Sunday, November 29, 2009

Monday, November 9
{313/365} Each year I try to make something interesting for Emily's birthday in school. One year I tried home made Twinkies, another year it was Scooter Pies. This year, in the spirit of Emily's new "hippie" phase, I decided to try "tie dyed" cupcakes. My original plan was to swirl different colors of icing but then I was sure I would find a recipe on the internet...and I DID! Six bowls, each with the same amount of cake batter and six gel food coloring colors. I scooped a small amount into each cupcake tin one color at a time. It took quite a while (since the original recipe is for a cake) but it was well worth it! Instead of taking away from the pretty swirled top, I simply piped a white icing peace sign on the top of each one.The cupcakes were a huge success and quite a hit with the kids. Emily definitely won the "cool kid" award for the day! :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sunday, November 8
{312/365} This is the girl whose heartbeat I saw at 9 weeks. The girl who gave me heartburn and made me crave McDonalds Filet-O-Fish and shrimp with hot cocktail sauce. The girl who decided to make her debut three weeks early, breaking my water and putting me in a state of shock. This is the girl who was born with no epidural on November 8th, 2001, at 10:36pm during an episode of "ER". This is the girl who was as sweet as an angel in the hospital but who cried like a maniac on the car ride home. This is my first baby, my daughter, my heart. This is the girl who I couldn't love more if I tried. The most beautiful, creative, friendly and intense girl I know. This girl is the reason I'm grateful every single day of my life and I cannot imagine my life without her. My sweet Emily is eight today and cannot believe eight years have gone by in virtually no time at all.
Saturday, November 7
{311/365} Although Liam has plenty of toys, he has "adopted" one of Emily's birthday gifts. She was given a cute little panda that speaks and lights up where it has a "boo-boo". When you press the spot you take care of what hurts him and then he's all better. :) Liam loves this little guy and played with him all night. As I was making breakfast I turned around to find him feeding his newly adopted panda with a bottle. How sweet it was to see this kind of pretend play and how happy I was to get this shot! Just another example of progress being made.
Friday, November 6
{310/365} What better way for Emily to celebrate her upcoming birthday than by decorating cakes? Having another day off, Em invited a few friends to go and decorate cakes and cookies this afternoon. The kids were given two small cakes, one shaped like a shirt and one shaped like jeans and a bunch of piping bags full of icing in various colors. After thinking long and hard about her culinary creation, she opted for the giant "8" on the shirt and cool "peace" jeans. When all was said and done, she had a fun creative day and made cakes that were way too cute to eat. :)
Thursday, November 5
{309/365} Emily had the day off today and our friends Kim and Meg came over. After Liam's early morning therapy and before our guests arrived, Liam took a little futon break. This kid really has the life...a comfy chair, his blanky, a drink, some snacks and Dora on TV. For a child that enjoys running around and playing with everything in sight, he also enjoys just chilling out and doing nothing! He works so hard during his sessions so I really can't say that I blame him. :)
Wednesday, November 4
{308/365} Last September (when Liam was one), I decided to stop going food shopping and start letting food shopping come to me, ;) Each time we set foot in a store he was miserable...which made me miserable...which made other shoppers miserable. So, Peapod delivers and I'm grateful! It's a year later and Liam is a totally different child. He's technically in the "terrible two" phase but happier and more interested in what the world has to offer. I realized this morning that I had avoided the supermarket long enough so it was time to try again. I noticed the new shopping "cars" in the parking lot and decided to take the plunge. My list was small so I knew we could handle it....and away we went. First stop, free cheese. Second stop, free cookie...hmm, not a bad deal! Liam ate his way through Stop and Shop with many "he's so well behaved" comments along the way. Our little experiment was a success and something we'll definitely try again soon. :)

Tuesday, November 3rd
{307/365} Today is Election Day and Emily has the day off from school. Since Liam had therapy early this morning, we thought we would make plans instead of doing the usual...hanging out at home! My cousin Stacey came over with her kids Mikey and Danielle. Although Michael is five years younger than Emily, they had a great time drawing, playing and "feeding" Emily's dolls. I remember growing up talking about school and Bar Mitzvah's, college and weddings...and now we have's crazy! We had a great day and a highlight was when Danielle fell asleep in her carrier and Liam took the doll's bottle and went to feed her. That takes "pretend play" to a whole new level. :) Before they left I really wanted a photo but thought it would a futile effort. Somehow we were triumphant!
