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Monday, September 9, 2013

The First Day of School

Today was the very first "First Day of School" in our house.  I still can't believe how fast the girls are growing.  J1 started 4 y/o preschool and J2 started 3 y/o preschool.  I know it's only 3 days a week.  I know it's only 2 hours a day.  I know all these things but yet still got a little teary as I was leaving the school after dropping them off.  I can't believe how quickly my babies are growing up.  J1 has already lost 2 teeth.  We've had 2 visits from the tooth fairy and she's not even 5 yet!!!

I know that as a mom I am supposed to be thrilled that my girls are secure enough to leave me and go to school and not look back, but I have to admit that I was a little sad today that they didn't "need mommy" like some of the other kids did.

Both girls had wonderful days and raved about all that they did.  J1 even sang the alphabet song PERFECTLY tonight for the first time ever (she used to swap J and K in the order).  They love their teachers and are thrilled about their new school bags.  I even had a little homework of my own in the way of paperwork and packing a change of clothes for them to keep at school.

So we had a very successful first day.  I hope that everything goes just as smoothly tomorrow for the first day of dance class!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer is HERE!!!

So Summer is striking back with a vengence.  We have had hot, humid, muggy weather with temps in the upper 80s+.  We finally got to go to the pool today.  We tried a different pool than we usually go to and I have to say I am totally in love with it!  The girls loved it and swam and swam.  It's zero depth and has a small little slide for them, a mushroom splasher and some spray splashers.  The area is way smaller than the waterpark so it's much easier for me to watch them both.  We had such a great day today and are looking forward to heading back later in the week!!

If you are interested here is a link to their website.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer is still not exactly here...

Well it's summer, at least it's supposed to be.  It still feels like spring (or fall even).  I just wish that we could have more than one day in a row with decent summer weather and not rain.  It's been quite annoying.  We haven't had the chance to go to the water park.  At least we were able to set up the slip n  slide for the girls in the backyard.  They do love having a waterslide as they call it.

It's been a busy summer so far.  Between recital, and Relay For Life, baseball and Mom's visit, we've been going and going.  J1's last baseball game is this weekend (after 3 rainouts).  I can't even believe how much she has improved over the course of a few months.  She really does enjoy it and Daddy loves helping her.

Mom brought a book for the girls when she came.  It's a take on "There was an Old Lady that Swallowed a Fly", it's about a coyote.  Well she read it to them every night and it's now their favorite book and after reading it so many times they can actually "read" it themselves.  They both know the book by heart and love to read it to Mommy and Daddy.  There is something so amazing and special in their little faces as they "read" to us.  The pride in their voices when they read the last line is so amazing.  I am so proud of them.  Now we just have to find some more books to teach them to "read".

We had a "Cousins Sleepover" last weekend.  My niece and nephew were here and it went fantastic.  The kids were all great.  They all went to bed, slept through the night and got along really well.  It was nice to see how they can all play together so nice with minimal drama.  With J2 and my nephew being so close in age I was prepared for all kinds of fights and sharing issues and I was so happy that there were none.  I was also worried for my nephew because we don't have any "boy" toys here.  Well he found a light up toy that we had gotten last year turned it into a light saber and had a blast.  It was definitely a very successful overnight.

The girls went to their first concert this past weekend also.  Zendaya was playing at our local festival.  They were very excited to see Rocky from "Shake It Up'.  J1 had a great time and danced and played and enjoyed herself.  J2 didn't get a nap and decided to take one there at the concert.  Not exactly sure how tired one has to be to pass out in the middle of a football field at a concert but she sure did.  We had a great time and it was nice family day.

I hope that the weather gets summery soon!!  Here's looking forward to the rest of the summer!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

First Recital!

So J1 and J2 had their first recitals for dance this weekend.  I must say I think I was more nervous than they were.  I never realized how much time it takes to get them "ready" for it.  Putting makeup on J2 was more than an experience.  I think that it might have been easier to find a needle in a haystack.  J1 was great and loved every minute of makeup time.  

