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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gramma's Critters

A super dear friend of mine from middle school and beyond has recently done something that makes me smile!  She has illustrated her very own children's book!!! And when I say very own, I mean very own!  You see, when I first met Cathy Ann, she used to have these crazy pillow creatures on her bed that were made by her grandmother in Western Massachusetts.  I remember them from many a sleepover at the Burgess house.





These Critters are now featured in a new children's book called Gramma's Critters.  Cathy Ann's oldest brother, Chuckie, is the author!  And, I hear there is music to go along with the super cute story of the Critters.  So where can you get a glimpse of this fabulous book?  At the Norwood Morrill Memorial Library on Monday, August 30th, from 4-5pm.  The entire family will be there for a book signing!  The Critters will be there too!  We can't wait to get our hands on our copy and hear Greg sing.  And of course, I can't wait to catch up with Cathy Ann!


If you cannot make the Norwood book signing, you have another opportunity to do so in lovely downtown Falmouth on Saturday, September 4th from noon until 1pm! This one is taking place at an adorable bookstore on Main Street, called Eight Cousins.  Nothing better than an afternoon stroll on Main St. in Falmouth!  It'd be a great way to spend the day.  So many great boutiques, and of course, yummy fudge and ice cream to be had at Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium!  My kids and I could spend hours in Kaleidoscope Toys and Celebrations is another favorite!  Last time I was there, I whispered to my husband, "We could do ALL of our Christmas shopping on this one road and be done!"  


See you all at the book signing!  And way to go Burgess family!  We are so excited to hear all about Gramma's Critters!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coastal Wine Trail

We had such an awesome weekend in Tiverton.  Yummy dinners (as usual, thank you Grandma!), great views, built-in baby-sitters and comfy beds that we got to lie in well past 6am!  :)  I love R.I.

On Saturday we took the oldest two with us to our favorite Newport beach-Gooseberry.  It was glorious.  Emily and Aidan had a blast digging in the sand and splashing in the ocean.

On Sunday afternoon, Daddy, Owen and I escaped to a couple of local wineries located near Tiverton.  We hit up Newport Vineyards first, which is part of the Coastal Wine Trail of Southeastern New England-who knew? I wasn't impressed by Newport Vineyards.  I didn't like the atmosphere there very much.  No real tasting room, more commercial type business-run kind of place.  It was like a gift shop with a wine bar inside it!  NG.

Then we had lunch at Coddington Brewing Company in Middletown, RI.  YUM.  I had a blueberry blonde beer (with floating blueberries, of course!) and a delicious sandwich called the Pilgrim Wrap.  Basically Thanksgiving dinner in a wrap.  Their curly fries were delicious too; worth a trip!

Next, we headed over to Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth, RI.  Now, this was more like it!  We walked into an impromptu jazz concert, situated in an old, recently restored beautiful stable!  We sipped wine and chatted with one of the owners and purchased a bottle of Vidal Blanc to take home.  Certainly a laid back, quaint and intimate atmosphere.  We learned a lot about their family's history and how they became vintners.  We even met Maggie, their new little puppy who liked Owen's binky a little too much.  Hilarious!

We didn't have enough time to hit up Sakonnet Vineyards, in Little Compton, ahhhhh shucks!   So we'll have to save that one for another Sunday.  We've been to that one before though, and do love it.  Sakonnet is especially nice for bringing a picnic and sitting outside in the beautiful gardens while sipping some wine.

Perhaps there are six more wineries to visit this fall!  My kind of Traverse Travels!

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Monday, August 23, 2010

2 Months Old

Little Owen is two months old today.  Wow, where did that go?  God, we love him to bits.  He's just the best little guy around.  We'd be lost without you little guy!

He's getting his shots tomorrow.  But I'm anxious to see how big he is :)  Totally getting mistaken for a much older baby all the time.  Isn't he the sweetest?

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Who Wants to go to Story Land?



Next weekend, the five of us are headed up to North Conway, NH to check out Story Land!  We are so excited this year because Aidan will be able to enjoy a lot more rides!  And it'll be Owen's first trip, of course!  Packing up the Traverse and hitting the road bright and early Saturday morning-we can't wait!

We'll be staying at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort.  We've never stayed there before, but the kids are in for a real treat.  They have in indoor water park, called Kahuna Laguna!


So, for your own chance to win a Family 4 Pack to Story Land, please become a follower of my blog, stowedstuff.blogspot.com ---------> Follow us on facebook as well!  We will be picking one lucky winner at random between now and September. The Story Land passes will be good for this season, as well as the entire 2011 season!  Become a follower/fan today!  Your only chance to win is right here with us!  Good luck and stay tuned!






