Prior To Parenthood {For The Love Of Blog}

FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2008

More of us prior to parenthood!

Most of these pictures show our love for travel…hopefully baby will feel the same way!!
Dinner in Ambergris Caye
Yellowstone
Chatsworth House (Derbyshire, England)
Manchester, England
The City of Light
Lake of the Ozarks
Missouri Botanical Garden
Zion National Park
Antelope Canyon
Nashville
It’s Dr. Audi! (Philadelphia)
New York City

St. Louis for my brother’s wedding

Disney World

Lake Powell
And now…

It’s MODERN DAY!

As in September 6, 2014.

Keep in mind that we were living in San Antonio when that blog post was written.  Hence the reason for our visiting St. Louis for my brother’s wedding and then traveling to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  At that point in time we weren’t yet St. Louisans!  Weren’t we such babies in those pictures???  I don’t quite know where the time has gone.  I guess 12 years tends to age a person. *wink*

Have you been to any of the places we traveled?

Not Challenge Worthy?

The Ice Bucket Challenge has come and gone.  This was an AMAZING way to raise awareness for the horribleness that is ALS.  I’ve never been personally touched by this disease, but my heart aches for those families who have and are currently going through it.  And the sufferers.  I’m so very sorry.  Such a very debilitating problem that needs to be solved.   Prior to the challenge I didn’t realize just how many people are dealt this tragic card.  Honestly?  I only knew of TWO people and one wasn’t even technically in my circle.  I knew about Lou Gehrig, because I’ve seen the movie about his life too many times to count.  (My dad had it taped on VHS from the television and would constantly have us watch it in the 1980′s.)  Then as a teenager I had an acquaintance who’s father died of the disease.  But even then I associated it with the baseball player.  That’s all I knew.  I’m so grateful to have learned about ALS over the last month and have it placed in the forefront of my mind.  I hope that the momentum of awareness continues.

Now for my observations on the challenge itself…  No one challenged me to participate.  Not a soul.  I started to develop a complex with each passing day.  A paranoia of sorts.  Wondering when would be MY fateful day.  The day I would be dumping a bucket of ice cold water on my head.  I shiver at the thought.  Only it never happened.  Not once.  Not a single challenge came across to me on the Facebook.  Meaning that I was unable to challenge another.  The devastation of not being able to participate.  I have 1,063 “friends” on Facebook.  As the weeks went by I watched many of them participating in the challenge.   They created these funny videos.  I laughed.  They donated.  I applauded.  All the while plotting out what I would do in my own video.  But my chance never came.  Was I a total after thought?  Not worthy of the challenge?  My insecurities started to tug from a deep place.  Everyone was leaving me behind.  How was I to catch up with the rest?  Get in the game?  I was almost to the point of making my own video that  said something like, “No one challenged me, so I’ve elected to challenge myself.  So there.” and then over my head with the bucket.  Almost.  Why didn’t I?  There’s no reason why I couldn’t have.  Maybe the fear of desperation?  At any rate I missed my chance to be a part of something big.  Something life changing for someone else.  I should have just participated and not waited for someone to send out my challenge.  For that I will forever be wondering, “What if?”

That all being said, I’ve decided to put myself out there this month.  The month of September 2014.  My family started a tradition just last year of participating in the Light the Night walk here in St. Louis.  My mom has Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  We have a team.  We will be walking the night of September 27th.  So here’s my challenge to you…  I’m not going to challenge any dumping of ice buckets.  That would be  riding on the coattails of another great cause.  So my challenge has nothing to do with ice buckets.

All that I ask is that you do something dandy for someone else.  

