27 April 2011

Easter in our Neck of the Woods.

Easter Sunday was a good one, we spent the day at my parents’ house for a little get-together partially for the holiday (we’re not big on holidays other than Christmas and Thanksgiving) and also in celebration of the exciting news that my brother, Punky’s Uncle Scotty, is on his way home from his deployment in Afghanistan!

She spent the entire morning lap bound, posed and being tinkered around with so that everyone could get a chance to be photographed with her. Yes, she’s really THAT cute.

After that, she went on a mini-egg hunt, searching for all of the Easter Bunny’s “missing eggs” that he dropped while delivering her basket full of goodies the night before. She was able to round up all the colorful little things and “set them aside for Mr. Bunny” or so she said.

Didn’t take long for her to discover they held secret candy compartments and once the cat was out of the bag, candy to mouth was inevitable. And boy did she enjoy that! Notice her chocolate covered face?

After all was said and done, it was SO hot out that we decided to let her run through the sprinklers and get her “cool” on. I’ve never seen a child more entranced by something so simple as water and a hose. I guess what they say is true. It is the little things that make the most difference. And I love every second of it.

23 April 2011

Melt my heart.

There is nothing---nothing in the entire universe---sweeter than the bond these two have. With Papa being super busy and away ninety percent of the time, we really have come to savor the moments we share together. Moments like these, (which were regrettably taken with my iPhone), but precious nonetheless.

I just can't explain in words how fond they are of each other. Papa's come a long way since the birth of Punky. Freshly eighteen, out of Army Basic Training, with no experience with children whatsoever, he was terrified of making mistakes as a father. So he didn't do anything at all. (Well, he helped me, but refused to tackle a parenting job alone, with the fear that he'd hurt her or screw up royally!) And now look at him. Every chance he gets, he offers to let me take a bubble bath, while they play Zombie Farm (an iPhone app and one of Punky's faves), run to the grocery store together or cuddle for "bonding time". Bonding time?! Who is this man? Since when did he go from freaked out newbie to calm and collected father of the year? I'm definitely not complaining, as it's a pleasure to be able to let the relationship between my husband and our babe intensify, meanwhile I get to tackle tedious lady chores like shaving and such. But I'm shocked as to how much of a 180 he's done over the past two and a half years. And how much she's benefited from it.

By all means Papa, she's half yours. But I have to warn ya. If my heart swells even the least bit more, it's gonna burst at the seams with adoration. Just thought I'd put it out there. 

In the Buff Saturday's.

Saturday mornings are my absolute favorite days of the week.  Bop’s always at school and Punky usually sleeps in late, which gives me the perfect “quiet” time to relax, reflect on things and run around (our part) of the house completely nude, (Yes, my in-laws are currently living with us! But we’ll be moving soon, so it’s not a big deal, I promise). Now, I’m not saying I love seeing myself naked, as my body image (and post-baby body) are still a work in progress, but it feels good to lounge around in nothing but a bra and panties, just a tee or even completely naked after a cool shower. Up before the crack of dawn, low-light Ikea table lamp on, incense burning, coffee/tea in one hand and a book in the other; silence all around me? I yearn for this day all week; my morning, my time, my own little slice of heaven.

This Saturday morning was especially quiet. Bop left early for school to study for a test, Punky spent the night at her grandmother’s and I awoke extra early to make sure Bop’s departure went extra smoothly…(translation: I was his personal alarm clock and in return, he was our chef!) After reading my new issue of Real Simple Magazine, which always leaves me inspired, I wanted to start a weekly blog entry that’s dedicated to the raw, natural part of me. Upon reading a good friend of mine, Megan’s recent blog post, I really became aware that I’m not the only person who hides behind an only half-true façade of who I really am as a person. I’m full of flaws, bad habits and screw ups just like the rest of you. And a lot of them, I’m completely ashamed of. But in order to not make this blog a repeat of my last, which is the main reason why I started it in the first place, I’m need to bare all emotionally and be less guarded; embracing the fact that I’m not perfect, by any means. So why hide it? Why not show the world exactly who I am, fiber by fiber, with a smiling face and the utmost pride?

