Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another one bites the dust...

So here we are...another year has come and gone.

Goodbye 2009.  You were very good to me.  I'm not entirely sure where you went so quickly, but alas, you are gone.  This past year was a busy one.  Full of many adjustments (a newborn at home, a new school for Nate, going back to work after maternity leave), sadness, and many adventures!

I started off the year strong with a resolution to get in shape after having recently had Alex.  Mom and I made a plan to exercise together three times a week, either by my visiting her at work and using the treadmill there or her stopping over on her way home from work to rock out to Sweatin' with the Oldies or Tae Bo.  It lasted a month or two and then Mom started a project of remodeling her living room and her attentions were diverted.  Without her motivation, I lost all mine.

We finally started going back to church to get to know the interim pastor so we could see about getting Alex baptized.  We had been gone so long people at church hardly even realized I was pregnant so Alex was a bit of a surprise.  On January 25th we had him baptized and had a nice cake and coffee ceremony for all who could attend in the church social area after the service.

In February Dave got into an accident with my car while on the way home from running out to get pie.  He decided one night he wanted pie so he ran to Big M and on his way home some woman took a turn in front of him and **CRUNCH**.  Luckily he wasn't hurt but my Millie (my 2000 Honda Civic) didn't fare well. More than two weeks later we got her back all fixed up and less than a week later I got into an accident with her and she was crunched yet again.  She stayed crunched and in June I got a new car and we sold Millie to our neighbor's son across the street.  It's nice to still see her (and her still crunched door) every day!

I would call 2009 The Year of the Concerts.  For me, I saw a lot of concerts this year.  Ok, so there were three, but for ME, that IS a lot.  I was lucky enough to see New Kids on the Block (yes, I am still a die hard fan of NKOTB!) not once, but TWICE!!!  Fantastic blast from the past for me.  I felt like a 12-year-old pre-teen all over again!  I also got tickets to see David Cook (love him!) at SUNY Brockport!  What a great show!

In March the family traveled to New Hampshire for my cousin's wedding.  It was quite the experience as this was the longest trip we'd taken with the boys EVER!  It worked out well though.  The whole 8 hour drive there we told Nate that where we were going was "far, far, away" (like in Shrek) and when we finally arrived at the hotel we'd be staying in, it turned out to be an old castle looking building.  When he saw that he gasped and said "Hello, Princess Phone-uh!"  It was perfect!  The wedding was beautiful and wee had a nice long weekend visit with my family.

Two short weeks later we were headed up North to see the family again after hearing the news that my dear Abuelita (little Grandma) passed away.  It was a rough weekend but we were able to stay in a house my cousin owns that was GORGEOUS and in between the calling hours and the funeral and the family stuff, it was nice to hang out with the kids and my immediate family.  The kids got to play and it was nice to see everyone for a whole weekend.  Life doesn't often allow for many experiences like that.

In May we sent my brother off to Qatar on deployment for the Air Force National Guard.  It was hard to teach Nathaniel what it all meant, but we sent packages, made pictures to send, talked to him on Skype, and welcomed him home safely in October.  It was quite the experience for the whole family!  It gives me a whole new respect for military families across the country who are serving to keep our freedoms.

We had many adventures with Tiff and Brie!  Namely a trip to the Syracuse Zoo, a couple Red Wings games, carnivals and parade nights, many trips to Melon Bean, the Apple Fest, Zoo Boo, Springdale Farm, and many more!  We love our adventures with Tiff and Brie and look forward to many more in 2010!

As a family, we took trips to the Strong Museum, the Pick 'N Patch, the State Fair, and a week's vacation in the 1000 Islands.  We spent a lot of time out on the boat, fishing, swimming and riding.  We took the boys to see the circus and tagged along on field trips with Nathaniel's class to the Zoo, the pumpkin patch, and watched their Christmas program with pride and joy!

I spent a lot of time meeting up with friends for lunch, dinner, parties, shows, and full-fledged Mama Reunions.  A few friends got married, a couple welcomed babies, and my own baby turned ONE!  Somehow in the past 12 months, Alex started crawling, pulling up, walking, and finally RUNNING.  He got his first tooth (on 6/2) AND his second just two days later.  Somewhere in there he got his 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th tooth, too!  We spent some time in the doctor's office and the emergency room with pink eye (Nate), roseola, chest x-rays, urine samples (Alex), croup (Nate and Alex), possible concussion (Alex), scratched cornea (me).

