Friday, May 30, 2008

Sex and the City

You Are Most Like Carrie!
You're quirky, flirty, and every guy's perfect first date.
But can the guy in question live up to your romantic ideal?
It's tough for you to find the right match - you're more than a little picky.
Never fear... You've got a great group of friends and a
great closet of clothes, no matter what!

Romantic prediction: You'll fall for someone this year...

Totally different from any guy you've dated.
Which Sex and the City Vixen Are You?

I just got this from Danielle. I'm so excited about this movie which by the way comes out today! It is going to be the first time I hang with my brother's new girlfriend (who I love) solo and pathetically enough the first movie I've seen since "Meet the Fockers". Yep it has been over three years! We're not going tonight but it will be very soon before someone spills the beans about it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Need to Vent

I know I've mentioned it before but Justin, Madison and I are in a wedding this September. The bridesmaids dresses have been ordered and the flower girls dresses have been chosen. The two flower girls (including Madison) need to be measured so their dresses can be ordered too. The shop we are working with is literally 10 minutes from my house. With my crazy schedule I thought it would be easiest to just stop in and get Madison measured whenever the bride was ready for me to do so. The mom of the other flower girl refuses to go alone so now the bride is making the hour and a half trip down to meet all of us on Saturday just to watch the girls get measured. The part that bothers me is that I was told when to go instead of being asked what time(s) work(s) for me. The time chosen was 1:30 which is right in the middle of Madison's nap time. She is 3 and on occasion I've bent the rules but we ALL suffer later on for skipping her nap. I very nicely asked the bride if we could change the time if at all possible for either before 1:00 or after 3:00. I'm still waiting for a response. Was it rude of me to do this? I'm not one to typically speak up and usually go with the flow but I feel like every part of this wedding has become a complete ordeal and I just don't want to deal with it.

Not Exactly Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous but....

we got a pool! Can you tell I'm psyched. On our way home from the beach this weekend Madison asked us for a pool. We had intentions of buying a little kiddy pool but when we got to B.J.'s (like Costco) they were out of the $30 one that I had planned on purchasing. Justin being the impulse shopper that he is found a 15 ft x 3 ft pool for a killer deal. Of course we bought it. It will be great to be able to cool off in the privacy of my own backyard instead of going to the beach constantly or to Justin's grandparent's house. We have been considering a much larger scale pool that will last more than a season or two but kept deciding against. Neither one of us really wanted the responsibility of caring for a pool, the constant anxiety of Madison sneaking out on her own and we can't get an in ground pool because the previous owners of our home had one but did not collapse and fill it in properly so it would cost major bucks for us to do it. We still have to care for this bad boy and have put locks that Madison can't reach on all the doors and gates for safety. Even with the locks we are both constantly paranoid but I'm sure everything will be fine. Needless to say we didn't really think this through but I still think we will be happy with our decision in the long run. If I'm babbling I apologize. Madison is running around like a nut with her dad because she is very excited about the "surprise ride" we are taking her on tomorrow. It is actually Sesame Place but just in case something falls through we don't want to tell her yet plus I think her reaction of learning where we are going once we get there will be priceless. Anyway here are a few pics of us setting up the tiny pool!

Dad helping to unfold the pool.

It'll fill up faster if I hold the hose!

I think I can see the bottom through the clear part of my raft!

Oh, I should mention that the pool is actually filled up now and really is 3 feet deep. It just got too late Sunday night for pics by the time it was filled. I'll be sure to take more once it is actually warm enough to go in. I was standing in the puddles at the point when Madison had on her swimmies and was riding the raft trying to smooth out the wrinkles. She swore she wasn't cold but my ankles were actually cramping the way they do when you stick you feet in the ocean for the first time of the season!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Gardening Tips and Tricks

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Even though this is only the unofficial start to the season to me summer is here! Yes I still have school tomorrow but the weather is warm, the beach is gorgeous and traffic is crazy being that I live in a summer resort area. I never thought of it as a summer resort area growing up but after sitting in crazy traffic yesterday and seeing how many out of towners (aka bennies) are around I guess I do!

