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.