A Denver Family's Adventure Through The Ups And Downs of Life

Friday, January 29, 2010

Definitions of Common Words

I was called the following words because I expressed an opinion that differed politically with them. I'm not sure if this individual understands the definitions of the words, so here they are.

ig-no-rant   –adjective
1. lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned.
2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
3. uninformed; unaware.
4. due to or showing lack of knowledge or training: an ignorant statement.

hate-ful  –adjective
1. arousing hate or deserving to be hated: the hateful oppression of dictators.
2. unpleasant; dislikable; distasteful: She found her domestic chores hateful.
3. full of or expressing hate; malignant; malevolent: a hateful denunciatory speech.

un-ed-u-cat-ed  –adjective
- not educated.

I am well aware of the politics and vision that this person has and I disagree with him, so "ignorant" does not apply to me.

I like the 2nd definition of "hateful." I was voicing my opinion that this politician was "unpleasant and distasteful" to me, so I guess that I am "hateful" in that respect. The other two definitions do not apply.

I received my Bachelor's of Science Degree from The Ohio State University. I graduated with a 3.6 grade point average. "Uneducated" does not apply to me.

This person removed me as their friend on Facebook because of this political dissimilarity. This person also let me know that I misspelled a certain word. Thank you and good "riddance."

American Baby: Advice, Then & Now

Parents.com posted an interesting article about the attitudes that were popular during the last 70 years and appeared in their magazine.

On Breastfeeding

* If you are nursing your baby, you must drink a quart of milk per day. -- March 1964

* A Man's Point of View: As men we must admit that breasts do make lovely sweater decorations. However, as doctors, we remind you that their primary purpose is a source of food for babies. -- March 1967

* Breastfeeding mothers have higher blood levels. They are more energetic, feel better, and are more fun to live with and be around. -- March 1967

* The close, physical contact with the baby triggers the outflow of true selfless compassion for all humanity. -- March 1967

On a Woman's Role in the Birth Process

Your body goes through certain motions and the doctor does the rest.... The less you know the less you will think about, so relax -- let some other smarty bother with [the] details. -- March 1964

On Husbands

* Thank heavens for husbands! Not only are they nice to have around the house, but they come through in times of crisis with the calm, rational objectivity a woman sometimes needs so desperately. -- April 1965

* Many husbands can't bear the thought that they can't bear the child.... A man, with the strength and muscles of an ox, can't see his petite wife bearing this burden.... The fragility of her appearance rouses the protective instinct in her husband -- an instinct nurtured by mixed feelings of pride and guilt. -- June 1965

* Father is more of a novelty. He is only seen in the evenings and on weekends. -- January 1967

On Coping with the Baby Blues

* Overcoming the baby blues is not an easy task, but you can do it if you adopt the right attitude toward the problem and develop persistence. -- February 1970

* Begin your scheduling by setting aside times of the day for your own quiet.... Listen to records, read a novel, experiment with makeup, make a cocktail dress, do beauty exercises, or take a nap yourself -- but don't wash the dishes! -- February 1970

On Naming Baby

* Persons with attractive names are usually better liked than the ones whose names have unpleasant connotations. -- January 1967

* What do the initials spell? Sebastian Anthony Pratt would not be a good combination of names. -- January 1967

* Most popular names of 1967: Robert, Mark, Stephen, Linda, Sandra, Susan. -- January 1967

Beauty Advice for Mom

* Your Own Wonderful Look: The changes taking place in your body evidence themselves in your physical appearance, and require a flexible beauty regime. Plan to devote more time grooming. -- January 1964

* Getting Back into Shape: Don't ask [your girdle] to do all the work your muscles should be doing. You can prevent that sagging tummy even after a whole passel of babies if you are firm with your muscles.... -- June 1965

On Toddler Discipline

* He does not want to share and indeed he should not be expected to share unless he wishes, for he must experience the security of owning things and should expect protection of his possessions and his rights, above all by his parents. -- January 1967

On Manners

* Teaching Baby to Feed Himself: In the beginning of the process keep in mind that your baby's table manners will not be the best. Don't be too concerned about this, for he will want to learn to eat more neatly and expertly as he grows older. -- April 1967

* The How-Tos of Baby Showers: Except for a family affair, it is not in good taste for a mother, sister, or grandmother to initiate the party.... Fanfare, please! The presentation of the gifts should be, above all, dramatic...but also be prepared for its less glamorous aspects. A scissors and a wastepaper basket should be on hand. And ask a friend to keep the gifts and guests properly matched. -- January 1970

On Mommy's Role as the Housewife

* Your Husband: Take a little time to consider the things you can do to make his life a little easier while you are away [in the hospital]...(1) Write out a telephone list (2) Leave him a week's supply of clean underclothes and shirts (3) Stock the refrigerator with food (4) Arrange for a maid to come in one day while you are in the hospital (5) Most important, remember to let your husband carry the baby home from the hospital. -- February 1968

* As a rule, the major care of the baby will fall to the mother, and she will be so busy as a mother that she may forget to be a wife. Unless father is a very well adjusted personality, he is going to resent this neglect. Not only will he be resentful towards his wife, but he may also harbor subconscious antagonism toward this third person that has invaded their happy home. -- May 1965

On the Mystery of Birth

* Birth is the rude interruption of [a blissful state of security and satisfaction in the womb]. This is a tremendous shock from which the individual spends his life trying to recover. -- March 1965

I like the fine print listed at the bottom--
The advice we used to give has evolved in substantial ways over the years. Nothing that appears here represents in any way advice we'd give today.

Have a great weekend!!

