Friday, December 17, 2010

I Will Survive!!

We're done. The semester is over. We can all breathe now! Last night, neither of us cared when Benny came crawling into our bed.

This morning, Shuky snuck out of bed early and made an amazing breakfast for me, took Benny to the kitchen, and together they came in and woke me up to eat my delicious breakfast! This was his way of saying thank you for putting up with me during finals. :)

Benny brought me the plate with cottage cheese and strawberries, yelling, "Look Mommy! It's I V U!" To which Shuky quickly corrected him, "No Benny, that says I heart you! Like I love you!" Was very cute!! Benny was so excited to see someone eating in bed so he sat down next to me to help out!

I got another gift yesterday, as well, but I'm not ready to share that one with you so in the meantime, you'll all just have to wait to hear what it is!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


It's been an extremely frustrating week, between potty training and Shuky's finals. I don't really  have nice things to say right now so I will hold my tongue. Just wanted to drop in, make an appearance. Hopefully the nice and happy me will be back sometime next week.

For all you students out there, hope your finals went well and you enjoy your well deserved winter break! To our traveling friends, safe trips and enjoy your vacations!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Tale of Twos

Once, long ago and far away, there was a young woman. Now, by relative standards, this young woman was quite normal. Decent amount of drama, weighed out by happiness and love. This woman met a young man that was the yang to her yin, another soul that could be considered normal. They got married and a short while later, had a little boy of their own, one they hoped would grow into his own person, facing all there was ahead of him with as much normalicy as possible.

Then, suddenly and quite unexpectedly, this little boy hit a stage in life commonly knows as 'Terrible Twos'. Although terrible seems quite a mild word for the behavior coming out of this little boy. Words could not begin to describe the sounds that came out of this little boy, the shrieks, the yells, the words! His body would go rigid when he was not getting his way. In case you are trying to figure out what this did, it more or less made it completely impossible to put a coat on him or strap him into his car seat.

Enough of the fairy tale, I'm sure some day this will end (IT DOES, RIGHT???) and we can have an 'and they all lived happily ever after' at the end of the story. In the meantime, I am dealing with this little boy, my lovely Benny, and his horrible tantrums on a way too regular basis! I don't like going out in public with him. I don't even want to take him downstairs to check the mail! And it doesn't help that I'm irritably pregnant and having fabulous dizzy spells with this new little bump of love! Combine dizzy spells with ear piercing shrieks. It doesn't play out well, no matter how you imagine it. Some days, we come home after dealing with one of these lovely shows he puts on and I go straight to the computer. For what, you ask? Looking for a school for Shuky to transfer to, one with a community that has a school. One that Benny can be in for a large portion of the day. When the clouds leave my head, I realize that's not the answer, but when the forecast calls for storms, that's where I go!

It's not like I'm not prepared to be home with him. I have my handy-dandy craft box, which we use on an extremely regular basis. We have an insane amount of toys for a household of one child, so no lack there! Books galore for reading fun, yep, we've got those! Don't forget about our extensive video library for some much needed vegging time!

The cold is a large factor. We can't go out as much, even for a quick walk or bike ride. Cabin fever sets in and amplifies all of the above nicenesses that we've mentioned here!

Now, add potty training (or, unfortunately, re-potty training in our case) and you have a very scary combination.

'This, too, shall pass.' An old saying that I like to live my life by. Thank you for listening to the frustrated ramblings of a stressed out pregnant mom! Hope you all are having a great day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Darndest Things!

Just wanted to do a round-up of some of the latest Benny quips, the kid really cracks me up!
(If we're friends on FaceBook, you've probably seen most of these already!)

When told it was time for a nap, he ran to his kitchen with a bribe for me, "I'm gonna make Mommy coffees!"

We were in the car and I was singing along with the radio. Apparently, Benny liked the song that was playing and couldn't hear over me. "Don't sing very loud Mommy, shhh!"

While brushing his teeth the other day, Benny was studying himself in the mirror. Suddenly, he gasps and yells, "MOMMY I HAVE TWO EYESES!!!"

Right before hopping in the bathtub, he gave me a rundown of what he could see. "This is my belly button. And this is my tushy. And this is my boob. And this is my nother boob!" The funniest part is that neither of us taught him the word boob!

I was cuddling with him in his bed and he had his hand on my belly, feeling the baby's movement. I asked him what it felt like. He looks at me with all seriousness, "Like a truck."

Anytime I'm not feeling well (more often than not these days) he asks me, "Mommy, is your tummy so hurting?"

He has little talks with himself, or between his toys. Sometimes they are motivational. On Chanukah, he got a dreidel that lights up and plays music. He was standing at his table having this talk with himself:
"I can't do it!"
"Why not Benny?"
"Yes, you can do it!"
"I can?"

There's a lot more that he says, but for now, I just wanted you to get a slight tidbit of the hilariousness that is Benny Meyer!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let The Potty Training Re-Begin!

Benny was doing really well with his potty training, even making requests in public to use the toilet! We weren't quite at the point of wearing underwear out of the house but we were very close! Then we had all the holiday traveling in September, followed by a two week visit to NY. Over that time, he completely regressed. Refused to even TALK about the toilet! Diapers only! What a major bummer, considering the amount of time and effort we had put into everything! I started him at 18 months and said we were going to take it slow, let him work out a system that he's comfortable with. Yeah, that worked very well!

Now, we are attempting to re-potty train the little dude. This time it's on our terms. I'm not leaving the house this week, unless absolutely necessary. We may have to go hungry if that's what it takes! (I'm joking, in case anyone is getting worried at that!) He is in his training pants, getting more juice than I've given him all year. More chips and salty things than usual. I'm also prepared to do as many loads of laundry as necessary! This time, prizes are working differently. I'm not going to spend so much money on prizes for each time. Now, he's old enough to understand that at the end of the tunnel is something he REALLY wants! During Chanukah, we went to an ice skating event. He had so much fun and has been asking to go back on a daily basis. Guess what he gets when he earns enough stickers on his toilet chart -- you got it, a trip to the ice skating rink with Mommy and Tatty!! And we talk about it every time his little tushie is on that toilet! I still have some left over cars available for days when he does a really great job, but I'm not handing them out as easily any more! We are going to make this happen and it's going to take effort from all of us this time! I refuse to have two tushies to diaper at the same time!!

The current reward chart:


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fish in the Sea

My brother sent me an email today. In it was a link to a Southern California radio station, writing a bit about one of his friends. The guy's name is Seth Menachem (a married man with a cute little girl), and Seth has started a blog called My Single Peeps

His mission: 

One of his 'peeps' he decided to write about was my brother. I LOVE the way he describes each of the people on his blog. He is completely honest about all the quirks you will find in each person but obviously has plenty of good to say about them as well! His concept - browse through, let him know who catches your fancy. Send him your info and he'll forward it on to that person. I love that in the article linked to above, they pointed out my brother's profile as their favorite. Guess what 89.1 FM, he's my favorite too!!! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

To Pee or Not to Pee

Just a quick rant. When a pregnant woman is coming in for an ultrasound appointment, don't let the appointment before run late. Having a full bladder is not comfortable. Having a full bladder when you're pregnant is just painful. Having a full bladder, while pregnant, for an hour and a half, is excruciating. I was seriously considering rescheduling my appointment!!

I'm Walking on Sunshine

Our Florida trip was probably the best we've had since Benny was born. Before he came into our lives, the trips had an extremely different dynamic (obviously), thereby making them incomparable! This trip just went as smooth as a baby's butt (???). [I'm really tired so excuse the weirdness coming out of me!] We saw basically everyone we wanted to see and more!

Shuky's brother gave us his oceanside apartment for a night so we even got our little getaway we are always looking for. Granted, Benny joined us, but such is the life of a parent! He went to sleep pretty quickly, and I fell asleep right after he did! It's fun being pregnant!! The morning was really what made the experience. The apartment is a penthouse apartment so think amazing views, total relaxation. We had breakfast in pjs on the balcony. Then we threw on our bathing suits and walked across the street to the beach. Sat for a nice little while, playing in the waves (until Benny got thrown in the air from a huge one), drawing letters in the sand (only my boys would draw letters instead of building sand castles), burying Mommy's feet (amazing exfoliation trick).

Both in and out, we had crazy flight hours. As long as Shuky is traveling with me, I completely prefer that to daytime traveling! Benny was tired and slept alot on the flights and it didn't completely screw with his schedule. The airports weren't extremely congested yet so security was a breeze. Completely through in under five minutes, with a car seat and stroller in tow!

The rededication (renewal of vows) that we went out for was beautiful. It was great seeing all the family and the words shared were total tear jerkers. Benny had a ball dancing with all his aunts and uncles. The ceremony was hard for him to stay quiet through. He kept getting excited at all the planes passing by overhead. And yelling to point them out, of course. But it was just an extremely memorable evening. Great to see a love like that between two people. After 30 years of marriage, they are only stronger than before! May we all have love like that in our lives, whether it's the first try or the third!

As I write, I am chugging gallons of water down. About to go in for my 20 week ultrasound. Tomorrow will be my 21 week mark but we were in Florida so today it is. It happens to be that with this pregnancy, I have been drinking A LOT of water so this should be no biggie for me. I go through a 24 pack of water bottles at least once a week, if not more. Now that it's required, I'm obviously dreading it. And I need to pee already, not even halfway through my first bottle. It's going to be a long hour.

Gotta finish getting dressed now, just wanted to write while I had the quiet (Benny has a video on).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Halfway Gone

Today was my 20 week marker. All day, I had Lifehouse's 'Halfway Gone' running through my head :)

We've been having a great time here in Florida, extremely enjoyable! Beautiful weather, lovely company, good food, did I mention the amazing weather?

Just checking in quickly. Lots of love!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Things To Do, Things To Ignore

I just want to pat myself on the back quickly. I actually got Benny down for a nap today. At the correct time. You heard me, the correct time! So, obviously, now that he's asleep, I find myself on FaceBook and blogging. Because it's not like tonight is Shabbos and I have food to make. Or we are going out of town super early Sunday morning and I need to pack. Or I'm still in my pajamas. Nope. Everything is totally under control over here!!

Have a good Shabbos, an enjoyable weekend, and safe travels to all of you on vacation this coming week!!

**Slowly backing away from the computer**

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Beating the Winter Blues

I've been getting a few requests for lists of projects that are easy to do on an 'inside day' so I decided to do a post on crafts to stay stocked on and simple projects to keep your little ones entertained!

My craft box has essentials so that on any random day, I can pull it out and make something. When I am thinking of a specific project that calls for more, I go and get that. Whenever we go to WalMart or Target, I cruise through the clearance aisles to see what I can score for super cheap that can be used for crafts. We have a wall in the apartment that has been designated for all the art to hang. It's great! Benny points to previous projects and asks to repeat them. Or he tells me about how we made them. He really loves it! The other day, while coloring, he goes, "Oh gy gosh! (his version of oh my gosh) I love projects Mommy!!" Sigh. Love.

Anyway, here's what I keep in my box:
Different types of papers - construction paper, foam paper, felt paper
Pom-poms, fuzzy straws (pipe-cleaners), popsicle sticks, wooden letters, I have googly eyes somewhere but I couldn't find them for some reason 
Different adhesives - tacky glue (craft glue) (I prefer the quick dry in clear), school glue, glue stick, wood glue, packing tape, and I also have a hot glue gun (always good to have a large bag of glue refills
Different mediums of color - washable finger paints (I use plastic shotglasses to give Benny a bit from each color), acrylic paints, colored pencils, crayons (not pictured) 
I like to keep scissors, pens, pencils and permanent markers in a separate container for my use. 

Every roll of toilet paper or paper towel that gets finished goes straight to the craft box.

Sometimes I find craft kits in the clearance aisle or just super affordable. We have a sun-catcher kit that comes with supplies for 8, picked it up for $5 at WalMart. We also found a felt puppet-making kit at Hobby Lobby, priced at $4.75, with an additional 40% off! 

On quiet days, I browse through different crafting sites for ideas - Oriental Trading, Rhode Island Novelty, etc. I keep a list in my box. When we have a hankering for a project, I just look through my list and pull out the supplies!

Even though it's not quite Chanukah yet, my father got Benny an early present (amazing sales call for early gifts!). We got him a Step2 Train Table that doubles as a craft table! We roll this out for the bigger projects. His little picnic table just wasn't cutting it anymore! I really want to get a roll of white butcher paper for large projects, keeping my eye out for good deals still.

Alright, here are some quick ideas. Feel free to ask questions!
Let's start with some Thanksgiving crafts:
** Paper plate turkey - Paint a large paper plate and small paper brown. Glue foam feathers to the back of the large plate, and two foam arms to the front. Make a face on the small plate with eyes, a beak, and a gullet. Attach foam feet to the large plate so they hang off the bottom.
** Pine cone turkey - Cut out feathers from different colored foam papers. Glue them to the pines. Using a pipe cleaner, make feet and glue to the bottom of the pine cone. Make a beak out of pipe cleaner as well. Make a gullet out of foam and attach to 'beak', along with googly eyes. Attach beak to the pine cone.

** Hats - There are so many cute ways to enjoy the meal itself. Different hats are a great way to get everyone at the table involved and give your kids a little feel for what the history of the holiday involves. You can make Pilgrim hats, turkey headbands, Indian headbands. Another cute thing to do is make turkey beaks with a gullet hanging down, attached to a large popsicle stick, that can be held up to your nose.

Some other non-holiday crafts here:
** Hand creations - Easiest and one of Benny's favorites. I trace his hands on construction paper and then outline them with permanent marker. Give him some crayons or paint and see what he can create!
** Apple prints - This one calls for paints. (I prefer to use the washable finger paints unless I'm working with wood.) Slice an apple in half. Paint it and use it as a stamp on paper.
** Fish aquarium - Decorate blue construction paper/cellophane with fish and other marine regulars. Create a frame for the tank out of popsicle sticks. Use a pipe cleaner to make a handle on the top so it can be hung up.
**Egg carton school bus - Paint one side of an egg carton yellow (or red, if your kid loves fire trucks!). In the dips, glue pictures of friends and family members who would be riding along with you!

There are so many things you can do with random things at home. Just be creative and think outside the box! Hopefully this is a good start for everyone! Enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

He Needs To Know

Been feeling pretty 'blah' these past few days. I'm going to Des Moines for a project date with the Feeley boys today and I'm pretty excited to be getting out!

Originally, Shuky and I decided to keep Benny on a need-to-know basis about the pregnancy. Judging by the way Benny behaved with Baby Essie (Slater) and his level of rough-housing with me (specifically my midsection!), we decided it was time to start talking baby with Benny. So, we all sat down together to discuss it. We told him that there's a baby in Mommy's tummy. His response was: "Baby Moshe (Feeley) in your belly button!?!?!?!"
"No, Benny. It's not Baby Moshe!"
"Baby Essie in there???"
"Nope, kid. Not Baby Essie either! It's our OWN baby!"
Apparently, he was a lot more excited at the prospect of getting a Baby Moshe or Baby Essie. Was very cute!

The following day, without talking about it, I pointed to my stomach and asked if he remembered what was in there. He did. :) He started rubbing my tummy, saying, "Hi baby! How are you today?" The next day he came to sing the ABC's to the baby. Of course, like his father, he believes that my belly button is the intercom system so he talks directly into it!

When he gets too wild and I remind him, he 'makes nice' to my stomach, accompanied with, "I sorry baby!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Hot, Then It's Cold

Today, my A/C is running. Benny went out without a coat or a hat. Shuky went out in short sleeves. This weather is really weird but, hey, I'm not going to complain about gorgeous weather in November!

Friday is my 25th birthday. I feel old. Imagine how the generation above me must feel!! ;)

Not much to report on the home front. We had a great shabbos with our guests from Postville (come back soon Slater family!) and the apartment is mostly back to the way it should be. I decided to keep the extra bed in Benny's room for now, makes bedtime a bit easier, giving us our own bed to lay on instead of curling into his! He actually loves it, "You go on the smiley face bed Tatty, I go on my bed!" Don't let that fool you into thinking night time is going smoothly. He just has something to be excited about until he realizes it's time to go to sleep!

Being that one can never travel often enough, we are getting ready for our upcoming Thanksgiving vacation. Almost a week in Miami. Sigh. I'm ready! Bring out the shorts and sandals, the bathing suits, the lack of homework for Shuky. Add a side of fries and a milk shake. We're talking perfection in the making!

In the meantime, I'm working on plans for winter break. As of now, everything keeps falling through. It may be a quiet vacation at home, as sad as that sounds! Not that this comes as a surprise to me, but planning trips without any money just doesn't have a way of working out. We finally rounded up enough mileage to make California the winning ticket and they bounced the flight costs up to double because of the holiday season. So now, my three tickets just became one and a half. Better than none, but still leaves me with a bill. No can do!

Oh, and I'm still below my pre-pregnancy weight. As I'm nearing my halfway mark, I'm really hoping this grossness is going to fade out sooner rather than later!

My show is fully buffered, it's back to Gossip Girl I go!

Friday, November 5, 2010

I'm That Neighbor!

Our upstairs neighbors (cute, single college girls) have a tendency of really enjoying their weekends. Normally it's just music, it usually ends around two in the morning, at the latest! Nothing that keeps me up at night.

Last night, they had at least 30 people in their apartment, running around, screaming, drunkenly throwing/dropping things. Until 3:45. In the morning. I was up the whole time, as was Benny. At around 11, Shuky went up there and asked them nicely to tone it down. They, of course, profusely apologized and promised to be quieter. Obviously, they only got louder!

Aside from the music and noise of their movement, this group of people must have all had bad bladders. Literally every ten seconds the toilet was being flushed. And, for some reason, any time they flush their toilet, it sounds like a hurricane in our bedroom!

Shuky had to stop me from going up there. I was not feeling like a nice person and it would not have been a friendly visit.

Today, I went up there (not at 7 like I wanted to...) to talk to them. After I had coffee, needless to say. I was nice and explained the frustration we were feeling. We talked. They were extremely grateful that we hadn't chosen to call the police on them (I'm assuming that has happened with previous neighbors), or the building management. I told them I really didn't want it to get to the point where I would feel that was a necessary move!

Keep your fingers and toes crossed that this has some sort of effect on tonight!!! I really would like a good night's sleep, for me and for our guests!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Service Unto Others, Part Duex

Back in February, I put out a list of the regular mama sites I visit to find great products at even greater prices. My day usually starts with checking this list!

Some require membership (always free, never join a site that has a sign-up fee), some don't. Both types are worth checking!

I hope this is as helpful to everyone out there as it is to me!!
(I pulled some of this list right off my old post, after double checking that each link is still a functioning site!)
My advice to you, though, is to check shipping rates before getting too excited. Sometimes, they really hike up those rates and at the end of the day, you're better off scouring Amazon or the likes!

These are daily deal sites. Every day brings you a new treat! - updated every night at midnight EST - updated daily at 9 am MST - same deal as above, sister sites!
( - another site of theirs for any crafty folk!) - updated daily at 9 am EST - updated at 12 pm EST, Monday through Fri -not always baby products but they have great stuff with great prices!! They tend to have up to five items listed daily! Updated daily at midnight PST - updated as soon as each product sells out!

The following are flash sale sites, not daily deals. They usually have weekly schedules to show the round up. If you are watchful, you can find great swag at unbeatable prices. - more household items but they do have kids products sometimes (let me know if you want an invite to the site!) - a handful of everything, from home to mom/dad/baby - This flash site is for 'mom, baby, and child' -Has a bar across the top to help you choose which department you want to see sales from. They have great weekend blowout sales, easy to score major deals on gorgeous clothing! - my personal favorite flash sale site, a little bit of everything for everyone: mom, dad, kids, home, even traveling! Very often puts up amazing stroller deals. Definitely the best site to check on an EXTREMELY regular basis! If you're a traveler with not such a limited budget, they have a section of their site called Jetsetter where they offer extravagant hotel deals around the world. - BTrendie recently was bought out by them and is now a part of their site. Credits on either account should have been merged. Baby and toddler products with the occasional mom deal. - Same as above, mostly baby and toddler deals with the occasional mom deal. I have noticed stroller companies like Inglesina and I'Coo frequent this site! 

Now, if you're an online shopper, as I usually prefer to be. There are ways to save money on regular sites. I personally use Ebates, for cash back on each purchase! Browse through their available stores (most are on there!) and click through their site to get a percentage back on your purchase. I recently did some winter online shopping. Old Navy was offering 8% and Famous Footwear was offering 9%. It worked out very well! 

Well, there it is. My list of scrimping and saving. My way of surviving as a 'college wife'. I hope this is as helpful for you as it is for me!

And, just a reminder to all my friends out there, I do baby product consultations. If there's something you're looking for, I'll help you figure out the right thing for you in your price range! And luckily for you guys, I'm still not charging yet! Hop on the train before I start!! :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sleepless in Ames

With my previous pregnancy, I didn't really have many cravings. I ate things that I would not normally be crazy about, but I can't remember a whole lot of 'I need it now!' The only one I can remember was sending Shuky down to the kitchen at two in the morning to make me a peanut butter and chocolate spread sandwich. And, to be honest, I would eat that while not pregnant as well.

This past week, I have been having a very serious craving. The funny thing is, it's not something I can soothe. I am craving food from Orange Delight & Grill in Sherman Oaks, California. Any hamburger would not suffice. It needs to be theirs. Last night I barely slept. Tossing and turning, thinking about their food. I'm not lying. I'm not exaggerating. I'm ready to get on the plane. If not for my recent New York trip or the fact that we're going to Miami for Thanksgiving week, trust me on this one, there would be tickets booked by the end of the night! Anyone else out there crave anything so specific??

As the nausea slowly lifts, I am eating a little bit better and I think I'm starting to look pregnant as opposed to fat. Which is always a good thing. I found myself telling random people I was pregnant when I thought I looked particularly lumpy lately! So I'm glad it's starting to look like a baby bump!

Recently, I ordered a pair of boots from Famous Footwear. When they came, I absolutely hated them. Aside from the fact that they came dirty (!!!), they were such an unflattering fit! Needless to say, they were going back. So we packed into the car today and headed to Des Moines. I didn't find a new pair but we met up with the Feeleys at the mall and had some fun shopping. I finally used my Groupon for Gap that I got a few months back ($25 for $50 worth of merchandise) on some great things for Benny. Got him an adorable vest, some cute tshirts, and his favorite - a dinosaur winter hat. He wore it out of the store and went clomping around the mall. "I a dinosaur!" When we got home, he wouldn't take it off until I forced it off his head for dinner! He is obsessed with Dinosaur Train (a great show on PBS) so this was to be expected.

Quick rant: Why does my (and probably every) two year old feel the need to figure out all the electronics in the house and constantly make that known? He figures out everything! It's gotten to the point where we have everything on power strips that we can easily switch off when we want things left alone. Argh!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Said BRRR, It's Cold Out There!!

Anyone else feel like this cold weather came out of nowhere??  I'm absolutely freezing! We actually had the heat on in our apartment last night. Having Benny's freezing toes touch me just once was enough for me! Yesterday, I was literally wearing leggings and a scarf. At home.

So, my extreme nausea has been lifting lately and I feel like I'm actually able to eat and possibly keep on weight. It was nice to not have an extra four months of weight gain but it was pretty rough on the body! But, now I'm starting to look more pregnant as opposed to fat. Which is always a good thing! :)

Benny and I have been doing many projects, trying to keep busy indoors with the lovely weather outside! I surfed the online catalogs of companies like Oriental Trading, Rhode Island Novelty, and the likes. Chose a bunch of projects that look really cute and fun to make. Figured out how to make them on my own. Started stocking up our craft box. We've been doing daily projects and hanging them on the wall. I'm assuming we'll cover this one wall, if not more! We also did some sun catchers for the sliding glass doors out to the balcony. Benny LOVES doing the projects and working with the different mediums! We have finger paints, stickers, gluing/scissors projects, acrylic paints, crayons, colored pencils, etc. He goes to the wall and points to the different things and talks about them. Asks to do repeats of 'this one!' Now, I'm trying to plan our Thanksgiving projects. I need pine cones but I'm pretty sure I thought of this too late, may have to go into a craft store and actually buy them. Or come up with something else to make turkeys out of!

Painting the sun catchers, he LOVED this!!!
They look so nice! 
Benny's Aquarium :) 
Our wall of art! 

I'm not going to lie. I enjoy those projects just as much as Benny, if not more! You may notice I try to make one of my own while he makes his! He is actually standing behind me right now, yelling, "I WANT TO DO A PWAJECT (PROJECT) TODAY!!" I guess that's my sign off cue! Maybe we'll make pop-up puppets today! If anyone needs some rainy/snowy day ideas, let me know!

**UPDATE** We made puppets, not pop-ups, but fun nonetheless! Enjoy the pics below!!
Step 1: Create character and backdrop - we're making an all in one puppet show!
 Step 2: Glue to toilet paper roll. Secure with paper clips to make sure it dries properly.
 Attach large, wooden popsicle stick directly below character. I used standard school glue and reinforced with packing tape. 
Step 4: ENJOY!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Ultimate Excuse

I have a confession to make. All those times I was fishing for excuses about why my posts were so far apart, blah blah blah, I actually had a reason that I wasn't sharing.

Yesterday began my 16th week of pregnancy. As a 'writer', it's hard to write when I can't truly explain the real reasons behind the happenings! The first few months were a huge wave of nausea and, well, other fun things you probably don't want to hear about. This is one of the reasons we didn't see everyone we wanted to in New York, it was hard to commit to things without knowing how I was going to be feeling! It's slowly getting better and I'm slowly starting to feel this little baby moving around inside me! It never ceases to amaze me!

I am due right before Pesach, in April. And I mean right before! For anyone who doesn't celebrate this holiday or is not familiar with the customs involved, let me give you a quick breakdown:

Preparations for this holiday are like spring cleaning on crack.
There are a million and a half food restrictons, namely wheat products, that can not even be in sight.
It usually envolves a lot of family members. For some people, that's a blessing. For others, well, it's just not.
This is not a cheap holiday.

That's my bare bones description. Trust me, there's a whole lot more to it!

Now, last year we were in Aruba for this holiday. At an amazing hotel, right on the beach. Everything was done for us, we just said how we'd like our steaks done. We both had positions with the company running the show to cover our expenses. The first year after we got married we were in Puerto Rico. Same deal as Aruba. For the two years in between, we went to family. One year Shuky's and the next year mine. As I'm not about to have a Dutch baby, Aruba is out of the question for this year. And, because of insurance issues (and a few other things), it looks like we will be in Postville for Pesach of 2011. Either with a new baby in tow or ready to go at any second!

Anyway, now that the cat's out of the bag, expect more regular postings on my side. And if I miss the mark still, I will expect the same undying devotion on your side. ;)

Excited to share this news with you all!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

**Knock, knock** Anyone In There??

I know. It happens every time. I start out with the sincere apologies, promise to be better. It never happens. I guess at this point in my life, my blog is not fated to be updated daily. I will, though, try for more often than once a month!! No guarantees.

So, New York was hard but amazing. Benny was completely pulled out of his element and decided to have a ball with that. And by that I mean torture me. I'm talking no bedtime. Endless amounts of tantrums. Demanding he have what he wants. And, of course, still getting up early, asking for "dinner" (still trying to explain to him that the morning meal is breakfast and dinner is at night!). He was the king of the nest, and treated as such by family and friends. Therefor, he expected the same treatment from me! Guess what kid, it ain't happening! We didn't see everyone we wanted to see but it happens. Next time, hopefully, Shuky will be with me and it will be easier. I can make solid plans instead of a lot of tentatives!

We've been back for almost a week now. Still not back on schedule. He was sick when we came back, just a cold and cough. He got better over the weekend. Came back with a vengeance on Sunday afternoon. We are still dealing with it. At this point, because of all the coughing, he sounds like a squeaky little girl. Make that a whiny, squeaky little girl. And he doesn't let go of me. And, unless he is in the bath, he is in mega kvetch mode!

Today, to distract him, we did some sticker projects. He LOVED it! So tonight, at WalMart, I restocked our art supply, have a few fun projects in mind for the next few weeks. Hopefully we get to them!

And the best news of the week, we are going to Miami for Thanksgiving week! Shuky has the whole week off from school so we are going out Sunday afternoon for wedding vow renewals by his cousins (can't wait!!) and coming home Friday morning. It will be very nice to have the entire family on vacation! The last time we were in Florida was for my mother-in-law's wedding. Benny was about six months old, I believe. It will be nice for him to see the family, nice for everyone to be able to see the character he has become! Here's to hoping this trip is more successful with him!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Bags Are Packed...

Ok, I lied. They are half packed. And I'm ignoring them for the time being. In case you're wondering what I'm packing for, my mother and stepfather are bringing Benny and me out to visit for two weeks. Starting tomorrow. And we are UBER excited!!! It's been a very long time since we've been to Brooklyn, the last time was our disaster of a road trip!

I know I've been quiet for a while here. I apologize, as usual. It's been a long month!

I don't really have much time now to write either, unfortunately, but I wanted to share something funny that happened this afternoon with Benny. We were on our way home from TJ Maxx (emergency suitcase shopping trip!) and he was having a full blown tantrum in the car. I'm talking screams that make you want to just jump out of the moving vehicle to avoid the horrible sound! Not stopping for breaths. Mid-scream, he noticed a boat on the back of a pickup truck next to us. Mid-scream, he calmly says, "Mommy, you see that boat? Wow!" Gives me the chance to respond with a quick, "Yeah, I see it!!" Picks up right where he left off and finishes that scream he was in middle of. Persistence is the key?

He has been singing airplane songs all day so I'm taking the liberty of assuming he's excited about tomorrow's trip as well. :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

An Easy and Meaningful One

Still having a dry spell as far as my writing is concerned. It's been hard to motivate myself to take the time to sit here and share my thoughts for the moment. It kind of gets like this every holiday season. So many things to do around me, so many arrangements to be made, packing and unpacking (barf), traveling (barf again). And, in all of that, my house still needs to look semi-decent, laundry needs to be washed and folded (don't look at the bed full of clothing to fold please!), Benny needs to be fed - I mean, c'mon kid, how many times a day can you eat already!?! ;)

Anyway, I felt like today was an important day to come on. Whether or not I have exciting things going on worth writing about. Today is Erev Yom Kippur, the eve of the Day of Atonement, the day where our fate for the year is sealed. Not to be repetitive, but, I wanted to wish everyone out there an easy, yet meaningful, fast. May you all be inscribed for a year of good health, wealth, happiness, and joy that comes from family around you! May we all have only good news to share with one another, and not know of any sadness or sorrow. May all your previous goals be met and your new ones be attainable! In short, have a good one!

Everyone is in my thoughts and prayers. Enjoy dinner tomorrow night!! I know I will!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Week of To-Dos

Not much to say today. Just a quick hello. Hi! Rosh Hashana was very nice, we were in Iowa City. The drive home was horrible. There was a huge accident and we were literally stopped on the 80 for about an hour. Thankfully, it was night and Benny was asleep. :)

Anyway, this week is 'clean the house, catch up on laundry, get everything ready to go away for the weekend, make sure we have what we need for succos, get ready for the New York trip' week. Also, when we got back to the apartment, the AC was not working. Waiting for Mr. Repairman to come, all the fans are on, night time is intense.

I hope everyone has an easy and meaningful fast this weekend. I hope the weather cools down a bit to make it easier. I hope everyone is blessed with health, wealth, and happiness for this year (and every year following, for that matter).

Thinking of everyone. Missing everyone.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Grease Overload

We are home from our two day vacation. We had an amazing time and it was worth the 'way too much' that we spent! We went out to eat, had fun at the hotel, went to IKEA (!!!), and the aquarium. Short as it may have been, it was exactly what was needed and I am glad we got to do it. With cool people too! We still like you Feeleys! Can't scare us that easily!! ;)

*Side note, Benny is rocking the potty training world. Requests left and right to go to the toilet. Even in the car! And he's actually waiting until we get to the toilet to do his thing! Time for a big prize shopping trip!!*

I am happy. My body, on the other hand, has not stopped yelling since our early dinner yesterday. Before you start judging, keep in mind that the last real restaurant meal we had was in, I don't even know. I honestly have to rack my brain trying to remember. Was it when we went to New York last December? Has it really been that long??? So, needless to say, we ordered a lot. And pretty much ate it all. Down to the very last french fry. Literally puked in the hotel room last night. Then, today for lunch, I more or less ate our pie of pizza, single handedly. Ok, I may be exaggerating, but unfortunately, not by much.

My new vacation goal. I will order salads. (Who am I kidding???)

Speaking of new vacations, finally booked the New York trip for me and Benny. You're probably wondering what I'm talking about. Sometimes things float around in my head and when I sit down to write, they disappear. This vacation is one of those things. We haven't seen my mother since the above mentioned New York trip. We were overdue. Talked about doing Succos there, but with classes to make it to, was not a viable option. So Benny and I are going the week after, for two weeks of pure Brooklyn fun! This mom is mucho excited to be going to see her mom! :)

And now, I will let you all in on a cool project my cousin is working on.
" is an interactive education website where tutors can connect with students of all ages, teach, and get paid online. The site is in its initial launch phase, and needs tutors!"
In my own words, this site is really cool and has so much potential! For anyone in the education business, this is a great tool to teach and tutor and make some money without having to go out of the house! For anyone on the receiving end of education, this is an amazing place to get help on those homework assignments that just won't do themselves! Check it out, sign up for a free account. Explore the world in front of you and learn new things! Anyone who wants to repost this or link to it, feel free! Let's help my cousin get this site to what it can really be!!! Thank you all in advance!

And now, I bid you adieu.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Brain Really Works!!

An amazing thing happened last night. I saw the way Benny's mind really and truly works. And let me tell you, that thing is working! We sing alot, have special songs for many things, random songs for other times. In general, music is a constant in our life. Benny picks up very quickly on new songs and enjoys singing along and even by himself!

There is an old hebrew song about trains that even I used to sing it as a kid..."Hinei rakevet, he mistovevet, al galgalim al galgalim al galgalim, choo choo!" Free translation: "Here is a train, it is going around, on its wheels on its wheels on its wheels, choo choo!" I never said it was an award winner! Anyway, back to my story, last night Benny asked me for a fire truck song. I was stumped, don't know any fire truck songs off the top of my head. So I told him that, asked him if he knew any. He thought about it for a minute. He started singing the train song, but replaced 'rakevet' (hebrew for train) with fire truck, and replaced 'choo choo' with 'wee-oooo-wee-oooo'. In my eyes, that is big. That means he is completely comprehending how the song is working and how to adapt it to something else! Could just be my biased mother opinion but wow!

We have been having fun here. We hang out in PJs until it's time to go out. We haven't really been out too much, just picking up and dropping off Shuky occasionally, grocery shopping, a zoo trip, nothing too serious.
Still working on finding things to do but taking my time because I can.

