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(Cue eye roll).  Listen, you can roll your eyes all you want, but the fact is that I am a FULL supporter of dressing my kids in matching clothing for certain occasions.  Let me elaborate:  See, the thing is- it is for sure cute (IMO)…

BUT for us it serves a MUCH more important purpose: Safety.  Really. When we are in public places such as birthday parties, etc, I like to dress the boys in matching shirts so that we can quickly survey an area to find all three quickly.  I believe we are able to do it FAR faster when they are ALL wearing the same shirt and we don’t have to try to remember what they were wearing.  Not to get real serious here, but they always ask what a child is wearing if you (G-d Forbid) can’t find them (in a store, etc.-This, btw, has thankfully never happened to me, but I have witnessed it and it is scary!)


Chuck E Cheese


Rehoboth Boardwalk




Disney World


3 Bears Park Festival

Anyway, that is my primary reason for doing it.  Secondary?  Too darn cute!  Ok, now the third reason is sorta selfish, but it is SUPER easy to buy matching clothing, launder matching clothing and put them away-I put the matching clothing in a closet in the boys’ hallway all grouped together and it is SO EASY!

Now, we of COURSE have the boys wear what they want MOST of the time (save for the examples I listed above). I think it is super important for them to have autonomy and independence in what they wear (to an extent and again, MOST of the times).


I also want them, though, to be flexible in terms of wearing what we need them to wear- in fact, they LOVE matching!  They always looks at each other’s shirt like “that’s my shirt!”

So. There’s my story. What’s yours?  Do you do “matchy-matchy?” 

Breastfeeding a Terrible Two-er

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Don’t let this happy face fool you!  This was minutes post nuclear melt down

Hello hello.  Forewarning: if you are not interested in either extended breastfeeding OR the terrible twos, come back tomorrow for a different topic.  But, this is MY space, my blog and I need to write posts like this every now and again.  It actually helps me a lot to write about these things, so thank you for reading!  OK, now…as you all know, I am an “extended breastfeeder” and was such with Zachary.  In fact, he continued to nurse (“mama BEEEE”) until I was 20 weeks pregnant with his brother Gabriel an I am convinced that if my hormones didn’t make it taste so yucky, he would STILL be breast-feeding. What an image, eh?


This guy has been SUCH a good big brother!

Anyway, I get TONS on snide remarks, side eye and the like regarding my “extended breast feeding” from people who don’t know me to people as close to me as my own Mother.  But you know what? IT IS MY CHOICE. MY BODY. MY BABY. MY CHOICE.  And anyone who thinks that I am “extended breastfeeding” for the novelty of it has NOOOO clue of the actual truth, nor is it anyone’s business, but since this is a public blog, I will go ahead and fill you in.   I continue to breast feed G because he loves it.  It is hard as shit on me and my body at this point, and he is VERY strong willed and wants what he wants when he wants, which makes staying and home with him AND still nursing that much harder.  If it were up to him, he would nurse all day every day.  Legit.  And it is HARD.  Like so hard.  What am I going to do?  Keep telling him no?!  Trust me, I try everything:  I distract, I give other beverages or snacks, I barter (one more Geeky—that’s what he calls it), you NAME it.  Anyway, the point is, the combination of a nursing lover PLUS an early terrible two-er (more on that in a bit) is CHALLENGING!

OK, not looking for head pats (although they help), just a forum in which to express myself.  It is hard because Gabriel doesn’t have a self soothing method like the other boys do.  C sucks his thumb and Z sucks his fingers.  I took the paci from G at 5 months, and while it seemed like a triumph at the time, some days I totally regret doing that.  I AM his comfort.  And it is hard on both of us.  Especially of late.  My sweet child is a TANTRUM-er!  I think we narrowly avoided this with Zach (or maybe my mind has blocked it out?) but with G, his twos are FULL ON and he is only 22 months!  Ahhhh sweet G.  He learns TONS of amazing stuff from his older brothers….other stuff, not so much…  He will literally throw a half hour tantrum (like conveniently during Zach’s school field trip today) for NO apparent reason and then minutes later after said tantrum, this…


I think he is having a REALLY hard time with his communication.  Every since he started being able to communicate a BIT (he strings together two words at a time usually) I feel like his tantrums have actually gotten WORSE because he knows he CAN communicate SOME things.  Just not EVERYTHING and BOY does that make him SO stubborn and unhappy.  Poor little guy😦  And honestly, poor mama.  I feel so badly for him!  So, there we have it: the current state of G. I know it is just a phase, and thankfully he is SO CUTE!  Enjoy this beautiful weekend!  We have super fun things planned and our C-baby comes back today!  Yippeeeeee!

