Spring Break!

April 16, 2014 by  
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Though it might seem like it not everything is about my pregnancy it's just I've had to keep quiet all my emotions, hopes and fears for so long now that we've finally gone public I have a lot to say But day to day life, aside from eating every two hours and all the unavoidable body/natural things that remind me I am pregnant every moment My thoughts are more focused on the here and now the

Herbivore

April 15, 2014 by  
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Since my last post about being pregnant, I've had a few people ask me about the great ground beef aversion No, I did not suddenly wake up and out of nowhere hate ground beef I am and always have been very picky about meat very picky I could easily be a vegetarian in fact,  I was for a period My Mother recalls me being high chair young and refusing to eat meat instead, only eating fruits and

Reverb 14: April Showers

April 14, 2014 by  
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April Showers Bring May Flowers | We've had a long, wet, cold winter here and we're ready for spring.  Show us a photo of your "April showers" and tell us all about it. The Polar Vortex passed.  We are in the midst of April showers.  Obviously, I am pregnant, as is the ground, as will be the animals.  Nature's rebirth is all around.  And, when you set your ear to the Earth and really listen,

The Kindergarten Conundrum

April 14, 2014 by  
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Will Elliot be ready for kindergarten in the fall or would a Young 5s program be a better fit? This question is stressing me out more than you might imagine...unless you also have a child Elliot's age. (And if you do, I've probably already talked to you!)

Kindergarten is not at all what it was back in the day. When I was in kindergarten, it was morning-only. From what I remember, I learned my phone number and address, played dress-up, ate graham crackers and took a rest on a mat on the floor. Today, kindergarten is a seven-hour day and it's not about playing or getting ready for school like it used to be. It is school, with reading, writing, science, social studies and math.

Perhaps that's why the state of Michigan is gradually pushing back the deadline for eligibility from December 1 through September 1. This year, it will be October 1...so Elliot's early September birthday makes him eligible for kindergarten. However, many parents with kids whose birthdays are near the deadline, especially when they are boys, decide to delay the start of kindergarten for a year and give their children more time to develop by attending a Young 5s program.

The thing is: I don't necessarily agree with the trend. It creates a situation where you might have four-year-olds (whose parents signed a waiver for them to start early) in the same classroom as six-year-olds. It means starting high school at 15 and college at 19. And after all, somebody has to be the oldest and somebody has to be the youngest.

But, do I want Elliot to be the youngest? After all, I do often think his reactions to new and unfamiliar situations seem quite babyish. And, he seems quite a bit younger to me than kids at preschool who are six months older. Or is that his personality?

He's very smart...so I'm not really worried about the academic challenges of kindergarten. I worry more about his ability to suddenly be in school with twice as many kids as he's used to for triple the number of weekly hours. On the other hand, I worry that he might not be intellectually challenged if he's the oldest in his class (not right away, but later on).

So, I've attended a kindergarten readiness program and am reading a book. I've visited at least six schools looking for the best option for my baby. I plan to take him to the official kindergarten assessment at the local school as well as have a kindergarten teacher I met at an event give me her opinion.

On one hand, I think: it's kindergarten...relax! On the other, as many people have told me, this will be his formal introduction to school so I want it to be positive. I want him to feel confident and ready to learn.

Is he? Will he be? I'm not yet sure. 





Aprihop

April 14, 2014 by  
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There’s something very cool about people asking me to broaden my horizons beyond the Great Lakes… I get to taste beer that is more widely available, and talk about them with you! While I make no secret that my craft-beer-loving heart belongs in Michigan, I do enjoy several craft breweries around the world, that I probably don’t mention enough. 

Enter… Dogfish HeadAprihop

I know, I know… it’s not like it’s a huge SHOCK that this hop-head enjoys brews from this Delaware Brewery. Since it’s inception in 1995, Dogfish Head has brewed several beers that have passed through my lips. They rarely disappoint.

Here’s the thing — I hear about a beer called Aprihop that’s pronounced like “Apricot” and my fear (as I asked the friendly bartender pushing it onto me) “Is this one of those ‘AAAAHH! APRICOT EXPLODING IN MY MOUTH’ beers?” I imagined my nose and mouth being attacked by apricots.

That didn’t happen. 

And that’s what’s SO hoppin’ cool about this week’s beer-of-the-week: Aprihop. Yes, the name may scream apricot… but the flavor… Mmm-MMM… the flavor. Those clever Dogfish Head brewers created a masterpiece of flavor — the hops are the star, with the apricots playing a supporting role. As it should be, IMHO. Aprihop, get this, actually tastes like beer. A good IPA — without the intense bitterness that turn some beer-lovers off. The notes of apricot are in the finish, sweetly and subtly balancing out the hops. This beer goes down very easily. At 7% ABV, it’s not something I would personally drink all day, but I have consumed two in one sitting, and felt groovy. 