And now for the most important news yet, we are finally going on a vacation!!! Yes, it's mini. Yes, it's kind of local. I DON'T CARE! We are going to a hotel in Minneapolis for a night with the Feeleys, going to the aquarium, going to get real restaurant food!! I'm even willing to deal with the rude Israeli 'tude that comes with the pizza in town!!

And now, I have plenty to do before we go to the Feeleys for Shabbos so over and out!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"You May Think That I'm a Dreamer, But I'm Not."

I know. I promised. I said I would write more often. I lied. I said it fully intending to do so, in my defense, but every time I get on the computer, I see the shortcut to my blog and I quickly look away. Pretend I didn't just see it. It's not like I'm not getting enough computer time, either. I get plenty! And I have internet on my phone so theoretically, I could do that too. But I just don't. And for that, dear blog of mine, I apologize. I'll get you a cute teddy bear that says 'You're my #1 blog!' or something to show you my true devotion. I just can't do the daily posting. Honestly, my life just isn't exciting enough for that! Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I miss you and then want to write. It's a harsh reality that must be faced.

**Brushing off my knees as I get up from my apologetic seat on the floor**

Sigh. Now that that's over with, on to more exciting things! Slowly, slowly, our apartment is getting unpacked, furniture is being found and set up, things are in an organizational state of mind! Except our bedroom. Which seems to be the 'Let's put it there for now' place. Hate that! Good thing I can close the door and ignore the room all day! Benny's new toy box came today, he and I had fun organizing his room. He has a blue storage bench from Target, filled with books. A big, red pop-up hamper holds all his stuffed animals. Manly ones, obviously. The toy storage bins we got him in New York (when we lived there) are still full of whoozits and whatsits. The new blue and red toy box is holding most everything else, except for a few random things that are stored around the room. Next task is decorating the room. I have wall decals that match his linens but I have to see how they will affect the paint, this is a rental after all! I have his aleph bais chart and his ABC painting (great thrift shop find, btw) that need to go up. We need to find a place for his 'Benny' train that is befitting of the awesomeness it describes! All in due time, I say. All in due time.

The living room/everything room is slowly pulling together as well. When we first got out here we went and bought a small, cheapo TV stand at Walmart, 'just for now'. Weeks later, I have found a much nicer and bigger one on Craigslist and, alas, our temporary one has been sold. I do love Craigslist! We have some bookshelves, will need to get more still. Everything seems to have chosen it's corner and it's starting to feel like home! Benny has his bathroom, we have ours. It's so great to not have to worry about going into the shower half asleep only to be RUDELY awakened by one of his toys. Always the most painful ones, mind you! His toys stay in his zip code, he knows that!

If you have been keeping up with me, we are still working on Benny going to sleep on his own. Thankfully, it is s-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-w-l-y moving along! Naptimes and bedtime both, he eventually falls asleep on his own. We have a lot of false toilet emergencies, "Mommy, I got a booboo! I crying!!", pleas for someone to join him, having to go in there and sternly place him back in his bed, he plays for a while, and ends up sleeping at some point. Sometimes, he screams the whole time through until exhaustion kicks in. Those times are a lot of fun. Our neighbors pretty much love us. I can feel it in my bones. Tonight, I knew he wasn't asleep yet because Shuky sneezed in the kitchen and Benny yelled, "BLESS YOU TATTY!!"

By the way, as we've been unpacking, I have yet to find my diet and exercise routine. My head hangs shamefully low as I confess to this. I have not walked my nightly 4(ish) miles since a few weeks before moving. My middle section is yelling it to the world! My diet got left behind somewhere as well. Moving isn't easy you know! It took a lot to commit to that diet when I did. I know what I was getting into now and am in no rush to rejoin that lifestyle! Denial is so much easier! ROUND IS A SHAPE, PEOPLE!!!

We found a sitter, a girl Shuky is in school with. Had our first date night here in Ames. Pulled on one of my sheitels for the first time since the move. Even put on some eyeliner, although I did have to dig around to find it! (We've been kind of low-key since getting here.) Luckily, without our knowledge, Tuesday is $5 Day at the theater! Hooray! Saw 'Date Night for Schmucks', laughed alot, enjoyed ourselves. Came home to find out Benny never realized we were gone. That is the essence of a good babysitter, in my book. Worry-free time on the town! Could a mother ask for more?

I'm still waiting for the boxes to disappear before giving the virtual tour of our apartment. It will happen. It has to. Eventually we will need the things in those boxes! I just hope it comes about before we are packing to move to the next place!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's Raining Science!

Last night I went online and bought an annual family pass to the Science Center and the Blank Park Zoo. They had a combo deal to buy both together for an awesome price, so we did!

Shuky also started his orientation - of sorts - last night, continuing on to today and tomorrow. He will join tomorrow night as soon as Shabbos ends. Anyway, knowing that he would be gone all day and I needed some stuff from Macabee Deli, I decided to make a trip to Des Moines with Benny. I wanted to do the zoo but the rain persuaded me otherwise. We decided to check out the Science Center. Needless to say, Benny LOVED it!!

There were so many great hands-on exhibits. A great toddler area. Assembly tables. Benny and I built a paper rocket, launched it, watched it fly. Tweaked it. Watched it fly further. 40 feet, if you were wondering. That's how far it flew! Each time I tried moving Benny on to the next area, I had to drag him away from the current one. Luckily, I was not the only mother doing that. I would take that as a good sign! Kids love the place, it's so much fun! There's an IMAX too. We didn't make it in there today. Maybe some other time. :)

Alright, I have to get Shabbos ready, clean up shop, get some laundry finished up.

Have a good Shabbos people!

PS I had this whole post nicely typed and our internet decided to have a glitch while I was posting it. Hope I got everything back up!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Toilet Woes & Bedtime Sorrows

Potty training is going dismally slow.
Bedtime is absolutely painful.