Anyway I want to start by saying that I am in no way, shape or form a gardener. In fact if not for my hubby and his love of landscaping I would without a doubt live in a condo or hire a landscaping company. Lucky for me Justin is so into his yard that he actually started his own landscaping biz this year because there are no other places for him to plant plants in ours! Every year I do make an attempt at having a small veggie garden. It usually consists of one pot of basil and one tomato plant on our deck but to me it is a garden. It never fails to start out great. My basil plants get HUGE, and I usually start picking my tomatoes by July. This kills my mother because she is an avid gardener yet her veggies never seem to take off as quickly as mine. Some may say it is a soil difference but being that she lives next door I doubt that is the problem. Then come about mid July when the whether is unbearably hot and humid I begin to loose interest. Watering doesn't occur as often as it should, the buds on the basil plants don't get plucked before they flower and eventually I forget about the garden all together!

I'm honestly going to make an effort to have a successful mini garden this year. I had Justin clear a small area in one of the flower gardens for veggies and have so far planted three different types of tomatoes. I'm also planning on planting a few pepper plants and basil in my garden. That is about my limit for this year but it is a start. After spending an obscene amount on produce yesterday I decided it was the least I could do for our money saving efforts. Besides knowing that I grew these veggies makes me think they'll taste that much better.

Now for a couple of green tips and tricks that I've learned so far. This is not an extensive list so anything that you have learned and would like to share would be greatly appreciated!

  • Beer: We have quite a few slugs in our area and they love tomato plants. They love beer even more though. If you have a slug problem place a pie pan of beer near your veggie garden and the slugs will go towards that instead of the garden. Just make sure you don't have pets near your garden or they might lap up the tasty treat before the slugs do.

  • Marigolds: We also have lots of bunnies where I live. Rabbits love gardens just as much as slugs but they do not like marigolds. If you plant a border of the smelly little flowers around your garden it will deter Peter and his siblings (oddly enough my maiden name is MacGregor but that is neither here nor there).

  • Epsom Salts: This is news to me but a little old lady that I know has awesome tomatoes year after year. She said her trick is to add a handful of Epsom salts to each hole she digs for her tomato plants before planting them. I went out and bought a bag and sure enough on the back of the bag there were directions for how to make a cleansing solution for cuts and bruises, a laxative cocktail and gardening directions.

As I learn more tips I will be sure to pass them on along with updates on how the garden is doing this year. Here is a pick of what I've got going on right now. So far it is pretty much a dirt patch but we'll see what happens!

Friday, May 23, 2008

My Faith Has Been Restored!

I absolutely LOVE "Grey's Anatomy"! It is the only show that I can ever stay up past 9:00 for. Unfortunately this season I've started to think my obsession may be waining. The thought of Derrick and Meredith breaking up yet again was just getting old. Every week that a new episode aired I would watch it and that complain to my hubby about how lame the show has gotten and if they didn't get together soon I was done with it. Did I ever stop watching? Of course not but I did actually shout at the tv a few times when they would get soooooooo close to reconciling and bungle it up. If you didn't watch last night's episode I won't give away the specifics but I just have to say that enduring what I thought was a so so season was all made worth while last night. The ending was absolutely the best I have ever seen! I was reduced to tears several times during this episode (which is saying a lot 'cause I'm not a crier) and by the end I was nothing more than a blubbering mess! All I have to say is McDreamy better not have some type of tragic accident at the beginning of next season!

If you missed it check out the full episode on ABC's site.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

To Spray or Not to Spray

I live in the heart of the pinelands of New Jersey. This means that ticks and Lyme disease are a HUGE concern of mine. About a month ago after playing in the yard Madison came running up to me screaming that she had "an ant" crawling on her arm. Well what she thought was a ant was really a tick. I quickly removed it from her arm, calmed her down and then proceeded to do a thorough tick check all over her body. Immediately my father and Justin wanted to spray the yard for ticks before letting Madison play out back again. I refused to let them do it because although it is supposedly safe to be around after the spray has been down for 24 hours I didn't want to run the risk of exposing Madison to any weird chemicals or add any chemicals to the ground (goes against my desire to be a greener family). Ever since that day I've just made sure to check Madiosn every time we are done playing outside. This is of course a job made much easier with her fair skin and blond hair!