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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Shoes


I got some new flats today that are comfortable.  Anyone who knows me knows that I hardly EVER wear heels.  I'm a simple girl, a tall girl, a low maintenance kind of girl who likes shoes that don't hurt.    They're my back-to-school shoes.  Oh wait, I'm not going back to school until January.  They're my stay at home mom shoes. Don't worry, I won't turn in my Dansko clogs.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ups and Downs

Wow, today started out great.  I had my amazing sitter coming, so we were all up and at 'em.  I was showered, kids all dressed and fed, I was looking forward to my Dunkin Donuts run and I even showered! Aidan had even worn some big boy, hand-me-down underwear for an hour or so before I got the call-"Mommy, I peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed!"  Feeling so accomplished and under control!  Two minutes before show-time, Emily decided to not listen to her mommy (shock horror!) and go upstairs and run around like a lunatic.  She managed to coerce her little brother to do the same.  30 seconds later, both kids are crying AND bleeding.

They ran into each other.  Emily's knee collided with Aidan's mouth.  NG.  The baby started crying.  It was loud.  VERY loud.  Enter amazing baby-sitter.  This has gotta look fantastic.......

So we soaked up the blood, put a Band-aid on the knee and passed out the popsicles.  Amazing baby-sitter tended to the baby.  "Am I ever going to get out of here this morning?"

Well, I finally did.  I escaped for a few hours.  Dunks, gas, bank, Bertucci's, Borders, Stop & Shop.  Wow!  A woman with a mission.

I came home to an immaculate kitchen and family room, happy, fed children and nap time.  Glorious.   God, I love my amazing baby-sitter.  She then fed little Owen a bottle and put the other two to bed.  Did I mention she's amazing?

I enjoyed my quiet time this afternoon.  Wrote some thank-yous and had some good cuddles with my babe.

The kids had fish sticks and veggies for dinner.  Aidan told me, "I put my beans in the bucket, ok?"




It's Tuesday night and there's nothing on t.v.  I've got a glass of pinot grigio by my side and my new books.  Books?  WOW!  It's been a long time.  Which one should I start first?

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Who Wants Cookies?

Good ol' Facebook strikes again!  I am a fan of Fancypants Bakery, a local bakery business located up the road in Walpole, MA.  In fact, I went to elementary school with one of the owners, Maura Duggan!  Well, they've been having these adorable cookie naming contests on Facebook, so I suggested a name for this cute lobster cookie last week, who's part of the Cape Cod Cookie Gift!

And guess who won?  Clawrice should be arriving in the mail this week!  We're super excited to taste these yummy looking shortbread cookies!  We'll let you know how good she tastes!

Check out Fancypants Bakery on Facebook and become a fan!  They have the most adorable cookie themes for all occasions!  They have a blog too!  I think they even do birthday parties!  That sounds right up Emily's alley for the big 5!

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Whip It Out!

Wow, I was amazed at the breastfeeding statistics mentioned in the CBS video!!! I'm kind of proud of myself after hearing them!  Hats off to all the breastfeeding mommies out there! And I just love the new blog from CBS - Eye on Parenting! Subscribe today!

I've always told other mommy friends, "positioning is everything."  That's how I got into nipple trouble with my first.  Second time around, I used my handy-dandy Medela nipple shield for a few days until I healed up from a couple of bad days. OUCH!  And this time around, I suffered through a few cracks and was right back at it.  So much easier with every child.  But since I don't do LABOR and just DELIVER, I did find breastfeeding to be more difficult than giving birth the first time around. Ask for help.  Call your pedi and ask to speak with a lactation consultant.  Talk to your mommy friends.  Don't give up!  So many benefits for you and your baby!

I recently purchased my "hooter hider" from Bebe-Au-Lait.  I really wish I had this for my first two.  I keep it in my diaper bag and we no longer need to mess around with silly falling blankets.  It's the greatest!  Great at the beach too!  I got mine for 50% off through babysteals.com, another fantastic website-the name says it all!

Another interesting fact that I've recently learned is that you are more than likely covered through your health insurance to receive a breast pump for any sort of latching issues early on!  Just ask your OB to write you a prescription!!!!   WOW!

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Come Follow Us

Become a fan of Annie's Traverse Travels on Facebook...you just never know what you might win.

