Friday, November 8, 2013

Not always so little

When I first decided to start writing a blog my hope was to point out all the little things that can go without realizing in our daily lives, the things that make our days easier, our lives simpler, our time more valuable.  The little things that can sometimes make you stop and say “at least….”.  When I first set out to write a blog I was a mom of 2 toddlers, I was a mom of 2 toddlers who were home with me all day, I was a wife of someone that was healthy, that had a fairly decent job, I was worried about our future (as all moms are) but knew things would get better, that we would move to a better house, a better community, that our children would go great schools (this is where being a teacher and a mom sucks) there was hope. 

 Today I am a mom of 2 children who attend school (one part-time preschool, one full time first grade), I am a wife to a husband who never knows when a seizure will strike (despite being on medication),  I am trying to hold my world together while falling apart inside, we are in a new house that we prematurely thought was going to be a great move for us and turned out to be not so great, my children are in great schools with amazing teachers who love them, we like so many American’s are fighting a losing battle with the economy.

 As I sit typing this Mr. O is preparing to take a leave of absence from work again (code: go back to on TDI) to focus on his health, something I know he has to do but at the same time scaring the life out me, leaving me with more questions than answers, leaving me more stressed than reassured, leaving me more short tempered with my children than I ever wanted to be.  I’m not writing this down because I’m looking for sympathy, or looking for a shoulder to cry on, I’m writing this down because it is what is in my heart right now.

 Right now all of the little things have added up to one big thing, a big thing that is completely out of my control, a big thing that has me worried.  So for now instead of taking one day at a time I need to take one hour at a time and if that is too much than I will cut it down and take 15 minutes at a time. I will try to make sure my children aren’t aware of the craziness that is happening around them, make sure that they always come first, make sure that I try to find at least one little things each day to be thankful for.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thankful Thursday......

Today I had planned on linking up with another blog Baby Gators Den to take part in their Thankful Thursday blog post, but they are taking a blogging break for the summer.  This is the first Thankful Thursday post I have done, not that I haven’t had anything to be thankful for but rather the time to compile a list.  So without further ado:

                Today would have been my grandfather’s 87th birthday, and I am thankful that I was fortunate enough to have him in my life for 32 years.  I am even more thankful that he got to meet his first great-grandchild while he was still here.

                I am thankful to have the knowledge that allowed Mr. O and me to make an educated decision as to which school we were going to send H.  And for the friends who listened to me hem and haw over said decision.

                Now that we are moving I’m happy that Mr. O has a job where getting empty boxes to pack in will not be a problem.

                Air conditioning in both the car and our house……enough said!!!!!!

                That we took the scenic route home one morning from our Sunday morning donut run to Allie's Donuts which led to us finding our new home.

                That my 85 year old paternal grandfather is still able to not only drive back and forth from his home in Florida but that he is able to be here to enjoy H&Z.  To see them together truly is something to be thankful for……

                                                  H & Z out for breakfast with Great Grandpa C     


What are you thankful for this week?  It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, after all life is all about The Little Things……..



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Well Being Wednesday


Happy Well Being Wednesday!!!!  I am happy to finally report that the scale is not broken; it is not permanently going to display the same 3 numbers forever.  How do I know this for sure?? Because it finally moved….and in the direction I prefer, down.  Last week was not a weigh-in week for me, but I was curious, was there a weight loss, even a small change and I was astounded to see that there was.  Without further ado, let’s get to the stats:

                                                 6/18… 138.5


That’s 3 whole pounds.  I’m not going to claim that I have been eating an only organic diet, or working out for 45 minutes every day or even drinking plenty of water, because I haven’t.  While I have been more aware of what I am putting in my body, and aware of how frequently I have or haven’t been exercising the only thing I can attribute the loss to is a combination of doing the right things for my body.  Was this the jump start I needed?  I hope so; I hope that in 2 weeks there is even more of a weight loss.  I have also begun to see some minor tone and definition in certain areas of my body, I haven’t been as tired lately (granted with 2 children, that’s a relative statement), I have had more energy.  By nature I am very resistant to change, don’t like it and never have.  Perhaps my body is the same way; it just needed some time to realize that there is no other way besides to do things the healthy way???

Now this week is a special week, it is Mr. O’s birthday tomorrow and we are celebrating both tonight and tomorrow night.  Being that it is his birthday he gets to choose the dinner for tonight (yes, 2 separate dinners… to love divorced parents).  For tonight he has chosen a local Italian restaurant.  A favorite of ours, were everything is homemade and you don’t mind waiting an hour for your dinner to arrive.  H & Z helped me to make a cake this morning and we are all looking forward to a yummy dinner and dessert, but I am also looking forward to the leftovers I get to have for lunch tomorrow!!!!!

Now this next part of WBW was one of those moments I could have slapped myself in the forehead for not thinking of earlier.  Many friends and members of PIM have often said they would consider working out in the morning, but not me.  How could I with the children underfoot? Well this morning I woke up and it hit me, DUH after breakfast and a few housekeeping tasks I could put them in a different room with a video and give myself however long I needed…..EUREKA!!!!! Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?  It worked out so much better than waiting until their rest time in the late afternoon.  I am going to stick with this plan as often as our schedule allows, which should be pretty often. 

