Saturday #160

Another Saturday has come and gone too fast.

On this Saturday, we lounged around in the morning, no one felt much like doing anything, getting motivated was a challenge. I had been up most of the previous night, feeling bad about our turtle. My dogs sensed my sorrow and spent the morning at my side or in my lap, letting me love them. Our beagle is not a lovey dovey dog, so his closeness and having him draped in my lap meant a lot to me.

Finally we decided we needed to get out and about. Rolfie had a few things to return to Bed Bath and Beyond from his birthday, and we grabbed a few pool toys at Five and Below. What weekend is complete without a stop at Wal-Mart?

It was chilly for the end of May, but we decided we would go for a picnic dinner and play at the park. We grabbed a pizza and bread sticks and headed that way, Rolfie thought that was ideal. We ran, he played, he in general had a good time. We followed it up with ice cream from our favorite little local spot and came home to the critters, who were still feeling lovey.

We watched Life of Pi, but I fell asleep half way through it, I will resume where I left off this evening. Crying a lot always leaves me exhausted.

While the day was melancholy, we spent it together as a family, which means our goal was achieved.

Today (Sunday), we are just spending the day together, rearranging furniture and cleaning. This evening we will get the pool ready for the season. Tomorrow we will take Rolfie to a morning parade and maybe go to the Velvet Ice Cream Festival, or maybe just spend the day enjoying our time together as a family at home.

I hope you were able to spend time with your family this weekend.


My heart is broken tonight, as we lost a beloved member of our family today, our American Box turtle, Fernando.

Fernando was a unique pet, but he was more than just a turtle. He was family, he was loved so much that our home feels different without his presence. My heart feels heavy, yet empty.

Last weekend we noticed Nando was making an odd noise, then he began having a mucus discharge from his mouth. I called our vet for days to never get an answer. I got him into a new vet, and he warned me it didn't look good for my dear turtle. Fernando had an infection in his lungs, and we began an antibiotic treatment in hopes that we could beat this.

Yesterday I was optimistic, I had hopes that he was recovering as the weird noise had stopped and Nando was responding to my voice.

Today he was peaceful, and I really hoped he was on the road to recovery. After lunch when I checked on him, my heart sank. I hoped he was asleep... but he didn't wake up when I touched him, I frantically said his name and touched his turtle head. No response.

I felt defeated, alone, and desperate.

Some of you might think, geez lady, it was a turtle. No, he wasn't just a turtle. He was family, he was a part of our history, he was wonderful, cute and friendly with everyone he met. He was fun, he was like one of my children after 11 years together.

11 years ago, yesterday, a friend brought him to me, as I had been talking about how badly I wanted a pet turtle. I couldn't have a traditional pet at the time as my apartment was no dogs, no cats, no exceptions. I was so excited to have a creature to share my space and my heart with. I knew that by taking him in I was making a commitment to last a lifetime, as turtles can live for 100 -150 years depending upon the source

Fernando had been taken away from a dog that was chewing his shell, he needed a home and some TLC.

Our first years together were a learning experience, people thought I was odd to have him as a pet, but you couldn't deny our bond. Fernando loved me, and Adam. We loved him, it was a good set up. We traveled together, taking Nando to Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, Kentucky, Cleveland, Florida, Charleston, and well, every where really. If I had to leave for a few days, when I got back home to him he would literally climb up my jeans to get into my lap. He would lean into my gentle touch on his head, he would seek me out if he heard my voice. I like to nap on the floor, and when Nando roamed free on his exercise days, he enjoyed curling up with me for a nap.

We were just peas in a pod. Quiet, gentle creatures that needed each other. 11 years was not long enough to live together in my opinion. I will miss Fernando every day for the rest of my days. My family no longer feels complete without this little not quite one pound guy.

I know this is probably of little interest to anyone else, but it is good therapy to be able to express my grief. It also shows you, if you read this post, that there is more to me than reviews and giveaways. I have a heart that loves deeply, and finds beauty in nature and animals. I have feelings and I live a life that is not always perfect.

