Friday, August 22, 2008

Reflection on the Past Leads to Visions of the Future

I recently joined LinkedIn, a social networking website used mostly for business connections, to see just what’s out there in the big bad world of corporate American, and surprisingly I have come across a ton of lost classmates and former colleagues whom I have not seen or heard from in years.
It’s exciting to see the paths that many have taken, and to share my own story along the way. It has helped me to reflect on just how much has been accomplished already in my short life. People seem genuinely excited to hear about our girls and are quick to send out photos of their own children. It’s so fun to see just how much in many cases there is a resemblance. It’s also exciting to see the kinds of career paths that many have chosen, and to see just how some of those young-and-eager-to-climb-the-corporate-ladder friends who I enjoyed one-too-many parties with have matured.

It wasn’t that long ago that life was all about cocktail parties, black tie affairs and networking event, followed by conferences and dinners and meetings upon meetings, Friday happy hours, and stumbling onto the late train home. It’s fun to look back on, but even more fun to ponder on where we’re going.

With life’s quirky twists and turns, it seems that all of our stories mold us into what we are today. And while now those meetings and events happen a little less frequently-- and as I always say I still have 30 more hard working years ahead of me so I’ll get where I want to be, eventually-- there’s nothing that beats a couple of cut up hot dogs and ketchup-covered faces to make my day complete!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rock On Giveaway! is having an ultra fab giveaway this week by Swede at Heart (thanks for the tip, Shannon). Check out the site and select your favorite piece (my fav is pictured above), and leave a comment for a chance to win. Post the site on your blog for an extra chance to win. How much easier can that get? I like easy!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Shoe Fetish--Crocs Sassari

I came across the new Crocs Sassari wedge. I for a long time was not a big fan of Crocs on anything other than for a child. I think it was those holes on the Cayman that annoyed me. They were so reminiscent of a duckbill. There also is something about a grown man wearing bright purple Crocs to match his bright purple polo that doesn't appeal to me. Alexandra has a bright yellow pair of Cayman (her fav color, at least on the day they were chosen and I have to say the color makes it easy to spot her at the playground) with all of her favorite princess Jibbitz and wears them constantly. My mother gave me a pair this spring that are a maryjane style (Alice) and I wear that often. My feet do sweat—a trade off for comfort, however.

I have a wide Barney Rubble foot and so finding shoes that are cute and comfy is a struggle for me, and the Cayman was certainly not going to fit the bill there. I have been looking all summer long for a more stylish shoe that wasn’t short on comfort and at last, I think I hit the jackpot! Last night I was in the mall and this super cool pair of stylish Crocs caught my eye. I love how lightweight they are, and that they are stylish and have a heel to them (love anything with a heel, really.)
There are a few other “perks” to the shoe that you should know:
-- No leather materials used in construction.
-- The retro Sassari wedge from Crocs™ delivers style and versatility.
-- Two-tone upper with Crocs™ logo for a sleek look that catches the eye.
-- Made of croslite™ that softens with body heat and molds to the foot for a custom fit.
-- Comfy footbed conforms to the heel while circulation nubs stimulate blood flow. ----- Resistant to bacteria and fungus in order to help prevent odor and promote foot health.
-- Slip-resistant and non-marking outsole provides excellent traction for solid footing. -- 2 1/2" heel.
-- A lightweight 6.00 oz!!!

So, what do you think? Hit or Miss? Let me know! Would love to receive your comments…

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Busy Mommy + Bad Memory = ?

The moment that you have waited for has finally arrived: the day you bring your newborn baby home from the hospital. Like all other expectant parents you will have spent the last nine months preparing for this day. You will have a baby room full of everything a newborn could possibly want. You will have read book after book on a wide magnitude of baby topics from what to name your baby to when you can expect those first words. You will have walked and paced the length of baby's room, imagining your little bundle sleeping peacefully in her crib. Now the moment has arrived. In the crib lies your sleeping baby and the most exciting adventure of life is about to begin and you’re ready to record every waking moment, right? Wrong!

Many parents, myself included, have the greatest intention to document each burp, giggle and poop but unfortunately simply forget.

I noticed this only recently when I looked back at Alexandra’s baby “book” for comparison purposed to discover how she and Annika differ in their development.

For starters, the book isn’t much of a book at all, but rather a calendar of her first year. Sure it documents when her umbilical cord stump fell off, when she first slept through the night and her first taste of mashed peas, but much to my dismay it didn’t include many of the other milestone events that I wished I could recollect, particularly those that occurred after her first 365 days of life and for her, that means a lot. Particularly when she walked, or talked, formed sentences, scribbled her first few lines with a crayon, formed a blob with playdough, counted, recited the alphabet or song or poem. Oh the list goes on and how guilty I feel!

