Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jersey Shore

As previously noted, we headed back to the Jersey Shore this year for a week. It is a vacation that I long for even the moment I step back off the island.

I grew up a mile from the ocean on a peninsula between two rivers. Our childhood summers revolved around going to the beach and biking or walking to get ice cream. My favorite childhood memory is of my dad coming after work to join us at the beach. By that time, most of the people had gone home for the day. The sun was getting lower in the sky and it would cool off enough to warrant a long sleeved t-shirt. My dad drove a delivery van for a sausage company in those days and would bring Kielbasa with him which we would proceed to BBQ, hibachi style, right there on the beach.

The smell of the charcoal, the memory of the salt in our hair and the sand on our skin. It makes me want to be at the beach at any chance I can get. Fortunately, my sister feels the same way, so we now make it a goal to go to the beach for a week every summer so our kids can get a taste of the summers we had growing up.

This year, we headed to the beach with my mom, my sister and her son, Cousin W, and our good friend, Songbird, and her daughter, L and we stayed further North up the island. It is more residential the further North you get, and less crowded...but it isn't as easy to bike around as some of the places on the Southern end of the island. But the beach is wiiiiiiiide and beautiful and uncrowded. The other benefit, was that our beach house was 'ocean side' and only four houses away from the walkway over the dunes, so it was easy to quickly go back to the house for forgotten items or lunch or the bathroom.

When we first got there on Sunday late afternoon, we headed out to the beach to take a look. The waves were CRAZY!! Apparently there was a hurricane WAY off shore and it was making super crazy waves. The break was right on the beach and since it was high tide, they were crashing into a mini-cliff of sand and then retreating and crashing again. Little G got really scared and wanted to leave the beach immediately. That was a bit disappointing for us since we knew he liked the beach so much the year prior.

The next morning, we headed out when the tide was lower and even though Little G still wanted nothing to do with being near the waves, he did let my husband carry him along the shore line.

(A great shot of just how wide the beach was. I can only hope that after this week's hurricane that the dunes did what they are designed for and protected this amazingly beautiful place)

For most of the first two days we were there, Little G played up on the sand with a bucket of water and only rarely ventured near the water.

A couple of days into our trip, we took this great picture of Little G and his Cousin W in their super-cute matching swim suits and rash guards that my mom had gotten for them. I'm such a sucker for kids in matching clothes!

Later that afternoon there was a BIG discovery! A CRICKET!! Rather, a locust...hundreds of them! The night before, there had been a big thunderstorm and from what we have heard, the locusts were lifted up from where they usually stay in the Pine Lands, and deposited on the beach. Little G and Cousin W had the time of their lives torturing playing with one particular locust. (Don't worry...they never hurt the locust...he was just probably very. tired. after playing with our boys for over an hour!)

After that excitement, we had dinner and then headed out to get ice cream.

I think Cousin W has a very appropriate shirt on considering the potential mess his double chocolate chocolate chip in a waffle cone was.

Sadly, Little G ate all of my husband's ice cream. Whoops.

I really love the picture of my mom, above, because you can see the joy in her eyes. It's true...I just don't think there IS anything more joyful than ice cream with your grandkids after a day at the beach!

When we got home it was time for a story and then time to get in our jammies.

This year, my mom brought a puzzle to the beach house and we spent most of the week working on it. We allllllmost finished it at the beach!

Another day at the beach we had an indoor lobster bake! My husband's aunt and uncle have a home at the Jersey Shore only about a mile from where we were staying, so we had his aunt over to share in the spoils with us. Before dinner, Songbird took some time to read a bit to Little G and Cousin W.

And here you can sort-of see the yummy dinner. Lobsters, steamers, red potatoes, kielbasa and corn-on-the-cob...YUM!!

By halfway through our trip, Little G was no longer afraid of the fact, he would stand on the sand just where the waves would barely reach and yell at the water, "Come on water!! COME ON!!!", begging it to come closer. It was beyond cute. And just like last year, he LOVED being held by daddy and lifted up as the waves came closer. Unlike last year, he weighs 30 lbs, so this was much harder on our backs!