I know life is about changing. I wish this was one change I didn't have to adapt to. We buried our dear turtle under the pine trees in our yard with heavy hearts and a note from "Mom". Now we begin to deal with reality that he is never coming back home. If you have pets, give them some extra attention tonight and cherish them, you never know when your last days together will be. An animal loves completely, and deserves to be loved completely in return.

Dry Mornings Thanks To White Cloud Sleep Pants

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of White Cloud Sleep Pants

Bedwetting can be a challenge that is difficult to overcome for children and parents. While you are glad your child sleeps well at night, not waking up to use the potty can be embarrassing and frustrating for your child, and a mess for Mom or Dad to deal with.

Rolfie is getting to be a pro at using the potty! I am so proud of him because he just turned 3 earlier this month. While he can go without a diaper during the day time, night time is another issue. He gets very offended if I try to put him in a diaper after he has made such huge steps in being a big boy, but he still has accidents at night.

We looked at sleep pants and nearly fainted at the price... then we discovered White Cloud Sleep Pants.

Rolfie was a few pounds below the recommended weight on these, but after taking a leap of faith and trying them, I found they were a great fit for him and they offer exceptional night time leak protection at an affordable price. They have sizes which fits children from 45-125 pounds. For $7.75 you get 15 or 12 sleep pants depending upon the size you need.

I expected a complete tantrum from my son when we put these on, but he said "Underwears!" He was ready to try them out, and was happy with the design, as he has a thing for stars. White Cloud Sleep Pants don't look or feel like a diaper. They are soft, they are not bulky and they seem like underwear to my son. They were absorbent, comfortable and we woke up with dry pajamas and a dry bed. The no frills design is a great thing, as you can use them for boys or girls. I think the price is just right for nearly any budget.

Did you know that over 5 million kids a year experience bedwetting and it is one of the most common experiences during childhood development?

White Cloud Sleep Pants have been developed to provide exceptional comfort and leakage protection while looking like underwear. White Cloud Sleep Pants offer thin, discrete absorbent protection for your child. They have soft, stretchy sides that fit like real underwear, plus leak guards to help protect against leaks. The soft inner liner is hypoallergenic and treated with vitamin E and aloe for skin protection.

Each bag contains two unisex graphic designs and at $7.75, White Cloud offers exceptional value.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of White Cloud Sleep Pants.

Saturday #159

On Saturday #159 my family and I went to a park in a nearby city for a picnic and some play time. We tossed around a Frisbee  for a while then explored the playground. We had a nice walk together and enjoyed watching the little guy live it up. I basked in his cuteness. I was feeling enormous and my feet were very swollen that day, but I enjoyed the time outside in the sunshine with my family.

After our trip to the park we ran into Big Lots to find pool filters, we are anxious to set our pool up this weekend and spend most of our days in the water.

After that we drove in the country for a while and were rewarded with a sighing of a Bald Eagle, a quick scan of the area showed us their nest, complete with a few babies moving around inside. What a treat to find the Bald Eagle not far from our home.

We came home to see our dogs, and we all enjoyed dinner on the deck together.

It was a simple day, but it was filled with time spent outdoors together as a family.

It seems like the weeks fly by, and I am writing another post in the 940 Saturdays series before I know it. Each weekend is more precious as the time goes by, as our daughter Harper will arriving in the fall and our threesome will turn into a foursome. I am excited to meet Miss Harper, but I am also anxious to make the most of these remaining weekends with Rolf making memories before things change. I worry that while I am giving him the gift of a sibling, which he probably won't appreciate until he is much older, that I am taking something away from him at the same time. It will be very hard for him to adapt to sharing his Mommy with someone else. We have such a close relationship that he gets jealous of my husband and the pets when they get my attention.

I hope that you had the chance to spend time with your family over the weekend. As I get older I realize how fleeting our time together really is and how it should be cherished. Life is always changing and we never know what the next day will hold. Taking the time to hear my child laugh, to see him run and play and look happy, to see my husband holding Rolf's hand and teaching him to do things that only Daddy can teach, to just hold onto the moment is like a gift that I will cherish forever.

