Great Gear for Your Little Rookie #RookieUSA #Cbias

Have you heard the buzz about Rookie USA?   They will carry great brands like Converse, Jordan, Levi's, Nike and more!  A kid's only retail destination that will carry all that you and your rookie will love for both casual and sports gear.  They aim to be a one stop shop for all your kids needs!  They will open a flagship store in Manhattan, NY in August, and an incredible online store this summer as well.  You can sign up for a $20 gift card on their site right now, it is very simple, it's almost too good to be true ;)  You can see a step-by-step view of how easy sign up is, as well as more pictures on my Google + album.

We are excited for the store opening of Rookie USA, as they will have all that my little rookie needs to look his best with comfort and interest.  Now that he is older we are looking into placing him in a little baseball league for the upcoming season, in the meantime he takes golf lessons nearby for fun.  Like most boys, my son loves to wear his casual sports gear on a regular basis, seems like Rookie USA will have tons of that!

My little boy has been into sports as far back as I can remember.  We took him to his first baseball game when he was one, and that lead him to carrying a bat around for two years straight.  I could be biased as his mom but he has one hell of a swing, from the first time he swung the bat. Some time in between we introduced him to golf, and so it was either a bat, or a golf club in his hand at all times. When he was younger, he even insisted on sleeping with whatever new item we had bought him that day, examples being a baseball glove, a little bat, a get the idea! ;)

We were fortunate enough to get a sneak preview of the merchandise they will carry when my little rookie received some great clothes from #RookieUSA.  Right away, I could tell you how excited I was to see comfortable, and adorable clothing for my little boy. Absolutely comfortable, stylish, with quality!

Some pictures of my little boy trying on his new clothes that he was very pleased with, as you can see.  Simple yet so stylish, shorts with "Dri-Fit/Stay Cool" technology, light cotton tops..I love them all!  Be sure to follow Rookie USA on Twitter, as well as become a fan on Facebook to keep up with the latest, make great conversation, as well as meet other parents anxious for the store opening.  Don't forget to sign up for the $20 gift card! ;)

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Rookie USA #CBias #SocialFabric

Wordless Wednesday

Looking through cakes we have ordered over the years for inspiration, and as a challenge for myself to make, allergy friendly of course.  My son wants me to make these for him, he always stops to request it when we are looking through our photo albums. ;)  
Cake from my son's first birthday
From one of my husband's birthdays

Love Yourself - Love Life - Live Life

It's so important to love your own body, and yourself.  As you are, no matter what.

Every woman that I know has some kind of an issue with their body.  Not one is pleased, there's always something to hide, and at least one thing they wish they could change.

I am right there with everyone.  I have always been unhappy with how I look, I look back and say how I wish I looked the way I did a year ago and so on.  Meanwhile if I think back, I was never happy with my body then.  It starts early on, from teen years for most women.  I have always felt I struggled with weight, and body image, but the more I open up to others I find I'm not alone.  If you are self conscious about how you look, it starts to affect how you are in social situations as well.

There are confident women out there I have come by who are so happy and proud to be who they are and how they look, and I totally look up to that.  Even if the world doesn't agree, they love themselves and it is a contagious outlook.  Everyone around you will love you, and see what you see if you focus on your beauty..not all physical.  Inner and outer beauty.

So my point, love yourself.  Learn to look at yourself in the mirror and love who you are.  Before anyone loves you, you have to love yourself as you are.

As a silly example, if every time you tried on a shirt, you looked at it and criticized how you looked in it, well everyone around you will just see that.  Now you try that again, but focus on something positive and put on a smile, everyone will see that instead.  If you continue to focus on what you don't like about yourself, that's what everyone including yourself will see-that will effect the way you see yourself (most important) then how everyone sees you.  So important to be confident about yourself in life.

We are all so different, we are all beautiful in our own way, and we all should love ourselves for our differences. :)  Our body image changes, we change our minds, we are always growing and evolving..go with it and smile at it all.  Live life to the fullest, focus on what's important to you, what makes you happy.