I am proud to say that I got my first deer during hunting season this year.  It was a great experience and I'm glad to finally be among the "elite"!

With the exception of a few bumps in the road, 2009 was a great year!  I hope to make 2010 even better by being present with my children, simplifying my life as much as possible, and truly enjoying my family as these days go by much too quickly!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 According to Facebook

I participated in this little application on Facebook that pulls a random samplings of your status updates and puts them into a collage like this:

I love this!  This past year I've kind of felt like Facebook has been a journal of my life.  While I rarely have time to write daily in a journal, or jot down the cute-isms that my oldest has spouted this past year (a friend recently called them Nate-isms), it seems I always have a second to update my status or send an update via text to my Facebook account.  Some people probably got annoyed at my daily ramblings and quotes from a three-year-old (albeit a rather witty three-year-old, if I do say so myself!) but I found it cathartic.  At least I know these thoughts and the little things I might forget otherwise are logged somewhere.  And I was able to share them with people, get positive reactions and share a smile or two with my friends.  I intend to go in and make a couple of these specific to each of the boys to put in their baby books.  It's a clever little thing...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all...

...and to all a good night!

I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas, full of wonder and and friends...magic and spirit...

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nature's Playdoh

As I forecast here...Winter has (finally) arrived!

 Just when it seemed we might see temperatures in the 50s right through Christmas, Mother Nature came through for us and delivered a fresh white blanket of beautiful snow to cover up the brown landscape Autumn had left behind after her departure.


Unfortunately, the fascination doesn't last long as adults.  We quickly start griping about the hazards and tedious chores that come along with this winter wonderland.  However this year, I hope to hold on to that wonderment a little longer than usual - To see the beauty beneath the black ice and snow drifts.

It's amazing how the miserable scraping and snow brushing and the dreaded winter driving can be so easily transformed into joy when a three-year-old runs to the window on a snowy morning and exclaims, "Yeah!  It's WINTER, Christmas is coming!!!"


Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My plate is OVERFLOWING these days.  Not much unlike anyone else's I know this time of the year.  But I feel like my potatoes and my meat are all getting squished together and my beans are falling off onto the table.  It's a mess.

My life, my home and my mind is in a constant state of chaos.

It should be telling to say that I got notification that my Women's Day subscription (a magazine I've been getting for some time, for unknown reasons, that would be interesting to read if I had time but instead has been piling up, un-perused, since I started receiving them) is up for renewal and I was thrilled.  The expiration notice I received via email actually brought a flash of relief and instead of saying "Oh, drat!" (which I wouldn't say anyway, but whatever...), I exclaimed (out loud, which probably looked odd since I was sitting in my office, alone, with only my computer), "Thank God!".

Why would receiving such news bring such joy?  Why would one rejoice at notification that money was due or that something was being discontinued?  Simply put, because it's one less thing.  One less thing to sort, one less thing to stress about (yes, I stress about such things), and one less thing to deal with, store, and eventually dispose of.

I've previously made reference to my stress about stuff and my desire to simplify my life, as well.  This magazine subscription expiry is a natural, unsolicited blessing.  Thank God for small blessings.  Now if only my Christmas cards would address themselves, my presents would magically be wrapped, and my house would somehow clean itself in preparation for Holiday guests, I'd be less stuffed and more relaxed.  There's always the 1st of the new year for relaxing....HA!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I ♥ Faces...Sweet Dreams

I ♥ Faces is having their weekly photo challenge with this week's theme being Sweet Dreams. I have hundreds of photos of my boys sleeping and would love to share one of those with you but my hard drive that houses all of my photos has crashed so I am somewhat limited. I was able to find this shot of my youngest, Alex.  I took this when he was two days old and comfortably snuggled up on my chest after feeding.  I was able to catch one of those priceless content grins (gas?) which certainly looks like he was having sweet dreams, to me!

Be sure to head over to I ♥ Faces to check out some other beautiful shots of peaceful slumber!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Silver Lining

You know the saying..."Every cloud has a silver lining".  It comes from an old proverb often quoted to remind us of the hope and promise that lays even in the darkest clouds in life.  How true it is!