Well bright and early this morning Madison walks up to me with both hands on her neck asking me "when did I get a button?". I lifted her hair to discover that her "button" was an embedded tick! I'm not sure exactly when the disgusting little bugger crawled onto her body but I do know that I checked all weekend and that it was not there last night which means it was either in my house or on her body and I just didn't find it in time. I've plucked ticks off of our various pets a number of times but when I found it on my little girl I completely forgot everything I needed to do and instead ran her over to my parent's house (thank God they are next door) for help from my mom! Mom smeared the tick with Vaseline and waited for it to back out (various feelings on this method). Unfortunately it never backed out so she grabbed tweezers and tried to pull it. The body came off but the head stayed embedded. I of course started freaking and was debating between just taking her to school and calling the doctor from there or staying home from school to take her to the doctor's as soon as they opened. After I calmed down I decided to call from school and see what they said. The nurse on the phone informed me that since the whole body was removed the head would die off and that I just needed to look for signs of Lyme for the next 30 days. No need to go into the office.
The signs to look for are:
  • a bulls eye rash which can appear anywhere on the body, not just at the bite site. It might also not appear at all in some Lyme patients
  • a low grade fever
  • joint and or muscle aches and pains

I've also looked up different recommendations for removing ticks. I learned that you are NOT supposed to use petroleum jelly or a match (well the match I thought was kind of a given). Instead use a pair of tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull on it without twisting or yanking until the tick releases itself. Place the tick in a jar with alcohol or a baggy in the freezer and save it in case you get sick and need to id it later.

At this point I am considering spraying our backyard in order to keep this from happening too often this summer but if you have any other ideas for ridding the yard of ticks I would love to hear them.

Some helpful sites on ticks and Lyme are:

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Big Reveal

Good morning everyone! It is official, I am entering the uncomfortable stage of the pregnancy! For the most part I'm still pretty much okay (yes I still wear heals on a regular basis) but today is a very rare Sunday morning where Justin and Madison are sound asleep. Me? Well, here I am at 5:30 a.m.. Believe me it is not that I'm not tired, I just can't sleep anymore!

Anyway I had my 28 week checkup this week. Baby is doing great and I gained 3 pounds this month! My next checkup is when we'll schedule the c-section. I was guessing July 31st but the mid wife I saw said my doc will probably opt for a c-section the week prior because the baby is measuring large even at this point.

Here are my first official preggo pictures. It is not that I've been opposed to having any taken I'm just usually the one behind the camera! Have a great day.

28 1/2 weeks Dad and I comparing bellies!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Like Watching a Train Wreck

Okay so did anyone see it? Yesterday on the Today Show New Kids on the Block was the guest band! As soon as I heard that they were going to be appearing I immediately told Madison that it was mommy's turn to watch tv and turned the tv to channel 4. Instantly I started thinking to back in the day with my teased up hair, cuffed jeans, wigwams and of course everything NKOTB. Yep, I was one of those kids with the NKOTB sheets, dolls, collector cards, posters. You name it, I had it! Like every other all American girl I also had my favorite and that was bad boy Donnie Wahlberg ( no wonder I think his little bro Mark is hotter than all get out). Other girls might have had a thing for pretty boy Jordan or youngster Joey but for me Donnie was the one. Weren't there two others? Oh yeah that's right Jonathan (or John not sure?) and Danny but I really don't know anyone who was crushing on them.