We headed out on our last morning at the beach to take some pics of the boys together. But for a little bit of's a pic of the two of them from last summer...

...compared with a picture from this summer. I can't believe how much they've BOTH grown!!

We even got a rare picture of the three of us together thanks to my sister's willingness to take control of the camera :)

Everyone had a great time body surfing...

...and playing in the sand...
...before it was time to pack our things and go home.

Funny story about packing up our things. The night before our last day at the beach, there had been another HUGE thunderstorm. It had, once again, deposited some locusts on the beach...except that this time there were THOUSANDS of them. Everywhere. They jump on you, and then stick to you with their little grippy legs...and then they don't go away when you flick them. I'm ok with a few locusts...but I don't like swarms of anything, not to mention swarms of things that don't go away when you swat at them. Ick.

To make matters even worse, the last day we were at the beach, the wind had shifted from the land which means one thing. Flies. Lots of them. So there were flies and locusts. AND...the water got warmer which meant jellyfish! Flies. Locusts. was finally time to acquiesce and just go. But we decided to come out and get our wind-shelter after we had dinner. Apparently it was a good thing that I let Songbird and my sister go out there, because by that time, our little shelter was cooooooooovered in locusts. Ew. It took quite a bit of shaking and running and shaking some more to get them all off tent and even then I think we must have brought a few home with us.

Of course, all of this happened on our very last afternoon of what had been an amazing week at the beach. But it was pretty funny how quickly the conditions at the beach changed. I can only imagine what we would have thought had that been our FIRST day at the beach!

Anyway...for any of you who have made yourself all the way down to the end of this post, I leave you with a short video of Little G and my husband on our last morning at the beach...clearly, Little G had gotten over his fear of the waves at this point!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


So we've been a gDiaper household since Little G was about 8 days old. We have loved using gDiapers and I have long been an advocate for them. You can read my many thoughts on gDiapers by clicking on the gMum tag over on the right-hand-side of my blog.

But...things are changing around here.

Namely, Little G was accepted to his daycare in a full time slot. Starting at the beginning of October, he will be going to daycare five days a week....correction...we'll be paying for five days a week...but I most likely will only send him 3-4 days a week depending on my work load and other activities that we have planned.

His daycare is amazing. It is an in-home daycare, but it is run by an amazing woman who has years of background in child development and pre-school settings. They follow a curriculum, they make their own meals, they garden and compost and do crafts and learn letters and make great friends. Little G has thrived there from day 1, and although I will miss having him around, I 100% feel that this place is the best place for him to be in preparation for pre-school.


Today they let me know that along with the new contract, they are no longer going to be working with our gDiaper system. Apparently, when Little G is at daycare, he poops multiple times...and it is just as messy every. single. time.

While the gDiaper system is created so that you flush poopy diapers down the toilet, and while I gave them a tutorial on how to do it, the building itself is owned by the owner's family, specifically her mother, and they refuse to flush the inserts down the toilet for fear of their septic system.

As an advocate for gDiapers, it breaks my heart that I am unable to show them that while our home and system are even older than theirs, we have never had a problem with flushing the inserts.

I spoke with the director of the program for a loooooong time on Friday and it turns out that since Little G was pooping multiple times a day, they were washing out his liners and putting them in the sun to dry so they could use them again. Had I ever known this was happening, I would have sent along more diapers so they wouldn't have to do that! Little G's poop schedule at home is once a day...tops. I had absolutely no idea he went so much at daycare!

So on top of cleaning out his liners everyday instead of just packing them up for us to deal with, they have also been dealing with the fact that since Little G is an older toddler, his poop stinks up the high hell. THIS I know...I have experienced it. But since we flush the poop, we never have an issue. But since they just toss the insert like a regular diaper, it apparently stinks up the place enough that another parent COMMENTED on it and then ran out of the building!! EEP!!

