Sunday, May 27, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012


I had some adorable leopard print rain boots that I just threw away because the back of one of them ripped and was rendered useless; had I seen this cute display I would have kept them! However, I have an idea... use my children's outgrown boots. Won't that be darling! Oh! and grand kids' boots, too cute!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Arms Around an Angel

Today was Tatianna's annual NICU reunion. This is an event that honors former patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the family that loves them and the staff that nurtured them. We go every year and I look forward to it. It is a time of reflection where I remember with immense gratitude how blessed we are to have been able to have our healthy daughter come home with us.

Tia was born seven weeks early in 2005; miraculously she spent only 12 days in the NICU!  Every day feels like the equivalent to a month so it felt like a year. The experience was stressful save for the Amazing people God brought into our lives-most notably Tia's nurse Raquel. During every reunion we have attended she has not been on shift, today she was! I called up to the NICU and she was able to steal away for a bit to come see her "little baby". Look at how Tia just took to her like she knew her, it's because in her soul Tia does.

Raquel was on shift the night after Tia was born. She was the one that placed Tatianna in my arms nearly 22 hours after her birth. I watched as Raquel moved around the room tending to each baby. The stillness of the night and the aura of tiny sleeping infants created an ambiance where one sees angels and I did. She cared for each precious soul as if it were her own child in an indescribable manner I had never before seen. Today she shared that she has since married and has a beautiful son of her own.

I am so thrilled for her baby. I can only imagine how exponentially more her love for her own child must be and how honored he is to have her as his mother. Seven years ago I walked out of the NICU one night with the peace of mind that she would love and care for Tia like I would, I told Raquel how much she meant to me and prayed she would find a husband that deserved her.

Today she praised God for fulfilling my prayer and thanked me for my desire to see her be loved. I told her "when you give love in that way it comes back you". Although the idea of the NICU is on no one's wish list; I value the time there because I saw the love of Jesus lived out in flesh. I felt like I had God's cell phone number and he was just texting me direct messages in a way I had never before experienced. He met me when I needed him most and like always he never forgoes and opportunity to show up! Today was a beautiful day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Why We Rode

     There is a lovely Italian eatery near my folks. I finally went there last month even though I have driven by it for a decade now. My husband had the Pomodoro Basilico pasta last time we went and asked me to make it at home; additionally my son wanted to ride our bikes. Ethan recently graduated from a child seat to his own tandem like Tia so he has been eager to go riding.

      I decided it would be a fun outing to ride and get the ingredients from our neighborhood Trader Joes  to make the pasta dish- my man had a better suggestion to ride to Whole Foods because it is not uphill. Off we went and it was a glorious ride. I love Daylight Savings! I wish it never ended. Of course we picked up a few things we needed/wanted while we were there.  One contender was a mini watermelon, we had to pry it out of Tia's hands at the register when I realized we had to put all these groceries in our bike baskets! We got home and had our neighbor take pictures (this is the "better" one above). The recreated  pasta was soooo good! I found a recipe online and then tweaked it. Here it is....

Pomodoro Basilico

1 box of Angel Hair pasta
1 28 oz can of Whole Foods 365 crushed plum tomatoes with basil
1/2 cup of good EVOO
1 minced yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
3/4 cup of  cooking red wine
1 Tbls of Balsamic Vinegar
3 Tbls of sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parmesan to taste
Basil leaves to garnish

Cook the pasta. In another pot heat up Olive oil and onion until softened then add garlic and sautee for a minute. After add in the tomato, wine, sugar and salt and pepper. Let everything simmer and thicken for about 15 minutes. Pour sauce over pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan and torn basil (cutting basil causes browning via oxidation) leaves. Eat up!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I Know What I'm Getting for Mother's Day

     My husband and I met when I was fourteen so I have had many years of gift giving. My love language is gifts; so his glorious gift-giving choices helped real me into marrying him. Flash forward 15 years later and some of that magical power has waned. He not only has to be concerned with himself and his "girl" now he has to support our family and our household. That is a huge gift on its own!
     With our current focus on meeting each other's love language needs (this is based on a book called "The Five Love Languages"- my husband's language is words); I have been proactive in helping my mate by emailing him links of gift suggestions for Mother's Day with prices and locations.
     One recent wish list item was a pair of Sunglass Hut Ray Ban Aviators-classic and much needed. I also picked out a purse and two rings from the Coach Store. I only expect one thing from this wish list fyi. Coach is having a pre-sale where preferred customers get 25% off and can buy before the general public, so I let Patrick know about this opportunity.
     Yesterday I got a call from Coach because my husband was trying to buy the Ray Bans from Coach and my personal shopper was confused. I just had to laugh! By choosing a selection of potential items and forwarding them to Patrick  I figured at least I could be surprised as to what he ended up choosing.
      I decide to spare him the anxiety of "getting it right" and just be explicit. So this is what I asked for....

     This little sweetheart is a Newfoundland puppy-my dream dog. I have had my heart set on one for years now. I will tell you more about why I LOVE this breed in another post. My request was a deposit for this love muffin to hold my spot for an upcoming litter (I'll explain why I am going this route as well). Can't wait to get my arms around this beauty!
     What are you hoping for or giving for Mother's Day???

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mommy on a Mission

   We are privileged to be minutes away from gorgeous beaches. Actually, our favorite beach was voted safest in the world! In lovely weather we go there often. Once we get our "camp" set up and my children are occupied with play; I alert my husband of my plans and sneak out on my covert mission. If you asked a friend or family member what dessert do they associate me with- it would be hands down- a cupcake. There is a reason why my blog is called Piece-of-Cake Parent! I consider myself a Cupcake Connoisseur. If I see a shop, I must stop!

     I love strolling down the beach's Main Street toward my cupcakery. You know, the sun shining, the ocean air smell, I just feel like a woman with not a care in the world for 30 min. When I arrived at my usual stop, they were out of what I had a penchant for! Boo! I decided to drop in on another bakery nearby and see what their offerings were. I found a comparable cupcake and was ready to pay when I saw "THEM". These adorable sugar cookies that had cartoons printed on them. I got Tia "The Lorax" one with the adorable orange face and I had to get the last"Angry Bird" cookie for my 4 year-old angry bird for little man.

      I made my way back to shore and surprised my kidlets with my finds. They were in awe! All was perfection until my son's cookie took a dive in to the sand! My "helpful" husband doused it with water to clean it off. The cries grew! This time I took my little guy back with me so his tear/sand stained face would convince the bakers to replace it. They did of course and he ended up with a Spider Man one instead. Smiling to myself I embraced the moment and held my little guy and watched as he quietly enjoyed his much-desired replacement .

      Going forward I will keep my covert missions secret. But honestly I can't resist the urge to say "close your eyes and open your hands" when I know they are gonna just "eat it up"!