That’s why I want to dedicate a special part of my blog to being 100% real and open with my readers, (whom I appreciate so much). Like my raw, au naturale attitude each Saturday morning, ‘In the Buff’ will be an up-close and personal view on what I'm really like, sans all the polished effects and "clothing" barrier. To do this, I'll post a  regular entry each week by listing a different flaw or fault of mine, in depth. It’s gonna be a humongous struggle for me to tear the walls down and let you ladies into the most honest but well-hidden areas of who I am. But I’m willing to go there if it means connecting with my true self and my readers all at the same time. I may find the time to put together a post today, if not, I'll just wait until next Saturday to start. Thanks for the support and be on the lookout!

20 April 2011

Parenting Debate: Public or Private?

 Lately, the topic of debate between Bop and I has been whether or not we should put Punky in public school or a private academy once we move to Saint Augustine.
Now, we both know that she won’t be starting school for another couple of years, but let’s be realistic y’all; the waiting lists on private schools are daunting! Some of them go as far back as two years. Two whole years! Just to get your Little a good education! That’s crazy, right?!

Now, I’m not saying that Bop doesn’t agree with me on paying for Punky to go to a special school. He just likes to know the pros and cons of each, especially what the differences will be between the public and private elementary schools, since he’ll be paying a couple thousand dollars (or more) out of pocket. And I don’t blame him. Really, I don’t.

I just feel very strongly about not putting her into public school. Considering the experiences I had in school: bomb threats, fights, bullets found in the bathrooms, knives and such being brought into class, (And this was in a rural area, mind you!) On top of that, have you read some of the crazy things going on with kids in school these days? One SIX year old brought a gun to school and shot his Student Resource Officer! Another, only TEN, was said to be so socially tormented that after getting in trouble at home and being sent on a time-out in his room, he strangled himself with a cord! I mean, c’mon, that’s truly unbelievable and frankly, a bit scary to me. So think about the effect it would have on a child. There’s no way I’m gonna let my wee one have anything to do with that!

Originally I wanted to homeschool Punks myself, to sort of ensure her learning in a more intimate and personal setting. However, I have since started college, I’ll probably pursue a career or even if I don’t end up using my educational credentials, I still have a few snazzy ideas involving a home business and A LOT of sewing. So I’m gonna be a busy mama! And if I am, I want her to get a great education from a great place; even if it’s a little pricy.  ‘Cause, after all, she IS worth every penny.

So, what are you guys’ thoughts on the matter? Do you agree that school is school, no matter where you go? Or do you think that giving your child a paid education (or homeschooling) is worth the price tag?

19 April 2011

Mama's New Project.

This little girl. This ray of sunshine. By golly, I can't even muster up the words to describe how much I love her. Or how much she's changed me over the past two and a half years. So much personality and sass...so full of life. Smarty pants to the enth degree. Liker of all things messy and creative. Can't believe she's almost three.

She's getting to the stage where she's so responsive, with her own thoughts and opinions...(yes, she's become QUITE the little character!)...that I feel it's necessary to start catching these lengthy conversations we have with each other on video. I think it'd prove just how much of a ham she is, while causing a bit of contagious giggle too.

So be on the lookout for our new set of films, "Punky Says". Probably won't start for a few days, considering the fact that our schedule's been pretty hectic lately, nevertheless, they're coming soon! I may even start a few of myself...we'll see.

Our Trip to Saint Augustine.

