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Birthday Bummer: Canceling the Party

Right now we should be at a local park, wearing kitty ears and celebrating Z’s third birthday. Instead, he’s in jammies playing the iPad, with a fever. He’s been talking about his “Kitty and Puppy” birthday party for months now and has asked me daily for the last three weeks if we could make the cupcakes that day (he loves to lick the frosting beater!).

Not as much fun as a party.

He had a 102 degree fever at 8 am and I knew we had to call the party off. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Although Z has no other symptoms, he clearly has some sort of a bug and we don’t want to pass it around. But it was SO HARD to cancel the party we’ve all looked forward to, and that we’ve put so much hard work (and money) into.  I made felt kitty and puppy ears and cute banners, my mom and I baked a cake and cupcakes, we have a fridge full of food. We’re rescheduling to next week with a smaller group in our backyard, but it won’t be the bash we had planned.

I’ve become much more go-with-the-flow since I had kids. We’ve missed many playdates because of illnesses or long naps. I’ve been late for appointments, which I never was before kids. I’ve come to terms with the fact that life happens and you just have to deal with it. But I’ve never had to cancel a major event three hours before the start time.

Lately, I’ve been trying to teach both boys that things don’t always go as planned, and I’m working on reminding myself of that now. I tell them that when plans change, often something else even better comes along. Let’s hope it does this time.  

Favors that I hope will get some love next weekend. We won't be needing these, but they are cute!


Losing the Last Nap

Oh naptime, the sole respite of the weary caregiver. Even if it’s full of laundry folding, returning work emails or wrangling another non-napping child, it’s still a little slice of almost-peace in the whirlwind of the day.

Watching the talking veggies at Gilroy Gardens instead of napping.Well, it’s just about over for me—Z is ready to drop his nap. I let him stay up all day about six days a week, but he’ll still go down on days that I really need him to sleep. (Like this week when I’m planning to put him down for a nap when our new, awesome teenage babysitter comes while I go to a work lunch and a doctor appointment. It’s hard for me to be in the house with both of them awake for five hours and I don’t want to scare her away. Hopefully, Z’s weekly nap will give her at least few hours with only Nic awake).

There is something pretty cool about losing the nap though. We can do family outings late in the day and enjoy longer outings with less planning. For instance, we went to Gilroy Gardens yesterday on the spur of the moment, even after we went to a morning Kindergarten playdate for Nic. We played in splash pads, spun on giant garlics and ate pizza until bedtime. It was awesome.

I know I’ll miss the nap on most days, at least until the boys start school in the fall. (Today I fell asleep in the middle of Nic’s bedtime out of sheer exhaustion.) But I am looking forward to that impromptu, more fluid fun that our looser schedule will allow. Bring it on! 

The last double nap, likely ever.


GIVEAWAY: Canvaspop Framed Print

I’ve been trying to step up my framed photo game. My sister-in-law recently finished decorating her new house and she has amazing family photos everywhere. My house felt bare in comparison. Just as I was contemplating a few new photos for my walls, I got an email from Canvaspop offering me a HUGE framed photo. Yes, please.

It’s my policy to only write about things I really love, and my Canvaspop framed family photo certainly fits in this category. Not only was it really easy to upload my photo (you can even use iPhone photos) and select my frame, but I also got a digital proof to make sure it was going to look how I wanted. When my framed print arrived, I was really impressed. On the website, it says that the print is framed behind “a crystal clear, low-glare plexiglass insert”--this made me nervous. I thought it might look dull or cheap, but it looks exactly like glass.

My Canvaspop framed print. Doesn't it look great?!

These framed prints are perfect for showcasing that family photo session you finally got around to doing, or even your favorite artsy vacation photos. They come in sizes from 8”x10” to 40”x30” (my print is 16”x20”).


Canvaspop didn’t just want to give me a framed print, they want to give you one too! We are giving away a framed 16”x20” print with a 2.5” mat and free shipping (a $214 value!). To enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you can’t wait for the giveaway to end, or maybe you want a different size print (or a canvas print) you can get 35% off using the code MOMMYBETA35 (coupon expires August 30th). 

