Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A favorite...

Sam talked to Grace in my belly everyday and he loved to rub it and kiss "Baby Gwace". In fact, my water broke in the grocery store five minutes after he whispered, "Come out soon sister!"

As you can see, he was beaming as he held her for the first time. She was one hour old.

This picture makes my heart melt. I look at it, and I just see love. Love being given and received. Love that is completely new, but feels so very old. Love that has changed my life forever.

With all of the pictures that I take, it was hard to choose just one favorite as my entry in the 5 Minutes for Mom, Mother's Day photo contest. Take a look through yours and go enter! The prize is amazing!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My View

Before Sam was born, this was my view.
We lived in a charming one bedroom condo that my father, grandfather and uncles all helped renovate. We had sea kayaks and a boat, on a slip 100 feet from our front door. During the warm months, if it we weren't working, we were on the water. I didn't even mind winter there.

Now, the ocean is a few miles away. A single guy rents our condo, someone on the Cape is enjoying our boat and our kayaks have not been touched since before Sam was born. But we have this. And honestly, I wouldn't care if I had to live in a house under railroad tracks or on the side of I 95, just as long as they are there.

The sound of the ocean is beautiful, but hearing "I love you" and "You're the best mommy in the world." is a million times better.

New Words

Last week I mopped the kitchen floor.

While I was mopping, Sam (who will be 4 in about two months) came in and said, "Mommy, WHAT are you doing?".

I instantly realized that Sam has never seen me mop. Spot clean? Yes. Use a wet Swiffer? Yes. But use an old fashioned rag mop? Obviously not.

Pointing at the mop, I asked "Sam, do you know what this thing is called?".

His eyes opened wide as he vigorously shook his head no.

With a little bit of "I'm a bad housekeeper" guilt, I informed him that it's called a MOP.

He thought it was very cool and wanted to try it out.

Next week, I'm thinking about teaching him another new word. I'm going to show him the iron. In the event that he someday has to wear a pressed shirt to work, I'm sure his future wife will thank me.

Monday, April 28, 2008


The problem with writing about your husband on your blog is that he will probably read it.

On our way to dinner Saturday night, I noticed that the jeans I was wearing had a rip on the knee. When I mentioned it to Brad he replied, "Honey, why don't you let me watch the kids and you can go shopping for jeans tomorrow?"


For the record, I can go shopping for jeans whenever I want. Brad would never say I couldn't and he would be happy to watch the kids while I shopped. I just haven't because I am determined to either get skinnier or get pregnant. No new jeans till one or the other happens.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Eighteen Months


It hardly seems possible that my baby is 18 months old today. I thought Sam got big in a hurry, but somehow, you got big even faster.

At 18 months, you're small for your age. However, what you lack in stature, you more than make up for in spunk. You are fiercely independent and fearless. This week, much to your delight and my dismay, you discovered that you can climb the ladder and get into the swing set fort all by yourself. If I try to help, you fiercely scream "No!" and quite possibly, will try to slap me across the face.

You love to play with Sam and try do everything that he does. Nobody can make you laugh the way that he does. You guys are best buds and I love to watch you play together. While you love to play with his trucks and trains, you also love your babies and kitchen set. One of your favorite things is taking the babies for walks around the house in the stroller. You also love to read and more and more frequently you will drop a favorite in my lap and plop yourself down as you proclaim "book!" It Looked Like Spilt Milk is your current favorite. When we get to the page with the ice cream cone, you lick it, which I think is hilarious.

Lately, you're like a little parrot copying everything we say and surprising us with new words all of the time. Your favorites, and most frequently used words are, "Help" and "Stuck"! The other day, you used them completely appropriately when you fell off of the stool in the bathroom and were hanging from the pedestal sink! You also yell "Help!" when Sam is doing something you don't like. Thankfully, the more words you learn, the less you scream. Although you can say a lot of other people's names (Jack, Nene (Jenna), Wiwa (Willa) and my favorite, Doo-doo (Andrew)) you don't say Sam or your own name yet.

You sleep like a champ. Most nights you are in bed by 6:30 and sleep straight through till 6:30 or 7:00 the next day. Before you go to bed at night, you say "bye-bye" and when I ask you to say "love you", you simply blow kisses to everyone. You're so sweet.

I love you Gracie. I love your giggle, and the way you scrunch up your nose when you smile. I love your intensity and determination. I love you curly hair, sweet baby smell and open mouth kisses. You bring me so much happiness and I'm just so thankful that God chose me be your mom.

I'm not frumpy

Tomorrow night, we are having dinner with Brad's business partner and his wife, at their home, with our children. While I've met Brad's partner, I have never met his wife. I'm not really nervous about meeting her, I'm sure we will get along fine. I do however, want to look nice (cool).

