My New Waiting Room

waitingroomtitleWaiting for anything is not my forte. I’m an immediate gratification kinda girl….and unfortunately I spawned a child who is just as impatient. So when I was thrown a bit of a curve ball over a week ago regarding my health I had a bit of meltdown…several if we’re being honest. Waiting can make you go crazy….turn you into a nut job…and crazy only begets more craziness.

So I did something different this time. I changed my story. You see before Lily if anything crazy happened to Mike, a family member, a friend or myself I would slump into a misty haze. I would turn to the internet to research a problem if it was health related…turn to food (especially sweets) because there is something about a fresh baked brownie that completes me…turn to sporting pjs and becoming a couch potato because turning to comfort items like my Uggs and a DVR episode of those crazy OC housewives just made me feel better.

This time while I waited I flipped the switch and immersed myself in healthy alternatives that would keep my mind/body/soul in a positive light while I tried to forget the horrible waiting room. I hung out with some girlfriends. Drove to a park that was in Egypt just for Lily to experience something new with her sweet pal Piper. Went to the mall and watched Lily socialize with complete strangers (that’s scary but also sweet!). Headed to the beach after Lily’s nap just so she could run after the birds. Finally took Lily back to MyGym (like a Gymboree class) since her whole Mollescum treatment and seeing her light up over trampolines and a ball pit is priceless. I also hit the gym 4 days in a row….I haven’t worked out that hard probably since 3 months before getting pregnant!

waitingThis next step even had my husband noticing….I actually put on outfits for THREE days in a row. By outfits I’m referring to clothes I would sport before baby…no sports bra, baggy t-shirt and NO black leggings. Instagram (I’m @lilyandbliss) friends got an outfit shot yesterday because I was so proud of my put together ensemble. And I put make-up on and actually blew out my hair.

Damn it felt great. And it still feels great knowing I didn’t revert to wasting away on the couch, binging on a batch of brownies and freaking out over Google searches.

Of course I thought about the waiting room and the what ifs….but by not fully concentrating on the negative I had a week of some pretty great moments with the family. I pushed myself physically and it helped me emotionally.

And then I got the call that my second blood labs showed that I was “normal”. Oh that was the cherry to my pretty cool banana split week. The old me would still be freaked out only receiving some answered questions. This new me is still worried but trying to live by my faith and placing everything in God’s hands. This new normal me is going to be just fine. I have the cutest daughter & sweetest husband and I’m now a pound lighter for boycotting brownies and crushing it at the gym. I like this new waiting room I’ve created.waitingend

 
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  1. mckay commented:
    March 29, 2013 Reply

    lily’s smiles are the best! and you are seriously awesome for getting ‘dressed’ 3 days in the row. motivating me to do that now! :)

  2. Elizabeth commented:
    March 29, 2013 Reply

    So glad you are “normal”. We had a medical scare this week, too. Waiting on test results was the hardest thing……and guess what? Everything is going to be okay!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      April 2, 2013 Reply

      Oh Elizabeth so sorry you had a scare too. Waiting is so tough and I’m so glad things are okay and you’re normal too:)

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Mini Spring S’mores

Mini Spring S'mores. Using Lil'Squares honey graham crackers, marshmallow creme & colored dipping chocolate you get adorable mini s'mores perfect for your toddler (no need to worry about roasting over a fire!). These would be super cute for a camping/BBQ/cowboy party using regular milk chocolate. You could even put them on mini lollipop sticks!S’mores rank pretty high on my all time favorite desserts. The only problem is I’m brought back to my days as a girl scout and the campouts where s’mores were served.

I hated the overnight camps. Even during the early elementary years I had an OCD about being clean. Yep I even had a travel case of disposable toilet seat covers (thanks Aunt Linda for those!)…yes at a small age I was crazy. So being out in mother nature with no running water or showers disgusted me.

But back to the delicious ooey gooey campfire favorite. Trying to obtain the perfect roasted marshmallow was always tricky. You want to cook it long enough to completely transform it into a gooey treat that will melt the chocolate bar. But there is a fine line before that perfectly toasted marshmallow turns crispy black.

Toddlers and campfires just don’t mix, at least not at our house, so I traded up the toasted marshmallow for a bottle of marshmallow creme and created these mini spring s’mores.

smoresingredientsAll you need is:

Nabisco’s Honey Maid Lil’ Squares honey grahams
Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
Wilton Candy Melts (colored chocolate that is perfect for dipping- found in the baking section at Joann’s or Michaels).
*You can use regular milk chocolate or melt some of that chocolate Easter candy!
*If you want the white chocolate taste & have it colored I would suggest just using the Candy Melts. They are already pre-colored and they are so easy to melt to the consistency for dipping. White chocolate chips are very tricky to melt!