What fitness challenges have you faced?  What would be your perfect workout routine?  The same exercise videos or classes every day, or do you vary what you do?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy Friday!!!!

I hope everyone has had a good week, I thought I would end the week with a post about some of my "Little Things" that I've recently experienced, seen or heard. 

I love clean sheets, the feeling if getting into bed with fresh, clean sheets that have been all tucked in is a good way to end any day!!! 

Greek yogurt, YUM!!! I have always loved yogurt, but during my pregnancy with Z I suddenly became turned off, like could not even get a spoon in my mouth. Thankfully that is no longer a problem since discovering Greek yogurt!!! Mix that yogurt with 2 teaspoons of granola and that's breakfast or a midday snack. And the fact that I declare those little cups of protein filled goodness all mine is an added bonus. 

Yoga!!!! Oh yoga how I have missed you!!! After taking a series of classes several years ago I fell in live with this form of exercise. I've looked for, thought about, bought videos all with the intention of starting to do yoga again. I am happy to report that I have begun using the videos I bought, and yep I still love it!!!

This last thing little thing is purely silly but for me it's my little thing, my one thing that helped me one day this week. After slowly changing over my clothes from winter to summer, I begun the dreaded task of now switching from cold weather shoes to summer shoes. Hot damn, wasn't I shocked that when I began to pull out all my flip flops (and I have lots) they all had a match!!!! Now if there had been a shoe without its mate it would have driven me crazy, but nope they all had a mate!!!  Now if Mother Nature would cooperate this upcoming weekend my toes would appreciate it.

I know these things may seem silly or trivial but like the name of this blog "The Little Things" are sometimes what help get you through the big things and many times we forget about "the little things" that may make us happy or our life easier...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WBW - 5/22/13

Happy Wednesday!!!! Here in the Northeast the humidity has settled in for the immediate future, which is not conducive to really anything except consuming more water - which is never a bad thing. It is important to remember to not over-do it, take breaks if you are exerting yourself, even save that workout until later in the day when the sun has gone down. 

This week is not a weigh-in week for me, but that being said I'm sure that if it were the same 3 numbers would pop up on the scale display. I have taken some small steps over the past week to improve not only my health but the health of my family as well.  Mr O and I had a big talk the other night over all the articles that I have been reading about processed foods and certain health ailments, and how we still have time to change our eating habits and those of H&Z, whom we have always payed particular concern to what they are consuming. We have decided to start eating in a more clean and organic way, having only 1 income we will be looking to make this change over time and not do a radical change all at once. 

During yesterday's shopping trip I was able to buy some organic fruit, organic cereal, organic oatmeal and even an organic treat for H&Z.  Luckily my local Stop and Shop is stocked with a very nice selection of both organic and traditional foods, also we are very fortunate to have a Trader Joes and Whole Foods within a couple miles of our home. While we were on a recent trip to BJ's we were able to see their selection of bulk organic items and our local SAM's club (where we belong) is re-opening soon and I will definitely be checking out their inventory of organic and clean items. 

I have also ordered a couple of workout DVD's all with a focus on beginner exercises. 2 of the 3 have different workout options, including 10 minute, 20 minute or 1 hour options and routines. All of the reading I have done says it is better to do a 10 minute routine and gradually build up to longer exercise times, so these DVD's are prefect for me, also with 2 little ones underfoot working out carries its own dangers and time constraints!!!!  I had been doing some longer routines but found myself unable to complete them, so I would definitely rather do 10 minutes comfortably than 45 minutes strenuously. 
The workouts I ordered are a beginners cardio, beginners yoga, and a ballet workout.  I have done the cardio video and I like it, and look forward to doing the yoga one later today. Combined with walks, and maybe even a few random exercises during the day I will get healthy. 

With time and patience my physical and emotional health will meet and everything will come into focus, I've got nothing but time. What have you changed this week?  What will you be eating differently based on the information coming out regarding chemically altered foods? I'm including a photo I found on the Internet showing which fruits and veggies are called "The Dirty Dozen". 

Also follow along with our journey at also on Facebook and Twitter!!! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Well Being Wednesday 5/15

Well Being Wednesday!!!!  Today was supposed to be a weigh in day for me, but a poor nights sleep and a hurried morning caused me to forget.  Hopefully tomorrow morning will not be as hurried and I will remember, although I am sure the scale will display the same 3 numbers.....

This week I am sharing the post I wrote last week for the website
I am hoping to reach some new readers who are also starting to find themselves again.. 

On June 15, 2007 at 11:46 my life changed forever, that was the moment my first born graced is with his prescience and made me a Mama. In the six years since I have had another child, (a daughter this time) lost both my grandparents to cancer, dealt with post Partum depression, got news that I have an incurable (but manageable) brain disease, my husbands own medical problems, and so on and so forth. Why am I sharing this information with you, because I want to say that the one person I haven't taken care of is ME!!!!!!! I have had routine health care, tests and such but nothing to really focus on the one part of me that needs help. 