Color Me Monthly Review

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Being pregnant has its advantages. One of them is that I have really great nails, not only in length and strength, but also in appearance. My husband is kind enough to paint my toe nails for me about every week and a half. When the April Color Me Monthly Box arrived, I was impressed with the pretty color that I received, and I was pleased that my hubby noticed how it would look great with a new dress I had been looking forward to wearing.

The Color is Clear Skies Ahead. It was the perfect shade to welcome spring. A Color of light blue that mimics the sky on a perfect day.
 My husband was eager to get to his task of making my nails look cute.

He painted half of my toenails in this shade and the other half in a dark blue. I have to admit, he matched the nail polish to the colors of my new dress perfectly.

The color is long lasting. This photo was taken 10 days after he painted my nails, I have been wearing sandals almost everyday and the color has held up surprisingly well, despite the fact that my tootsies are exposed to the elements of life 24 hours a day. The nail polish was very thick and required only one coat, which I love.

The first day that he painted my nails I rocked the new dress. I had an appointment that day and all the ladies in the doctors office went crazy over my toe nails. They loved not only the light blue color, but also how I completely matched from head to toe. They couldn't believe that I had been able to paint my nails to look this cute despite my ever expanding baby bump, I was happy to fill them in on my secret, one of the perks of pregnancy, that my dear husband did them for me.

Color Me Monthly offers a new shade every month, prices start at $7 for one month, $40 for 6 months or $75 for a year long subscription. I like that I can try a new shade each month without agonizing over which one to purchase, and I love the element of surprise when the box arrives. I have been super pleased with the service, the selections sent to me and the quality of the nail polish.

I would highly recommend this as a gift for a lovely lady in your life, or as a way to indulge your inner goddess.

Connect with Color Me Monthly to learn more or to order.

Spring Cleaning to Make Room For Baby

Spring is finally here! With the new season and fresh signs of life popping up everywhere I look outside, I am inspired to make changes on the inside of my home. As you probably know, we are expecting a new baby in just a few months, and my tiny house is bursting at the seams as it is. Babies and their gear can  take up a lot of space, which leads me to worry about where will we put all of the gear that our daughter will require?

Knowing how fast time passes, I have decided there is no time like the present to begin organizing and deciding on what items should go and what should stay. As I have been going from room to room I am amazed at some of the things we have accumulated in such a short time frame.

What is one to do with all of the unneeded and unused items that they collect over time? Donate them to Goodwill? Have a yard sale? Throw them away? Normally I would donate everything I no longer needed, but in reality, I know how expensive a new baby can be. We need many things for our daughter, and it would be wise to make a little cash while spring cleaning.

I have already sold 6 random things on ebay, and now I know where to sell my dvds online too. Selling online is so much easier than holding a yard sale, and for each dollar I can earn I am closer to the new crib I have my eye on and my house has one less thing taking up space in it.

After beginning this process of sorting, organizing and minimizing, I made a vow to myself. I will never allow my family to collect random things they never have any intention of using again. I realize having stuff doesn't lead to happiness, it leads to headaches, clutter and the reality of future hard work to rid your home of all the 'stuff'.

How do you stay organized and clutter free? Do you routinely gather things up and dispose of them? Do you resell your used clothing and entertainment items? Do you donate things to thrift shops? If you have a great tip, please leave a comment and share what you know.

Saturday #158

This was a special Saturday as we truly spent it together as a family, a big happy family that is.

We made the trip to my parents house where we celebrated Rolf's 3rd birthday with our family. My Grandma, aunts, uncles, my sister and brother in law, nieces and nephews, cousins and mother in law attended. We had a great turn out and a lot of fun.

We had a huge spread of food, cake and ice cream and a small bonfire for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. Lots of family meant great company too. What more could you ask for?

My son was great, he was friendly, he interacted with everyone that attended. He fell in love with my dads lawnmower, he played, he ate a ton of junk and got some fun gifts.

It was really nice to spend the day with family. We left our house around 11 am, and we returned around 11:30 pm. Yes, it was a long day and we spent nearly 6 hours on the road, but it was very worth it.

