Monday, August 18, 2014

It's poetry in motion!

It's a lazy Monday here after a spectacular weekend! Our time was filled with adventure and love and beauty and joy and I can't wait to share it with all of you!

For now, it's time to announce the winners of the

BACK-TO-SCHOOL
PRIZE PACK GIVEAWAY!!! 
featuring tickets to the Liberty Science Center, a $40 Visa Gift Card, 
and some fun back-to-school essentials! 
with our friends Momma Lew's Blog, Wine in Mom,

{drum-roll please...}

ROCHELL RAND-SIDELL- COME ON DOWN!!!  

Actually, you can stay where you are- the prize will come to you! I have just always wanted to say that! CONGRATS!!!!! Please e-mail me at abreezylife@gmail.com with your mailing information and your package will be on it's way!

Joelle Franzo Daddino- You are the runner-up winner of a four pack of tickets to the Liberty Science Center!  Please also send me an e-mail (at abreezylife@gmail.com) with your mailing information.

HUGE THANKS to the Liberty Science Center for providing the tickets, and to the bloggers who participated in the giveaway! Biggest thanks to everyone who entered! If we have just met, I hope this is the start of a beautiful friendship!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tell me your troubles and doubts...

(it's a Time for Mom linkup)

A Letter to My Son {stream of consciousness} 

Dear PJ,

By the time you are old enough to read and understand this letter, you will likely be well aware of your Mommy's love of celebrity gossip. You may have agreed to watch an award show with me, or had to sit through Extra while we get ready for bedtime. I'm not embarrassed about it. Everybody has flaws, your Mommy more so than most.

With that out of the way, you will understand why Mommy was so sad to hear about the passing of Robin Williams today. The news that he had taken his own life was very hard to hear.  Just a few nights ago, we curled up on the couch together to watch "Aladdin", one of the few works by Mr. Williams that wouldn't be over your head being that you are four. You smiled and laughed as the Genie zipped around the screen, and I was so happy to share the joy of make-believe with you.

Sometimes, though, the people who are the most capable of bringing you a make-believe that you can believe in have the hardest time with reality. I see a little bit of the showman in you, PJ. You love to make people happy, to make them smile and cheer, and I wonder if there isn't a bit of artist, a bit of the ability to bring some make-believe, in you.

I saw a quote by Ernest Hemingway today. It was posted by another writer that I admire, and it summed things up perfectly:

"The best people posses a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, 
the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice.
 Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, 
sometimes destroyed."

Risk-taking and bravery and truthful-ness and a capacity for giving are all qualities I hope you have, PJ. They are qualities to be envious of and come through in the shiniest of souls. Those qualities reap the most reward, but can also leave you the most vulnerable to hurt, disappointment, and failure. It's easy to tell you to not be afraid of those things, but deep down we all know better. The higher the climb, the harder the fall. 

It's okay to feel those things, to feel your victories and failures right down into your soul. You learn something from both experiences, and you will have victories and failures as you go through life. Learn from them, and recover from them. This won't be easy. When the lows hurt you, it can seem logical to find the quickest way out. 

I can tell you that I love you, that Daddy loves you, that your friends and family all love you and believe in you. I can tell you that I would climb down into the dark with you and help bring you out. But that's not enough. You need to know your value and worth, and know how much the world would lose without you. If you ever find yourself feeling like there is just no way to go on, I just need to you reach as deep down into your heart as possible for that last thread, the one that will remind you of all of the highs you would miss. Grab that thread and hold on. You don't even have to know what to do- it will be enough to ask for help. If you can't come to me, go to someone you can trust. I can't promise that it won't take a few tries to get it right, to find the person with the right directions. But, hold on. You'll get there. 

Despite all of this, despite all of the risks, I hope that you will be brave. You have so much to share with the world, and I can already see how happy it makes you doing so. People will know you are amazing, and people will think you are horrible. It's how life goes for everyone. But the people who put themselves out there are subject to the most backlash, the harshest criticism, and you have to be strong inside to face that. And for the times when you're just not strong enough, lean on the people who love you. We'll hold you up. 

