Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Aug 29, 2009

I almost quit

I have been contemplating it for some time. I kept saying that I will give it another shot.

Day after day it was the same old thing. I wanted something better, fresher, richer, newer, more decadent. Decisions... decisions.

Well I have made up my mind. I'm not leaving you, not now and maybe not ever. Sorry I even entertained the idea of getting rid of you.


Aug 27, 2009

The disappearing household

Has anyone noticed how busy everyone seems to be these days? Parents working (some at home), kids in school, activities, sports, practices, etc... Don't forget all the games, meets, tournaments, recitals, open houses, PTO/PTA meetings, fundraisers, business functions and the list is endless. Oh and let's not forget the Internet (social sites, email, shopping, uh pretty much everything you can imagine right at your fingertips) I am sure this all sounds very familiar to most of you. I know it has been a theme in my household over the past few years. When you were growing up did you remember your family being this busy? Not me, we actually had so much time on our hands that we became bored. We always found something to do though...riding bikes, rollerskating, hanging out at the mall or going to the movies. Those were much simpler times. Now society tells you that your kids need to be involved in extracurricular activities every single day. We did this last year with the girls. They went from a variety of summer camps then to school volleyball, club volleyball and piano on top of a FULL school workload. Once you added in all the travel time and expenses (yes, it was very expensive) the end result was a completely burned out family. Every last one of us.

I was chatting with a friend on the phone the other day and we discussed how hard it is to have your children involved in multiple activities and school at the same time. She mentioned that she even knew a couple that divorced over the same thing. Their marriage suffered because of neglect due to traveling all over with the kids. I can't imagine it coming to that extreme. I decided a few weeks back that things will be very different around the Ismail household. We are going to say NO to some things. We can't attend every single game or event. We have to say no to some parties and gatherings. We have to put our family first. We must have more sit-down dinners around the table. We must connect on a daily basis. We can't let all the "stuff" we have going on take over our entire life. No way. Already I have been feeling so relaxed and not so cluttered with feeling like there is no time. I can't stand when people always complain that they have no time. Sometimes just moving things around a bit can give you some more breathing room. I think we will be a even happier household in the long run. I apologize for such a long post. Thanks for taking the time to read this and please share your thoughts on this subject.


Aug 26, 2009

Vent Day Wednesday

Welcome to this week's edition of Vent Day Wednesday. We know that we have not posted a video in a while so for all of you that emailed about not getting your VDW fix here you go...Be sure to hit us up in the comments section with your vents!


Aug 24, 2009

Social Networking and teens

It's many of us are on these networks. I am on so many I have lost count. Social Networking is a growing trend and even kids and teenagers are a part of it. Dwayne and I let our daughters each get a FaceBook account to keep in touch with friends and family. It's been really good especially for our older daughter since she started high school and most of her friends attend different schools. I wish we had these types of services in my school days! Now all of this comes with a list of rules. We approve all photos before they are uploaded. I have seen some photos that teens post and it is appalling! Friends can only tag photos we approve of. No IMing. You must ask permission to go on and you have a set time. They have ONE time to mess up and poof! It's deleted. Not on hold or you can't use it for 2 weeks. DE-LETED.

So far they have been following the rules and have had no problems. Some people may think we are a bit overboard and really we don't care. We want our children to be a part of all the technology we have but it comes with limits and we care about their safety.

How about you allow your kids to partake in any social networking? Do you have any special rules or guidelines you want to share?

This dude loves himself!

I kinda love him too! This is his "I'm going to teach you how to love you" pose ;-)

Aug 21, 2009

Flashback Friday

William at 6 months old. This is when he always smiled for the camera!

Aug 20, 2009

Brie's first day of 7th grade

Here are a couple shots of Briahnna all ready for her first day back to school. She is in 7th grade now and is so super excited to go back. She was sticking to me all day yesterday telling me how much she will miss me while in school even though she is glad to be there. Awww!! I love this kid!!
It's still dark when it's time to leave out in the mornings. I have to get adjusted to the early mornings all over again.

Aug 19, 2009

First day of high school!

Chardonnay started her first day of high school today and we are so thrilled for her. Dwayne and I attended a parent breakfast and got to meet some of the teachers, staff and the her Principal. We feel so confident that she will have an amazing high school career. I am glad that I am not sad at all. I am so overjoyed to watch all my kids grow up and will be excited to see what they become in their adult lives. After all, the goal is to watch them grow up and guide them in a positive direction to become productive citizens. I can barely wait to see her when she gets home today to tell me all the details of her day.

The girl was giddy with excitement! We had to make her calm down and take deep cleansing breaths on the way to school so she would not pass out over being so hyped up!

Aug 17, 2009

A quick post on friends

Friends are the ones that show you compassion and concern when the big stuff happens.

Friends tell you the things you don't want to hear.

Friends keep it real. No sugarcoating.

Friends lend a hand or a voice without having to be asked.

Friends make you laugh until you cry.

Friends become your family and show what family really is.

Friends give without looking to be rewarded.

Friends are forgiving.