We live in a dandy world and there’s no reason why we can’t make sure that it keeps being dandy.  Or make it even more dandy.  The dandiness you provide another can be simple.  You can simply smile at someone who looks like they need one.  You know.  That haggard looking mother who is struggling to get through the grocery store with her young children?  Give her the thumbs up.  Tell her it’s going to be okay.  The janitor at your kid’s school?  When you see him or her while in the hallway after PTO lets out… Smile and say thank you for all that they do.  How about that person needing to change lanes on the roadway?  Let them in front of you and don’t be angry about it.  I guarantee that by doing so you will only arrive to your destination about five seconds later than you originally expected.  It can even be Facebook related.  Someone posts something that you don’t necessarily agree with.  Do you comment knowing full well that it could cause an argument?  Or knowing that it’s not the most dandy way in which you should respond?  Then don’t.  Just stop and think before you act.  If it’s something that could lead down the road less dandy then don’t go down that road.  Now if it’s something dandy then act away!  :)

I’m not going to put a donation requirement on this challenge, but if you so desire…  Please donate just $1 directly to our team fundraising page on the LLS website:  Walking For Gran.  I know that all of our efforts (both big and small) will be dandy!

Thank you for being dandy!

Baby News!! {For The Love Of Blog}

THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2008

Baby News!!

I know the count down to baby says that we have 23 days to go, but it’s wrong! Due to my blood pressure issues we knew that he would be born before 40 weeks, but everything was always still up in the air. Well, I saw the doctor today and we are good to go! Sunday evening I will go into the hospital to have the induction process started. So Monday (April 14th) will be baby day! I’ll post pictures of him as soon as I can…although I may be quite busy next week! And yes he is still nameless!

Tales From The Recliner {For The Love Of Blog}

Tales From The Recliner

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

recliner

Well, I’ve been on bed rest since February 6th and I finally decided to try and figure out this blog thing! Why the delay you may ask? Especially since I’ve had plenty of extra time on my hands! For starters alot of my friends use this as a way to post pictures and updates of their kids for family and friends to see, so I was mostly waiting on the baby to actually be here to do that. Of course I’m clueless at creating it and I also delayed because I wasn’t really sure what to blog about. I mean how interesting would my blogs have been? Probably something like “day 32: yet another day spent on the couch” or “there was this really, really, really good show on daytime tv today” (catch the sarcasm?) or the ever popular “it is now day *input any # between 1 and 60* of my house arrest sentence”. There is only so much that a person can say about being stuck at home! And most people wouldn’t understand unless they have been through it. All you have to do is think of the most boring day of your life and multiply it by 2 months! Weeks ago one of my friends asked me if I was about to go insane. I told her that I was so past that!! You lose it pretty early on and then you just get used to it. Kind of reminds me of when our cat had to wear a cone around his neck for a month. At first he tried to get out of it, but after a while he just gave up! Sure it’s what I have my degree in, but I won’t bore you with all the psychology behind it! :)

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 at 9.46.31 AM

For The Love Of Blog

Remember when EVERYONE had a lifestyle blog?  All the friends from college.  Posting away about their families and all the fun adventures detailed in pictures.  It was nice wasn’t it?  I had one.  In fact I was just looking at my old family blog and getting all teary eyed with feelings of nostalgia.  My last post was on May 6, 2012.  The one before that was an entire year prior.  I’m not alone.  Looking at the sidebar roll call I can see that the majority of my friends haven’t posted in years!  So I ask you…  What happened to the world of blog?  What happened to the written word?  I guess Facebook happened.  Then Instagram happened.

Do you have a blog?  Did you used to have a blog?  Do you miss it?

smithblog

For the next little while I’m going back to my roots.  My blog roots.  Each week I’m going to be opening up and sharing a part of my life that I’ve never shared with you before.  I’ll be going back old school and sharing posts from family blog.  The one that never sees any action.  I’ll be sharing from start to finish.  With the occasional edit here and there to protect the privacy of others mention in that little ole blog.  *wink*  I’m bringing back the love of blog.  Yes, I am.

