Thursday, December 27, 2007

Pics from Christmas Eve..........

Here are my two little girls right before we left for church :)

Here is my neice Jenna, Samantha, and Libby right before they performed in the play.
Here is something I should have noticed ........ somehow she did this, and I'm not surprised, she's quite the individual :)

I've posted the video on

For the angel dance Libby is in the middle to the right, and Jenna is on the left. It's pretty pixeled, but you can get the idea. Watch Libby do her own dance :) The girls start out in the front row then end up in the back row.

I'm also putting up a portion of Samantha in the begining of the play, they were cheering on the "presidential canidates" With Senator Clinton there were signs & stethescopes, for John McCain signs & maraccas, for Gov. Schwarzneggar , light bulbs. She is sitting on the end in the front row of angels...... Then there should be (I haven't checked) Samantha's line. Enjoy :)

another Christmas post ....

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Mine started out a little frazzled, but ended wonderful !

I was a little under the weather, and a lot tired...... ( i have to figure out how to get some sleep soon :( ) And very much feeling sorry for myself. Now I know how lucky I am, I do, but doesn't everyone have those days where it seems like even the mailman is making life more complicated?

Thursday the 20th after putting 9 kids on the bus I baked 3 dozen cookies & made 50 peanut butter balls for Sammy's work, then went to my brothers to baby sit for a couple hours, then onto Wal Mart, The dollar store, the post office, Big M, and home to get 4 kids off the bus. Samantha had dance class that night.....

Friday the 21st I spent the whole day at kindergarten from 8:50 to 3:30. Then daycare kids until 6:00......

Saturday the kids had play rehearsal, so first to Tim Horton's then to pick up my niece, then to Wegman's to get the snack, then onto rehearsal................and I helped out (weird huh?). Then we came home, and my niece Jenna came home with us, my Aunt Susan & Uncle Don stopped in for a visit, (they are here from Florida) , and then Samantha & i had our dance recital Saturday evening. Sammy was able to make it !!!! Samantha was thrilled! He left work at 7 instead of 8, and we were both in the second half!!! Then my best friend Carie, who faithfully comes to every June & December show came over for a few drinks :)

Sunday was when I started feeling yucky, (I only had two beers over about 4 hours, so don't think that! ) but we had promised the girls that we would go to breakfast, and then to Midtown Plaza to see Santa & ride the monorail. Sammy hadn't had a day off since Thanksgiving & we were so excited for our "family" day. We planned it a couple weeks ago.....So I popped some advil, and off we got to the "place where they give you the Bee hat" -this was Libby's request & Samantha whole heartily agreed. Sam was not to happy, for you see the "place where they give you the Bee hat" is old country buffet. I love it. I'm such a picky eater that I can decide what to take & what to leave. It works for Samantha too.

After breakfast during which I managed to spill a plate of syrup in a foot long stripe down my shirt, but that was alright because it covered the spots of cheddar cheese that i had already spilled & tried to wipe off. It is for that reason that most of the time I will wear a shirt I can flip around. You see, this unfortunately is a frequent phenomena..... me in the ladies room cleaning whatever it is off my shirt while my family is finishing up their meal. Anyway...... after breakfast we headed downtown.

At this point my headache was so bad, I was nauseous. So I couldn't talk. I was afraid if I opened my mouth, more than words would come out....

So we are driving around and around and around midtown plaza, which I don't understand downtown, so thank goodness for Sam....

Samantha is talking talking talking, and talking to me & expecting answers even though Sam & I told her about 876 times that Mommy had a bad headache & it hurt to talk... but never less the conversation goes on.

Libby is almost chanting "sissy be quiet I want to hear the songs". Chanting to Yelling.

Samantha's mad because I won't join the conversation...

Sam is PO'd because he can't figure out what door we should go in, and none of the underground parking garage doors are open.... So he's complaining, complaining, complaining.....

It was like this.

"What the F%^K, how the H%^L are we supposed to park, no wonder the city is going to pot, nothing is organized, what door what door what door what door? "

"Mommy what do you think about the new American girl doll, would you call it curly hair? I like this song. What is that man doing? I don't remember the monorail, is it fun. Mommy? Mommy? "

"SIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSY I want to hear this............ was a jolly happy soul with a corncob pipe and a button nose and two SSSSSSSSSSSSSIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSSSYYYYYYYYYY I can't sing it right!"

I wanted to jump out of the van. Really I thought about it, we were just going slowly around and around, I've seen it done on TV, I might have broken a bone or two, but I though it would take my mind off my pounding head...

I didn't jump. Or throw -up. Sammy called downtown & they let us know that Midtown was closed for the day. On Sunday, the 23rd. The Sunday before Christmas. Now we weren't the only sad people, there were tons & tons of people & their kids & grand kids walking around & around & around. We saw them trying all sorts of doors, as we were driving around & I was planning my escape.....

So Libby sobbed on the way home. Samantha was so sad too. And we felt awful.... our big family day, but it was quality time in the van right?