Tonight at dinner, I told Brad that I didn't know what I was going to wear because I broke the zipper on the one pair of stylish jeans that I own. Instead of telling me he would watch the kids tomorrow while I went shopping, he told me he liked the pants I was wearing and that I should wear them. I looked down at the baggy, mod podge stained, faded army green pants that were purchased at American Eagle five years ago and said, "I don't want to look like a frumpy mom".

Sam looked at me and said, "You're not frumpy mom."

"I'm not? What am I then?"

"You're just a mom."

Even though I'm sure he wouldn't recognize frumpy if it sat on his lap, I'm taking comfort in his words of assurance. I'm not wearing the army green pants though.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Tunes

I know that there are a lot of people out there who frown on blog music and many of the "cool blogging kids" down right hate it. I don't care though. I discovered Renee & Jeremy last night and I just love them. So, if I wake your baby up, sorry. If you hate it, turn it down. And if you think having music on my blog makes me lame, so be it.

If it makes it take forever for the page to open, let me know....

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Grandma and Grandpa

We had a wonderful weekend, starting with my parents coming up for a visit on Friday.

On Saturday, we had temperatures in the 70's and we headed to the beach. It wasn't quite so warm there, 55 maybe....

Didn't stop my guys from playing in the waves.

This very friendly dog brought Gracie a tennis ball. She would toss it about 15 " and he would bring it back and then back way up, over and over and over again. I think he thought she might eventually get it to him.

Growing Family

My younger sister Michelle and her husband Gil are expecting a baby boy in a little less than five weeks. They came up for a visit today and we had a little fun taking prenatal portraits. Here are a few of my favorites. Hope you like them Miche. I love you and can't wait to meet your little guy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Classes I wish they'd taught in school....

1. "The Art of Reading Your Child's Mind". I can only dream of the peace that I would enjoy if I knew what the heck Gracie is thinking before she starts screaming.
2. "Get Thin While You Sleep" Sometimes I dream that I am out for a run. I wake up feeling winded and even a little sweaty, but I have yet to notice that my jeans fit better. I'm going to keep trying though.
3. "Planting and Caring for a Money Tree" Yeah, I really wish they'd taught this one.
4. "Beyond Lip Gloss: Five Minute Makeup Application that Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger and Like You are not Wearing Makeup!" I'm one of those girls who never learned how to put makeup on. I didn't need it 10 years ago, a little lip gloss and I was good to go. Now, well now I think I would benefit from and probably should be wearing concealer, foundation, bronzer, eye liner, mascara and whatever else people wear. However, I don't have the faintest idea where to begin. If I did, I could probably be a super model.
5. "Be Fabulous on Six Hours of Interrupted Sleep". I'd also be interested in the prerequisite, "Being Productive on Six Hours of Interrupted Sleep." I know, I know. Many of you are surprised that I didn't teach this one myself....

Faith at Mommas Tantrum tagged me for this one. Now I'm tagging

Monday, April 14, 2008 works.

Trying to get a half way decent picture of my two kids together is almost impossible. They usually look something like this.
Or this. I think they must get that look from their father. I never pout.
I know that Grace looks rather serious, and the background is blown, but this is by far the best picture that I have of them together. All I had to do was promise ice cream, for lunch.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Time Out

Friday, April 11, 2008


Tucking your arms while you roll down a hill is not instinctive. Despite poor form, you can get a surprising amount of momentum.

Rolling down a hill hurts as much at three as it does at 34.
Seventeen month olds are not good at rolling, at least not intentionally. They can however slide down a hill and ruin their pants.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fascinating Facts about moi...

Mindi tagged me for this meme.
What I was doing ten years ago:
Ten years ago, I was living in a lovely sea side village with my good friend Clancey. I had just started working for DSS (child protective services in MA) as an ongoing case manager and had been dating Brad for a year.

Five things on my to do list for today:

  • MOPS Steering Team Meeting

  • Picnic lunch in the park with friends (it's supposed to be 68 degrees!)

  • Hem the pajama bottoms that I made (I'm learning to sew!!!)

  • Put away 5 baskets of laundry

  • Cook dinner for Brad's dad. My MIL is on a cruise this week.

Of the five things on my list, I only manged to do the first and last. Picnic was cancelled due to sinus infections and pink eye among our would be picnicing friends. Plus, my friend Sharon called this morning to see if I could watch her son Andrew today. I don't know how you folks with three kids get anything done :)

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  • I'm passionate about inner city kids and breaking the cycle of poverty that happens generation after generation. I don't know what it would look like, but I would set up some kind of organization that would give grants to people and organizations that wanted to run inner city programs and programs that were specifically targeted at helping at risk youth.

  • Pay off all my good friends and families mortgages and set up college funds for their kids.

  • Make my parents retire and buy them a house in the country

  • Travel and invite whoever wants to come along

  • Buy a house on the ocean a get another boat (these are things that we had before we had kids....back when we were at least thousandairs)

Three of my bad habits:

Only three?

  • I'm a huge procrastinator.