Monday, November 2
{306/365} At first glance this looks like a normal photo of a normal kid wearing sneakers. If you look closer however, one would notice the rainbow laces and the size of the shoe. These are Emily's sneakers. ;) About a week ago I heard Liam fall in the kitchen. Why? Because he put on my sneakers and proceeded to walk around in them. In fact he enjoys wearing every one's shoes, including his daddy's which are very hard to walk around in. My favorite has been Emily's chunky heeled, shiny, pink Hannah Montana those will brake the ankle of a two year old! I wish I could get better photos but each time I get my camera ready he steps out of his chosen foot wear. I'm not sure how long this phase will last but for the most part, it's pretty darn cute!
Sunday, November 1
{305/365} Liam has developed an interest in spoons. It started with his "kid" spoons where he would walk around with one or two, pretending to eat or just hold them. He then discovered that adults eat with spoons too! Suddenly I was finding teaspoons all over the living room and eventually tablespoons (although the smaller were more to his liking since he could actually put it in his mouth). Tonight as the family was sitting watching TV, we heard the cutlery drawer open...then close. From the kitchen emerged Liam with a serving spoon as big as his head! He seemed very pleased with himself so I allowed him to play with his new treasure for a while. The way I look at it, spoons are OK. If he starts developing an obsession with forks and knives...then we're in trouble. ;)
Saturday, October 31st
{304/365} For the past five years each Halloween has been spent with the preschool crew at our friend Maggie's house. We race home from school, regroup from the busy day and head out for an evening of trick or treating (in a near by town) followed by a fun dinner with friends. We get home late and Emily is popped at school the next day. This year was a bit different because it's a Saturday, so no school tomorrow and Daddy's home! That's so rare so we took advantage and did some local trick or treating before our big night out. Liam had a ball riding around in the wagon (eventually our lazy daughter would end up in there too) and ended up with plenty of treats himself. Everyone is a sucker for a cute hippie boy! At around 4pm Em and I dropped the boys off at home and headed out for Halloween, Part 2. We had a fun, exhausting and sugar filled day!
Friday, October 30th
{303/365} Today was a very hectic day. It's Halloween parade day at school which means drop off at 8:30, pick up at 11:30, drop off again at 12:30, the Halloween parade at 1:30 and the class party at 2:00! The original plan for Halloween this year for the kids was "Sandy and Danny" from Grease but when I couldn't find a small leather jacket for Liam it hit me...hippies! Emily is really into the music from "Hair" so dressing like a flower child is perfect. In addition, I made an executive decision to use my Halloween photos as my holiday photo this year. My mom LOVED the idea and since she takes a photo with the kids each year, decided to do the same. After a crazy day at school, we did a Halloween/Holiday photo card shoot at home. The photos came out great and I even got a smile from my little hippie boy. Truth be told, he was happy because I was playing the Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling" on my iPhone. The secret is revealed. ;)
Thursday, October 29th
{302/365} I've mentioned from time to time how I have a great dislike for "nature." Once in a while however, I develop a strange bond to a creature that even surprises me! A few years ago I saw the ground moving under our play set and tiny little eyes peering at me. I thought it was a mouse family (eww) but it turned out to be baby bunnies. I protected those things all summer long and finally saw them hop away with their bunny tails behind them! It was sort of sweet. This summer a gross spider took over my deck. It made these amazing webs though and I didn't have the heart to squash the thing (meanwhile it literally dropped dead one day)! Then there is "my" chipmunk. He lives within the driveway wall. It's cute and for some odd reason, it makes me smile when I see him pop out! I'm always concerned that he will run into the garage or I'll get him with my car one I'm careful...and he's we should be OK. :)
Wednesday, October 28
{301/365} Any mom will tell you, when their baby (of any age) is sick, it's just horrible. When small children are sick it's even tougher because they can't tell you what they are feeling. Liam is two and I've been lucky. He had a couple of ear infections last year and a cold here and there but that's about it. This is why last night has me stumped. At about 11pm I heard the most DISGUSTING sound...a sound I knew...a sound I feared. I approached his room knowing this night would be long and just as suspected...ewww. My poor baby was sick in his bed, looking confused and scared, not knowing what to do. I didn't know what to do either! ;) Regardless, Mommy springs into action and into the bathroom we go and not a moment too soon...BLECHHHHH. OY! So now he's crying, I'm gagging and trying to keep it together. I'm rushing around looking for towels, cleaning up, starting a bath and holding a child who is gross (sorry Liam), upset, sleepy and SO HEAVY! I knew Frank would be home soon, but not soon enough. Somehow I manage and get my cleaned up boy back into a clean bed...I was exhausted and nauseous myself! What a night! Meanwhile, Frank walked in just in time for clean up duty and I headed off for a shower. Ah, the joys of parenthood! Aside from being a bit camera shy, he seems better and is munching on veggie chips, goldfish crackers and a cereal bar. Hopefully we'll make it through this day with some liquids, rest and very little drama.