I have been focusing on everything and everyone else, except for me. I have helped family and friends, take care of my children, I have managed schedules and schlepped to appointments. As my husband says "she keeps the boat afloat", and he's right but I also need to keep myself afloat and right now I feel like I'm drowning. Drowning in a sea of emotions, in a sea of fear, in a sea of not being accepted. You might be asking "why is she fearing not being accepted"??? Well that's easy I am a people pleaser, always have been. It is important for me to feel accepted by my peers and family both personally and professionally. Why, I don't know. I have often said why would anybody not like me. I'm helpful, honest, caring, heck I'd give you the shirt off my back or my last dollar if you needed it but you know one thing I've learned after 37 years is that everyone isn't that way, and yes it upsets me and I need to learn how to deal with that fact. 

Someone said to me recently "I would have never guessed you have so much emotional baggage, you are always happy". That's me too, always "faking it until I make it", which is a lot harder than it seems. The truth is I'm not happy. Let me clarify, I'm a happy person who has gotten good at hiding her emotions very well, I am always worried about other people's happiness and not my own. I don't know how to be truly happy with myself anymore. All of this has lead me to the decision to start finding me, finding the happy person I used to be, to deal with the leftover post Partum depression I'm still fighting, to deal with not saying goodbye to my grandparents, to deal with my illness, all of which will help me be a better Mama to my children. I have been fortunate enough to meet a therapist that I like, that I can cry with, that I trust, that I just clicked with. And I am ready to take this journey, whatever it leads to, or wherever it leads me, I'm ready. 

In January of this year when Michele C asked if I wanted to join another friend of ours in accomplishing the goal of getting healthy I said "sure", never thinking I would be focusing more on my mental/emotional health than my physical health. Yes, I am exercising more, paying more attention to what I am eating, drinking more water but right now the most important thing is for me to get my emotional health in order. To get these weights off my shoulders and I have a feeling once I do that I will a lot lighter and my physical health will come more into focus. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Well Being Wednesday

It looks like spring has finally arrived (for now) here in the Northeast!!! Well, here we are it's Wednesday again time to share the success and failures of the past week also, it is the day that I share this week's weigh - in.  Since I have chosen to only weigh in every other week here you go
                                       4/9/13 - 136.00
                                       4/24/13 - 138.0
That is an increase of 2 lbs since last weighing in, all of which I am sure could be explained by water fun being a girl. 

I have been trying to continue to make healthy choices not only for myself but for my family.  I had one day recently where the candy/snack drawer and I got reintroduced, leftover Easter candy, cookies, gum, etc... and at the end of the day I felt so awful.  Not awful in my mind or guilty for eating it but in my body.  I felt bloated and disgusting, no desire to even eat the dinner I prepared for my family, I did not like feeling like that.  I was doing so well, realizing that a piece of candy or a cookie was all it took to curb my sweet tooth, I don't know what happened that day but I own it.

I have been trying to get on an actual schedule for exercising, emphasis on trying but its not as easy as I thought.  I have been squeezing in exercising when ever I can, even if it is 10 lunges at a time or 15 wall push-ups, it is something.  Recently while using a container of peanut butter (in lieu of weights) my son H came in the room and began laughing, and I don not blame him I'm sure it looked funny but after a chuckle or two he began imitating what I was doing.  My daughter often asks me if we can do yoga, and by them seeing me exercise they are learning a valuable lesson at a young age. A similar thing happened after lunch the other day, I had made a plate of various raw veggies to nibble on and immediately after seeing mine they each asked for a plate of their own, and began munching away.  We have always had a wide assortment of healthy snacks available to them, fruits, veggies, air popped popcorn, organic crackers and the like but seeing they were role modeling my behavior made me again realize how important it is for us to set good examples for the next generation.  Now if I had come in the living room with a cookie or a piece of candy there is no doubt that they would have wanted that, but nope they chose the veggies just like I had.

So share your ups and downs this week by linking up with me at Perfectly Imperfect Mama's and tell us what tips and tricks you have for healthy eating. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Well Being Wednesday

As I write this Well Being Wednesday post my heart is aching for a city that is 45 minutes north of me, for the people who epitomize the phrase "Well Being", the racers of the Boston Marathon and the people of Boston. Marathon Monday is one of the most highly anticipated sporting events in New England and the world, I can't think of any other day besides Red Sox opening day at Fenway that says "spring has arrived". People come from all over the world, each with their own stories of why they are competing, whether it be for purely competitive reasons, to celebrate a dramatic weight loss, or to raise awareness of an organization or cause. These are all great reasons to celebrate, only someone from somewhere who believes whatever tried to take the celebration away from those running, those who were watching family and friends do something amazing, away from all of us runners or not. Forever changing not only an amazing city but changing many people's lives forever.

As someone who has visited this city several times (it's 45 minutes away), has a discussion at least twice a year about moving there, craves the thrill of Fenway Park, the smells, the people, the history, I will never look at Copley Square, Boylston St or the history the same way again...but now that history has forever been changed. Bostonians are tough people, strong people and most importantly resilient people, as a city they will be ok but as individuals they are forever changed.

Personally I love watching coverage of Marathon Monday, I love to see those runners pushing with every ounce of their bodies just to cross the finish line, and I am inspired to be healthier, to be a better person, to just do it. Heck if these people can run 26.2 miles in any weather I can surely do 10 crunches or squats in the comfort of my home. I admire those runners, the folks who are doing something amazing regardless of their abilities.