towerbridge

GrooveBook {Giveaway} – CLOSED

I’m a picture taking fiend.  Okay I used to be.  Well, I still am…  Just in a different stage of life with my picture taking.  See back in the day I actually took photography classes.  I’m talking college level photography classes.  I used (still own ‘em) fancy cameras.  As in plural.  More than one fancy camera.  There are even some fancy lens to go with those fancy cameras around here somewhere.  The Audi and I traveled to these exotic places.  To Belize.  To Europe.   And I took pictures.  I liked to photograph architecture.  Or beautiful scenes.  Not people.  I detested people pictures.  Well, then we had children.  Our exotic vacations became trips to a certain magical theme park.  Nothing wrong with that.  We are loving this time in our lives.  Our vacations are now magical, because our children are having a magical time.  Do I have time to whip out my fancy camera on our magical vacations?  No.  The kids are way too fast for that.  Who has time to mess with the camera of my dreams when the kids will bolt?  I have to snap pictures In. The Moment.  What do I always have on hand?  This:

phone

Pay no attention to the fact that I have a few text messages that haven’t been viewed yet.  Also, pay no attention to the fact that I have over 60,000 emails…

So now I take pictures with my cell phone.

Hey, it’s still fancy, does a good job, and I preserve the memories!  :)

Before GrooveBook my photos would just hang out on my phone.  Until I had no memory left.

Now I get them put in a book once a month:

groovebook

What’s GrooveBook you ask?  Well, here you go…

 

The app is so easy to use.  You just upload your pictures each month (up to 100 photos) right from the convenience of your very own phone.  Then you get a dandy photobook instead of a full memory card.  Plus, each book is only $2.99 and that includes shipping!

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 8.12.10 PM

More?  A way dandy cover!

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 8.13.33 PM

I cannot wait to see which cover I get this month.

Try out GrooveBook for FREE!

Use coupon code ‘SMITH11′ and get your very own FREE GrooveBook!

Ready for the giveaway?  It’s a great one!!!  :)

One very lucky winner is going to receive 12 months of GrooveBook!!!

An entire year of GrooveBook!!!  How dandy is that?!

(Enter to win on the Rafflecopter below.)

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 8.12.58 PM

 *This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Monday, August 18th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by GrooveBook.  I received 12 months of GrooveBook for doing this posting and giveaway, but all opinions are strictly my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Joovy theBabaSling {Review}

Remember how I told you there would be an upcoming review from Joovy?  Well, well, well.  Now is the time.  First I have to take you back to the beginning of May…  If you follow us at all on Facebook then you will remember that we were vacationing in WDW at that time.  (Yes, we busted Banjo out of school to hit Disney before the crowds got crazy.)  Joovy sent us theBabaSling before we left on our trip.

joovy5

I’ve always liked to do the whole baby wearing thing, so was ecstatic to take it with us on our pre summer vacation.  Plus, theBabaSling is uber chic looking, so I’d be styling.  But then I got to thinking that I wouldn’t use it all that much, because we were after all taking our Joovy Caboose stroller.  Cache would just sleep in the main seat of the stroller, Ruby would sit/stand on the platform, and Banjo would walk.  That was the plan.  And all went according to plan…

joovy11

For about half of our first day in the magical world of mouse.

At first all was right in the world.  Baby Cache just road along sleeping, Ruby was more entertained by jumping off of her seat on the “train” and running around before getting back “all aboard”, and Banjo was quite content to walk along with his cousins.  Then EVERYTHING deviated from the plan!

Ruby became a hot mess and didn’t want to ride on the platform any longer.

joovy8

She wanted to SLEEP.

Need I remind you that this was our very first day in the most magical kingdom on earth?  And Banjo?  Well, he grew tired of walking.  He grew tired very fast.

joovy9
What happened?  Where did we go wrong?  Well, for starters we should have purchased a Joovy Big Caboose Triple stroller before heading Orlando.  That would have been the solution.  However already being in Florida when we made this discovery… We didn’t have that option.  We will definitely know for next time.  But since I had the handy, dandy BabaSling all was right again in the world!

baba2

The hammock style of the sling was perfect for carrying tiny Cache and the  comfort padding… perfect for my bum shoulder.  The shoulder I’ve had surgery on twice and I’m now a candidate for a total shoulder replacement.  What?  I’ve never told you about that before?  Yeah.  Remind me to tell you sometime all about my shoulder problem.  ;)

This sling carried Cache all over the parks.