Tuesday, October 27
{300/365} I can't believe I'm on day 300. 300 photos, 300 journal entries...only 65 days to go. I love this project and wonder what I'll do on January 1st! I made this card today to thank my neighbor for bringing over those pumpkins. For me, making a card shows I care just a bit more than buying one. I know it will most likely get tossed in the trash, but I still feel the need to do I did. It's appropriate for this entry because I'm looking back on 300 photos today...thankful that I started this project...thankful that I was able to look at life in a different way and thankful for a hobby that allows me to create memories for my family. I'm looking forward to the final 65. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Monday, October 26
{299/365} I have to leave my house 30 minutes early to get a "spot" to pick Em up at school. On a rainy day like today I have to leave at least 40 minutes early. I live 3 minutes away. It's beyond ridiculous and between drop offs and pick ups I probably waste about 45 minutes to an hour each day just waiting! The worst is when Liam is with me (which is almost always) and he is wide awake and frustrated. There are days when the DVD just doesn't cut it and he feels trapped...and I don't blame him. Today I decided to hang out in the back, unstrap him and let him move around a bit. It was like an adventure! Aside from attempting to climb into the front a dozen times, he mainly hung out and opened and closed his window. Eventually I had to use the old "window lock" in the front. Sorry Liam. ;)
Sunday, October 25
{298/365} My new Liam "assignment" is to make flashcards. Today it's photos of his clothes, soon it will be his toys, food, etc. This jacket isn't what's special (although it's totally cute), it's what it represents. Liam is two and although that's not the easiest age...he sure is sweet! I started to think about this jacket and how once the warmer weather comes, and we're back in fall again, this jacket won't fit him. I'll put it in the "donate" pile or if it's in bad shape I'll have to throw it out. It's always a bittersweet process for me but it's rarely about the actual's about the boy that fit into the clothing. I wonder how different he'll be then and what the age of three will bring. I know I think too far ahead, I need to enjoy the little two year old wearing this jacket now and work on the next size up when the time comes. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Saturday, October 24
{297/365} A couple of years ago there was a house for sale at the end of my block. One day I saw a moving truck and soon after saw a great big "It's A Boy" stork on the lawn! I noticed my new neighbor walking past my house with her baby, we introduced ourselves and that was the extent of our encounter. Imagine my surprise when I saw her maybe 8 months later, pregnant again! WOW! Since then we've had several conversations, including one last week when I told her about Liam. She wanted to get together one day and I explained how crazy our schedule is. I also mentioned that I haven't had a chance to decorate the outside of my house for the fall. Imagine my surprise when I heard someone on my steps and when I looked out, this is what I saw! My neighbor was getting into her car after dropping off this gift. I was so touched by this random act of kindness that I could hardly believe it. Now I'm wondering what I could do for her. I know that's not what it's all about but that's the way my brain works. ;)
Friday, October 23
{296/365} I forgot what it was like to have a two year old...and a two year old boy is a different experience altogether! The energy, the curiosity, the insanity! When you mention to another parent that your child is two, they often give you that "I totally know what you are going through" head nod. You also know that they are thinking "better you than me!!" ;) Liam may be different in some ways but I'm finding every day that he has many more typical two year old attributes than one would think. Actually, I think he's happier than most kids his age! That said, by the end of the day I'm exhausted and often wondering how I got so old. Sometimes I wonder what I got myself into. Then I take that last glance before bed and see this perfect, handsome angel sleeping so peacefully. I have to resist the urge to climb into the crib and snuggle up with my sweet boy. Any thoughts or doubts somehow go away and I realize how truly lucky I am.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thursday, October 22
{295/365} Emily started second grade and with that there's more spelling, math and something reports! I remember my reports, in fact I still have an entire box full of them. I remember the report on how matches work where I decorated the cover in actual matches. ;) The report on mountains where I cut a mountain from a lunch bag and used a cotton ball for the snow. I worked so hard on those covers that I can't remember how I actually did on the reports! How funny that Em's first report was on "Fancy Nancy and the Dazzling Book Report". Nancy works so hard on the cover that she has no time to actually write the content! Well, Emily did write her report but definitely took her drawings very seriously. She chose to illustrate the beginning, middle and end of the story instead of one large picture. I can only imagine how hard she will work when she has a report long enough for a cover!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wednesday, October 21
{294/365} Going to Whole Foods is not just shopping, it's an experience. I know it's huge and overwhelming and crowded and way too expensive...but I LOVE it! I don't get there that often so it's always a new adventure. Today I went to one of the newer local stores for the first's not too far but not close enough to go that often. That said, according to the web site they should be opening a new space about 7 minutes from my town (although I'm hearing rumors of people protesting...BOO)!! I'm crossing my fingers and warming up the credit card because I'm ready for a local store. Bring it on!! YUM!
