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Vacation! All I ever wanted.....

We just bought the tickets for Florida in Oct!!
WOO!!

After much hemming and hawing, we just decided that we NEEDED to get out of dodge in the Fall for a bit. This summer will be filled with camping, and swimming, and beaches, and Ren Fair, and....well, you get the gist. We'll be so busy doing fun things that there's no need for a respite.

But we want to try to have a real family get away before the next wee one comes along.
So Florida it is!!

It will be a great birthday present for Liam too :)

The reason we opted for Florida is because my Godparents live down there and there is a whole wing of their home meant just for guests. They've been asking us to come down, so we're finally going to take them up on it!

A part of our stay will also be spent at the Disney Hotel. 'Cause I'm a sucker for it :P That way we can do Goofy's Restaurant with all of the charecters (which Liam is going to LOVE!) and have acess to all of the whimsical Disney things for little ones to be a part of. I've heard it is just great. Every last detail is so out of this world.
I'm really excited! 

Another huge perk of going down there is that I love and trust my godparents to the ends of the earth, and so I feel just fine leaving Liam with them while Matt and I go out and enjoy some fancy restaurants, or just enjoy some beach time alone.
We've found it very important to take time to just be the two of us, and reconnect as lovers without the mom and dad facet of our relationship being in the forefront.
The way we parent makes it hard to not focus on LIam when ever he is with us, and we refuse to in any way ignore him or not include him in the things we are doing when we're out as a family.
So at least every two weeks Grandma and Grandpa or Auntie B hang out with Liam while we take in a movie or get some dinner or hell...just go for a nice walk and listen to Jazz In The Park!
I can only imagine that being able to have some "us" time on vacation will be oh so fantastic too :)

As far as attractions, we plan on doing Sea World (we booked a time to take the whole family swimming with dolphins! Holy crap!) , Animal Kingdom, and maybe Epcot. With Liam being so young Disney world is knida out. But there's always time for that later!

So......WOO!

I'm so glad we're going!
Just one more thing to start counting down on the calendar! :)

Silent night

Reason # 18726 that I can't imagine a house without animal companions;


I just walked in to check on Liam slumbering away and saw the cutest sight.

At first glance it looked like he was hugging one of his stuffed animals, but as I got closer I realized that he had our cat tucked up snuggly under his arm! :) 
They were both sleeping so peacefully <3

I think I might die from the cute......

Awesome Opportunity

One of Matt's co-workers is going on vacation, and has asked us to house sit for her.
House sit her horse farm!!!

I raised, trained and worked with Quarter Horses my whole childhood and teenage life. I loved it.
Horses hold a special place in my heart and without a doubt, will play a role in my children's lives as well.
So this is soooo exciting for me!

We get to hang out on her ranch for a week and play with her dogs and horses! Liam and I can go riding every day if we want! OMG!
She even has a sturdy little pony that she says is great with kids, so there's a chance Liam can ride all on his own for the very first time. I'm so thrilled to have a week of being back in the saddle with him!
AND I can take some time to teach Matt how to really ride. We've gone a few times before, but he wants to learn how to do more than just sit there :P
She also has a pool and hot tub that we can play and lounge in too. *sigh* Oh man, I can't wait....

She lives in the town that both of our parents live in as well, so it will be perfect for getting in some good family time too. I'm really looking forward to it. Matt's dad has already said that he wants to take us for a ride through the country to go get some ice cream in the Model T.  Liam loves the T. Matt does too. His dad is teaching him how to drive the four door Model T he owns, which is a pretty big deal :)

This lady goes out of town a lot. and always has trouble finding someone to care for her animals. So if all goes well, this will become a regular thing! Which I'd LOVE!

We don't leave for another 2 weeks, but she has wireless internet so I can take the laptop and post about stuff from the farm.
Brace your self for way too many videos of a toddler giggling on horse back! :) :) :) 



Simply fulfilling


In short....the Blessingway was amazing!!

So beautiful and moving and emotional. Lots of tissues were passed around :)

I feel renewed and uplifted by my deep interconectedness to these women and their true, true caring and compassion. I feel so close to the mother-to-be and, savor her friendship.

I really think that Rebecca (the lovely pregnant woman that we were honoring) walked away with a feeling of fullness, and I hope she knows that she can rely on us all for anything.

A really great aspect of Blessingways is the wonderful spontinaity that can come from such openness of emotions. After a particularly moving sharing of our stories about what she means to each of us, our friend Molly decided that it would be great if we could establish a food chain and child caring chain for her.
What a perfect idea! So we have each signed up for  a day to bring dinner to Rebecca's family for the first two weeks straight, and then periodically after that. And we all volunteered to take her girls off her hands at least two days a week for two months so that she has some good resting and bonding time with the new baby.
That is probably the best thing I can think of for a PP gift. Food and rest! 

After I got home, I found some leftovers from the whole shindig in my bag. There is a whole skien of the beautiful red alpaca wool from the solidarity circle**, so I plan to incorperate it into a buntting that I've been working on for the new wee one. I thought it might be a neat reminder to his/her mama of her special day.