He was able to meet all the characters just like the big kids.

joovy7

Can you believe that Stitch actually sports a Dandy Giveaway logo???  ;)

TheBabaSling comes in sooooo many beautiful and vibrant colors.

joovy

As you can see from our vacation photos we have it in Scarlet Red.  I can’t tell you how many compliments I received on it while at WDW.  Too many to count.  One stranger just came up to me to say, “That’s a nice looking sling!”  Why, yes.  Yes it is.  :)

Since Disney I’ve been using the BabaSling all over the place.  Particularly on the 4th of July at the lake.

joovy6

It was a long day.  The BabaSling put Cache right to sleep.

joovy

It’s my hero.

*This posting and review are sponsored by Joovy, but all opinions are strictly my own.

O Eclectic Tannenbaum in July

I call Christmas in July!  After all July 1st is tomorrow and it’s my blog, so I can do that.  Right?  Right?  *wink*  Plus, you all know that I LOVE Christmas.  It’s by far my most favorite holiday.  I do also really like Halloween, but I’m pretty sure you know that already, too.  There’s just something about the Christmas season.  All the Christmas decorations, Christmas smells, and ChristmasLightsEtc.com sales this month.  What’s not to love?  Anyway, today you are in for a real treat.  Are you ready for it?  I’ve decided that I’m going to share with you a part of my life that I’ve never done before.  I’m going to share with you something from my family blog.  A hush falls over the crowd and then…  The crowd goes wild!  Some of you may not know this about me, but before this blog I was actually already a blogger.  I had a little family blog that I maintained while we were living in San Antonio, Texas.  Far away from family and friends.  I should specify that I mean prior friends.  We did make friends in San Antonio.  I’m not that anti social.  *wink*  We lived in SA for 6 years.  I started a blog to share our lives and growing family with loved ones who lived elsewhere.  My very first blog posting was on April 8, 2008.  This was exactly 6 days before Banjo was born.  So I have been blogging for quite the long while.  For my Christmas in July special I’ve decided to share with you an excerpt from my little blog.   And here it is…

Monday, December 1, 2008

O Eclectic Tannenbaum – I love Christmas ornaments!! I’ve always been fascinated by the way the glass ones glint and reflect the lights. My mom was always one of the room-mothers when I was in elementary and she would give out these great handmade ornaments at the class Christmas party. I have one creative mother! However, why is the grass always greener…or in this case someone else’s Christmas tree always greener? I will admit that while I was growing up there were some years I envied others’ Christmas trees. They were all fancy and put together right out of a decorator’s magazine. Our tree was always quite eclectic. We put our school made ornaments on the tree no matter how they looked! 

DSC_0382

My brother and I even had our own box of ornaments to place on the tree. These were random ornaments we had collected over the years; first Christmas, special ornaments, gift ornaments, etc. We had so much fun picking just the right branches to hang our ornaments! Looking back I wonder why I ever had Christmas tree envy??? We had a great tree and a great family tradition! One that I will always remember and hold close to my heart. My parents made sure that it was about us feeling special and included around the holidays. And the tree itself displayed how we had grown over the years. I’m so thankful to my parents for instilling in me these valuable traditions and for giving me the type of tree that I want my own children to have!

A Smith Family Christmas Tree
DSC_0371
Our tree has also become very eclectic. Anyone who comes over around the holidays will find that I just love Christmas ornaments in all their randomness! When Audi and I got married my mom sent us my ornament box. Every year we have even gotten more memory making ornaments as gifts from people; our first Christmas married, in our new home, etc. I can’t wait for Banjo to one day bring home his beautiful school made ornaments and store them away in his very own box! We also started our own tradition of collecting ornaments from the various places we have vacationed. It is fun to decorate the tree together every year and remember what we have done and where we have been throughout the years.
christmas
*The End*
These days our Christmas tree still looks exactly the same.  With the exception of the additions of new ornaments from new travels and ornaments that Banjo has made.  Yay!  My wish came true!  I’ll have to share those with you sometime.  We’ve also embarked on the adventures of decorating the outside of the house.  I guess that comes from living in a more established neighborhood with children around.  Plus, we have to compete with all the St. Louis neighborhood light displays.  Not really, but we can try.  Or rather… dream, right?!  We still need to perfect getting the light strands to the top of the columns:
christmas5
That will come with time I’m sure.
Despite our failed column lights attempt…
We are so very grateful to finally live in a neighborhood that has a Christmas tradition of its own.
christmas2
Luminaries line our street every year on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
*This post was brought to you by MBN. All of the thoughts were completely my own.

