Thursday, August 26, 2010

Soaking Up Memories

"Summer is where the girls go barefoot and their hearts are just as free as their toes."
~Author Unknown

Madaline spent the entire last week at {IN} the lake.Every year, my family, rents a cottage on the West side of picturesque Seneca Lake. It's tradition. It's actually a tradition that has been going for well over 10 years now.7 days spent inhaling the freshness of the lake, soaking up the suns' rays, and just basking in the beauty of the Finger Lakes. Meals are all served family style with plenty of local fruits, veggies and a heaping side of love. Each evening is ends with a fire by the lake and sticky faces and hands from smores.
I can't think of a more perfect way to help bring summer to a close.
Part of ~ outside:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

18 Days

We have 18 days left.

18 more day of Aunt Olly.

18 more days until Olly, boards a plane, and Wanders Across the Pond.

18 more day to figure out how to make my Mayhem Maker understand that even though my sister's car will be parked in the driveway - she is actually 3,286.96 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in Wales18 more days until we say "Give Aunt Olly Hugs & Kisses and tell her you'll see her at Christmas" - which is only 122 days away.

Looking for more? check out:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Where's The Mayhem Today?

Why, It's NOT here.... It's over at The Townsend Bakery.

*zinnias I picked up at the Farmer's Market yesterday*


It's Farmer's Market season and I am taking advantage of it to its fullest. The great prices, produce picked at the peak of perfection and perhaps most importantly, supporting local farmers. Needless to say, the BLUEBERRIES have really been amazing! So, click over - an check out the most delicious oatmealy blueberry goodness that Madaline and I made after dinner last night.

You can thank me later.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Defending My Opinion: The Ugly Shoes, revisited

Nothing pisses me off more than a snotty, attitude filled comment on my otherwise happy go lucky blog. If you read here regularly, you will notice that there is not a lot of drama here. I use this blog as a means in which to chronicle life with my daughter. This space really is all about her. The things she says, what we do, and how it affects both me and my husband as parents. And, I share a lot of pictures - and often times my photos are the stories. I don't often write about the ups and downs of my marriage, my husband; I don't write about my career, and I certainly don't write about anything that falls under the "mommy wars" category. If I do pen something that is a bit more outside the box for me, you will find it as a guest post elsewhere. And, so naturally, you can imagine that I was a bit taken back yesterday when I got a "snarkalicious" comment on yesterday's post. I didn't sit well with me, and 12 hours or more later, it's still not sitting well with me. If I was a better person I would do this via email and in a more private manner. But, well, since someone felt compelled to "feel SAD" for my daughter and her ugly shoes in my public comments, I am going to clear the air right here in a blog post.

So, commenter - you asked "What does it hurt for my kid to wear a Disney Princess t shirt that she loves?” Really? Nothing. But, then again, it's your children and your choice. And, like I said yesterday, not in my house and NOT on my daughter. I really think that when you dress your child in the morning you should ask yourself "Would I wear that?” If the answer is no, then why would you let your child wear it? As a grown woman there is no way in Hell I would walk around with a Disney princess stretched across my chest or Tinkerbelle’s Pixie Dust embellishment down the leg of my jeans, then why should my daughter?

And, finally, "Did you really tell your daughter that she couldn't wear those shoes out in public with you? That makes me feel sad for her". Yes. I did say that. Then again, I am a firm believer of tell it like it is parenting with a bit of fear splashed in. I also tell her no cookies before dinner, that markers & crayons will be taken away for coloring on anything other than paper, that money doesn't grow on trees, it's not ok to play in the middle of the road even if you stay on the yellow line, that I don't want to hear any crying when the cat bites you because you were pulling its tail, and stop running in the dining room because the fake hardwood is slippery and I don't have time blood and guts tonight. I bet you feel even sadder for her now. Life isn't all sunshine or rainbows, and eventually Madaline will know that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy all live in her imagination. *gasp* But, seriously, they are a pair of sneakers. And, in my opinion they are "HOLY FREAKIN' UGLY SHOES" at that. They are not my taste, not my style and certainly not something I would spend money on. But, you know what; Madaline thinks they are cute even if she doesn't wear them. And, actually, that is her choice. All her shoes are lined up in the kitchen - 3 pairs of flip flops, 2 pairs of sandals and the fugly sneakers. Each day before my husband & her leave for daycare, she gets to choose what shoes she wears. She has worn them once in the two weeks she's had them. They gave her blisters the size of dimes and to be worn again, she has to wear socks. And, well, this time of year, wearing socks is just as evil as wearing closed toe shoes in Madaline's mind.