Top 50 Things We Must Do With Our Kids In Denver Before They Grow Up

I'm not sure where I found this list, but I like it. As of today, we have already completed two items (visit the Denver Children's Museum and National Western Stock Show). We have gone to the museum twice and went to the Stock Show on January 16th. Tomorrow we will cross off another one, Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Competition. I have been to this for the past 4 years and plan to go every year with the family.

Top 50 Things We Must Do With Our Kids In Denver Before They Grow Up
(And pssst, some of these stretch outside of Denver a teensy bit. Don't tell!)

1. Concert at Red Rocks
2. Tiny Town
3. Breckenridge International Snow Sculpture Competition
4. Georgetown Loop Railroad
5. Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum
6. Ice Cream at Liks
7. Boo At The Zoo
8. See flowers in bloom at (Wash)ington Park
9. Water World
10. Books at the Tattered Cover
11. Denver Children's Museum
12. Rockies game
13. Blossom of Lights at the Denver Botanic Gardens
14. Pumpkin Patch at Anderson Farms
15. Hike a 14er (OK, an EASY one)
16. Denver Firefighters Museum
17. Picnic in Civic Center Park
18. Films on Fillmore
19. Broncos game
20. City Park Jazz
21. Forney Museum
22. Ski trip to the Molly Hogan lift at A-Basin
23. Butterfly Pavilion
24. Sandwiches at the original Heidi's Deli
25. Nuggets game
26. Serve Thanksgiving dinner at the Denver Mission
27. Tour Celestial Seasonings
28. Paint-a-pottery
29. Elitch Gardens
30. Horse-drawn carriage ride through LoDo
31. Nutcracker by the Colorado Ballet (I really HATE the Nutcracker, but I will go for Sam's sake)
32. Wildlife Experience
33. Parade of Lights
34. Avalanche game
35. Dinosaur Ridge
36. Paddle boats in City Park
37. Free Saturday at Denver Art Museum
38. National Western Stock Show
39. See a play at the Arvada Center
40. Colorado Railroad Museum
41. Rapids game
42. Saturday events at Denver Public Library
43. People's Fair
44. Play in the fountain behind Museum of Nature & Science
45. Ride the Light Rail
46. Feed stingrays at Downtown Aquarium
47. Cliff divers at Casa Bonita
48. Gondola ride on Cherry Creek
49. Oktoberfest in Larimer Square
50. Have a plot in a community garden

I found a few more that we could do as a family.
51. Ride the Moonlight Classic
52. A day at the Denver Art Museum
53. Climb to the top of the Mother Cabrini Shrine
54. Dinner at the Spaghetti Factory
55. Goldpanning in Clear Creek
56. The Nature Center at Lookout Mountain
57. Cave of the Winds and the Fairy Caves at Glenwood Springs
58. Cherry Creek Sneak

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Picky Eater

I was at dinner with my extended family and my husband almost choked on his food when I mentioned that I never thought I was a picky eater. I guess that solves it. I need to own it.


I LOVE veggies, but if Sam does get the picky part of my genetic code regarding vegetables, I found some ways to get around it.

• Make macaroni and cheese using shells. Hide a green pea in the middle of some of the shells. Gently fold into cheese sauce. They will never know.
• Add cooked, pureed vegetable to your meatloaf.
• Add steamed and pureed turnips or cauliflower to mashed potatoes. They are mild enough that they should not be detected.
• Create funny names for foods — broccoli trees, bunny salads, mashed potato sand castles, etc.
• Make sweet breads with veggie in them—zucchini bread, carrot bread, etc.
• Add extra sautéed onions, bell peppers and tomatoes to chili. Chop them very fine.
• Fix shish-kebabs with meat and veggies. The skewers will be too cool to pass up.
• Serve salsa.
• Spin broccoli and cauliflower in the food processor and add it to pasta sauce. They will never know.
• Add spinach to scrambled eggs. Tell them if it’s good enough for Popeye, they can eat it too.
• Add fruit to Jell-O.
• Get the kids involved with menu planning and preparing meals. They may be more apt to eat what they have made.
• Use cookie cutters to make cute little designs on soft vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes.
• Serve raw vegetables with a little dipping sauce, or cheese on the side.
• Ask the kids to come up with a list of things they like to eat for dinner. Write these items down on pieces of paper, with simple pictures if you like.

I hear that sometimes, new foods have to be offered to youngsters as many as 12-15 times before they’ll give them a try – so be patient.

Do you have any suggestions?

Thursday's Houshold Tip- Basic Tools Every Home Needs

Basic Tools Every Home Needs from The Family Manager Takes Charge

1. 10” adjustable crescent wrench
2. Pliers (slip-joint and needle-nose)
3. 10 oz claw hammer
4. Screwdrivers (both flathead and Phillips head in point sizes 1,2 and 3)
5. Glues (super-type glue and polyurethane glue, such as Gorilla Glue)
6. Tape measure (25’ retractable)
7. Level (10” model is adequate for most home uses)
8. Utility knife
9. Plunger
10. Water meter or water shut-off key
11. Assorted sizes of nails and screws
12. Duct tape
13. Assorted sizes of paint brushes
14. An assortment of cup hooks, tacks and picture hangers
15. Silicon spray (like WD40)

My husband has 20 types of tape measures, glues, pliers, wrenches, hammers, and screwdrivers. I think that I'm set.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An "I Wish" for Samuel

In a few years, when Sam can start going to school, I would love for him to be able to attend the Denver Montclair International School or a school just like it. They offer full-immersion, bilingual education in French, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese to children 3 years old through 5th grade. Tuition for full-time students is a little more than what we spend on daycare, $10,950.