Then of course there was the hair.  J1 was fairly easy and I got help.  J2 was definitely more difficult.  Her style was curls.  Well J2's hair is mostly straight.  So I got to relive my childhood while I watched my mom roll her hair in the sponge rollers just like she used to do when we were little girls for special occasions.  

Rehearsal was a little nerve wracking because the girls had different rehearsal times.  J2 had to be there by 8:30!  J1's rehearsal and picture time was 10:10-11:00 and she had an 11:15 baseball game.  We were lucky and we got it all done.  Although it was pretty cute to see her out on the baseball field in full dance recital makeup.  

On recital day it was much more relaxed getting ready since we didn't need to be there until 12:30.  But it literally took over an hour to get their hair and makeup done with mom and I working on them.  It was worth every minute.  They were fantastic.  I must say I did tear up a little to see my little angels on stage and doing so well.  I honestly have to say it's one of my proudest mom moments so far.  Having seen them work on these dances since September and see it all come together was pretty amazing.  I also have to say I thouroughly enjoyed the recital.  Seeing all the girls dance and the costumes, it was a very well put together show.  The timing was perfect it came in at just under 2 hours.  Seeing my little ones come out for the finale was also adorable.  J2 was boogeying on down on stage with all the "big girls" and just having a blast.  

I had toyed with the idea of leaving after their performances.  I was a little concerned because the recital was literally right in the middle of nap time.  I am so glad that we stayed.  The girls had a wonderful time and loved that Daddy and Mommy and GaGa got them flowers.  They were so excited and so happy.  I want to say thank you to their dance teacher Miss Shelley and to everyone at BDA for an amazing afternoon, that I will remember for forever!  

Here are Mom, Dad, and My Little Mermaid and My little Strawberry Shortcake.  

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

Well the unofficial start to summer is upon us.  Although I can honestly say it does not feel very summery here in Chi-town area.

With the weather being less than stellar it has given me time to reflect on what this holiday is truly about.  This holiday is to celebrate those that have dedicated their lives to protect our freedoms.  There is something pretty amazing about a person that can be that strong.  I know that often times individuals enter the military for all different kinds of reasons.  I don't really care their reason.  Their selflessness in putting their lives on the line for our country in whatever capacity is something to be celebrated and admired.

I would like to take a moment to thank with all my heart those who have served, are serving, and have lost their lives to protect my freedoms.  Most importantly I want to thank their families.  I can't imagine what it must be like to have someone you love so far away.  Military families sacrifice for all of us daily and I am grateful to them as well.  They provide the support to those service men and women that are out protecting our freedoms every single day.

Honoring those that protect our country isn't (or shouldn't be) about politics.  I don't care if you agree with whatever war(s) our government is engaging in.  As AMERICANS we should ALL be offering a debt of gratitude to those who fight every day to give us all the freedom to live in a democracy (as flawed as it might be).  Politics should NEVER take precedence when it comes to giving thanks and well wishes to those that fight for this country.

So please take a moment this weekend to reflect on what freedoms you have that are constantly being protected by our service men and women in all branches.  I would also like to personally thank each and every one of you for what you have given to our country.  May all those that have perished in their fight to protect America be blessed.  May their families be blessed and know that without their ultimate sacrifice America could be a far different place today.

No matter how flawed America may be and how badly our political system is at the moment.  I am proud to be able to call America home.  I hope that we can learn from our mistakes and move forward stronger and more prosperous, for me and most importantly my children.  There is no doubt that we as citizens have a lot of work to do, and many people to hold accountable for the reinvigoration of America.  We need to hold ourselves accountable so that all the sacrifices that our service men and women make are not in vain.

My pledge to myself this Memorial Day is to become more educated about what is going on in our country.  To be more vocal when I can be about things that I don't agree with.  To not allow party lines to blur what I believe is the right thing for our country.  I don't only owe it to myself and my children, but I owe it to all those that have come before me and fought to allow me the freedom to have these opportunities.  That is my pledge on this special weekend.  I encourage you all to do the same.