Sore Throat Treatments & At Home Remedies

I have been sick for a few days now, I get a little better but then bounce back to really sick.  It came on fast, I woke up fine, but by the time I went to bed I was in pain with a really bad sore throat.  I tossed and turned, got up and drank some tea.

Woke up in the morning to gargle with peroxide, and it seemed to help right away.  The pain was gone instantly.  But in a few hours, right around bedtime the pain returned.  I drank tons of tea with honey and lemon.

I've tried many little things to help rid this sore throat, that has been by far the worst I've ever gotten sick in a long time.  I can't take any medications because I'm pregnant, and since it has been a few days now, I have received many suggestions, and thought I'd share some here.  Here's a list of all that I tried so far, plus some that have been suggested:

  • Hot tea with lemon and honey
  • Hot milk with honey/chocolate
  • Spicy food/soup
  • Hot soup
  • Gargle with mouthwash
  • Gargle with peroxide
  • Gargle with salt water
  • Place mustard on the bottom of your feet and go under covers to sweat
  • Take a tablespoon of mustard
  • Cover yourself with a towel, breathe over hot boiled water with salt and baking soda, steam your throat
  • Drink lots and get some rest

So I will tell you what has worked for me, I'm still sick but what has helped me so far to deal.  Most effective has been hot boiled milk with honey, gargling with peroxide, hot showers, and the one that made me feel the best has been a hot cup of tea/milk then falling asleep.  An actual nap has been like a blessing to feeling better! :)  

Wanna Talk Cravings?

Cannot believe I have no image of my
NOW favorite dish in my albums.  Will take care of that
this weekend. ;)
Yup..I'm getting real creative...  About 17-18 weeks pregnant now, my mind has been slowly taken over by thoughts of food, sleep, and what's left of me is spent with my little boy.  And I have yet to mention the daily chores we do as moms.  Days have been passing by real fast.  I have a little bump that still can be confused as I ate too much.  Just trying to enjoy the pregnancy, and keep my mind off of being scared something will go wrong.  So let's talk cravings...

I love talking about food, more than ever before.  Last time I was like this I was pregnant with my son.  I've always said that I don't have cravings but now that I'm pregnant again..I do, I crave, and I crave very specifically.

Do you remember if you had any specific cravings?  I have been craving Fettuccine Alfredo, green salad with avocados, fruits and randomly I really want a beef patty with corn bread.  Nothing too strange right?  I craved the same things when I was pregnant with my son.  Only problem is that I want it, and would eat it everyday if I let myself.  My husband had to deal with me wanting Fettuccine Alfredo two days in a row, including for lunch because of leftovers, and had to stop me when I wanted to same thing the next day. LOL..  I haven't had any strange cravings like I've read about before, I've heard people wanting to eat matches, and sand.  Only difference this time around, so far, I'm not that into sweets which I'm thankful for.  With my son I wanted ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery every other week towards the end of my third trimester, hoping I don't get like that again. :P

So..that's it, I want lots of pasta specifically with Alfredo sauce, lots of greens, and lots of fruits, all of which I've had plenty of already.  I haven't had a beef patty with cheese and corn bread yet, last time I had one of those like that was years ago, when I was dating my husband.  I wonder if it will change as the weeks pass, probably will.  But I'm just glad that I'm not craving anything too bad, all in moderation right? :)

What are you craving? You don't have to be pregnant to be craving..hehe. ;)  I can talk food forever so share away!  


Reasons to Find Out Your Baby’s Gender #pregnancy

When I had my son I couldn't wait to find out what I was having, and found out as soon as possible.  Wouldn't have it any other way if we turned back time.  You may have noticed a few tweets, and status updates on Facebook that in 10 days I will find out the gender of my second baby.  I am so excited about it, sonograms have been my favorite part of this pregnancy, as close to being able to see the baby before the day of birth.

