Wordless Wednesday

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Jul 312013
 

 

11 Weeks Old Today!!

Kayleigh

 

 Posted by at 12:41 pm
Jul 302013
 

 

John, Kayleigh and I were on the go again this past weekend!  We really wanted to get out of the house and do something fun, but not spend a lot of money in doing so.  I heard about Fort Point State Park in Stockton Springs from a friend of mine, and it sounded like the perfect destination for us. 

Fort Point State Park encompasses 120 acres of diverse terrain, activities and habitat all at the mouth of the Penobscot River and the head of Penobscot Bay.  

The park offers riverside picnic tables and hiking trails through the forest to the rocky shores.  There is a beautiful seven-mile trail around Cape Jellison, and bountiful Maine fishing.  There is also a lighthouse and a pier.

John and I had never been to Fort Point State Park before, and we were excited to go on a new adventure.  The park is only about a 50 minute drive from our home, which is very convenient for us.  Upon entering the park, there is a pay station set up.  The cost is $2.00 per Maine resident, or $3.00 per non-Maine resident.  Children under 5 and senior citizens get in free.  There is no one manning the station, so it’s on the “honor system” whether you pay or not.  John and I thought it was well worth paying $4.00 for us to get in. 

When we left our home, it was bright and sunny outside, but the skies clouded over as we got closer to the park.  Once we arrived there, the sky was completely clouded over, and it looked like it was going to rain any minute.  We felt rain sprinkles here and there, so we decided to make this visit a bit short.  We did not get to explore everything Fort Point State Park has to offer this time, but we will definitely go back!

We did make it down to the beach area.  There is no swimming allowed due to strong currents, but the view is absolutely breathtaking. If you have never been to the Maine coast during the summer months, I urge you to take a trip.  I am lucky enough to take in the gorgeous views every year, and now I get to share them with Kayleigh.

Fort Point State Park, Stockton Springs, Maine 

Fort Point State Park

Fort Point State Park

Fort Point State Park

Fort Point State Park

Fort Point State Park

Fort Point State Park

Fort Point State Park

We walked around the beach for about 20 minutes, taking pictures and picking up seashells.  We’ve decided to start collecting seashells every time we take a trip to the coast, and put them in a jar for Kayleigh.  I’m sure this will turn into some kind of craft project in the future.  

After we were done walking around the beach area, we headed up to the picnic tables, and grabbed the one with the best view of the water.  

What I loved most about this park, is that it was not overpopulated.  There were a handful of other people there, but it was not congested with tourists like a lot of other Maine coastal areas.  That made for a really relaxing and enjoyable day.  We had packed a couple of sandwiches and some chips, so we sat down to eat, and take in the view.  I fed and changed Kayleigh, and then we headed back home, just before it started down pouring.

I am really excited to go back to Fort Point State Park and do some more exploring!

 

Do you like to explore new places in your home state? 

 Posted by at 10:09 pm
Jul 302013
 

 

Hope Conquers All

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for CaringBridge. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

When my father was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that caused his immune system to attack and destroy the outer lining of his nerves, my family had a difficult time coping.  My father was always a strong man.  He climbed mountains, rode his bike for miles and miles, worked 60+ hours a week, etc.  He was unstoppable.  That is, until the Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) stole his balance, muscle strength, ability to use his hands and feet, and caused him an enormous amount of pain throughout his body.  It got so bad, that he couldn’t even turn the key to start his car or open a can of soda.  We never saw it coming, and we weren’t prepared for the father we knew to disappear before our very eyes.

After hours of online research, I reached out to a very kind woman, Wendy, who had the same condition as my father, and blogged about her journey.  She had recently gone through an experimental stem cell transplant at Northwestern University in Chicago, and her symptoms were significantly better. She urged me to get my father into the program.  She walked me through the application steps, financial questions, and the steps of the procedure itself.  More importantly, she listened to me and helped me through one of the most difficult times in my life.  She gave me and my family hope.  

My father was accepted into the program last fall, and is now on the road to recovery.  His strength is slowly coming back, he is pain free, and off all medication, and his attitude is a lot brighter.  I can actually see the father I grew up with again. 

Dad holding Kayleigh

My Dad holding Kayleigh.  Something he probably would not be able to do today without the stem cell transplant.

