Category Archives: Family

Swimming Lessons

Saturday John Patrick had his first swimming lesson. He really enjoyed it. It was his first time in a pool and he took to it like a fish in water (so to speak). Well, he didn’t cry anyway.

I was really nervous about my 6 1/2 month baby having swimming lessons but it’s been really great. It was really all about getting him used to the water in a fun way. Now I feel like we can go to the public pool across the street and wade around in the kiddie pool. He’s had the proper introduction. (Kudos to Jim for signing him up and ignoring my reservations.)

It was interesting because I saw a couple of five year olds having swimming lessons as well and they were hysterically crying and afraid of the water. I’m hoping that getting John Patrick in the water at such a young age means that he won’t be afraid of the water later. If nothing else, it was fun.

Here’s John and Dad on their first swim together: (I know, I know, he’s the spitting image of Jim.)

Our first swim together




Filed under Baby, Family, fun

Totspot – The Place to Be

Check out:

Jim (my hubby) found this amazing site and I am totally addicted. It’s an easy way to set up a website for your little ones that tracks everything going on in their lives. This is great for us because basically our entire family lives in Florida or places other than New York. Before finding this site we uploaded pictures on picasa and videos on YouTube and emailed updates to family, but everything seemed so disconnected.

Totspot has it all. You can keep up with your kiddo’s firsts, growth charts and write journal entries telling everyone about all the “cute little moments” family and friends far away are missing. You can also upload pictures and videos. After you get your page up and running, you just send an invite to friends and family and they can view your child’s page and keep updated. They can even leave comments for your little one. I’ve only been using this for a few days but already I feel so much more connected to our friends and family that are all over the place. It’s a one stop shopping type of place. People can stop in and find out everything that’s going on with John Patrick. My sister-in-law loved it so much that she set up pages for her boys too so now John Patrick has “friends” that he shares pictures with.

And as Jim put it: “Now I don’t have to feel all this pressure to create a really amazing website for John Patrick”. This is just a really fun and easy way to keep track of everything going on with your kids and keep everyone connected.

Do I sound like I work there or something? I wish! ha ha


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Filed under Baby, Family, Product Review

Tradition! Tradition!

I love that I have the opportunity to create traditions with Becca that she may possibly recreate someday on her own or with her own family. I also love blending my own family traditions with Omar’s traditions and adding our own OMARY twist.

I was speaking with some friends this week who had older children and they gave me the following sage advice:

Do not do start doing anything that you are not willing to continue doing for the next 20 years.

Keeping that in mind, this has been our Easter so far:

Becca came downstairs with her dad and I to discover the Easter Bunny had been there.

Her basket had a bunny balloon attached to it, was filled with toys and books rather than candy and was perched atop two wrapped presents.

Omar, his mom and I had our own baskets which consist of a mix of chocolate and candy (These are very reflective of what I would have discovered in my own Easter Basket).

After Becca has played with her balloon and discovered all of the items in her basket:

She opened her two presents:

and played with them for a little while.

While Becca was playing with her toys, Martha (Omar’s mom), Omar and I made breakfast. So we all sat down and ate together. Becca used her new Diego plate, fork and spoon and her new Dora cup.

After breakfast, Omar took Becca upstairs to chill out a little and change into play clothes. While they were upstairs, I put some eggs on to boil and went outside to ‘hide’ the plastic eggs filled with stickers (we opted not to hide decorated hard boiled eggs). I made sure to count the eggs before I hid them so I would be confident they all had been found. (It is amazing how obvious the hiding places seemed while I was hiding the eggs and how difficult they seemed when we were looking for them).

Once Becca was dressed, she came down to decorate the eggs. I wasn’t sure how many she would want to decorate so I boiled 6 and figured if she was really into decorating the eggs, we could just decorate some regular eggs. Becca really enjoyed placing the eggs in the dye but lost interest after 3 eggs so Martha and I decorated the last three.

Next, we placed a jacket on Becca and took her out to ‘find’ the eggs. I was surprised at how quickly she ‘got’ that she needed to pick up the eggs and place them in her basket. She had a little difficulty walking across the grass; it was crunchy and thick from the winter so it was very uneven. However, she really enjoyed ‘searching’ for the eggs. She also managed to find a few golf balls as well (Left there by our teenage neighbors.)

Once we returned to the house, we all began getting ready for church and our Easter dinner (we are heading to my grandmother’s house to celebrate with family).