I just heard about another school that is the first Denver public full language immersion school, Denver Language School. I will have to keep taking a look at this as Sam gets closer to school age.

If I had to pick a language for Sam to take, I would choose Mandarin Chinese. I hear it is one of the hardest languages to learn, but kids can pick up languages so easily. Also, China is becoming a huge powerhouse in the world and I want to give him every advantage that I can.

If this program is not possible for us when he is able to begin attending, 3 years old, I'm going to get a language program, like Rosetta Stone, and teach it to him myself. I hope that we can make it a game so that it is fun for him and not like studying.

I do have a few years before a schooling opportunity is available for Sam, but I can start thinking about it now. I'm definitely a person that tries to think ahead.

Wordless Wednesday- One of my favorite pictures of Sam

I'm not sure if I have posted this picture before, but here is one of my favorite pictures of Sam, so far in his life.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What an Inspiration

An ad was hanging out on the right side of my Facebook page and it was very intriguing- "Sean's 40 in 40 Teams." I’m not one to click on the ads, but this one mentioned Teams in Training and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, so I had to click.

As some of you know, in 2007, I trained with Teams in Training to run the Denver Half Marathon. I was initially inspired to do this to help me not start smoking again. (Back Story—I smoked for 16 years and quit in February 2007.) I met several wonderful people who had battled and were winning the fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma and it endeared me to the organization. Whenever I have the ability, I try to give to individuals who are training with this wonderful group.

“Sean’s 40 in 40” ended up being about a man who, starting in May 2009, began a series of 40 races, culminating with the 40th race being on or around his 40th Birthday in 2010. During the course of this endeavor he plans to complete the following:

5K - 10
10K - 10
Half Marathon - 2 (or 3)
Full Marathon - 2

Metric Century - 3 (or 4)
Century - 2
Multi-day Ride - 1

Sprint - 5
Olympic - 4
Half Iron - 1

Sean is also looking to raise at least $40,000, introduce 400 new members to the Team In Training Team with LLS - and more importantly - raise awareness of the LLS Mission and honor 40 honor patients.

As of this past weekend (01/23/10), he has completed 31 of the events and has raised over half of his goal, $20,940.11.

You can read his blog, which includes information about the reasons, the races, his training and more by clicking HERE.

You can contribute to his goal by going to his fundraising website HERE .

I am planning on donating to this man’s fundraising effort, not only because this is a wonderful charity that needs all of the donations that they can get. I am doing so because he has chosen to take on such an ambitious goal and I am jealous of his resolve to help his fellow man in need. I try to do my part, but I know that I could do more to help the world.

Pantry Challenge- March or April

I told my husband about how there are a lot of bloggers that are in the process of doing a "Pantry Challenge." He was very intrigued with one person that was only planning on spending money on dairy and produce and spending a maximum of $75 during January (I’m sorry that I can’t remember the exact blogger doing this).

If we tried this, we would have to take an accurate stock of our pantry and freezer before we started. I know that we have a ton of pasta and could eat pasta for every meal, every day of a month, but who would want to.

I would also need to research recipes that would allow us to have to buy the minimal amount of items for the month.

I would need at least a month to get ready for an undertaking such as this. A very interesting idea that I might have to look into for March or April.

Monday, January 25, 2010

What I have Learned (So Far) as a Mom

Welcome all of the new readers to my blog. (I hope that you are actually reading instead of just trying to win the photo session. Either way, I will take you.)

Here is what I have learned as a Mom (so far):

* Do not leave your bed for the first 3 day except to use the bathroom and maybe a shower. Dad can bring you food and anything else that you need. You need this time to relax and bond with the baby.
* Nursing has been one of the BEST things that I have done. The quiet moments that I have shared with my son while he has been nursing are beyond description.
* Don't give up breastfeeding if it gets hard. Find a good Lactation Consultant in your area and keep working on it.
* Snap bibs rock!!! Velcro bibs will wake a sleeping child.
* Make sure that you find a late night TV channel that you can watch during the many (many) early (early) feedings.
* Request blank cotton bibs over cute-sy ones. The cute-sy are just for show. They don’t absorb very much. You will need the absorbency unless you child has a lot of clothes that you don't mind changing every 15-45 minutes.
* Make sure that you register for items that are larger than newborn and 0-3 months. The child will grow out of them very quickly.
* Purchase a point-and-shoot camera and use it to document as much of the first year as possible.
* Take a picture of the child in every outfit that they were given. Provide those photos to the person that gave you the outfit. They spent good money on the item and are great to include in the thank you note.
* Buy The Happiest Baby on the Block. Calm crying babies in minutes or less with this new approach. The 5 S’s are great and helped us with our son during the first 3 months of his life.
* Learn how to swaddle. Babies need the comfort of being bound tightly to remind them of the womb.
* Invest in Halo Sleep Sacks to reduce SIDS. Halo has sleep sacks that swaddle.
* Purchase Baby Bargains. It has reviews of a lot of baby items and will allow you to purchase quality items and skip the ones that aren't as necessary.
* Wiper warmers are actually nice for small babies. The cold wipes made our son jump and cry. We are going to purchase cloth wipes soon and make our own solution. Cheaper in the long run and better for the environment.
* Invest in the up-front cost of cloth diapers. In the long run, it will cost you less and you will be helping save the landfill from non-biodegradable disposable diapers. We use SmartiPants that will last our son through potty training.
* Make your own baby food. It doesn't take long and you know exactly what you are feeding your child. I didn't want preservatives in his food. A great website is Wholesome Baby Food. You can then move to Wholesome Toddler Food when the child is a little older and can handle more types, and larger pieces, of food.
* Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all want to be Mrs. Super Mom and do it all, but we can’t.
* Realize that you CAN survive on less than 5 hours sleep for months at a time.
* Realized that I could commit murder if my husband wouldn’t do what I ask, immediately when I ask for it.
* That I had that many tears in my body. I cried at the small things, sweet things, scary things, and sometimes I didn’t know why.
* Your child will not give you any warning on when they will spit up. It just comes out. It could be a little; it could be everything that he/she has eaten for the last 3 days.
* Make sure that you have several changes of comfy clothes in different places in the house. We are usually in the family room or the loft. I make sure that I have 2 extra shirts and one extra pair of workout pants in each of those rooms. My son has the uncanny ability to spit up on a shirt that I just changed into after spitting up on that one, too.
* Make sure that you have several changes of clothes for your child, too.
* Have a changing pad, diaper supplies and clean baby clothes on every level of the house. You don’t want to always have to go to a different floor to change a diaper or an outfit.
* Sanitize toys often. Wash, wipe or rinse toys with water then soak in a solution of 3/4 cup of bleach per gallon of water for 5 minutes. Rinse, then let air dry overnight in the sink. I have also started keeping a spray bottle of that solution handy for immediate sanitizing opportunities.

