Pasta Jack-O-Lantern Craft


As much as fall is my favorite season, Halloween is my favorite holiday. Halloween is next week & we are looking forward to taking Mai trick or treating. I wanted to let her choose her own costume this year. I asked her several times & her answer has always been the same. “I want to be a Jack-o-lantern, mama.” Our daughter loves pumpkins & Jack-o-lanterns, so next week our daughter will proudly strut the streets as the cutest Jack-o-lantern ever to say “Trick or Treat”.

Until then, we can have a little fun making our Halloween crafts in anticipation.

Pasta Jack-O-Lanterns

You will need:

Jumbo shells (as used for stuffed shells)


You will need 1 piece of each of these pastas for each Jack-o-lantern

Orange & green paint

Black Sharpie

Glue gun


Paint the jumbo shells orange & the Farfalle & ziti green.

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Let the pieces dry.

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Glue the ziti piece into the shell as shown.


Glue the Farfalle piece over the ziti.


With a black sharpie, draw on your Jack-o-lantern face.


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Dr Jekyll & Ms. Hyde

JrJekyll.jpgAt times I think my daughter must have a split personality. It is absolutely puzzling how she can go from laughter and smiles to tears and frenzied fits of tantrums in a matter of seconds. She changes her mind even quicker than she changes her temperament.

“Cheese sandwich is my favorite.”
“No, I don’t like cheese sandwich.”

It is not just her feelings toward the cheese sandwich that are constantly changing. Mommy & the cheese sandwich have a lot in common.

“You are the best mama in the world.”
“I don’t like you, mama.”

What? How could you not like me if I am the best mama in the world? It is difficult not to be confused. Women do change their minds quickly, even the little ones.

The other day daddy had a surprise for her. He brought out a chocolate bar and was going to share it with his little girl. Her face lit up at the sight of the chocolate. My husband broke her off a couple of pieces. The light disappeared from her happy face and her bottom lip began to quiver. Within seconds she quickly began to melt, as did the chocolate she was squeezing in her hand. How could anyone be upset when they are holding chocolate? I tried to talk to her and get to the heart of the problem.
“Mai, tell mommy what is bothering you.”
Silly mommy still thinks she can try to reason with a tantruming 2 year old. Her response was louder screams. After a moment it became apparent what triggered the meltdown. As she grabbed my husband’s mouth and tried to pry it open, it became clear, she didn’t want to share daddy’s chocolate bar she wanted it all to herself. I quietly took a video of her meltdown on my phone and held it out for her to see. “Mai, why is my little girl doing this?” She stopped crying and watched the screen. A big smile came over her face as she brought her chocolate covered hand up to her mouth. As the video ended, she giggled. “Again!” she said laughing and clapping as she pointed to the screen. We have a happy toddler again. Welcome back Dr. Jekyll. Don’t worry Mai. I get upset when I have to share my chocolate too.

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Toddler Cold Remedies

IMG_5614It has been a vicious 4 weeks in our home. The change of season has brought a lot of beauty, fall treats & fun things to do, but it has also brought with it a collection of colds, stomach bugs & other viruses. Let the passing around of illnesses begin. Until I can find a giant bubble on Amazon or matching hazmat suits, it is inevitable that we will continue to get sick as the cooler weather approaches.

This week our daughter was sick for the 3rd time within the past few weeks. She has had a rough run of it & so have mommy and daddy. The difference is we can take medicine to alleviate our symptoms. There are not many options over the counter for a toddler, but there are things that you can do to remedy your young one’s symptoms.

Fluids: Keeping them hydrated is essential. Fever, vomiting or diarrhea can cause dehydration. Give them water or 100% fruit or vegetable juices.

Rest: Our poor little toddler’s bodies are working so hard when they are sick that they need the extra sleep to get better. Of course as we all know, if a toddler does not want to sleep they won’t. Books, videos and cuddle time are a great way to get them to relax.If you are lucky they will doze off somewhere in between.