People who act, who write, who paint and sing and dance change the world in a way that is very gray. It's not something that can be clearly drawn, like a doctor who saves a life or a police offer who protects us. The changes an artists makes are measured in inspiration, in emotion, and can be subject to vicious, relentless criticism. Be ready for it if that's the path you choose. Be ready, but don't bow to it. And when you're the strong one, offer grace to the ones who aren't. 

And if someday, no matter what path you choose, your sadness is more than just reaction to criticism, deeper than a failure, or impossible to overcome; if something is really, truly wrong and you can't put your finger one it, just hang on. It can be helped and you can get there. Dig deep. 

You are only four, and this a lesson for well beyond your few years. I promise to do my best, along with Daddy and all of the people who love you, to help you know your worth along the way. We are always here for you. 

Also, you should totally sleep until at least 8am tomorrow. 

I love you, Sweet Pea. 

Love, Mommy






Do you love linking up with us?  Tweet about it & help spread the word!


Tweet: Mom bloggers - I linked up with Time for Mom today and you can, too!  Join the fun with @rachel_b123 at http://cantgoogleeverything.blogspot.com



Welcome to Time for Mom, the best parenting link up around!

Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!



Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!

Rachel @ Can't Google Everything

Larisha @ We're Parents

Brie @ {...a breezy life}

Melissa @ Two Miracles




And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!



















We have each picked a blog post from last week to feature!  This may be a fun recipe or kids activity, or a post that really inspired us or that we related with.  Be sure to check them out if you didn't already last week!



Back to School Countdown from Twin Tested, Pin Approved // Easy Banana Split Dessert from Housewife on a Mission // 5 Ways to Teach Your Child to be Kind from Diapered Daze and Knights // Cooking Playdate from Mosswood Connections


Please add our button to your page to help spread the word about Time for Mom!


Time for Mom



Thanks for linking up!  By linking up with us you are opting in to our weekly email reminder for this hop and giving us permission to use an image from your blog if chosen for our weekly featured posts.  We will always link back to your post when we use your image when we feature you!











Monday, August 4, 2014

Bicycle races are coming your way...

Him & Me {but mostly me}
Say hi to Katherine from Him & Me (But Mostly Me). She is one of the bloggers taking part in the Back-to-School Prize Pack Giveaway and we're so happy to have her! Please stop by her blog and say hello! 
And don't forget to enter to win! CLICK HERE!
********************************************************************

It's Tuesday- Welcome to the Time for Mom Linkup!

A few weeks ago, we made a trip to Toys 'R Us for a special purchase- PJ's first "big boy" bike. It was one of those small-but-important milestones that I had been dreaming of since the moment I found out I was having a son. As we walked towards the bike section, visions of family bike trips and rides to the park danced in my head.

After some deliberation, we finally settled on a cool dude bike, green and black with some bright orange accents. We wheeled it to the car, stopping to take a picture before we loaded it in. It felt like such a big-kid thing to do, and I couldn't help but feel excited about it!

Our first few times out on the bike were kid of rough. PJ's motor skills are delayed, and the act of pedaling was very hard for him. It was so difficult that it made it hard for him to stay focused, since the bike wasn't going anywhere! There was a lot of physically crawling behind him as we guided his little legs through the motions of pedaling.

I started to realize that I was becoming more frustrated than PJ was {shame}, so on a cool afternoon I sent Pete and PJ out the door to take another try at riding the bike. I thought the change of instructor might do PJ some good and, sure enough, my phone rang- Pete telling me to come outside. PJ was perched atop his bike and with a little push, he was off.




I could see that the action of pedaling was hard work. PJ needed to truly concentrate on the motion of pumping his legs up and down and moving the bike forward, he was pushing though his whole body! But, he was doing it, and all at once I knew for sure that PJ's baby days are over. He looked like such a big boy. It was hard not to be emotional!