This is not the original WBW post I had envisioned just like crossing the finish line the way some did wasn't what they envisioned. I was going to talk about my birthday splurge of ice cream cake, how I avoided soda at a party this weekend, how I completed an actual cardio workout yesterday.....not professing my love for Boston. The meaning of WBW is both physical well being and emotional well being, and I guess my emotional well being is what needed to be shared this week.

I will be linking up with other bloggers over at our new project Please head over to see our progress and like our FB and Twitter pages.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What a difference a year makes.....or does it

T minus 10 hours, that is all I have left as a 36 year old. Tomorrow marks my 37th birthday (I am writing this on April 10) and it got me thinking about this past year and all I wanted to accomplish and hoped to do. I had hoped to take a vacation, didn't do that; had thought I would have my own car by now, nope; so desperately hoped we would have bought a house and be out of our too small apartment, negative...see where I am going with this? Now before you say "this is all that went wrong", I am going to say no thats not all, those are just the things that popped into my mind at this moment. There's a heck of a lot of other things that I could mention, like Mr.O being in and out of the hospital all summer, the unexpected change to our income that we are still trying to recover from, the fact that maybe I wasn't meant to homeschool....see there are other things I could say. I wish there had been more good things that stood out in my mind about this past year, more trips to the ice cream shop, more rides to the shore, more laughs and less tears. All in all 36 could have been a better year, while I am grateful that I have 2 healthy children, that we have a place to call home and we can put food on our table it has been a rough year.

This week started off amazingly well (see post entitled "How I spent my Saturday night") it gave me hope that 36 was going to end on a high note, but alas it didn't. Over the past several years Mr O and I have had a rough go of it, between illnesses, money problems, car accidents, PPD, among various other situations, and I said to a friend today "seriously, can we just get a bit of a break"?? To which she answered "As I sit here listening to you, I am asking myself why does life give some people so much to handle"? I've often wondered the same thing...if wisdom comes with age then why can't I figure it out?? Why does life, karma, the universe give some people everything at once?? As the conversation went on I was reminded that I have a wonderful group of friends, whom without them to lean on I would be nothing. I have a supportive husband who always listens to my ranting and raving, bitching and crying, laughing and giggling and most importantly supports every decision I make.

So I think I've decided that I am going to face 37 without any expectations, without expecting to go on vacations or getting a new car. Without hoping to move or that all our problems are going to miraculously get better, that all matters concerning finances will disappear. Instead I am going to expect and assume nothing. Negative you may say, not really. I can think about where and what I would like to have happen in the next year, but not set my heart on it as I've done in years past, the disappointment is not worth it. So here's to 37, may it be a year filled with happy days and peaceful nights, a year filled with laughter and love, a year of good times with even better people....and if not I will handle it the best way I know how, lean on my friends, wipe my tears, maybe sulk for a few days then I will pick myself up and look forward to the next day!!!!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Well Being Wednesday

Here we are, Well Being Wednesday time to share my successes and failures with you all. First of all lets start with the weigh in:
3/27 - 138.5
4/9 - 136.0

So that's down 1.5 lbs, which is good because for a while I was convinced my scale did not have the ability to display any other numbers!!! I have decided to weigh-in every other week, that way I am hoping my success will have more of an impact on me and be greater.

The last two weeks haven't been very successful in the exercise department. With H having the stomach bug and me taking a nasty fall, I wasn't in any shape to exercise. Combine that with a 3 day long migraine, ugh nothing was moving!!!!

Even though I haven't been losing pounds and toning as much as I would like, I have made some good changes to my life and daily diet. During the past few weeks I have also given in to my love for candy, with Easter and all, but after a couple of days of not caring and eating ALOT of candy I felt gross, healthy food didn't even appeal to me. I knew at that moment I couldn't do that again, I know the way I want to look by the summer and it isn't going to happen by eating candy and sitting on my butt (trust me, I've tried that)!!! The warmer weather seems to have made its appearance in the Northeast, hoping that may be just the push I need to start moving. Either walking, doing yoga with the windows open and maybe even some swinging at the playground with H&Z!!!

I have drastically cut down my soda consumption from 1-2 cans a day to 1-2 cans a week, which is huge for me. I have also cut down on my candy consumption,(excluding that mini binge fest) recently we went to Sweenors (a local candy store) and instead of buying a box of sugary sweets I just bought 1 dark chocolate marshmallow filled egg that I ate over a week later. On the same day hubby offered to buy me a milkshake from Newport Creamery (another local eatery) and I thought he was going to faint when I said "no thanks". I am drinking lots more water than I ever have, even when I was pregnant and eating yogurt just about every day.

I've learned that its ok to have 1 piece of candy and that satisfies my sweet tooth, or if I am really wanting a chocolate bar to have a small piece of dark chocolate and eat it slowly. And who knew that I really do not need dessert every night?? I've become more aware of what I am eating and how much of it I am eating. While I am not seeing the physical changes I want to see I am aware that I am making positive changes, and that is important.

This week I'm happy to announce that along with some other amazing mom's we are launching our new website and blog Perfectly (IM)Perfect Mamas  . We are very excited to embark on the new adventure, and invite you to come over and see what we are all about!!! And while you are there share some of your successes and failures, what changes are you making to be a healthier you?? And please "LIKE" our Facebook page!!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

How I spent my Saturday night....

