Happy Birthday Xavier

My adorable grandson is turning 1 at the end of the month. It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since he entered this world on 9/28/2007 at 5lbs 13 ounces. He was so small I could hold him in the palm of my hand. He was actually the smallest baby born into our family.

It has been amazing to watch the milestones in his life from holding his own bottle, crawling, getting his first tooth, his first experience with baby foods, toddler foods, walking at 11 months and now celebrating his first birthday.

I call him my miracle baby. My daughter was diagnosed with a kidney disease at 16. As a result, she has taken high blood pressure medicine everyday since to ensure no further damage to her kidneys. I was really against her becoming pregnant, we knew that a pregnancy would cause more damage. She insisted on giving her husband at least one child. When she announced her pregnancy, I honestly had mixed emotions. I thought about the movie Steel Magnolias constantly. What if she dies from kidney failure. She and her husband thought about it too. They discussed which of the two would live if she ran into trouble during the delivery, her or the baby. She wanted the baby to live. Her husband decided that he would never be able to face me if he made that decision. She is my only child. Talking about emotional moments and a mountain of stress.

As a result of her risky pregnancy, the doctors decided to induce labor at 32 weeks. At 9:00 p.m. on 9/27/2007, Marisha entered the hospital anxious to give birth to her son. Xavier decided he wasn’t ready to enter the world. If we wanted him out, we would have to send a doctor to get him. After 30 hours of labor, they decided to do a C-Sect. The above picture is of Xavier when they brought him out of the delivery room. He was on his way to the nursery, but stopped for a brief moment to let Gran admire him and to snap a picture. He’s been posing for the camera ever since. I’m telling you, if you bring out a camera that boy will stop and pose for the camera. He has brought so much joy into my life. He is truly my little sweetie pie. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.
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I’m On A Blog Trip – Welcome To West Virginia

This is the last day of our Blog Trip, and here are a few things to do before you leave:

Visit Ridgefield Farm for a few hours of flower cutting, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and hayrides. There’s something here for everyone.

Visit the Harpers Ferry National Park, which is a few miles away from Ridgefield Farms. Here you can visit John Brown’s Fort. John Brown worked with Frederick Douglas to abolish slavery. Bring the camera, this park has amazing views and a few bald eagles, red-tailed hawks , white-tailed deer, and southern flying squirrel. If you don’t see any white tailed deer, they’re probably in my back year, lol. This park will take you back in time with the costumes of the earlier years and reenactments. Nice history lesson for the kids.

Not into parks, how about kayaking, tubing, or rafting on the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Check out River Riders while you’re in that area.

Want a taste of the city life before you leave, visit the Smithsonian National Zoo. It’s about 1 1/2 hours away in our Nation’s Capital. Be sure to take the White House tour and visit the Holocaust Museum while you’re there.

Just want to relax and enjoy a movie, visit the Opera House in nearby Shepherdstown, WV. It’s my hometown and about 15 minutes away. They are currently showing Brideshead Revisited. I have not seen this movie, but you can read a review here: http://bridesheadrevisited-themovie.com/images/BridesheadRevisitedElleReview.pdf After the movie, visit the Three Onions restaurant. The food is yummy.

We offer thoroughbred racing and a taste of Las Vegas at the Charles Town Races and Slots. It’s 30 minutes from my house, and they have an excellent buffet. You can watch the races while dining on the upper level. The buffet on the lower level is better).

Want to splurge? You can finish the evening with a 7 course meal and a restful night’s sleep at the beautiful Hillbrook Inn.

I hope you have enjoyed your time in West Virginia. It has been a pleasure being your host while on this Blog Trip. Please subscribe to Giggles & Sugar Kisses’ blog before you leave, I would love for us to remain blog friends.
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Welcome To West Virginia

Here’s three of my favorite places to eat, The Bavarian Inn, The Purple Iris, and the Yellow Brick Bank.

The Bavarian Inn (Top) – is known for its German cuisine, but they have wonderful American dishes too. I usually go here for lunch, but the prices are reasonable for both lunch and dinner. I personally love their crab cakes. They are to die for. They are served with whipped potatoes and fresh asparagus. Their bread is wonderful too and the service is great. The Bavarian offers offers chalets if you would like to spend the night. The view is beautiful, they overlook the Potomac River. Nice for a romantic getaway, anniversary or New Years eve.

The Purple Iris (Middle) is absolutely beautiful. It’s an old mansion that is decorated impeccably. The grounds are awesome. To top it off, the food is divine. I can’t decide who has the best crab cakes, The Bavarian Inn or The Purple Iris so I just continue to go to both. I take my employees here for lunch at Christmas. There are Christmas trees and lights everywhere. Awesome place for a wedding too. You can’t go wrong here, but you must have a reservation. It’s the owner’s home. Tiffany and Daniel Harshbarger, adorable couple, are the owners. I love it!

