Looks Who’s Turning 2

Newborn – Heading to the Nursery

1st Birthday Party

Eating His Favorite Snack Last Week

It’s hard to believe that my little sweetie is turning 2 in a few weeks. I remember the day he came into this world like it was yesterday. I snapped the top photo of him when he was being taking to the nursery from the delivery room. My life changed forever at that moment, he truly became a part of my heart. There has not been one day that I have not thought about this precious baby boy in the past 2 years.


This is Gran holding him for the first time at the hospital. What a moment it was for me. He was the smallest little fellow. He weighted 5 lbs. 5 oz. I could hold him in the palm of my hand. Quite a difference from my 8 lb. daughter when she was born. I remember telling myself to be gentle, I guess I thought he would break. Everything we purchased was too big for him. Incredibly, the doctors told us that he was going to be a big baby. We were expecting him to weigh around 8 – 9 lbs. Didn’t happen. As you can see he had a head full of coal black hair, which my daughter claims caused pretty of heartburn. She too was born with a head full of hair.

 
It didn’t take Xavier long to make up for his weight deficit. He ate around the clock causing sleep deprivation for everyone in the household. He ended up being nicknamed Gran’s “Lil Butterball”. His legs had rolls of fat, nice little drumsticks for Gran to kiss on. I look at him and some days I see his mom. Other days I see his dad.
 
My beautiful daughter is pictured in the center photo at the top. She’s holding Xavier after he dived into the cake at his first birthday party. She’s the love of my life and she will always will be, but Xavier holds a special place. It’s a place that only a grandchild is allowed to enter into. There is nothing that I would not do for him. He brings so much joy into my life. I’ve heard other people talk about how great it is to be a grandparent, it’s so true. Although I want him to be raised properly, I know that I would allow him to get away with much more than I allowed my daughter to get away with. I have to restrain myself when she’s disciplining him. I just want to scoop him up and protect him from what I perceive to be harm. That includes Mean Ole Mommy and Daddy. Can you keep a secret? I purchased the set below for Xavier, it contains our secret code for Ole Mommy and Daddy. That’s right “Monster”. Remember it’s a secret. Can I trust you? Seriously, they are wonderful parents and would never bring harm to this little gem.


The past 2 years have been so wonderful and they’ve gone by so fast. We’re planning Xavier’s party for September 26th. Elmo and Xavier will be the stars. He adores Elmo and watches Sesame Street faithfully. Gran gets a reprieve this year, The Jumping Monkey will be the host. I believe the Jumping Money is popular in the southern states. I had never heard of it, and goggled it when my daughter announced the location. At first I was disappointed that we would not be doing the preparations, but now I’m looking forward to just purchasing a few gifts and enjoying Xavier and his guests. It will give me the opportunity to take lots of pictures for my next scrapbook.

The Jumping Monkey will furnish the cupcakes, plates, cups, etc. as well as the party favor bags, invitations, juice boxes and popcorn. They have games, ride on toys and bounce and ball pits for the kids. We’ll have pizza delivered and everyone should have a grand time. I know that I will.

I need to work on my skills so that I can video a few of the events. I tried videoing last week with my digital camera, OMG. I need serious help. Any suggestions from the video/vlog professionals? Please leave a few of your video tips.

I’m looking forward to my grandson’s 2nd birthday party. Stayed tuned for pictures of a few of my gifts and the party. How did you celebrate your child’s 2nd birthday? Fell free to share any of your memories.

Can Doodling Sharpen Your Child’s Memory?

Did you know that doodling can be a benefit? I doodle when I’m sitting in meetings/conferences. It helps me to stay alert. There are benefits for children too according to the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology. The journal states that “doodling” may help
improve memory recall. Lord knows I need help with my memory at this stage of life. I don’t trust it anymore, I have to write everything down. On a bad day, I need help finding whatever list or information that I’ve written down. So pathetic I know. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.