It's been about a week since then, and PJ is getting this riding a bike thing down! I would say that steering is his biggest challenge right now, but we have taken a bike ride to the park, the very milestone I dreamed about when we wheeled his new ride out of the store. He looks so proud when he pedals...and his Mommy is proud, too!




My Guy is off and rolling!








Do you love linking up with us?  Tweet about it & help spread the word!


Tweet: Mom bloggers - I linked up with Time for Mom today and you can, too!  Join the fun with @rachel_b123 at http://cantgoogleeverything.blogspot.com



Welcome to Time for Mom, the best parenting link up around!

Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!



Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!

Rachel @ Can't Google Everything

Larisha @ We're Parents

Brie @ {...a breezy life}

Melissa @ Two Miracles




And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!



















We have each picked a blog post from last week to feature!  This may be a fun recipe or kids activity, or a post that really inspired us or that we related with.  Be sure to check them out if you didn't already last week!


 


15 Philadelphia Area Road Trips from Making More // Homemade Popsicles from Many Waters // Watermelon & Lime Shave Ice from Far from Normal // How I Handled My Toddler's First Broken Bone from West Coast Mama




Please add our button to your page to help spread the word about Time for Mom!


Time for Mom



Thanks for linking up!  By linking up with us you are opting in to our weekly email reminder for this hop and giving us permission to use an image from your blog if chosen for our weekly featured posts.  We will always link back to your post when we use your image when we feature you!






Science!

Last week I had the fun honor of taking part in a blogging event at the Liberty Science Center!

We first discovered the LSC last winter, when we took PJ up to visit the Curious George exhibit they were hosting at the time. I grew up a die-hard Franklin Institute girl, and I was skeptical of the LSC's ability to measure up for me.

I need not have doubted. Located in Jersey City, the LSC is 300,000 square feet of science, laid out in a huge, beautiful building in Liberty State Park. We found so many things to engage our young learner, and plenty of things to hold the interest of my husband and I. An easy drive up the Turnpike, it's a bit of a distance for us from South Jersey (a little over an hour), but well worth it! It's quickly becoming one of our favorite day trips!

On this day, PJ and I arrived at the LSC and were greeted by Teicia and Cristie, the brains behind Jersey Moms Blog {Hi, girls! waves wildly!}. We checked in and were whisked off for pictures with the visiting celebrity- Clifford the Big Red Dog! Clifford was there to visit his new exhibit, Adventured With Clifford the Big Red Dog! PJ and I posed with the huge crimson hound and then headed off to join the other bloggers for lunch. At lunch we were treated to some fun demos of exhibits set up just for our kiddos as we learned all about the LSC from their very proud (and rightly so) staff. A liquid nitrogen demonstration was the standout, leaving our kids squealing with delight as thick white clouds rolled across the floor.

After lunch, we headed off into the museum, ready to take in all of the science it had to offer! Since we had already met Clifford, we figured we should head to his place first. Adventures With Clifford the Big Red Dog took us straight to the pooch's home on Birdwell Island. PJ filled Clifford's food dish with giant bones, slid down the tail of a giant Clifford statue, and danced on a stage with Clifford's friends. It was colorful and fun and exactly like we would imagine Birdwell Island to look if it came to life!