It is 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 and myself and 4 other amazing mom bloggers are locked inside a furniture store, have I peaked your interest yet? We are sitting here to raise money for Belle, a two and a half year old who is battling for her life against ALL leukemia. She was diagnosed late in 2012 and and has already endured more than than any child should. Belle has had to have spinal taps, platelet transfusions, chemotherapy, amongst other medical treatments and this will be her life for the next two and a half years. So for the weekend of April 5-7 members of Rhody Bloggers and Rhody Bloggers for Good were holding a "Sit-A-Thon" to raise money in order to help cover her medical expenses.

Over the course of the weekend there were bake sales, face painting, visits from retired Patriots players, and even Santa showed up!!! The raffle prizes were amazing and included gift certificates, paintings, home furnishings, and gift baskets. Throughout the weekend friends were made, stories were shared and tears were shed. This event would not have been possible without the help of La-Z-Boy of Warwick and their amazing staff, the professionals that donated services, or the mutual love that that we all shared for sweet Belle and her family.

Here are a few pictures from the amazing weekend.

This hair clip was created by Kayleigh's Klippes to help support the family

The amazing Belle and the poster that was circulated on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and Instagram

Belle's mom, Melissa accepting the check for $10,000 that was raised this weekend!!!!!!

Some of the Rhody Bloggers who participated in this amazing event this weekend!!!!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Funnies....

TGIF!!!! To wrap up this week I thought I would share some of the funny things the littles have said recently. Whether in the car or in the bath they always have something to say.

H recently explained how some baby animals eat "Baby reindeer drink from their mothers corks, just like baby cows". I've never heard it explained like that before.

"It wouldn't be cold in the garage if we put a hot air conditioner in there".

One day while flipping channels Z had this to share with me "Mommy you should buy that mascara and look like Lady Gaga".

At dinner recently H said "see these pieces of food? Well they are a little shy about going to my stomach, so is it ok if I just throw them away?"

During a game of Hungry Hungry Hippos H says "I've lost my marbles, where are they?" Ummm I will let you know when I find mine I wanted to say!!!!!

Last night Z says to her Bubby "I'm done with these necklaces, can I put them in your dressing room?"

As the saying goes "from the mouths of babes", kids say the darnedest things!!! What are the funny things you have heard from a child recently? Have a great weekend and remember to enjoy the little things....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WBW....Well Being Wednesday

Process - a systematic series of actions directed to some end.  Also defined as a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner.

Journey - a traveling from one place to another, trip or voyage

Process and journey, these are two words that have become a big part of my life this year. Together with six amazing women, I am on a journey towards better health, a journey that will allow me to be here for my children, my family, and my friends for many years to come. As with any journey there was preparation, I had to prepare myself for setbacks, I had to prepare my mind for change, and prepare my house for a path towards healthier eating. As I mentioned above I am not on this journey alone, with me are six other mom's, we all have young children, some of us work and some of us are SAHM's, we each bring our own challenges to the table. We share ideas and support each other in our own journeys.

"It's not the product, its the process". As a teacher this quote applied to my students daily, but now I find it has a new purpose. I am in the process of becoming healthier, the process of setting a good example for my children, the process of becoming a better me. While of course I want the end product to be a healthier, better, stronger (both mentally and physically) wife and mother I must remember it is a process. These things are not going to happen overnight, they take time. It is not about fast and drastic changes, but rather small changes each day or each week that will stay with me for a very long time!!!!

Are you on a journey this year towards a better you? What is your process? Each Wednesday I will be posting my successes, failures, tips and tricks I've encountered that week. I invite you to check out my friend Michele's blog over at Dodging Acorns and link up with her to share your story!!!

Now for the stats:
3/20/13 - 138 lbs
Seeing as this is my first week doing a Well Being Wednesday post I will start posting my weight beginning today, and not from January when this journey first began.

The following statement has been making its way around social media outlets lately and I look at it daily and think about what means and apply it to my day.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Throwback Thursday!!

Shoes shoes glorious shoes, ahhhh how I love thee....I have a lot of shoes, different colors and styles, sneakers and heels, boots and flip flops, fashionable and non necessarily fashionable but comfortable. Comfortable, isn't that what shoes should be?? I know plenty of people who wear shoes that are either too tight or too big, some are too high while some are just good looking.

The shoes that inspired this post aren't fashionable, aren't too tight or too big, in fact they aren't any of the things I mentioned above except comfortable...they are my "Crocs". I love these shoes, I own 3 pairs black, pink and my favorite pair navy blue. Like most of the world I wasn't in love with these shoes when they hit the shelves of mainstream America, but not long after I found out I was pregnant with H, I discovered them. They were the only shoes I could comfortably get on and wear for part of my pregnancy and afterwards!!!! They are great to wear in airport security lines too, no laces to contend with, and can be taken off and put back on without any exertion.

I like these shoes for many reasons besides comfort, I can walk in the ocean water without them becoming heavy with absorbed water, they dry quickly, I can throw them on and run errands, they can be tossed in a bag without taking up much space, and I can wear them when gardening...ok, that last one was a joke but I do know many people who wear them when gardening. Now that I have a bad back my Crocs are surprisingly the only shoes that do not bother it. Why is this, I don't know. All I know is that I am a proud Croc's wearer, and sing their praises to anybody who will listen.