There are 7,436,936 other thing that I have learned that are not on the front of my mind. As they do come to me, I will mention those.

What have you learned?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Giveaway: Free Photo Session and High-Res CD

If you have had any personal contact with me, you know that I adore our family photographer, Kelsey Bigelow. Her images of my family have made my heart melt and I sing her praises to anyone that is in need of a photo session.

I first met Kelsey when she was referred to me by a mom that I know. She had done a maternity session with my husband and me before the birth of our son, Sam. Since Sam’s birth, she has visually documented his 3 month, 6 month, and (most recently) his 9 month pictures. We have another session scheduled for Sam’s 1st birthday party in early April.

Win it: Kelsey Bigelow has generously offered one lucky Wilson Family Adventure reader a free 2 hour photo session at the local location of your choice. You will also receive a high resolution CD of all of the photos so that you can print them yourself. That’s a $200 package for FREE!!

Mandatory Entry: Head on over to Kelsey Bigelow Photography Blog and, after viewing her portfolio, come back and comment on how you would use your session (an event, yearly family photos, baby pictures, Mother’s Day photos, engagement session, boudoir, etc.). This entry is mandatory and none others will be counted if this is not completed. *Remember to include your email address in your comment if it is not visible on your profile or you will be disqualified.

Additional Entries:
1 entry - Follow my blog publicly with Google Friend connect and comment. -Current followers count too!
1 entry - Become a Wilson Family Adventure Facebook Fan and Kelsey Bigelow Photography Facebook Fan and comment. -leave your Facebook name with your comment.
1 entry - place Wilson Family Adventure as a link on your blog or blogroll & comment with where I can find it.
5 entry - Blog about my giveaway and link back to my site-Leave the URL where you blogged. Please leave 5 separate comments.
1 entry - Follow me on Networked Blogs.
1 entry - follow me on Twitter and tweet this giveaway. You may do this three times a day but tweets must be at least 3 hours apart. Leave a permalink of your tweet. You may use the following text:

Enter to win a free Photo Session from @MomToSamCO, Wilson Family Adventures and @kelseybigelow http://bit.ly/7j0vJT ends 02/04 #giveaway

That's at least 9 ways to win plus you can get three entries by Tweeting. Open to Denver Metro Area and Northern Colorado Residents Only. Winner will be drawn by random.org and announced on this blog as well as emailed.

My opinion is my own and is an honest view of my experience with Kelsey. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be drawn. The winner will have 9 months to book their photography session. Good Luck!

This contest will run through 11:59pm MST on 02/04/10 for CO Residents.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CO Photo Session Giveaway Starts at Midnight MT TONIGHT

Please come back and participate in the Photo Session Giveaway that I'm having that starts at midnight MT tonight. It is for a 2 hour session with my favorite family photographer, Kelsey Bigelow.

It only runs through 02/04, so make sure that you get your entries in.

