Thursday, December 15, 2011


Time is once again passing me by. I don't know where this year has gone. I literally blinked after Rosemary started school and we had Halloween, Thanksgiving, and my baby girl turned 4! Here is just a small recap of some of the events of the past month. They are not even the most important- just the ones I had ready access to pictures of. There will be a post coming about Rosemary's birthday as soon as Joe gets pictures uploaded. I have LOTS to say about that! In the meantime, here's a snippet of the goings on in the B family!

Rosemary's first boyfriend came over one Friday night while his mom had plans she had to attend to. I had so much fun watching the two of them play. First, they gleaned the lemons off my tree...

then we juiced them...

and then we enjoyed some fresh lemonade!

We also had pictures taken. It donned on me that in the four years that we've been a family with kids, we have never had a professional picture taken. In fact Joe and I haven't had a professional picture since our wedding almost 10 years ago. It was time. We got all prettied up and went down to University of Tampa for a portrait session. They turned out pretty amazing thanks to Courtney Vickers Photography.

Since we were already down there, we decided to make an evening out of it. We first went ice skating at Curtis Hixon Park. It was such a beautiful set up! I hung out with Xander while Joe and Rosemary performed unbelievable feats on ice :)

We went to a Thanksgiving playdate at a friend's house. We made turkey centerpieces out of rocks. It turned out super cute. I didn't get a picture of the finished product and it's already packed away for next year, but take my word, it was cute!

One weekend we decided to head to Busch Gardens to put our passes to use before they expire. Rosemary rode her first roller coaster! She liked it so much that she did it again- and requested the front seat! I love my little risk taker!

On Thanksgiving day we did a Turkey Trot (ran a 5K). The funniest part was that they gave out free cakes! I chose a turkey cake. It cracks me up!

My favorite new Thanksgiving tradition this year was our Thankful Tree. I put it up on the first day of November and every day Joe, Rosemary, and myself had to write down one thing we were thankful for that day. We could not repeat anything. It started off "Rosemary is thankful for her toys" and escalated to "Rosemary is thankful for ballet and God." I will definitely be doing this again next year!

We bought a brand new dining room during the Thanksgiving sales. The kids helped put it together. Rosemary was surprisingly a big help. Xander, not so much.

One of my new Christmas crafts is this felt Christmas tree. It was such a good idea in theory. I first put it up with sticky tack. That lasted all of 5 minutes. Then I tried using thumb tacks, but Xander kept pulling it off the wall- tree and tack- so that didn't work. Finally I just staple gunned it on the wall. Xander still pulls and tugs at it and pulls all the ornaments off every time he walks by it. So, not so much of a hit this year. Maybe next year it will work out better!

I promise there is SO much more going on, but that's all I had pictures for tonight!

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Thursday, November 10, 2011


I've been remiss about updating lately. There is a lot to catch up on, but for now I leave you with a picture of Rosemary on her first day of ballet class.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Snippets of time

On our evening stroll "mommy, can we stop here and rest? I wish we brought my fishing pole."
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Fun!

What a perfect weekend! Rosemary started soccer, we met friends for brunch, went to our first Fall Fest of the year, and spent lots of fun time with the family! Here are some pics from this weekend's festivities!

Here's my girl in her adorable jersey and soccer gear! I have never been more proud of her in her entire life than I was on Saturday! She ran right out on the field and had the time of her life! I have never seen her take to something so quickly. I think she might be a natural!

Look at that kick! Right in the goal! Thatta girl!

The huddle was the cutest thing I've ever seen. A bunch of 3 and 4 year-olds shouting "GALAXY!" That's their team name. Perfect for our little science buff. I swear this whole soccer thing is kismet. She is in her element!

And of course we treated her to some cotton candy on the way home!

Here are the kids and I at the Horsepower for Kids Fall Fest pumpkin patch. It might be the only picture I have where all of us are looking at the camera!

This was Xander's first hayride!

I love this sweet picture of the kids!

Is he not the cutest little man ever? He had so much fun running around the farm. He really liked the animals and the dirt and even tried feeding the llama! I am so smitten with this little guy!

There were a lot of cool things to do there. Rosemary rode a pony, climbed a haystack, went through a hay maze, and we found this cool rope bridge she walked across. I think both kids loved it out there today!

Next week we have a lot more fun fall activities planned! More pumpkin patches, Halloween parties, and who knows what else! I love this time of year!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Little Man!!!