I truly believe that connecting with Wendy was one of the best things to happen to our family during our time of need.  Talking with someone who has been through, or is going through the same thing you are, can be so very beneficial.  Without her motivation, my father may have never gone through the stem cell transplant, and would be far worse off than he is today.  My parents were able to meet Wendy in person during one of their trips to Chicago, and it was such a blessing to them. 

For more than 15 years, the nonprofit CaringBridge  has served as a lifeline of hope, bringing together families struggling with illnesses and tragedies. Sona Mehring, the founder of CaringBridge wants to share these important collections of stories to inspire hope through her new book, Hope Conquers All. Ranging from young children with cancer, to adults awaiting transplants, these first-person accounts share the importance CaringBridge had in their personal journeys. For uplifting tales to share with those who are in need of love and support, or even to just reflect on how brave these individuals were through such troubled times, learn more about Sona Mehring’s book and how to purchase here:http://caringb.org/hope  All author proceeds will go to CaringBridge.

 Posted by at 3:36 pm
Jul 252013
 

 

My sister, Amber,  had a baby shower this past weekend.  She is decorating her nursery in pink camo, so my Mom threw her a Pink Camo Baby Shower.  While this is not my taste at all, I must say, it actually turned out pretty cute!

Mom made this beautiful backdrop with the baby’s name (MORGAN) hung in wooden letters that she painted brown, and embellished with pink camo ribbon.  Amber will hang these in her nursery for decoration.  She dressed it up a bit with brown and pink balloons, pink camo and “Baby GIRL” balloons.

Pink Camo Baby Shower

Speaking of balloons, there were LOTS of them!  Balloons are a super cheap and easy way to decorate. 

Pink Camo Baby Shower - balloons

Pink Camo Baby Shower - balloons

Pink Camo Baby Shower - balloons

Mom bought pink camo napkins and cups, and brown plates and plastic-ware.

Pink Camo Baby Shower

She borrowed some deer antlers from a friend who hunts to add a little decoration to the table.

Pink Camo Baby Shower

The tables were covered in pink camo table cloths, dressed up with some baby girl confetti and lots of plastic bowls filled with Jordan almonds, and mason jars  filled with a mix of peanuts and m&m’s.  Smaller pink camo plastic cups were placed around the mason jars so guests could fill their individual cups with the treats.

Pink Camo Baby Shower

 Here’s a closer look at the table cloths. 

Pink Camo Baby Shower

Amber’s friend made her a beautiful pink camo diaper cake!  At the top, she placed a stuffed deer, a pink camo baby bottle, and a pink camo ribbon.

Pink Camo Baby Shower - Pink Camo Diaper Cake

She added some embellishments, like this super cute pink camo rubber ducky! 

Pink Camo Baby Shower

This pink camo ribbon is so pretty.  She said she found it at Walmart!

Pink Camo Baby Shower

 The diaper cake was placed on the head table, where Amber and her gift helpers sat.

Pink Camo Baby Shower

And now for the real cake…  Mom’s friend, Cathy, bakes and decorates cakes for all of our functions, and she made this adorable pink camo cake.  She is so talented!

Pink Camo Baby Shower - Pink Camo Cake

Amber looked absolutely gorgeous in her pink dress and pink camo corsage. 

Pink Camo Baby Shower

There was a table just inside the door, that had a matte with Morgan’s name on it for guests to sign.  There was also a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a couple of baby bottle decorations, one of which was filled with m&m’s for a door prize. 

Pink Camo Baby Shower

The  pink camo baby shower was a huge success.  Amber got lots of great gifts, and everyone had a great time!

Pink Camo Baby Shower

What was the theme of your baby shower? Would you ever have a pink camo baby shower?

 Posted by at 5:03 pm
Jul 252013
 

 

Teething at 2 months

Kayleigh has really been testing my patience this past week.  She has gone from my sweet smiling baby to a cranky, screaming monster. I tried changing her, feeding her, burping her, rocking her, putting her in the swing, etc.  Nothing worked to calm her down!

