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Archive for the Category "Getting to know me"

UBP14 Apr 06

Well, I’m late to the party. Again. And I’m totally unprepared for visitors. Again. But that hasn’t stopped me yet!

My name is Erin and I’m a SAHM to two girls, ages 5 and 2.5. We’re Disney fanatics and I’m always dreaming of travel. We live not far from the mouse house and are getting in all the visits we can before the weather hits boiling. Spring and fall are definitely our busiest times of the year.

Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t have any drinks or snacks out. Please, help yourself to the fridge and if you finish something, please make a note on the whiteboard so I can replenish.

When I’m not taking care of the girls or trying to keep the house vaguely clean, I love to read and play PC games. World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic are my faves right now. Sometimes I’m on Steam, too, but that’s pretty rare. If I have any free time after reading and games, I also crochet and blog. 😉

Probably the most important thing to note about me blog-wise is that I mostly blog from my iPhone, and since I’m still learning, I don’t often include pictures or links. If anyone has tips on how to do this easily, please share! One day, I’d like to skip that particular disclaimer and surprise people with the information that it was all done on a mobile device! 😀

So, I have a question for all you visitors:
What’s your favorite part of the UBP?

Mine is watching all the Twitter accounts come alive with new conversation and seeing the renewed interest in blogging from those of us who have been too distracted to do it (myself included).

Well, I was going to link to some of my recent posts, but somehow I broke that. I’ll work on a separate post over the next few days to make up for it!

Happy UBP14 everyone!

Category: Getting to know me, meme, partytime  | Comments off
#UBP’13 The Party is Here! Apr 10

Ultimate Blog Party 2013

I’m excited to participate for a 4th(!!!!) year in the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom. 😀

Welcome to my humble abode! I’m the mom of two girls, ages 4 and 17 months. I read, crochet and play World of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic when time and money allow. I love to cook and have recently started using my freezer to take the stress out of dinner time.

This little slice of the blogosphere is where I do my dreaming or try to make sense of the randomness inside my head. I also try to document happenings in our family life, but it is more important to me to LIVE it than blog about it. So I get around to things in my own time, for example my Story of Prague that took me six months to write. (And the pictures STILL aren’t up due to various difficulties!) 😉

In addition to all those quiet, at home activities I mentioned earlier, we are HUGE Disney fans. Since we live in Central Florida, it just made sense once we had kids to become annual passholders, so you can find us there about once a month. We usually stay at Fort Wilderness with our popup camper, but we have stayed at several of the resort hotels (Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boardwalk, The Dolphin, and The Yacht and Beach Club).

Speaking of Disney, we just returned from a Friday through Tuesday stay at Fort Wilderness! Our girls just love the Aquatic Play Area at the Meadow Swimming Pool and riding around the campground in a golf cart. I think they would be happy if that was all we did. 😉 But we did spend some time at the Flower and Garden Festival and let them play on the Oz playground as well as visits to the other parks. Those pictures will also appear for Wordless Wednesday one of these days. 🙂

I also love to travel in general, but it’s a lot more difficult with 2 young kids in tow. With the help of obsessive planning and our popup, we hope to get back to trips other than Disney in the near future. St. Augustine’s Anastasia State Park is next on my list, and we’ve already stayed at one of my other personal faves, Fort DeSoto Park.

One last note about me and my blog. At the time of this writing, NONE of the reviews that I have on my blog were sponsored and any time I talk about a product or location it is because I either loved it or hated it. I do occasionally use Amazon affiliate links, but those are few and far between. While I wouldn’t mind receiving free products, I find that reviews requiring me to blog mean my posts aren’t genuine. I want to write when I feel like writing about whatever I feel like writing about.

Let the party continue! 😀

The Story of Prague Mar 12

I’ve hinted several times that my husband and I had an opportunity for international travel, and even wrote about the carry-on I bought and my experience with international flights, but have yet to write about the trip itself.

Strangely enough, it’s been a little over six months since we got on the plane to Frankfurt and then to Prague. It took me an entire month to relax after the flights and then it was time for a first birthday, the holidays, and then a fourth birthday. Part of me still feels like Prague was just yesterday.

When we first returned, I wasn’t sure what to think about my time in Prague. I wasn’t sure what the big deal was about the city, and why I should convince friends to go there. It’s an old capital city, with some beautiful historic locations, and a great location within Europe. It took quite awhile for me to “get” it.

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, and the people primarily speak Czech, along with German, Polish, and English. The food is hearty meat and root vegetables served in a variety of savory ways. The Czech version of a German strudel and tart are found in every food place you visit, and coffee and beer are available on every corner. My husband and I both fell in love with Kozel dark beer, which is a lot like the brown ales my husband favors. I drank more alcohol in our 8 days in Europe than I had in the 8 months prior and was never drunk or even buzzed. Beer is cheaper than water at restaurants and stands and is always served with food.