Sunday we spent the day enjoying our son as a 2 year old for one last day, we took him to the toy store and let him pick out a few toys (he opted for a stuffed Goofy, a few cars and a bird whistle), then we went to Wal-Mart to return the barbie dolls that a relative thought would make a fun gift... (Another day I will tell this  tale...) Rolf found another car, chalk and a squirt gun he preferred to barbies, he is hanging onto his remaining gift card for a rainy day. Then we went out for dinner as partially his birthday weekend, partially mothers day.

We came home to play with his new toys and to relax a little.

On Monday morning, Rolfie woke up to lots of smiles from Daddy and Me. We sang Happy Birthday to him and the dog jumped in bed with him to shower him with kisses. I spent the entire day focused on him, I let the housework go as well as my business responsibilities. We played with every toy in the house, we made lots of messes and got filthy outside playing. My husband brought us home lunch on a whim and we showered Rolf with gifts through out the day. We had a nice lasagna dinner which he loved and followed it up with cake and ice cream. His day was amazing! He fell asleep happy that night!

So, that was a weekend in our lives. Saturday #158 was fun, special and out of the ordinary. It was enjoyable to say the least. I hope you had the chance to have family fun this past weekend as well. I would love to hear how you spent your weekend.

I write this post every week to keep track of how I spent the day with my family. There are approximately 940 Saturdays from the time your child is born until he or she is ready to leave for college. I hope you find ways to make them count!

A Letter To My Son

Dear Rolfie,

When I found out I was going to be a mother, in September of 2009, I was apprehensive. I wasn't sure I would like motherhood. I was glad to get the chance to have a baby, as so many struggle and never see the wish of having their own child fulfilled, however, I doubted myself, my maturity level and my ability to put the needs and well being of another before my own needs.

In a way, I was right. I don't like being a Mom... I LOVE it! You have been the baby that dreams are made of. You exceeded every expectation I had of motherhood. You make every day a fun adventure, you fill my heart with a happiness that I had never known before you came into my life. You make me feel useful, important and loved. For that, I thank you. I feel very lucky and proud to be your Mom. You are filled with curiosity and mischief, you are adorable, you are bright, you are sweet and funny.

Sometimes I feel sad when I realize how quickly you are growing up, but I also feel excited to see how you will change from day to day as you learn, grow and discover the world around you.

At this time in your life, you enjoy playing with cars, you love the flag, you like to drink flavored water, you eat granola every day. You love Mickey Mouse, trains and Yo Gabba Gabba. You like to hear stories and to look at books. You kiss me and melt my heart and my troubles away. You have the best smile and your laughter is the sweetest sound in the world. It is contagious and I can't resist joining in. We take a lot of walks while holding hands, you love to take baths, you like to sing the "Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up" song from Yo Gabba Gabba. You learn a few words everyday, and you like to help me do laundry.

If someone asked me what I think you will become when you grow up, I would tell them you will either be a barber as you love hair, or you will work with your hands as a musician, maybe a veterinarian as you love animals, or maybe you will grow up to be a real life version of Bob the Builder. You are very bright.

As you turn 3, I wanted to tell you how much joy you bring into my life. I couldn't imagine a day without you, and I hope that you don't grow up too fast! I also hope you know how deeply I love you, and I always will.

Every time I look at you, for just a second I see you as a baby, as I did the first time I laid eyes on you. I will never forget the first time I held you in my arms, or how sweet you smelled.

I promise to always try harder, to be as patient as I can, and to always support your dreams. I will love you forever, until this world is no more, and then some.

My son, my  best buddy. Thank you for being you and for being apart of my life. Thank you for the best 3 years of my life.

Happy 3rd Birthday Baby!

Love forever and ever,

Spray n Splash 2 Review

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services , or a discount on the product or service, mentioned above in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. This post may contain affiliate links."

Summer is nearly here and that means my family will want to spend as much time in the water as possible. My son was delighted to see that we got a Spray 'n Splash 2 from Blast Zone. This is going to be one of those items that gets used day in and day out this summer. I can tell already.

The Spray 'n Splash 2 brings the fun of an inflatable water park right to your back yard! It is fun for kids from 3 to maybe 10 or 11 years old.  It features a slide, a climbing wall and water fun!  

