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. 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 given 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, bravery, 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 on it, just hang on. It can be helped and you can get there. 

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. 

I love you, Sweet Pea. 

Love, Mommy




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!








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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




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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!!!