Friday, June 25, 2010

What's Going On?

Lots of stuff going on in the Elwood Household these days! First off, today is my 25th birthday. Although we don't really celebrate adult birthdays anymore, I got a beautiful hand made blanket from my Mother-In-Law this past weekend. It is pink, brown, and white, one of my favorite color combination's! It is in our bed already!

But besides the fact that I am getting old, I have a ton of exciting stuff. I will start at the top.

Every day that gets closer to the BlogHer conference in New York City, the more excited I get, the more news, sponsorships, and opportunities are opening. I secured 4 sponsors, although small, very helpful. They are Lamaze, Kandoo (a pampers company), RJS Designs, and Go Mama Go Designs. I have a couple other e-mails to get back to, so that list may or may not expand. But it certainly has made me ABLE to go and make the most of this opportunity. I am beyond thankful.

Second? We are switching Benjamin to cloth diapers. Camden is almost fully out of diapers, and I want to cut back the costs any way I can. We average $100 a month at the least for diapers. I struck up a deal with a Canadian company called Apple Cheeks. I am getting a FULL time supply of cloth diapers for free. I am going to make it into a long term cloth diaper project and make a series of posts about it on Momotics, as well as giving the company a year of advertising on my blog. It worked out well.

I got an e-mail from the website Nick Parents Connect. It is a parenting website powered by Nick Jr. and they wanted to review some samples of my writing to offer me a freelance writing position. I have my fingers crossed, but I am beyond excited.

During all of this, my mothers almost became Dorthy when a TORNADO went through their small Lordship community. I could not believe it today when the National Weather Service came out and CONFIRMED it was a Tornado! WOW!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You Can't Write This Stuff!

You know what that is? It is a Ground Hog. Kind of like that little guy who tells us if we have 6 more weeks of Winter left in February. It is also the last thing I expected to find in a cage match with my dogs in my backyard today.

Fast forward from February 2nd till June 23rd, and my tale begins. This afternoon I let the dogs back outside after having them in for their "cool down" session for a while which included a nice bowl of ice water, and a couple chicken nuggets this kids threw them. Well I let them back out and in less than 5 minutes of my mutts being outside, they started barking like someone was trying to come in the yard. The catch? They have barking collars now. We have had issues with neighbors complaining about "barking dogs" (which most of the time is the neighbor two doors down but that is another tale for a different day) so Donna invested in these for the dogs.

I knew something was serious so I got up from feeding the kids, and went to see what was up. I walk onto the side deck and the Polish Granny from next door is waving her arms and yelling something I could not translate into English, so I started walking down the steps to the back yard and I saw it... Teeth snapping, hissing, and trying to eat my dogs, as the dogs tried to tag team it. What a nightmare!

I immediately screamed for our next door neighbor on the other side, Tom. Thankfully his mother was outside and went running to get him as I tried to get the dogs back into the house, or at least onto the other side of the yard which is split off for the kids to play in.

As Tom came to the rescue I got the dogs inside and ran to get a box, and the phone so I could call Animal Control. Well apparently our tax money isn't any good because the Animal Control in our town doesn't "trap wild animals". Well what the hell is animal control good for then?? The woman can't even catch a dog?!?! (Another tale for another day! LOL)

By the time I got back outside Tom had got the critter into the box, and freed it into the woods behind our houses. Thank god because I wasn't paying someone to rid that thing out of my yard after it got itself stuck inside a rock!

Never a dull moment!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fathers Day

This weekend, as everyone knows was Fathers Day. I was lucky enough to see my Dad on Saturday and Sunday. We had a great time on Sunday at my parents house. Pool, cook out, dinner, sun, fun with the kids... it was totally needed!
Dad opening up his Father's Day Card from the boys.Ben hanging out with Grandma
Camden & I headed into the pool for some fun with Grandma

We finally dragged Will into the pool

We had a ton of fun, and it was a great father's day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Benjamin's First Haircut

Since Ben's hair was starting to get a little on the... girlie side, we decided to bring him and his big brother for a nice snip today at our favorite kids salon. I swore he was going to scream, cry, and be one of those kids who hate getting their hair cut. I knew I would be WAY too lucky to get two kids who loved haircuts.

I should play the lotto tonight because I have two haircut loving boys!


