camping trip in a few days, July 4th!!!!