In the words of Lee Greenwood, "I am proud to be an American, where at least I know I am free.  And I won't forget the men (and women) who died who gave that right to me.  And I'll gladly stand up, next to you and defend her still today.  'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land.  God Bless the USA!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Wedding Vacation Weekend

Just had an amazing weekend with the family.  We went up to Lake Geneva for my Father in Law's wedding and stayed at the Timber Ridge Resort at the Grand Geneva.  It was fantastic.  The resort has an indoor water park and the girls loved it.  So did my husband.  The kids played and enjoyed every minute.  In fact J1 cried when it was time to leave.  She didn't want to leave her "vacation home".

The wedding was beautiful.  It was outdoors overlooking the golf course and a beautiful fountain.  All the kids were adorable and walked up the aisle and were very well behaved during the ceremony.  They danced and danced and had such a great time.  My new Mother in Law looked beautiful.  Both of them were so happy and I am so happy that they found each other.

Here is our family picture from the wedding.  It was an amazingly beautiful day with the sun shining and everything went perfectly.

A special Congrats to the newlyweds Mr. & Mrs John & Patty Blackburn.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Great Gatsby and it's fashions!

So excited to see this movie.  I loved his version of Romeo and Juliet with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. I can only imagine how incredible this movie will be.  Baz has such a unique way of directing and I have such a love for this book.  Here's some tips and info below to be able to get the amazing looks and style you see in the movie.

Full of glitz, glamour, ornate details, and a true style all its own - what girl wouldn't want "The Great Gatsby" look? Whether you are looking to enjoy a casual Gatsby themed garden party or don your most glamorous look at a fabulous cocktail evening, there are plenty of ways with ModCloth to add a flapper-esque flair to any look this spring/summer. 

  • Details, details, details. Epaulets, pearls, rhinestones, and sequins were highly used during this time period to add glitz to an evening outfit.
  • Slender silhouettes. While you could still see a full skirt, long hemline, and high neck, the robe de style dress featuring a drop waist and straight cut was the most popular style. 
  • Haute headpieces. To top off the entire look, add a whimsical & decadent headpiece from ModCloth. You can even DIY a fabulous headband with ribbon, feathers, and gemstones!
For more tips & tricks to achieve the perfect flapper-esque look, you can visit the ModStylists here: ModCloth ModStylists Will Style You Up!. The ModStylists can put together a look-book specifically for you! 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Overjoyed with this week!

My "stories" are back and better than I could have ever imagined.  I wasn't sure how the half hour format would work but it's INCREDIBLE.  The ease to watch is unparalleled.  I get up in the morning, turn on the coffee.  Get the kids their breakfast and get them settled.  I pick a show and I watch with my morning coffee.  It's such an incredible way to start my day.  It has been AMAZING seeing all of my favorites back on the screen.

The story lines are intriguing.  Watching All My Children and waiting to find out what happened on that fateful night at the Chandler mansion has been amazing.  I love that they didn't just lay it out in the first episode.  Watching Jessie, Angie, Dixie, Brooke, Adam, Opal, Zach, and my personal favorite Bianca with all the younger kids has been great.  I know that there are people that are upset with the aging of the characters.  I am thrilled by it.  Honestly, I feel that it was inevitable anyway.  The kids are always aged in the Spring in order to bring in the school aged viewers with teen centric story lines.  I am loving the interaction and closeness with AJ and Miranda.  It's very sweet, but it's also very obvious that AJ is starting to see Miranda in a new light, while she still sees him as a brotherly type.  Waiting to find out who Celia's guardian is is another story that I find interesting and can't wait to see how it plays out.