The good news is that Little G is on the verge of potty training and so it isn't like we are going to ruin the planet with a few months worth of plastic diapers. But I will say, it was quite a shock to go in there and have them tell me that I couldn't use the diapers anymore. I mean, this is one of the very first parenting decisions we researched and made a decision on way back before Little G was ever to have gone successfully for two years and NOW have to change, it breaks my heart a little bit.

But we will most certainly do whatever the daycare needs us to do and will start providing disposable diapers for Little G. I just wish there was a way to go back and change a few things:
1) if I knew that they were washing out liners, I would have provided more
2) if I knew they were so afraid of flushing the inserts, I would have been more proactive about showing them how the system works
3) if I knew that I wasn't going to be able to use the diapers all the way through potty training, I might have gone a different direction all together

In the end, it isn't the end of the world. But I do feel a little shitty over the whole thing.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I haven't taken nearly as many belly shots with this baby as I did last time I was pregnant. The funny thing is, I'm a second child, so I always promised my unknown second child that I would make sure not to ignore them or treat them differently than the first child. And now that I'm having a second child I'm wondering if I'm ever going to have my act together enough to even bring the camera with me to the hospital, not to even mention do a photo project with pictures from every week of the baby's first year.

Of course, maternity seems more about me, the mom, than it does the kid inside me...which is why I haven't gotten too mad at myself for not recording the process as much as I did the first time...I mean, I've already been through it once, so it's all sort-of old hat.

Anyway, all that said, I did take some pics the other day of my belly (and my new hair cut) and figured I'd post them here as evidence that I am actually pregnant with baby number 2...

These were taken at 30 weeks. For your's what I looked like last time at 32 weeks: Belly Shot.

Oh...and for anyone who is wondering what the view of my stomach is in the evenings after Little G goes to's a little video for you:

Yeah...she's active, that one.

Friday, August 26, 2011

More ch-ch-ch-changes

So you see that picture of me over there ----------------------------->'s a confession...I haven't looked like that for over two and a half years. In fact, for over a year now, I've worn my hair in a pony tail.

So...I decided to do something about it.

I now present to you my totally short hair cut as represented in an awful photo taken with my cell phone that is most likely going to be the only photo ever taken of my new hair since now that I've washed it it won't ever be as smooth and shiny as that first day:

It was quite shocking to wash my hair and feel NOTHING in the back...especially after practically fainting in the shower from how heavy my hair USED to be to wash.

And I'm well aware that a shorter haircut requires way. more. maintenance. and we're about to introduce even more crazy into our house in about two months...but I can honestly tell you that I will NOT leave the house with crazy pants hair. I. Will. Not. So it is either take-the-time-to-do-it or put it in a ponytail. The latter of which is clearly not an option.

So, here's to drastic changes and commitments to not leaving the house looking like a schlub!!

PS - you can read about the FIRST time I made this drastic decision on this old post: Changes

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More Big-Boy Bedroom upgrades

Things have been moving right along with Little G's big-boy bedroom. He's actually been sleeping in his big-boy bed for almost three weeks now. He was fascinated with the room from the moment we slapped the dark-blue tinted primer on top of the light green walls. Ever since then, he's been begging to hang out in the big-boy once his bed and the room darkening shades arrived, we decided to try it out and he hasn't been back to the crib since.

Side note - it is moments like these that flick past you in an instant and all of the sudden your little baby is sleeping in a big-boy bed and you barely can grasp the fact that he's a walking, talking chatterbox, let alone, an independent, grown boy. Sigh.

Anyway, the room still isn't completely done...but over the past week I DID combine some cheap Ikea curtains with some expensive Zgallerie curtains to make these awesome panels for his room:

More details will be available on the FLOR blog in the coming weeks...but I wanted to share it all with you first!

Have you ever 'hacked' store bought curtains?

