Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 23
{174/365} Today my first grader becomes a second grader. It's funny, the school year goes so slowly while you're in it, but on the last day you wonder where the time went! This morning Frank offered to take Em to school but I still got up to get her ready and give her breakfast. As she was leaving I noticed a sign on her backpack...written on a tissue with lipstick..."last day of school". I don't know when she made this sign or how she intended to keep it from ripping, but there it was. She got into the car and I yelled that I wish I had my camera because that would make the perfect photo. I was sort of bummed. :( Then Frank gets home and proudly shows me this photo he took on his new iPhone. It's the perfect shot and unlike with the "average" phone, as clear as day. Yes, there she goes...another ending to another school year.
Monday, June 22
{173/365} I do NOTHING outside. I'm not a recluse or anything, but fresh air does little for me...yeah, I know that's weird. So, it should come as no surprise that I don't plant anything or pull weeds or mow the lawn. I wouldn't have a clue how to make grass grow...which is why I'm not in this photo! Riley has done quite a number on our back yard. It's not her fault of course, but doggie pee and grass just don't work well together. We also just got rid of two big, annoying sandboxes which have been living in the back for years. Today Frank decided that after 60 days of rain (heh heh) he should finally get some grass seeds down (watch now it will stop raining). ;) When I went to check on him I saw that he hired an assistant! Emily was getting into the process by loosening the soil for the grass seeds...and having fun too!
Sunday, June 21
{172/365} This will be the seventh Father's Day I've spent without my dad. Although your head tells you that it' s a fun day for so many people, your heart resents that the day even exists. That said, there is a great daddy living here and he certainly deserves his holiday. In addition to the Emeril grill cookbook and iPhone he got (I got one for Father's Day too), Emily worked on a unique project as usual. She wrapped her gifts in a decorated paper bag (as she always does). She gave her daddy a decorated toilet paper roll as well as hand made Post-It notes (she takes the notes and adds words and stickers-LOL) and the piece de resistance...a small sock change purse with money in it! Here daddy...go get yourself a little something!! My mom joined us later on and we ended the day with a BBQ and Juniors Cheesecake Cobbler. All-in-all it was a great day...I know my dad would have had fun. :)
Saturday, June 20
{171/365} There's a feeling you get when you give a really cool gift to someone. You know they will love it and it's great seeing there reaction. It's great to see how happy you make that person. To me, Riley has always been more human than canine. Yes, I know that's a strange thing to say but dog lovers would understand. I know when she is having a good day or a bad day...when she wants to play or just rest. I look into those puppy eyes and I see love. :) Since Liam has been mobile I haven't given Riley the rawhide peanut butter bones that she loves so much. You cannot get between a dog and her bone, so I worry about Liam's fast little hands. Today I had Riley up in the office with me while the "menace" was downstairs with daddy. I gave Riley a bone and the look on her face was just priceless. She was like a kid on Christmas morning! After she licked off all of the peanut buttery goodness I caught her looking over at me...appearing to smile and say..."this is a good day". :)
Friday, June 19
{170/365} I remember "interviewing" pediatricians when I was pregnant with Emily. I remember going to Gymboree for the first time and stressing over which pre-school to put her in. I remember how difficult it was to leave her at that preschool the first few weeks and how empty I felt. Don't even get me started with full-day kindergarten. Now I look at my 7 1/2 year old on her last full day of first grade and wonder where the time went? How can my baby be so grown up? Time is so bitter sweet. On the one hand, seeing your children grow and become amazing kids makes you proud beyond belief. We talk and laugh and have FUN! On the other hand, it's so difficult to see the baby in that big girl face. There are moments where I find myself thinking of the infant or toddler I once had and I get a huge lump in my throat.