Now on to my Llanview friends.  Seeing Viki and Dorian back and as volatile as ever is like putting on some comfy old slippers.  It's amazing to see that even a year plus hiatus they can walk back in and just pick up where they left off.  Viki and Clint back together again makes me smile ear to ear!!!  Blair and Todd with their amazing chemistry and on again off again tortured love story always leaves me wanting more.  David is awesome as always!!! I am also so impressed with the new writing team that they were able to integrate the GH stories.  With the character crossover to GH and events occurring in Port Charles that may not have been viewed, I think that the writers have done excellent.   Dani's storyline is pretty meaty and I can't wait to see how it plays out.  I think that Kelley Missal is doing a great job so far. Cutter is just too cute for words and I am interested to see what/if anything is going to happen with him and Natalie.

I am just so happy to have these shows back and be able to enjoy them daily.  I have loved watching the interviews, reading the articles, and seeing the cast in photos and promos.  This has been a week that I will never forget!  Thank you to Prospect Park, TOLN, HULU, iTunes and all the people that have made this possible.  To all the fans that never gave up, never walked away, never threw up their hands even when it looked bleaker and bleaker, CONGRATULATIONS! May All My Children and One Life to Live live on for another 40 years as they pioneer the return of cancelled shows to the internet.  The successes of these shows can pave the way for the return of others!    

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Backyard Baseball

Spring has finally sprung here in the midwest.  The heat is off.  The doors and windows are open.  The fresh air is exactly what we needed!!!!

I was just sitting in the backyard watching the hubby and kids play catch.  There is nothing funnier than J1 looking around for the ball as it rolls through her feet.  She is so funny.  J2 thinks she is going to be on some highlight reels as she poses before she throws the ball.  Next up is batting practice.

Their is nothing more difficult as a mother than realizing that your child has your coordination (or lack thereof).  Poor J1 is trying so hard but she is most certainly her mother's daughter.  I have been watching her at her baseball practices and wondering if maybe we should have waited a year to start her.  She is so small compared to most of the other kids on the team.  I'm a little nervous that in a real game if the ball comes to her she is going to get trampled by the other kids.  Her response time is definitely slower.  Hopefully starting her this year will help her develop her coordination skills.

We have Opening Day Ceremonies tomorrow.  They announce each kid's name and they run from 3rd base to home.  Here's hoping that she runs the right way!

Back out to enjoy my family!

FYI Baseball didn't last very long they were more interested in playing bubbles :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Where is Spring??

Ok so I am so over the cold, wet, weather we have been having.  I want spring.  I want flowers and warmer weather and all that comes with it!

Yesterday we had J1 and J2's first field trip.  Their little faces lit up as we arrived at the park.  The only problem is that it was 40 degrees out after a huge night of rain.  It was cold, wet, muddy and just plain yucky, however it was magical for all of us.

Being able to chaperone with my husband was a very special event for our family.  It was great even though it was cold and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  It still leaves my question though WHERE IS SPRING???

Friday, April 19, 2013

What kind of world?

What kind of world am I bringing my children up in?  What is going on here?

This is beyond insane.  All this craziness, an entire major metropolitan city shut down, two young men that have allegedly committed such a heinous crime, how do these things happen?  How does one decide that they want to kill others?  What does killing innocent people accomplish?   So many questions with answers we will probably never know.

J2 just came to me and this is the conversation that we just had.

J2:  "Mommy can I watch TV with you".
Me:  "No, Mommy is watching the news"
J2:  "Can I watch the news too?"
Me"  "Not today angel, Mommy doesn't want you to watch this news"

I don't want my girls to watch this.  No doubt they are too young to understand or process anything, however I can't in good conscience allow them to watch this craziness live.  I am scared myself, who knows what on earth they could possibly see.  Who knows how bad this could get?

I just don't understand how people can hate so intensely?  How can you hate a group of people that you don't even know?  It's seems pretty simple to me.  I don't like you, you don't like me, so let's stay away from each other and move on with our lives.  How can you take such violent action against people.  This is just unreal.  I just don't understand.  It is MORE than clear to anyone that America is not perfect.  Why do we have to continually be under attack.  Why do INNOCENT American people continue to be killed.