After that we dove into Beyond Rubik's Cube, 7,000 square feet dedicated to the famous puzzle that made us crazy in the 80's! PJ was hooked from the moment we stepped in and he was greeted with the Entry Wall, a living exhibit with sensors that follow the movements of your body in a show of light and color. PJ has been into puzzles lately, so he was in heaven. There were electronic puzzle tables with touch screens, opportunities to create his own wooden puzzle cube (much like the original Rubik's Cube prototype), play with brightly colored magnetic tiles, and check out gorgeous, moving light fixtures. The exhibit was so large and fun that we missed a few things, such as the Rubik's Cube made from 18 karat gold and precious jewels. That's something I need to see with my eyes! The exhibit runs through November, so we are looking forward to visiting again! 
After the Cube, we visited some old favorites from previous visits, such as Our Hudson Home (there is a turtle there that I kind of love) and tried out the Wildlife Challenge (which is seasonal and had been closed during our previous visits). This was an outdoor installation that lets visitors navigate obstacles from the point of view of local wildlife. This was a favorite for my own little wild Dude! We could have spent a full 24 hours exploring, but soon, PJ tired out and it was time to head home. Thankfully, the LSC is just a drive up the Turnpike! 
A HUGE thank you to Jersey Moms Blog and The Liberty Science Center for showing us such a wonderful day! I am looking forward to more opportunities to share the fun that the LSC has to offer! 


And now, the best part? A chance for you to win 4 Tickets to the Liberty Science Center as part of a Back-to-School Prize Pack!!!
Enter for your chance to win 4 tickets to the Liberty Science Center, a $40 Visa Gift Card, and some Back-to-School essentials! 

This giveaway is hosted by {...a breezy life} and Mary Beth over at Maple Brown Sugar, and we are so excited to have some amazing bloggers taking part in this fun giveaway and prize pack!

Reesa from Momma Lew
Julia from Wine In Mom
Katherine from Him & Me (But Mostly Me)
Jessica from Mommy University

Checking out these awesome writers will make you a winner even before you enter! Be sure to tweet about the giveaway every day, as that will increase your chances of winning! 

GOOD LUCK!!! 












Thursday, July 24, 2014

...you done made me have to get in my bag.

What's In My Bag?

I have seen this post all over the internets (and sometimes in US Weekly!) and have always wanted to write one myself. I don't know why, as it's kind of self-serving and not at all inspiring or informative...but it's fun, right? Plus, it's summer, which means I have been toting around my favorite summer bag, a cotton hobo bag from Old Navy that I just lovelovelove!


1. Keys
2. pretty red Coach wallet I got as a birthday gift a few years ago
3. crumpled money that should be in the wallet but never is
4. Lady Products. I'm always prepared.
5. Checkbook.
6. Lip gloss. I've never been a lipstick girl, I've always preferred a lighter gloss!
7. A roll of tokens for a local arcade. We got them at a birthday party but didn't use them.
8. My trusty iPhone ensconced in my trusty OtterBox.
9. Sunglasses. If I'm not wearing my contacts, this is replaced by my prescription sunglasses.
10. My Erin Condren planner. I never leave home without it. I tried to be an iPhone planner girl, but I just can't do it. Paper planners are my true love. (that's my referral link. I can get store credit if you make a purchase using the link!)
11. A little canvas bag filled with pens. A weird quirk of mine- I need to write events and such in my planner in different colors. That way, I can eyeball a date and quickly see how full it is. Three colors = busy day.

*Not Pictured- Trains. PJ likes to go everywhere with trains, and they often end up in my bag
                        Water bottle- also for PJ. In this hot weather I always need one for him.

And there we have it!

Linking up with Let's Talk Mommy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I'm so excited!

It's a Time for Mom linkup!

{stream of consciousness}

Yesterday was nearly perfect.
The weather was lovely.
PJ's behavior was outstanding.
I finally got the phone call about the start of ABA therapy for PJ,
   Something that was a project over a year in the making.
I found out a short piece I submitted to an online magazine was accepted.
Dinner came out good and looked pretty- a braided stromboli with homemade dough.
PJ and I enjoyed an after-dinner treat at Friendly's and some evening playground time.
PJ took his medicine like a champ,
  Then snuggled down to sleep with a new friend tucked in with him.
One would think that a child who owns seventy zillion Thomas trains
 might start to feel a little indifferent to them.
This particular train has been on his wish list for a while and last week
  while PJ laid in my lap, feverish and sad, I caved in and ordered it.
The package arrived and we opened it together.
PJ practically vibrated with joy.
Someday, my son will understand that true joy
 doesn't come in a box from Amazon.
(Although sometimes, I need to be convinced of that as well. I loveAmazon.)
The happiness of being in the ocean, or seeing his friends;
 the euphoria of Daddy getting home from work or the rush of performing in front of a crowd.
All of those intangible things that I worry he won't connect to- I hope he knows and loves those feelings.
But on this day, it was a train, and that's okay, too.


video











Do you love linking up with us?  Tweet about it & help spread the word!