The Lil’ Squares honey grahams are one of Lily’s favorite snacks. The great thing about them is that you don’t have to break them down into toddler size like the original graham crackers. Lay some parchment paper on the counter and lay your Lil’ Squares flat side up. To make it easy I laid two by each other so after I applied the marshmallow I had a topper waiting.

minismoresWith a butter knife I smeared on the marshmallow creme and topped it with another Lil’ Square. I pressed down on the top to squeeze some of the marshmallow out the sides (to help create a real s’more look).

In a microwave safe bowl I slowly melted my Candy Melts in the microwave. You don’t need much since you are only dipping half way & these are Barbie sized! To make it prefect for the spring time I used light blue & pink.

Once the chocolate is creamy, smooth and ready for a dippin’ place a wire rack on the counter and some foil or parchment paper underneath it. Dip your mini s’more into the chocolate half way or all the way if you want (it might be a bit messy!). Before I placed the dipped s’more I blew on it a bit. I laid these treats on the edge of the wire wrack so I wouldn’t have a problem with them sticking.

smoresdryingThese dry pretty quickly and when you are ready to bag them or place on  a tray use one finger and go underneath the rack and lightly push up on the s’more. When I first attempted picking them up the bottom stuck and in broke two….whoops.

These are toddler (& momma) approved. I may have eaten too many so I tossed the leftovers in the trash during her nap. These turned out so much better then some Easter themed cut & bake sugar cookies I purchased at the grocery store. Again you could use any color of candy melts, milk or dark chocolate. These would be super cute for a toddler birthday…think mini ‘eat me’ desserts for an Alice & Wonderland party, or a camp/BBQ/cowboy themed party!

The real campfire s’more will come when the weather is better and I don’t have to worry about Lily grabbing the flame….for now these adorable mini s’mores will do!

Mini Spring S'mores. Using Lil'Squares honey graham crackers, marshmallow creme & colored dipping chocolate you get adorable mini s'mores perfect for your toddler (no need to worry about roasting over a fire!). These would be super cute for a camping/BBQ/cowboy party using regular milk chocolate. You could even put them on mini lollipop sticks!

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    March 28, 2013 Reply

    Those are darling, Amy!

  2. March 28, 2013 Reply

    so cute!! (& i totally feel you on the throwing away leftover treats to avoid temptation thing. story of my life)

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Spring Cleaning Tip With A Wire Hanger

Unravel a wire hanger and slip a sock on the end for a free DIY extendable duster! You can reach cobwebs and dust way up high without standing on a chair or ladder! Even though the weather might not be spring like, I sure have the itch for spring cleaning!

Today’s tip will help you with your spring cleaning and keep you from shelling out $$ on a popular cleaning item.

Spider webs pop up in even the cleanest of houses. To get rid of them you could drag a kitchen or dining room chair to the corner and stand on your tippy toes as you swat down the web with a wet towel. OR you could purchase an extendable duster to reach the annoying cobwebs. Some dusters cost upwards of $20 or you could purchase the Swifter extender kit, but you have to keep buying the disposable dusters.

If you already have an extendable duster great! BUT if you ever run out of the disposable attachments try using this free tip.

Unravel a wire hanger and slip a sock on the end for a free DIY extendable duster! You can reach cobwebs and dust way up high without standing on a chair or ladder! I HATE wire hangers (said with passion like  Mommy Dearest!) but they come free with your dry cleaning. Start to un-twist the hanger until in becomes one long wire. Place one of your husband’s socks (they are bigger!) on the end of the wire. I like to place the sock on the hook end so it is easier to grab more dust!!

Unravel a wire hanger and slip a sock on the end for a free DIY extendable duster! You can reach cobwebs and dust way up high without standing on a chair or ladder! Hoist your DIY wire duster up in the corner and remove the pesky webs or any dust lingering on high shelves or frames.

Unravel a wire hanger and slip a sock on the end for a free DIY extendable duster! You can reach cobwebs and dust way up high without standing on a chair or ladder! The sock can be cleaned and re-used countless times while the wire hanger takes up no space in the garage!

 
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  1. Melissa Bowman commented:
    November 10, 2014 Reply

    And my all-time favorite…forget the “WIRE HANGER!!!”…and just use the sock for a great dust mitt.

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free & cheap toddler Activities: Part 2

freetodleractivitiespart2I’m back with another list of fun, free or cheap toddler activities. Look back at the first list of activities if you are visiting the blog for the first time!

Building blocks – toddlers love to build it up and knock it down!

Go On a Treasure Hunt – grab a bucket and walk around the house, neighborhood, or park and collect “treasures”.  Lily lets out the cutest Ooos and Ahhhs over pieces of bark, leaves, flowers or a funny looking rock. I call them her treasures!

Object sorting with muffin tins

Keeping your kid busy: Give your tot a muffin tin and objects like craft colored cotton balls, box cars or Legos and have then sort by color, size or by object. A FREE activity that teaches your kid something!Head to the park – Lily is a park fanatic. Sometimes she likes to just run around and collect treasures (pieces of bark, rocks or pretty leaves), but she has grown her confidence so the slides have become her favorite. Try visiting state parks to switch it up. Most parks have an admittance fee but they are typically cheap (one near my house is only $3 for the whole day!).

Bike Ride – we did spend money on a child seat to attach to our bike, but it pays off in the end. I’m getting cardio in while spending time with Lily and she goes bonkers over the birds, planes and squirrels!

Itsy Bitsy Spider and other silly songs – who cares if you don’t sound like Adele, your kid will love your rendition of the 3 little monkeys! If you don’t remember the lyrics then google it or hum to a cd while you dance along.

Tickle Monster – this is one of Lily’s favorite. She loves to be tickled and the tickle monster chases her around the house to tickle her. Sometimes the tables get turned and she becomes the monster.

Hide and Seek – tickle monster often turns into hide and seek. Lily loves to hide behind the curtains.

Take a Walk – don’t have time to drive to a park? Just take a quick walk around the block. Look for birds, bugs, and squirrels.

playingwithdirt5Go Dig in Dirt – sometimes getting dirty is the best type of play. I have a plastic shovel that I scored in the dollar section at Target and Lily loves to dig in the dirt. My poor flowers…

READ – it took some time for Lily to get into books. When I would read to her she would flip the pages before I could spit out three words. Now Lily begs for me to read.

Puzzles – if you have a toddler you can still play with puzzles. Melissa & Doug makes some beautiful wood puzzle boards!

Sprinklers

sprinkler4Play with dolls, army or character toys

Tea parties – use a plastic tea set or break out your child’s mini plates/bowls and sporks and have fun! Give them cheerios and goldfish instead of cucumber sandwiches!

Toliet Paper Fun – wrap your child up like a mummy and let them break free. Have them try and wrap your legs and arms. Or just give them the roll and let them see what they do with it. Sit on the ground and roll it to them and have them roll it back. Easiest clean up!

Fly a Kite – Walmart has kites under $2! It’s so magical to them and Lily loves to help hold the kite.

Jell-O Dig Jell-O Dig, a super fun (& tasty!) activity for toddlers. Make Jell-O and place objects inside before it sets in the fridge. Let your toddler dig and search for the objects! Learning & sensory play & an afternoon snack in one!Remember to check out the first round of activities here!

 
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DIY Wood Shelves

DIY cheap wood shelf. Dirt cheap, easy to make and so easy to hang! Perfect way to create a photo gallery without all the nail holes!Having tons of frames with cherished photographs decorating our walls makes me warm and fuzzy. I’m not one for multiple frames on a console or table…I’m a wall gallery fanatic. There is just something about picture galleries that make a house feel like a home.

Prior to the kitchen/master bedroom & bath makeover I had one gallery in our family room and another in the master bedroom that was on either side of the bed. The gallery in the living room was clean, where the one I had in the master was sloppy and a bit of an eye sore. I threw it together one day during Lily’s nap and because I was rushed the outlook looked sloppy. So I was excited to re-do the picture galleries!

Looking on Pinterest I was hooked on the idea of using shelves and overlapping different sizes of frames. Using shelves for photo galleries are great because you can constantly change up the frames and holiday objects without making 30 nail holes!The main problem was that shelves are $$$$$$$. After a little more digging on the web I found a fabulous tutorial from Ana White called the ten dollar ledges. SCORE! Check out Ana’s post for a great video and probably better tutorial!!

For Ana’s shelves she used 8 foot long shelves and I made mine only 4 feet. Here are the materials I used to make mine:

For one 4 foot long shelf you need:

Two 1x4s @ 4 feet long
One 1×2 @ 4 feet long
Four 2” screws
Two-three 2” finishing nails
Wood glue
Wood filler (optional)
120 grit sandpaper & hand towel (sanding machine makes it faster!)
Paint
Paint brush
Safety glasses (if using sanding machine)
Hammer
Drill
Level
Stud finder
Painter’s tape

Before you even begin make sure you use your stud finder on the wall you want to use and mark where the studs are by leaving pieces of the painter’s tape. To make this DIY project easier you will want to attach these shelf to studs. You can find (& to be sure ask for help at Lowe’s or Home Depot) hanging options if you do not have studs in the location you want to place these shelves. Finding the suds first will give you an idea if a 4 foot shelf would work or if you should go bigger or smaller. To better understand I only needed to drill two 2″ screws to hang my 4 foot shelf.

I purchased the wood already cut to 4 feet from Home Depot, Lowe’s has it too as I went back to build more…yes these are that easy to build!!! At Lowe’s a 1×4 was $2.97 (remember you need two for one shelf) and a 1×2 was only $1.78. So much cheaper than the floating shelves at Pottery Barn!

Once home I prepped the wood by sanding all pieces and used a hand towel to remove all the dust. Before attaching the wood together I laid them out because while sanding I noticed that some sides had a few indentations/scratches. I made sure that those pieces would be facing towards the wall!

DIY cheap wood shelvesLay the two 1x4s in the shape of an “L”. Predrill two marks on the bottom of the 1×4 that is vertical (again for a better picture you can check out Anna’s tutorial). To actually drill, you will take the bottom 1×4 and stand it up and apply a small amount of wood glue along the edge that will be against the other 1×4. Place the other predrilled 1×4 on top and align them. To hold that piece up I used another 1×4, creating a table. *I had another 1×4 on hand because I ended up making 2 shelves for the living room and one for the bathroom. Using the predrilled holes, drill a 2’ screw to both sides. Be careful where you place the hole and drill straight or your screw will pop through…like it did to mine whoopsie! Once you are done you will have an “L” shaped shelf.

The 1×2 will create the front ledge and prevent frames from falling off the shelf. To attach, apply a small amount of wood glue to the top of one of the 1x4s. Lay the 1×2 on top and make sure it is lined up and use a finishing nail to attach. I ended up using three finishing nails just to be careful. I applied a little wood filler to any of the holes on the finishing nails so the front of the shelf would look nice and clean.

shelfwhoopsieI painted the living room shelves the color of the wall, Benjamin Moore’s Shaker Beige. The one for the bathroom I just used the plain white trim color that is on the baseboards. In the bathroom I wanted to go with an all white frame look so  I made the shelf white too. I applied two coats of paint for each shelf and allowed them to fully dry over night.

DIY cheap wood shelf. Dirt cheap, easy to make and so easy to hang! Perfect way to create a photo gallery without all the nail holes!Hanging the shelf was easy peasy! I used my stud finder one last time to make sure I had the correct areas marked. I placed my level on the shelf and once it was ready I drilled my 2” screws into the back 1×4 into the stud. See…so simple!

All that you have left to do is figure out what frames you want to display and how to arrange them! My favorite two pictures are from our wedding when I was walking down the isle. Two pictures caught us at the same time….shelfwalkingdownisle

DIY cheap wood shelf. Dirt cheap, easy to make and so easy to hang! Perfect way to create a photo gallery without all the nail holes!

 
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  1. March 28, 2013 Reply

    i.LOVE.these! adding to my future decorating project list…

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Waiting and praying

For those of you that follow me on Instagram (@Lilyandbliss), I left a rather vague comment up there last night regarding some “personal issues” I was facing.

After some texts, emails to see if I was okay I felt bad for leaving such a cryptic message that worried friends. I’m okay, Lily is okay and so is Mike. You see “mother nature” has been visiting every two weeks since December and staying sometimes for 10 days.

Since we were going to try for baby #2 this summer there was no real rush to figure out what was going on with my body. I was going to wait another month to see if I became regular. Then I had a phone conversation with a girlfriend and she had a grapefruit size mass removed from her uterus after having my same constant bleeding. That phone conversation of course had my mind racing and calling my OB for an appointment.

After an examination and convo about my family history of thyroid problems my doc said that the thyroid was the likely culprit of my unwelcome-every-two-week-visitor. To be sure she drew some blood and ordered an ultrasound. She told me that if the blood test was clear a nurse would just call me to confirm or she would call to discuss any issues they found.

All weekend I prepped myself for dealing with a thyroid problem and the possibility of taking medication indefinitely to help regulate it. I don’t consider this pessimistic, but rather a realist view….prematurely setting myself up to take the news more gently. Monday I received a phone call from the doctor and got b!*ched slapped with a totally different problem that I wasn’t prepared for.

My FSH hormone levels are high. My doctor was super sweet trying her best to dumb down the conversation so I could understand while also staying as chipper as she could so I didn’t freak out. Basically my brain is sending out hormones that are messing with my ovaries. Sensing a potential freak out my doctor did tell me that this could cause potential issues getting pregnant, but that women have gotten pregnant with this. She ordered another blood test and said we would have to wait and if this blood test confirmed my wacky hormones that I would have to see a specialist for a future pregnancy.

WTF. I thought I had prepared myself, but I did not see this coming. I made the next mistake and jumped on Google to research this more. Oh the Internet is the WORST place for answers when you are in any kind of medical limbo. My head & heart were in a tizzy reading about how this FSH affects women during menopause. Say what???? Menopause?? Thank goodness it was naptime because I fell apart….like ugly crying session.

To keep myself composed in front of Lily I took her to the mall for a little retail therapy. As long as she could have fun playing in the kid area I would keep the tears back while in public. Mike and I were going to try for baby #2 this summer, but now knowing that there could be possible complications we will be making an appointment with a specialist asap if these blood results continue to point to a hormone problem.

But then yesterday I received some tragic news from a girlfriend who couldn’t hear her baby’s heartbeat during an ultrasound…and I got b!*ched slapped again. I have never had to deal with fertility issues, but I would take them over a miscarriage.

There is no point in trying to understand God’s plan during a tragedy. All I can do is try and be there for my friend and pray for her. As for me…all I can do is wait and pray that things will be fine. And if not…well I am truly blessed already to have my sweet Lily….

 
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  1. Jen commented:
    March 21, 2013 Reply

    Ames! I am so sorry you are going through all of this! I had no idea. I will pray for you and for another healthy baby. I have been dealing with quite a lot myself which is why I haven’t been so wonderful about checking in. Although, I must have sensed something was wrong because I called an left you a message earlier today. Call me when you get a chance! Love you! Xoxo, JPx3

  2. Elizabeth commented:
    March 27, 2013 Reply

    Oh, no!!! I’m just catching up on your blog. So sorry that you are facing this. I’m thinking and praying for you friend! xoxo, Elizabeth

  3. March 28, 2013 Reply

    oh my heart…. how scary & overwhelming… big hugs to you (& your friend). i have total faith that it will all work out & can’t wait to read a future blog post where you are sharing exciting good news!! xo

  4. Megan commented:
    April 24, 2013 Reply

    I just read this! I was thinking about your cryptic post and never got back to you or it- glad you are figuring things out… You do have your sweet Lily. I have been dealing with all the IVF stuff again- so if you ever have questions let me know. I probably have almost all the answers about going through the process. xoxo

    • Amy Romano commented:
      April 25, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Meg and I will take you up on that offer! Miss Piper & Lily need a play date. We just purchased the Disney Pass, so maybe we can take the girls to meet the princesses one day 😉 xoxo

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  1. By Lily & Bliss | My New Waiting Room on March 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    […] who is just as impatient. So when I was thrown a bit of a curve ball over a week ago regarding my health I had a bit of meltdown…several if we’re being honest. Waiting can make you go crazy….turn […]

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Kid Proofing: The Trash Can

Kid Proofing: The Trash Can. Make room in a cabinet for your trash can. For your sanity just do it! You can purchase the pull out trash cans that are so easy! No more worrying about your kid digging around in your trash!The day Mike and I showed Lily how to throw away trash was one of those moments where we beamed with joy.

Wow look how awesome that is. Our little girl is friggin awesome! Oh Lily that is yucky go throw it….oh GOOD GIRL! Thanks for throwing it away.

Then the tables turned pretty quickly when she realized that there was other stuff inside that huge shiny container. Being able to reach that stuff and take it out as easily as she could put in fascinated her. Man did our proud parent bubble burst.

My dumpster diver daughter became obsessed with the trash can. Yes it was still awesome when she would toss a dirty paper towel away, but she was taking more empty Truvia packets and banana peels out than she was kindly throwing away.

I posted a live action dumpster dive for a banana peel on Instagram (@lilyandbliss). What I didn’t show was the picture of her swiftly taking a bite of it….vomit.

Needing to take our kitchen utensils out of our cabinets for the installation of our new counter tops (read about our kitchen makeover here), I decided to re-organize and make room for a hidden trash can. After rearranging some of our items I was so surprised how much space I now had.

For your sanity make room in one of your kitchen cabinets/pantry to store your trash can. Lowe's or Home Depot sell pull out trash cans that are easy to install. Hide your trash so you don't have to worry about your kid digging in it!I could have just placed an open trash can in the cabinet, but I thought it would be annoying to lift the container in and out to change the bag and toss large items. My mother has a built in double trash can system that pulls out…so wanting to copy that but not wanting to build one I purchased one from Lowe’s instead!

The Rev-A-Shelf was around 70 bucks and worth every penny. You drilled the bottom rack inside the cabinet and it was complete within minutes. We decided to purchase the double trash system and save the second one for recycled items. Mike has a habit (and sometimes I do too!) of leaving an empty milk jug on the kitchen counter instead of walking it out to the garage. I didn’t care when he first started to do this, but one hour would lead into another… then an empty pasta box from lunch would join…and then we end up with a heap of recycled trash on the counter. Now we have a spot under the counter for those recyclables.

The cabinet has a child lock on it so NO MORE DUMPSTER DIVING in my kitchen…no ma’am!

Check out all the different kinds of pull out trash cans from Lowe’s here (prices from $34 to $$$) and Home Depot has here (prices from $39 to $$$) and The Container Store has a few here (prices from $49-$69).

 
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  1. Megan commented:
    March 20, 2013 Reply

    You read my mind… I came by to see what was going on… and your garbage post is something I have been DREAMING of!!! Piper is doing the same thing as Lily and putting her toys in too if it breaks then getting it back out. GROSS CITY!! Thanks for sharing- going to get it doneeeeee!!!! xo

  2. Amy Romano commented:
    March 21, 2013 Reply

    Totally gross…right!!! Today she discovered my tiny trash can in my bathroom while I was putting on makeup….made me gag!

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Said the almost 31 year old

What the 30 year old me would say to the teenager me{Whoopsie! This was accidentally posted awhile ago, sorry this is not a “new” post to some of you!}

The phrase “If I had known then what I know now…” is voiced by many, but if we did know, would we appreciate the wisdom? Believe it? Act on it?

It is amazing how life comes full circle. The teenager Amy was carefree, a bit BIG party animal and like many teenagers, believed she knew it all. When going through a fight with a girlfriend or during a breakup with a boyfriend the teenager Amy thought her life was over. When my mom would try and console me, offer kind advice, the young me continued to shed tears as I doubted her. I mean how could she really know what I was going through?

Now that I’m the mom I will undoubtedly offer Lily the same motherly clichés (“there are more fish in the sea” or “if it’s meant to be, it will be”) in hopes that it brings Lily peace. As a parent I will pass on my knowledge and hope that Lily sees truth in my words and acts on it.

My mom did know what I was going through. She was once a teenager. Barely anyone looks at his or her parents in that light during a dramatic teenage moment. She offered me wonderful advice that I now know was valid. Of course I accepted truth in some of her advice, but believing that my life would be okay after a devastating breakup was only accepted when time passed. Even with age, there are some lessons/truths that we will only understand and accept until we experience the pain.

It breaks my heart to look at Lily and know that part of growing up is getting your heart broken. That she will have fights with girlfriends and some will leave her in pieces. Growing up can be pretty painful, no matter what social status or sex you are. I just hope that when she does go through life’s rough learning moments that it’s quick and there is a positive ending for her. I hope that she takes these experiences as learning moments and not hold them as scars.

So what would the thirty year old Amy say to the teenager Amy? Let me take a whack at it….

Dear Amy,

As your voice from the future let me first start by telling you that your life at almost 31 years is marvelous. You are so blessed.  It was a crazy journey to get to this point in your life, filled with good times and bad. So with that please listen up…

Learn to love yourself. Women are so self critical and the world surrounding us is filled with images and ceilings that are unattainable unless you make choices that are detrimental to you health and spirit. If you don’t love yourself, then don’t expect to find friends or a man that will either. And note: one day when you finally let go you will meet (and marry) a man (not a boy) that will love and respect every inch of you…inside and out. {BUT the only thing I am begging you to do is to PLEASE grow out your bangs!! It will take you until senior year to finally grow them out….do it sooner!!!!}What the 30 year old me would say to the teenager meDo onto other’s as you would have others do onto you. If everyone lived by the golden rule the world would be a better place.

In high school you will try so hard to be accepted by others that you will allow some people to walk all over you. You shouldn’t have to work so hard for a friendship. I know it’s hard to imagine but high school is such a small fragment of time. You will get over the jerk who dumped you in the hallway before Spanish. You will get over the girlfriend who stabbed you in the back. By senior year the guy who told a vicious lie will finally come clean and in the end many will feel bad for the way they treated you. The teenage years are tough Amy…BUT these heartbreaking moments will leave you stronger and smarter.

Life moves on. Yes getting dumped by a guy or fighting with your girlfriends is horrible, but your life is not over. Time will pass and believe it or not you will get over this. Instead of dwelling in the pain and sorrow try to step back and learn from this breakup or fight.

Don’t live with regrets. Each experience is a teaching one. You will learn about life or something about yourself…so why regret something that will only make you a better you.

Don’t procrastinate. You do this a lot in high school with homework or speeches. Just don’t do it. And while you’re working on not procrastinating on your Spanish, try studying a little harder. Being smart is not dorky. You are smart Amy…and the one true regret you will only have is that you should have taken school more seriously {and have grown out those bangs sooner!}.

Actions speak louder than words. Yes yes, your mom has told you this more times than you can count. She was right. But if you chose words over actions, make sure they are soft and sweet in case you have to eat them.

Learn to listen more than you speak. You are very passionate and with that fiery element you get quick tempered, failing to fully listen. During those moments learn to soak in the situation and every word.

Life is all about taking chances….so keep taking them. Amy you are full of life and your not afraid about making the leap and trying things out of your comfort level. Keep that quality because one day you will agree to join a co-ed flag football team (fake nails and all) and that man that will love you for better or worse will be there waiting.

Teenage Amy,  I can ramble on and on but will it really matter? You are stubborn and you will only believe in all the clichés that your parents tell you until you learn them through experience. So what’s the point of this letter from the future?

To tell you your parents are right? Everything they say and do is only for your best interest. There is truth in all of their little talks. Don’t roll your eyes. Don’t let it flow out of the other ear too quickly. Soak the advice in and try and take it. Knowledge is power Amy…but there I go with another “mommy cliché.”

What the 30 year old me would say to the teenager meSo maybe the point of this letter is preparation for the many talks I will have with our daughter. Yes our daughter. Amy she is so beautiful, smart and has that same stubborn fiery side. And like our mom hoped we would listen to her, I pray Lily will as well.

So teenage Amy, keep living life and enjoy every second of this precious gift God has given you. And do me a favor…go give your mom and a dad a big hug…because being a parent is the hardest thing in the world….and you won’t know that until you’re one yourself.

Smootches,

Your fabulous, older & wiser self

 
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  1. March 18, 2013 Reply

    oh my goodness – bring on the tears over here!!!

  2. Michelle Czarnik commented:
    March 24, 2013 Reply

    I think we should all have to write one of these letters and give it to our daughters later in life. We’ve learned a lot over the years. Xo

  3. Candace commented:
    March 28, 2013 Reply

    I can relate to SO much of this! Thanks for sharing, I think I might do this :)

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Monthly Activity Boxes For The Tots

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One thing all of us parents can agree on is that our kids grow up so quickly. With the lightening speed growth finding objects, toys and projects to stimulate our kids at each milestone can be daunting.

In walks the pretty awesome monthly subscriptions that you can purchase that will solve that toy problem! Be sure to check them all out as they differ in price, subscription, age and by activity.

Don’t have young kids anymore?? Well this is the perfect gift to give any kid for their birthday or Christmas…or even the soon-to-be-mommas!

giftsubscriptions1Babbaco
At subscriptions starting at $20 your child will receive 2 to 3 projects to create along with a book to stimulate imagination all under special themes.

Little Passports
For someone who loves to travel this monthly subsciption makes me giddy. Each month your child (depending on what subscription) will travel around the world and learn about new countries or all around the U.S. learning about the states. (this is recommended for ages starting around 5)

Spark Box
The twist on this subscription is that after 4 weeks of playing with the toys you send them back. Yes it seems a little strange, but they have a rigorous safety and cleaning process that had me impressed. Plus I really like the idea of giving the toys back for new ones….that means my house isn’t over run with more balls and puzzles!

giftsubscriptions2Kiwi Crate
In each delivery your child will have three projects to stimulate their creativity while learning! They have various subscriptions and themes for girls & boys. Plus they just started their party favors ranging from $5-$12 that make the perfect gift for tykes to take home!

Blumm
This monthly subscription is for the babies & the mommas! You receive quality products tested by moms for moms! You will receive full sized products and samples of today’s fabulous finds. Plus they started subscriptions for toddlers too Hooray!!!