When we got home I slept for a bit, which helped immensely, and Aunt Susan, Uncle Don & my parents & brother & family came over for dinner.... twelve of us. Not to big of a mess.

Christmas Eve added a fever to my headache, and Sam went off to work. I made a big pot of sauce, and got ready for church.

Baths, dresses, where are the white tights? What do you mean black dress shoes, I don't have any.... Oh yeah. Load up the gifts. I wish I had curls in my hair. What time does Santa come? Don't forget the extra dresses for the other kids.

The nativity play was beautiful, funny, and entertaining as usual. Samantha was a High Angel. Libby was an angel dancer. (more on that in a future blog).

On to Aunt Joyce's to see the in-law's. I love them.

Then all too soon on to Aunt Diane's to see the other in-law's. And Sammy met us there. :) Fantastic time too.

Home around midnight, waited for the girls to fall asleep...................

The next morning Santa came :) The kids played..... I made a lasagna & spaghetti & salad & garlic bread. (very traditional huh?) And baked a mince, apple & pumpkin pie. Frozen pies. Mrs. Smith's actually. And Sammy complained. "Why frozen pies, that's gross, who eats frozen pies. I don't like frozen pies."

Now let's pause & reflect on my last couple days.......... When he thought I'd have time to bake from scratch ????????????????

So I informed my love that he couldn't eat dinner with us, and that there was a microwavable Taco Bell meal in the cupboard for him.

Sammy went to the cemetery, and my sister-in-law Shelley came over, we visited with her, (and she got me a Homer Simpson Chia pet !!!!! Two of my favorite things in one!)

The my Parents came over for dinner, I let Sam eat real food.......... and Tommy & family came over for desert.

Sam had pumpkin pie. And like it. And, ready................. apologized.

Tommy & Sammy drank a bottle of Vodka. We played games. The kids danced naked. Samantha wrestle Tommy& won. My Mom had too much wine, My dad was awesome ............

My house looked like a bomb hit it. There were cups & paper & boxes & toys & food everywhere. Everyone was talking at once, the kids were on 10 & super loud.

It was everything I imagined it would be. I LOVED it.

Merry Belated Christmas :) Mine sure was.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Kindergarten Christmas

Here is Libby versus the pinata at school today. It had broken when the gym teacher tried to hang it, so they dunked it :)

The three kindergarten classes put on a Hannakah, Kwanza, Los Posados, & Christmas Concert today ! Here is their closing song. Libby is in the second row wearing a red sweater with a pink, white & red scarf. She has a Santa hat on :)

On being the type of mom I am.....

I have a friend. A friend that knew me when I was too young to cross the street without permission, when I still wet the bed, and when playing house in first grade there was nothing strange about me because I always wanted to play the dog.

Through life she knew me, she knew me through my personal successes and failures, and even when she knew whatever path I put myself on (usually with a boy) would only end up in heartbreak, she was still there.

We are grown ups now. I don't know how, because there was never a gradutation or a ceremnony, or waking up one morning and feeling like "oh yea... there it is". There is definatley more stuff you have to do. And you have to do it.

I mean you have to have clean children & they need nourishment. and your time. And to be driven places. And your heart to melt, break, and burst with pride all in the same day. Maybe that's what the change is. ...... your heart, maybe on that magical day when you become a grown-up, your ego-cenrtic heart gets replaced with this newer fully expandable one with hidden features ......

I had no idea how much mine could love. ache. melt. fill. break.

Back to my friend. She sent me a message saying i love your blog, you seem like such a good mom...... along that line. And she knows me!!!!!

so i am here to confess..... i am not.....

i loose my temper, i scream, (not often mind you). but i say crazy things, like

"if you can''t act respectful to me then maybe I will call all the people who tell me how wonderful you are & let them know how you treat me, and ask what their secrect is, because you obviously love them way more than me" ................. this i did not find in any parenting book. ashamed to say it's my own brand. and i am ashamed, but I need to let the truth be told. I won't do it .... I think....

I don't want to look at the loose tooth 17 times today. I saw it once. good enough for me. I don't want to hear it crack and i've already mentioned i don't know when it will fall out.

i want to take a nap. phones off, doors locked, left alone. i can't do this because even if they aren't with me they are still my responsibility. people may need to reach me.

i want to pee ALL ALONE, this includes no one in the room, no one standing outside the door talking, and noone silently laying in front of the door shoving their fingers underneath to make me aware of their pressence.

I want to watch a television show in the time allotted. this may sound strage. we have TiVo. we should zip through an hour program in 44 minutes or less. It takes me about 1 1/2 hours. stupid responsibility. how does TiVo end up taking more time, factor in 2 girls.

I want to stop worrying about getting protien into a kid that wants to live on macaroni.

I want a husband who wants to shovel or mow, and organize the garage, or take the car for an oil change, or hang with the kids for an hour.

I say these things, but I know that how life is is the most perfect thing i could have. I love being a mom, and not to say that there aren't times when I've told them that I am on break. (this doen't work by the way, there are no lunch hours, or 15 minute breaks) I am simply saying to someone who knows me well, I have fooled you. This is not easy, so worth it, but not easy.