Like most expectant mothers, I have been reading up on tons of what to expect, what's going on with baby now, and so on recently.  And I ran into so many articles  about why you shouldn't find out the gender, but here are my reason why you should find out the baby's gender:

-You've already waited halfway into your pregnancy when you can find out, so it's surprise enough.
-You can start looking at gender specific baby clothes, and products.  I had a boy so "if" I have a girl I would love to start looking at the girls section in the store, the side I have yet to visit.  Or should I look at the little cute boys clothes, I need answers, don't you? :P  As much as I am for gender neutral colors, I have to admit I want to find out so I have more options while shopping or filling up my shopping cart.
- I don't need a "is it a boy/girl?" to keep me intrigued during labor, I have enough- wondering who my baby will look like.
-Everyone wants to know, so just find out and have an answer.  Do you really want to hear everyone guess, as they rub your belly with their fortune telling skills?! :)
-Enjoy the resources that are available to us now, unlike in our parents age, unless you are still holding back from carrying a cellphone as well..then well you and I - we are different. ;)
-You can start referring to your baby as "my baby girl" or "my baby boy" instead of just your baby.

On a serious note, I understand how waiting can be more exciting and different, but I personally cannot wait to find out. :)  One thing I do like to wait nine (really ten months) for is giving my child a name, I like to have some options and then seeing my baby to decide and announce.

Did you find out baby's gender or wait till baby was born to hear the those special words "It's a boy/girl"?

Big Apple Barbecue Block Party 2012

I went to the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party with my family last weekend.  Love finding different things to do or be a part of in the city, one of the highlights of living in New York City- there is always something going on.  We were able to try barbecue from pit-masters from different states who brought their signature plates.  Lines were long, plates were $8 so the expense does add up quite fast.  Was finally able to upload some pictures, and thought I'd share. :)
The lines were long, someone said as long as "Six Flags" lines.  They weren't kidding.
The smell of the natural wood charcoal alone was so good...
HUGE grills, def. not the ones we use in our backyard. ;)
Pit master Ed Mitchell from NC, himself...
Whole hog on a bun w simple Cole slaw...
Baby back ribs from another grilling station.
If you paid extra ahead of time for a "Fast Pass" you get shorter lines and
access to porter potties and hand washing stations.  Really.  A nice couple handed
their passes over to us when they were leaving and saved us hours we wouldn't
have waited.  :) 
Live music...
Blue Smoke..our favorite.  They had Salt & Pepper Beef Ribs that my son
was able to enjoy after I confirmed he was alright with the ingredients
they used...  :)

The BBQ beef ribs
More giant grills...
yikes..whole hog... >.<
My personal favorite part:
Blueberry Pie a La Mode. :)
We arrived late, enjoyed the day thanks to a great couple who handed their passes over to us.
--Thank you if you are out there!! --
This was our first year, and we didn't even know this was their 10th year, we plan to attend again next year. :)

To Learn the Alphabet - Week One: Letter "A"

So recently I noticed that my son hasn't mastered the alphabet yet.  Not sure if he 'should' have by now, he is almost four, but either way it is all my fault that he hasn't.  I feel like I have failed him.  He is very well spoken, uses great vocabulary but again has not mastered it.  I have been teaching him the letters, unofficially like any other parent I know since forever.  Singing, pointing out, occasionally doing fun alphabet crafts, and surrounding him with educational toys etc.  I read to him every day, but yet the other day I asked him with flash cards what the letters were, he kept guessing and joking around.  His primary language is English now, but he is familiar with two others spoken around him.  I just am in complete shock, and feel horrible about it.  Again, I know every child is different and learn on their own speed, that he will learn eventually, but I know he knew them so it is time for me to remind him...