As a result of a study performed by Jackie Andrade, a psychology professor at the University of Plymouth in England, parents are being encouraged to promote creative doodling at home with their children by incorporating art activities into their life. Jackie is saying rather than give your child a coloring book, give them a doodle pad as well so they can doodle. I don’t consider myself to be an artist, but I do enjoy scrapbooking and creating crafts for my home. I think I can really get into some form of art with my 2 year old grandson. I tested him to see how he would do using a regular pen and pencil, he made a few scribbles. I’m going to purchase the larger crayons and pencils for him, and make it a regular activity.

Jackie’s study found that doodling can be used to help retain information. She performed a study where individuals listened to a recorded message which included pieces of information such as names and places. She found that individuals who doodled while listening, remembered 29 percent more than those who did not. I’m going to put this theory to the test. I’m going to try to teach Xavier the primary colors by using crayons and doodles.

Teachers are being discouraged from stopping students from doodling in class. In the past it was seen as a sign that the child was distracted. Now it’s seen as a sign that the brain is active and they are listening.

I’ve been checking out the Aquadoodle Travel ‘N’ Doodle Mat and I think it may be perfect for him. I’m looking for small birthday gifts for him, I’m going to add it to my birthday gift list. It’s getting good reviews by other moms, stayed tuned for my review.

Winter is heading our way, and we will be looking for indoor activities for the kids. We will be compiling a list of art/craft activities for children. We would love to have contributions from our readers too. Please leave us a comment with an activity or craft that you have done with your child. We will add it to our list and include a link to your blog.

My Little Picasso – Crayola Paint Review

Look at my little Picasso, he’s creating a master piece. I decided to introduce Xavier to finger paints. He had a ball. I purchased the No Mess Crayola Finger Paint set and I loved it as much as he did. The paint showed up only on the paper. I did put an old sheet under him, I just had hardwood floors installed and I didn’t want to take any chances, but there was truly no mess.

The set comes with an adorable tray in the shape of a hand with 5 paint colors, red, yellow, green, blue, orange, and 12 double wide sheets of the Wonder paper. I like he fact that the hand is sturdy and stays in place on the table. The lids covering the paint are easy to open; however, for a 2 year old they will need assistance.
Xavier enjoyed sticking his fingers into the paint and was amazed when the colors magically appeared on the paper. He was so funny using the sponge. I tried to get him to wipe his fingers with it, but he wasn’t interested. I decided to show him how to sponge paint. He’s only 2, I didn’t think it would hold his interest. Wrong. He’s quite astute, and caught on quickly as to how he should dip the sponge into the paints and than apply it to the paper.

Here’s my Little Picasso taking a break. Painting makes baby thirsty. This set is recommended for 3+, but Xavier didn’t have a problem using the set. I like to challenge him with toys (as long as they don’t contain small parts), books etc. that are recommended for children a year or 2 older than he is. I believe it helps with a child’s advancement.

I would highly recommend this set to any parent who is looking for a rainy day activity or who just wants to expose their child’s creativity on paper. They have the Gel Paint refills, which includes the classic colors shown and additional tropical colors. Purchasing the set will be money well spent.

A New Orleans Tradition

My daughter and her family have been visiting all week.  My son-in-law is from South Carolina, and loves seafood.  I decided to do a small seafood boil for him.  Normally, I have a seafood boil when I’m having a large family gathering.  It requires using a large propane tank and burner along with a large stockpot with strainer basket. 

Seafood boils are a Louisiana tradition.  I experienced my first boil years ago with friends who are from Louisiana.  I love being able to complete the entire meal in the same pot.  I was feeling lazy, so I decided not to use the propane tank and burner, but to prepare the boil in my kitchen.  It was the first time that I prepared the boil in the house, but it turned out great.  I have a small pot with the strainer basket, it was perfect for the occasion.

I pretty much used the same ingredients that I use for larger boils, I just didn’t use as much.  I used small red potatoes, corn on the cob, and large shrimp.  A lemon quartered is optional.  For the seasoning, I use Zatarain’s crab boil and Cajun seasoning. You can add mussels, crawl fish or whole crabs.

I used snow cluster crab legs, but I placed the crab legs on a cookie sheet, seasoned them with Obay, and warmed them in the oven on 375 for about 20 minutes since the pot wasn’t large enough to accommodate the crab legs.

This is a nice meal for large and small gatherings.  Even the children enjoy the small potatoes and corn. If you would like my recipe for the in-house seafood boil, please let me know.

You Cheating Bastard

Several days ago, a friend confided that her husband was cheating on her. When I asked her how she knew, she stated that she had hired an investigator and she had photos of her husband with the other woman. As I listened, I thought about several pictures that I had seen from women who had been cheated on. I thought you would get a good laugh or idea from these photos.


Relationship experts site the following reasons for cheating in a relationship. In my opinion, there’s no excuse or reason for a cheating spouse or mate, nevertheless, here are the top 10 reasons:

  1. They Had The Option
  2. Ego Boost
  3. Individuals In The Relationship Are Growing Apart
  4. They’ve Fallen Out Of Love
  5. Continuous Arguing
  6. Sex Life Is Boring
  7. To Get Revenge
  8. It’s New, Different, and Exciting
  9. To See If They Can Get Away With It
  10. You Allow It

I thought about what I would do if my significant other was cheating on me. I could really see myself taking these steps.  I love all of the photos, especially Photo 1 and 4. What a perfect way to advertise the fact that you have a cheating husband. I would have loved to see both of their faces when they saw the display.  I love the clothing hanging from the tree in photo 1.


What would you do if you found out your husband/significant other was cheating on you?  Which of the photos is your favorite?  Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts.

I Screwed Up My Life

Nadya Suleman

“I screwed myself. I screwed up my life, I screwed up my kids’ lives. What the heck am I going to do?” The words of Nadia Suleman, it looks like the idiot is having a reality check. Hello girlfriend you couldn’t handle 6, what did you think would happen with 8 more. I’m sure she spends her waking hours thinking about it, but she will find not an ounce of sympathy here. I believe her motives were purely selfish, and she as well as taxpayers will pay for the rest of those poor children’s lives.
Fox will air a show on August 19 on Nadia Suleman and her 14 children. Take a look at this video clip, 14 screaming, crying children. She states the older children are negative, what’s positive in this situation for an adult let alone a child. In my opinion, you can not possibly give yourself whole-heartily to 14 children. Physically, emotionally or physiologically. America will be getting a first hand look at someone who thinks in the moment.

She also states that the older children are curious about their father. Now how do you explain to a child that their father was literally a sperm donor. You came from a frozen egg, honey. That’s like saying The Stork dropped you off. Apparently the father is married and has no intentions of being in the children’s life as a father or role model. Chances are there will never be a father figure or role model in their lives. What man is going to take on the responsibility of 14 children who are not his and being followed around by a camera for the rest of his life?

Normally, I don’t concern myself with others and how they live their life. However, this woman just rubs me the wrong way. I could slap that bitch each time I look at her. I need to take a deep breath, I feel the anger rising. I still think about her website seeking donations. WTH? Now you want people to help pay for your poor judgment.

I’ve debated as to whether or not I will watch this program. I still haven’t made up my mind. There’s a part of me that wants to see those adorable babies who did not ask to be brought into this world, certainly under the conditions that we’ve seen. There’s another part that is angry that a woman could be so stupid, and I don’t want to support her in any way. I want to knock this woman in the head, but I guess it too late for that. I wonder how she is going to keep what little sanity she has trying to raise 14 children. She’s already stating that she resents herself, when she will start resenting the children. Do you see that coming?

I hope something positive comes out of this insane situation, and these children will be blessed in some way. I’m sure in the end they will thank their mother for being a human incubator and bringing them into this world.

Feel free to leave your comments/opinions on Nadia Suleman and her 14 children.