The city is split into several districts – Old Town, New Town, Little Quarter, Jewish Quarter, and Prague Castle. We stayed at the 987 Design Hotel which was a stone’s throw from the train station, the university where my husband spoke, and city center. We were just barely located on the typical tourism map. It was a great place to be. We could walk or hop a bus, tram, metro or train and be anywhere in the city without issue. And we covered most of the city by foot while we were there.

I live in central Florida, home of Walt Disney World. And unless you are on WDW property, public transportation is nearly non-existent. If you want to get somewhere in this town, you drive. Not so in Prague. We could have taken the metro instead of hotel shuttle to the airport if we’d desired. The only city in the U.S. that I’ve been to that even begins to compare? Our own nation’s capital. Prague has far more history and connection to its culture than Washington D.C., but it the closest comparison I’m aware of.

Prague has wonderful parks and greenery on most street corners, and some of the more tourist-y areas have parks in the street median. Roads begin and end at museums, because there is just that much history. Nearly all buildings are a business at street level and then two or more levels of residences with parking hidden in interior garages and courtyards.

It feels as though every restaurant offers outdoor seating, and food carts are set up near the established parks to create seating. Everyone who works in the hospitality realm speaks English, although there was one location that didn’t like that we didn’t speak their language. I got the impression that they thought we were snobby Americans, but my husband and I both speak conversational Spanish, and if I had to, I could stumble through reading some Portuguese. Oh, and we looked up some Czech phrases before we went AND had a friend give us some German basics in case we needed help in Frankfurt. There just isn’t time for a standard short vacation to learn an entirely new language. Now, if you’re going to spend more than a month in any country other than your own? Put forth the effort. Otherwise, a few phrases go far.

I’m going to use the next few (Wordless) Wednesdays to post pictures from Prague. Words just don’t do justice to the combination of history and modern day that is found there. If you have the opportunity, I’d recommend it.

Category: BIG DEAL, Getting to know me, travel  | Comments off
Picky Reader Feb 04

I need a new author to read.

I don’t often discuss what authors and books I read because everything falls into the “romance” category. I usually read romantic suspense with some contemporary romance thrown in for easy reading. For every person who has gone, “OH! I LOVE that author!” there have been two who give me that, “You read that crap?” look.

The category isn’t crap, but it does idealize life. I like them because they always have a happy ending. No matter what trials and tribulations have to be endured, no matter how bad things get, the end result is a happy one. I really like the illusion that even though the story lines contain real life situations, that the end result is always a happy one. There just isn’t enough happy news in the world today.

The problem is, there isn’t a whole lot that distinguishes my mystery-with-romance-included from other books that should be labeled erotica but aren’t. While smut is big right now thanks to 50 Shades (there’s a book club for it), it’s not my genre. I don’t want to read bedroom adventures of fictional characters unless there’s another story to go along with it.

I’m sure you’re extra curious by now as to who I’m reading.

Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series is amazing and the stars are usually Navy SEALs. Elizabeth Lowell doesn’t just tell you a story, she teaches you about something as well. The Maya, the Pacific Northwest, and gems come to mind immediately. Nora Roberts is just a fantastic story teller. While, typically, her characters come into their relationships a little too easily for my mind, she has a way of making you love the characters so much that you have to know the ending, whether it ends with the book you’re holding or two books later as part of one of her many trilogies. Janet Evanovich is skirting writing categories because her Plum series isn’t as mysterious or romantic as it used to be, but the things that happen to Stephanie and Company are so crazy that you have to see what happens next. Laura Griffin’s Tracers series is the newest in my collection and – while it lacks some of the polish of Brockmann’s point of view telling, Lowell’s description, and Roberts’ character descriptions – is another series of good reads.

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got. When those five authors release a book, I’m all over it.

Sure, I’ve read other authors. Sandra Brown, Jude Devereaux, Jayne Ann Krentz and Heather Graham, to name a few more who randomly exist on my bookshelf. And books don’t exist on my bookshelf unless the book has proven its re-readabilty – or is one of the five aforementioned authors. Thanks to cheaper books on my Nook, I’ve also read Pamela Clare and Catherine Mann. Good authors, but I’m not stalking their webpages like some authors (see above ;)).