Tinkerbell Costumes {Review}

All the world’s a stage. At least in Ruby’s world it is.  She loves to dress up and do performances.  The girl dances.  She sings.  Shouts out phrases from her favorites cartoons.  All in front of an audience.  In fact our back patio is often transformed into her own personal stage.  We have a short, decorative wall just beyond our patio.  It separates the patio space from the flower bed.  Ruby climbs up onto that short wall (she learned this from her older brother) and puts on quite the show.  Notice that I keep emphasizing that it’s a short wall.  *wink*    It is.  A very short wall.  No  worries about injuries resulting from the very short wall.  Whew.  Glad I got that out of the way.  *wink* Again.

And here is Ruby performing in Tinkerbell’s Disney debut!

tink4 See what I mean?  The girl even knows when to take a bow.

Definitely thinking we need to start saving for dance lessons now!

Even the back of this Tinkerbell costume is spectacular.

tink6

As you can see Ruby also just plays dress up as the little fairy:

tink10

Yep, she’s definitely a costume fanatic.

Sometimes costumes for toddlers are difficult to find, but not at Costume Supercenter.  This dandy shop sent our Ruby the Tinkerbell costume and she has been playing dress up in it a lot.  Ruby loves Tinkerbell.  Obviously.

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 6.43.02 PM

There are so many different costumes to choose from.  Several Tinkerbells, but also other toddler favorites:  Superheroes, animals, and a variety of cartoon characters.  It’s never too early to start shopping for Halloween, so be sure to take a look at all that Costume Supercenter has to offer.

We sure do love our little Tink.

tink8

*This posting and review are sponsored by CostumeSupercenter.com, but all opinions are strictly my own.

 

Mooshka Sing Around the Rosie Doll {Giveaway} – CLOSED

About my Ruby

A couple of years back when I found out that I was having a baby girl I was beyond ecstatic.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love all my children equally.  They each have their own unique qualities  and are so super sweet.  Basically I just love being their mommy!   *grin*   When Ruby came along I just knew that she and I would bond.  She would like all the things that I liked as a child.  She would like unicorn figurines.  She would like the creepy looking dolls that survived my childhood and were saved just for her.  She would like those plastic charm necklaces.  She would like to collect stickers in a sticker book.  She would like to get in shape girl.  Okay are you ready for a shocker?  I was a child of the 80′s.  I know.  You weren’t really able to figure that out already from my childhood likes list.  *wink*  Yes, Ruby was going to be just like me.  Exactly like me.  You know what?  She likes none of those things.  Not. At. All.  She likes music way more than I ever did.  The girl seriously walks around the house singing all day.  She likes super heroes, trains, and building blocks.  Basically anything and everything that her older brother likes.  She likes baby dolls that are so different than the ones of the 80′s.  They aren’t even remotely creepy looking!  Speaking of the dolls that she likes…

Combine her love of music with a cute doll and what do you get???

This adorable doll!

Here’s my Ruby playing ‘Ring around the Rosie’ with her new friend:

doll

 

 

Mooshka sent us her new friend and she has been having too much fun playing.  Banjo has even been joining in on the fun.  There are several “singing” dolls to choose from.  Each one just as cute as the next.  We have Lera and she’s perfect, because she resembles our little girl!

doll6

 

And… I’m giving away a Lera Mooshka doll to one very lucky winner!

(Enter to win on the Rafflecopter below.)

mooshka-logo

 

*This giveaway is open to US entries only.
*The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the evening of Monday, June 30th and will be emailed.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.
*This posting and giveaway are sponsored by Mooshka, but all opinions are strictly my own.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: