Spring has sprung!

Well, it is officially Spring! One of my favorite seasons. It appears this week we'll finally be getting a taste of the warmer weather. I'm sure many of you have your little ones home this week because of school vacations. It's a great time to take part in all of the activities your community has to offer. Make sure to check out what the local library is doing!

As a kid, I LOVED to paint. Painting with my hands, my feet, and my brushes always was so relaxing. While perusing Pinterest, I found another great painting activity. You can paint with flowers! As the crocuses, daffodils, and tulips are beginning to blossom, pick a few and let your little one
 paint with them! See if they can paint a picture of the flower they are using as their brush. It is always fun to see their interpretation of what they are seeing. 

One of the coolest things I've seen around the web is this
 Garden Bath idea. You decorate the tub using fake flowers, turn the water green using food coloring, and make dirt dough. Little ones can spend hours playing in their "garden". The best part is that it's germ free! 

Sensory bins are a great way to bring the outdoors in to your child. Let's face it. The weather can be unpredictable at best. Spring sensory bins are easy to make, especially since everything from Easter will be discounted after March 31st. You can use green "Easter" grass as fake grass. Some small plastic eggs in a nest. (Pier 1 had some adorable nests with eggs in them if your little one is past the point of putting things in his or her mouth.) A small bird house, watering can, and some fake flowers finish up the bin. As Spring changes into Summer, your bin can change as well! 

As always, I leave you with our favorite Springtime books!

Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
The Tiny Seed (World of Eric Carle) by Eric Carle
And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano
It's Spring by Susan Swan
Everything Spring by Jill Esbaum
Mouse's First Spring by Lauren Thompson 

Miscellaneous Ramblings

You may (or may not) have noticed that I haven't been posting regularly over the past two weeks. It started because Blogger was eating my scheduled posts. I would schedule them to publish and they would be deleted at the time they were supposed to be visible to you. Needless to say, I was frustrated by this and I felt like I didn't want to publish random stuff just for the sake of publishing it.

Then a blog I read regularly posted about how someone took the photos of her gorgeous children and turned them into something truly awful and disgusting. I was completed thrown by this heinous action. To think that someone might take the pictures of my precious boy and do that broke my heart. It made me reconsider writing this blog and sharing our lives on the internet. I began to thinking of making the blog private but, that would exclude the random people who pop by and say hi. I truly enjoy interacting with you!

My hubby pointed out that many of my friendships have started as a result of my blog/blog related groups. It been wonderful getting to know and meet the women of #CathSorority. I couldn't possibly shut down something that has opened so many doors for me recently.

So, I ask that you simply have respect for what is posted here in my little corner of the World Wide Web. Have respect for one another who comment regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the words written here. Understand that your words and actions have an effect on a real, live person.

As always, thank you for reading. I look forward to updating more frequently.

Ambivalence: Lessons in Parenting

Mandi, one of my bloggy friends, wrote a post and stated that she had never before used the word "ambivalence" in her writing. I started thinking about what the word "ambivalence" means. We talked a lot about it when I was in graduate school for my degree in counseling.

After thinking about our class discussions and checking out the dictionary, I came to decision that what I'm feeling right now is ambivalence.

Last night, my little boy (who will be ten months old on Friday!) slept in his crib for half the night. Today, he is napping in his crib. Until last night, he had never slept anywhere but next to me either in his pack n play or with us in bed.

Is it nice to have our bed back? Sure.

But, I miss him!

I've spent the last 19ish months with him no farther than an arms distance away from me.

The independence is nice but, I miss my little baby.

As parents, we are supposed to raise children to become successful, independent, God fearing children.

We've taught him that he can trust the fact that we will be there to get him when he is ready to wake up. We've taught him not to be afraid that something bad will happen to him because we will protect him.

I can't help but feel a little twinge of sadness that he can sleep on his own without crying hysterically when I put him down. 

However, I am proud that he can sleep on his own without crying hysterically when I put him down.

Ambivalence -

simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action

A Guest Post: St. Brigid

Won't you pop on over to It's Just Called Spicy and check out my guest post on St. Brigid of Ireland? 
St. Brigid became one of my favorite saints as I prepared for Confirmation in the eighth grade. I was looking for a “different” saint (a.k.a. not one that all of the other girls had picked). I knew I wanted a female saint who had something to do with education and helping those in need. St. Brigid fit the bill perfectly (it didn't hurt that she was Irish either)...