And, so there they sit. In the kitchen, unworn, waiting for fall and waiting for her to choose them. Will I cringe when she wears them? Yes, Yes I will - but, I'll deal with it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ugly Shoes

I am very picky about how I dress Madaline. I tend to choose clothing for her, much the same way that I choose clothing for myself. Clean lines, classic pieces, bright colored accents that can be mixed and matched if necessary. The black and white stripped leggings I saw recently at The Children's Place for fall - ADORABLE. The denim eyelet dress from The Gap that I snagged off the clearance rack that she can wear this fall with a simple white t-shirt and baby legs - EVEN MORE ADORABLE. The sundresses that she has wore most of the summer that I picked up for $5.00 here and there have taken a beating and still look great. It's pretty safe to say that I probably never spend more than $10.00 total on an outfit for my daughter. Really, it's not rocket science to dress your child nicely. And, you don't have to spend $20 - $35 on each piece of clothing to do it either.

And, going hand in hand with my philosophy spending next to nothing on my daughter wardrobe, I do have several pet peeves when it comes to dressing toddlers. It drives me up a wall that people thinks it cute if a toddlers shirt is too short and their belly is hanging out for all the world's viewing pleasure. Trust me, it's not. Also, I understand that it has been extremely hot and humid this summer - but, please, please put some cloths on your baby when you bring s/he out in public. A simple dress or t-shirt & shorts will suffice. And, don't give me the excuse that your child can't wear nice, well fitting clothing because they grow quickly. As I have explained in the previous paragraph, if you shop the sales and consignment stores, you can always have great looking clothing that properly fits your child.

Which brings me to character clothing. No. Not in this house and NOT on my daughter. My daughter is not going to be free advertising for your crappy show that drives me nuts. And, this hatred of character clothing applies to shirts, pants, shorts, socks, panties, jammies and hair accessories. Needless to say, I have dealt with many a meltdown, in a store, because I refused to buy Disney Princess panties or Dora jammies.

And lastly, shoes. Madaline spends most of the summer barefoot and wears flip flops when necessary. When the fall weather takes over, I usually pick her up a new pair of black and brown Mary Jane's or T-strap type shoes for fall/winter. But these things? These monstrosities that my mother bought my daughter for her birthday? Just thinking about them makes me cringe and the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. And, I should have known something was up, as my mother's face lit up with Cheshire grin a mile wide when she handed Mads a small square box. "Now...Heather...you have to let her wear these" - "These are to replace the princess shoes that seem to have disappeared" - "I bought them for her because it is totally the opposite of something you would buy for her" - "She's going to love them" - "Aren't they the cutest?"
"Ahhhh, Mom, the store should have PAID you to buy those shoes, not the other way around" - "What princess shoes?" - "NO mom. They are the fugliest things I have ever seen" - "Maddy, you can wear those out in public with Grammy - but never mommy".
Holy freakin' UGLY shoes.Looking for more? Check out:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Celebrating 3 Years of Madaline

Better late than never, right? The resident Mayhem Maker has been 3 years old for over a week now. This year, I thought I would write her a little letter. Dear Mads,
A week ago this past Sunday we celebrated your 3rd birthday. It's been three years since you came kicking and screaming into this world. 4 weeks early I might add. But, that says a LOT about your personality. You are full speed ahead all the time. I am still not sure you really know how to walk, because all you do is run or jump or skip.Your endless energy fills our days with laughter and mayhem. I never fully understood what people meant when they said "Wait until you see the world through the eyes of a child" until I had you. I see a lawn that needs to be mowed, you see a field of bugs and creepy crawly things waiting to be discovered. I see a garden that needs to be weeded, you see nothing but beautiful flowers and stalks to make the most perfect bouquet. I see a pile of dirt that will ruin your pretty dress, you see the perfect opportunity to build a city of holes and dirt castles.You request that your PB&J Sandwiches be cut into the four triangles & it's HAS to be grape jelly. Your favorite ice cream is 'banilla with sprinkles' and of course you prefer to have it in a cone as opposed to a dish. You can dress yourself most days and have taken to wearing your panties inside out and backwards. You drive your Daddy nuts with your need to always wear a pretty dress. You have gotten beyond your obsession of Max & Ruby and turned your attention to the Imagination Movers.*phew* Closed toe shoes are evil, flips flops are grand and it's got to be either braids or pigtails. We have worked hard to teach you good manners and you do frazzle our nerves with your never ending string of questions. You test your boundaries and the limits of Mommy & Daddy's patience on what seems like an hourly basis. And of course, there is Bear. You never go anywhere with out Bear. Bear is your partner in crime on each childhood adventure you take.

You're our twinkle twinkle star, the sparkling light of our lives. You are Daddy's Boo-Bug and Mommy's little BIG girl. But, most importantly, you are LOVED.
Happy Birthday Madaline Elizabeth. We LOVE you!