Getting the back... Goodbye curls!

Camden checkin' out his little brother getting his haircut once he was done with his.How cute is he with a mohawk? If I could only get his hair to stay up like that!
Awww what a little man!
The Finished Product!

While I miss his little baby hair, he looks so much better with a nice trim. Although he looks so grown up just like Camden did after his first haircut. It is almost like I am letting go of my baby again. Although Ben is going to be my little baby for a LONG time!

Off to the store to get some lotto tickets!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Benjamin's Worker

Benjamin has been assigned a worker. One of the two women, Cindy, who originally came out to evaluate him will be working with him for the next who knows how long.

We have our first family planning meeting the first week of July to get our plan of action for the next 6 months set in stone, and then we will proceed.

Just a short update today! Sorry.
Heading out with the kids!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Delay Shmalay!

Benjamin surprised us all while we were at the beach yesterday! He sat up on his own. No assistance, no help, no leverage, nothing. Just sat right up the way the women who evaluated him said he should be sitting himself up.

But he didn't do this once or even twice. He did it 3 times!

I think this is a much more positive start to the services he is going to need, and it makes me feel better that he is probably just later doing things than it actually being an issue with the muscle tone in his lower back.

A couple days ago I found him trying to stand himself up the way that the evaluators also said he should be trying. I really think the second half of his evaluation was not as accurate as it could have been because he was pissed off and he is stubborn when doing things he really isn't into.

A slight relief because I don't think this will be as long of a road as I was originally thinking.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beach Bums

I have been wanting to make it to the beach for a while. I tried to wait till my sure cute vintage tankini came in, but Dee, a friend of mine extended the offer to head to Penfield beach in Fairfield, someplace we have never been so of course I jumped on it..

We packed the kids in her Explorer (thank gosh for those third rows!) and off we went. After a minor bug spray incident in the car (that is a tale for a whole other day) we were off.

We got there around 11am and set up shop. Two blankets, 4 beach chairs, an umbrella for Mr. Benjamin and set up our snacks.The kids couldn't wait to get in the water!
Although Camden's healthy fear of water became very helpful though out the day as I watched Alex Dee's son become more and more daring. We both joked someone was going to have to go in and rescue him shortly.

Just got to the beach, having some fruit snacks before Mommy lathered him up with suntan lotion. LOL
Ben hanging out in his little shady cabana. LOL
Camden is such a beach boy! In and out of the water, playing in the sand, digging holes, you name it, he did it today!

Alex during one of our many water breaks.
For once, I turned the camera on myself!
Ben hanging out with Dee. He was so happy to be at the beach too. Because of course, sand tastes awesome!

Of course it wouldn't be an Elwood family adventure if something random, and completely out of the blue didn't happen right? I am sitting there watching the kids, and this woman starts walking towards us. She was about the age of my grandmother, at least, and she was wearing a bikini. Yes, a small little two piece. EEK! While the bikini is something she should not have been wearing, it wasn't until she turned around that I was shocked..

That is not just a butt crack hanging out... that is an ENTIRE BUTT! The front of her bathing suit bottom was unable to be seen at all! I was completely shocked! By the time I grabbed my camera for proof (because I knew NO ONE would believe me!) she was a little ways down...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Butterfly Project

Anyone that really knows me, also knows that for about 2 months I have been involved in something called The Shelton Butterfly project. I originally got involved though a couple of guys at the fire house who were working with this woman Dee, whose daughter was killed in a car accident in November.

I started out wanting to write something about the project they were working on, but became instantly attached to Dee. She is a warm woman, who I admire and have come to love.She also has a three year old who Camden has become pretty attached to himself.

This past weekend The Shelton Butterfly project held their first annual Butterfly Release in the memory of Dee's daughter Viviana who was a victim in a tragic accident.I took so many pictures, but wanted to share a couple of them from Sunday's events. It was a great turn out, lots of meaning, tears, and hugs.
A lot of the firemen showed up....

Dee awarding the scholarships.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Zoo

Yesterday after Strawberry picking, we headed to the Zoo to get some more use out of our membership. The kids had a blast, even Ben!

Ben enjoyed hanging with his brother, although by the 3rd picture, Camden was done!

Camden enjoying his Dr. Seuss crown and the Tigers.

