The End is Near

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

View more awesome pictures at

Based on this, I'm actually convinced both my cats AND my dogs are plotting to kill us!


I'm excited!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tomorrow we're going to our alma mater, FDU, for the homecoming football game. I'm excited to see friends that we don't see that often and hopeful that I'll see even more people than I currently know are going. It's about 2 hours away from where we live and we haven't been there for 2 years. That was a great day and I'm hoping to have just as much fun tomorrow.

I haven't looked at pictures of Katie from that time period for awhile and I know I'm biased, but holy stinking cuteness! Just two years later and her chin practically clears the top of that stroller. She likes to push Timmy now and she can see over the stroller. And oh my gosh...she's wearing JEANS...oh, the good ol' days!

Chris enjoyed drinking some beers with his pals. The only difference since he graduated was the sippy cup he began to tug along.
I was thrilled to hang with some of my sorority sisters. Yea, I'm the short, fat, pale one that sticks out like a sore thumb and apparently I didn't get the memo for the appropriate outfit for the day...not that I could pull off the white shirt with my skin tone anyway.

And here's Katie looking oh so much like her daddy from back in the day when we first fell in love.

If I'll see you tomorrow, I can't wait. If I won't, I hope to see you soon.

Miss you all!


Oh, hello there...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I haven't seen you in so long. Frankly, I didn't even realize you still existed. Although it seems like just yesterday that we has been almost 1 1/2 YEARS!! How have you managed to survive? Where have you been hiding? You may be little and slightly sticky, but you bring memories flooding back.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. We were at the school and Katie was getting evaluated for Occupational Therapy. I had asked for the eval for sensory issues, but it turned out that she couldn't stack blocks either. Well, according to the evaluation. She couldn't throw a ball, hold a pencil correctly, use scissors or close a button. She wasn't very cooperative that day and since she didn't perform exactly as the test required - she failed. Just because she wanted to create her own building and not follow the color scheme and number of blocks dictated to her, she was listed as unable to do it. Just because she wanted to throw overhand and not underhand, another note was jotted down. She still needs help in the other areas, but she's learning slowly. Then she reached into that bucket of prizes...and chose YOU.

Who would have ever guessed that you would still be around after all of this time? Thanks to that day, Katie was admitted in the township special needs preschool program. While I really wanted her to get help with speech - having a second "need" sealed the deal for her inclusion. Here she is in her second year of pre-K...getting so close to Kindergarten. She is getting so big and has so many ridiculous things to say. Did you know that it's very dry outside today? Personally, I think it's a little humid -but Katie made her weather pronouncement as soon as she stepped out to wait for the bus today.

Well, it was nice seeing you again. I hope you don't mind that I will be throwing you back into a toybox shortly. It isn't's me.


The Best Part of Blogging

Monday, September 21, 2009

I began blogging to connect with family and friends. Then I began to branch out and read about some other beautiful families that reminded me so much of my own. Eventually, I found my most favorite: humor bloggers. I love to laugh. I love to read others' daily tribulations. Maybe it's the voyeur in me or perhaps just the daily reinforcement that no one's life or children are without flaws that keep me coming back. As any other blog reader already knows, it is therapy...(*sort of, I'll get back to that.)

Some of my bloggy friends have amazing stories about immigrating to America as children. My paternal grandfather immigrated from Russia as a boy, but unfortunately at that time his family was one of many that dove into American culture headfirst at the expense of losing their culture. My father was never taught the Russian language and he was never taught about his family's life in Russia. I eat up other bloggers' words that talks about their families' transitions as a substitute for my family's history that I will never know about. It also helps when the stories are hilarious.

However, one of the best parts of blogging is definately when you come across an amazing contest/giveaway and you win! I must admit that getting personal e-mails from these well-known bloggers before I knew it was just to tell me I won sent me into palpitations almost as much as when I learned about the fabulous prizes I had won.

My first time was this past April. I think I was only one of like 8 entries, but I was still thrilled to win tickets to see The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden, courtesty of Marinka. We had an interesting journey there including missing my exit, getting pulled over by police for talking on my cell, and being an entire hour late, but amazingly we still got there right at "Follow the Yellow Brick Road." Katie was already a huge fan of the movie, but I was slightly nervous at how she would do sitting through a long live musical. If this face is any reflection, we didn't have a single problem. She was spellbound and loved clapping at all the right places.

