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 www.allofmenow.com 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 life....in 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 dodgingacorns.wordpress.com from a blog that she follows allofmenow.com about life before we became Mom's.  I will post my entries over at allofmenow.com and here at thelittlethings-unknown.blogspot.com .  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!!!!