I belong to a pregnancy/new Mom group on Facebook, where we share stories and advice with each other.  If you’re a new Mom, or expecting, I would suggest finding one of these for yourself.  It has been such a blessing to me.  Anyway, there were several other Moms in there talking about how their babies were teething.  That’s when the light bulb came on in my head.  

Kayleigh had not only been screaming for no apparent reason, but she’d been experiencing these common teething signs: 

Common Teething Signs 

  • Irritability
  • Increased salivation
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trying to bite, chew, and suck on everything she can get her hands on
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Rubbing her face
The thought of her teething had never even entered my mind until now.  How could she be teething at 2 months old?!  But, my Mommy instincts led me to check her gums out just in case.  So, I took a look at her gums last night, and sure enough, there was a tooth popping through her gum on the top right hand side!  Not only that, but it appears that she has a full set of teeth coming through on the top, but they haven’t quite popped through the gum yet.  Seriously?!  
 
As soon as I saw that tooth sticking out of her gum, my heart began to race.  I couldn’t believe that she was teething at 2 months old.  I mean, I’ve heard that this can happen to some babies, but I never thought it would happen to mine.  Isn’t that like some really rare thing??  I called my Mom and excitedly blurted out to her that Kayleigh had a tooth already.  She couldn’t believe it either!  She said that my sisters and I all got our first tooth at 10 months old.  
 
I still can’t believe that my little baby is teething at 2 months old.  She’s growing up so fast!  Before I know it, she’ll be walking! 
 

How old were your kids when they started teething?  Do you have any tips to get through it?

 

 Posted by at 12:36 pm
Jul 242013
 

 

The below content is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur’s Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating. 

Every parent hopes to avoid dealing with head lice, but much like taxes, some things can’t always be avoided. In the United States alone, an estimated six to 12 million head lice infestations occur each year in school aged children.[i] If you are facing head lice after your child returns home from camp, there are resources available to help!

 The Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice website is driven by experts who are also moms, so they get it. The site features basic information on the little critters like symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment options, and a variety of tools including:

It’s important to remember the most common way to spread head lice is head-to-head contact. Thinking ahead with things like teaching your child to avoid sharing brushes or hats is a good start.

 So if you’re trying to get rid of head lice post-camp, or a parent who always likes to be prepared for next season, visit Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice for more information.

 


[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Parasites: Lice: Head Lice: Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/gen_info/faqs.html. Accessed October 12, 2012.

 

 Posted by at 9:28 pm
Jul 242013
 

  

This past weekend, John and I felt like going for a drive, just to get out of the house for a bit.  We decided to head down to Boothbay Harbor, about a 2.5 hour drive.  

By the time we got ourselves and Kayleigh ready to leave, it was already 11:30am.  We were getting hungry for lunch, and stopped to eat at Big G’s Deli in Winslow.  Big G’s is famous for their extremely large sandwiches.  If you ever stop there, be sure to order a SMALL, unless you’re going to share your sandwich with someone else.  A small is doable for one person, but if you order a large, you’ll be in over your head!  

I ordered the Lucretia Borgia, which is ham, salami, pepperoncini, mozzarella, tomatoes, pepperoni and onions.  It was absolutely amazing!  I would say it was probably one of the best sandwiches I have ever had.  John ordered the Ex. Gov. McKernan, which is corned beef, pastrami, Swiss, tomatoes and onions.  He was very pleased with his sandwich also. 

After lunch, John suggested that we find something to do in the Augusta area instead of going all the way to Boothbay Harbor, since it was already so late in the day.  It was Sunday afternoon, and he had to work the next day, so didn’t feel like getting home too late in the day. 

I pulled out my cell phone and searched for things to do in Augusta.  I found some info on the Viles Arboretum (Pine Tree State Arboretum), which neither of us had ever heard of before.  It’s funny how you can live in the same state for more than 30 years, and still find places to visit that you have never heard of before.  We’ve both been to Augusta several times.  My two sisters have even lived in that area for several years now.  I can’t believe that neither of us knew about this place. 

I opened the WAZE GPS app (I LOVE this free app!!) on my phone, and it directed us there.  We were only a few minutes away.  

We didn’t really know what to expect before we got there.  I had read online that there were walking trails, but that was about it.  We pulled into the parking lot and got Kayleigh all situated in her stroller. 