During intermision, she got to pose with her best friends.
And even better she got an entire day to visit with Aunt Candi (who lives right in Manhattan in Washington Heights)

and to have me all to herself.

(ughh, that forehead, I really need to cut bangs again I think!)

And then, more recently, we received a bucket of love and excitement from ScaryMommy! I was particularly taken with the beaucoup bucks to Target and Starbucks, but Timmy LOVED the pencils and paper confetti.

Then, with a little direction from me, Katie took ownership of the bucket and pencils to perform a drum solo while Timmy clapped along.

Can you believe I've never ever tasted Nutella before winning this basket? It is truly delicious. I can't believe I've forsaken it all of this time!

So, a special thanks to Marinka and ScaryMommy for making my dream come true. Sorry for the belated thanks. I will totally continue to be a faithful reader now. It's possible I would have anyway, but these prizes have definately won me over for sure.

(*I've heard time and time again that blogging is therapy, but I have had a horrible headache since last night and writing this post has NOT improved it. Maybe it's time to go use those Target giftcards today, because I know with certainty that shopping IS therapy!!!)

Winning these prizes and the thrill of getting to shop (and perhaps get rid of this headache) definately Makes My Monday. Join Twinfatuation today to share what makes your Monday!


One of the Big Girls

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

...even little girls!

Katie had the time of her life Thursday night. Our next door neighbor asked me to watch his little girl for an hour since his babysitter had fallen through. She is 8, perfectly sweet, perfectly behaved, and perfectly beautiful. Katie hasn't really played with her since a late snowstorm last March.

Not only did Katie get to play with Emily, but Em's 2 other friends also wanted to play. I was a little nervous at first since the snowday play had also brought additional kids and I felt like Katie was being made fun of a bit for her speech (not by Em, but some of the other girls playing.)

To Katie's great excitement, I agreed that she could go across the street to play hide and seek with all the girls this week after a reminder that she just turned 4 and that although she is the same size as them, they will have to help her. It couldn't have gone better! Katie was on top of the moon. They played with sidewalk chalk, played hide and seek, and played freeze tag. They even decided to use a little teamwork and carried a huge cardboard box out of my garage to play some odd made up game. I felt so happy for Katie when the other kids' moms called them in for baths and Katie wasn't the only one complaining and begging for more time to play...they all were.


Wedding Fever

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Katie has been obsessed with weddings for the last few months. It all started when I told her that I would be going away for a few days to my cousin's wedding in Vegas. She wasn't upset that I was going away, but that I was going to a wedding and she couldn't go. Three weeks later Chris and I went to another wedding while she had to stay home. Since then, she has been eyeing the Wedding Day Barbie at every shopping opportunity. She has been making random comments during car rides. We'll just be driving and out of the blue I'll hear, "I sure wish I could go to a wedding, I LOVE weddings!" To be honest, I don't even know what her basis is. I watch many of her cartoons with her, unfortunately, and I don't remember seeing any wedding episodes. Recently we found out another friend will be getting married this fall and Katie brazenly asked her if she could come to the wedding. Of course, she told her yes, but the reality is that they are going to be having a smaller wedding than originally planned and it's more likely than not that she will not be invited.

So today as we were driving to dance class she shocked me with all of her wedding knowledge.

Katie: Mom, do weddings have cakes?
Me: Yes, they do actually.
Katie: Yea, I know that. ALL weddings have cakes. And they have flower girls and tuxedos.
Me: Wow, how do you know all of that Katie? Did you learn it from a tv show?
Katie: No, I just know it, mom. I know everything about it.
Me: Really? That's very impressive. I can't believe you know about tuxedos. Where did you learn about that big word?
Katie: I just know it. I know the tuxedos have to carry the pillow very, very carefully so they don't drop the ring.

Thank goodness I was stopped at a traffic light when she imparted that bit of knowledge; I was laughing so hard!

Imagine how much more excited she would be to attend a wedding if she knew what might happen after the cake is cut.