Saying Sorry.

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I feel like the art of the apology is something that only very emotionally mature people can master.  But, we can all try.  Accepting that you made a mistake and then remedying said mistake by beginning with a simple “I’m sorry” is so so important.  This discussion stems from the fact that today is THE holiest day in our Jewish year.  The time between our new year (Rosh Hashannah) and today (Yom Kippur) is a time of reflection and atonement.  I ALWAYS practice Tashlich and was SO glad that I was able to complete it this year with everything else crazy that is going on.  But that is the point, right?  That MOST IMPORTANTLY when things are crazy, stopping and reflecting matters and is more than necessary.   

Tashlich (תשליך) is a ritual that many Jews observe during Rosh HaShanah. “Tashlich” means “casting off” in Hebrew and involves symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water. (source)

For those of you who I have wronged this year, I am sorry (and have reached our privately, thank you very much lol).  For me, this is an important act to participate in and deserves a little space on my blog.  Anyway, I did have a really tough time fitting everything in this year that the New Year can entail (synagogue, Tashlich, dinners, etc.) but was able to with some smart thinking and schedule-working.


Case in point: today we had some appointments and ended up in West Philly (around 41 and Chestnut) and I was curious as to how far it would be to run home AND was thinking I might run out of time to get my run in.  Smart thinking: give the man your car, have him take a picture of you (laughing of course) and run home.  I did 5.5 miles AND was able to stop at synagogue and get my prayer on for a bit.  SCORE.


That jump shot, though?! It is NOT a mirage!

Later on at Target (I know. Sacrilegious?  Needed food!), this was the scene.  How cute?!  We REALLY miss our third little one who is on vacation with his Mom this week.  Can’t WAIT to see him (and add him to our cart).


Hope you all are having an easy fast if you participate, and if not, I hope your day is as lovely as you!

Organization Central

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Hello everyone!  So we are finally on the mend over here (part two of Scott’s story coming soon) and therefore things are returning to (relative) normal.  Normal over here means some SUPER organizing!  I LOVE to organize in general, especially at the change of seasons.  I also utilize organizing as a way to relieve stress in times where I feel out of control…i.e. during Scott’s whole medical shebang.  I am SUPER excited to share with you some of my favorite new organizing tools!  Below (click for blog love!):  Chalkboard labels, Command hanging strips, colored pens and bins (This set of 5-50 quart bins is everything!).

First up was our entrance area.  I had a shoe bin that we outgrew quickly which made the area a disaster!


Totally obsessed with our new charcoal grey tufted shoe bench that I got from AMAZON!  LOVE this.  It is better than any other I have had from Wayfair, etc.


The new shoe bin is a sweet galvanized tin that is super large and perfect!  The basket to its right holds outdoor toys (bubbles, baseball gloves, chalk, etc.).  I got the mail organizing baskets on Amazon as well and we LOVE them.  We are very happy with the results!

I also took a stab at the boys’ toy bins.  They were killing me. SO disorganized.  I also think that the labels are really important for literacy development and as you know, part of the boys’ chores are returning their toys to their proper place, so this takes it to the next level!


We have this toy bin system (totally obsessed and we have one in the boys’ bedroom also, less than $50!)  Next up was the desk area.  Now that the boys are in school I HAD to organize this area. I added chalkboard labels to this 3-drawer plastic organizer that I already had and purchased the below cork/chalkboard combo at Target.  The Target one is long gone but I found the same one on Amazon!

I LOVE this super cute basket I added on for even more organization!


Only 8 bucks!

OOOOOK, so there you have it- our latest organization ideas put to use!  Please, tell me how YOU organize!  I know…I am SUCH a (TYPE A) nerd!


Virtual Coffee Date

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Hello there! I have seen other bloggers do this so, I thought I would jump on the train!

So.  If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you that life has been absolutely NUTS.  Like legit nuts; from everything with poor Scott’s health, to starting a new job, to SO many school holidays in October!  Anyone else have the same things with their child’s school?  Needless to say with the extra time on our hands, mama has had to get creative!  We made structures with toothpicks and spice drops after reading Iggy Peck, Architect (obsessed with this book).