Soon, She Will Be Here

She's already been named. She was named before we ever knew she was a girl. She is very much a real child to me. And I'm scared.

Will I love her enough?

Will I love her as much as I love her brother?

Will she be strong-willed and brave and spirited?

Will she be my 'easy one'?

Will we survive the first year?

Will I experience the debilitating depression I felt with Little G?

Will I remember what to do?

Will I take enough pictures of her?

Will she hate me because of her hair?

Will she grow up believing us when we tell her how beautiful she is?

Will she escape the teenage years without too much torment and heartbreak?

Will she know how much we love her?

She's already named. The letters hang on the wall in her nursery. Hers. Little G moved out a couple of weeks ago into his big-boy room and never looked back. We have two months to go until she arrives, hopefully, but she is very much a part of our family already. She dances in my belly at dinner time. She kicks where her big brother kisses me. She rolls around while I sleep. She reacts to the sound of my husband's voice. She's growing in leaps and bounds.

Soon, she will be here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reverse Stencil Dresser Details!

Hey post all about the details of reverse stenciling the dresser for Little G's room is up on FLOR today. You can see it here.

I hope you'll take a moment to click over and see the post since I took care to document the entire process.

Thanks again for all of your support!

Coasting anon

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My beef with Mary...yeah...THAT Mary.

Mary, mother of Jesus, is referenced often in one of the mommy groups I attend. The group meets at a local church and it is actually a 'mommy' group in that there is childcare for the kids and the mom's get to meet together and actually have time to talk without the distractions that a ton of kids bring into the equation. Mary comes up a lot because there is a lot we don't know about Jesus' childhood but we all figure, at some point, he HAD to be two.

Of course, another topic that comes up just as frequently is that Jesus is the only human to have never sinned. So maybe he wasn't such a difficult two year old. Maybe he just sat around with his hands in his lap looking reverent. If this is the case, than I am a bit embarrassed to say this, but I don't think I would be friends with Mary in a mommy group.

It isn't that there is anything wrong with having an easy time raising your's just that I can't relate...and I don't believe it, either. Jesus I could believe. But I still wouldn't relate.

The thing is, I should know better than to react that way. I had an amazingly quick, pretty easy, beautiful birth of my son and he was ten pounds, five ounces. He was a hoooooooorrrrrrible napper for the first seven months of his life, but he slept through the night (waking up once for a bottle in the very early morning and then going back down until seven) when he was only six weeks old. Yeah. Let's just say I kept THOSE facts to myself when I was sharing with my various mommy groups filled with tired mommies who had been up all night who were still recovering from harrowing birth experiences.

It reminds me specifically of a segment from my all-time favorite new-mom book, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, by Anne Lamotte. I actually shared this same snippet from her book way back when I was pregnant with Little G.
January 30

It’s great to have so many friends who had babies right around the time I did – even if it did make me bitter and resentful that they also got to have husbands and nurseries – because they all have extremely bad attitudes and sick senses of humor like me. It would be intolerable to call a friend, a new mother, when you were really feeling down and for her to say some weird aggressive shit like “Little Phil slept through the night yesterday, isn’t that marvelous since he’s only eight weeks old, and guess what, I’m already fitting back into my prepregnancy clothes.” You’d really have no choice but to hope for disaster to rain down on such a person. me pessimistic. Call me rude. But if Jesus was perfect and never sinned, and Mary never had to deal with the antics of a two year old - let alone the antics MY two year old tosses in my direction - than I don't think I could be friends with Mary in that mommy group.


Thursday, August 11, 2011


As you may have noticed (or not if you read your blogs via a reader like I usually do) I've made some layout changes on my blog.

I was recently accepted to the BlogHer network and one of the stipulations is that the advertising bar on the right of my blog has to be 'above the fold'. So, in order to accommodate that, but still have my profile picture up at the top, I went with a three column layout.

I've also updated my comments section to Disqus, which should allow commenters to respond to individual comments and track when someone has responded to them.