People just need to know that when you share your life, not just your house or your room, but when you share you life, your time, your heart with others, all that stuff at the top comes with it.

For me it's kind of like a watermelon, even when they tell you it's seedless, sometimes there are those little white seeds. Yucky. But you wouldn't give up on the watermelon over some seeds would you. It's a little bit more work, but you are rewarded with sweetness.

Some days I feel like there are so many seeds that I can't have the energy to spit another one out. Some days i don't realize until i'm done, that there musn't of been any in there. And sometimes I just don't worry about the seeds & I concentrate on the sweet stuff.

So Jennie, thank you for your amazing compliment. But not only do I not have it all together, I'm still looking for the pieces, but i think that's part of the fun.

I love you! I miss you! I'll let you know when to start making the hot chocolate.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Gift Giving .....

I LOVE giving gifts. Birthdays, Christmas, or just for any reason. But I'm selfish, because I like giving the best gift. Whether it's something someone has wanted for so long, or something personal, the reaction of giving someone something like that is awesome. It's so hard to wait to give too isn't it?

My sister-in-law & I were discussing price limits on gifts. How much do you spend on your parents, your nephew, your aunt, or your cousin's child? Then if his cousin only has one child, and I have two, should I double the cost of the gift?

My thoughts on this are this.... I do what I can. Now if I had a ton of money, it would probably be gone because I would go over the top for everyone I know. But I don't. So mostly I try to remember people. Even if it's a coffee mug to the early morning bus driver who drives Sam to band, I want these people to know that I appreciate them.

Every year the girls & I make Christmas ornaments............. okay well the girls help with Christmas ornaments................. okay well the girls watch their anal retentive mother make Christmas ornaments, and pose for the picture that is sometimes in them. Some years they are more complex, but most years it's just a bulb with white paint pen on it. This weekend we are going to finish ours. And by we, I mean them. I'm going to let them finish it. Unless Libby starts pen painting herself or her sister, I'm going to let them go. I want their artwork, their ideas, their personalization. They will only be 10 & 5 for this Christmas. Then the moment will be gone.

When we go to Aunt Joyce's on Christmas Eve, on her tree is every ornament we have made throughout the years. I love it.

On my tree is every ornament my children have made. I have ornaments from daycare kids dating back to 1993, and I think of them every year I put them on the tree. My tree is a hodge podge of colors, styles, paper decorations, bulbs, first Christmas ornament, handmade, store bought...... everything it should be.

I wish I could do more for people at Christmas time. I appreciate so many people in my life from my own girls to the mailman, to Sammy to the school nurse.

Merry Christmas & if I don't buy or make you anything...... please know I would if I could.....

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas :)

When Samantha was little ......

(littler than 10, I mean to me, ten is still little, although she is my baby so maybe 37 will still seem little...)

and there I go again..... okay what I'm trying to spit out is that a few years ago our Christmas Eve used to go like this....

3:00..... go save seats at church for the 4:00 mass. (the rest of my family would arrive around 3:45, I would be grouchy because why is it always me who can be responsible to get there early to save seats for everyone, why can't someone save a seat for me & let me get there at a leisurely pace for once.)

After Church (which is downtown) onto Irondequiot to Aunt Joyce's to see Sam's Dad's side of the family. Just as things are getting going, we have to leave.........

to go to my parents house to see my Dad's side of the family...... this used to be at Aunt Susan's in Chili, but graciously was moved to my parents house in the gates area for the last few years (but not last year.... but I'll get to that) This always proved to be the shortest stop.

Then onto Aunt Diane's in Gates or Richie & Sheila's in Greece(Sam's Mom's side) where things would be winding down.....

Then home..... usually by eleven or twelve.

We basically spent Christmas Eve in the Car.

All those stops, all that traveling, coats & boots, & hugs & kisses.

All that LOVE ! I would always think to myself as we were schlepping to the next place how blessed we were to be wanted. Some people are alone for Christmas. Some people are alone all the time. We have so many people that love us and that we love that we have to run around like crazy !

On Christmas Eve in the year 2000, on our way home from our last stop, around 11:30, we pulled onto our street from Maiden Lane instead of Ridge Road (our house was closest to Ridge Road). Even from that far away I could see the emergency lights flashing. Right away I panicked just knowing it was my Grandpa, Sammy thought the lights were too close to us, and not close enough to the end of the street to be my Grandpa's house. -he lived across the street from us- But it was. And he passed away at the hospital, on Dec. 25. My Grandpa's name was Noel. It was pronounced (Knoll) but....... I thought it was poignant.

That changed Christmas for me, bad at first, but just different after that. As with every loss, you continue to feel it, some days more than others, but gradually you let happiness back in . The feeling of loss never goes away, but you make room for the good stuff, the happy stuff.

When little Libby came along & was diagnosed with her immune system deficiency we were told by her doctors to limit the places we went in the winter time (respiratory season). Especially large gatherings of people. So for the next couple years we laid low, divided our stops, stopped at 2 instead of 3. Or even just 1.