Who should drink this craft beer? I honestly believe Aprihop is a beer for just about anyone. Dogfish Head claims Aprihop is the fruit beer for people who hate fruity beer. I would have to agree. I would also suggest sharing Aprihop with someone who may not be a huge fan of IPAs; have them give it a swirl! Could open a whole new world for beer lovers who have shied away from IPAs in the past. 

Dogfish Head is widely available in the following markets March-May: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, VT, WA – — hit up the Fish Finder to see exactly where you can find Aprihop in your neck of the woods. 

CHEERS! 

—–

If you have a suggestion for a beer I MUST try in the coming weeks, please email me: MommaNeedsABeer {at} gmail {dot} com with the subject Beer of the Week. Although I adore having access to many delicious Michigan beers, I’d love to expand my palate to beers with broader availability. If I choose to feature your beer, I will send you a MNAB magnet and mention you on here as well as facebook and twitter, if you’re into such things. 

 

Pregnancy So Far

April 11, 2014 by  
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They say each pregnancy is different and, so far, I have to agree symptom wise I can't touch, look at or think about ground beef in any way shape or form I have trouble with other types of beef at times, including steak. No morning sickness, no heart burn (knock on wood) craving sugar: sprite, powerade, hard candy, fruit, fruit juice... with my boys, I craved more savory type foods and had no

#365dog – Week 14

April 10, 2014 by  
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Day 91
baby shaggy
We got a new puppy!!! Ha,ha! April Fool’s! It’s baby Shaggy silly!

Day 92
haircut
Time for a new cut. Just another day in the never ending process of me growing my hair out and then cutting it off months later.

Day 93
tori
Tori watching the rain. I just know she is thinking that it’s better than snow!

Day 94
garage
You know it’s spring in our house when my car gets booted to the driveway to make room for the kids bikes and scooters.

Day 95
Mari
Karli got to meet Mari from Dance Moms (she danced with the Candy Apples last season I think it was). She thought it was the coolest thing EVER!!

Day 96
Brownie sundae
One thing that makes me feel great as a mom is to make special treats for the kids for no reason. I made them hot fudge brownie sundaes, YUM!

Day 97
goofball
I sometimes forget Andrew is 18 years old, especially when he can’t sit still in the doctors office without touching the medical equipment.

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#365dog – Week 14

April 10, 2014 by  
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Day 91
baby shaggy
We got a new puppy!!! Ha,ha! April Fool’s! It’s baby Shaggy silly!

Day 92
haircut
Time for a new cut. Just another day in the never ending process of me growing my hair out and then cutting it off months later.

Day 93
tori
Tori watching the rain. I just know she is thinking that it’s better than snow!

Day 94
garage
You know it’s spring in our house when my car gets booted to the driveway to make room for the kids bikes and scooters.

Day 95
Mari
Karli got to meet Mari from Dance Moms (she danced with the Candy Apples last season I think it was). She thought it was the coolest thing EVER!!

Day 96
Brownie sundae
One thing that makes me feel great as a mom is to make special treats for the kids for no reason. I made them hot fudge brownie sundaes, YUM!

Day 97
goofball
I sometimes forget Andrew is 18 years old, especially when he can’t sit still in the doctors office without touching the medical equipment.

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#365dog – Week 13

April 8, 2014 by  
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I’m thinking that people might begin to assume that the hashtag #365dog stands for 365 “DOGS” since I post so many pictures of my pups. But it’s not…It’s 365 Days of Gratitude for those who might be seeing this for the first time =) Every day I take a photo of something that makes me smile…something that I am grateful for.

Day 84
groomer
Pippa is telling Tori to sit still so she can clean her eyes!

Day 85
beautiful
“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful”

Day 86
computer whiz
My daughter, the computer genius. Taking after her mother :) She created a mini movie for school with photos, music and captions. I was impressed!

Day 87
cuddle time
Just a typical evening of watching some tv…they don’t call it a loveseat for no reason.

Day 88
tough chase
Chase competed at his first ever state competition. He took 4th, which is pretty amazing! When I took this photo he asked me to fix his ribs from showing. I was like…you gotta eat to fix that dude!

Day 89
spring
It’s a heat wave here in Southern Michigan!!

Day 90
andrew laundry
Andrew has been doing his own laundry for a few weeks now. I gave up on the battle of asking him to put the stuff away neatly after I did his laundry and later find it tossed on the floor, unfolded, etc. It was time for him to learn. Well, his method is even worse. He washes the clothes and then puts them back in a basket unfolded until he finds the time to fold them. Oh.MY.God. (Just gotta tell myself to walk away….)

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SURPRISE

April 8, 2014 by  
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A few months ago, I was scheduled to start a new chemo a much more serious type used for lymphoma and Wegener's the injections and steroids weren't making me better, just sort of holding things at bay I would go into the hospital for two rounds every six months, indefinitely There was some issue getting insurance clearance so it took longer than expected to get it scheduled Suddenly, without

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