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Partners in Crime

Mary and I have known each other since I was two. Our backyards in Norwood used to touch. My mom is from Ireland, both of her parents are from Ireland. My sister started baby-sitting for Mary and her two sisters when she was about 12 (the night she got her braces on.) She thought Mr. Brolly was a handsome, fine fella. (She's right.) What can I say, we all hit it off. My friendship with the Brolly girls blossomed into something unimaginable. Our childhood memories are something you could only wish for your children. Countless sleepovers, bike rides, dance classes/recitals/competitions, chinese dinners, trips to Ireland, 3 years at Boston University together and even studying abroad together in Australia.

Mary and I (and any Brolly, for that matter) can pick it up anytime right where we left off. It's an amazing friendship. She and her husband welcomed their 2nd little boy, Rowan James, into the world on May 19th, 2010. You know the big guy, Owen Thomas, born on June 23rd, 2010. They were both born on a Wednesday (exactly 5 weeks apart.) As you can see from the pictures, their mommies have big plans for these two guys - friends 'til the end!




Let's not leave out Mary's oldest, Lochlan, who is a very dear friend of Emily and Aidan's. They are already reminding us of ourselves at this age. Emily and Lochlan are quite the pair.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Maternity Leave

With only one more pay check coming my way from LAST YEAR'S salary, (Oh, the joys of summer babies and BAD union contracts) this is sort of fitting for today. Perhaps we should move to Sweden. My Irish rellies never believe me when I tell them, "all unpaid.." I am taking my FMLA, however.  Tried for that spring chicken, it just didn't work out. You get what ya get and ya don't get upset!

Check out my Magic Beans friends weighing in on the issue...

And check out Sheri's clarification...
and I love what she says here:


The maternity leave system in the USA is broken, along with a lot of other really complex things that come along with running a big, huge country. Most of the other nations have figured it out - the US is one of the only countries in the world that doesn’t guarantee some sort of paid leave to new mothers. It’s a shame, and it needs to be addressed in a way that will not create huge burdens for small companies who are trying to get their businesses established or are struggling in a not-so-hot economy.

Doesn't FML stand for something else?


Oops, I forgot the A.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tax Free Weekend

Well, it's quickly approaching. The "BIG TAX FREE SHOPPING WEEKEND" is this coming weekend in MA, thanks to Deval. So, I'm thinking about some big ticket items that I would love to have sooner, rather than later.....and avoid our new hefty sales tax of 6.25%, thanks again to Deval.

A CALIFORNIA QUEEN.....or maybe even a KING! Nothing like a new bed! Heaven!

or

A NEW RIDE ON MOWER?

What will you buy?

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A Cape Escape!


I managed to pack up the three kids AND all of our "stuff" early Friday morning and take a drive down to the Cape to see Mom and Pat. I packed the necessities (holy cow, it's A LOT for 3 days!) and Chris followed us down after he got home from work.

Stopped for gas at Stop N Shop. Sometimes we get dirty looks and finger taps and grunts from the people waiting behind us at the pump-the Traverse has a big tank! Bigger than you all might think! Thank goodness I didn't need to fill 'er up, because the guy behind me was mad. Especially when he saw me snapping photos. Owen WAS crying though, and I had to settle him down and re-administer the binky a few times, for goodness sake! Although I run into quite a few terrific ones, some people still suck! We made it down to E. Falmouth in less than an hour!


We finally made it on the beach! Pat and I took the bigger kids to Old Silver around sunset on Friday night. This was Aidan's first time on the beach since he was an infant, since last summer pretty much sucked weather-wise. He loved it. We did some digging and returned home to meet Daddy, who also made it down in record time!

On Saturday morning, we hit Old Silver again. We were on the beach by 9:20 or so, and stayed about 3 hours. PERFECT beach day. It was sunny, breezy and warm. Not too muggy or hot for my little Owen, who also got to hit the beach! We were pretty darn proud of ourselves for pulling it off with all of our stuff and a six week old!

Aidan was sooo cute, as usual. He came up from digging on the shore for a snack and said, "I don't feel very well...." He didn't like being wet. He said, "I want to go back to Cape Cod now." Hilarious. The kids had a blast. And boy, did it feel good to finally have my toesies in the sand!




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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Well Adjusted

First, there was this...

And then this...


I think he's on to something.

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Tales from the Traverse

So, we're totally getting used to our new Chevy Traverse LTZ and can't believe how great it suits our family of five! We've recently moved Emily to the third row and she loves it back there. She scoots on back between the seats in the second row, and is able to buckle her own seatbelt without a hitch. LOVE THAT! We keep two-thirds of the third row folded down so that we still have plenty of room for all of our baby accoutrements - especially the City Mini Double! I am able to fold that stroller up and down so easily and lift it ( only weighs 23 lbs!) into the Traverse, no problem!

