runaway child

summer splash pad. oh yes. and the day i almost lost my son. we went to a farm playland place, totally inclosed. this particular day happened to be empty so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. i sat on a bench while grayon played on the playground. then we went and hung out at the splash pad. we were getting ready to go and i walked over to the stroller two feet away and had my back turned to him for a moment. a single moment! when i turned back he was't on the splashpad anymore. for those two seconds i couldn't find him i was in dire panic. might puke, going to cry, panic. then i see him running (!!!) away down the path. how in the world had he gotten so far so fast!? my back was turned for a moment. apparently that's all it took. so grateful that it was empty that day and no one else was there. i am pretty sure i am going to be one of those mothers who puts a leash on their kid in the future! 

did she just say leash!?

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summer days

This post is simply a display of how adorable my grayson is. We took him to a festival in sea isle and someone had a bubble machine. It lights up, sings music and blows a constant stream of bubbles. How could he not be attracted to it!? Because i love to spoil my child i had to buy it for him. Best $5 purchase ever. We use it all the time. It's so much fun, he loves it and we laugh at him trying to catch the bubbles.

Don't you love how pancake is patiently waiting and checking out the good scene! 

He's getting so big! He's such an independent little person. He wants to do everything himself and damn you for trying to help him. It's a fun age. Every age seems to have its challenges and it's advantages. The older he gets though the more I enjoy our time together. 

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jet ski!

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Can you do us a favor and give us a vote? Not only did we fall of the blogging page but we also fell off the top baby blogs! Oops. 

Back to Grayson...

This child loves adventure. 

Thrives on it. Needs it! Who in their right mind though would allow a one year old to go jetskiing? Oh that would be us. Poor grayson sits on the jetski all the time playing with the handlebars making vroom noises. How could you not let him go for a ride? Take note this "ride" was simply a putzing with zero acceleration infront of the house. We will save the wave jumping for next year! I present to you- grayson's first jetski ride.

let's go back in time

We are taking a step way back in time here. I have a ton of stuff from over the summer that i never posted that i don't want to forget about. Therefore we are going backwards for the next 10 posts or so. Try not to get confused!
June was an awesome month. It was just starting to get warm enough for some real beach time. I was so excited with summer ahead. Nothing makes me happier then when it starts to get warm enough to wear shorts and sit in the sun. It brings me back to every single summer as a kid. The whole day was spent outside. The sun stayed out late. The biggest worry was whose house to sleepover that night. Summers don't mean quite the same thing now that i am older but they still hold that promise for excitement. This year that excitement was grayson- sharing all of those things with him. We rounded up his friends and spent a few leisurely weekdays down in wildwood.

It was an awesome time. The kids love being around one another. I personally love having other adults to talk to and keep company. We ate junk, smuggled beer onto the beach, chased around our little monsters. We walked around the boardwalk for hours. This age is nice because they are young enough to enjoy all the lights and toys but not be screaming that they want to play every game and ride every attraction.

However i did learn that life on the beach with many children is a bit challenging. Thank goodness it was smack in the middle of the week off season and not many people were around because we were quite the spectacle. We have a million things in tow (seriously- these small people require so much stuff) and a ton of wild children. At one point the umbrella took wind and ran down the beach, eventually taking out a family. Then, without any warning at all, after hours of fun and happiness, one child started to cry, then another and another. For no reason at all! Literally every child but grasyon was balling. I have never seen so much stuff packed up so fast in my life! It was a bunch of chickens running around with their heads cut off trying to clean off sand toys and change small children. Amusing for everyone else. Chaos for us!

Despite the challenges it was still a good trip. Exhausting. But good. 

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these are totally blurry photos, i couldn't get the setting right, but i love them because they are so grayson. i just couldn't delete.

This child is into everything these days. i love how grown up he is getting. he communicates more (even if it's through a tantrum). He understands so much. It amazes me how much he "gets". I am a bit bias here but I think he is a brilliantly smart child.

Boy, through and through. Wild. Never stops moving. Spins himself round and round until he falls, then laughs about it. He is SO my son. He thinks he is the funniest person alive (I personally only ever laugh at my own jokes!).

I look at pictures (I have thousands of them) from just a few months ago and he is a completely different person. I can't really call him my baby anymore, he is a big boy. Not to mention the absolute joy in my day.

These pictures represent his current state very well.