Why does the news sensationalize these terror suspects names.  It is been cleared and verified that the one suspect is dead.  Take his picture down, stop using his name.  As for the second suspect, why give him the notoriety.  Killers do not deserve their names and likenesses to be all over the news.  Some of them crave the type of fame that they receive, so why does the American news system give it to them.  No person that commits crimes should get any fame for them.  Call them Suspect A, B etc.  If you must release names in order to protect the people then do so with great care not to cause fame.  

I just have so many questions and I will never get answers to.  I am concerned for my girls and their futures.  I am concerned for the future of America.  I am concerned for my friends and family that are affected in the Boston area.  I am concerned for the victims of this hellacious act of violence.  Situations like this remind me to hug my girls tight and be grateful for every day.

May the suspect(s) that are still at large in this situation be found and taken in alive.  May the justice for those that have planned and perpetrated the attack, be swift.  May there be a day in the future where I won't be fearful of taking my children to events that may be special and fun for fear that something horrible could happen.  May the world become a safer place, a place of tolerance and respect.

God Bless the USA and all those around the world.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Research, Research, Research

My head is spinning.  It's getting to the time where J1 needs to move to a Booster seat for the car.  I would leave her in her car seat forever if I could.  So the research phase of the purchase begins.  There are a lot of high back booster seats out there.  I don't even know where to start.  As a mom I want the best and safest for my kids.  How do you decide what is the best and the safest?  Which report do you read?  Who's advice do you take?  Everyone has an opinion.

So here I am asking you mom's.  Do you have a favorite booster?  When did you move your child to the booster?  What made you choose the booster you have for your child?

Between the research and your help hopefully I can make the best decision!

Friday, April 12, 2013

I can't believe it!!!

Starting today at 5:00 my J1 will be playing tee ball.  I can't believe it.  She has her little pink mitt and her bat (which of course is kept in Mommy's room for safety reasons).  She's a big girl now.  I just don't know where the time went.  It seems like just yesterday she was still sleeping in her crib and barely walking.  Today I will be taking her over to play an organized sport!

We have to take her shopping for cleats and baseball pants this week.  She has pictures next Saturday.  At least her coaches were kind enough to go with black pants.  I have heard horror stories from other mom's about the nightmare that is white baseball pants.  They have practice twice a week on Monday and Friday with games on Saturday.  We get the full schedule today.  I see an extra load of laundry in my future.  J1's coaches seem to be knowledgeable, they have coached at this level for four years.  We'll have to see when we get there, but the husband played college baseball locally.  The wife played college softball locally and is still a pitching coach.  So one of my main concerns has been alleviated.  I wanted my daughter to learn from knowledgeable people.  I didn't want them to be with some screaming maniac who hates kids and just yells at them all the time.  I want her to learn the fundamentals and not be on a team where it's all about winning.  With coaches that have this kind of experience, I am finding myself more comfortable with all of this.  I am not expecting much J1 is only 4,  but this experience will be her basis for organized sports.  I don't expect her to become a professional softball player or anything, I need to be comfortable in the fact that the individuals that are teaching her know enough about the game to make it enjoyable for her.  I also didn't want an experience where she would feel uncomfortable or be discouraged.  I wanted her to learn the game and enjoy the experience of a team sport.  I am hoping that with their experience with coaching and their personal experience in the sport, we may have hit the coach jackpot.

With baseball starting also starts parent obligations.  I have to work 10 hours over the season in the concession stand.  Which shouldn't be a big deal BUT when hubs isn't working he is usually umpiring over at the park.  So I am not exactly sure how this is going to work but I am sure that we will figure it out.  At least the park is in walking distance from the house.  I may have to hit up the FIL for some babysitting so I can do my hours :)

My next challenge is going to be dealing with J2.  She is NOT pleased that J1 gets to play baseball and she doesn't.  The promise of her being able to play next year isn't cutting it.  She wants to play now.  She also has her little pink mitt and her ball and she plays catch with Daddy.  I hope that she isn't too upset especially since we are all going to her practice today.  If hubs is working I will have no choice but to bring J2 with me to practice.  I may be (and hope I am) wrong, but I have a bad feeling that there are tantrums and outbursts galore in store for me from J2 over this.  Any other mom's have ideas of how to deal with this if it becomes a problem?