Thursday, June 18
{169/365} The weather on the East coast used to be more predictable. It will be hot in the summer...but will it be a very humid? The winter will be cold but will we get a lot of snow? For years now we have sort of gone from winter right into summer with very little spring weather. This year however we've had some great spring temperatures...and for a girl who can't stand the heat, it's been great! The only problem? The won't's been raining since April. I seriously can't remember a time when we've had this much rain. I'm just grateful that Frank has been home and I've been able to leave Liam with him on the very messy days.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wednesday, June 17
{168/365} I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. Sometimes I think it's fun and sometimes I don't want to be bothered. I have a handful of recipes that I love that my mom or grandma used to make...I can also make some yummy cookies! I realize now that I'm not great at experimenting with different tastes and ingredients. I would fail miserably on a show like Chopped or Top Chef! That said, last night I "threw together" a lasagna with wheat pasta and ground turkey (which is what I use for everything). The photo isn't beautiful but the dish was delicious.What I love most about lasagna is that it's great the first night and just as good the second! :)
Tuesday, June 16
{167/365} On Saturday I attended a Liam inspired pity party that I threw for myself. I was sad and angry and totally confused. Today after school Em took Liam downstairs to play and all I could hear from the kitchen were giggles! I remembered the tiny smiley face Emily drew for me years ago which I always kept on my dresser. I would look at that each time I stuck myself with a needle as a reminder of why I was doing all of that. I still have the smiley face but today I got something better. Out of nowhere I heard Emily bounding up the stairs yelling "MOM...MOM". "Mom, thank you for having Liam, I just love that boy." As I closed the basement door tears welled up in my eyes. I no longer needed the smiley incentive, all I needed was Emily's incentive to keep on doing what I'm doing with that little boy. We all love him more than words can say and I know all of the time and effort even with the anger and all worth it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15
{166/365} Riley came into our lives in June of 2000. She was about 8 weeks old and full of puppy energy. Emily came into our lives in November of 2001 and a year and a half later we started noticing Riley. Emily would sit up in her high chair with her sidekick down below. We thought it was sweet how Riley would "guard" Emily. Little did we know, our pooch had an ulterior motive. Riley started looking a bit hefty and it occurred to us...she was a canine garbage disposal! If Emily dropped it, Riley lapped it up. One Cheerio led to 1000 and suddenly our energetic pup was almost 20lbs. over weight! Luckily we were able to get her weight under control (wish I could say the same for myself) and Riley went from 80 to about 65 lbs. Of course now she is nine years old and we have another toddler in the house. We are keeping an eye on her this time around but we still let her attack the high chair and what Liam has left behind. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 14
{165/365} Why can't I just buy a card like a normal person? Years ago I bought one of those card boxes at Costco or Target. It came with a bunch of ready made cards. Granted, there were a few "thinking of you" and "get well soon" cards left over, but for the most part, I used them all. Then a couple of years ago there was a "make-your-own" card kit available on QVC (I think it was a TSV-"Today's Special Value"). I got two and was hooked on making my own cards. I have purchased a bunch of card kits since then and have loved them all. The only problem is it's one more thing I have to do! If I put the time into actually making a card, will it just get tossed like most cards? Who knows! In the meantime, tonight I needed a few cards so I made them. What else is new? ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Saturday, June 13
{164/365} Today really sucked. I attended a free, seven hour Autism class offered through a local hospital. The hospital is great...the school sponsoring the class is great...but I didn't want to go. Sometimes you just have to follow your instincts. I came home feeling as if all of the progress Liam has made and all of the hope I have for him, has been a waste of time. If I don't shove hours upon hours upon hours of therapy down the throat of my 22 month old, I may as well walk around with "crappy mother" tattooed across my forehead. I felt like I had been punched and came home wanting to give up. Then I looked down and saw Liam's little Lands End shoes...the shoes that match daddy's...and I melted. I took this photo to remind myself that the baby that fills these shoes is definitely worth fighting for and I love him more than words can say.
Friday, June 12
{163/365} During the school year my Mom sees the kids one or two times per week...maybe more. On Mondays she will watch Liam while I bring Emily to gymnastics and every other week while Emily has Girl Scouts. Frank has been home for the past few weeks so I haven't seen my Mom as much. For some reason life has been so hectic! So, this afternoon my Mom stopped by because she hasn't seen the kids in a while...and she can't stand that! The moment she walked in she "got to work"playing with Liam and doing Emily's hair! Another fun afternoon with grandma!
Thursday, June 11
{162/365} When Riley was a puppy, Frank used to get on the floor and the dog would just pounce on him. That was cute when she was small, but now Riley is 67 pounds and she still pounces on him! When Emily was a toddler, Frank used to grab her and bounce her on his belly which was really cute. Now she's 7 1/2 and she still wants to bounce. Now we have Liam so the "daddy sandwich" has been introduced! It's hysterical to watch (I guess you have to be Check Spellingthere) and all I can think is...better daddy than mommy!!