The weather in Ohio isn't quite warm enough for water play, but that didn't stop my husband and I from setting the Spray 'n Splash 2  up for the enjoyment of our little guy. We were pleased with how easy the Spray 'n Splash 2 was to set up. It was seriously as easy as removing it from the package, unrolling the inflatable, plugging in the blower and using the included stakes to secure the inflatable. We had the unit ready for play in a matter of minutes. The included blower is extremely powerful. The Spray 'n Splash 2 was completely inflated in under 90 seconds.

My son had no trouble figuring out what to do with this amazing toy. We showed him how to get up the climbing wall and he was heading up it and sliding down in no time, he was ready to go again and again. If it was this much fun for him without water, I can't wait to see his reaction in a few weeks when it is swimming season.

I really liked how durable the inflatable is. I liked how simple set up was and how such a large inflatable can easily roll up to about the size of a large sleeping bag for easy storage when not in use. I like that there is a sprinkler type tubing that attaches to the top of the slide to keep kids giggling and to make sliding down easier. An added bonus is that when the weather isn't right for swimming you can add little balls to the pool for a super fun sliding ball pit experience.

The Spray 'n Splash 2 is 17' long, 8' wide and 8' tall. It is made for up to 4 kids, but keep in mind, only one child should be on the slide at a time.  I love that the pool and the slide are connected so there is no need for kids to get out of the pool to climb the slide, which will help keep the water clean for longer amounts of time.

I have been very impressed with this product. My son loves it too. My husband even had to smile when he saw how much fun our son was having climbing up the wall and sliding down. I foresee this inflatable water park being used and enjoyed for many years to come. 

Blast Zone offers Bounce Houses, and Commercial Inflatables in a variety of shapes, sizes and price ranges that are sure to delight children of assorted ages. 

One very lucky reader is going to win a Spray 'n Splash 2 Inflatable Water Park. This giveaway will begin on 5/10 and end on 5/17. I hope you will come back and enter to win this prize that is guaranteed to make you the envy of all the kids in the neighborhood!

You can purchase the Spray 'n Splash 2 on amazon or on the Blast Zone website. If you use the coupon code BOUNCEBLOG you can save 10% on your purchase on the Blast Zone website.

***Note this product can hold up to 200 pounds***

Saturday #157

The weekends come as fast as they go. In the blink of an eye another Saturday in our lives has come and gone.

Saturday #157 started out perfectly. It set the pace for the day. I woke up to feel a light rubbing in my hair. I opened my eyes to see a smiling face. Roo was rubbing a Donald Duck action figure in my hair, which is a sure sign that a toy is much loved. My hair is magical to my son. It is funny, when I was younger, my hair was very frizzy. I tried everything to tame it, but it was always kind of a disaster. I used to wish someone would love my hair the way it is, without me fussing over it. It took a while, but I got that wish. Roo LOVES my hair. He strokes it, he plays with it, he soothes himself with it.

I smiled at him as he and Donald Duck enjoyed my bed head. He smiled and planted a big kiss on my lips. That made me smile more, he smiled again and giggled with delight as he planted another big kiss on me. I grabbed him and hugged him which made him even happier, so I was rewarded with another smooch. We were both smiling to the point of achy faces, so I said "Can I get one more kiss?" He laughed and gave me one more kiss. He said "Get up Mama!" and crawled out of bed.

This is one of the many things I love about co sleeping with my son. Not only do I get to enjoy a few sweet wake up calls, but I like having him near me.

My husband was heading out for a morning of fishing as we were getting up, so Roo and I had breakfast at a leisurely pace, we watched a Mickey Mouse DVD and folded a few loads of laundry together. I am shamelessly trying to convince Roo it is fun to match up the socks, but he isn't buying it.

We spent the morning outside, enjoying our backyard. He was happy to bring some cars out on the deck and play while I basked in the sunlight and did a little online work. I love being able to work on the deck, Roo plays happily near me and we can chat. I take a break and enjoy him several times an hour, but I still get more accomplished in one day than I did in a week during the winter.

Around lunch time the neighbor was mowing his grass, so we munched on the deck while we observed the art of mowing. This fascinates my son, and amused the neighbor who made sure to wave to him each time he passed us.