The Yellow Brick Bank (Bottom) was one of Nancy Reagan’s favorite lunch spots. She frequented our area often. We always knew when she was in town, black SUVs would be everywhere. Let me tell you why, the food is finger licking good and the ambiance is superb. This restaurant used to be a bank when I was a kid. It’s in my home town, so is the Bavarian Inn. I may be a little biased about this restaurant, my cousin is a chief there. His fried chicken is gobbled up by Washington, DC dignitaries. There’s nothing funnier than watching a group of men in Brooks Brothers suits and ladies in Vera Wang suits licking their fingers while eating his fried chicken. Their Tortelini Alfredo on the lunch menu and their Rack of Lamb on the dinner menu are highly recommended. You can see Clifford in the photo gallery. Tell him cousin Rhonda sent you.

I’ll be eating at Chima’s on Saturday. My significant other and I share the same birthday, we chose this restaurant to celebrate. I don’t have any pictures to share, but check back next week for a review. I’ll be sure to take a few pictures while we’re there.

I hope that you will find one of the restaurants to your liking. Please stop by tomorrow for a great shopping experience.

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Wordless Wednesday

Sunflower Anyone! They’re everywhere.

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I’m On A Blog Trip – Welcome to West Virginia

Here are the gas prices at the Shell and Exxon near my home. I’ve always used Exxon Supreme in my vehicles to avoid the knocks, as you can see it’s a little less than Shell. When I first purchased my car a year ago, I could fill up my tank for $35.00 to $40.00. It now costs $60.00 to $65.00. I try not to complain, I feel blessed that I have a job that allows me to afford such a luxury. Yes, I said gas is a luxury! There will be no booty shaking on these 2 finds.

Unfortunately, I live outside of town and it’s not feasible for me to walk to any stores or to my office so I can save on gas. I have started walking around my neighborhood to work off the frustration that I feel when I fill up my tank. So, something good has come out of this nightmare. I also try to run all of my errands the same day.

Because I get depressed when I think about gas prices, I’m going to treat myself to something nice today. I’m heading to the Country Inn and I’m going to have a mineral bath, Swedish massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. I treat myself to this package each year for my birthday, which is September 6. I come out feeling like a million bucks. I thought I would go early this year so my new blog friends can join me. Now just click on this link and pick out your package. Close your eyes and imagine yourself receiving this treatment and enjoying a nice lunch with your new blog friends. Wasn’t that wonderful? I’m putting a gift certificate for myself in the Grandma Bag for next year. Lets give the Country Inn 3 snaps and a booty shake ladies. It was definitely better than thinking about gas prices wasn’t it?

Up the road about a 1/4 of a mile, you will find the famous Berkeley Springs Castle. Now that we’re feeling like royalty after our Spa treatment and delicious lunch, lets enter it like we own it ladies. Put on your tiara and grab your bell. There are maids and butlers to serve your every whim. Isn’t it beautiful!

Well all good things must come to an end, but we’re ending it as royalty. I hope you enjoyed the day and your spirits were lifted. Tomorrow I’m heading to a few of my favorite restaurants. There are two things that I do well, shop and eat! I hope that you will join me for another day of fun, lol.

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Welcome to West Virginia

My daughter and my grandson at his Baptism last week.

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains in route to the Grocery Store.

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains in route to the bank.

Hello! Thanks for making Giggles & Sugar Kisses one of your stops during your Blog Trip. I’m Rhonda, and I would like to welcome you to wild and wonderful West Virginia. West Virginia is known for its beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. They’re stunning in the fall. John Denver sang about the Blue Ridge Mountains in his rendition of Almost Heaven. You can see the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background in the pictures above.
West Virginia is also famous for their Golden Delicious apples. The Golden Delicious apple originated in West Virginia in 1912. We harvest our apples this time of year, and we’re celebrating with lots of festivals and craft shows. We’re also gearing up for our Applebutter Festival. We make it the old fashion way, in a large black kettle over an open fire. It’s delicious on toast and pancakes!
I’d like to tell you a little about myself and how I spend my days in West Virginia. I love taking pictures, I’m an avid scrapbooker. I also love to blog, travel, attend wine tastings, and watch old movies in my spare time. My most important roles are mother and grandmother. I’m the mother of a beautiful daughter and grandmother of an adorable grandson who is about to turn 1 this month. I’m also the owner of Giggles & Sugar Kisses, an on-line website which caters to Sweet, Giggling Babies as well as a full time manager for a federal agency.
We’re Washington Redskins and Baltimore Orioles fans in these parts. Since I’m not a big fan of either, lol, I thought we would spend the week visiting the famous Berkeley Springs Castle and their Mineral Springs. Afterwards, we can also visit the Rumsey Monument, a landmark named after James Rumsey, he launched the first steamboat. Our next stop will be the Harpers Ferry State Park where we will visit John Brown’s Fort, John Brown worked with Frederick Douglas to abolish slavery. We will spend an afternoon at Charles Town Races and Slots for a little thoroughbred horse racing and end the day at the Hillbrook Inn, a beautiful mansion where we will be served a 7 course meal and get a good night’s sleep. If time allows, we can visit our Nation’s Capitol for a litle sight seeing one day. We’re about 1 1/2 hours away. We hope that you will join us for an exciting week.