7 Quick Takes

Hop on over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

The snow has finally arrived. We've been waiting for Storm Saturn to make its way here since Wednesday. Now, we just have to see how much snow we wake up to in the morning. So far, this seems to be a repeat of the last storm...

No plows...no salt...no sand...

I've been trying to focus more energy on things unrelated to technology. I've pretty much given up on watching television (except when it came to the extraordinary filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul). Knitting and crocheting are once again consuming my "free time". 

Current projects: 
-Lucy Hat
-Charlie's Baby Blanket 

It was fun tonight sitting with the hubby chatting while I was knitting and the baby was sleeping in bed. It make me feel like we went back in time. There was a soft glow from the night light. The computer was off and we were just enjoying each other's company. All too often we neglect the art of actual conversation in favor of statements that are 120 characters or less.

I know this week people have been either agree with or disagreeing with a Facebook status that went viral about a mother using her Iphone while at the park with her child. It certainly has made me more cognizant of what Charlie see when he's playing. Does he turn around and I'm watching him happily? Does he turn around and I'm staring at a computer/telephone/tablet screen replying to a message? 

I'm not saying that using technology is wrong and you don't deserve time to yourself. I'm just saying that I would hate to miss something Charlie was proud of because I was replying to a message or an e-mail.

Since we're embracing random here...
A local business purchased several high end purses for sale. One of the most popular patterns features the image of a vintage cowgirl pinup.
 I can't decide how I feel about this.  Some people say it's art that appreciates the beauty of the female form. Others feel that it objectifies women. Yes, these cowgirls are sporting short shorts and short skirts. One even has her stomach showing. Are these the picture of modesty? No. Basically, it comes down to the fact that I don't know that I'd want my daughter carrying one of these bags. Therefore, should a mother be carrying this image around with her? Does it send the right message? I don't know. Women are beautiful. Women are fun loving. Women can do anything they strive to do. Is that what this image is saying?

In my perusing the internet for another point of view, I came across this interesting post.
What do you think? Would you carry one of these bags? 

There was a great post on Nurshable this week about sleep solutions for your infant. It truly embraces what our philosophy is at the moment - Wait it out. 

As you've probably read before, the little guy doesn't sleep through the night. 
He probably won't for some time. 
He sleeps with us in our room, usually in our bed. 
He's happy there. 
We're happy to have him there. 
When he's ready..
he'll sleep through the night..
he'll even sleep in his own bed...

I just hope we're ready. 

"I can savor bedtime and wait it out, because this will not last forever. You are a little creature that is bent on independence. All I need to do is help you see sleep for what it is. Safe, comfortable, and lovely." -Nurshable

We'll be getting our photo CD tomorrow with the rest of the photos from our photographer! 
I'm so excited! 
Because I can't contain my excitement, here's another one she posted on her website. 

Eleven years ago today, I met my hubby on a school bus headed to the Freshmen Retreat at Chapman Lake.

Who would have thought we would be here now?

Five Favorites

I'm linking up with Hallie Lord at Moxie Wife. She has a new link up that features your five favorite things. Seems like a fun way to use my time while the little guy is napping. 
These adorable pictures that Kate of Kate Marie Photography took earlier this week. I can't wait to see the rest. She was great with Charlie, super easy to work with, came to my house, and  is super talented. (Can you tell I loved her?!) 

My brother was made an acolyte on Sunday at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He is experiencing all of the conclave hullabaloo first hand. They have 9 U.S. Cardinals staying with them at the moment. 

Peanut butter cup brownies....YUM! 

Sally Hansen Xtreme Nail Polish - Strobe Light 
The last time I had sparkly toes was just before giving birth to Charlie. This week during one of his naps I decided I would break out the sparkles because they make me happy! 

Cloth wipes/cloth napkins from Mamamade. They keep me from having to buy endless disposable napkins. Charlie loves to "paint" himself with his food. These make my life so much easier. I'd love to find the time to make some more.  

You Are My Sunshine!

We finally had a perfectly sunny, warm day! 

When Charlie woke up from his nap, he was really excited to find (the puzzle piece) and the sun shining through his window! 

So, we decided to take a walk by the beach...

and swing on the swings...

because, this is what weather.com says is headed our way.