Lately I have been obsessed with the clouds and Autumn skies that have graced our area.  It's generally gray and dreary around these parts once the gorgeous leaves fall from the trees and the cold winter blows in.  So I've been extremely grateful for the gorgeous colors, textures and dimensions found simply by looking up.  Some days it's just a layering of various grays but the sun that tries to peak through or the way the different clouds come together is just beautiful.  It's like a painting I wish I could reach out and touch.

With this recent obsession with the sky, comes an uncontrollable urge to capture this beauty with my camera so all the photos here are of actual skies I have witnessed (usually during my drive to or from work).  I apologize for the quality of these photos as they are all taken with my cell phone and I assure you 95% of them were taken while standing still at stop lights or in traffic.  (I live in the City and therefore stop a LOT en route to just about anywhere.) 

There are a ton more where these came from but they seemed too pretty NOT to share!  Next time you're having a dreary day, just look up.  It works for me!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I ♥ Faces...We ♥ Tooshies

Ok, so I already posted once tonight about my being short on time but I have the perfect picture for this week's challenge over at  Faces so I had to post again.  Check out their website for many more adorable shots and tooshies galore!  

The theme is : We ♥ Tooshies

(You may remember this photo from this previous Wordless Wednesday post)


Have you ever played a board game where the object is to do something quickly or see how much of something you can do in a specified amount of time?  Perfection, Scattegories, Outburst, Pictionary.  You know the kind, where there is usually a timer clicking away while you try to think or an ominous looking hour glass pouring sand from one hemisphere to another...taunting you to go faster,   f a s t e r,   f  a  s  t  e  r, before you





Fun stuff, right?  The stress, the pressure.  Seriously it is fun, when it's a game.  But I think those games were loosely based on my life.

I feel as if every day starts with an hour glass being flipped over and as the day goes on, the sand seems to fall faster and faster and faster until *poof* it's midnight and I have to get to bed so I can get my 6 hours of sleep and start the next day.  Invariably the list I had in my head - the to do list I wanted to tackle for the day - never gets finished because I ran out of time.  So the next day starts with another flip of the hour glass and a modified to do list that gets longer and longer with added leftovers from the day before.

And so on, and so forth.

It's never ending.  Especially this time of year when the days are even shorter and the to do list is even longer.

Anybody up for a game of Boggle?

Monday, November 30, 2009


I did it! I passed this self-imposed "test" of participating in NaBloPoMo!  I'm so happy and proud (and a little relieved!) to have made it!

Today is the last day of the month and I successfully managed to post 29 out of 30 days in November, making me 92% successful in this NaBloPoMo endeavor I agreed to take on just one short month ago.  (I'm still kicking myself for forgetting day one, or for not even remembering that November had started, for that matter!)

So, now what?

Good question.

Should I keep up the good (?) work?  Should I take some time off?

I'll be honest.  I really enjoyed the challenge.  It was a LOT easier than I thought it would be.  If anything it forced me to complete and publish some thoughts that had remained unfinished and fragmented.  It gave me an opportunity (good or bad for you, the reader) to share some (more!) photos of my precious boys.  And it allowed me the chance to feel accomplished, having completed (ok, so almost completed...) something that I set out to do.

Finishing something feels good.  But that's not entirely like me, if you will.  For you see, I'm a putterer . I dabble.  I stick my toe in to test the waters, but rarely do I ever actually go in.  I get on random kicks but never see these projects through to completion before my fleeting interests and attentions move on.  I have a basement of half-finished interests to prove it - cross-stitch patterns started and forgotten, scrapbooks neglected half way through the year it was created to memorialize, even exercise equipment I vowed I would use that now holds up a pile of boxes in the basement.

So to have completed this task I set out to accomplish (ok, so ALMOST completed) feels good.  It makes me want to keep going.  It encourages me, even in the smallest way, that I can do it.  I can finish something if I set my mind to it.  It doesn't hurt that it was fun and I got to write about stuff I love (my kids) and things that come easily to mind (my random thoughts).

I thank you for coming a long with me while I participated on this journey.  And thank you for not judging me for only getting a 92%.  At least it's still an 'A'.  I'll take it.     

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Inside your head...

Oh, my dear Nathaniel.  I wish I could live inside your head for just 5 minutes.  It must be a fantastic wonderland of fun, great adventure, and daring escapades.