Wednesday, June 10
{161/365} Each night between 8:30pm and 9:30pm Liam likes to do "laps". He runs from the living room, through the kitchen, through the dining room...over and over and over again. He always laughs and screams and has a grand old time! Tonight I caught him in action during his evening run. ;) I took about 20 photos, each an "action shot" and each funny. After the second photo he would look at me, wait for the photo and continue on. I could have chosen any shot but I couldn't resist this one with that adorable Liam smile!
Tuesday, June 9
{160/365} There are a couple of reasons I took this photo today. First, I cannot believe how gigantic this television looks when I see it at this angle. It doesn't seem that big in the house, but when you compare it to the size of Liam's body, the thing is huge! I also wanted to remember how cute it is when Liam jumps at certain shows. Yo Gabba Gabba, The Wonder Pets and even some commercials make him jump so high that his feet leave the ground! Tonight I realized that he really likes Blue's Clues. I remember how Emily LOVED Blue and I think it's sweet that Liam loves it too. He may not be able to scream "mail time" but he enjoys it so much that he literally jumps for joy when it's on!
Monday, June 8
{159/365} Most people like chocolate, they can eat it all day long. I happen to like candy...skittles are my favorite but I also like hard candy, peppermints, licorice and I hate to admit it...sour patch kids! I'm also slightly obsessed with bubble gum. For the most part, I will chew sugarless but I often get cravings for some Bubblicious or even Juicyfruit! I was at Toys R Us one day and on display at the checkout line were about a dozen gumball machines and GIANT containers of gumballs. I just couldn't resist! So now I have a gumball machine sitting on my scrap desk. At first, I used pennies to get the gum one piece at a I find myself opening up the top so I can have a bunch!
Sunday, June 7
{158/365} Liam loves water. He hated his baths for about two weeks but other than that, he can stay in the tub forever! He loves the sink and the water that comes out of the fridge and the coffee pot. Most of all, he loves the dogs water bowl! So, I thought with the summer on it's way I would try and entertain the kiddos with some water. I bought a blow up pool that should be the perfect size for both Liam and Emily. I also decided to get a water table for the deck. So far the kids are having fun splashing around and playing with the little toy boats. Liam doesn't quite get that the water should stay in the table (and his shoes should stay on his feet) but I suppose that's what makes it so much fun!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday, June 6
{157/365} Although it looks as if "Jon and Kate" will be splitting up, Emily is still obsessed with their TV show. I think she relates to Cara and Maddie and enjoys watching all of the kids adventures! Recently Emily started talking about making pasta sauce...totally out of the blue. She said she wanted to make sauce and add salt and pepper...then she mentioned a commercial that she saw where they were making "Pragu" sauce. HUH? Finally I got it. While watching Jon and Kate Plus 8 she saw a commercial with the family of another show (I believe they have 12 children) where they are "making" Ragu sauce!! I finally saw the commercial and they simply open up the jar, pour it in the pot, add salt and pepper and stir! That's making sauce?? LOL Regardless, Emily wanted to do this so tonight she did. Sadly we only had Prego, not Ragu but she was OK with that. Into the pot it went with some S&P and she stirred...and stirred...and stirred. Voila! Emily "made" sauce! ;)
Friday, June 5

{156/365} Frank and I rarely go out to dinner alone...I can't even remember the last time we did! There is a restaurant we used to go to with my grandpa and my mom and dad. It has great food and a delicious chopped salad (I still can't figure out what makes it so good). For Christmas/Hanukkah this year my Mom gave us a gift certificate to the restaurant with the promise she would babysit while we enjoyed our meal. The original plan was to go out with my brother and sister-in-law but we had so many scheduling conflicts. With Frank starting work again soon we thought it was now or we went for it! The food was just delicious, I had lobster tails and shrimp while Frank enjoyed a giant steak. For dessert Frank got a large piece of chocolate banana cream pie. YUM! My trooper of a Mom ate pizza and hug out with the kiddos and then took Emily for a sleepover. We went out a bit early..and didn't stay too long BUT we had a great time!