Now I know these shoes aren't exactly a "throwback" and I'm not sure how long something has had to be around to be considered a "throwback", but I thought this may be a good starting off point!!!

I received no compensation, or reimbursement of any kind for writing this, just a Croc's fan.

Friday, March 8, 2013

What TGIF means to me...

TGIF...Thank God (goodness) It's Friday, boy has this term changed for me. At one point these words meant the work week was over and welcome to the weekend. I could hang up my teaching hat (mostly) and be me, I could stay up late watching Leno or SNL, sleep in a little, take it easy...ahhhhh!!

It used to be come Wednesday Mr. O and I would start making plans for the upcoming weekend. Dinner out with friends, catching that great movie we had been wanting to see, maybe heading to Boston for the day. Of course every weekend wasn't this exciting, but we were able to do these things if we so chose.
Fast I'm a stay at home mom and many people would probably say that I don't get the privilege of saying "TGIF" to which I would say "WHAT"!!! Of course I do, my weekends may be very different than they once were, may be a little more child friendly, but I still look forward to each and every Friday!!!

Friday still signals the end of the work week and while I may not be working in the traditional sense, I do work. Friday also means that Mr. O will be home for 2 days which allows us as a family many opportunities and allows myself the chance to get caught up from the week or a chance to steal sometime for myself, who cares if its at Stop & Shop.

Now that the warmer weather (cross fingers) is coming I am excited about the weekends especially!! Neither of the children take naps or rests on the weekend so that means no "we have to get home for Z's nap" or plan our day around it, that leaves the whole day open. We can go on many adventures together. We are looking forward to spending many weekends outside, either playing at the water table, swinging at the playground among many other things. Much different than how our weekends once were....

The weekend is now full of going to the zoo, meeting friends for ice cream, taking a day trip to the aquarium or maybe just staying home and playing "Candyland", which is our new favorite around here!!! Saturdays and Sundays are a time to get laundry caught up (ideally), make those arts and crafts that maybe we didn't get to during the week, maybe for Mr. O and I watching a show that we DVR'd during the week because we were too tired to stay awake. Once and a while it even means the chance for a "date night" and going to dinner at a restaurant we normally wouldn't go to!!!

Whatever the weekend brings, whatever TGIF means to you I hope it is enjoyable, relaxing and most of all fun!!! What does TGIF mean to you? Has it changed in the past few years? Do you still look forward to it?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A gal can dream....

Now that winter is officially a month away from being over many people are not only thinking and wishing for warmer days but are planning for them too. My inspiration for this post comes from a writing prompt I saw on, she rolls out a new list of writing prompts every Tuesday, so if you are stuck check her out. One of this weeks prompts was to "Describe your pretend vacation home"...well twist my arm.

It should come as no surprise to people that know me that my vacation home would be on a beach, or at the very least less than a one minute walk from one. Now I wouldn't want to be on a tropical island surrounded by palm trees and coconuts, that's not practical...I mean after all who feels like going to the beach when it's 100 degrees, not this girl. So I would rather my pretend vacation house be on a quiet beach, somewhere that it is not too hot. Preferably not too close to the hustle and bustle of the beach community but not too far away from the necessity's.

My vacation house would also be well insulated, after all I want to enjoy this pretend house all year around. It would be 2 floors, with all the living space on the first floor and bedrooms on the second floor. I would definitely take advantage of the amazing views I had by having large expansive windows. With big comfy chairs right in front of them for enjoying the views. The furniture would be comfortable and not too stuffy, after all this would not be a museum. Big oversized sofas and chairs, a large square coffee table where. We could play a board game on a rainy day or put snacks on for everyone to munch on after a day in the surf.

Now these next two things would be a necessity to me, and outside shower and a sleeping porch. I have always loved the practicality of an outside shower, wash off when coming back from the beach or even from just building sand castles. Imagine taking a shower with just the light from the moon and stars before retiring for the night....The next thing I would have is a sleeping porch, that's right a whole space devoted to sleeping besides a bedroom. The sleeping porch would be off the master bedroom (but also accessible from another point of entry), it would be a place to read, spend some time alone just gazing out at the ocean, or my favorite, dozing while listening to the sounds of the ocean. Comfy pillows, soft light blankets, and a selection of books sounds delightful!!!

The kitchen would be an open plan kitchen so that we could take advantage of those amazing views once again. Just like the other living spaces it would also be comfortable and able to be lived in. A big table with plenty of extra chairs to accommodate any last minute visitors would be the main eating table. An outdoor pizza oven would be a great place to prepare dinner and then eat on the deck, with the aroma of the pizza lingering in the air.

In the bedrooms all beds would be facing the ocean, once again to take advantage of the view and listen to the waves. The rooms would all be painted white with colorful accents inspired by the ocean, flowers, and natural landscape surrounding the home. Ultimately I would want any vacation home either pretend or real to be comfortable and able to accommodate many people visiting either for the day or longer. Any vacation home of mine would not be a showplace but rather a fun place where my family and I could come to recharge our batteries, spend time together, and ultimately have fun....after all isn't that what a vacation is all about????