We spent Xander's birthday weekend at the Nick Hotel in Orlando. Both sets of grandparents joined us and it was a really great way to celebrate his birthday! We didn't plan everything out perfectly but it all worked out great! Joe had better pictures of all the fun we had at the resort, but here are two of the important festivities- opening presents and eating cake!

Xander had his twelve month checkup today. Usually he does great, but he really didn't want any part of it today. He did grow a bit, he's 20 pounds and 29 inches, which puts him at the 24th and 12th percentiles, respectively. That's a gain from last time when he was at the 10th and 7th percentiles so I was happy. Hopefully my little man will sleep a lot today after his icky shots.
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Figured I'd update this with highlights of his 12th month:

- He has 6 teeth!
- We're working on weaning (he uses his teeth- breastfeeding is not so much fun). He likes formula in his bottle but we're working on whole milk and the sippy cup.
- He definitely lets us know when he's unhappy. He gets angry when you take something away from him, which is a new development from his previous happy-go-lucky calm self. I'm hoping this is just a short phase and once he has more words it'll all disappear and he'll be back to his calm, happy-go-lucky self. He still is happy most of the time.
- He's a daredevil! He cracks up when he falls and will climb anything. He is so stinking cute!
- He eats almost anything and like his sister prefers his food whole rather than cut up. I have to monitor him pretty closely when he eats.
- He likes to be included in everything. He likes to color and spends almost as much time putting the crayon to the paper as he does in his mouth!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

One year later...

One year ago from right now I was checking into UCH. An hour or so later I had my epidural. A few hours later I had my baby boy. What ensued over the next couple days was nothing short of a nightmare. Over the past year as I've told people about Xander's meconium aspiration, I've had two people tell me of someone they know who went through the same thing. Only their stories didn't have a happy ending. I am so blessed our nightmare only lasted a couple days and ended happily ever after... I will admit to giving my little man a few extra hugs and kisses today.

On a personal note, this has not been an easy year for me- as a mother or wife. No one can raise a child, let alone children, on an island. I've worked extra hard this year to increase the "village" surrounding me and my family. It's required me to be more careful about who I open up to, reach a little further to make connections, put more effort into some relationships and quietly seek distance from others. I've felt many doors open this year and am grateful for some of the new friendships and support systems I've been finding. This year has also required me to seek assistance and ask for help when needed. Joe's schedule has called for a lot more travel than ever before, but I am SO lucky that he is such a hands-on father and happily takes over after a full day of working so I can put my feet up (or at least go to the bathroom alone and maybe clean a dish or two) while he gets the kids ready for bed. As always I've been relying on my parents, perhaps more this year than ever before. I've experienced more growth this year than perhaps any other and feel much stronger than ever before. Having two children has required me to let some things go and only draw attention to the most important matters. I am very happy with the relationship I have with both of my children. The three of us are a team. We work together- and while at times we butt heads (nothing can cause dissonance like a three year old!), we are constantly learning from and supporting each other. Rosemary told me the other day "Mommy, you're not always a good mommy, but most of the time you are." At three, she doesn't always filter her thoughts and while she was probably thinking of the time I didn't let her eat cookies for dinner, it was a true statement and something I accept. We live in a society where we are always expected to overachieve and be the best at everything we do. There is so much esteem placed on being the best. As a mother, perfection is unattainable (how do you measure perfection anyway?). I spent three years trying to be "the best." And now I realize that I was wasting my time. My children don't want or need me to be "the best" mother. They need me to be THEIR mother. They need to see me succeed, but they also need to see me fail. They need to see me happy, but they also need to see me sad. They need me to be there for them, but they also need to learn independence and self-reliance. I can't make my children into the people I want them to be. I can only support them as they become the people they are.

This post is all about my growth and development over the past year. I've spent most of the day preparing for Xander's birthday celebration this weekend and it dawned on me how much my life has changed this year. Tomorrow I will celebrate my son's first year of life and the amazing little person he is. But tonight I celebrate the person I have become over the past year.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Baby steps

Xander took his first step yesterday!!! I didn't get it on video or even a photo. We were at the park with some friends and he let go of my hands, stood on his own for the longest he ever has, and then took one step toward me! He was so proud of himself!!!! I'll keep trying to get a video of it!
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Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day weekend

Note: I tried a new mobile blogging app and the pictures turned out very poor quality. I think I'll stick with my old one next time. :(