Garlic: When I was sick as a child, my father used to make me hold a clove of garlic between my teeth. He said that it had healing properties. Turns out he was right. I am not so sure if holding it between the teeth will work, but eating it certainly will. If your child has an appetite, add a little fresh minced garlic to their meal.

Vapor Rub: Vapor rub is wonderful for clearing a stuffy nose. Do not apply too close to the face. When our daughter caught her first cold I read that you should apply the rub to the feet instead of the chest.  I did it & then tried it on myself the next time I was sick. It worked great. Our daughter loves Vicks. She asks for it even when she is not sick, of course mommy has to say no.

Humidifier: Every home should have one of these. A humidifier can help ease many cold symptoms. Running one while they sleep can help the little one breath better and control coughs.

Honey: Raw honey has a number of health benefits. It can be used on skin ailments & it can be used to help cold symptoms. It is a great alternative to cough syrup. If your child is resistant to take a spoonful like mine is, sneak it into their juice or try a peanut butter & honey sandwich.

Ball Syringe: Have your child blow their nose as much as possible to clear out all of the mucus. Too much mucus can lead to post nasal drip which will irritate their throat more. Teach them not to suck it back in. If they let you, use a ball syringe to clear out the mucus.

Chicken Soup: Every mama’s favorite cold cure is hot chicken soup. Studies have proven that this is not just an old wives tale.

Popsicles: The frozen treats are fun to eat & will help sooth their little sore throats. Try to stick to bars that are 100% fruit juice.

Elevation: There is a reason that your child’s cough & sniffles always seem worse at night. Staying propped up will keep the nasal passages clear.

Don’t forget to give plenty of hugs, kisses & cuddles while your precious little ones heal.

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The Day I Tried To Clean

IMG_4823When we were expecting our daughter, I looked through hundreds of patterns & themes for a little girl’s nursery. I could not wait to decorate her room & make it beautiful. I was so excited to assemble her crib and swing and set up her play areas. When we were finished, everything was perfect. Our house felt complete.

Little did I know that these things would continue to accumulate and that our home would no longer resemble one inhabited by adults. Under a mountain of toys, books & stuffed animals is a floor that was once free of crumbs, dried up Play-doh chunks and puzzle pieces.

I must be honest, since our daughter’s birth I have not kept the tidiest of homes. I lack the time, ambition & energy to do it. I have grown accustomed to the mess, but every once in a while the disorganization makes me crazy. Today was one of those days. My husband & daughter went out for the day, so I thought it was time for a much needed cleaning. I dusted & scrubbed, swept, organized, sprayed & wiped. I sat back to admire my work. How amazing. It has been a long time since I could see the top off my coffee table.

When my family arrived back home, I couldn’t wait to show them our tidy home. My excitement quickly diminished as I watched my home revert back to it’s original cluttered form within moments. Now I remember another reason why I don’t clean. God bless our happy mess.

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Patriots “Foot”ball

As you already know from my ‘Football Widow’s Rant’, I am not a football fan. I could care less about it. My husband loves it. He loves all sports really, but football is his favorite. From the day our daughter was born, we both hoped that we would be able to share our interests with our daughter. For me, I hoped that she would enjoy art & doing crafts with mommy. She does & I couldn’t be happier. My husband has a longer list of interests. He dreams of running marathons with her as she gets older, playing golf and taking her to sporting events. He is off to a good start as she has already run her first fun run, loves golfing with daddy & at 2 years old is already a Pats fan.
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At only 7 days old, Mai watched her first game with her father. Fast forward to today where she gets excited when she sees the Patriots emblem, cries if her Pats sweatshirt is dirty and screams “Good job, Tom Brady!!” at the game while stuffing popcorn down her gullet.


Who knows if her love for football & the Patriots will continue as she gets older, but for now daddy is enjoying his little New England fan. I thought we could make a keepsake for them to look back on some day.

Mai loves foot & hand crafts. She thinks it is fun to paint her feet up. I had to help to ensure that we had the colors in the right spots.


While the paint dried, Mai thought it was only fair that she got to paint mommy’s feet too.


When the paint dried, we painted on our Patriot’s game face, dated it & framed it for daddy. He loved it of course. GO PATS!


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