My cousin Alaina and her poor awesome new husband Brant
So, if anyone needs a flower girl, please let me know. I'm sure Katie would be more than willing. She is full of wedding knowledge, loves dress up (as long as the dress doesn't itch), and takes a pretty picture.


New Beginnings

Monday, September 14, 2009

Last Tuesday was the day, the day that Katie looked forward to all summer! In all of her excitement, she forgot to throw a fit over her clothes and jumped on the "wants to look pretty for her teacher" bandwagon. I even got her to wear the shoes I had picked out...for 5 minutes. At least before she changed them I snapped a few pictures. Later in the evening she had her first dance/gymnastics class of the season so many of her school day poses consist of her attempting a ballet or gymnastics position.

Since she is in the afternoon session this year, we were ready many minutes early. She picked how she wanted to wear her hair and was very enthusiastic to wear ALL of the new barrettes I had bought.

We finally moved the party outside. The bus pickup time was 12:50, but an eager Katie cajoled me outside at 12:35. Comfortably changed into her old sneaker Mary Janes (which incidentally I'm not sure HOW they can be comfy since they are size 11 and she is now wearing 12 1/2W), she wanted many pictures with her new Tinkerbell backpack.

And we waited and we waited. Things got a little silly. We took walks back and forth on the sidewalk around our house to calm a getting sleepy Timmy. Demands for more pictures were followed by interesting poses a la the Karate Kid - although I believe Katie was pretending to be posing on a balance beam.
And then, FINALLY, at 1:30 (yes, really) the bus finally arrived. Katie didn't care that class was supposed to have begun a half hour ago; she was ready, without a glance back at mom. Of course I had to shriek for her to stop and turn around for a picture. I didn't care that the bus was 40 minutes late already.

Katie had a few suprises for me when she came home that day. She was in a NEW classroom, with new toys and new books. I wondered why they had moved rooms. I had been told at my June IEP meeting that she would be in the exact same class, with the same teacher and the same kids - just switching from morning to afternoon. After questioning Katie and a frantic call to her new teacher I got a call back the following day. I found out that there were too many children in the afternoon session and that they had created a new class. They put the kids new to the program in this class and then rounded it out by taking one or two children from each of the other classes. So Katie was moved. I was very very sad for her because I had been telling her all summer about going back in to see Miss N and even more exciting for her, seeing all of her classmates that she has become such friends with. I am furious that I wasn't imformed of the change before class started. Suprisingly though, Katie didn't seem to mind at all. Her one friend from her old class also moved with her and that was very exciting to her. Possibly too exciting. I haven't received any notes home, but Katie has been telling me stories that lead me to believe that the two girls are getting into a little bit of trouble together.

I'm not sure that arguing the switch would make any difference anyway, but since Katie seems happy I will see how it goes. I think she thinks she got a new teacher because she is in a class for bigger kids now - so that makes her happy. It is definately nicer that she will be gettting to know even more kids. Her old group would have been broken up for kindergarten next year anyway so now she may potentially know even more kids next year. I'm a little sad because I enjoyed the birthday parties and class events with her old classmates' moms...but oh yeah, it's not about ME, is it ;)

At first I was also bummed about the switch from morning to afternoon session. I loved that she would get home at 11:30am last year and that we then had the entire day to do whatever we wanted. It was a great time to visit the zoo, which closes at 5pm. Now, she is gone from 12:50 to 3:35. It kind of ruins the day. However, I am loving the casual morning routine: no jumping out of bed to get her fed, dressed, and on the bus; no first thing in the morning battles over clothes.

Tonight is back to school night and I am very excited to meet her new teacher and see her new classroom. I'm also eager to hear what she's been doing and how she's been behaving. Hmm, it's almost like it's MY first day of school.

Although I was oddly emotional to have the school year begin again, the time to myself (yay, school coincides with at least part of Tim's afternoon nap), Katie's excitement, and looking forward to some "mom" time tonight Makes My Monday.