Citrus Lane
These boxes start at $21/month and all you have to do is input your kid’s age and Citrus Lane will custom make a monthly box! Sweet gifts could include hand sewn fruit, teething toys or on the go healthy snacks.

Stork Stack
A stack of 5 high quality products delieved each month for the baby and momma! Starting at $28 the best part is that this company gives back, by giving stacks to families in need!

Little Pnuts
The twist with this monthly subscription is their promise to the delievery of non-battery operated or big marketed toys. Each month your kid will receive high quality, organic and naturally made toys for creative play. Packages are based on your child’s birth date and will gradually change to reflect the developmental  milestones.

giftsubscription3Mygigglebox
Has different subscriptions and you have the availability to add on more kits at a lower price if you have more than one child!

Kelly Kits
This monthly kit comes with all supplies you need for that month’s unique craft for two kids (or 1 kid can do the activity twice!). The monthly subscriptions will keep your kid entertained with painting, sculpting, drawing, printmaking or collage. There are also party packs that you can purchase that will give you great supplies and ideas to keep kids busy during a party (max 8 people per pack).

Supriseride
Have an older kid and really like this monthly subscription idea?? Take a peak at Supriseride to keep your kid’s creative juices flowing!

Funshine Express
These kits are more on the educational side and help prep kids for school! Learn more and check out the site!

 
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  1. Elizabeth commented:
    March 16, 2013 Reply

    Love this! I had heard of Kiwi Crate, but not these others…..going to refer back to this for Ella!

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  1. […] just for us to make us feel warm and fuzzy….we deserve it right? I brought you a long list of monthly gift subscriptions for the kiddos and today I bring you a fun list of monthly deliveries just for the […]

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Keeping Her Busy: Art Easel

IKEA's art easel is only $14 bucks! You can spray paint it (I did a pretty gold!) so it goes with your room's decor and watch your little Picasso go to work! Ikea also sells a matching roll of paper for only $4.99! Pretty cheap for something that your child will use for years! Toddlers and crayons go together like peanut butter & jelly…like sugar & tea…like a cold Corona & a lime wedge.

Coloring is an all time favorite of Lily’s and the perfect activity to keep any toddler busy. The only problem I had was keeping her coloring books organized and out of sight. For some time I had them stored on our dining room table, but moved them to a plastic container out in the garage with the rest of the art supplies for a little spring cleaning. Heading out to the garage everyday to grab the Elmo coloring book was annoying so I headed to Ikea and picked up their wood art easel for an outrageously cheap price….$14.99!

ikea easel suppliesTo make the art easel pretty and fit with our home’s décor I painted it gold! The easel comes with one side made for chalk and the other for dry erase markers. I taped off both sides with a trash bag before I gave it two coats of spray paint (that I already owned).

Ikea's cheap art easel is only $14.99 & spray paint it a fun color (like gold) to go with your home's decor. A super cheap & pretty place for your toddler to make art! The easel comes with a wooden stick to hold a roll of paper and you can purchase a huge roll of paper for only $4.99. That is so cheap that I snatched up two of ‘em! To hold the paper still while Lily colors I placed a metal paper clip. You could easily use a plastic chip clip, but the metal paper clip fits securely & is toddler proofed!

To hold Lily’s crayons and chalk I am using small metal buckets that can be found in Target’s dollar section. The green bucket was actually included in a party favor so it made this project cheaper! I only spent $ on the following:

Art easel $14.99
Roll of paper $4.99
Metal buckets $1.00

Since Lily still has a fascination with eating crayons I just move the two metal buckets to the kitchen counter once art time is over. Simple & easy. So for a small price we now have a cute art area in the living room where Lily can go and get her Picasso on!IKEA’s art easel is only $14 bucks! You can spray paint it (I did a pretty gold!) so it goes with your room’s decor and watch your little Picasso go to work! Ikea also sells a matching roll of paper for only $4.99! Pretty cheap for something that your child will use for years!

 
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  1. Kimberly Romano commented:
    March 13, 2013 Reply

    We have the same thing for Nick…he loves it!

  2. March 13, 2013 Reply

    genius to spray paint this!!!! i’ve been eying this at ikea for months now & can’t wait until miss Kate is old enough for it (but really, I can wait, because this baby stage is already flying by waaaay too quickly. but you know what i mean) :)

    • Amy Romano commented:
      March 15, 2013 Reply

      Ha- I was eyeing it too when Lily was still considered a “baby”…and yes it flew by! Tomorrow I’ll be shopping for a training bra…:)

  3. Elizabeth commented:
    March 15, 2013 Reply

    We have this and love it!

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