Anyway enough nostalgia and back to yesterday's concert in the pouring rain. They started out with a montage of their old hits "Please Don't Go Girl", "Hangin' Tough", "Right Stuff" to name a few. Yes these songs were paired up with their synchronized dance moves. I have to admit watching grown men (very near 40) singing the teenie bopper songs and making their moves was nothing less than hilarious! I really could not take any of what I was watching seriously. Several times I even caught myself laughing hysterically out loud after Madison would comment "Mommy that's not funny!". What was even scarier than watching this concert which the boys were taking very seriously (and I use the term boys LOOSELY) was looking at the audience of women mostly in their thirties waving signs, filling up with tears and screaming out how much they love NKOTB! I was waiting for bras and panties to start flying up on stage!

After the concert Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer interviewed the band for a few minutes. It was nice to see that their heads did not seem completely swelled and that they were also really enjoying their renewed fame. Not to mention the crazy cash flow increase. The first ticket sales for their concert in Quebec (I think) sold out in four minutes!

Will I be going to see NKOTB this coming September 23rd at the Izod Arena? Well, probably not because the tickets that I thought went on sale ranging from $36.50 to $74.50 today sold out last Monday! No matter how good or bad of a concert thye put on it is guaranteed to be a good time if you get a couple of your friends to go and a few cocktails in you. If you are interested in buying tickets for their concert here in Ct make sure to check out Ticketmaster today at 10:00 a.m. when tickets go on sale. My only question is who is opening for them Vanilla Ice or MC Hammer?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tasty Tuesday

Hi everyone! In honor of my sweet tooth I've decided to share my super easy, super yummy recipe for crumb cake this week. A friend of mine gave it to me a couple of years ago so I'm not sure of its origin prior to that but it is a huge hit at holiday brunches and bake sales (I would make it more often but it like lots of my fav. recipes is not the healthiest). Enjoy!

Crumb Cake


1 box yellow cake mix (cinnamon swirl works great too)
all of the ingredients that are called for on the cake mix recipe
3 cups flour
3 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
3 sticks butter, melted

Mix the butter, flour, cinnamon and vanilla together. This will be the crumb mix. Refrigerate. Make the cake mix according to the recipe on the box. Pour into a greased 13x9 in pan. Bake for approx 34 minutes at temp. stated on mix box. Remove from oven and take crumb mix out of the fridge. Scrape into little pieces with a fork and sprinkle all over the mostly baked cake. Press crumbs down slightly so they stick to the cake. Continue baking 10 - 15 minutes longer until a toothpick or knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into single servings sized pieces.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I Thought I Was Tired!

Although this time around I haven't felt as well as I did with my first pregnancy, all in all I do enjoy being pregnant. That doesn't mean that I'm not already counting down the days to meet my new daughter and be in control of my own body once again. I have less than twelve weeks to go until the scheduled c-section. Eighty-Two days to be exact (but whose counting). At this point he possability of me doing this (being pregnant) one more time is almost certain but after that I'm more than likely done. Never in my wildest dreams could I ever imagine being pregnant for 11 years of my life!

Why do I mention being prengnant for 11 years? Michelle Duggar is the reason! She is the mom of 17 from Arkansas. I remember reading an article about her last summer when she gave birth to baby#17 and thinking "Not me, No Thanks". Well she and hubby Jim Bob are once again in the news. Why you ask? Yep that's right she is preggers yet again! According to several internet sites that I checked out Michelle is six weeks along and due with this baby on New Year's Day (the fourth Duggar child to be born in the month of January). 18 kids and I get nervous thinking about the arrival of my second! This would not personally be a choice for me but obviously it is for some people. I wish them the best of luck with all of their children ranging in age from 20 down to 9 months. I'ld love to hear what you think and also know what number seems good for you. Have a great weekend!


P.S. Click on the Duggar family pic to check out their website or go to Discovery Health Website to learn more about their series "The Duggar's Big Family Album"

Friday, May 9, 2008

You Are Naming Her What???

Next to "Oh you are having another girl" or "Well, Maybe you can try one more time for a boy" (which to be honest I'm very happy to be having ANOTHER girl) people always feel the need to comment on what we are naming our new little munchkin. This drives me freakin' crazy!!!! I know I've commented on some friend/family name choices for their children in the past but only if asked what I think and never anything harsh (at least I hope not).