Where would your vacation home be? A cozy chalet in a ski destination? An apartment in a high-rise right in mid-town Manhattan? Somewhere familiar or a new adventure? Let your imagination go and tell me where it took you....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Live in the Moment

Live in the moment, such a short sentence 4 words in fact that can change a persons whole day, whole year, whole life. That is what I'm trying so hard to do, Live In The Moment. Not to worry so much what I have to do or where I have to go next, not worrying about the future and what it may or may not hold both for me and my family. I'm good at telling other people they need to do that very thing at various points during life, so why is it that I have such hard time doing just that? Why do I have a hard time living in the moment?

What does it mean to Live in the Moment? Does it mean to forget about the dishes that need to be done so that you can play, to forget about the loads of laundry that need to be folded and allowing yourself to do something fun instead or does it mean to not worry about getting clothes dirty while digging in the garden? I've come to realize this simple sentence can mean different things to everyone.
For me it means not folding the laundry and play matchbox cars with H, or not cleaning my bedroom because Z wants me to color with her. One night it meant doing something that wasn't planned but turned out great when Mr. O said (while getting ready for a night out) "lets go get our tattoo's tonight we have nothing else planned".

When my children were babies it seemed so much easier for me to live in the moment, wanting to witness every step, every coo, every word, but as the children have gotten older it seems harder for me to do this. It seems we live in a world where we always have a reason not to be present or in the moment. Whether it is a work commitment, or a phone call that needs to be made, there is always a reason.

I want to be a mother who is busy creating memories instead of missing them, I want to be in the moment and appreciate whatever is going on, I want to Live in the Moment whatever the moment brings. Now I know it isn't going to be as easy to do this as I am making it seem, but I am going to try to be more in the moment. And just in case I forget I have my newest Alex and Ani bracelet to remind me. Right now I am off to go play restaurant with my babies....
What does Live in the Moment mean to you? How do you live in the moment?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Favorite Childhood Meal

Being raised in a primarily Italian & Portuguese family, food was a big part of my life. As soon as anyone mentioned having a party or celebrating a holiday, the first thing that was discussed was the food that was going to be served.


When this prompt was provided by Carla at I began thinking of what my favorite childhood meal was. Was it the ham dinner that we had every Christmas, was it my Grandmothers homemade waffles or could it be the July clam boil that was a family tradition for many years??? 

There are so many different meals that I enjoyed, and still do enjoy, but my favorites were the ones prepared by my grandmother (she was 100% Italian). Now, I was very fortunate to have my grandmother in my life until I was 31 years old, so that's a lot of meals. One of my favorite meals didn't involve what we were eating, but rather the conversation that went with it.

I remember it was her birthday and everyone was going over to my grandparents’ house, including my mother, my husband, and myself. My grandmother had made meatloaf (not my favorite), and as dinner was finishing, as we were finishing our clean up, my grandmother began opening her presents. You see, I was waiting to tell her that I was pregnant with my first child -  her first great grandchild!!! Needless to say the anticipation of sharing this news that she had been waiting years to hear was making me giddy. What followed next was a mix of happy tears, questions and lots of hugs. 

Even though the prompt for this blog was a favorite childhood meal, this was by far one of the most favorite meal memories of my fact all meals I shared with my grandmother are my favorite.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Congratulations, it's a....

This is my first time doing a link-up!!!  Through the encouragement of my friend Michele over at Dodging Acorns from a blog that she follows about life before we became Mom's.  I will post my entries over at and here at .  I am looking forward to gaining more followers and spreading some joy to others through my other posts. 

Hard to believe there is now a whole generation of women having babies that do not have to wait until the delivery day to find out if they will need pink or blue booties for their little one. As we know it always hasn't been that way, in the history if medicine ultrasounds to reveal a baby's gender is relatively a new thing. When my mother was pregnant with me and heading past her due date she had X-Rays to see how big I was, but not to reveal my gender.

I do not remember my mother ever saying if she had a feeling of whether I was a boy or a girl, all I know is that she said she had always liked the name Christopher, she never thought of a girls name so when I arrived my parents were clueless.  Now when I was born mothers and babies stayed in the hospital considerably longer than the 48 hours required today, so they had some time to think about a name.  Finally they decided on Michele Anne, Michele after someone my mother knew in high school that passed away and Anne just like all my father sisters and because his middle name is Allen.  Now here is the funny part, my parents had no idea how to spell Michele, hence the 1 "L" unlike the way most people spell it with 2 "L's".  I remember growing up my mother would always say "Michele with one L and Anne with an E".

I always thought my name was rather boring, unlike other names I thought were more exciting....Elizabeth, Rebbecca, Zoe (my daughters name) those at least had cute nicknames.  Growing up I was always called Mich, Chele, Meesh, it drove me crazy.  The only people that I didn't mind calling me a nickname were my grandparents, because I know from them it was special.  I can still hear them saying all my nicknames in my mind even though they have been gone for a combined 4 years.  I also remember when I liked my name because my initials spelt a word MAP, just like my father and I thought that was pretty cool!!!  When I was getting married I originally was going to change my last name, but then realized that I had no brothers, or male cousins, my sister was already married and changed her name, so I was the carrier in a way of our last name.  Now I know that I will not be able to make the name go on forever as my children have Mr.O's last name but my name is mine, it was mine long before I was Mrs. O or C's wife, long before I was H or Z's mother.  My name is something I do not mind as much now that I am 36, in the teaching world I am known as Michele Patnaude, many people know me as only that.  So as the saying goes, "that's my story and I'm sticking with it"

Monday, January 14, 2013

Oh sleep where are you??