10 Months Old - Little Big Boy

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tim has had enough of being a baby. He is no longer content to be on the sidelines. He wants IN on the action. Since last month, he has said a few more words. "Yum" is a top favorite. He has stood without holding on for a few seconds and he has pretty much cast off baby food. He will take one or two steps when holding on to a walking toy - but really who needs to walk when you can crawl faster than the speed of light?
He is so proud of himself when he gets to eat big kid food and went out of his mind with silliness after eating almost an entire hot fugde sundae - AFTER eating half of a Friendly's kid meal.
He is a curious kid and definately not one to pass up a challenge.
He knows what he shouldn't have and he wants it more than ever. He is very busy stretching and reaching to get what he wants - usually something of his sister's.
He loves being outside!
And he loves doing big boy things!
I can't believe it's already time to start planning his 1st birthday party.


TRIPLE Double Trouble

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Twos-Day! Joining in the Two for Twos-day celebration hosted by Who Says 8 is Enough? and sharing THREE sets of duos.

The Dynamic Duo

This past weekend brought lots of fun our way. On Saturday we had a great time celebrating the Labor Day weekend at my mom's house. There was lots of fun and family, but who would have EVER thought that Katie and Paige would be the winners of the egg toss contest? At first they followed the lead of some of the smartypants older cousins and carefully caught the eggs in their shirts. However, as the game went on and they had to stand further and further apart they used a different strategy...they just kept tossing a short game and letting it land on the soft grass. As the older cousins kept tossing harder and harder and smashing the eggs in their hands, Katie and Paige moved on to victory! And no, we didn't even tell them to pose this way. If Katie had been playing football she would have been fined for her over the top victory dance/chant. I was left speechless wondering where the heck she had learned to do THAT?

Thelma & Louise

...if one was a giant and the other a munchkin. Ahh yea - Katie just turned 4 in July and Emma is almost 3. Yesterday, we had a great time continuing the party weekend with Chris's brother's family. I don't think 10 minutes went by that we weren't worried about where these 2 were and what they were getting into. They loved their red tongues and getting soaked with water pistols and as one ran in the house or one ran out, they were usually just looking for each other.

Jedi Master and Young Jedi

What do you get when you mix a kid that likes Sesame Street and the Backyardigans and likes to messily eat chips and hot dogs?......cousin worship from Timmy. And oh my gosh...when Will flipped his chips and meat all over the floor and let Timmy share with him...he became the ultimate cool cousin.


The face of crazy

Saturday, September 5, 2009

As is customary in the last two weeks, if we're not going anywhere, Katie is either in her jammies or in underwear only. Of course if she's in underwear only then her hair bothers her and has to be tied up so it doesn't touch her back. Or, she's in full dress up attire. Funny how that doesn't scratch.

Yesterday, I ran out to the mall to pick up my new glasses. While I was out, Katie finally got herself dressed for the day. In this: Yea, no shirt. Next she's going to be asking me for this for Christmas.

Once I got home, we decided we would take a family trip to Walmart to buy some fans and Katie's shinguards for soccer. While her dress up outfit could be argued as the better choice of attire for Walmart, I talked her into wearing the brand new dress I had just picked her up from GapKids. Silky smooth lining on the inside, perfectly adorable on the outside. I had to have it...and went against my personal morals and bought it full-price. Suprisingly Thankfully, Katie LOVED it, but she couldn't wear just the dress. She had to accesorize...

Watch out Walmart, her she comes! Don't you love the socks? To be fair, she was going to wear her new gold slipper shoes but they were too big so she tried wearing them with socks to see if they would fit; but they didn't, so she wore her pink crocs and the socks came off. Thank goodness.

PS. As I'm writing this, I'm helping Katie change the clothes on her Barbie. Just have to say that I think Barbie is gaining weight because these clothes do NOT fit very well!


TWO for TWOS-Day - Daddy Time

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

One night last week, I came downstairs from putting Timmy to bed and started to do something in the kitchen. Suddenly I heard Chris in the playroom exlaim, "That's just ridiculous!" I was intrigued. What was going on, I wondered? I wandered in to find this scene:

Apparently, Dora and Boots had to travel across a gazillion gallons of goo and Chris found that to be completely absurd.

Share your Twos-day Twosome or check out some more by stopping in at Who Says 8 is Enough?

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