I'm pretty non-technologically adept, so let me know if anything is showing up weird for you. Also...does anyone know how to get the text of my profile so that it is to the right of my photo, rather than underneath it?

Thanks so much!

Coasting anon

**update - I sort-of fixed the profile pic/text issue...but only by doing a work around. I would still rather have all of it in one 'widget' so that the distracting separation line doesn't go through my profile as well.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Reverse Stencil Dresser SUCCESS!!!

We hoo eeeeyyyyyy!!!!

Over the past two days I've been working hard transforming this dresser...

..into THIS dresser!!

All the deets along with a step-by-step tutorial will be posted on the FLOR blog in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I'm going to go pat my back a bit and pin my own picture on Pinterest...because I have no shame.


** UPDATE**  All of the details on how to do this are now on Musings, the design blog for FLOR.  You can access it HERE.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Home stretch

It has been a long two weeks. Satisfying and fun and exhausting, but looooong. Of course, that's how I feel about the whole summer so far. It feels like we were in Portugal about 10 years ago...

Since then, we've been up to the Adirondack's for Fourth of July...

We've celebrated Little G's second birthday...

We spent a glorious week at the Jersey Shore...

And now Little G and I have been in Pennsylvania with my mom and sister for a week. In between and amidst all of that was a rush to get three large invitation orders out the door utilizing the twice daily breaks I get from Little G by way of daycare.

This evening, we will fly home and theoretically, August will be much more laid back...except for the big boy room that we're mid-way through fixing up, the small changes we'll be making to the nursery, the brunches I'm hosting at our house, the exhaustive search for a pre-school option that is going to have to happen since come October 1 we are out of a daycare option, the business trips my husband will be taking and the 'relaxing' we will (hopefully) be doing at the neighbor's pool!

I say all of this because before we know it September will be here and after that is October and then we're HAVING ANOTHER BABY!!!


I'm trying so hard to hold onto these last days I have with my family of three before we head down the treacherous, yet ultimately worth-it path of newborn/infant-hood. But summers in New England go fast anyway, and now that I'm a parental unit in charge, I'm finding the summer to be even faster.

I remember when I was pregnant with Little G and in March, when it was as cold, blustery and dreary as could be people would ask me my due date. When I would tell them, July 3, they would shrug and say 'Oh, you have LOTS of time', while inside I was thinking, 'Shit. That's only two and a half months away...I don't think these people actually realize how close July IS!'

That's sort-of how I feel about my November 5 due date. Here we are in the dog-days of summer and while I seem to be acutely aware of the fact that November 5 is very, VERY soon...most people think I'm nuts since it is hard to think of gray, cold November when your toes are embedded in the warm sand at the beach.

If you are still unclear...November 5 is three months from today. Written like that, it seems like forever...but I know that I will blink and the summer will be over and then before I know it, the days will be shorter and the nights will come before dinner time and it will be time to have a baby girl.

So hold on to your summer, peeps, because it's gonna be a fast ride into November.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Where've you been?

We've been away...couldn't you tell from the lack of posting? Things got really hectic right before our vacation and then they continued to be stressful WHILE we were on vacation...which didn't really make for a great vacation...but we still had a great time and I'm looking forward to sharing some of the pictures with you plus stories that may or may not include the following topics:
  • giant, 300 lbs seals

  • plagues of locusts

  • lobster bakes

  • jelly fish torturing

  • fly infestations

  • spider bites

Jeesh...all but one of those don't make the shore sound all that great.

Anyway...for the moment, I'm holed up at my sister's/mom's house in Central PA until Friday (don't you worry all you potential home invaders out husband is home this week) and I have to write some posts for FLOR while simultaneously helping my family clean out a very. full. basement. and taking care of an active toddler without the help of day care or other fun activities to keep him occupied (although he will be going to 'camp' for three hours every morning at my sister's church).

Anyway, until I get my act together, enjoy these teaser pics of the beach...