I sit here watching you enveloped in your imagination and it fascinates me.  Dressed as Batman (complete with cape and mask) you have built an intricate roadway using matchbox tracks, your Little Tykes chairs and table, your beloved boo bankie, and our couch.  This roadway surely must lead to grand places.  Along the way there are perilous valleys, treacherous construction sites, and even an armed alien road block.  The town and community being constructed around me is nothing short of amazing.  Race tracks, airports, even a school bus to take visitors and tourists to their destinations.  I believe you have utilized every spare part from every last toy in your bedroom to create this masterpiece.  You have just finished repairing a broken down car and filling it with gas and have moved on to loading the townspeople into an airplane to transport them to the big car races.  I can only imagine where your creativeness will take you next!  

Every day your world entertains me.  The stories you tell, the costumes you invent, the characters you become, and the adventures you animatedly act out are captivating.  It thrills me to watch you as you turn an ordinary paper into a pirate treasure map or a precious ticket aboard the Polar Express.  Our regular, common chair has been known to be the scene of more than one dangerous storm that has thrown captains to danger in the choppy unforgiving sea.  Bumps in the night quickly become big furry monsters or ghosts looking for you to be hiding under cover of darkness.  But these aren't scary monsters and ghosts, for you have no fear of such things.  You find them exciting and love to chase these "gi-gan-tuck (gigantic) monsters" and hide from "pooky (spooky) ghosts".  Even at the ripe, mature age of three-and-a-half, you will lean over to your baby brother when he starts to tear up and whimper during our games and whisper, "Don't be scared, A-yex (Alex), they won't get you!  I'll pwo-teck (protect) you!"

Man, I love this stage and hope it never ends.  I never tire of the adventures we have.  I hope to always be your partner in crime as we ward off fire-breathing dragons, ride our horses into the sunset, rescue fairy princesses, and hide from furry blue tickle monsters.  I take my newly dubbed title of "Captain Mommy" and I wear it proudly.  You make me proud, dear Bug, and I thank you for living so freely, for loving life with the openness and vigor that you do, and for reminding me of the little important things through the innocent eyes of childhood.  

*I apologize for having yet another post with no pictures.  I even took some of Nathaniel's grand village but am having hard drive issues that prevent me from sharing them at this time.  (just in time for Christmas cards, perfect timing, huh?!?)  I promise I will make up for it!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Short on time, long on to-do lists...

I read a lot of blogs and it seems I've stumbled on a not-so-surprising theme lately.  Everyone is short on time and long on to-do lists, expectations, and responsibilities.

On one hand I feel better knowing I'm not alone in being overwhelmed by the never-ending demands of this grown-up life.  But on the other hand it concerns and saddens me.  It's showing an obvious pattern in society that we, as a whole, are over-extending ourselves.  We spend so much time having to be something special and do amazing feats and prove impossible things, that we forget to just be.

I read this email from a friend of mine earlier this week that sums it up:  In today's day and age, we spend more, but have less.  We buy more, but enjoy it less.  We've multiplied our possessions, but decreased our values.  We've learned to rush, but not to wait.  Why is that?  Where have we gone wrong?  Have we "advanced" so much as a society that we've actually gone BACKWARD in our ability to just enjoy life?

There was a comedian I saw on Facebook recently who totally hit the nail on the head by saying we have things better than we ever have before but we fail (or have simply forgotten HOW) to just appreciate what we have.  Stop and think about how far we've come and how lucky and blessed we are to have the opportunities, the advancements, and the freedoms this life brings.  The key here is to STOP and THINK.  Maybe that would help ground us and keep us sane in this chaotic world that has us go, go, going all the time.  I know it's worth a shot.  Stop.  Think.  And breathe.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Honor Roll

While I am out pounding the pavement today in search of hot deals on Little Tykes stuff, Matchbox Cars, or DVDs, I thought I would share with you a list of some of my favorite bloggers and a sampling of their most recent outstanding posts to spread the love.  I read a lot of blogs but there are a few bloggers that consistently write stuff that knocks my socks off!  These are fascinating women, with relatable stories, genuine souls, and an art for telling a story or conveying an emotion that is second to none.  So hop around if you can and enjoy these (my) favorite hits!