Being that I'm a small-town girl, (born on Cape Cod, one of the most beautiful and charming small towns in the country), I have always longed to have that "home-at-home" connection with the place that I'd eventually plant roots in. But ever since moving to Florida, in 2001, I've never felt that way about anywhere I've lived. Northeast, Midwest, southwest...I've seen many different parts of the Sunshine State. And I've never really liked any of them. Either the beaches were too crowded, the towns too rural or the traffic too hectic...there's always been a complaint or two (or a hundred) everywhere I've gone. Truth is, I miss the quaintness of Falmouth. The architectural detailing of historic homes, the travel-by-foot transportation, the tree-lined streets, where everyone knows everyone. I've never seen ANY of those in this state. That is, until I headed to Saint Augustine. Located in Northeast Florida, (just 35 miles from Jacksonville, where I lived a few years ago), it's such a breath of fresh air from the average Floridian town or city. Founded by Pedro Menéndez in 1565, Saint Augustine is noted as one of the oldest cities in the nation. It's got charm. It's got history. It has BEACHES. So basically, it's a happy medium between my hometown and typical beachy scene that is of this state. Uh, hello, where have you been all my life?! A place so perfect. I had to see it for myself. (I had been to Saint Augustine Beach ONCE before, when I was 12, but didn't really have the chance to explore the city in full detail). We only had Friday to explore, since he had to be back for his Saturday morning class, but we couldn't pass up even the littlest chance on going. So Thursday night, upon Bop's arrival home from school, we loaded up the back of the hybrid and took the 3.5 hour drive cross-coast. And I'm so glad we did! Friday morning we explored downtown Saint Augustine and all of it's amenities. I was seriously starry eyed the whole time! Museum upon museum, tiny vintage shops, cafes, trolleys...I was in awe! It reminded me so much of home.

First, we took the trolley downtown and took a glimpse at all the shops and eateries available. I can't even count how many vintage boutiques there were. Needless to say, Bop's not thrilled about being in such close proximity to places that'll rack up our credit card bills. And I can assure you, I'm not even that big of a shopper! They're just THAT cute.

Then, we toured the Old Jail and boy, that was an experience as Kiri was chosen to be honorary "trustee" for our group of hoodlums. I found it so neat how Sheriff Perry built his family's home attached to the jail and even had the female inmates serve as his wife's cooks, maids and nannies!

Though we weren't able to tour too hard, we made it a point to mosey our way over to the 'Ripley's Believe It Or Not' museum. Bop likes anything crazy and disgusting, so it was right up his alley of strangeness! There were so many trinkets and weird little odds and ends...I even got my fortune told! (Which was oddly on point!) It was definitely a sight to see.

Last but not least, we headed to the beach. OHMYGOD, the beach! White sand, blue water, humungous waves....it was so much better than the two foot deep, green water of the Gulf. I was definitely impressed with how neat and quiet it was there. And might I add that I WILL be taking up surfing once we move!

Basically, Saint Augustine is my dream town in reality form and I (can't believe I'm actually saying this...BUT!) can't wait to plant roots in this tiny little slice of Florida. And to say that Bop's excited would be an understatement; he's already in the process of getting a hold of people to discuss employment after graduating from the police academy. I see a bright future ahead of us and I can't wait to begin the rest of forever together in this wonderful place. Honestly.

14 April 2011

Summer's Simple Pleasures.

It's so amazing to me just how much of an effect the littlest things have on my wee one. Something as simple as a weekend project, a random idea, involving various junk from my storage shed could become the highlight of the upcoming summer's fun! All it took was a few pieces of rope, a tarp and a small tire and low and behold, the Fort Sawyer tire swing made it's debut. After hours of giggles, a few glasses of homemade lemonade and a short, swinging nap later and I think it's safe to say that this summer's gonna be a good one.

05 April 2011

Barefoot for those without.

Today is TOMS One Day Without Shoes campaign and we at Fort Sawyer have gone barefoot to show our support. We’re usually sans kicks anyway, but something about doing it for a cause makes it so much more worthwhile. 
Tonight is also one of my greatest, most amazing friends, Bethany’s 21st birthday, so we’re going out for drinks and fun with a boatload of amazing friends, new and old. 
Can’t wait to see how Applebee’s reacts to catching a glimpse at these twinkle toes. But hell, if they can’t support a good cause, they’ll have to change their clothing policy to “No shirt, no shoes, no business”! 

Cause I ain’t budging!