Happy Monday!!!! That's my extent of Monday morning excitement. After a weekend spent partially with friends and partially just hanging out at home with the littles I was very much looking forward to a good sleep (as good as any parent ever gets), HA was I wrong!!!! After watching the Golden Globes with Mr. O while chatting on g-chat with some girlfriends off to bed I went, only to be awake every hour.
Now when I was working I would always have a hard time sleeping on Sunday nights. I would be thinking about which lessons to present, which materials to show children, what special activities were planned for that week, but now I don't have any of that to think about. Perhaps those thoughts have been replaced by thoughts of doing laundry, what to do with the littles this week, who has appointments and such. So today has been filled with water, tea, keeping busy and playing with the littles and hoping for a second wind or a nap!!!
What types of things do you do to assure a restful nights sleep???

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

And so it begins...

Aaaachho, as a mother I instinctively look over to see which child sneezed and see "the eyes" on H. Every parent knows what I mean by "the eyes", the tired, glossed over look that a child has when they are coming down with a cold. This is how our weekend began. Last week Z had the sniffles but thankfully one day and it was over. "It must be the dry air" we said "it had to have been the Christmas tree" we hoped, but when H started with the sneezes we knew it wasn't. So on Saturday with H just sneezing, and in a good mood we went about our day, catching the "Splash" show at our local Jordan's furniture store (an amazing water show set to music, that's free), grabbed some lunch and did a couple other quick errands, including a stop at Target to stock up on tissues and such. By the time we got home in the late afternoon my poor boy was officially sick, into pj's and climbed into my bed where he stayed until mid-morning on Sunday.
When H & Z are sick I usually will give them Tylenol to fight the aches and fever but usually we rely on the Hylands all natural homeopathic line of cold medicines and Delsym to calm the coughs, especially at night. I know there is a lot of controversy over giving children cold medicine, and I agree to over-medicate is not good, but I'm sorry when my children are crying because their noses hurt so much from us wiping it I am going in with something to help their runny noses therefore hopefully stopping any tears.
I also try and keep them away from milk and other dairy products, again I know semi-controversial but in my children it makes them cough more. When they are sick we stick to 100% juices, water and all natural popsicles. If they feel like eating something usually its fair game, if they want waffles for dinner or only fruit, so be it!!!!
Just as adults use handkerchief, so do H & Z, well technically it is a cloth diaper but it works just the same. I stumbled upon this idea one time when they were both sick and going through tissues in record speed, I dug through some if their stuff and voila there they were. By giving them each a cloth as they call them, it allows them to always have it by their side, to use it more than once and especially at night saves Mr. O and I from waking up to sneezing children in our face. At the end of each day I take the dirty, germ filled cloths and throw them in the wash with bleach and they are ready to go again in the morning.
This weekend was the first time H willingly let me put some "Baby Vicks" on him before bed, (partly because he was to tired to argue against it) and combined with sleeping on 2 pillows, he had a much better night on Sunday. Although I forgot to also put it on his feet, yep I said feet...I do not know how this helps a cough but it definitely does.
These tips and tricks combined with lots of cuddles and plenty of Disney Jr assure a quick recovery every time. Now to get the germs out for good before we ride the cold carousel again...too late, Z has another round of the sneezes and coughs. I hope that you and the little ones in your life stay healthy this winter!!!!!
Now for today's little thing....that would have to be Johnson & Johnson's menthol baby bath...who wouldn't want to take a bubble bath, and the fact that it is helping to clear nasal passages is great for children and adults alike!!!!!

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 a year of change!!!

Happy 2013!!! A new year brings with it new opportunity, new chances, new everything. Already this year is changing me, literally!!! Just before Christmas my bestie had said this was the year she was going to get healthy, she wants to be around for a long time, for herself and for her family. Getting back into pre-baby health has been on my radar also, so along with 2 other friends we decided to go on this journey together. So here we are a group of 4 girlfriends supporting each other, laughing, sharing our success and our failures but never judging!!!! We are realistic, we know there are going to be days when exercising or making sensible healthy food choices aren't possible (we are mothers with small children, we HAVE to be flexible) but we also know that the next day is another chance to implement healthy strategies. We also aren't saying that we are running marathons, or striving to be in weight lifting contests, what we are striving for is to be healthy both in body and mind.

I have also decided to start blogging more, at least 2-3 times a week and to build my meager following!!! Now this means I am changing the direction I originally wanted to go with this blog, yes it is still important to me to realize "the simple things" in our lives I also see the need for me to explore more topics. I will make a point of including at least one "simple thing" in each post and occasionally feature them in longer posts.

Today's simple thing has to be my Merrell's, I love these shoes and with their wide treads they make walking on the ice and snow just a bit easier!!!!