In July of 2006 we lost Sam's Mom. An unexpected death is so different.

Somewhere inside you, you know that when you become an adult, or even before then that your Grandparents will pass away. It's the natural order of things.

But when you lose someone who should have been around to see your children grow, or to see your sister-in-law start her family, or to be able to call her to see how she makes her chicken soup, it's different. You feel cheated.

So Christmas last year we resumed our Church, Aunt Joyce's, eliminated my Mom's house, then to Aunt Diane's. Christmas Eve was still busy. Even without my Mom's house.

With my Grandpa gone, & Aunt Susan in Florida we tried having Christmas Eve at my Mom's in 2005, but one uncle didn't come, & the other only stopped by with his family . After making a huge dinner for everyone & having no one there for it, her decision was simple.

Christmas Day last year, Sam had to work. My parents came over for dinner. But we usually spent the day with my parents & my mother-in-law & sister-in-law. I love my parents, but it just didn't feel like Christmas. I want chaos. I want noise. I want it to be crowded. I want to be frustrated because there are too many people in my kitchen while I'm trying to cook. It's Christmas Day.

We're in the same boat this year. It looks like it will be me, the girls, & my parents on Christmas Day. Sam also has to work Christmas Eve until 8:00 p.m. He won't see the girls in their Christmas Play at Church, or make it to Aunt Joyce's.

Somehow when you fill the day with places to go & people to see, or have over it dulls the ache of missing loved ones. It doesn't take it away, but it fills the empty places for a moment or two.

The hustle & bustle. It's fantastic. It keeps me going. It keeps our minds busy.

I wish I could be saving that one extra seat for Christmas Eve Mass. I would give all that I have. I guess she has a better view now. So I am going to promise myself to be grateful to have to save seats. Because then I can still hug these family members when I wish them Merry Christmas. You never know when that will abruptly stop.

Christmas 1997

Friday, December 7, 2007


I took this picture Wednesday night of my girlies..... I took 30 or more of them to capture the right one to make Christmas Cards. This was the only one to turn out this way...... I'm fascinated. I was not moving. The tree & lights do not move or blink. Now I know that it has something to do with the Christmas lights on the tree, but look at the way they are falling in front of the girls. (they are sitting about a foot in front of the tree) And then I thought a chunk of the picture was missing the the upper right hand corner, and I realized that it is light. There is no light there. You can take it for what you think it is, and I will believe what I think.........

Monday, December 3, 2007

Barry, Neil, & Elvis

My girls are in the living room watching a Christmas Movie, and since I have a few minutes I thought I would get on the computer at a normal hour (not 5:30 a.m.)...... I turned on the television to listen to something, and boy oh boy am I a super lucky girl.........

Barry Manilow:Songs from the Seventies is on PBS. Whooo-Hoooo. My angst about antiques roadshow not being on tonight was forgotten in a heartbeat.........Then I thought, wow I didn't even know this was on. How could I not have caught an advertisement of it...... It's Barry Manilow for Heaven's sake.

Then I remembered. He's not mainstream. Not anymore. And maybe not even when I started to like him. I was about 14. But I kept it a secret. When I was about 18 I got a kitten and named her Mandy. After Barry's song. Still loved him. Still do. I'll listen to him over nickleback any day.

Now there was a big fan base for good 'ol Barry. My parents, their friends, their generation. Not mine.

In 7th grade I learned how to copy the Def Leppard & ac/dc logo's to write all over my 3-ring binder. It's what everyone else did. And we all know how junior high is..........Good thing no one asked me to name a song. I would have had no idea.

Now Barry Manilow or Neil Diamond, Steely Dan, The Eagles, and good old Elvis. I could have sang you a concert. ......and then some.

I wasn't mainstream. But I pretended to be.....

Eventually in 10th grade I had a friend who had the Def Leppard tape, and a walkman, and I learned..... and I broadened my horizons. I came to know & love Motley Crue, and Van Halen, and MC Hammer, and Bobby Brown. But my heart was always with Barry & Neil & Elvis.

After High school it didn't matter anymore...... I could listen who I wanted to listen to & I wasn't judged. In fact I even caught Sammy (after we had been dating for a while) listening to the oldies station that I loved. It helped win my heart over.

Samantha will be entering junior high next year. I breaks my heart to think that she may have to hide some part of herself. Or pretend . Now obviously her choice of music will be (as it was for me) not one of the most vital things. I know this. But it is a start. It is something. However small, it is something. There are bigger and badder choices out here. And they are scarier now. I wish I knew some way to let her know that she is perfect just the way she is.

She has a good head on her shoulders. She stands up for what she believes in. I just pray that she always believes in herself.

And if who she is, and who she becomes is not mainstream, not like everyone else, then that's even better. She shouldn't ever have to pretend.

Whatever path she takes is fine with me, as long as it is her path, and if it's off beaten path, more power to her.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Two different girls..........

It's so amazing to me how we could have two children that are so very different. Not look-wise, they have similarities there, in their eye & hair color. But that is definitely where it ends.

Samantha is quiet.

Quiet at school.