So, can anyone out there tell me who else I should be reading? Or, at least someone to try and see if they fit my picky standards? I’ve really been burned by a couple of cheap reads I’ve tried…

2013 Resolutions Jan 01

Holy cow! From Merriam Webster, a resolution is:

1: the act or process of resolving

    a: the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones
    b: the act of answering : solving
    c: the act of determining
    d: the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance
    e: the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents
    f(1): the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2) : the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable
    g: the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum

2: the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation)
3:

    a: something that is resolved
    b: firmness of resolve

4: a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group
5: the point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out
6:

    a: the process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light
    b: a measure of the sharpness of an image or of the fineness with which a device (as a video display, printer, or scanner) can produce or record such an image usually expressed as the total number or density of pixels in the image

Yikes, sorry about the formatting, I’m too tired to make that work and I couldn’t just leave it as a block of text. But, the point is, for 2013, I will be analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones. Weight loss isn’t for vanity, it’s for my health and well-being. This will be a goal for the upcoming year any time I am no longer within a healthy BMI range. I need to lose 15-ish pounds. I will be determining the source of the problem and solving or proposing solutions to the problem. Right now, the problem is being pre-diabetic, and it’s time to analyze my blood sugar and my eating habits to lose weight and regain control of my blood sugar. I hope to resolve this issue with permanent changes to my lifestyle and eating habits. This is difficult, and I expect it to take time, but it needs to be done.

On a lighter note, I think I’d like to open an Etsy store and my own PayPal account in 2013. I like crafty things, but rarely need anything I put together, nor do I have the space to store it, so why not sell it? I get the fun of creation and hopefully it will fund even more creative projects.

And I hope to cross things off my list of 30 Things To Do In My 30s. A cruise is in the works, let’s see if we can make it happen!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

The Big “1” Oct 19

I’m not usually one to write monthly letters to my kids, or even blog much about their stats as they grow, but for some reason, I feel compelled to write about my baby’s first birthday.

One year ago, right now at the time of post publish, my second baby girl was born by repeat c-section. You can read a little about our first days here.

From the moment contractions started as I was being prepped for my c-section, this little girl has known what she wanted and does whatever it takes to get it. She has developed language skills unlike any other I’ve seen at her age, constantly batting at hands and faces and handing us items or food, squeezing and reaching to get hugs, pulling hair and screeching to display displeasure.

She loves so fiercely and lives so happily that when she IS down (for example, when she suffers from allergies like the rest of the family), you just want to snuggle her until that grin returns to her face.

She’s SO DIFFERENT than her older sister. They are about as opposite as siblings can be, and I’m beginning to think this will work out in their favor as they grow older. So far, the story is that my older daughter will be a cheerleader, dance team member or color guard member, while the younger will have a sport for every season and a dress for every occasion.

Where my older daughter sleeps with a traditional night light, has a long cuddling bedtime routine, and must listen to the radio as she slips off to dreamland for 12 hours, the younger wants the equivalent of a big hug, a tight tuck (she prefers to sleep in her infant car seat), and sweet dreams and lasts about 6 hours before she needs something. Oh, and did I mention darkness? And white noise? These two should NOT be sharing a room, but we’ve managed, through much trial and error, to make it work.

Before she turned 6 months old, this second daughter of mine did things only to prove to me that she wasn’t developmentally delayed. If she was supposed to do something at 2 months, she did it all day the day before her 2 month well visit – and then only rarely after that. I remember this most vividly with rolling. By 4 months, kids are supposed to be able to roll at least one way, and while she’d made attempts, she hadn’t proven that she knew how. Until 2 days before her well visit, when, with much grunting, groaning and fanfare, she decided to spend most of the afternoon rolling.

Once she hit 6 months, it was like a switch flipped in her brain, and from then on, she couldn’t be stopped. She went from rolling to sitting to crawling to cruising to walking in just over 3 months. At 9 months 2 weeks, she took 3 steps on 3 different occasions and since then, has chased her sister at high speed.

While she is slightly behind in her ability to chew solid food (we’ve only just started chunky food), it hasn’t kept her from eating, or keeping the nickname “Chunky Monkey” – which is kinda sorta where I got the theme for her party from. It happened to be a super cute theme that blends well with the fall season. 😉

The amount of love that I have for these two very different girls of mine is astronomical. For every frustrating thing they do, they come back with a hug or snuggle that manages to right all the wrongs. I foresee many wonderful adventures with these two in the coming years.

But today? Today I wish my Emma Bear a happy first birthday. It’s been a heckuva ride, and other than a little more sleep, I wouldn’t change any of it.

Category: Emma, Getting to know me  | Comments off
UBP 2012 Apr 20

I’m getting an uncharacteristically late start this year, but life around here is definitely more hectic than it has been in previous years!

Hello, my name is Erin, and welcome to my lil corner of the internet. 🙂

I blog very infrequently about things that are on my mind, my kids, and, on rare occasions, hot topics. I hate the feeling that I’m forced to publish content here, so I make sure that I only post because I want to, not because anyone thinks that I should. I’m active on Twitter, and read and comment on blogs whenever I can.