Tuesday, October 20
{293/356} Liam is officially in love with stickers. Now, when it comes to a two year old, that could be a good or bad thing. On the one hand it's cute to see him place a sticker on his shirt, or my shirt, or laugh when he puts one on my cheek! On the other hand, it's not so cute when I find them on the walls or the carpet or the new hard wood floors. ;) My new solution is an easy one...a sticker book. A place to put all of the stickers so they end up somewhere safe. My first order of business was to dig out an adorable "Little Einstein" sticker book I had hidden away. It contains a bunch of stickers and pages with the outlines of each one. Liam is having a great time navigating through the pages, placing each sticker in it's new home. He walks around with his new book as if he's studying the contents and deciding which sticker to choose next. It looks like there will be a lot of cool sticker books on the Hanukkah/Christmas list this year...among a million other things. ;)
Monday, October 19
{292/365} I can't believe I took this photo. This photo symbolizes the utter chaos in my life...and it's scary! When we first moved into our house in 2000, I owned a Toyota Corolla and then a Rav4, both of which I was able to drive into our garage. It was a clean area in the "good old days". The trouble began when I got the too-big-for-the-garage mini van. Slowly the garage became the dumping ground for various odds and ends. When we were renovating our kitchen and living room last year, we set up tables and made this a temporary storage facility. Unfortunately, we only managed to put certain things away and a year later it's still a scary mess! My hope is to do SOMETHING in here this fall/winter...I've been waiting for the spiders and any other lurking creatures to disappear so I can dig in. I'm great at making plans but not sticking to them, always placing "organizing the house" on the back burner. That said, I cringe when I step foot in this garage and if I just spent a day really concentrating on getting things done, it would be one less chaotic mess I have to deal with. :)
Sunday, October 18
{291/365} There is nothing that screams another looooooong school year like producing our school newsletter! I decided to do it again for better or for worse and I'm wondering why I like to punish myself. ;) I thought things would be easier this year since this will be my second time around. Actually, it is a bit easier but I made the mistake of using a new program...which I still have to learn! AH...a glutton for punishment as always. Meanwhile, I may complain but it really isn't that bad and I think a school needs a newsletter. I'll just look on the bright side, only eight more issues to go!!
Saturday, October 17
{290/365} Yesterday I spent some time on the phone with my "scrappy" friend Kim. As always we discussed the projects we are working on and unfortunately what we are *not* working on! She mentioned that she was in the process of decorating "phantom" or "boo" bags with her daughter Meg. I had NO IDEA what she was talking about! Apparently it's a game where you decorate a bag, fill it with candy and a poem and anonymously leave it on the doorstep of a friend. When you get boo'ed you go and boo someone else. I had never heard of such a thing! Well, tonight we were having a late dinner and our doorbell rings...who the heck is THAT?? Em thinks she saw her friend Jack run away, but why? I found this bag on our doorstep (and I recognized the ghost as something my friend Kristen, Jack's Mom, would make). We had been boo'ed but there was no note and I know where it came from. I'm not sure if it was official but it was fun! I'm just glad Kim filled me in or I would have been totally in the dark. :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Friday, October 16
{289/365} Halloween is always a fun holiday in the classroom. Luckily second graders still like crafty projects because that's all I know! Unfortunately, I never seem to choose an easy craft, it always requires some preconstruction...this year was no exception. I chose really cute, foam haunted houses this year with all sorts of ghosts and things to stick on the sides. When I received the kits I knew putting the houses together would not only be difficult but time consuming. So, here I am gluing together 21 foam houses. I started a couple of days ago while watching Glee and finished tonight while watching Medium. It was a time consuming project but I have a feeling the kids will love it. :)