Lara at Overstuffed



These are just a sample of the MANY fantastic bloggers out there and just a taste of the brilliant posts these women above have put out there.  Thanks for letting me share some of my recent favorites!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Small details

In this season of thankfulness, it seems to go without saying that I am grateful for my friends, my family, my job (and the luxuries that it provides me), my home, and especially my children.  I could write an individual post singing the praises of each and every one of these blessings (and in fact, if I had thought of it before writing this just now, I would have done a countdown to Thanksgiving type thing doing just that).  However, today is Thanksgiving and I've missed the boat (the Mayflower, no doubt) and so instead, I'd like to follow the lead of a fellow blogger over at Manic Mother who posted a lighthearted yet sincere list of the little things in life that she was thankful for.  It's good stuff and she's right - there are a lot of little things that get overlooked and taken for granted.

So here is my list of some of the more prominent "little things" that I am deeply thankful for:

1.  my digital camera - it captures precious moments, expressions, and the very personalities of the ones I love most in this world.  It functions as my memory, my scrapbook, and my diary.  It tells stories and helps me to relive good times, forgotten details, and lost innocence.  I would be lost without this thing!

2.  the internet - I'm not sure if this would be considered a little thing, but it's an easy to take for granted thing that I simply could not live without.  In a financial crunch I think cable and heat would go before internet and I'd willingly walk 6 miles to work to be able to afford it if need be.  Ok, so I'm (half) kidding.  But the internet is my portal to the world, it has provided me with a gateway to a community in which I thrive.  It easily provides me with information when I need it most.  And the internet provides me with a means through which to satisfy my occasional need for retail therapy without having to pack up my kids and drag them out into the H1N1 infected world.  I mean really, what would I do without Google, Facebook, Blogger, or Etsy?!?

3. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes - Children are dirty little creatures.  Boys are even dirtier.  Enter in a potty training boy and a toddler and you see why I am thankful for these little gems.

4.  the eyelash curler - One of of the world's best inventions.  Hands down the best thing since sliced bread!  Enough said.


5.  the snack trap - Without a doubt this thing saves my butt when I have a cranky, overtired, hungry, or otherwise miserable child on my hands.  I can put ANYTHING in this cup and it creates an immediate hush.  Raisins, cheerios, fruit name it.  It's fabulous.  Self-feeding entertainment and enjoyment at its finest.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Are you kidding me?

Today must officially be National "That's Ridiculous!" Day.

Today I heard that it's not unheard of (and in some circles it's even considered normal!) to buy Christmas gifts for your pediatrician!  As if I don't feel enough pressure with societal requirements to tip your mail carrier, garbage collector, and give trinkets to my son's preschool teachers and friends at the holidays (which I currently do not do, by the way!).  Now I should be worried that I am failing my pediatrician, too?!? 

And as if that's not enough to stop me in my tracks and ask "Are you freakin' kidding me?!?"...I read a study today that said 3-year-olds who are classified as "fearless" are now considered to be more likely to grow up to be criminals.  What!?!  Apparently this new study shows that "poor fear conditioning at the tender age of 3 can predispose that person to break the law as an adult".  What is this world coming to that we have over analyzed so much of life that we are now expecting our fearless 3-year-olds to become criminals when they get older?  Are they now going to suggest that we treat these 3-year-olds differently?  Perhaps we should lock them all up NOW and save ourselves the trouble down the road.  Argh!  This really irritates me, can you tell? 

In case you haven't figured it out by my level of frustration, I am the proud mother of one of these fearless 3-year-olds and while I rationally understand they are not saying he WILL become a criminal, the fact that they even spent money to show there is a tendency towards this is annoying to me.  I bet if money was spent anywhere they could show that eating Corn Pops as a child also makes one more likely to be unemployed or that riding a green bike instead of a red one will predispose you to having a thyroid condition in your 30s.  I just don't get it.  I realize I am now the one sounding ridiculous but I made the mistake (?) of venting about this in the heat of the moment instead of thinking about it first and so I'm a little aggravated (and therefore sarcastic - Thanks, Dad!).  It just burns my britches.

Has anyone else noticed/read/heard anything completely ridiculous today?!?  Or is it just me and my corner of the world sounding like it's gone off it's rocker?  

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Out of Control

Have you ever had one of those days?

Where you feel like everything is going too fast?



Out of control?

This is how I feel today.