Dan and his niece.

Camden after he climbed up the log

Our big wingspans!

The kids all had an awesome time together, and even the adults got into some of the action!
Tomorrow I will hopefully get some pictures of our day at The Shelton Butterfly Project up!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Strawberry Picking

Today we went Strawberry picking at Jones's Family Farms here in Shelton. We had a blast with some friends of ours, and their niece and nephew.
Our friend Steph with her niece and nephew walking to the fields.

Camden with the first strawberry he picked.Dan & Steph's neice and nephew picking together.

Their niece was having so much fun!Our StrawberriesCamden at the Strawberry sign!

Ben and Daddy on the Berry Ferry.

Camden and Dan hanging out.

Overall we had a blast. We ended up going to the Zoo after Strawberry picking I will put the pictures up from that tomorrow!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Clear as Day!

Ben has been on a kick of saying Da Da lately. You say Ben Ben, he says Da Da, you say Ma Ma, he says Da Da. No matter what you say to him, he looks at you and says Da Da Da Da Da!

Last weekend I brought the kids over to my parents house and my mom sat there talking to Ben

Grandma : Ben, say Ma Ma
Ben : Da Da
Grandma : Ma Ma Ma Ma
Ben : Da Da Da Da

It probably went on for about 5 minutes before my mother realized she was fighting a losing battle.

Well Ben is laying down tonight, getting ready to go to bed. His bedtime routine is his milk, blanket, and quiet time. The more attention you pay to him, the longer he stays awake and talks or whines.

I walked out of the room and was listening to him talk.

Ba ba ba ba
Ga ga ga
Da da da

Did I hear that right? So I walked closer to the door to listen in again.

Ma Ma
Ma Ma Ma Ma
Ma Ma

Of course when NO ONE is around to hear it.
Story of my life right? LOL

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Position = Raise!

Yesterday's good news of a new position in the company that Will works for was over shadowed by Ben's issues, and my own personal breakdown. I felt horribly about it, but today being a new day, and most of my life or death issues from yesterday being taken care of, I can sit down and write a little about it.

One of the guys that Will works with, or I should say one of the guys who no one really cares for too much is leaving the company so he can go back to school. So yesterday morning they called Will into the main office with all the head honcho's and he SWORE he was in trouble for something. Missing part, an error, anything!

He was relieved when he not only found out this guy (who is apparently a complete asshole to everyone) was leaving, but even better, they are offering Will his job! Which is a more intricate part of the company, and also higher paid.

Woot Woot!
We had talked about this earlier in the year when we brought up long term careers, and supporting our family in the long term. We had agree that if he did not get a raise or new position after being with this company for two years, he would start to search for a career else where. Looks like we won't have to worry about it now!
Less than a year at the company and he is moving up the chain!

I am so proud of him, he is such a hard worker, bends over backwards for everyone, and is always the first to offer extra help or to stay late to help further himself, and now it has paid off!

Pretty soon we will both be able to rest a little bit easier at night!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Birth too Three

Today Benjamin had his evaluation with Birth too Three. They basically are a program through the State for all families in Connecticut to help curb and have early prevention for disabilities and prevent delays from turning into disabilities in children.

Our Pediatrician had shown a little concern for Ben's development at his 12 month check up so I immediately called and scheduled an appointment for him.

It turns out that Ben has some severe delays. His delays are in Gross Motor skills, Fine Motor skills and Receptive skills. We thought he may have been a little behind in his gross motor skills but we were taken back by the others.
He also has mild delays in his Cognitive skills and Social skills.

Now we know that he qualifies for services through Birth to Three, but this is just the first step in a really long journey of therapy and help to get him where he is supposed to be at his age. Some even said this process could take years.


That scares me.
I am hoping it may not take as long as years but whatever I need to do as a parent to make sure my son gets the help he needs is exactly what I am going to do.

It upsets me as a Mom because I feel like I should have done something different, or I feel like I screwed up somewhere along the line. The two women that came to evaluate him re-assured me repeatedly it is nothing that I did, but instead just something that happens to some children.

It doesn't make it any easier though.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Having a Second Family

Over the past year, I have come to the realization that the Fire Department, people we have met through the Fire Department, and extended family of the other Fire Fighters have become a large second family for us.