Labor Day might be my favorite holiday given that Joe has a four day vacation!! We made very good use of that time. We used Friday to be productive and get some errands done, then finished the day at the monthly First Friday celebration nearby complete with bouncy house and balloon animals. We made it an early night since the kids were kind of pooped. Saturday was spent mostly getting things done around the house until evening where we found a festival complete with pony rides, train, bouncy houses, music, and fireworks! We brought a blanket and set up camp out on the lawn and had a really fun evening! I couldn't believe the kids lasted all night! Xander was mesmerized by the fireworks while Rosemary, in her intellectual way, judged all of them ("that was too squiggly, that one's too loud, that one's too green.") I finally told her that we didn't need to rate them, we can just enjoy, and then she seemed to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show! On Sunday we packed up the minivan and headed to Orlando for our good friends baby's baptism. We got there a little early so we stopped by the self-proclaimed World's Largest Mcdonald's Playplace. We played a few games of tag, and some hide and seek before it was time to head to the church. After the ceremony and lunch we headed back to the Brown's place where we were able to spend the rest of the day catching up. We ended up heading home around 9. With such a long weekend and late nights for the kids, we spent Monday at home playing, cleaning, and getting some rest. Here are some pics from the weekend festivities. I didn't take a ton of pictures, so this is all I got!

Here are the kids at the Celebrate Oldsmar festival on Saturday:

Rosemary LOVED the bunnies at the petting zoo!

It was so cool to ride the ponies right by the water!

Here's Rosemary's very secret hiding place while playing hide n seek. Can you find her?!

Xander really liked the turtle!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I tried uploading some videos, but I guess it didn't work. While I get that sorted out, here are some recent photos of life in the B household!

Every baby needs a picture of themselves in the toy box:

Here's Rosemary's first day of school! We left the tiara, Pooh, and Piglet in the car.

I've been sick off and on all summer and Rosemary was so sweet. She got the measuring spoons out and made me some "medicine" and made sure I took 3 teaspoons a day. Maybe she'll be a doctor.

Here's Xander at the spraypark!

Joe was out of town last week so my mom came down to stay with me and we found some wax lips. We thought it would be funny to wear them while picking Rosemary up from school. She didn't find it so funny. But we thought we were hilarious!

We went shopping and found this adorable bumblebee costume. I couldn't resist. At least now I don't have to worry about what she'll be for Halloween! I'm thinking maybe Xander can be a bee hive. Or a honey pot. Or a spider. I'll keep working on that.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

11 Months Old

This has been a crazy busy week. Rosemary started preschool. Joe was out of town most of the week and my mom came to stay with us. I almost forgot it was also the week Xander turned 11 months old. I can't believe he will be one year old in less than a month. It went SO much faster than Rosemary's first year. I think I blinked and this year flew by. Here are some of the highlights of my little man's past month...

- He's starting to cruise one handed but has yet to stand or walk on his own yet. He wants to but he's perfectly happy crawling everywhere and climbing everything.
- He is THE happiest baby EVER. I seriously cannot get enough of him.
- He is now playing with Rosemary. Anything she does, he wants to do. Unfortunately she doesn't always appreciate this built-in playmate and I often hear "MOOO--OOOMMM can you get Xander?!"
- He is very independent and will happily entertain himself for long periods of time. His favorite game right now is emptying the tissue box or Rosemary's drawers. Such fun games. He's starting to put things back in, but he hasn't learned to let go of it yet so he'll sort of "dip" toys back in boxes or bags but isn't quite ready to clean up after himself yet. But he sure loves making the mess!
- He also loves playing with balls. I'm pretty sure he's going to be a baseball player. He has a REALLY good throw!
- He's eating lots of table foods and sometimes I can't find enough food to keep him happy. He moved on from Baby Mum Mums to Keebler Club Crackers and right now his favorite food is bananas. Give that boy a banana and you'll think you just gave him the winning lottery ticket!
- He's cutting his fifth tooth.
- He's babbling a lot. He's starting to tell us stories and I'm sure he knows exactly what he's saying.
- He LOVES to scream. Sometimes he gets so into it his whole body will shake and then he will start cracking up. It is the cutest thing to see, but not something I want to encourage!
- I took him to the spraypark for the first time last week and he LOVED it! He crawled all over the place and had so much fun! I'll post some pics next time I'm on my phone.

Happy 11 months baby boy! You are my little sunshine!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The night before preschool and all through the house...