FULL DISCLOSURE: I received a free framed print from Canvaspop, but the opinions in this post are my own.

I'm a sucker for cute shipping boxes.



Little Gifts

Nic is like a cat—you have to wait for him to show you affection. If you run up and try to hug him, much like if you had tried the same with our now deceased cat Slater, you might end up with a serious injury. Because of this, it really surprised me when he started overtly showing his love to me, not through hugs, but through pictures.

It all started to this little love note that he left for me one afternoon.

And since then, I’ve been showered with drawings and “projects” that have been made with love. Sometimes, he will even find an empty box, put the artwork inside the box, tape it up and “deliver” it to me like the UPS man.

"This is us having lunch together and you loving me." - NicWe go through a lot of tape in our house. 

"I'm giving you a necklace that I made for you." - Nic

I won’t lie. This makes me feel GOOD. To know that he’s thinking about me, and that he’s thinking about me loving him, really builds me up. Sometimes we struggle, this boy and I, but these pictures show me that even if I have to be the tough mom sometimes, he knows that I love him. And he loves me back.  




10 Reasons Why My Daddy Rocks

Happy Father’s Day to an incredible daddy who learned from an awesome granddaddy on how to be the best granddaddy ever! I love you and am so thankful my children have you as a grandfather…after all a granddaddy is just a daddy with no rules. You’ve always been there for me. So much of who I am stems from you, your support, your love. I thought it might be fun to share some of the amazing reasons why I lucked out having you as a daddy.

1.       I’ve always come first. Or I should say family has always come first. It didn’t matter if it was the middle o f harvest or who knows what, but my daddy has never hesitated when it came to caring or helping me or my sister.

2.       You’re a jokester. You may be a little quiet but you’re really funny and were never quiet behind closed doors. You also came up with funny nicknames for all my friends and love to tease them (in a kind way of course.)

3.       Your songs are classics. I still sing the songs you made up while I was in school: “It’s tardy time” and “Trash Day” to my kids. I know they will someday sing them to theirs. Though my infection isn’t as good as yours!

4.       You’re great a making tuna fish sandwiches! Well, and a lot more than that. You aren’t just a daddy that can cook, you make delicious food! From mashed potatoes, fall-off-the-bone ribs and creamed corn, your mama taught you right! I remember coming home from lunch in high school and you always had something yummy for us whether it was scwan’s man haddock squares, mini pizzas or a hot plate from the rice paddy.

5.       You always protected me. Whether I was in high school, college or way off in San Francisco, you never failed to check in on me EVERY day . Your love knows no end!

6.       You haven’t ever missed an event. From my children’s birthday to a dance recital, you have always been in attendance and eager to help if needed. You made a beautiful balloon chandelier for Elle’s first birthday and an awesome train track made out of tape for Reid’s.

7.       The kids come first. No matter what you always put the kiddos first. You easily change from your show to Disney Jr. without them asking. You take them rides on the Gator to see the animals and teach them the animal sounds. You’ve taught them words, how to be silly and how to wrap their granddaddy around their finger.

8.       You love animals. We joke that our house is a house where all the stray animals go. You’ve never turned away a dog or a cat. You let us have rabbits when we were younger and even built them a cage! You taught us how to care for chickens. We even had hamsters and parakeets.

9.       You shared the life lessons of Andy Griffith, laughs from The Three Stooges and the classics: Gilligan’s Island and The Munsters.

10.   You love my mom. You and mom are so cute together and two little peas in a pod. You’ve stood strong together and showed me the true meaning of team work in a marriage and how women should be treated and loved.

There is no way I can capture everything my daddy has done and continues to do to show how much of an impact he has made on my life and my children’s but I know they are all locked up in my head and heart and am so grateful for such a great man for me and my children to look up to.

Happy Father’s Day daddy! We love you so much!