Anyway when we found out we were pregnant with Madison we instantly had a boys name. He was going to be Ayden James. I still love the name but had a student with that name and well enough said. It took us forever to come up with Madison Elizabeth but we finally did. That time around most people loved the name although some commented on how popular Madison was. Yep, I know it is like the new Jenniffer but I loved it so case closed!

This time around we once again had two boys names instantly. They were Liam James or Logan James (james is my dad's and hubby's grandfather's name). We quickly settled on Logan. Mostly 'cause Justin really loved it. Again no clue on the girl name. We tossed around names like Shaelynn, Amelia, Leila but nothing really stuck. Actually that is not true Justin kept calling the little one Shaelynn Mackenzie but I just wasn't feeling the name. All along I really liked the name Stella (my maternal grandmother was Antonia Estella but Stella for short). I thought it was a pretty, different name but not too far out their. At the end Justin was pretty set against the name and we settled on Emma (you know the new Jessicca). It all changed when Madison announced that her new sister would not be named Emma and that her name was Stella. Since then we have all been calling her Stella. So the baby's name is going to be Stella Mackenzie!!! I'm very psyched about it and love that big sister Madison took part in naming the little one.

Now here comes the annoying part. People either absolutely love daughter #2's name or hate it and have no problem letting us now. At first we weren't going to tell anyone the name but then people start saying how weird you are for not sharing. No not weird just don't want your opinions people! So we decided to tell and most of the time the name is received warmly. I think this may be because it is her name and not just a name we are tossing around so most don't want to make fun of our little one. Other people however have said things like "Don't you think that is a little ethnic" (ummmm last time I checked I was 1/2 Spanish and we got rid of the ethnic part of the name) or "Wow, I only relate that name to little old ladies" or my personal favorite "Have you considered a Scandinavian name" (NOPE! BJORK has not crossed my mind besides hubby is only 1/4 Swedish that means baby will have double the amount of Spanish in her). Anyway I'm sure people don't mean to be rude and everyone has there own tastes in names it just gets old sometimes. Of course if you adore the name we've chosen I love to receive praise! I'm sure everyone has had this situation no matter what names they have chosen. I would love to here some of the strangest/rudest comments that you have received or even if you want to just comment on how you named your little one I would love to hear about it!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Didn't See That One Coming

This September Justin, Madison and I are all going to be in a friend's wedding. We've told Madison that "Uncle" Dave and "Aunt" Brenna are going to be married and that she'll be in the wedding. The part that she gets is that she'll be able to dress as a princess (Cinderella of course) and carry flowers. I guess teacher mode kicked in this week at the library because I spotted this book called "Uncle Bobby's Wedding" by Sarah S. Brannen and quickly snatched it up thinking it would a good way to try and explain what a wedding is. We could talk about the bride, groom and of course the flower girl!

Anyway yesterday at nap time we laid down and started to read the book. The main character Chloe starts telling how much she loves her Uncle Bobby and is not too happy when he announces he and Jamie are getting married. Her mom explains that Bobby and Jamie love each other very much and would someday like children of their own. That is why they are getting married. So far everything seems like the intro to an averagew wedding. I did however have trouble telling the difference between Jamie and Bobby in the illustrations but they are some type of rodent creature so I thought no big. Turn the page. . . . Chloe begins to like Jamie and is excited that he is going to be her uncle too! Yeah I know that the two little male rodent creatures on the cover with the flower girl should have been my first warning but I wasn't thinking along those lines.

I do have gay and lesbian friends and family so this is not a topic that I have necessarily avoided with Madison. I actually think we are pretty much open with anything with Madison (as much as a three year old can get) BUT I just wanted to teach her about heterosexual marriages. You know the bride, the groom etc.! Anyway the book itself was adorable and if being read purely for entertainment purposes or to introduce the topic of same sex marriages I highly recommend it. It was just something I had not expected!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Okay so maybe one of these days I'll actually be able to make it wordless!

What do you mean it isn't Friday????