Thursday's Houshold Tip- Home Maintenance Mistakes

23 Common Yet Dangerous and Costly Home Maintenance Mistakes- from The Family Manager Takes Charge

1. Failure to respect electricity. Make sure you flip the breaker or remove the proper fuse before attempting to repair anything electrical. Don’t overload circuits. A frequently blown breaker is a sign of overload or other trouble; flickering lights can indicate a problem and be a potential fire hazard. In either case, call an electrician.
2. Failure to check heating system yearly. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas released when anything burns. Even small amounts can cause headaches and illness, and if allowed to build up, can be deadly. Install a carbon monoxide detector.
3. Failure to check for radon. Radon is a colorless, odorless substance that is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the US. The EPA estimates that 1/15 US homes has unhealthy levels of radon. Radon kits are available at local hardware stores for less than $25.
4. Failure to look for and fix water leaks. Even a small amount of dripping water can do big damage over time to visible things like drywall, cabinets and flooring, but also structural supports.
5. Waiting too long to paint your house. Exposed wood or strips of paint lets water penetrate the surface.
6. Failure to prepare the surface before painting. Clean the surface, and then repair any damage and prime with a coat of primer or paint.
7. Putting poor quality padding underneath carpet. This can reduce the life of the carpet. Dirt and stains can seep up and spot the new carpet- as well as cause odor.
8. Over cleaning sinks, tubs and toilet seats. Too much scrubbing with abrasive cleaners wears off the finish. Use nonabrasive cleaners.
9. Counting on unreliable warranties. Stick with well known companies and read the fine print.
10. Failing to follow manufacturer’s maintenance procedures. Be careful about trying to repair an appliance yourself. It can be dangerous and void the warranty.
11. Not putting enough insulation in your attic. Last heat translates into higher heating bills.
12. Spending too much on plumbing. A leaky kitchen or bathroom faucet may only need a $0.59 washer to repair. Take the valve cartridge to a local plumbing store.
13. Failure to keep things clean. Carpet dirt breaks down fabrics. Dusty refrigerator coils causes the system to overwork.
14. Failure to change air-conditioning/heating system filters. Reduces efficiency and causes a dirty, unsightly buildup to occur around vents.
15. Not having the chimney cleaned. Clean it each spring.
16. Failure to keep gutters free of debris. Clogged gutters can cause water damage on the roof.
17. Not trimming back trees and bushes from your roof. Same reason as above.
18. Failure to prepare for freezing temperatures. Water pipes can crack and cause thousands of dollars of damage. Seal leaks.
19. Not knowing how to shut off the water to your house. Needed in case of emergency.
20. Failure to inspect the dark, out of the way spaces. Check the attic and crawl spaces twice a year for water leaks, nesting animals or anything unusual.
21. Failure to keep things out of direct sunlight. Carpets and wood floors can fade.
22. Failure to replace your washing machine hoses every two years.
23. Caulking incorrectly. This can cause thousands of dollars of water damage.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

40 Things To Teach Sam Before He Leaves for College

I stole this from My Super Charged Life and I belive that these are only a few of the things that we are going to teach Sam before he goes off to college.

40 Things To Teach My Kids Before They Leave Home
As parents it’s our responsibility to teach, guide and encourage our kids. If we do our job right they go on to become responsible contributing members of society.

No pressure…right?

Teaching practical life skills and philosophies are important parts of developing our children into well rounded and happy adults. The time we have with our kids is precious and relatively short.

With that in mind, I would like to share with you a list of 40 things that I will teach my kids before they leave home. Some are serious while some are lighthearted, since I think an important part of forming a meaningful relationship with our kids is to have a little fun along the way.

Practical life skills
I will teach my kids:
…that doing a proper grocery shop, including meal planning, shopping with a list and comparing prices, can save them a considerable amount of time and money.
…there is more to cooking and baking than simply opening a can or reheating a meal.
…that it’s important to sort your laundry not only by color, but by fabric type and care instructions. I need to learn to do that better myself.
…that no matter what the fashion is at the time, when it comes to an interview, work or special occasions — grab an iron. Walking around all wrinkled and creased sends a message of laziness.
…how to grow and care for a plant. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to instill responsibility. I’d start with an easy to care for houseplant like an umbrella tree or amaryllis or a potted tomato plant out on the deck.
…how to change a car tire so that when they get a flat they are less likely to be stranded on the side of the road not knowing what to do.
…to drive responsibly and to be acutely aware of the consequences of drinking and driving, even if they are the passenger.
…that they can save money on books if they frequent the library.
…how to do standard maintenance on their cars like change the oil and various filters as well as top up fluids and replace light bulbs.
…how to read a bus schedule so if they aren’t in a position to afford a car they can still get around with public transportation.
…that they can have a lot more fun if they build things from scratch. I’m thinking birdhouses, step stools, go-karts, kites and paper planes.
…how to tie a variety of knots so whether they are tying up a boat or pulling a car out of a ditch or snowbank they are better armed.
…how to barbecue a perfect meal paying particular attention to pre-grill prep and special recipes.
…the importance of reading food labels. Not only to become aware of individual ingredients but to also know the quantities of sugar, additives and types of fats they contain.
…how to hem pants, sew on buttons and mend socks.
…how to type properly with both hands on the keyboard. In a society where computers are used for nearly everything, learning how to type properly will increase their efficiency and productivity.
…the concept of compound interest. Who doesn’t want to make interest on interest?
…how to create an effective budget that allows them to live within their means and continually increase their net worth. I need to do that more.
…how to read a map and use a compass.
…how to build a quinzee and survive a night in the cold. (A quinzee is basically a hollowed out mound of snow and are actually quite warm to sleep in! This was one of my favorite experiences as a kid.)
…how to swim and tread water, these skills could potentially save their life.

Philosophical life lessons
I will teach my kids:
…that they can be happy if they choose to be happy.
…that a smile is the simplest thing you can do to truly brighten the day of someone else.
…about compassion and how they can go beyond empathy by truly understanding and feeling other people’s pain and suffering. Once they have this understanding and a genuine desire to relieve other’s pain it will make them better people.
…that there is no such thing as being too polite. You can never say please, thank-you or excuse me too often.
…how listening without judgement, criticism or offering solutions to problems, is a guaranteed way to show someone you care.
…that respect goes beyond being kind to their elders - it also includes property, people in general, animals and even themselves.
…to focus on enjoying what they already have instead of wasting time focusing on what they don’t have.
…that it’s okay to be wrong as that’s how we learn.
…to pursue things that are right for them as opposed to blindly following what society says they should do. The road less traveled usually brings the greatest rewards.
…that nobody will care as much about their money as they will, so they should choose their investments and financial advisers wisely.
…that people usually do the best they can with the information and knowledge they have at the time.
…that if something looks too good to be true it likely is.
…that the more they become attached to a thought or idea in the future, the greater their disappointment (suffering) will be when it doesn’t play out as planned.
…that friends may come and go but family will always be by their side. Always.
…that they will get more than they ever could have imagined simply by being kind and generous to those less fortunate.
…that life is short and that they should make the most of each and everyday. They should do things that make them smile, that make them feel alive and energized. Live.
…to remember that life is more about enjoying the journey than simply reaching the destination.