One of my favorite features of the Traverse LTZ is the lift gate. When I'm putting my stroller/groceries/beach stuff into the car, I have so many options for opening and closing that rear door! There is a button on the door itself that I can press, so that I'm not reaching up and shoving it down with all my might, there is a button INSIDE of the car for opening and closing it as well. And let's not forget to mention the button on my key ring that sends that lift gate up and down as well. It's a fantastic feature for people on the go!

Ok, let's talk BLUETOOTH. I love it. First of all, it is the only safe way to talk and drive. I have a button on my steering wheel for answering calls and ending calls. When a call comes in on my Blackberry, the radio or DVD shuts down and the interior of my Traverse starts to ring! And guess what else-when the A/C is blasting, those fans turn down to low until the call is ended! There's even caller ID on the dash! How cool is that? The sound is amazing. No one has any trouble hearing me, like they do in the "other car". No static, no crackles, clear as a bell! Chevy has done a great job with the BLUETOOTH speakers. When we get incoming calls from Daddy or Grandma and Grandad, everyone can hear the conversation and the kiddos can say hello too! It's an awesome feature.

Did I mention my stereo speakers are BOSE? Me likey. Guess what they do-when I speed up and the road gets noisier, the stereo volume goes up! CRAZY! Also, no fancy car chargers needed in my Traverse. When my Blackberry battery is running low, I bring the adapter and plug it in to the center console so it can charge away! God, I LOVE my Chevy!

We're taking the Traverse down to Cape Cod tomorrow. Can't wait! It's such a plush, comfy ride for all of us!

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tasty Tuesday

Ok, so the dinner planning isn't as put together this week.....I'll blame it on a cold. I'm finally feeling like I'm on the upswing, but it was a rough 7 days of post nasal drip and sore throat/coughing. Doesn't mix well with feeding a newborn in the middle of the night.

So, last week's dinner plan worked out for the most part. We flip-flopped the Thurs/Fri. dinner due to not feeling so hot/exhaustion, but then we had Mom and Pat here for dinner on Friday, so it all worked out. They had the Linguine with Scallops, Spinach and Bacon in a Champagne Cream Sauce with us. I didn't like it. This was the second time we made it, and I recalled the same sweet taste of the champagne that I didn't really care for. So overall, I don't think I like cheap champagne and I won't make that meal again. But I'm thinking I could try it in a dry white wine cream sauce.

Our pizza was topped with ham and pineapple-YUM! It's such a summertime treat. We can get the kids to eat pineapple, but not ON the pizza for some reason. I am proud of them though. They both get gold stars for trying everything we made last week.

In addition, Chris whipped up a fantastic Mexican Dip over the weekend. DElish. After a fine afternoon at Southwick's Zoo, we put the kids to bed and snacked on 1-2-3 Mexican Dip and some frozen margaritas on the deck. Felt good on my sore throat! And the dip was to die for! Once again, from our handy-dandy bride and groom cookbook, we discovered it was yummy served cold, but would also be just as DElish baked or placed under the broiler for a few!

Sunday night we ate out at one of our local faves-The 99! We love their 3.99 margaritas and we really love when the Red Sox win and the kids eat free! Last night, Chris grilled up some beef fajitas with homemade salsa and avocado! They were tasty!!! Tonight it's my turn and I've got spaghetti bolognese on the menu. I managed to get my two bigger kiddos to nap from 1-3:30, so I could get going on the slow cooker. I've got enough to feed an army, so I've invited my sister and nephews over for dinner. I hope it comes out ok, seeing as I'll be freezing it and pulling it out for more meals in the weeks to come!

Speaking of freezing, I love when we have enough to freeze or enough leftovers for another dinner or lunch! I'm still snacking on our 1-2-3 Mexican Dip and last night's fajitas made it to the fridge as well! Yippee! Nothing wrong with a leftovers night!! Mommy LOVES leftovers.

Six week post-partum check up tomorrow! Can't believe it's been six weeks already! Feeling good though, besides the stupid sore throat/tired thing. And shhhh, don't tell anyone-I was at the dr. yesterday to rule out strep throat and I got on the scale. I already weigh less than I did before I got pregnant last fall! Chasing three has its perks. Giselle and I both think breastfeeding is great! Happy World Breastfeeding Week!


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