Also I honestly feel like a year ago he knew the alphabet better than he does now, perhaps I stopped pointing it out as much because he had it down pact..but now he has forgotten?!?  This has driven me to start a little "school session" at home for at least two hours focusing on a letter a week.  I'm not a mom gone crazy, it will all be fun.  I don't like my baby to miss out.  We do "table time" everyday were we do some kind of paper craft, but now I will do that with more of a "lesson plan."

Today was day one, letter "A."  We had fun reading, practiced writing, coloring, singing, gluing and of course going over what the letter A spells.  Snack time included apple sticks.
..ignore the huge scissors I was using. lol :)

He made an "A" poking around w the toothpick he was eating with...

Not all children learn on their own and figure it all out right, right away right??      :)

"What? Did You Think You Still Had a Baby?"

Facing the fact that your child/ren are growing up isn't easy.  Right before my eyes this little boy that was once in my arms so easy to hold and carry is too big and tall.  I remember when he used to be amazed at seeing himself on the screen after I recorded him, but now he is running around taking pictures of things.  His first little words..I could still hear it "" as I look at my boy in full amazement tell me story after story using words like "absolutely, necessary, hostile..etc."  He will be four soon, and all I could do is stare at him and smile.  Where did the time go?

My latest wake up call was the other day when I took a walk outside so he can nap.  We went to the park in the morning, spent a long time there, so on our walk back home I decided it would be nice if I walked around so he can nap.  My husband went upstairs as I stayed to walk, walk, and walk, until I look down into the stroller where my son sat to see him wide awake, as he turned to ask me if we could go home now.  Then I realized "when was the last time he even took a nap?" or fell asleep in a car ride, or a stroller stride.  Oh no no no, I have become one those moms that I've seen with their ten year old in a tiny stroller with their legs hanging off of it.  Have I? my son stills fits fine in his, I asked my husband to see with clearer eyes.

Is it so wrong to really mean it when I say "you will always be my baby," I just have to face the fact that he is much older than I like to think sometimes.

When I came in from the walk outside with my son, my husband saw the expression on my face and said to me "What? Did you think you still had a baby?" with a smirk.  All we could do is laugh about it.

How old are your children, your niece/nephews?  Don't they grow up so fast!? :P  

I've Learned Not to Say "Not Me"

I cut my finger about a week ago.  I sat there with my bowl of mixed greens, some cucumber, chick peas, tomatoes..all prepped as I sat there with the bowl on my lap with a little knife.  Then came time for the avocados, my favorite part of my quick green salads...  I cut it in half, no problem then the side with the pit still in it.  Usually I go around it, and don't fuss with trying to get it out first, but something told me to try taking it out first.  Just like I've seen it demonstrated on T.V.  Of course, I have cut an avocado sooo many times before, but this time I just had to experiment.

The pit was strangely soft, and the knife really sharp (ironically my husband had just sharpened it for me); the knife went through the pit and into my fingerrrrrr...  :(

I squealed a little and ran around the room holding my hand together not knowing if I had cut a finger off.  Luckily it was just a cut on my middle finger that hurt allot and looked me.  I didn't want to freak my son out so I pretended all was fine, then we went to the ER.  I ended up getting stitches, five of them.  My left middle finger feels all numb still, because apparently I hit a nerve.  Luckily I can still move it, so no permanent damage.  Going to get my stitches out on Friday, in the meantime getting used to doing everything without my middle finger.  The numbness feels so strange I just can't manage to use it, even while I type right now.  I enjoyed less house work the first two days when I couldn't really do much, but that part is back to normal now.

                              So what did I learn from all this?  To never say "not me," I had recently seen something about how common it is for people to cut themselves working with an avocado on T.V, and I really did think "not me" because I had done so many times for so long now.  Another thing I learned was to always get a professional opinion, I was almost not going go to the hospital thinking I might be over reacting.  In the past week I've heard and read stories of people who cut their finger and didn't go get stitches-who now either have a huge scar, or have a horrible story about getting their finger infected while healing.  I was told I probably won't scar at all from my cut that needed five stitches, and the doctor joked that I should be able to 'feel' completely by November, when my baby is born.