We went to music classes

Lots of crafting…


And a little bit of practice…  (Zachary LOVES this Nexo Knights activity book and it is great for his development)



I would tell you that we had the most lovely Rosh Hashanah holiday celebration at our home.  We feasted in anticipation of a sweet new year!

I would tell you that I am so proud of the friendship that the boys’ dad and I have worked hard to attain and maintain.  I had a great time bringing Z and G to his baseball game last weekend.  The weather was perfect and my handstands on point.

I would tell you that it seems that there are a LOT of 4-year old birthday parties this lately! We have been having a blast attending one (sometimes even two!) each weekend!  Seriously.  SUPER fun!

And finally, I would fill you in on this guy…

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Things are (finally) getting better, as opposed to getting worse.  Really.  For a while it seemed like EVERYthing that could go wrong did.  Scott has been a total trooper and tries so hard (too hard) to help when he shouldn’t.  Ahem… Anyway, I hope you enjoyed our coffee date!  If you would chime in on what you would tell me, I would love it!


Scott’s Story: Part 1

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It started in the wee hours of August 29th, 12:45 am to be exact. I awoke with a startle to find him slung over my body, whispering into my face briskly, “I have to go to the emergency room. But don’t worry. You stay here. I Googled the closest ER and Wills Eye hospital is the closest.” I stopped him. “What is wrong with your eye?!” And so it began. Nothing was wrong with his eye. But he was not lucid, and was in fact suffering from acute appendicitis. I called the boys’ dad who rushed to our house immediately to watch over them while they slept and Scott and I began our journey, which started in the Pennsylvania hospital ED. I think they initially assumed it was food poisoning. I mean, in all fairness, I promptly emptied the contents of my stomach into the unsightly red biohazard bin immediately upon being lead back through triage and into the ED. Hours of fluids later, Scott was still in major pain with nothing but Toradol to soothe him as we do not take narcotics in our household.   A CAT scan was ordered, seemingly to “just make sure it wasn’t his appendix.” and the bariatric contrast drink was drunk by the patient. His counts were normal, but the scan 2 hours later showed acute appendicitis. No one was more surprised than the ER attending doctor. And Scott. Poor guy kept thinking and saying that he was a wuss. Well, we would find out time and again that, in fact, he is one of the strongest men in the world. Yup. In. The. World.

(Pre and Post Op)

Scott had his appendix removed laparoscopically the following morning at about 11am. The doctor reported at the time that it had not yet perforated and was a simple straightforward removal. Scott came home that afternoon at about 4pm. He experienced no complications from the start and we were able to visit his parents in Massachusetts the following weekend.


He was sore and a bit weak but otherwise on the mend. Two weeks went by. We received no report regarding the pathology of the appendix and were told that we would receive a call if anything abnormal was revealed.  We never received a call.  We would later find out that his appendix was partially perforated at the time of removal.

Three weeks post-op, Scott began presenting with low-grade fevers and systemically feeling “off.” We thought it might be related to our petri dish kids; a bug he was fighting off as he was not experiencing any specific pain.

A few days later, I ran the Rock N Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon. My “cheer squad” was waiting, among them, my Scott.


I took one look at him and knew I needed to speak with a doctor immediately. From the finish line, I attempted to reach his surgeon. I called three times and was rerouted to the main hospital line all three times, dead-ended with no one who seemed to care, let alone help us. With no other options, I called Scott’s general practitioner who practices within Jefferson. I immediately received a call back from the physician on call who advised us not to wait in the emergency room, but rather to see Scott’s surgeon the FIRST THING Monday morning (the next day). The doctor also advised that if Scott’s fever spiked or the pain became unbearable (at this point it was just a constant annoying pain at a 3 or 4 level) then we SHOULD go to the ED. He stayed in bed for the remainder of the day. I tried the surgeon once again, only to be rerouted to the hospital’s main line once more.