Memorial Day weekend was a testament to this. Friday night was a Fire Department event, Saturday night was a picnic hosted by another Fireman, and Monday was the parades, and another Fire Department event.

From help around the house, to childcare help, and just any kind of help we need, someone is always there. Whether it is one of the Firemen themselves, or their family, someone steps up.

The boys are being raised around a community of men and women who adore them, have taught them, and will continue to mentor them as long as we are all around each other, and that is something that is incredibly valuable for our family.

I may complain about the time Will has spent in the past year becoming committed, but in the end it is best for all of us.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Guess who is Sponsored?

Well, just when we all thought it was the Week of Will, I got some exciting news myself. Not only was my BlogHer ticket finally purchased after I have been searching for someone selling one for nearly 2 months, but I got the green light to reveal my BlogHer 2010 sponsor!

That's right! My Sponsor!
Without any further a due!

Lamaze!! While it is a small sponsorship, it is meaningful to me because of what it means long term. I am not only building my professional relationship with a company I am already blogging with, but also an Organization that I want to be affiliated professionally with for a long time.
I am over the moon!

BTW, the picture above is the backside of my cool new business card I am having printed up for the BlogHer conference.

This is the front! I am so excited. I am working on possibly a second sponsor to cover some of the odds and ends of my trip, train fare, possibly an overnight stay to lower my travel time, and some of the other costs I am going to rack up before August rolls around. But seriously... How exciting is this?

I never in a million years I would not only be a "famous" as I have become in the blogging community, but I also never thought I would make it to an actual BlogHer conference. Wow.. just WOW!

Sorry, I am still taking it all in. For the past couple days as this was all becoming more of a reality than an idea, I have had the world biggest butterflies in my stomach!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Week of Will

Kicking it off with his picture of the front page of our local community newspaper The Huntington Herald while matching in the Parade.
When I scan the picture off of the newspaper, I will post it here.
Last night Will was unanimously voted in last night at Echo Hose. No more Probie or being in his "probational" period. He is a full member, voting power, all that fun stuff. It only took him a year, but needless to say, it was a LONG year!

So, being the super awesome wife I am, I set up some covert operations and ordered a cake, and had it picked up and delivered TO the fire department so he wouldn't see it in our house obviously.
So one of the guys texted me as the meeting was ending and I packed the kids up into the car and headed down the street to the fire house.

I went in the back door and up the 3 flights of stairs with both kids so no one would see me in front. Sneeeeky!

So I let Camden walk out into the main room, and Will was like... Uhhhh where did he come from, as I was still hiding!I got Junior (the guy who helped me set this all up) to get the cake, and you should have seen the look on Wills face!

Needless to say, all the guys were surprised and I was the FIRST wife in over 30 years (as long as anyone can remember) that has done this for her husband. SCORE!
That is why I am an awesome wife!

Anyways, the only picture I could get of Will, he of course was being goofy like always...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day Wrap Up...

Talk about a crazy weekend!! It all started on Friday with Auntie Liz's graduation from Southern. This went from an awesome family event to a child meltdown filled morning. Although, Will and I must admit, we fully expected the children to be way worse than they were.

As small as it looks, that is Liz walking down with her Diploma

After a short afternoon break, lunch, and a small siesta for the kids, and myself... it was off to the Echo Hose Steak and Brew, an annual tradition. We had a good time, and got to spend time with friends we don't see often.One of my many random shots from the night.

Saturday was filled with picnics and naps. We had a great time at "Torch's" picnic, one of the guys from the fire house. Full with fire works, a moon bounce for the children, great food, and a good time.

Camden going down the slide in the bouncy house
Ben hanging out in the grass.

It turned into a late night... And then Sunday we completely veg'ed out all day. But Monday was a whole new story! Parades, picnics, volleyball, and bon fires.
Will was awesome in the parade with the color guard. They looked awesome, and Camden was so excited to see him walking by... He was a little confused as to why the fire trucks weren't in the fire house though...

Will is the one holding the American Flag

After the parade, we were off to White Hills for food, volley ball, and a good time! Which was had all around!
Camden with Amanda's stolen water bottle.

Just in time for the bonfire my camera battery died, so no more pictures. But it certainly is going to be hard to get back into the swing of things with work, class, and family life this week. That is for sure!