St. Patrick's Day Fun!

A few weeks ago, I started blogging for Syosset Patch. Here is my St. Patrick's Day post:

Sunday, March 17th is St. Patrick's Day! Time to drag out your green and have some fun! There are so many activities on Long Island that take place between now and St. Patrick's Day.About.com has a great list of local parades. Hofstra University will be hosting an Irish Festival on Sunday, March 10th that includes Irish dancing, food, and crafts. If you're not in the mood to go out and celebrate, never fear! There are so many books, crafts, and recipes to help you enjoy the day. Here are some of my favorites:
Baby/Toddler Books - Check out the displays in your local library for more wonderful selections! 
St. Patrick's Day Countdown by Salina Yoon
The Story of Saint Patrick's Day by Patricia A. Pingry and Pamela R. Levy 
Children's Books
St. Patrick's Day Alphabet by Beverly Vidrine and Patrick Soper 
St. Patrick's Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting and Jan Brett
One green shamrock, in the morning dew,'
Another one sprouted,
and then there were two.
Two green shamrocks, growing beneath a tree;'
Another one sprouted,
and then there were three.'
Three green shamrocks, by the cottage door;'
Another one sprouted,
and then there were four.
Four green shamrocks, near a beehive'
Another one sprouted,
and then there were five.
Five little shamrocks, bright and emerald green,'
Think of all the luck
these shamrocks will bring.
I happen to love rhymes that include counting. You can pretty much find one for every special day. There are a bunch more St. Patrick's Day songs and rhymes at Perpetual Preschool.
Bell pepper four leaf clover stamps - Head out to the grocery store and pick up a bell pepper. Slice it through the middle, horizontally. Press the pepper into green paint and then onto your paper. You have a perfect four leaf clover. All you need to do is add the stem! 
Froot Loop Rainbow- While you're at the grocery store for the last project, pick up a box of Froot Loops. Ask your child to sort the Froot Loops by color. When they are sorted, they can glue them to the template. If you or your child aren't a fan of Froot Loops you can also do this with Skittles or Rainbow Colored Marshmellows. (Any leftovers provide a tasty rainbow colored snack!)
For an endless supply of St. Patrick's Day crafts, visit Parent Teach Play.
One of my favorite activities that I did with my early intervention class on St. Patrick's Day was have a  "Gold Toss". I picked up a black cauldron around Halloween and made bean bags from gold felt and dried beans. The kids took turns tossing the gold into the pot like a Leprechaun. 
Need more game ideas? Visit Preschool Education.

Lenten Meal Plan Monday #4: A Linkup!

One of the hubby's favorite dishes is baked manicotti so, I decided to make it on Friday via Pinterest. 

1- Link-Up any old or new meatless meals you have posted about.
2- The hosts have the right to delete any links that are not appropriate for the linkup.
3- Feel free to embed Pinterest Recipes or Link to Recipes you have found online.
4- Feel free to just blog about what you ate or what you are planning on eating.
Have fun and have a blessed Lent!

7 Quick Takes

This week has been a doozie.
I'm super glad it's Friday. 
(Anyone remember TGIF that included shows like Family matters and Step by Step?)
Anyway,tomorrow the hubby will be helping out at a mock trial tournament for one of the local Catholic schools. 
Then we're off to enjoy a super early St. Patrick's Day dinner with friends. 

I finished a prayer shawl for our family friend. 

Last Saturday at 3 am, her son was hit by a tractor trailer while crossing the street by his apartment in Manhattan. He is still in critical condition. While the prognosis is bleak, they are still praying for a miracle.

Please join us in praying for her son. 

I'm really craving the beach, the waves, and the summer.
I can't wait. 


I'm soaking in the quiet...
Charlie is napping...

There is nothing like fresh ground coffee. 
Yes, it is decaf. So, no, according to your definition it is probably not "real" coffee. 
But, it is so yummy. 

Why do I always crave a bacon cheeseburger on Fridays in Lent?? 
I have to thank the mom that posted about her kids eating in n out on Twitter because I'd love some animal style fries... 
There aren't any in n outs on the East Coast. 
I may just have to settle for Shake Shack since I have a gift card. 
Someone once said Five Guys is similar to in n out but, I don't entirely agree. 

These were quick and truly random but, that's what makes this fun!
For more completely random quick takes, check out Conversion Diary.