After an unrestful night of sleep I called the surgeon’s office the next morning starting at 7:58 through 8:13, approximately 19 times. They were supposed to open at 8. In the meantime I called his GP an made an appointment with them for 10AM if I could not get a hold of the surgeon once again. Finally at about 8:15 I reached the receptionist and explained the situation, asking the nurse to call me urgently. I asked when she could talk to me, offered to wait on hold, was denied and told she would call me “shortly.” 15 minutes later (shortly, in my opinion) the nurse still had not called back so I called again. This time the receptionist yelled back to her in the room that I needed to talk and the nurse said that I needed to make an appointment for the following day (Tuesday) because she was “busy.” She refused to speak to me. I asked the receptionist what I should do. Should I go to urgent care? Should I show up at the surgeon’s office and demand to be seen? Should I go to the ED? She said, “Ma’am, I cannot tell you what to do.” I hung up and we headed over to Scott’s GP. I called the surgeon ONCE again and was refused care, advice  or even a phone call. FYI: the nurse NEVER called me back until the surgeon TOLD her to, and as Scott was being wheeled in for emergency surgery (spoiler alert?).


Round Two

We went to Scott’s GP at 10am. We saw a lovely doctor who was more than concerned. She immediately sent us over to the Jefferson ED as she is within the Jeff Health system. We arrived and waited. Of course. Scott ended up laying on the same gurney in the same ED room (thank heavens he wasn’t one of the ones in a bed in the hallway) for over 24 hours. And over the course of these hours, we spend many of them awaiting “transport,” begging doctors for consult and wondering what the hell was taking so long. The fear of an abscess bursting is fierce. Something is wrong with our system. Scott was sent to CAT Scan at about 2pm.

to be continued…

I Speak Robot: Using Play Talk to Promote Literacy Development

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I know. I know. Suuuuuper research-y title. But i didn’t want it to just be I speak robot. Because, well, I don’t😉  In our house, with three boys (going to do a post to update you on this soon!!) we have a LOT of playing that occurs.  All day.  Every day.  As an educator, I have, of course, spent countless hours figuring out how to turn these play events into a learning-based event.  Look, NOT all play is for learning.  Play for play is SUPER important for social, emotional and educational development. BUT, again as an educator and MOM, I can’t help but to turn some of these authentic play events into a learning situation!
According to Fromberg and Gullo (1992), play enhances language development, social competence, creativity, imagination, and thinking skills. Frost (1992) concurred, stating that “play is the chief vehicle for the development of imagination and intelligence, language, social skills, and perceptual-motor abilities in infants and young children” (p. 48). (source)
So.  I wanted to share some ways that I encourage literacy development through play.
The most important device you can use is QUESTIONING.  The typical line of questioning  I use in play talk are applicable to (almost) any play situation.  Most of the times I allow the children to play on their own and then I “interrupt” with my questions (gently) but sometimes I create learning situations for them such as baking and science experiments. Here are a list of 10 simple questions you might use the next time you catch your little involved in play that would be conducive to talk/play learning.  The particular situation I based this blog post on involved this little cutie and his new Robot I got him (he later named it Chace-bot…duh!!!).  So, you want to mix a variety of open-ended and straightforward questions and you can tweak each question to cater to the specific play situation…
1.  What is his/her (your robot’s) name?
2.  Why did you decide to name it that?  What does its name start with? (letter/sound)
3. What special things does he/she (your robot) do?
4.  Does he/she (your robot) eat things?  What kinds of things?
5.  What is the silliest thing he/she (your robot) can do?
6.  Is he/she (your robot) a good guy or a bad guy? WHY <— super important
7.  Is it real or pretend?
8.  Where does he/she (your robot) live?
9.  How does he/she (your robot) feel?  (this is good at getting at a child’s actual feelings regarding a situation that is tough to discuss)
10.  Show me something that he/she (your robot) can do.  Have them explain.
I asked similar questions to these cuties as they played Legos.  Obviously I adjusted the questing based on their ages.  Another activity I LOVE to do with the boys is baking/cooking/food prep.  This is a GREAT time to engage in conversation with your child.  We LOVE to do simple food prep activity like making fruit pattern skewers.
Starting color patterns at a young age can go a long way in terms of forming a solid number sense foundation.  These can be used for counting too.  And think outside the box. Don’t just ask “how many pieces of fruit are on there?” but rather “How many strawberries are on there?”  or “How many of the fruits are NOT red.”  This can be tricky, so try to be cognizant of your child’s age and developmental level.
We also love doing make your own pizzas!
They key is to not just dump the ingredients on the table and go empty the dishwasher (although soooo tempting) but to stay present in the activity.  Ask questions like:
1.  What are we adding now?
2. How much of this should we add?
3. Will this make our food taste sweet? Salty?  Sour?
OK, I have to go take care of my boo, but I will be back soon with a juicy post! XO