Many of these are documented in the margins and in open calendar spots to signify when one months starts and the other ends. Often we document the darndest things that kids say, but often they go unnoticed, particularly when you have other children who are in their own first year.

Many of those major milestones drift to an occasional this or that as children get older and somehow get seared into our minds, but what about those that don’t? Naturally I cannot reverse the clock so my only choice is to move forward--starting today. My first entry: Alexandra tells me about her first dream.

Upon waking this morning, Alexandra told me that she had a dream last night. Ariel-- that gorgeous mermaid with sweeping red hair, tiny waist and impeccably perky personality--and she were swimming together. I lit up! How wonderful! I have read that children start to form dreams—good or bad—at around age four. I always wondered what happened during those hours of slumber and now I guess I know!

I press on asking what else she saw in her dream. Flounder? Prince Eric? Scuttle? Yes, yes and more yes is what I got as a response. I walked away feeling so excited that my big girl has shared with me an exciting milestone in her development.

I don’t know why I left that conversation feeling so excited. It’s not like she hasn’t done some amazing things all along. I guess it’s because I feel like she’s growing so fast and experiencing something like this is incredible and a true testament that my big girl is, in fact, a big girl!

I now have a renewed energy and outlet, thus this blog, to jot things down as they happen so as not to ever forget.

This certainly will go down into the calendar, even if it does find it way crammed onto the back page. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Our New Addition…Welcome Carla Jenny Sunshine

We have a new addition. Her name (well, because we have two girls we automatically assume she’s a she) is Carla Jenny Sunshine, named by my lovely Alexandra. She’s a lovely betta fish who is purple and very beautiful.

The addition to our family all transpired when our nanny Beth bought one for her goddaughter last week. She brought the girls with her on her journey and selected the fish together. Then headed to the craft store to purchase a glass vase of sorts and topped it off with a nice plant (for the record, I would never have thought to do something that creative!). The fish looked very comfortable and Alexandra was extremely enamored by Sunshine swimming around her new confines. When it was time for Beth to take Ms. Sunshine away it was as if I was looking into the eyes of an abandoned puppy. Alexandra’s face just melted. I knew then that although we were very content with our two cats, two children and two adults that we just had to add some odd numbers into the mix and so Carla Jenny Sunshine was born.

Beth had the task of taking the girls once again on a new excursion to the pet store and came back equipped with all of the comforts a fish could wish for. Pretty hot pink rocks, dazzling blue crystals, mini trees and a surfing ladybug.

It’s Alexandra’s duty to each day feed Carla Jenny Sunshine just the right amount of food and to keep her company. Good training, we think, for that dreadful day when she asks for a dog…

Except for the fact that she’s not eating…we’ll keep up with Carla Jenny Sunshine’s progress and pray that we wont anytime soon need to purchase a skimmer. :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Little Boy's Life Lives on with a Much Larger Legacy--Remembering Dylan

Today we remember Dylan James Manning (DJ) who died on this day two years ago from a rare generic disorder called Tay-Sachs Disease. He was three months shy of his 5th birthday.

Tay-Sachs is a preventable but fatal disease, historically found mostly in Ashkenazi Jews, however research has categorized French Canadians, Louisiana Cajun, Pennsylvania Dutch as high risk, and preliminary data suggests persons of British Isle and Italian decent are to be considered high-risk.

A simple blood test can determine if you are a carrier of the gene –both parties must be carriers and you then have a one in four chance of having a child with the disease.

Andy’s very good friend is Dylan’s dad. They were neighborhood friends who grew up together, playing basketball and acting as kids do. Andy has said time and again that you never think this could happen to someone you know. When I learned of Dylan's condition several years back I remember feeling absolutely heartbroken for the family. We tracked his progress daily and always had him and his family in our prayers. Then, as his days came near the end and finally we received news that Dylan was no longer alive, I broke down. My Alexandra was only 20 months old, and I couldn’t have imagined what their family was going through. How that mother will never hold her baby again.

Andy and I attended the services held by the family and I was amazed at the unbelievable strength the family displayed. They have said they live for Dylan-- His life carried with it a much larger purpose: To educate people about how the disease can be prevented.

Each year we vow to remember Dylan’s life and continue his legacy by spreading the word—Andy by wearing the blue “Just Believe” bracelet he hasn’t removed in nearly four years--and by having our children participate in a balloon launch in Dylan’s name. [Photos from last year’s balloon launch are above.]

For more information, please visit To learn about DJ and his life please see or