So if you make it hear because you cut your finger and deciding what to do, go, go get it checked, better safe than sorry.

Quick Pretzel S'mores - Fun for Kids

My little one has yet to have s'mores but we have made our version of it many times.  Here's one way that works. :)
Pretzels, mini marshmallows, and melted chocolate chips.  I softened it all up in the microwave for a very short time before dipping in melted chocolate.  

Soften up the marshmallows
Dip in chocolate.
Had my son "help" me with these.
Only made few to start, but it didn't even last for a picture. ;) 
*Works just as well, maybe even better if you are going for the full s'mores effect, if you place chocolate pieces inside, over the marshmallows, and place in a toaster oven, until you see it melt and the marshmallow ooze a bit. ;)

-We used allergy friendly alternatives; Glutino Pretzel Twists, Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Chips, and Kraft-mini marshmallows.  Nothing too fancy, but definitely had lots of fun with my son, plus it was a great salty-sweet treat.

Overcoming My Molar Pregnancy + Some Good News

In February of 2011 I had a due date for my second baby, but that was the pregnancy that failed.  In September, at 16 weeks pregnant, we still couldn't hear the heartbeat so went for another visit.  Only once again my midwife couldn't hear a heartbeat.  We went to another room, for a quick bedside sonogram.  Not thinking anything too bad about it, my husband with my 2 year old at the time in his arms brought out his camera phone to capture us seeing the baby for the first time.  The last thing we even knew to expect was a clear white screen, instead of a baby.  Right away the midwife ran out of the room to get another opinion, and in the same ten minutes we had been told it is a complete molar pregnancy, and scheduled a (D & C) the following week.  In complete shock all I could do was cry.
sample image of "typical" c.molar pregnancy
I went all throughout my first trimester going to every appointment, feeling more pregnant than ever (because of heightened HCG levels), even growing a tiny bump to hear that there was no baby, basically just abnormal tissue growth.  Along with that wonderful news came the risk of cancer associated with molar pregnancies.  I had just told my family that we were expecting, my little guy came to every appointment with me, as everyone asked him how he felt about being a big brother and so on.  I started to plan for another child, and wasn't expecting anything to go wrong.  Then, just like that in a few minutes the ground shook right under us.  The emotions I felt, I still can't fully explain.  It was upsetting, and even though I learned the facts about it, I kept blaming myself.  The rates are 1 in 1000, why why why...  It was a week before the procedure, and I cried my way into it as they rolled me on the bed to the surgery.  I have very low tolerance to medications, it could be a cold medicine but it will make me feel horrible all over.  Well, for the d & c, I was put to sleep and sent home not too long after the procedure.  I felt horribly weak, and my body felt in trembles all day and night after.  So many women go through this procedure, many that I have spoken to and all recover right away- physically.  It took me forever, and my husband and I said we probably won't try for another child again we were so terrified.
My baby about two weeks ago! 
Emotionally I'm still recovering.  I went forever looking at every baby, and every baby bump wishing I could be pregnant, or have that baby that never...  Shortly after, every baby item I had kept, I gave it away.  Little toys, clothes I had kept from my son for the younger sibling, I gave away as well.
It is now that I can share my story, because I am healing.  We really wanted a sibling for our little boy, closer in age, and now we are expecting.  Now slowly healing because I'm 15 weeks pregnant WITH a baby, I made sure with three sonograms already.  In another few weeks we get to find out the sex of the baby.  I'll never be the same as it took me until a week ago to accept that I was pregnant.  I was scared to love the baby because I kept thinking the worst.  I appreciate and love more, but I also fear more and will never think "not me," because it could be.

Sorry I have been MIA for a while now, been going through so much, mostly emotionally, well I guess physically too ;).  But now I feel better sharing the news with you as I try to put the past behind me.