Thursday, June 4
{155/365} Each week Emily brings home "Just Right" books which she reads out loud. These books tend to have many photos and not too many words. Last week she came home with a HUGE smile on her face. "Mom...I brought home a CHAPTER book this week"!! She was so excited because this meant she was now on a second grade level for reading! Her first chapter book is Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus! LOL There were about 10 chapters, each one taking a while to finish. Her teacher let her take it home each night so she wouldn't have to finish in one sitting. It took about a week but tonight she sat in her "reading spot" (not sure why she sits on the table) and read the last chapter of her book! She was so proud of herself and even made a speech when she was done. This was followed by the ceremonial "retiring" of her book mark! Emily could make a celebration out of anything! :)
Wednesday, June 3
{154/365} I'm sick. I used to be the Mom who never got sick...then Emily started kindergarten. She got sick all of the time and so did I! When I would get colds I would use some nose spray and two days later, I felt better. Now I get these crazy sinus colds where it feels as if my brain will explode at any moment. This time I'm so stuffed that my nose is completely clogged and my head is spinning. I even had to drag out the vaporizer tonight for MYSELF which is sort of funny (and it turned out to be broken). Tissues, vitamins, saline, nose spray, decongestants...I'm taking it all! One thing is for more 2 1/2 hour trips on a bus with 40 first graders! I think that farm field trip really did me in!
Tuesday, June 2
{153/365} By the time Saturday rolls around, I find myself "hiding out" in my office. I don't do this to run away necessarily, it's just the weekends are my chance to get things done without getting interrupted every two seconds! For the most part I'm working on projects or blogging...nothing major but things I like to do. When I'm upstairs, Frank is downstairs with the kids. One day I mentioned that if I had a computer downstairs, I could hang out more with the family and get things done at the same time. So, my birthday rolls around last week and Frank hands me a giant box. I had NO CLUE what it was. Much to my surprise, it was a new Toshiba laptop so I could work downstairs. While I still may "hide out" once in a while, I LOVE having a laptop in a more central location. :)
Monday, June 1
{152/365} I've never been a big fan of farms or zoos...caged animals are not really my thing. I try hard to allow Emily to form her own opinions on things like that...and it looks like she has. ;) There are some animals at her camp and in three years, she has never bothered with them. She never seems interested in going to a zoo and has made it clear that the only animal she loves has paws and barks! So, one can only imagine how "un" excited she was to visit the Green Meadows Farm today on her school field trip. Since I'm the class mom I made the commitment to go BUT would have been THRILLED to take the day off with Emily. The farm was full of baby pigs and chicks and goats...and I just felt bad for them. :( In the end, the kids had the chance to milk a cow (Daisy was such a trooper) and the only child...and adult that refused were me and Emily. I'm seriously fine living my entire life without touching the utter of a cow! Emily wanted me to use the photo I took of her next to the Green Meadows sign. I feel a tiny bit guilty but there was NO WAY I could resist this photo which just about says it all!
Sunday, May 31
{151/365} I have about 20+ projects in my head... I think of something new every day. I'm so behind on my projects and tend to start something that I don't finish! Last May we took Emily to Hershey Park and that project is sitting on my desk...along with four others. So, why on earth did I start THIS project? I guess I wanted to work on our "Great Wolf Lodge" book while it was still fresh in my mind. This is a cool Creative Imaginations "Peek-Oh-Book" with cute pockets that slide up and down and side ways. Hopefully I will finish this soon, but with my track record...who knows! (The paper on the side was a photo I took of the bathroom wallpaper...I plan on using it in the book).
Saturday, May 30
{150/365} We have known the Rosen's since birth and have always considered them cousins, perhaps not by blood but by lifelong friendship. There are three children in both families, all born one after the other. There's myself and my brothers Jason and Mike...they have Stacey, David and Lisa. Although we lived an hour apart, we grew up together and we are still close. For a while Emily was the only kid, then Stacey had her son Mikey (he'll be three in October), Liam who will be two in August and Lisa's son William will be two in September. Lisa and Stacey were just pregnant together. Lisa had her son, Brandon at the beginning of May and on May 29th (on her Uncle's David's birthday) Danielle Elyse was for the "girls team" as Emily said! We took Emily to see Seussical today at a small theatre in NJ and coincidentally Stacey's hospital was exactly six minutes away! We "smuggled" Emily in (saying she was their niece) and she was able to see her newborn baby cousin. :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Friday, May 29
{149/365} The Great Wolf Lodge was cooler than I thought. Our first stop was our room where Emily had her own "Wolf Den" complete with bunk beds and a TV. Next, there's the GIANT water park with all of it's slides, a wave pool and giant buckets that dump water. Not my thing but Emily and her daddy had a BLAST! (My favorite was the Starbucks in the lobby)! ;) They also had a game called MagiQuest. You purchase an electronic wand and go on a scavenger hunt with clues you are given. You don't bring back items but the items you find are basically "collected" in your wand. After 10 "Quests" your final mission is to open the "Master Magi Treasure Chest" (the photo of the day) and become a "Master Magi"! We spent two days running around and going up and down stairs looking for these clues...and it was fun! We accomplished the "Quests" time we will do the "Adventures". We ended the trip at the "Cub Club" where Emily decorated a Great Wolf pillowcase and her MagiQuest wand. None of us wanted to go home but there was a little boy and an exhausted grandma looking forward to seeing us. This is definitely a place we will visit again!