Quiet at dance.

Quiet at religion.

Not so quiet at home.

In fact she talks all the time. You may think to yourself, "there's no way a child could talk all the time..." but she does.

It doesn't matter what I'm doing.... cooking, cleaning, reading, watching t.v., or even typing this blog, she is talking to me. Now trust me, when I reach the point where I really can't take it much more ......................

(I know how this sounds, but think about it, ALL the time..... you are doing laundry & she follows you downstairs, you try to pee, she comes in with you............... you're on the phone ................, etc. etc. )

....................... it is then that i think to myself........... she's almost 11. And she still wants to talk to me. HOORAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!How much longer will that last? Will there come a day when I go into the bathroom to brush my teeth, and there is no one there talking to me? Will I have to follow her around? How sad will that be.......... So I continue to discuss, chat, and converse with my girl, for as long as she will let me...

Samantha also gets embarrassed real easy. The monthly book report at school takes a lot out of her. Reserved, I guess would be the best way to describe her. In fact, it is the perfect word for her, (not at home), but in general....................she has progressed leaps and bounds lately.......... In fact for the Christmas play at church this year she is hoping for a "big" speaking part. Maybe Mary or the angel Gabriel. Whatever makes her happy and keeps her in her comfort zone works for me :)

Now Libby.

Not so quiet.

Super well behaved.

Student of the month her first month at school.

Perfect behavior every day at school (we get nightly notes, so i know this is true).

But loud, bold, and so so so unique.

Libby is also going to be in the play at church. Last year she was technically a star, she waved her star spun around and smiled......... Don't ask her what she was though, she'll tell you she was THE star. Of the whole play. Move over baby Jesus.................

This year, I read her the choices for her age..........

me: Okay Libby, here are your choices, you can be a dancing angel, a cow, a sheep, a Shepard, a star, or a solider.

Libby: Okay, I'll be the Christmas Tree.

me: Honey there isn't a Christmas Tree, your choices are an angel, a cow, a sheep, a Shepard, a star, or a solider.

Libby: I Know, but I am going to be the tree.

And somehow, someway, and it makes me nervous, I'm sure she'll figure it out.

Tonight at the Junior High School they had a Glenn Colton Concert for the girls' whole school. I'll post some pictures......

Libby sat with her teacher instead of us. It was more interesting over there I guess....

Samantha sat with her friends. They were clapping and dancing along. And after about 30 minutes, she joined in too, as long as Sam & I weren't watching. Reserved.

Libby was dancing her heart out. She polka'd, she hustled, she did the twist, then came a dance that required a conga line. A child from the audience was picked to lead the line. It started that way. And Libby was in the middle. Until the end, then somehow, someway, she ended up leading the line. The entire line. The whole school. She wasn't picked for it, but she made it happen. And no one minded. They loved it.

I'm sure she'll end up being a tree too..... Maybe I should get her involved in politics..........

But Libby doesn't really talk to me. Don't get me wrong we have conversations, I just have to initiate them. She's usually pretty busy doing her own thing. Dancing to the beat of her own drum.

I wonder if it's because she can't get a word in edgewise ! lol. Speaking of my chit-chatty girl, she's been quiet the last minute of so, and she just handed me a note.......... "hi mom" . And here I thought she had forgotten about me.............

I'm going to go to bed now & snuggle with my reserved little girl & my little christmas tree.

25 more days..........................

Samantha , sooooooo embarrassed........ in the conga line :)

See.................. the middle of the conga line is where she started................

Here she is with her little girlfriend creeping up onto to the stage, during the show!!!!......... She loves the spotlight!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One month away!!!!

Here are some pictures from the last week or so...... We put up our inside decorations on Saturday night & the outside stuff today. Libby & Sam dressed up to fit the occasion and Samantha made a beard to add to Libby's costume !

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Check this out

Here is what Sam, Libby, Samantha & I do on the day we put up our christmas tree :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy Almost Thanksgiving !!!

What I want........

I want my own bedroom. Now don't take this the wrong way, I love Sam. But I want my own bedroom, free from clutter and dirty socks, and collections of things I find under the bed. No snoring, hogging covers, or asking me to turn the TV down. (if the before mentioned snoring was not an issue, the TV wouldn't have to be so loud.)

I don't like my grown up room. I want stuffed animals, and posters of the men I have crushes on on the wall. (Drew Carey, Jeremy Piven, Steve Buscemi)........ I would hit the snooze button for a full 45 minutes & not feel guilty about it. It would smell lke lotions & pretty body sprays.... And never like degree, or axe body spray. Or feet.

I know Sam wants an Indianapolis Colts bedroom. He hasn't expressed it in so many words, but I know he does. What guy wouldn't.... ( not necessarily the Colts but substitute whatever team he loves.) I would let him do that.... in his own room.

Now I'm realistic & I know my marriage would suffer if we had seperate bedrooms, at least a certain aspect of our marriage ................ That and the fact that we only have three bedrooms makes my dream impossible. But ....... can you imagine..........

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Santa Claus is coming to town.........

