Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween!  Trick-or-Treat!

Love – Alice & The Bumble Bee

Holiday Card Crazy

My husband thinks I’m crazy because about two weeks ago I was already online mocking up our photo Christmas cards.  I emailed him at work asking for his advice on designs and on which photos to include.  At first he humored me, but when I kept asking him throughout the day, I think he had had enough.  The problem is that I am a sucker for Shutterfly photo cards, especially when the holidays roll around.  I love looking at all of their new designs and trying to pick out the perfect one for our Christmas card.  With all of the new designs this year, it’s going to be really hard to choose.

Here are some of my current favorites:

1.  Oh What Fun – I love the simplicity of this card and think it looks amazing with a black and white photo.  The colors are bright and it just look so pretty.  I can imagine my two girls on this card (actually I’ve already mocked one up with them on it :-) and it looks adorable).

2.  With Love Chartreuse – I think this is my top pick right now.  It’s simple yet elegant and I love how you can use multiple photos.  It will be great to be able to include a family shot and then some solos of the kids.  This card is just so clean looking.  I love it.

3.  Jolly Gems – I love the colors in this card.  It’s so cheery and bright.  It also doesn’t scream Christmas, which I like.  Again, I like the ability to include more than one photo in the card and the design is just really pretty.

We’ve been using Shutterfly for our Christmas cards for the past three years.  We’ve also used them for Thank You cards and for prints.  I have never had a bad experience with them.  In fact, I am more impressed with their service each time we order from them.  And don’t even get me started on how much I adore their photo books!  We have at least six of them.

Right now Shutterfly is offering 20% off all holiday cards!  If you’ve never used Shutterfly, right now would be a good time to start.  Their prices, customer service, and quality are all top notch.  And if you’re anything like me, you’d better get cracking on your holiday card because it might take you a while to choose your favorite design.

I am participating in Shutterfly’s 2010 Holiday Card collection promotion where bloggers contribute a write up about Shutterfly and receive 50 free holiday cards.  To learn more, click here.

Trick-or-Treating Conundrum

When we were house hunting one of our criteria was to find a neighborhood that passed the trick-or-treating test.  Basically, we wanted to find a neighborhood that would be perfect for our kids to go out in on Halloween night.  Kind of an odd house hunting criteria, huh?  Well you see, to us, a neighborhood that is perfect for trick-or-treating is also one that is super kid friendly.  It is not super busy with cars going through but there are lots of friendly houses with lots of kids.  We were lucky to be able to find a house in such a neighborhood.

However, now that Halloween is drawing near, we are faced with a problem.  How do we simultaneously take our kids out trick-or-treating AND be at home to hand out candy to other kids?  The answer might seem simple to you:  Have one parents stay home and hand out candy and have the other one take the kids out, right?  Well, that would solve it except for the fact that Scott and I both want to be able to see the kids go out trick-or-treating for the first time in our new neighborhood (and the fact that it might be hard for just one of us to take both of them).

You might also think that we should just both go and take them out.  But who will be here to give the candy out?  Since it’s our first Halloween in the new house, I think it’s important to have someone here to hand out the candy so that we can make our presence known.  I want to see the kids who are around and maybe meet some new people as they come through.  Maybe that is silly, I don’t really know.  This is really the first time that we have a house to give candy out at.  Anyone have an answer for me on how to make it work?  Right now the only answer we can come up with is taking turns being out with the girls and staying home to give candy.  Life can be so difficult sometimes!

A Probing Question

Nora has a blocked tear duct.  She has had it since birth.  Basically the duct in her eye that is supposed to drain her tears is blocked by a thin membrane.  As a result her eye always looks teary as if she has been crying.  Excessive tears roll down her cheek.  It causes no harm to her and does not effect her vision.  The annoying part is that I have to constantly keep cleaning her eye and wiping away the tears.  The even more annoying part is that people, mostly strangers, always make comments like, “Oh you poor thing, why are you crying?” when she is perfectly happy.  It has gotten to the point where I just smile at them and continue on my way.  I used to say, “Oh, she’s not crying, she has a blocked tear duct.”  To which the person would look at me like I had ten heads and ask what I was talking about.  Hello?  I don’t really have the time to stand here and explain to you what it is.  Just Google it, please!  Anyway, they no longer get an answer.

So what’s the big deal, you might ask.  Well, typically a blocked tear duct will unblock itself by the time a child is a year old.  It is recommended that the area is massaged daily and rubbed with warm compresses to help it unblock.  I have been doing these things day in and day out.  Nora is nearly a year and a half old and since the duct has not become unblocked on its own, her pediatrician has recommended that we take her to a pediatric ophthalmologist, a baby eye doctor.  They will want to probe the duct opened.  The thought of it makes me queasy and nervous.  Basically they would take a thin metal probe and stick it into her tear duct.  I’ve been told that it is a very quick and simple procedure that has no lasting effects.  However, silly me decided to look it up and now I’m not so sure what to do.  There are pros and cons to having it done versus not doing it and I simply can’t decide.  Nora has her 18 month well visit in 2 weeks and I’m sure that it will be brought up again (unless of course it happens to unblock on its own by some miracle).

So, I’m reaching out to my readers to see if anyone has any experience with this.  Has your child had a blocked tear duct?  Did it unblock on its own or did you have it probed?  What was the procedure like?  Where there any side effects?  Did it work?  Would you do it again if you had to?

No longer BFFs

For the past four years I have had the bestest best friend in the world.  We’ve done more together than I’ve done with any other one person in my life.  Countless shopping trips, hundreds of lunch dates, lots of girl talk and millions of hugs.   She is an amazing person who never ceases to amaze me or bring a smile to my face.  Sure we’ve had our ups and downs but we always manage to work our problems out.  I truly can’t imagine my life without her in it.  All of this makes it really hard for me to swallow the fact that maybe she doesn’t consider me her best friend anymore.  I know deep down inside I will always be her best friend but lately I’ve been pushed to the back burner and it hurts a little bit.

You see, my bestest best friend for the past four years has been my daughter, Brinley.  But now that she is four and growing up before my eyes, she has become quite an independent little girl.  She’s in school now and has new friends her own age.  It’s not that I’m not happy about her having friends because I am.  I love that she’s social and goes on play dates and has friends over to play.  It’s just hard to her hear say to me, “Mom, you go upstairs and leave us alone to play.”  It’s like she doesn’t need me there anymore to play with dolls or color or play school.  My role has shifted from best friend and playmate to simply Mom.  It’s a role I’ll always be more than happy to take on, but I’ll miss being the one she choose for playing games and dress up with.  Now it’s, “Can so and so come over to play” instead of “Mom, let’s play dolls.”

I know this is not the last time that my heart will ache just a little bit over my daughter.  I’m sure I’ll have many, many more experiences just like this one or even worse.  Hopefully over time they’ll be easier to swallow because right now I’m sitting upstairs typing this while I listen to my daughter downstairs playing with her friend.  Don’t get me wrong, it brings me great joy to hear their happiness and giggles, but I’m a little bit sad that I can’t be a part of it. :-(

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