I LOVE my friends :-)

Aug 16, 2009

I'm an outcast

Out of all the moms I know personally, online or in any other way I seem to be the ONLY one that formula fed my babies. I never one time had the urge to breastfeed. I have been looked down on for not breastfeeding. I just don't get it. Okay, that's it...just had to let that one out ;-)

Aug 13, 2009

Nasty little habit

My sweet little son has developed a nasty little habit to go along with the numerous other icky habits that seem to be male gender related. He likes to stick his fingers in his mouth. I am sure you wonder what is so bad about that since it is very normal for little ones to do that. He likes to take both hands and stick as many fingers into his mouth as far in as he can get them. He does it until he makes gagging noises. He then laughs and does it over and over again. This is entertaining to him and disgusting to me. The other day I had just dressed him and we were both getting ready to walk out the door to a school function for his sister. He decides to put his hands in his mouth except this time it was a very nasty and stinky outcome. I had to run over to him immediately and strip all his clothes off and bathe him from head to toe. Good thing I am super mom and still made it out to the high school with time to spare. Wow, boys are some interesting little creatures. When I told Dwayne the story he laughed. Anyone surprised?

Aug 10, 2009

Mom = Taxi Driver

It's getting to be that time of year again...parents you know just what I'm talking about. School is about to be back in session here in Columbia and I know it has already started back in a lot of other cities. My car has been tuned up, oil and filter changed, wipers checked and all greased up and ready to go go go! My mommy taxi driver gig is back in session! I have already started driving kids to tryouts and practices. This week is orientation and registration for both girls. I will be driving for at least an hour or two each day (not counting waiting periods). Too bad kids don't have gas money hee hee!

Aug 7, 2009

Here are a few photos of Chardie and Brie at their best friend Haley's house. They have thoroughly enjoyed their Summer and are trying to get prepared for back-to-school. Lucky for me they LOVE school so this it's really easy!

They both went through a growth spurt this Summer.

William and I are officially the shortest people in our house!

I will surely miss these girls when they go back to school. Chardie is starting high school...YES high school! She's even talking about getting her driver's permit *gulp*


Aug 6, 2009

William has a new toy!

A few weeks ago I was asked to test toys for a company called ebeanstalk. They sent out a number of baby toys and toys for 1 year olds to toy experts (moms) for their review. Through reviews such as mine, this helps ebeanstalk select great learning toys . The toy they sent was First Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle from Melissa and Doug who makes lots of wooden toys.

I was really impressed by the quality of this puzzle and really can appreciate the toddler friendly features. I am sure we all can relate to needing something destruction-proof when you have a 16 month old! Since this puzzle is made out of wood I feel there is minimal chance of breaking it. I really love the big knobs that make gripping each piece so much easier.

I also like how basic this puzzle is featuring simple shapes and colors. Another sneaky way to teach a busy toddler! William is really enjoying his new toy and I would certainly recommend it to anyone and I think it would make a great first birthday gift for a boy or girl. The prices are reasonable and there are so many different varieties of puzzles. I think William's next one will be the map of the United States of America.

Do you currently own any toys from Melissa and Doug?

Aug 4, 2009

Need some toddler advice

The subject I need some advice on is speaking. I don't know what it is but it seems as if William has quit talking for now. He was saying very simple words before and now he just won't. We don't know what to do about this since it's never happened to us before. Will is 16 months old now and is very active and intelligent. He responds to most commands and shows that he does know what you are saying most times. He just won't speak. Please please please friends, tell me I am not the only one here. He does not go see the pediatrician for another month and a half and I know this is not an emergency situation. I am sure his doctor will assure us that it is perfectly normal like she does for everything else. Usually she is right but this not speaking thing is starting to get to us. Does anyone have any advice for us on what we can do? I look forward to hearing from you! Thanks in advance :)

One Lovely Blog Award

I was presented this sweet little award from Lisa over at Lisa C Writes. She was so gracious to choose to give it to me because of the friendship with have built over the past 2 years through blogging. It's really neat how you "meet" people from all over the world through blogging and I have made some amazing friends that have truly become like family. Lisa is one beautiful woman inside and out and is an outstanding mother and wife. You can count on her to always have kind and encouraging words. If you ever want to know more about natural living then she is your girl! Now I will share the love. I would like to pass this Lovely Blog Award on to:
  • Kristin- I just love her sense of humor and spunk! She is so ridiculously creative.
  • Renee- she is amazing and is very inspiring.
  • Beautiful Mess- just because when she leaves comments she always ends it with *HUGS* and she makes me smile.
  • Sean- such a cool guy that makes your mouth water when you stop by his spot!
  • Tanyetta- because she is as genuine as they come. I love her!!!
You folks truly rock and I'm so glad to know you!

Aug 3, 2009

Another amazing deal

Here are two more reasons why I will never pay full price for anything. I went to one of my favorite stores today just to look around and these items for William caught my eye. It's a stacking cup set with a bath squirty toy and a bowl and lid set for on the go snacks. The regular retail price for these items came out to $13.00.

As you can see the clearance price was way under retail.
Don't you just love it?

Well it gets even better. Not only did I get the great low clearance price but they also qualified for the store sale of buy one accessory get the second half price. I ended up spending $1.93 (tax included). It doesn't get any better than that!


Aug 1, 2009

William's first haircut

The time finally came that little William needed his hair cut (badly). Since Dwayne cuts his own hair it only made sense to cut his son's himself (plus he's cheap!) Here are some photos covering the haircut session.

Since we don't own a barber's chair we used the next best thing, the high chair! Dwayne introduced the clippers to William and turned them on. As you can see William didn't seem to mind it one bit.

Here he is playing peek-a-boo. He is always sucking his little tongue!

He behaved so well through the whole process.

Dwayne had fun doing this.

Here is the after shot. Of course he has to be a little silly while trying to take a decent photo.

Look at him! He looks so much older and more like a real boy and not so babyish.

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