Tomorrow is my baby's first day of preschool. Being the sentimental woman I am, I get teary just thinking about it. In my heart I know she's ready and she's excited and it's going to be so good for her. I've felt like my job for the past three and a half years has been leading up to tomorrow. I've done all I could to prepare her and now she's ready to learn on her own. I'm proud of the fact that I've taught her all the basics- shapes, colors, numbers, counting to 10 (sometimes 20 or even 100 depending on her mood), letters, letter sounds. I've taught her songs and games and how to share. We cook together, we go on walks together, we read books and trace letters and numbers and do lots of art and craft projects. I taught her how to cut with scissors. Now it's up to her teachers to help with the rest. My biggest hope is that she will learn to listen and become self confident when I am not around. I would be out of my mind thrilled if she comes out of that school with a passion to learn and excitement for school that rivals mine and Joe's. I'm so excited for my little girl to take this huge step. It's a big day for her! I keep channeling Dr. Seuss...


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, (or Rosemary Rayne)
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sunset beach picnic

Our favorite family pasttime this summer is hands down our sunset picnics at Treasure Island. This was on Saturday evening. Just a little snippet of life in Florida!
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011


This is what I saw after giving Rosemary some good night kisses. I thought he'd be asleep!
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Monday, August 1, 2011

I made a boat!

Rosemary and grandma had a fun craft project this morning. And it floats! Now Strawberry Shortcake and friends can go cruising.
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fashion show

Grandma took Rosemary school clothes shopping today so we had a little fashion show. I know the photos are blurry, but I was shooting a moving target with my phone camera. I have a feeling Rosemary is going to be the best dressed in her preschool class! Now my mom and I are trying to finish up some of the clothes we bought fabric for last time I visited!
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

Rosemary's obsession of the week is Strawberry Shortcake. My mom has all my old Strawberry Shortcake dolls from the 80s and cleaned them up so she's been playing with them since we got here. Tonight for dessert my mom treated us all to strawberry shortcake, which Rosemary enjoyed while watching a Strawberry Shortcake movie! Xander wanted a little piece of it and I had to get it on video. Enjoy!
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Xander's clapping!!!

Yay Xander!!!
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ten Months Old

My little man turned ten months old yesterday. Poor little guy celebrated it with a fever. He really doesn't feel well today. I hate seeing my baby sick but I know he's going to be ok. I have a feeling it's either roseola or will pass and we'll never find out what it is. But even though he's not feeling great, he managed to do the cutest things today! This morning I was blowing on his face. He did the usual cute baby face and then he blew on my face! Joe tried getting it on video but it was really hard to get the right angle. It looked like he was blowing raspberries and then he'd laugh. Later in the day he was imitating me making other funny noises. I did a sort of "uh, chh" sound. I can't really type it out, but he'd do it after me. It was so funny seeing this little guy making these funny sounds imitating me! Here's a little snapshot of what my little man has been up to this past month:

- Imitating everything! In addition to the funny sounds I make, I've heard him meowing at the cat, who he loves to chase around the house.

-He said "banana!" I tried getting him to say it again today, but he just wanted to eat it and wasn't in the mood to say it.

- He's eating pretty much everything at this point (except choking hazards of course). His favorite meal seems to be mini bowtie pasta, cooked chicken pieces, and green beans. And he loves ice cream! He also loves Baby Mum Mums. He's not a big fan of Cheerios or Puffs, but put a Baby Mum Mum in his hand and he's a happy camper.

- He is cruising all over the place and loves walking his dinosaur! He hasn't attempted standing on him own yet, but I have a feeling that's not too far away.

- He gets into EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, he seems drawn to the toilet bowl brush so I have to make sure to keep the bathroom doors closed or that will be the first place he heads. He's very independent and will happily play by himself until he gets hungry or tired. I'm not used to having such an independent baby and I often feel bad that I'm not giving him more attention, but he's so happy. While Rosemary could cuddle and read books with me all day, he'd much rather crawl around the house getting into things or climbing things.

- He loves the Fisher-Price Little People farm that was mine when I was little. It's in Rosemary's closet and he will happily sit in there and play with it all by himself. He mostly puts the little people in his mouth and opens and closes the barn doors, but he loves it and it will entertain him for a long time!