Potty Training Journey

Yes, it’s that time. We have embarked upon our journey through Potty Training Land. My little sweetie is turning 2 in September and we’ve introduced him to Mr. Potty. He seems to be receptive to the idea, and loves hearing the music in his potty when he pee pees. We’ve started him in the Pampers Easy Ups, but we’re also going to try Huggies Pull Ups to see which works best with him.


I decided to purchase this adorable Fisher Price Cheer For Me Potty. I love the shape, it looks so much like the real thing and I thought we would have an easier transition when it was time to move him to the toilet. I also love the smiley face on it. I haven’t placed any toilet paper on the holder yet, I’m afraid he will cover my bathroom floor with it.
The potty is battery operated and plays music and gives words of encouragement when he poopies and pee pees. I love the fact that he must actually pee pee or poopie before the music will start playing, it’s suppose to be an incentive for using the potty. The handle on the potty makes a clicking sound when it’s pushed. He gets so tickled. I reward him with Parental Praise too. Gran claps, dances and sings the Big Boy Potty song. Here it goes: Pee Pee on the potty, Pee Pee on the potty or Poopie on the potty, Poopie on the potty. I believe Kirstie Alley sang this song in Look Who’s Talking when she was potty training her son.

Xavier loves stickers, so I’m going to make a poster and start rewarding him with Big Boy Stickers. I’ll implement this award system next week. I looked at some of the charts on the market and thought I could create one as good if not better than those available.
Stayed tuned for more adventures on our Potty Training Journey. If you have a Potty Training story or tips that you would like to share, I would love to hear them.

Free Children’s Book Download


Download this adorable book by Hans Wilhelm. It’s the story of Anook, a little poplar bear, who is mistreated by her sisters and eventually thrown out of the palace by her father, the Poplar Bear King. Her mean sisters are made queens, but they later turn on their father who has become old. They dethrone him and order him to leave the palace.

Anook and her father are later united. They return to the palace where Anook finally stands up to her mean sisters. She banishes them from the palace and is crowned queen. Together Queen Anook and her father King Poplar Bear rule Northland.

This book is appropriate for children ages 4 – 8. Click on the link below to access this wonderful story.

http://www.childrensbooksforever.com/Childrenpics/ANOOK.pdf

Multiple Births – Quintuplets Overwhelm Mom

Five beautiful babies. Adwai Malual, a 28 year old first time mother from Sudan, gave birth to 4 girls and a boy in an emergency birth last month while visiting her sister in Prince George’s County. It took a team of 30 doctors and nurses to handle her birth. Fortunately, mom and babies are doing well.
Adwai says she is exhausted, but she feels blessed to have all five of her bundle of joys. Her quintuplets are the first at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in the hospital’s 106-year history. Her mother is visiting from Sudan to assist with her new grandchildren. The quintuplets go through approximately 40 diapers and numerous bottles of formula each day. Adwai and her mother work in 12 hour shifts feeding, changing, burping and holding the little darlings. Adwai said by the time she gets the last baby feed and changed, the first is crying again. Can you imagine, lol. I struggled to handle one, I don’t know what I would have done with five at once.
Adwai’s husband has not seen his children. He is over seas working as a liaison for the military in southern Sudan, and her mother will return home soon. Adwai is without insurance and she is unsure how she is going to continue to sustain the children. Even though the United States would be a better place to raise her children than war torn Sudan, Adwai realizes it is expensive to live in the United States. She said donations came in for several weeks, but they have slowly tapered off. Everything she has, has been donated from the clothing and diapers, to the crib to the changing table. Usually corporations such as Johnson and Johnson, Pampers, Similac etc. assist families with multiple births, but they are not volunteering to assist her. The economy has taken its toll on everyone.
If you would like to assist Adwai or know of an organization who can help, please contact Reverend Barbara Sands, the hospital chaplain at the Anne Arundel Medical Center, who is coordinating donations. Reverend Sands may be contacted at bsands@AAHS.org or 443-481-5120.
May this family be blessed.

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.