Butter Lane Cupcakes

a while ago my sister and i bought cupcake classes from butter lane cupcakes. a few weeks ago i was up in nyc visiting her and we decided to cash in. the class itself was super elementary but it ended up being fun anyway. the cupcakes were super sweet but that of course didn't stop us from indulging.

butter lane is located in east village. i love that part of town. i had never been there before but after walking around a while i was pretty much in love. it's so quirky and posh. do those two words even go together? i loved it though, i thought it was great, and this shop fit in perfect. a little hole in the wall with amazing old new york store front doors and large planking wood floors. very charming. 

you could make vanilla, chocolate or banana cupcakes. we went for the banana. the banana cupcakes were actually amazing, the icing was just a bit too sweet for my liking. and the fact that there were bananas in it made me feel a little bit better about eating them.

they taught us how to ice cupcakes, which was actually really helpful for me because i am the worst at that. believe it or not i even got a prize for "best iced cupcakes', which tells you a lot about all the other people's icing jobs (although i thought my sister should have won over me). 

the class wasn't exactly what i thought it would be but i walked away knowing how to better ice a cupcake and with 24 of them! yum. mark, leon and grayson appriciated it.


a lost hobby

so many baby books are bursting with information in the beginning. then slowly they get thinner and thinner. i suppose an electronic baby book is no different. i was so good for a year and then in the last month and a half i have fizzled out. thinking about the blog often but never motivated to get to it. i don't want to give up on it though because i love having a place where i can share all the wonderful parts of grayson growing up. 

it truly amazes me at the person he has become. he is not a baby but a person with a huge personality. he makes me happier then anything in the world, while driving me totally insane. 

he runs from place to place bouncing off furniture and laughing and screaming the whole time. he wants to touch everything and learn how it all works. he doesn't act like a one year old. he talks back constantly. always wants to have the last word. has a temper like a mad hornet and knows how to manipulate you to get what he wants. he is not afraid to let you know how he feels. 

his favorite thing in the world is getting reactions. he is horrible to my poor mother because he loves getting a rise out of her. i swear he is a mini clone of my brother and dad. not that they are horrible to my mom or anyone else but they love to get a rise out of people. the boy looks right into your eyes and does something he is not supposed to do all the while waiting to see what you are going to do about it. he is usually meanest to the people who care for him and nicest to the people who play wild with him. absolutely hands down prefers men over women. the only people who can get kisses every time they ask are my dad and my brother. i have to beg for weeks and maybe if i am lucky i will get a once a month kiss. 

his favorite new word is "stop". he puts his little hand out in front and yells it all day long. don't clean up his toys, don't kiss him, don't take something away. it all ends in "stop". his second favorite word is "hi" this is a new one. we walk in the door to great him and he says, "hi, hi, hi, hi". he also picks up phones and says hi.

i have never seen a child climb as much as he does. he will learn how to climb up anything. and he thinks it is the greatest thing in the world. one hundred percent boy. and beyond his years. he is so mischievous but i love it. he tests boundaries like no one else i have ever met. grayson just loves to learn how things work. and he picks up on them so fast. show him once or twice and he's got it. 

he use to fight me like crazy to clean his ears but i showed him the q-tip one time and said "ew" and ever since he sits there still and lets me clean them, just as long as i show him after. it is the strangest thing in the world. today we said to him "clean your ears" and he put the q-tip up to his ear. maybe he has heard that expression 10 times. i was blown away. he is so much smarter then we realize. pays attention to everything. 

the child who could out eat his adult parents and ate anything has become a very selective eater. some days he eats and other days he prefers not to. his favorite foods are carbs. pizza, pasta, tomatoes, goldfish, pancakes. the child could live off that menu. 

i love it. all of it. it's exhausting and tough but so wonderful. that smile gets me every time. so with all of that random information shared, i need to get back to my little hobby of sharing all his photos and telling the stories of his crazy days. if i stop i will regret it so i will try and find the motivation among the housework and side businesses. and i will write. for grayson. 

 one of his new things, he holds his hand out in the air very concerned. it's his "huh" pose.


hello- anyone home?

wow. i cannot believe i have gotten so far behind. we've had such a busy month and so much has happened yet i haven't posted about any of it! 

i've been busy throwing parties, going to the beach and launching new businesses. i fully intend on writing one monster of a post encompassing all of our july activities (including a post on grayson's first place win in the 4th of july parade!). 

until then please accept this apology gift. 