Tweet: Mom bloggers - I linked up with Time for Mom today and you can, too!  Join the fun with @rachel_b123 at http://cantgoogleeverything.blogspot.com



Welcome to Time for Mom, the best parenting link up around!

Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!



Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!

Rachel @ Can't Google Everything

Larisha @ We're Parents

Brie @ {...a breezy life}

Melissa @ Two Miracles




And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!
















We have each picked a blog post from last week to feature!



Blueberry Cheesecake Dip from Momma Lew // Son's Drawing Sparks Blog Post by Maple Brown Sugar // Learning Colors by Such a Mam // Imagine Baby Diapers Trial Results by Naturally Crafty Mom

Please add our button to your page to help spread the word about Time for Mom!


Time for Mom



Thanks for linking up!  By linking up with us you are opting in to our weekly email reminder for this hop and giving us permission to use an image from your blog if chosen for our weekly featured posts.  We will always link back to your post when we use your image when we feature you!





Monday, July 21, 2014

...and I won't judge you 'cause it could get ugly.

Things That Make Me Judgey

I am have been trying, of late, to put aside some of my expectations and attitudes about other people and how they should or should not be living. A lot of this is based on trying to heal my marriage, but it has expanded to include healing me, and finding the part of me that I love- spending time with my friends, putting out a productive, positive energy, and being happy. Emphasis on the latter.

All of that crap sounds great, of course, and I really am working on it. Really. But Rome wasn't built in a day, and there are still a few things that humans do that make me lose my Goddamn mind.

1. Not putting seat belts on your child- oh, no. No, no, no. I will not only judge the ever-loving shit out of you if I see this, but I will also call the cops.

2. Being noisy when it's too late or you have been noisy too long? Come on. Things like dogs and babies that don't have a volume button? Not a problem. I can't get upset about an upset animal or a crying child no matter how loud or long. Some things just can't be helped. Even the occasional party or loud music? If it's not a regular thing it's not a problem. Your TV pounding through my floor every fucking night? I think you're an asshole.

3. Failing to yield to a school bus that is boarding/letting off children, particularly if the lights are flashing and the STOP sign is out and engaged.  You are not only a shitty, inattentive driver, but you are also a horrible person. This one, in particular, gives me instant rage. I have been know to yell at drivers who pass the bus while PJ is boarding. They never make eye contact with the braless, crazy-haired woman, still in her jammies, yelling like a nutcase. Go figure.

4. Try not to be a Debbie Downer. There are people who have something negative to say as a response to anything. Anything. The sun is shining outside your window and yes, you can get ALL THE CANCER from sunshine. But it's okay to enjoy it a little, too. Perk up there, chipmunk.

5. Sadness one-upers also drive me nuts. This is someone who will counter one sad tale with a slightly sadder tale of their own. It's not a competition. Hard is hard, for everyone. Yes, the person who is sad because Amazon didn't send a package on time (me today, as a matter of fact) is in a better place than the person who is sad because she has cancer. But that doesn't give someone a right to invalidate another's feelings. We're not in a race to see who has the suckiest life. Stop it.

I know that all of this makes me sound like a jerk, but in the spirit of honesty (and because writing this out made me laugh) I wanted to share a few things that bug me. What bugs you? Tell me what your pet peeves are and there might be a little something in it for you!!

Linking up with Leeann for some Monday Morning Gossip! Stop by, say hi, link up!!! DO IT!!!!! 




Monday, July 14, 2014

...and you complete the heart of me.

It's a Time for Mom linkup!