There are so many things I want to teach my kids and this list grows with each passing day. I want the best for my kids, as any parent does. I occasionally need to remind myself that they are their own little people on their own journeys in life.

How I see my role as a parent — I’m here to guide them, teach them and make sure they are well equipped with the skills, knowledge and common sense to survive and thrive on their own once they leave home. Time will tell if I’ve done my job well.

Wordless Wednesday- 2003 Vacation in Seattle

This was taken the summer before I met my husband. I drove from Denver to SLC to Portland to Seattle and vacationed by myself. What a great trip.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Daddy Diaper Event!

As you know, I'm a huge fan of cloth diapers. I want to let as many people as possible know about their ease of use and the savings versus disposables.

I found out about this event through a friend's blog (thinkPINK) and want to let everyone know about it.

Starting in February at MamaDweeb .
In this event Annie's husband will take all the diapers they receive from their sponsors and review them on camera. There is no better seal of approval than that of a husband. Without having to purchase the diapers yourself, you can check out many different types and manufacturers of diapers.

I completely agree.

Blog Button

I found out how to make a blog button (thanks This Mama Rocks). I'm so excited. I made one that links right to my Project 365 (A Day in Sam's Life). Try it out by clicking on the photo.

My Little Angel

My First Turkey Dinner

I know that I had Christmas dinner at our house, but we had ham instead of turkey. I'm not sure if anyone took pictures of the meal and the ham, but it turned out well and the entire day was a great success.

During that weekend, I reorganized my freezers and found a 12.5 pound turkey that I bought during the sale before Thanksgiving last year. I know that frozen meat doesn't last much longer than one year. Since I had thrown out so many other things from the freezer, I was determined not to throw this out, too.

Starting this past Tuesday, I put the turkey in the refrigerator to thaw; hoping that it would be unfrozen by Saturday or Sunday. Saturday was such a busy day that I didn't have time to even check that it had thawed. After we got home from having lunch at our friend's house on Sunday, I checked on the turkey and it was thawed. Hurray!!!

The directions said that a 12.5 pound turkey would take 3-3.75 hours to cook at 325F degrees. I rinsed out the turkey (taking out the neck- yuck!!) and was able to put it in the oven at 4pm. I wanted to make a citrus turkey, so I hurried to the store and bought 2 oranges, 2 lemons and 2 limes to cut in half and stuff inside the turkey. My shopping trip only took 20 minutes, so I shoved the items in and closed the oven door. Unfortunately, only the oranges and lemons fit.

After about an hour, I could smell the turkey cooking, but not the citrus smell.

We went along with our normal Sunday night routine-- play with Sam, give him a bath at 6pm, feed him and get him ready for bed.

I checked on the turkey after 2:57 cooking and the button was sticking out. I pierced the breast and took the temperature with our cooking fork; 172F degrees. I took the pan with the turkey out of the oven and placed it on hot pads on the counter to cool. It looked really good. I was hoping that it tasted as good as it looked and was juicy.

We put Sam to bed and Brian made me a plate while I was upstairs making sure that Sam fell asleep without incident, which he did. The breast did not taste of citrus, but Brian has some dark meat and he said that it tasted wonderfully citrus-y.

When Brian was carving up the turkey to store in our refrigerator, he found a bag with the rest of the stuff (heart, etc.) still in the bird. Ha. Ha. I forgot to take it out before putting it into the oven. At least it didn't spoil the taste of the meat. I'll try to remember to take it out next time.

Now that it is cooked, we can take some of the meat and freeze it so that we don't waste it.

I'm very proud of myself.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sam's 9 Month Pictures

If you are not a Facebook fan of Wilson Family Adventures, or a Facebook Friend, you may not have gotten the chance to see the most recent pictures that our photographer, Kelsey Bigelow took of Sam this past Saturday. The photos that she has posted on her blog are amazing. I can't wait to see the rest of them.

Kelsey Bigelow's Blog

* If you are interested in booking her, please let her know that we referred you.

Thank you Jay & Andrea!

With Sam not being able to go to daycare this week, Brian and I were dividing our week so that we could take care of our little one. We each took off 2 days (Brian- Monday & Thursday, Me- Tuesday & Wednesday), but we were having trouble deciding who should take off Friday.

We then remembered that since Brian's parents work 4 10-hour days. They would have Friday off. It had been a while since they took Sam for a day, so we crossed our fingers and gave them a call to see if they would be able to help us out and babysit. I'm so glad that they didn't already have plans and were more than willing to look after their only grandchild.

They came over to our house at 6:30 this morning and we packed everything up so that they could take Sam to their house, about 40 minutes away, for part of the day. After lunch, they are going to pack him back up and bring him back to our house.

As a mom, I completely overpacked what I thought that Sam might need (medicine, thermometer, too many bottles, too many diapers, etc.). I also provided them with directions on how to make his food (since I have made every meal for him since he was born). I included my direct line to my office if anything came up that they had a question about.

I also let them know about the toys that had been sterilized for him to play with and those that haven't. You can never be too careful with germs. We don't want him sick again.

Of course I know that they have raised a child before (my husband) and they know the do's and don'ts with kids, but I'm pretty meticulous since this is our first. If we end up having more, I'm sure I will be more lax, but I'm very picky about his upbringing right now.

I just hope that they understand my madness and roll with it. I just hope that I don't call them every hour, on the hour, to make sure that Sam is doing well. I will do my best to refrain. Give me strength.

Thank you Jay & Andrea!!!!