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a letter to grayson on his first birthday

wow. i cannot believe you are a year old. i am no longer a mother of an infant but rather a 1 year old. when people ask how old you are i will no longer answer them in months, now i will be answering in years. it happens so very fast. happy birthday my baby boy. 

one thing i want you to always remember, every day, is how very loved you are. it amazes me how much love i have for you, a kind of love i really didn't know until you came along. it amazes me even more how many other people love you just as much. please always remember, no matter what, that your family is always here for you. they should always be on the very top of your priority list. i know along the way you will probably forget this, especially when you are a teenager, but please always come back to it. so many people will come in and out of your lives. it may feel like they are the most important and that they are above your family but time will go by and they will be gone but we will still be here. still love you. still support you. there is a connection in this family which you will find no where else. remember that. 

also remember that you are amazing. every mother must tell their children that but you are different. don't get so caught up in what others think or say, it's hard not to, and it takes many years to learn to push it aside but you will be happier when you can forget about their opinions and remember how incredible you are. there is something so special about you. a spark and joy that i don't see in other children, such drive. and you are smart, so stinkin smart. i see it every day. hold on to that even when you feel dull and ordinary, because you are not. 

remember to be kind. it's something we all forget. it's very easy to get caught up in yourself, your wants, your needs. try to stop though and place yourself in other people's situation, see what they see, feel what they feel. you can have all the things in the world but if you're not kind and compassionate they won't matter. how you treat people will.

being with you every day brings me such incredible joy. you have taught me so much this year. when i first met you i wasn't quite sure how to feel, and i was scared for a while. as time went on though that fear turned into confidence and then happiness. being a mother is very tough. it's changed me. some days it's much harder then others but it's also wonderful. just seeing you clap your little hands together, or bounce up and down to a tune, for no reason at all, brings such warmth to my heart, and tears to my eyes. having you in my life has made me more compassionate, more understanding, and so much happier. you are my number one and i love you so very much. 

happy first birthday grayson. xo



Still here...

We're still here. Even though we have been missing for quite some time. We are currently knee deep in birthday party preparation, freelance jobs and family functions! We will be back soon though. Promise. 

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Bib’expresso by Béaba- Product Review

I was given the opportunity to review the Bib’expresso machine by Béaba, it's a new product to the US originally launched in France last year. I have many of their children's products, including the baby food processor, so I jumped at the chance. I was pretty excited to receive the machine because it does so many things. It heats and steralizes bottles, which at this point I am past the need for, but it also heats babyfood which is something I do have a current use for.

After using the Bib’expresso and thoroughly checking out all of it's features I would have to give it a 'B'. The product is most useful if you are a caregiver for a formula feeding child. Upon first opening the box the machine can be a bit intimidating, it certainly takes a lot of direction reading and playing around in order to properly understand how to use it. It does have a lot of features and you really have to read through the manual (sometimes twice) to know how to use all of them. 

I found the bottle preparation mode the most impressive. It really does a great job of warming the water quickly. You simply poor the measured amount into the top green portion, push the button then press down on the orange lever to fill the bottle. It's quick and easy. My only critique is that I thought the water was slightly warmer then what I would give a newborn. It certainly was not hot, but it was plenty above room temperature. 

The feature I was most disappointed with was the food and bottle warming mode. I found it to be very slow and inefficient in successfully warming the entire bottle/jar of food. I tired it several times, playing around with the machine, thinking maybe I was doing it incorrectly. The feature just seemed to be the weakest. Which is why my recommendation for this product would really only go to mother's who formula (powder) feed. For hygienic reasons Béaba does not suggest using breast-milk in the bottle preparation mode. If there was a way that you could flow breast-milk through that cycle this machine would receive an A, regardless of my opinion of the food warming feature. 

The last thing this machine does is sterilize bottles. The plastic piece on the back comes off and can store the bottles and sterilize them in the microwave. This is a really great feature, however it only works if your bottles happen to be the same size/shape of the ones they sell. Unfortunately neither of the brands I use worked with this. 

To sum it up I would say, yes this is a good product. I really like the design, it's sleek and clean and I don't mind having it sit on my counter. For babies who receive powder formula bottles this is a wonderful product. It gets an evenly heated bottle to them very fast, which is important. The other features could use some improvement but I would say it is worth a purchase if it fits your needs. 

Thank you to Béaba for providing me with a Bib’expresso to review free of charge.
Want to buy it? The Bib’expresso retails for $129.95 and you can find it at Amazon.com, PamperedTot.com, and at BeabaUSA.com.  More info, images, and web tutorial videos can be found on the Beaba site.