And...I also found some leftover Henna!! So I had fun with it :)



Her belly Henna is 10X cooler than this, I'll upload some pics soon...


** the solidarity circle is a binding together of all of the women in the group by lacing a continuous line of red thread, in this case yarn, between us. We all looped it around our writs and told her of our commitment of love to her and her family, and how this connection of yarn symbolized our shared experience as women and mothers. We then cut the yarn and tied it around our wrists, and it's not to be removed until we get the joyous news of the birth! It's an outward symbol of the fact that she is always in our hearts and minds in this most precious and temoultuous time. A visual reminder that we share in her struggle and we share in her joy.

So very tempting

Hmmmm....

Homeschool debate going on in parenting101 .

Must participate....but.....midnight....big day tomorrow....ug....

Damn you internetz!!

Woo!! Potty!

Liam has been in big boy underwear for THREE days, with NO accidents!!
He now always tells us when he needs to go and has started even getting up at night to tinkle!

He is so proud of his big boy pants...and so am I!

I am officially the world biggest fan of baby potty signs. Seriously.

http://www.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=88483341967&h=y8Qag&u=dFpFI


We didn't use the whole 'system' that Baby Signs sells, but we used the same philosophy and methodolgy adapting it slightly to better fit Liam's personality.

I have heard some flack about the whole baby signs thing, and honestly I just don't get it. I don't get how people can think that working with your child and giving him/her means to communicate their needs and feelings before they have the physical capacity to speak could in any way be detremental to them. Crazy! Babies communicate with us from birth! Crying, fussing, squeeking, wiggling, had motions, etc. Signing is a way to give them tools to better tell us dumb adults what they want or need :) I couldn't imagine Liam throwing a tantrum because he needed help. He just signs "help!".
Signing encourages earlier language skills and indeed an earlier awareness of interpersonal connection through communication. They can 'speak' to us and not just be on the receiving end of things!

Like the video sites..until the turn of the century people just naturally developed signs with their children. In 1960 the average age of potty training was 18 months. Now it closer to 3 YEARS!
It gives me the heebe jebbes to even think about having a kid in diapers at age 3 :/
So much laundry......

Translating baby signs to the potty and helping him identify when he needs to go has been really neat.  Letting him take control of his own environment and empowering him and to let me know when he needs me to help him get to the potty has been so great for his sense of indepence.
The idea behind some of this philosphy it is that by not helping our children to identify the need to go potty, we are actually 'diaper training' them i.e. renforcing the act of going in their diaper.

We started with this when Liam was about 16 months olds and he could rationalized that soiling himself = being uncomfortable.
We watched for his physical cues that meant he was about to go potty and then took him to the potty so he could finish there. Then, of course we celebrated like crazy fools! He loved it :) And so he WANTED to go potty. He didn't want to be wet or dirty and he loved watching mommy do a crazy dance when he peed in the potty.  

Now that has become him just getting up and calling me into the bathroom to help him onto the potty and clap for him. It's so awesome!!

I am so excited that I may wet MY pants!! :)

Woo!!!

tomorrow already?!

Wow.
Well, the Blessingway is tomorrow and I almost feel ready! The food is cooked, the flowers are waiting, the PP bath soak is ready, I have some good henna ideas for her belly...man I hope this goes well!!

I think I might have gone a wee bit over board, but come on......I'm the woman who planned, catered, hosted, and cleaned up after 2 weddings! By choice!! I think I have a party planning infatuation :P

Matt is taking Liam and the daughter of another friend attending the Blessingway to Liam's favorite place in the world. The Zoo!! Little man can now say Giraffe (jaw- aff), Lion (lie-on), Elephant (O-fant), and Fish (FLish). And he could probably spend a good three hours in the monkey house trying desperately to reconnect with his long lost family. The Orangutans. That boy is seriously head over heels in love with the animal kingdom!

They are meeting up with the lovely pregnant honoree's husband and his 2 girls. I think at least two other dad's will be there with kids in tow as well. It so cool to see him out with his dad buddies! As tight as I am with my circle of mama's, he's really bonded the same way with his own circle of fellow dad's.

There's just something about the camaraderie of parenthood that can kindle an instant connection between people. I think it's probably a great outlet for us both to be part of a community of like minded parents whom we can share our joys, sorrows, and best infant puke stories with. People who really 'get it'. 
I overheard Matt talking to one of the other dads a while ago about breast feeding, and naturally my curiosity was piqued. The other guy said that he would feel really weird about his wife NOT breastfeeding. How it would make HIM feel like a failure for not being able to give his child the best! And how awesomely convenient it was too :) Matt's response..... "No kidding! I wish I had a pair! there would never be crying in the house again!" <3

I'm also excited to see how he'll do with TWO little ones to wrangle tomorrow. The little girl he's taking is just the sweetest, funniest 2 1/2 year old I've ever met. He shouldn't have a lick of trouble with her. Liam on the other hand might keep him on his toes :)

At least I think both boys will be ready for a nap when they get home!

Wish us luck!