Summer time is such a special season for me. For most of my life I have lived just a little over an hour from the beach, and if you could somehow hold my heart up to your ear, you might hear the roar of the ocean.

Summer isn't just about the ocean. It's also about the neighborhood pool and water ice and staying out as late as the daylight lasts. I am twenty-nine thirty-seven and I still delight in seeing the last of the sun clinging to the sky at nearly 9pm.

I'm not a kid anymore. I'm a mom now, and although I didn't think it could be possible, summer holds even more magic and fun as I experience it with my son. From the first moment we put his toes in the ocean, PJ fell into a deep, meaningful love with all things summer.

My toes just touch the water...
 There are some things for PJ still to learn- the euphoria or counting down the last second of the Adult Swim and leaping into the pool; spontaneous ice cream because Mr. Softee happened to come by, catching the truck after you sprinted outside because you heard the faintest strains of the jingle; sitting outside with the other neighborhood kids until you're called in at dusk.
 But even with all of that to learn, PJ already knows how to slurp every last sip from summers overflowing cup of joy. When he was diagnosed with Autism, we didn't know if that would be possible. We didn't know if he would  have enough awareness of the world to smile at the sound of the waves, or shriek with delight as he splashed in the pool, or laugh his head off when he throws wet sand at Mommy. His father and I didn't know that, on the day he first laid eyes on the Atlantic, he would drag us across the beach with no fear or hesitation, determined to touch the wild water.
PJ, age 2

PJ, age 4 1/2
 When PJ can't have the ocean, he can make do with a blow-up pool, 10 inches of water, and a rigged-up "water slide" that is just a Fisher Price toy placed in the pool. We create our own water park in the shade of our trees and with snacks from the fridge just steps away. And, before he gave them up, a paci if needed.

PJ, age 4
PJ, age 3
And when there's no water, we can still bathe in the amazing, golden light of a summer evening with friends. It's the kind of light that doesn't need a fancy camera- you can just point your phone at it and capture all of its loveliness. It's another nod to the beauty of New Jersey (yeah, I said it.) and something I try to remember when I complain about property taxes. 

Summer with my son is one of the greatest joys I have ever known. Not even summer school, not even humidity, not even Autism could steal our summer from us. I am so excited to watch PJ grow and learn and make that first gleeful Adult-Swim-is-over countdown with friends, and hold the summers we have had like treasures. 

**********
Onto the Time for Mom Link Up!  If you are a mom, and you blog, this link up is for you!  All kinds of posts are welcome!


Do you love linking up with us?  Tweet about it & help spread the word!



Tweet: Mom bloggers - I linked up with Time for Mom today and you can, too!  Join the fun with @rachel_b123 at http://cantgoogleeverything.blogspot.com

Welcome to Time for Mom, the best parenting link up around!
Time for  Mom is a place for mom bloggers to link up and connect with other mom bloggers!  You do not have to link up a post about parenting only, your post can be about anything as long as you're a mom!  We only ask that it is today's post or a recent one, and that you don't link up the same post each week.  Please remember to check out a few others in the hop!  It's no fun to link and run!

Please be sure to take a moment to follow your host and co-hosts in some way!
Larisha @ We're Parents
Melissa @ Two Miracles

And if you didn't get enough of us on our blogs, check out our Time for Mom Superstars Pinterest Board!  Each week we will pin some of our favorites from the link up to the board!  Check it out and see who was pinned!



We have each picked a blog post from last week to feature!


8 Summer Party Drinks for All Ages from A Life in Balance // Rice Krispie Treats with a Twist from Lou Lou Girls //  Car Seat Safety Tips from Mommy Entourage // 3 Clever Chore Charts from Mama Teaches

Please add our button to your page to help spread the word about Time for Mom!

Time for Mom

Thanks for linking up!  By linking up with us you are opting in to our weekly email reminder for this hop and giving us permission to use an image from your blog if chosen for our weekly featured posts.  We will always link back to your post when we use your image when we feature you!