While Béaba provided me with a Bib'expresso to review, the opinions I've expressed here are solely my own and represent my honest viewpoint. Béaba,Clever Girls Collective and I promote Blog With Integrity.


life with an 11 month old

yes, i said it. 11 months old! that's only one month from him being a one year old. how did this happen so fast!? i look at him and really cannot believe who he has become, or that such a small person can have such a large distinct personality. 

i have to be on my toes at all times, he is into eeeeeverything. 

in a matter of two weeks he went from sorta walking to practically running. he is all over the place like a little drunk man, and so very proud of himself. it is amazing how smart this child is. he watches you do something a few times and boom, he's doing it to. this weekend he walked over to the back door, opened it, and let himself out into the backyard. i just sort of stood there stunned at the fact that a child who is not even one years old figured out how to escape like that! 

he has a temper like a mad hornet. he knows what he wants and he wants it when he wants it and how he wants it. if he doesn't get his way (which i don't always let him) he lets you know he is pissed. he knows right from wrong and that "no" means he better not. he will test you and wait for your reaction every time though. he's not allowed to play with certain things and he will go up to it, very slowly move his hand towards it, all the while watching you. he waits for a reaction and laughs. so bad. 


pinching is his new favorite thing. he doesn't do it to hurt, he just thinks it's funny. he attacked poor mark the other day, he has the bruises to show it. this child is rough and wild, a total boy. i joke that i am going to be the mother always getting the phone calls "excuse me mrs. constantine, we had a bit of an incident with grayson today", but it just might be the truth. he has an endless amount of energy. 

he is also the sweetest little boy though. he adores animals. no one gets kissed as much as the dogs do. cherrio runs like a madman to avoid him but pancake (who up until recently was not at all a fan) will lay there and let him pull on her legs and "pet" her belly. 

he eats like a teenager. full adult size meals- all day long. baby food is a fight, he wants solid food that he can feed himself. he doesn't know how just yet to get the food onto the fork and into his mouth but he tries and one day in the not so far future he will get it. almost all of my meals are shared these days. sometimes i don't even get a meal because he eats all of it! poor boy also ended up with his mama's sweet-tooth. 

when he is tired he tucks him arms into you and rolls his body onto yours so that his face is burrowed into your chest. it's one of my favorite things. we finally seem to have a bit of a napping schedule. he is up by 6am most days but will sometimes lay in bed with me till 7. around 10 he will take a nap for me. a crib nap (as opposed to having to hold him like i did before)! i never know how long it will last so during that time i am like a woman on speed. i try and get as many things done as fast as i can because once he is up he probably won't nap again, unless it's a late afternoon car nap. 

i must say though, i kind of love who is turning into. he keeps me very busy and i cannot look away for even a moment (the other day i walked into the kitchen for a split second and when i came back he had climbed onto a pillow, onto the couch, onto the end table!) but most days that's okay. i enjoy watching him learn and discover things. it's so much more fun now that he is walking. everything is so much more fun for him now. 

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beer, burgers & babies

for the last year mark has been pursuing his masters degree. he loaded up semesters and took classes non stop till he graduated. to celebrate we invited all of our favorite people over for a barbeque. 

when you have a baby your life changes drastically. priorities shift, free-time activities change (lets be serious- free-time disappears), and life is just never what it was before. i actually asked mark the other day what it was we did with all our time before grayson. i truly cannot remember. for some maybe they miss their pre-baby lives. for me i wouldn't got back to it for anything in the world. 

we may be getting less sleep and making less money. we don't always get to do the things we use to but we get so much more. kisses and laughs and smiles and pure joy (cheesy? absolutely. but it's also the total truth). it can be hard at times, no doubt about that, but at the end of the day when i go in and look over g's crib before i go to bed i cannot remember any of that. i just feel love, and lots of it. 

even more, we are so lucky to have such wonderful friends. we are the first in the group to have a child. no one can possibly know how different things are now then before but somehow they get it. they accommodate. they understand. they still make us part of their lives. best of all, they love grayson, and for that i love them all even more. 

i think grayson is the best thing in the whole world but it warms my heart so much to see how much he is loved by others as well. i think it's impossible not to love him. 

but back to the barbeque. 

grayson's new bib, meant for catching food, has proven to be the best waterice cup holder ever

a few new friends were made. although i am not sure they were wanted in some cases. 
i love these people

as for my dogs- lazy and enjoying all the extra food hanging around. not to mention the belly rubs. i love them too. 

grayson helped himself to the plate of brownies in-front of him. somehow when is auntie is around he gets very spoiled. 

thank you to all of our friends who came. lots of them somehow dodged the camera but we love them just the same. and please come back soon because we still have a fridge full of beer that needs drinking!
oh! and let's not forget the most important part of the evening. chris got a lesson in poop checking. a necessary life skill. 

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