However, since darling daughter #2 was born in October, there is only a few minutes every day that I devote to blogging. I spend the majority of my day out and about with the kids, either playing in the backyard, at the YMCA, or at story time. The girls and I are also big shoppers, altho it is pretty difficult to shop with both of them. By the time they’re both in a cart, there’s no room to buy stuff! 😉

Whenever my husband has free time, we’re a Disney family, and recently purchased a pop-up camper to take the kids traveling.

Before I became a SAHM, I worked as a certified pharmacy technician for a local supermarket and am still passionate about pharmacy and nutrition and educating others about these topics, which is why my treatment for gestational diabetes still irks me. I am still labeled as having unresolved gestational diabetes, and when I get that definitively straightened out, I’ll write about it.

In what little spare time I have left after the above activities, I LOVE to read and I also play World of Warcraft and Star Wars The Old Republic.

In the blogging world, I try to participate in 5QF with Mama M, Toddler Talk Thursday, and Wordless Wednesday. I recently posted about, and am still looking for advice on how to deal with a fear my older daughter has.

Leave me a comment saying hi, I’d love to check out some new blogs!

Category: Getting to know me, partytime  | Comments off
First 5QF of 2012 – And It’s LATE! Feb 13

1. How often do you shave your legs in the winter?
Ummm… Do what? I live in jeans year round. I only shave for trips to the pool or beach. And occasionally to work out if it’s just too hot for long pants.

2. Valentine’s Day cards for your spouse: funny or romantic?
Whichever one doesn’t make me shake my head or gag. I HATE buying cards for any holiday.

3. What are you most looking forward to about spring?
Spring is here already. We’ve only had maybe a half dozen cold days. I’m bummed because I LOVE sweaters and jeans and I haven’t been able to wear them.

4. What’s your favorite way to pamper yourself?
Either a pedicure or uninterrupted time with a book. My mind is so much clearer after a few hours of reading.

5. Does your tax return go into savings or do you spend it instantly?
These days it goes into savings, but it hasn’t been that long since I needed it to dig myself out of a financial hole. Hopefully those days are behind me for good.

Category: 5QF, Getting to know me, meme  | Comments off
5QF to Inspire Thought Sep 29

1. Do you apologize to your kids if you’re wrong?
Yes, and this has actually been a previous 5QF question. 😉 If I’m wrong, I apologize, and I hope my kids grow up to do the same.

2. Do you have a class ring, letterman’s jacket, or similar obscenely priced high school “must have”?
A class ring, and even though it’s hidden away in a jewelry box, I’m still glad I bought it. Maybe because I did actually buy it, with my own money earned working in a local grocery store.

3. If you could be one age for the rest of your life, what age would you choose?
I’m pretty happy with my current age of 29. If I wasn’t so intent on having a bitchin’ 30th birthday party, I’d probably just claim I was 29 forever.

4. What is your favorite (unused) baby name?
Ummm… Probably Tyler for a boy and Brianna for a girl? They’re the only 2 I can think of that haven’t been used recently by myself or other friends and family.

5. If you could make your child like something what would it be?
Reading. Reading has brought me so much pleasure over the years I hope I can find a way to teach my kids to enjoy it, even if they don’t actually DO it that often.

Category: 5QF, Getting to know me, meme  | Comments off
The Friday Usual Aug 05

1. Do you have siblings and are you close with them?
I have one younger brother. We’re not super close, but I see him usually once a week and we use Blackberry Messenger to keep in touch a couple times a week.

2. Would you rather be slightly UNDER weight or slightly OVER weight?
Over. I know it’s not “healthy” but most people at their ideal weight look emaciated, they need to put on a few pounds.

3. What’s your favorite State Fair food to splurge on?
As mentioned in a previous 5QF, I have only been to a “real” fair once that I can recall, and my fave food was cotton candy. If there was funnel cake or churros or soft pretzels, I’m sure I begged for those too. Funnel cake is the bigger one now.

4. What are your thoughts on your kid(s) going to school in a few weeks?
In general I’m excited that my daughter will be going to preschool again in 3 weeks. I’m not all that thrilled that she’s going Thursday/Friday, but hey, whatever, I’ll adjust. I LOVED her Monday/Wednesday schedule last year, but that was a fluke. The start of school is also a reminder that I’m in my 3rd trimester and there will be a second baby girl in the house before I know it. Scary thought.

5. Pool or Ocean?
Ocean view is better, but I’m much more comfortable playing around with my daughter in the pool and so is she. At the beach, she will only leave the blanket and her sand castles if she is firmly seated on someone’s hip. Unfortunately, now that she’s 30 pounds, it is difficult to accommodate this request.

Category: 5QF, Getting to know me, meme  | Comments off