Did you know that Santa is coming to all the Malls today ? Wegmans has had the old video store decked out in Christmas trees since a few weeks before Halloween. Even the dollar store, had Halloween products right next to Christmas ones, before Halloween.

This really causes a rise in some people. Not me. I love Christmas. Peace & Goodwill towards all men.

I'm not sure about everyone else, but with the excitement & anticipation I find myself just a little more patient, just a little bit nicer, and just a little bit friendlier. I also find that the majority of people are the same way.

Now, I acknowledge the crowds, the parking, and carrying my coat plus Libby's, plus Samantha's, and a purse through the overheated mall. I wish Libby would go back in a stroller, at least there was a coat rack then...........

But then instead of thinking of the crowds, and people in such a hurry, I think of it as the hustle and bustle of the season. All of those people at the mall, toys r us, wal-mart, target where have you, are out buying for christmas/ hannakah / kwanza or whatever holiday season they celebrate. They are buying gifts. For other people.

It's the season of giving. Giving isn't always easy. Giving gifts or giving your time, not always easy. But isn't it great?

So if someone wants to set up early, go ahead !!!!

I think we are all just a little bit of a better person come holiday time.

How can that be a bad thing?

Merry Christmas to All and to all a Happy November 10. :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A few pictures :)

Those two pics are from the Amerks game on Friday... Samantha was so excited, she saved her money & bought an Amerks jersey..... Libby's first game, & she was really into it, one of the players even gave her a puck!

My girlies

Libby had a few little friends to have a belated birthday celebration !

A proud moment

As a parent I have had a lot of proud moments.... Everytime I get a compliment about how well behaved one of my girls are (and I hear it a lot, from teachers, dance teachers, their friends' parents)..... Now I'm not always sure who they send back home to me, but I think I'd rather have it that way, then for them to be holy terrors elsewhere.

Samantha (our quiet one) had a very busy time last February, she won Student of the Month at school & she came in second place in the spelling bee out of all of the 4th graders!!! We were so proud.

And little Libby won Student of the month her very first month as a Kindergartner! Amazing.

Then there was yesterday, and Libby brought home her artwork. They had to draw a picture of a monster (i'm thinking it was a leftover Halloween thing). And my little peanut told her teacher that her monster eats cheese, and lighters. Yup lighters.

What do I do? Do I send in a note & let the teacher know that we use candles, and that the lighters are up on top of the fridge for only that purpose? We've had the safe/unsafe talk about matches lighters........ They did it at school too......... and I even quit my 2 cigarette a night habit a while ago. ARRRRGGGGGGGG.

So proud !

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I love Ragu.

I don't mind cooking, I really don't.... but I don't however believe that the complexity of what I prepare reflects back on me as a mother, a wife, or a human being.

Two of the pickiest eaters that I have ever met live in my house. Samantha & me! This means that I am always preparing more than one dinner.............

Sam (husband) doesn't like vegetables except a yearly green bean casserole, (trust me, i've tried it when it wasn't Thanksgiving & the dish that he really loved on Thanksgiving gets a "what is this? No I don't think I like it? Well that was Thankgiving..") , potatoes, & I'm not sure ...... have they been banished as a vegetable & moved into the horrific carb catagory?

Here is my theory........ I enjoy homemade macaroni & cheese as much as the next girl, but I like "Velveeta" macaroni & cheese better, so do my girls, it takes a tenth of the time to make, and costs extremely less (about $3 for 2 boxes). Therefore.......................

I have made homemade chicken & dumplings. (and please don't infer that I prepared it wrong, because my father-in-law is a FANTASTIC cook & he taught me), it was good, but, I have also made boxed, (yup I said it BOXED) chicken & dumplings, there was a can, I added a few things, and there was a bisquick kind of mix that I added to & presto, fasto, inexpensive-o, delicious-o.
It was about $5. FOR THE ENTIRE kit.........

Now I know that some of you are cringing, I just refered to the ingrediants for making a meal as a kit. Why the heck not. Seriously.

Now some things I agree (on a personal level I will never judge someone else's food preperation methods, ever, ever, ever...) But personally, I like real mashed potatoes (and again, in order to get some vegetable in Sam, I make them that way.....) I prefer homemade pizza to frozen.

But preffering to cook NOT completely from scratch does not mean that I love my family less. It means that I am practical. It means that unless I want dinner prepared at 3:00, and left warming, or warmed back up, that I am staring dinner at around 5:45 and want to put my kids to bed a a decent time.

Do not judge me by the way the ingrediants came into my house, judge the final outcome. The results are good. And it works for me.

Whatever works for you, congratulations. Whether you only order out, order in, or cook all day with things i cannot pronounce, or if your family adores spaghetti-o's. I think you are great, because some days remebering to feed everyone is an accomplishment in & of itself !!!!

p.s. I love Ragu Sauce, tater tots, Lipton Noodle soup in a box, and hamburger helper.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I stay home........

It's funny because my lofty ambitions growing up (once I got over the fact that I would never be a solid gold dancer or a nun) was just to be a Mom. I wanted to pack lunches and car pool and go on field trips, and volunteer. And I have reached that goal.