  • I'm very opinionated and don't like to be wrong.

  • I am very loud. Everyone in my family does. I blame it on the fact that my dad is pretty much deaf and we all grew up yelling. It drives my husband crazy.

I know, I sound like a delightful person don't I? A loud, lazy know it all....

Five places I have lived:

  • Vermont till I was 4

  • Central Connecticut is where I grew up.

  • I went to college outside of Boston and have lived here ever since.

That's it....

Five jobs I have had:

  • Camp Counselor at Hartford's Camp Courant, a day camp for inner city kids.

  • Catering wait staff in college. I got to go to the Kennedy compound for John Jr.'s birthday and their Irish boat boy gave me a tour of Ethel's house.

  • Paralegal for a trial attorney

  • Social worker for child protective services

  • Nursing home social worker

Five people I want to know more about:

Well, I've actually seen this on a lot of the blogs I read already. So, if you haven't done it and you want to play, just say I tagged you, okay?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

City Kid

Except, we don't live in the city. These horses live about two miles from us. They're pretty aren't they? Definitely not threatening looking, right?
This is as close as my tough guy would get. If there wasn't a tree to hide behind, I'm not sure he would've gotten this close.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Better with age

My friend Jenn sent this to me yesterday to remind me of "how far we have come".

That's me with the "Shane" jean purse (it's to bad you can't see all the patches on the other side) and acid washed jean jacket (There was a rock and roll patch on the inside of it, I remember thinking it was very cool, even though I didn't listen to a whole lot of rock.)
How about those white Reebok aerobic high tops? Jenn's look pink and if I'm not mistaken, her jeans are "pegged" to be higher than the tops of her sneakers. Speaking of jeans, how are those for retro? No back pockets? Where did we keep our green "mood" lipstick? Do you remember that stuff? Oh, and don't you love the big white sun glasses? I think I kind of look like Paris Hilton. Okay, maybe not so much. I have a feeling that they may have said "Coca Cola" or something equally ridiculous across the glass.

In case you are wondering where we were looking so svelte...We are in DC, at Washington for Jesus. We slept on The Mall, in the rain. Unfortunately, I can't blame the look on the weather or lack of a hair dryer. It's all 1986's fault

Jenn, Do you remember how we stalked DC Talk? I can't believe they weren't all over us.

So many choices...

As we were talking about where to go for my birthday lunch...

Sam: "Can we go to Friendly's?"

Brad: "Sam, it's Mommy's birthday so she gets to choose."

Sam: "Hey mommy, can you choose Friendly's?"

I didn't. Instead we went somewhere much more upscale...The 99. Here's to this chapter in life where your restaurant choices are limited to places with a kids meal menu and complimentary crayons.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Do you remember when you counted the days till your birthday with much excitement and anticipation? I do. I also remember when I stopped. Twenty-one. In my mind, once I could legally buy my own alcohol, there was no need for another birthday. And yet they keep coming. Thirteen of them to be exact.

Today I turn 34 and somehow, that just doesn't seem possible. I just can't get over how fast all that time has gone. I can't believe that I can say things like:

"Remember that summer 20 years ago, the one before you moved to Virginia, when all those surfer boys in RI that we'd been dreaming about since 6th grade finally noticed us?" to my oldest friend, Jenn.

Or to my college roommate and dear friend Bethany, "Remember when we first met 17 years ago? You did such a great job curling my hair for prom." or "Remember when we moved into our dorm room 16 years ago? Remember Abraham and Isaac? That picture on your blog of Aaron and the boys reminds me of it. When they get a little bigger, you can do Shadrach, Meshach and Abedngo, I promise I won't drool."

Or to my best friend in high school Meg, "Remember 18 years ago when Mr. Francini bought us dates for the Snowball?"

Or to my little sister Michelle, "Remember when Jenn and I dyed your hair pink. Oh, you do? I would have thought that maybe after 21 years, you would have forgotten."

There are sad things too, like realizing that my friend Tom, who died before our Senior year of high school, has been gone for longer than he was alive. Or that it was 14 years ago today that my mother called me to tell me that my grandma had died.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not mourning the fact that I am getting older. Honestly, even if I could, I wouldn't want to be 21 again. My current life is so good. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. While I have many of the same friends, I have many wonderful new ones as well. I'm closer to my parents and siblings and I have a deeper relationship with the Lord. I'm more comfortable with who I am. My life is more real.

Yet, I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that I am 34. The time has gone so fast, and I know that the next 20 years will likely go by even faster. In 20 years, our children will be grown. Our house will be empty. It sounds so far off, but it's not. So, my resolution today is to make the most of every single one of these crazy days that I have been blessed with. Twenty years from now, I hope that I will be able to look at Brad and say, "Life is so good. Fifty-four is perfect. I wouldn't go back if I could."

Saturday, April 5, 2008


It finally stopped raining and was warm enough to go out and play. Spring really can't get here soon enough!