Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Lake Nanuet

Dave was out of town for the weekend so we traveled to Nanuet on Sunday to spend the day at Lake Nanuet. Bella and I hung out with Papa and my friend, Krista, at the lake. Krista, my long time childhood friend, and I would spend every day of every summer at the Lake from 1985-1997. And, wow, has it changed in the past decade. It is now a kid friendly water park with slides and sprinklers everywhere. When we last went, it was a lake with a dock! I am really aging myself! Nevertheless, Isabella immersed herself in the water and all the fun activities. She showed special affection for Krista who is always a favorite among kiddies anyway. And, Papa, who hasn't his favorite Lake Nanuet ice pop in over a decade, must have been reminicent too because he made sure that Isabella got the coconut Froz Fruit experience. Some habits are never outgrown :) We can't wait to take Dave to check out the Lake.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Review: Salad Spinner

Before you pass judgment, just hear me out on this one. I really tried to avoid purchasing this gadget and was successful for almost 4 years as a married woman. I vowed that such a gadget was completely superfluous and would just serve to take up more space in my already small kitchen. After all, women have done without salad spinners for thousands of years. Well, then the greens started invading my home. First the kitchen counter tops, then the table, then the dining room, and before I knew it, there were greens climbing up the stairs. They were wrapped in cloths, tucked in collanders, and pressed between paper towels. They were everywhere. And to make matters worse, they were never completely dry and almost always limp and soggy.

And therein began the temptation to try out the salad spinner. I scored a rather sizeable one at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for $15 with my $5 off coupon. I used it immediately to see what all the hype was about. Now I am addicted. When you purchase loose greens from the store or local farms, you need to basically drench them to rid the dirt and creepy crawlers. So, after submerging my greens to get them good and clean, they were completely soggy. After one turn of the salad spinner, the greens were absolutely perky and full, just what ruffage should be. We ate obscene amounts of greens before, but now we are even more over the top which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Spinning the greens also makes a great job for a toddler.

If you love salads and make them often (or even fresh pesto, spinach, broccoli rabbe, escarole), it is worth the investment. Makes a great shower gift for a bride too:)

Reference to Article: Why Young Children Belong at Mass

One would think that taking a toddler to Mass would set you on the path to sainthood.

So, why am I heading in the opposite direction?

Check out this awesome article by Catholic mom, Kate Wicker. It's what keeps me going each Sunday. And so does my need for lessons in patience and humility, the subjects I am still repeating. No passing grade in sight for this Mama. Requesting more grace and more mercy, please!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Water Play

What toddler doesn't love water? Jumping in puddles, splashing in the pool, washing their own hands, pouring from one cup to another, feeling raindrops on their fingertips. Water, like sand, has therapeutic properties which may explain why they enjoy both elements so much.

A simple, frugal but very significant activity to set up for your child is water play. The warm weather is ideal for this activity so it can be taken outdoors. However, if you are attempting this in the cooler weather, take it straight to the tub:)

All equipment (depending on age) should be unbreakable (i.e. plastic, metal, etc). Fill up a very large bowl full of water and present an array of variable sized and useful objects (spoons, ladles, cups, measuring cups, bowls, pitcher, watering can etc). Previously used yogurt, ricotta, and sour cream containers are a good size. Encourage child to practice pouring from one cup to another or to ladle water from the large bowl to smaller one. If child is engaged with you, you can pretend that child is serving you soup or tea. This is great fun. Otherwise, if child becomes engrossed in his/her own play, just sit back and observe and enjoy your little one's discovery since water outside of your house is a mess that you don't have to clean up! My daughter enjoyed everything from playing soup to transfering water to pouring small amounts on herself (which was ok because it was hot).

Note: A child size ladle is probably best for this activity as mommy sized ones are usually too large and awkward for them. Since I did not have a child size ladle, my toddler attempted for a while with my regular ladle and utilized my measuring cups with a pouring spout. I think whatever you have on hand is really fine :)

This activity helps to develop coordination, fine motor skills, concentration, sensory exploration, and practical skills.

Water play lasted approximately 20 minutes with my 22 month old.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Busy as a Bee

Isabella has been very busy this summer: speaking in sentences, putting her face in the water, riding trains with her daddy, singing her ABC's, counting to 10, using the potty 100%, eating sandwhiches with Papa, jumping in the pool, swinging from one monkey bar, discovering playgrounds, writing very intently, learning to pedal, setting the table, playing with her cousins, loving cherries, reading lots of books, getting into Aunt Lindsay's makeup, eating hamburgers, climbing UP slides, chomping down salads, and doing everything (and I really mean everything) by her "SELF". Whew, now I am exhausted :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

30's: The best years

or at least this is what I hear from Oprah!

Dave hosted a small family gathering for me on this special occasion at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Although I wasn't able to indulge in any sangria in honor of baby White, I did sneak a couple of sips from my mom's while she was busy with Isabella. We all went to town on the guac and pico de gallo, including my grandma who doesn't like this kind of food. She made sure to let everyone know that the ice cream cake was her favorite part of the meal! Thanks to those who celebrated with me and thanks to all who sent such nice wishes my way. Even Isabella got to open her own gift, courtesy of Aunt Barb who thinks of everything :)

If you noticed in a previous blog post, we celebrated my husband's 40th this past winter. Yes, we are 10.5 years apart, but very much close together. Besides no one ever thinks that he is 40! His military haircut keeps him looking young and even more importantly he is young at heart.

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