After my husband returned from a successful morning of fishing (he caught 4 nice sized bass and released them), we decided to go out into the world for a bit. As Roo and I spend our days outside these days, he has been going through a lot of clothes. On Thursday he wore 7 shirts as they got filthy and or wet somehow,  and he ran out of shorts half way through the day. We made a trip to JC Penney and found 3 adorable t shirts and then ran into WalMart for shorts, as JC Penney didn't have what I was looking for.

We came home to resume playing in the back yard, we enjoyed dinner on the deck and inflated his bounce pit thingy. He bounced until he was exhausted and could barely stay wake for a bath.

It was another nice day to spend together. It made me sad to realize I only get one more Saturday with my 2 year old, as he turns 3 the following Monday. Time goes by so fast. I am glad you joined me for this installment of the 940 Saturdays series. I hope your family had time to spend together and you made memories to last a life time. When I was a child, time moved slowly. When I had a child, someone hit the fast forward button and now time passes by at an unimaginable rate.

Things You Didn't Know About Me

Things you might not know about me...

#1) I love Wild berry Aquafina Flavor Splash Water.
#2) I worked as an administrative assistant for a very well known and excellent charity.
#3) I am addicted to hand lotion.
#4) I walk almost everyday for a minimum of 1.6 miles
#5) I have a brother and a sister.
#6) I love hummus.
#7) I collect coins, in particular large cents.
#8) I love to swim.
#9) I am a book snob and prefer the following authors:
      *Ernest Hemingway
       *John Steinbeck
       * Hunter S Thompson
       *Joanne Fluke
       *Joanna Carl
       *Laurien Berenson
#10) I am a major Kate Gosselin fan. Yes, you read that right. I love Kate.
#11) I have a crush on the Man with the Yellow Hat from Curious George. Yes, I am a mom, and my son watches Curious George too often!
#12) I have too many bottles of nail polish and chap stick for any one woman to ever use.
#13) I love crows. They are my favorite bird.
#14) I enjoy doing oil pastel art.
#15) Baking homemade bread is my passion.
#16) I dream of going to Africa when my children are a little older.
#17) I never get enough sleep.
#18) I have been married for 3 years, but I lived with my husband for almost 11 years before getting married.
#19) My children will all have a name that ties into my all time life changing favorite book To Kill A Mockingbird.
#20) I am a know it all. And I am proud of it.
#21) I am semi famous for my no bake cookie recipes.
#22) I am an avid recycler. I feel passionate about reducing my impact on the environment.
#23) I rarely listen to music unless I am in the car.
#24) I love the podcast I Sell Comics.
#25) I secretly enjoy watching Comic Book Men... even though I do not like comic books. Go figure.
#26) My Favorite Movies are:
*The Prize Winner From Defiance Ohio
*Pootie Tang
*A Winged Migration
*Fan Boys
#27) I have 2 pet turtles.
#28) I love quotations.
#29) I am addicted to my blogs.
#30) I let people walk all over me.
#31) I am not always Sweet and Silly. I can be rather stuffy and grumpy.
#32) I have a great memory.
#33) I admire Martha Stewart in a hero-worship kind of way. That woman is amazing.
#34) I wake up at 1:34 a.m. every night.
#35) I hate needles!
#36) I over indulge my son. I can't help it, he is so cute and cuddly that I want him to have everything he wants!
#37) I never leave my son alone with anyone other than my husband. Even when the sitter comes, she is just here to play with him while I get some work finished. We are working to change that.
#38) I have given away nearly everything I owned and started over.
#39) I hate living in Galion, Ohio. You can see the end of the world from this place.
#40) I really want to move to Michigan.
#41) I won't use shampoo you can buy in a grocery store.
#42) I am an ebay addict... in recovery.
#43) I make paper crafts, coasters, beads and I am learning origami.
#44) I read everyday before bed.
#45) I feel blessed by the friends I have made via my blog.
#46) I spend way too much time on facebook.
#47) I think my husband is the best looking guy in the world. He is like my own life sized Ken doll.
#48) I like goats. They are cute and I like goat milk soap.
#49) I like black jelly beans.
#50) I do not like roller coasters.