We headed out for a walk, and were amazed at what we saw.  There was a lot to take in, from a Community Garden, to a Lilac Grove, a Hosta Garden (my favorite part, so beautiful!), Sculptures, a Rock Garden, Apple Trees, and more.  Some areas had a dirt path, but it was mostly grass paths, which was a bit difficult to navigate with the stroller.  Next time we go, we’ll take Kayleigh in the Baby Bjorn carrier instead. 

Since we only had the stroller, the skies were getting cloudy, with rain on its way, and I had to use the little girl’s room in a bad way, we didn’t stay as long as we would have liked.  There were other trails that we didn’t walk on, and things I didn’t get pictures of this time. We will definitely go back at some point though, and explore the Viles Arboretum even more. 

Take a look at some of the pics I took while we were there:

 

So, if you find yourself in the Augusta, Maine area, head on over and check out the Viles Arboretum. You won’t be disappointed!

 Posted by at 6:34 pm
Jul 242013
 

 

Nursery Letter Craft Idea

Nursery Letter Craft 

When I was decorating Kayleigh’s nursery, I just knew I wanted to hang a nursery letter (K for Kayleigh) on the wall.   I’ve always thought they were a really cute decoration.  I shopped around for one online, and found some awesome ones, but they were so expensive.  After an exhaustive search, I decided that I’d try to make one myself to save some money. 

I’m not really a very crafty person, so I was a little fearful going into this project.  I thought the nursery letter might come out looking completely awful, but I had to give it a try.  

I’d heard some great things about Hobby Lobby, so I started shopping for supplies on their website. A Hobby Lobby store is currently being built in my city, and I am so excited for it to open!

I found these 18″ Unpainted Wooden Letters that were just perfect, and they are priced just right at $12.99.  I added the letter K to my shopping cart, and looked for paint next.  

The colors in Kayleigh’s nursery are purple, green, and yellow.  I found this beautiful shade of Master’s Touch Light Purple Acrylic Paint that I thought would look great.  I put two coats of paint on the letter, and still had plenty of paint left for other craft projects!

Kayleigh’s nursery is jungle-themed, so I looked around for some embellishments that would fit nicely.  I came across some really adorable wood & felt painted shapes, and I added a giraffe, monkey and lion to my cart.  I glued the wooden & felt shapes to my painted letter with some wood glue. 

wooden giraffe

 wooden monkey

 wooden lion

I found some cute foam sticker letters at The Dollar Tree to spell out KAYLEIGH.  The yellow matches quite well.   

Foam Sticker Letters

To finish the nursery letter off, I simply added a pretty purple ribbon in the center of the K.  I think it’s a really nice touch.  I am very pleased with the outcome of my handmade nursery letter!

Nursery Letter

What crafts have you made lately?  Let me know in the comments! 

 

 Posted by at 1:44 pm
Jul 232013
 

 

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I am super excited to announce that I am a Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) Back-to-School Ambassador!  The BGCA is a really fantastic program.  Did you know that for over 100 years now, BGCA has supported the academic success of America’s youth? Each year, the BGCA helps prepare nearly 2 million(!!) kids to succeed in school.  Isn’t that just incredible?!  I am so happy that our nation has a program like this helping out our children in need.  

BGCA strives to enable all kids to achieve great futures by providing quality afterschool programs, a caring mentor or simply contributing school supplies, such as notebooks and pencils.  There are so many children out there that are in need of these things, and now you can help them too! 

BGCA has partnered with JCPenney (one of my very favorite stores!) for the JCPenney Cares Round Up Campaign for the month of July.  

Head on over to JCPenney to do your back-to-school shopping this year, and you can help make a difference in supporting afterschool programs at Boys & Girls Clubs across the country at the same time!  All you have to do is round-up your JCPenney purchases to the nearest whole dollar, and 100% of the donations raised will go towards  BGCA!  How easy and great is that?!   

A few cents here and there might not seem like a whole lot, but it all adds up!  If we all round-up our purchases to the nearest whole dollar, just think about how much money we could raise to help support this great cause!  Not to mention, rounding your purchases up to the nearest whole dollar makes it a bit easier to balance your checkbook!  😉

 

 

 

 Posted by at 1:34 pm