Sam's 2009 Milestones

Here is a listing of the new things that happened to Sam in 2009.

03/29/09- Birth (5:36am)
04/01/09- First bath
04/02/09- First visit with Wilson grandparents
04/09/09- First visit with Neubert grandparents
04/29/09- One Month Old
05/02/09- First outing (Boulder) with Tim & Erika
05/12/09- First smile
05/29/09- First set of shots and 2 Months Old
06/20/09- First professional photo shoot
06/29/09- 3 Months Old
07/03/09- First trip to Greeley
07/25/09- First wedding (Greeley and Platteville)
07/29/09- 4 Months Old
07/31/09- Second set of shots
08/09/09- Rolled over (back to tummy)
No Specific Date- Transfers objects between his hands
08/29/09- 5 Months Old
09/21/09- First Snow
09/26/09- First time sitting up (unassisted)
09/26/09- First solid food (rice cereal)
09/29/09- 6 Months Old
09/30/09- First taste of veggies (sweet potatoes)
10/04/09- Hold bottle by himself
10/05/09- First time sleeping overnight on tummy
10/29/09- 7 Months Old
11/07/09- First time eating chicken (or any solid protein)
11/10/09- First time Angie saw Sam rocking on his hands and knees
11/17/09- First time that Angie saw Sam turn over (tummy to back)
11/29/09- 8 Months Old
12/05/09- Crawling (Sam put one knee forward and pushed on it. I'm counting it.)
12/29/09- First tooth coming through, 9 months old

For the 2010 Milestones, please visit Sam's site HERE.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday's Houshold Tip- Importance of Sanitizing Toys

A good way to make sure that viruses and bacteria are not continually reintroduced to a child is to sanitize the toys. There are commercial sanitizing mixes sold commercially, but an inexpensive way to clean toys is to soak them in a solution of bleach and water. According to the Clorox website, wash, wipe or rinse toys with water then soak in a solution of 3/4 cup Clorox Regular Bleach per gallon of water for 5 minutes. Rinse, then let air dry overnight in the sink.

If you have just a few toys, you can also just boil them for a few minutes in a pot on the stove, just as if you were sanitizing bottles.

The dishwasher is another great place to clean toys. While most parents lower the water temperature on their hot water tank, as long as the temperature is above 120°F, it will safely clean toys and dishes. Just be sure to place plastic toys in the top rack.

Fabric toys can be washed with simple soap and water and you can spray Lysol or another disenfectant on a cloth and wipe down toys with electronics.

Don't forget other places where your child places his mouth, either- such as crib rails and climbing toys or other large toys.

Beyond these cleaning measures, the most important thing to encourage in your household is hand washing. The average child has up to six colds a year, but regular hand washing can cut that in half. Have your children clean their hands before playing with toys to help keep germs from transferring. It's a simple way to get your children involved in their own health, and it's likely to make a big difference.

Because of Sam's current virus, as of yesterday, I am sanitizing the toys that Sam has played with that day nightly after he goes to bed. I'm going to buy a few spray bottles so that we can have the solution handy and not have to make a huge batch to clean the toys weekly (at least).

101 Things in 1,001 Days Update- Jan 2010

Sam has been sick with Herpangina, so I was home for 2 days this week (Tuesday and yesterday), so I thought that I would try to watch one of the AFI Top Movies that I haven’t seen before since that is on my list.

I picked Giant since I like James Dean’s other movies and it was up for 10 Academy Awards. What a mistake. I could only get through half of it. I was bored stiff. This was the 2nd time that I had tried to watch it. I’m not going to try again. I’m counting it as completed.

Here is my blog about the process of completing my list.

B&N and Carter's Coupons

Here are the B&N and Carter's Coupons that are valid this weekend.

Barnes & Noble Coupon

Carter's Coupon

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sam Has a 529 College Savings Account

I went online on Sunday night and started a 529 College Savings Account for Sam. We put in an initial bulk investment, but we are going to put money in every paycheck.

We are also going to allow others to invest in Sam's college plan. This can be one of the most important gifts our child ever receives — the gift of education.

Tax-advantaged 529 plans have exploded in popularity in recent years, becoming the college-savings vehicle of choice for many parents. In a 529 plan, savers put after-tax dollars into an account that typically offers a wide range of mutual funds. Distributions and earnings are tax-free, as long as they’re used for higher education. Investors can invest in any plan, although they may get an additional state tax break if they invest in their own state’s plans.

The Wall Street Journal had an informative article a few years ago about the 529 college-savings plans and how best to take advantage of them when saving for the college educations of your progeny. The 529 plans were a bit murky for a few years—confusion as well as unsettling rumors about ‘bad’ 529 plans that would end up being more of a hindrance than a help. Jane J. Kim has written an excellent article about the whole concept of the 529, how they work, why they make economic sense, which states have the better versions and which have the plans to be avoided, and why implementing an out-of-state plan can still work to your advantage (even after taxes). For us, the in-state option had the best tax advantages. Read up and start saving based on your investment goals.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sam Has Harp Disease

Harp Disease is also known as "Hand-foot-and-mouth disease." Right now, he doesn't have the "hand and foot" part, just the mouth part.

According to WebMd-- Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a common childhood illness. It causes sores in the mouth and on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks and legs. Mouth sores can be painful and may make it hard for your child to eat. The disease is not serious, and it usually goes away in a week or so.

It can occur at any time of year, but hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most common in the summer and fall.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is not the same as other diseases that have similar names: foot-and-mouth disease (sometimes called hoof-and-mouth disease) or mad cow disease. These diseases almost always occur in animals.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is caused by a virus called an enterovirus.