When I was at a volunteer training course (every year gotta love Spencerport Central) I was listening to the woman in the room, and they were all stay at homes Mom's. Well, not only was I everything I wanted to be be, but here I was in a whole group of my idols....

When it came to me, I proudly announced my name and that I also didn't work & was a stay at home Mom. But my hours of availability were limited until after 9:00 a.m. and before 3:00 p.m. and never on school vacations & nothing during the summer because I am a liscened home day care. It was at this moment that a Mom at my table leaned over to me, and corrected me. Not only IS a stay at home Mom WORK, but I also WORK. I thought she's right.

Every morning I cook, that's right cook (except one cereal day) breakfast for 9 children. (7 come in & 2 of my own).
I settle disagreements about card games, K'Nex peices, TV channels, who's turn it is on the computer, if So & So is lying about how many Pokemon cards he has, if Yu-Gi-O is better than Pokemon, and who is touching who, or looking at who.
I listen to stories & events that heppened the night before or 2 years before, to gossip about the neighbors & sometimes some really interesting family information.
While doing this I help my kids get up and ready. Samantha likes (needs) my undivided, so I have to try, and every day I know she's awake because she begins to chant "Mom, what's the high, MOm, what's the high, MOM what's the high"

Right about now I wish there was a high , trust me, but she dresses very true to the weather forecast, and it can change over night, soooo....

Then there is always the last minute, "oh yeah, I'm supposed to wear red today." The rest goes like this....
me --> "so put on your red shirt"
her --> "I can't find it, where is it?"
me ---> "Did you check your drawers?"
her --> "yes, it's not in there"
me --> "what about your closet?"
her ---> "It's not in there"
---------meanwhile in the playroom an arguement has broken out about whether Spiderman or Superman is stronger and if Hannah Montana is prettier than Gabriella --------- so I leave my perch at the bottom of the stairs & settle this----------
her ----> "Mooooooom, I can't find my red shirt"

------- 5 minutes later-----------

her "Mom...."
me "fine, i'm coming", and i check the closet, and the drawers, and it's really not there. so she goes without and i wonder...... She wears pink.

Now, Libby just got out of her cast which thank goodness means although I am still getting paged from upstairs "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMY", "MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMOMMY", she can move on her own. Although, she has begun wetting the bed, so i have to clean her up in the morning, then I try to sneak back upstairs to clear the sheets off her bed.

I make sure that everyone has a lunch, a snack, a coat, shoes tied, their homework, and backpack, those who should brush their teeth have, and that everyone gets on the bus with a smile. Unless of course there is a special project that can't be carried on the bus, then I drive him or her in.

I come home *the bustop is now down the street instead of at my house (love Spencerport Central) * and I clean up breakfast, and toothpaste spit, and I go onto my usual things, and realize that a laundry basket is missing, I check Samantha's room, there it is, she never put her laundry away, and guess what is on top? Yup, the red shirt.

I won't even get into the regular Mom duties & house stuff, we all know that in & of itself is work. And I only have two kids.

Then there are the after-school kids, but that would take about three more pages.............

Anyway, my point after all of this rambling is that NOW I am offended when someone comments that I don't work. This is a very select group of people. And I'm sure they have no idea that they are offending me. But offense taken. I work. Come walk in my shoes, try to stay patient for more than 15 minutes, I dare you.................

p.s. I also volunteer 3 days a week at the school, and teach religion on Sundays........... and all the Mom & house stuff.

I work.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The big concert !!!

Last night at the Amerks hockey game, the 5th grade bands from the four elementary schools in Spencerport had the opportunity to play the National Anthem. We videoed Samantha, so after about 2 hours of trying to e-mail it to everyone, I figured I would try to put it on youtube. I think it worked. I say, "I think" because I spent DAYS trying to post Sam's demolition derby heat on there & nada. So today after my alleged sucess, I tried again....

SO ! When & if you follow this link you SHOULD find Samantha playing her flute, and you may even find Sammy winning his heat of the demolition derby (He's in the green car).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Last night was great! Other than a light layer of clothes under there costumes, there was no need for coats, hats, gloves, umberellas, etc. Which we all know that in Rochester these are usually necessary.

We packed the wagon with flashlights, bags, and I won't tell you what Sam put in there, but he did make sure that there was room for Libby. (it the little things like that that count i guess.... )

We went for our costumes about 2 months ago, sounds crazy right? Well if you have little girls who want to be "Hannah Montana" and "Gabriella" (High School Musical), then you know that if you don't get there early, they will be gone, because all the little girls want to be Hannah, or someone from High School Musical, and your girlies will be wearing a compilation of your leftover jr. high clothing mixed with a couple old dance costumes, and instead of Hannah's blonde wig, or Gabriella's Black one, you'll be looking for anything that you can hot glue together to resemble a wig, yarn, string, tape, spaghetti.....