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Real Quick Then I am Out The Door

Good morning! Once again my Mommy/Pregnancy brain has quicked in and I am as forgetful as ever! My driver's license expired April 30th and instead of waiting a month and then going to the DMV like last time I actually headed over yesterday. All morning long as Madison and I were getting ready for a trip out (taking longer and longer everyday!) I kept saying, "Don't forget your six points, don't forget your six points". For those of you who don't live in the lovely Garden State in order to do Anything at the NJ DMV you must have various identification that total up to six points. For example a valid NJ license is worth 1 point, a passport is worth 3 (I think). I drove to the DMV about 20 minutes away and what do you think I forgot? You guessed it! My 6 points of identification. So here I am rushing to get out of the house and to the DMV before it closes at noon.

Anyway I just wanted to let you Momma's-to-Be know about something really cool that I just found. I was checking out the Wendy Bellissammo website to figure out what the name of the set I bought for Baby Stella is when I stumbled upon an announcement section that is on the site. I assumed it was to order some pricey but really cute announcements so even though I am in a rush I of course stopped to check it out. What did I find??? You can make your very own, FREE online announcements to send to your friends!!!!! It was so easy and Soooooooooo cool. There are 4-5 adorable layouts to choose from, you enter in your friends and family's email addresses, type in the birth details, upload up to 10 (yes 10!) pics of the new family member and away you go!!!! Did I mention that it is free???????????? The site is Have fun checking it out. Gotta go.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

It can Happen Even in Safe Neighborhoods!

Okay so I've been wanting to share a really important story with my bloggy friends for awhile now but it always seems to escape my mind when searching for a topic (blame it on mommy/pregnant brain). I want to start by telling you that I live in what is considered to be a VERY SAFE neighborhood. It is in a quiet, small suburban town and out of all the neighborhoods in this low crime rate town it has the least amount of incidents (not that there are many anywhere in town). The homes are older (1960's???) and many of the families have lived here since they were first built. My grandparents lived one block over until last year when they passed away, my aunt lives on the street perpendicular to mine and my parents live next door. No I didn't intend on living here but we got a great deal and have not left yet! Needless to say I know quite a few people in the neighborhood.
I've always felt very safe here (minus a few unsavory characters, but that could be anywhere). My doors are very rarely locked, even when I go out. BAD HABIT! Anyway a few months ago Madison started fiddling with the storm door lock and thought it was oh so funny when she locked me out of the house while I was bringing in the groceries. It has now become a game with her to lock everyone and anyone out of the house! One Friday about a month ago I was folding laundry in my living room and some strange guy in just sweat pants (no shirt, no shoes and it was cold!) comes up to my front door. He frantically tells me that his two dogs are lost and that he saw them in my backyard. I think this is strange because our yard is completely fenced in but tell him I'll check anyway. As I walk to the back window (a little uneasy) to see I hear the door handle jiggle as he tries to let himself in. I run back to the door thinking it is unlocked and tell him to leave, there are no dogs. He tries to open the door once more before shouting profanities and running off. Thank God for Madison locking the door otherwise he would have been in my house and who knows what would have happened!!!!!! We later found out that he is a relatively nice guy who lives up the street but he has a drug problem so he was obviously not in his right mind. Of course I had no idea at the time!

Within a week after my incident a friend of mine called to tell my what had happened to her. Her husband always leaves his car doors unlocked. He got up one morning (3 a.m.) to go on a hunting trip with his cousin. He went out to his truck to warm it up. When he opened the door an extremely drunk stranger fell out of his truck wearing my friend's husband's clothes!!! He was so intoxicated that he didn't even know what town he was in and when he got on his bike he immediately fell off of it.

Ever since these incidents I have made sure that my car/home doors are always locked. I don't want to scare anyone but it is so important that we are careful of our surroundings no matter how hectic life can be with little ones. You always hear of things like this happening but I always thought it happened to other people. Never anyone I know and definitely not me or anywhere near where I live. WRONG! Bad things can happen anywhere at anytime to anyone. I thank God that nothing serious happened and hope that if anyone who is reading this is less than cautious now that maybe my story will make them think twice.