Thursday, May 28
{148/365} On May 14th we were supposed to take Emily to the Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos (PA). We were all set...I did my online research (we had never been there), reservations were made, I told Emily's teacher that she would be out of school and my Mom was all set to watch Liam. Emily spoke of this trip for WEEKS asking all sorts of questions that I couldn't answer! Then it happened...Emily got sick...Liam got sick...I got sick AND my Mom got sick!! We had to postpone the trip and Emily was crushed. Luckily she only had to wait two weeks...and today was THE day!! Here she is as the Great Wolf Lodge!
Wednesday, May 27
{147/365} When I got up this morning, while rushing to get out (as usual), I had to open up this box on my dresser. It's the necklace my friends gave me on Friday for my birthday. I decided this should be my photo today because it reminds me of how lucky I am to have such amazing groups of friends. We all have friends that fall into different categories ...high school friends, college friends, friends from work, long distance friends, etc. My best friend Joanne who was there for me morning, noon and night when I lost my dad...and she still is. Then there are the friends that you put on your emergency list at school, or vent about your children over coffee. The one's who will run if you call. Those are my girls...the one's who gave me this necklace. :)
Tuesday, May 26
{146/365} I'm not sure how it happened, but today I turned 39. While trying to get pregnant with Liam I kept holding on to the fact that I was "just" 34...or 35...or 36. I even convinced myself that having him at 37 wasn't too bad. But now I'm 39 which is really close to 40. How did that happen?? I'm told getting to 40 is tougher than 40 itself. That remains to be seen! In the meantime, my birthday was a good one...Frank bought me a surprise laptop for the dining room so I can blog, etc. downstairs (instead of hiding away in my office). ;) My Mom got me the "Hair" tickets (we went on Mother's Day) and I'm expecting an GC from my brothers. Even my friend Kim sent me some GREAT Tim Holtz stuff (she knows me so well). We also went out to dinner where Emily sketched this adorable card on a place mat. :) Tomorrow the countdown officially begins, I'll take a deep breath and as Tim Holtz says, try to "enjoy the journey"...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday, May 25
{145/365} Liam was born in August of 2007. By the time he could walk in the fall of 2008, the weather started to get cold and we really weren't rushing to any parks or even hanging out in the back yard. For the most part, he learned to walk with shoes inside the house or at the mall! So, now it's Memorial Day in 2009 and Liam is basically walking around our backyard for the first time. He's also using our soon-to-be-replaced swing set. He doesn't entirely get the concept of "sliding" just yet (the fact that you should walk up the back, not the slide itself) but he LOVES going down when held. A few more nice days and he'll be sliding like a champ!
Sunday, May 24
{145/365} Today it rained so we decided to hang out in the house. For the most part on these lazy days, Frank catches up on Tivo, Liam runs and climbs all over the living room and dining room, I scrap and Emily creates something unique! Today she wrote a book with the title "The Odds and the Evens". This was an entire book about odd and even numbers! I have no idea where she comes up with these ideas but they are always interesting and creative Here she is sharing her newest creation with her daddy.
Saturday, May 23
{143/365} We have a little playground not too far from our house. When we moved here in 2000 it was nothing more than a couple of rusted metal swings...such a waste! A couple of years ago I noticed that they finally got rid of the swings and cleaned the place up. They added two kid swings, two toddler swings, some benches and a cool slide/rock wall type thing. The forecast called for rain tomorrow so we decided to take a walk over to the playground today...we even brought Riley! Here are the kiddos in Liam's new red wagon...resting up for playtime and snacking away!