The virus spreads easily through coughing and sneezing. You can also get it by coming in contact with infected stool, such as when you change a diaper. Often the disease breaks out within a community. Children are most likely to spread the disease during the first week of the illness. But the virus stays in the stool and can sometimes spread to others for several months after the blisters and sores have healed.

It usually takes 3 to 6 days for a person to get symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease after being exposed to the virus. This is called the incubation period.

At first your child may feel tired, get a sore throat, or have a fever of around 101F to 103F. Then in a day or two, your child may get sores or blisters on the hands, feet, mouth, and sometimes the buttocks. In some cases a child will get a skin rash before the blisters appear. The blisters may break open and crust over. The sores and blisters usually go away in a week or so.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease does not usually need treatment. Most cases go away in 7 to 10 days. You can use home care to help relieve your child’s symptoms.

Offer your child plenty of cool fluids. Your child may also have Popsicles and ice cream.
Do not give your child acidic or spicy foods and drinks, such as salsa or orange juice. These foods can make mouth sores more painful.
For pain and fever, give your child acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil). Do not give your child aspirin. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness.

To help prevent the disease from spreading:
Do not let your child share toys or give kisses while he or she is infected.
If your child goes to day care or school, talk to the staff about when your child can return.
According to our daycare, the white spots have to be gone for Sam to be able to go back. He would also need a doctor's release. Sam may have more time at home this week.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Managing our Home

The jobs that Brian and I manage on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis.

• Accountant/ Bookkeeper
• Auto Maintenance Supervisor
• Babysitter/Daycare Worker
• Building Supervisor
• Cheerleader
• Chef
• Coach/Team-builder
• Counselor
• Entertainment Chairman
• Fashion Coordinator
• Filing Clerk
• Fitness Trainer
• Gardener
• Gift Coordinator
• Health Care Practitioner
• Historian and Curator
• Hotel Manager
• Interior Designer
• Laundress
• Maid
• Manager of Food Services
• Personal Organizer
• Purchasing Agent
• Seamstress
• Secretary
• Travel Agent

I find myself trying to take over too many of these positions and running myself ragged. I’m definitely not a good wife or mother if I don’t have the energy to spend time with them. Even though Brian may not do something the exact way that I would, I need to let him know that I trust him to complete a job without me “fixing” it after he is done.

Stealing from “The Family Manager Takes Charge” by Kathy Peel, I need to learn to work smarter, delegate and find easier ways to complete tasks.

Cleaning, straightening, and de-cluttering are the most time consuming of the jobs in our house. Here are a few ways that we can make these tasks not so daunting.

• Power of Ten Minutes Method- Time yourself. What can you accomplish in 10 minutes instead of trying to tackle everything at once on a Saturday? I would rather spend my Saturday with my family instead of with dust bunnies and dishwashing detergent.

• The Clean While You Sleep Plan- there are some things that can be done overnight (laundry, soaking pots and pans, clean clogged drains, etc).

• Prevention Plans- Ways to prevent messes (use aluminum foil with abandon, don’t wear shoes inside, use pump soap dispenser instead of bar soap, etc.).

Brian and I have made a commitment to do these three things daily so that cleaning doesn’t become an all-day Saturday phenomenon when we lose large chunks of time that we should be spending with each other. We don’t want to remember our weekends as always digging out of the mess. We want to remember them doing fun things with Sam.

Please let me know if you have any tricks that have worked in your household.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Money Matters

I need to start taking a good look at where my money goes each month. I know that there are plenty of places where I can save money and be able to use it on the things that really matter.

Here are some of my financial goals for 2010.
• Kiss those credit cards goodbye
• Pay down debt
• Create a budget and try to stick to it
• Start investing 15% of my household income in retirement
• Sock money away for Sam’s college
• Organize pantry monthly or quarterly to stop wasting food
• Purchase more organic & locally grown foods (they are so expensive)

HERE is a website that I have been reading to help me find ways to save. Not only does this mom have ideas, she lets other people post their ideas as well.

I have also found some really good deals on this website.

I have saved a ton of money by making all of Sam’s food instead of buying it. I have been relying on this website for his meals.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Taxes-- Yuck!!!

Since this is going to be our first year worrying about taxes associated with Sam’s birth, I need to find out if taking the Dependent Care Account option is better than the Government Dependent Care Tax Credit or vice versa.

If THIS worksheet is correct, it looks like the Government Dependent Care Tax Credit is going to be the best option for us in our specific tax situation.

But looking at THIS, it looks like the Dependent Care Account option would net us over $600 since it reduces our taxable income.

I need to find someone to talk to about which is really the best for us. I only have until Friday (my work's deadline) to figure this out.

Like normal taxes aren't bad enough, but I have a small window of time to determine which is going to be best for us.

Osh Kosh & Carter's Coupons- Through 01/13/10

Here are the Osh Kosh & Carter's Coupons that are valid through the 13th.

Carter's Coupon

Osh Kosh Coupon

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday- Reminiscing

I was just thinking about my wedding day in July 2006. What a wonderful day.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sam’s First Tooth

I first noticed that Sam’s first tooth was coming in on his 9 month birthday. I haven't really been able to get a good picture, but it is coming in on the bottom left. Hopefully I can get a picture of it when he is asleep. That's the only time that he isn't active and squirming.


Sam is 9 Months Old- December 29th

I’m sorry that I didn’t have a chance to post this earlier.

Photobucket Photobucket

Friday, January 1, 2010

Changes to this Blog

I am changing this blog a little bit. I am going to start Project 365 by starting another blog.
I will also be moving some items from this blog to the new one.

To find out more about Project 365 please click HERE.