I can understand the toilet issues he's having, he's just barely two. But night-time should be much smoother at this point! There are many things I can try to blame this on, but we all know the 'If and Then' games lead nowhere. Facts are facts. Benny does not go to sleep on his own. Sometimes he really fights it and it takes him anywhere from an hour to two. Sometimes he just goes to sleep nicely, with one of us in his bed. Not often, not the nicely part anyway. One of us always has to be in bed with him, putting him to sleep. Tonight, I actually tried bribing him to go to sleep on his own. Put a nice new train next to his bed (out of his reach but within sight) and told him he would get to have it in the morning if he went to sleep by himself. At first he was very excited. Once he realized I intended to leave the room he said, "Umm, no thank you Mommy!" So I put him to sleep and his prize went back in the prize box.

Speaking of prize box, the longer it takes to get him potty trained, the more that box is going to keep costing. I'm not complaining, necessarily, just stating facts again. For #1, he gets a little treat, usually stickers that go into a fun sticker book he has. Sometimes little chocolates. #2, though, now that is a whole other story! This prize box is full of different Thomas trains (Benny got the Take-Along set from his Bobbe last summer), and a nice variety of Hotwheels and Matchbox cars. The good news is, we usually find the trains for cheaper at stores like TJ Maxx. The cars usually come in variety packs so we get those.

Anyway, just venting, I guess. Things will go the way they are supposed to, I'm not too worried. In general, he's a great kid and we have so much to be thankful for!

And right now I will go enjoy my treat I got earlier - I rented The Last Song. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What a Week!

Even though there has been A LOT going on since my last post, I haven't been feeling too great so let's catch up to now!

When I last left off, I mentioned we had serious flooding. I didn't put up any pictures for you or give you a real idea of what happened here. My internet is acting up so I can't post pictures now either but if you're a Facebook friend, go check out my August album! To put it mildly, it was utter insanity! Highways were completely submerged. Cars had about an inch showing, above the water that is. Stores were flooded, both Walmart and Target are still closed if I'm not mistaken. The Walmart we usually go to actually had employees who had to be rescued by boat to get them out! The entire city of Ames was under a 'boil your water' order. That was lifted just yesterday. Thankfully, we live in an area that did not have too much damage, nothing for us personally! Our little corner of Ames was actually completely dry by the following morning! Now, the night of the storm, the parking lot next to ours was completely flooded, there were some college guys swimming in it. Literally.

Let's see, what else has happened since then? Our washing machine in the apartment was having issues and being that this is the month that EVERYONE moves in, the maintenance list is a mile long (the office's words, not mine!) so today, after a week, our machine was fixed! Now I have oodles and oodles of laundry to do and absolutely no desire to do it! But alas, I must. And the battle of Chani vs. the laundry piles has begun.

Shabbos we stayed home. Read alot, relaxed alot, sat on the porch with Benny alot. Didn't actually leave the apartment. It was amazing!

Yesterday we went to the Iowa State Fair. Had an amazing time! Parked in someone's backyard for three dollars, thanks Caleb, instead of an official lot for ten! Spent almost the entire day there and way too much money! But we all had so much fun! They had toddler bumper boats, basically a large above ground swimming pool with a bunch of staff members standing around in it, helping the kids out. Benny went by himself. Twice. Would have moved into the boat if they would have let him. I'm talking kicking and screaming upon removal. I'm pretty sure he liked it.

There was this cool discover center type of program, teaches the concept of where things come from, in a food sort of way. Not where you and I come from, people. Sheesh! Basically, you start out with an apron and a wooden basket. You plant some seeds and go to the other side of the garden to pick what you planted. You harvest eggs from the chicken coop. You make diesel fuel out of soybeans so you can drive your tractor. There were more rooms to go through but Benny more or less freaked out when we pulled him off the tractor so our journey ended there. We went to the farmers' market area, sold all the things we had collected and were supposed to get some money to go spend in a cute little grocery store they really had there but again, we finished too soon, just returned the stuff and went on our merry way.

To the petting zoo, obviously. What's a Meyer outing without some animals to feed! Not that any of the animals were eating anymore, by the time we got there! It was about five at that point and these animals must have been completely stuffed. People were literally putting food up to the goats faces and the goats were just like, "Meh. Get a life dude. You should have come this morning!" But animals are animals and Benny was happy. Which is all that matters!

The fair is here until the 22nd, strongly considering going back! Twas an experience to remember!!

And now we are getting all our last minute fun in until Shuky starts school on Monday. As soon as B-Man gets up from his nap, we are going to light it up like it's dynamite!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Benny - The Unedited Version

He is amazing. I can't get enough of him. Honestly! The things he says and does, I cry from laughing! Every person that walks past him gets a, "Hi, how are you?" No matter where we are, who it is. We sit out on the deck all the time. Of course, everyone in the parking lot gets a personal greeting as well!

He sings every song from Kivi & Tuki at the top of his lungs, word for word, irregardless of where we are. It's usually in the middle of stores. I love it. He's also obsessed with Elmo's World, as is every other kid under five on the planet.

Today, we were out there have some Play-Dough fun - on the good advice of some persuasive Weberman/Feeley women - and someone sneezed in the far end of the parking lot. Benny looks around and yells out, "BLESS YOU!!!" and continues making his giraffe. He loves the Play-Dough set he has. I was hoping to get some color recognition covered with it. Surprisingly, he isn't very good with colors. Every time we talked about brown, he refused to say it any other way than 'brownie', he is truly my child!! ;)
**BTW, if you're crafty at all, there's a great recipe for home made Play-Dough on FreidaFroo, a great mom-blog that I follow religiously. Enjoy!**

Tonight, while putting him to sleep, I turned to him and said, "Do you want to show Mommy that you're such a big boy?"
To which he responded, "YES!!!"
"Ok," I said. "Mommy will leave the room and Benny will go to sleep all by himself!"
He thought about this for a minute. "No thank you Mommy."

PS We switched to Sprint today, each got the Samsung Moment. Very excited to have a great new phone that **GASP** has reception in our apartment! Due to the mega floods in Ames, we had to go to the store in Ankeny, about 19 miles away, took about half an hour to get there because of highways being flooded out and non-drivable!