Posted by: Jamie Stamm | February 11, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things …

One of the reasons I started this blog was to make myself write – every day, if possible. But I’ve discovered that many days, I really don’t have much to say (and today is one of them). So I’ve decided to take on an assignment from Mama Kat, author of one of my favorite blogs. (If you’re not reading her, you should be – she’s funny, smart, insightful and – last but not least – slightly crazy, just like the rest of us moms. And, I’m sorry, anyone who describes herself as “an attention-craving poodle” has got my undivided attention).

Mama Kat offers up several writing prompts each Wednesday, and for my first go-round, I’ve decided to write about my five most recent favorite things. Here goes …

1. Free stuff. Being among the many families tightening their belts in tough economic times, we’ve really come to appreciate all the free, fun activities in our area. Among our favorites are visits to Crowder (or, as Ant calls it, “the one with the turtles”) and Middle Creek School (this being “the one with the sand”) parks, both of which have terrific playgrounds for the kids, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh (what kid – or parent, for that matter – doesn’t love to go check out dinosaur bones?). In a similar vein, I’m also a big fan of buy-one, get-one-free offers, such as one that let all four of us go roller skating a few weeks back for just $7 (and that included skate rentals). Who says you can’t have fun on a budget?

2. Great gifts. We’ve also been enjoying some quality family time thanks to all the thoughtful gifts we’ve received from family and friends over the past few months, including a microscope from my parents (Who knew the swamp behind our house would contain so many living organisms? Note to self: Don’t EVER drink the swamp water.), a set of puppets from my sister and a pack of UNO cards from my mother-in-law (UNO quickly has become Cera’s favorite game). And we can’t wait to use one of the very best presents we received – a membership to the North Carolina Zoo from my father-in-law, which allows us free admission and discounts through the end of this year.

3. Tea. While trying to eliminate soda from my diet, I’ve rekindled my romance with tea. If I’m tired, I brew a cup of English breakfast tea to give me a needed caffeine boost. If I can’t sleep, I choose a decaf herbal tea to warm my insides and – hopefully – lull me off to slumber. If I’m hot, it’s an ice cold glass of the orange pekoe and black tea that steeped on my deck last week on a sunny afternoon. And if I’m stressed, I take a few moments to sip on a nice cup of chamomile. Lovely!

4. Reading with Cera. There is nothing more pleasing to my ears than the sound of my daughter reading, whether she’s racing through a page of familiar words or trying her best to sound out new ones. I’m so impressed with how she adds inflection to her voice when she detects question marks and exclamation points. And I love how proud she is of herself when we reach the final page of a book she’s never read before. I’m just amazed at how quickly she’s learning and so blessed that I get to be a part of it.

5. Cuddling with Anthony. Two mornings this week, Ant slept through Cera’s morning carpool and was still snoozing as I carried him back into the house. On Monday, I curled up in the chaise lounge with him, watching as he continued to sleep for nearly two hours. There’s nothing quite like watching your baby sleep, even if he isn’t really a baby anymore. And today, I toted him back to bed and then snuggled in as he snored away. We both woke well-rested and ready to tackle one of those free parks that we love so much. In fact, we took on two.



  1. you just gotta love free stuff!

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