All in all, it was a very nice day and I would definitely be willing to recreate it again next year!

Happy Easter and Happy Spring! I would love to hear about your Easter traditions.

Mary Kate


Filed under Family, fun, Toddler

Meme Monday (on a Tuesday)

Daniel tagged me to do this.

Find out more about Meme Monday by going to Livin’ With Me.

5 Things I want my kids to know

  1. How to laugh at themselves.
  2. How to see some good in all people.
  3. That their parents will always love and support them.
  4. How to drive (hey – I live in NYC, it’s possible they wouldn’t know)
  5. How to be a good friend.

5 Things I want to tell my children when they grow up

  1. Being a parent is the hardest and most rewarding job.
  2. Reality is that you will work more than you are at home – do something you love.
  3. A good marriage is the most beautiful thing – but takes hard work.
  4. It’s ok to make mistakes in life but not ok to avoid fixing them.
  5. Get out and get a job – LOL

5 Things I want to tell my child before I die

  1. We love you more than you can comprehend until you have your own child.
  2. You have the best dad.
  3. I’m sure I made lots of mistakes along the way – I’m sorry.
  4. It is a pleasure being your mom.
  5. Don’t wait for happiness – make your own.

5 Things I want my kid to know before he dies.

  1. Unconditional love
  2. Butterflies of a first love
  3. Self-worth
  4. Compassion for others
  5. Humility

I now tag “Four Times the Fun“.


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Filed under Family, Random Thoughts

When the cat hates the baby

I’ve had Theo (our fat, fluffy, orange cat) for 12 years. He was my first pet as an individual outside of my parents’ home. He has been through countless moves and lived in 3 states with me.

He’s never been perfect. For one thing, he doesn’t handle change very well. Which brings me to the problem….

Theo is less than thrilled about the arrival of John Patrick. He has showed us this by peeing on chair cushions and our poor dog’s bed. I guess he didn’t think we were listening because last night he committed the most severe offense – he peed in our bed!!

I should preface this by saying that we do not have a washer or dryer in our apartment or even in our building. So doing laundry is obviously not an easy chore for us. Ok, I admit, we do fluff and fold – but still! That costs a lot.

So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have no idea what to do. On one hand I have a baby now and I can’t spend all my time worrying about the next place the cat is going to pee. On the other hand, I’ve had Theo for 12 years and can’t imagine getting rid of him. And even if I could, what “good home” would take a 12 year old cat?

Does anyone have any experience with “peed off” pets? (pardon the pun)



Filed under Baby, Family

Fun Fabulous February!

February is historically a tough time of the year for me. For one thing, I have had a number of traumatic events occur during this month. I also think it is a rough time of year because the excitement of Christmas and the New Year have long faded and spring still feels eons away. The light fades quickly and the chill of the air makes it difficult to get outside.

I used to begin dreading the month of February somewhere around January 16th. I would rehash each traumatic event that had occurred over the years and spend time commiserating over each one. I recently realized that doing this was really depressing and just resulted in me spending the month anxiously looking over my shoulder and wondering what tragic event was going to befall me next. I also noticed that I had taken to manufacturing tragic events so that I could justify my dread of February (I slipped on the ice as I was walking to my car. I always slip on the ice in February. That would never occur in July or August or even September.) When I realized how obsessed I had become with the horror of all that is February*, I forced myself to stop keeping a mental list of all the wrongs that have occurred in this month and try to keep an open mind.

In the spirit of keeping a positive attitude, I am going to make a real effort to connect with others this month and I would like to suggest that anyone reading this to do the same.

Here’s to a fun, fabulous February!


Mary Kate

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Filed under Family, Mom Issue, Random Thoughts

The Magic of Older Cousins

Becca’s two cousins, Jo Jo (2) and Caroline (5), came for a visit last week. In the short time that they were here, they helped Becca make huge strides in the crawling, standing and cruising department. It was amazing to see the impact they had on her life. I also loved seeing how much she enjoyed being with them.

When Becca is here on her own, she tends to be surrounded by grown-ups. Grown-ups who are more than happy to bring a toy to her or pick up something she dropped or take her where she wants to go. As a result, she hadn’t crawled much and she didn’t seem very interested in doing so.

As soon as Caroline and Jo Jo walked in the door, Becca was surrounded by a whirlwind of activity. She either needed to figure out how to keep up or she was going to be left behind. Well, it turns out she doesn’t like being left behind.

M. Kate

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Filed under Family