So anyway Libby tried on Gabriella, it is simply a red dress, just like in the movie, very true to the original in fact (i know this because i have seen the movie 862 times) Unfortunately Libby looked a little bit like a slutty cocktail waitress in it, so i nixed that. On to Sharpay (also High School Musical for those of you without kids, nieces, neighbors, or grandkids) Now this looked alright , maybe a little show girlish, but with the wig it was alright. But you see when you are 5 (4 at the time) and you put on a costume you expect that when you look in the mirror that you will see Gabriella or Sharpay looking right back at you, Libby saw herself in a showgirl dress and a cheap wig, so onto the Disney Princesses........ Belle, Cinderella, Tinkerbell, who knew that the selection of a Halloween costume was so difficult. I mean, I had an idea, I showed them the catalog, went online, had them pre-pick........... anyway....... Libby ended up choosing a pink power ranger. She did not know what a power ranger was. But the costume had a mask. And she looked just like the picture on the package. SO there you have it.

Meanwhile Samantha wanted to be Hannah Montanta, super cute costume, but not for her. Honestly, I may be over-analyzing it, but I could not send my almost 11 year old out in a min min mini skirt, with a half shirt and a blonde wig. It was reministint of Julia ROberts in the begining of Pretty Woman. Now I have seen this costume on younger kids, and it's cute, super cute, but with Samantha getting older, I just couldn't let her. Well she was fine with it and immediatley chose another costume, a 1960's "Hippy Chick". Easy enough.

So off we went, Samantha wanted to run house to house, Libby is still limping pretty bad, and tires out easy, plus she can't do steps. But she had her big sister to help her out (with a minimal amount of grumbling)... So we muddled through, about 2/3 of the way Samantha fell and scraped up her arm pretty bad, and she was very upset and hurt, and Libby was pooped, but we made it, and upon arrival at home each girlie was allowed three pieces of candy........

Then, "fine one more, but no more then you are brushing your teeth."

Then ," you know what go ahead eat what you want, but don't cry to me when you have a belly ache. " A Mom can only take so much grumbling, crying, tiredness, and injuries.

We saw a lot of costumes out there. Princesses, Pirates, Cats, Giraffes, Pumpkins, and even the enegizer bunny. But i want to tell you about one special costume i saw......

One of Samantha's classmates is one of six kids, we ran into her, three of her sisters and her Mom & a friend .

This little girl was wearing a snugli with a couple babies shoved in it, there was a baby taped to her calf holding on for dear life, one in a stroller, one on her shoulder, and her friend was dressed up as another. She had on a blonde wig (mom is a blonde) and painted on spit up over her shoulder. She was dressed as her Mom. And I thought how funny, how original, but when I got home and thought about it, I thought it was beautiful. Any woman who can do that is my hero.

On a side note, she lost one of her babies on the halloween trail, luckily it ended up at my Mom's house so she will be recovered, her Mom has never done this, guess even the elaborate costume couldn't compare.

I "checked" the kids candy before they dove in. But I may have to "check" it again today. and tonight, and tomorrow..........

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Here is a picture of Libby's 5th birthday party. (the cast is now off) But we were going to have her "kid" party at total sports experience with a bounce house to boot! Obviously with the wheelchair, and my new aversion to anything bouncy, we had to cancel it.
On that note, Sam & my niece were walking Libby down the street and my neighbor's sister asked Libby how old she was.
Libby replied "four".
My niece Jenna then informed Libby "You will turn five on Monday."
And Sadly Libby told her, "No, I won't, my Mommy canceled my birthday."
My poor honey. Well, the day came, and miraculously she turned five, the kids party has been scaled down, and moved to Chuck E. Cheese. :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Cerami Family :)

Sammy's cousin has started a blog, and it must be the wittiest, sweetest thing i've read. I won't even try to compare, but i thought that this would be a fantastic way of keeping everyone updated on what's going on here :)

Sometimes, I feel like I really keep in touch with a lot of my friends and family, but is e-mail keeping in touch?

I think that when we forward a silly joke, or a superstitious "if you don't pass this on you will lose all your fingers on your left hand and forever talk with a funny spanish accent, and you will smell like brussel sprouts for 10 years" , or even a beautiful prayer, that even though you may be the most christian (or whatever your denomination) person, if you don't forward it to at least 8 people, then you don't love jesus......... that I feel like I do keep in touch, in reality that itsn't true I know.

With work, school, band, drama club, newspaper club, dance, and religious ed, sometimes when i take 10 minutes & check that e-mail, when I click on your name to forward it , I am thinking of you.


I think "He would LOVE this joke".

I think "She will think this prayer is beautiful"

I think "They won't be mad if I forward this to them as one of my eight, because if I try to volunteer in the school or teach religion with a funny accent & one good hand, I don't think the kids will concentrate on what I am trying to say, and not to mention that my kids won't want me anywhere near them smelling like brussel sprouts."

But needless to say, I do think of you.

p.s. I do not need any Macy's coupons, nor a free dinner at applebees, I have forwarded countless tracked e-mails and Bill Gates has not sent me my check, and finally, when I forward that cute joke on to at least eight people, nothing pops up on my computer giving me the answer.