Before you leave for your next destination browse Mother-2-Mother. It’s the official blog of Giggles & Sugar Kisses. We future Contests, Give Aways, Store Products, and posts about my adventures with my precious grandson. You can also see what products have been given 3 snaps, a booty shake and placed in my grandma bag. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss future snaps and shakes!

I hope that you have enjoyed this little piece of heaven during your journey. Be sure to check out our Current Give Away List before you leave. Have a safe trip around the blogosphere!

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Party Invitation or Birth Announcement Give Away

We’ve found a fabulous way to turn your old photos into party invitations, birth announcements, or greetings cards. Hosting Moments can turn your photos into an adorable card of your choose. I absolutely love the party invitation above. This is perfect for a Spiderman themed party. Take a picture of your little one in a Tutu, Dora Explorer, Cinderella, or Batman costume to name a few and have Hosting Moments turn your photos into a custom invitation. Your children will adore you for it. So will their guests. Its fun and personal. These invitations get 3 snaps, a booty shake, and they go in my Grandma Bag!

Hosting Moments will create your invitation, birth announcements or greeting cards amd you print them at your local print store. It’s that easy. If you’re looking a banner for your site or blog, Hosting Moments can do that too as well as provide hosting service.

Joyce, owner of Hosting Moments, has graciously offered our readers a free 4 x 6 Design for a birth announcement or party invitation. This Give Away must be redeemed by October 31st, 2008. You could be the winner of this fun Give Away. Visit Hosting Moments and take a look around. Leave us a post with your email address on which Give Away your would like, either the Party Invitation or Birth Announcement. For extra credit subscribe to our blog or newsletter at Giggles & Sugar Kisses .

This contest expires midnight October 1, 2008. It is open to everyone 18+ world wide.

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Sara Rose Tutu Gift Certificate Give Away

Every little girl dreams of being a ballerina. Make her dreams come true with a Sara Rose Tutu. Stacy Derrick is the owner of Sara Rose Tutus. The boutique is named after her beautiful daughter, Sara Rose. The tutus that she makes are absolutely adorable. If I had a little girl I would buy a one in every color, lol. Sara Rose Tutus has a very diverse selection to choose from. The pumpkin (shown) and the angel tutus are from their Halloween Collection. Wouldn’t your little darling be a treat in these numbers? They also have an adorable kitty cat custom that will make you purr.

In addition to the Halloween Collection, tutus are available in white, purple & lavender, pink and the list goes on. My favorite is the aqua shown. Don’t see a color that you like? Tutus can be custom made in a color of your choosing. They are hand-tied and available in sizes newborn to adult. These tutus get 3 snaps, a booty shake, and they go in my Grandma Bag!

Sara Rose Tutus has graciouly offered a $25.00 Gift Certificate toward the purchase of a tutu for our readers. What a wonderful birthday or Christmas gift. Just imagine your little princess in a custom created tutu. She will cherish it forever. You could be a winner! Here’s how: Visit Sara Rose Tutus and leave us a comment on which is your favorite. Subscribe to our blog and you can post twice. Triple your chances, subscribe to our News Letter at Giggles & Sugar Kisses. Be sure to leave your email address in your post so we can contact the winner. Posts with invalid email addresses will be disqualified.

This contest is open to anyone who is 18 or older, and ends September 30, 2008 at mid-night. Winner has 3 days to contact us. Sara Rose Tutus Gift Certificate expires December 31, 2009.

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Teens Are Sending Nude Photos

Is your teenage daughter sending nude photos? There’s a big concern among parents of teens, girls are sending nude photos of themselves to their boyfriends over their cell phone. There have been incidents where the photos have ended up on the internet or passed to other boys. Teens are landing in court as a result of it. Teens don’t know that it’s illegal if both parties have not agreed that the photo could be posted on the internet or passed to another person.

School officials decided to confiscate cell phones in Santa Fe, Texas because nude photos of two girls in junior high were being circulating through out the school. Apparently the girls thought it was a good idea to send nude photos to their boyfriends. Their boyfriends thought it was a good idea to send the nude photos to their friends.

In another incident, teenage girls sent nude pictures on their phones to their boyfriends and the boyfriends decided to make DVDs and sell them.

Poor judgement, to say the least. These incidents of poor judgement are landing the males in court with a record and the girls are being humiliated. Not only are they being humiliated, they’re now worried that these photos will resurface down the road. Their lives could be ruined as a result of a moment of poor judgement.

My daughter didn’t have a cell phone until she was in college. My niece who is 16, has a blackberry. So do many of her friends. Teens having a cell phone is a must these days. So they say. As a parent, I can’t imagine discovering that my teen daughter sent nude photos of herself to a boyfriend and than worrying for the rest of my life they could resurface and ruin her. Until I came across an article posted on the web regarding this trend, I never thought about teens using their cell phone to send nude photos. Am I Naiive? It’s real, police are hosting seminars so they can inform parents of how they can prevent this tragedy from occurring in their home. From one mother to another, listen up and take action before your teen makes this mistake. If you’re an aunt or an uncle of a teen make this a topic of conversation, they will love you for it.

Wordless Wednesday

Look at me Grandma!

I Don’t Want To See Mommy, lets stay here with Gran!

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