- He and Rosemary are playing together more and more. Unfortunately, I think she knows he's getting bigger and stronger and now she doesn't feel like she needs to be so gentle with him so she often knocks him over (not a problem on the carpet but when he hits his head on the hardwood it's enough to give me a little heart attack and make him cry). But he holds his own pretty well!

I'm already getting emotional about him growing up. I love the age he is now and I just wish I could freeze time. I can't get over how much faster it has gone with him. He is just a little angel.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Caught in the act

My kids are killing me with their cuteness today. Rosemary saw Xander eyeing her banana (which he really loves in case you didn't catch my last post!) and started feeding him. It was so sweet until the very end where he got a really big bite! I hope this is a sign that they are going to be good at sharing lots of things!
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First word

Xander said "banana" this morning!!!!
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Time flies...

No pictures to accompany this post. Just wanted to pop on and record a few things I've been ruminating about and need to get out of my head. My children are growing so fast. Rosemary is a little lady. I am SO proud of her. It has not been an easy road, but when I look at her and see how amazing she is and what a gorgeous, intelligent, headstrong, motivated little lady she is becoming, I realize that all the sleepless nights, all the meltdowns (hers and mine), all the time spent stressing about every little thing was SO worth it. She is not the child I imagined in my head that I would have one day. She is SO much more amazing than I ever could have dreamed. It is truly astounding how she is this human being, completely separate from me, and yet, I MADE her. I felt her kick before she even took her first breath, and now she is about to start preschool. Her imagination is Oscar-worthy. Whether she's playing Princesses or doing an art and craft project, she adds her own little spin to everything she does and makes it FABULOUS (who else would have turned an unfinished wooden birdhouse into a home for little princesses by adding pink paint, glitter, and sequins?!) And Xander is Mr. Personality. He flirts with EVERY pretty lady he sees. He was even flirting with Fergie on tv today! He is not yet walking on his own, but he is climbing on everything and has no problem giving the cat a run for his money. He is starting to express his likes and dislikes (I believe he might just one day be as verbal as his sister, so Lord help me!) I always thought Rosemary had the market cornered on the most emphatic facial expressions, but he is definitely giving her some competition. And he LOVES me. Rosemary was always a mama's girl, until Xander came along, but he has always preferred daddy. Until lately. Now he gives me these humongous slobbery, open-mouthed kisses that make me melt. His little grunt when he laughs gives me goosebumps. I don't know any parent that was not affected by the Casey Anthony trial. It helped put a lot into perspective for me. No matter how truly difficult things get, even when it's tantrums and meltdowns that are making things difficult, I have never once lost sight of how truly blessed I am to be a mother. I have never once taken for granted the gift that I have been given of being a mother. I want nothing more than to do the best for them, and be the best for them. The thought I struggle most with as a mother, especially a stay-at-home mom, is that I am not good enough for them or that they deserve better than me. There are so many thoughts and feelings and judgments that the Casey Anthony trial has brought up in me that I can't even express without breaking down and crying. But to sum it up, I would give my life for my children and can not imagine losing one of them- regardless of whether it was intentional or accidental. I don't think I'd be able to go on living. Ever since the trial, I can't stop staring at them and giving them extra attention. Rosemary is loving it, but did ask why I was smiling at her so much the other day. I just told her because I love her. And that was the entire truth.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Milk n honey

It has been quite a while, a little over nine months to be exact, since Rosemary and I have had a special day just the two of us. I needed some bonding time with my daughter and, given our love of tea parties, decided to make reservations at a local tea house for afternoon tea for just the two of us. What an incredible day! The tea room was lovely- decorated like a traditional a victorian tea shop. The tea- I had blueberry green tea while rosemary opted for apple juice- was amazing. So amazing in fact, that Rosemary drank my tea instead of her juice! There was a baby shower in the larger room that includes a childrens dress up area, so we were seated in a more intimate, but no less lovely, room and our server brought the dress up clothes, and a couple Barbie dolls, to us! When our food was ready, served on a three-tier tray, of course, it was amazing! The lowest tray had sandwiches- pbj and turkey and cheese shaped like butterflies for Rosemary and assorted finger sandwiches and wraps for me. The second tray had watermelon balls, scones, and devonshire cream, and the top had the most amazing assorted pastries! The owner is also the chef and she is amazing. I have no idea how she can make a cucumber sandwich such a delicacy! By the time we were finished eating, the baby shower had ended and we were invited into the large room to play dressup. It was the most amazing day that I have had with my daughter in forever! I don't think either of us will forget it for a long time to come.
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