That's the other exciting thing today.  We are heading to go see my best friend for the weekend.  Her daughter is making her communion so that should be fun.  I am so excited we haven't seen them since January.  Still have a ton to do before we leave, packing, laundry cleaning and all that fun stuff.  Hope everyone has a great weekend, I know I will!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

It's Relay TIME!

Less than 3 months until this years Relay For Life.  I just sent out my first set of donation emails and I am already 1/10 of the way to my fundraising goal.  I have amazing supporters.  Relay has always meant very much to me.  I have been touched by cancer in my family more times than I care to count.  Last year we started our Relay team Triple Flying Pigs in honor of my mother in law.  She lost her battle with cancer almost 3 years ago.  While she and I didn't see eye to eye on everything, she taught me a lot and made me realize that life is too short and we shouldn't sweat the small things.  She also taught me that tomorrow is not a guarantee.  I miss her more than I ever thought I would.  I miss her for me.  I miss her for my husband.  Most of all I miss her for my girls.  From the moment I met her, all my mother in law ever wanted was to be a grandma.  She is a grandmother four times over and I believe that those grandchildren are a part of what helped her to stay with us for so long.  I hate that my girls will never hear her sing the silly little songs that she used to sing to them when they were babies.  I hate that the only real memories of her they will have will be from stories and pictures.   I hate this disease they call cancer.

Those of you that read my previous blog about my best friend also know how important Relay is to me this year.  My best friend was recently diagnosed with Stage IV Glioblastoma brain cancer.  This type of cancer is very aggressive.  Luckily she has had her tumor removal and as of lsat weeks MRI there is no current regrowth.  She has started a clinical trial this week so we have high hopes that this will help keep the cancer at bay and that her life will go back to business as usual as soon as possible.

Watching her and her family go through this has been difficult to say the very least.  She and I have been friends for 21 years and at times have been as close as sisters, with the yelling and door slamming fights to go with it.  We lived together throughout all of years in college.  Our mothers have become such close friends that they spend time together often without us.  Our families will forever be intertwined.  We joke and tease because while we were in college, my husband had a crush on her, and I had a crush on her husband.  We always talk about how it truly did turn out for the best because as couples we balance our spouses out so well.  We had some amazing times in our lives.  We celebrated our 21st birthdays together (her birthday is the day before mine).  We share our Jersey Girl connection even though we met in Miami.  We have a lot in common and a lot that we have learned from each other over the last 20+ years.

As she and her family enter this fight, I have pledged to walk and raise funds in her honor this year.  It seems almost trite, but it allows me to feel as though I am at least helping somehow.  I know being there for her, and visiting them when we can, and being there by phone just to listen is helpful.  I just always want to do more.  I want to do more for her, more for her husband, and more for her kids.  If all goes well she will be here with me and walking on that track alongside me (and I will probably have to power walk to keep up with her).

For those of you that have had cancer touch your lives and families, you all know how difficult it can be.  I am asking for your help, support, and prayers in this troublesome time.  It is so important to me to be able to assist the American Cancer Society as they fight to give cancer survivors more birthdays.  Please consider assisting me in the fight to end cancer.  No donation is too small, no prayer too small and no support too insignificant.  I thank you all for reading this and even more for keeping my friend, her family, and myself in your prayers.

For those of you who are willing and able I have included the link to my Relay For Life page.  If you are in a position to donate, please feel free to do so.  If you aren't then maybe find out if your local town has a Relay and volunteer some time to their event.  Money is not all that this is about.  It's about awareness.  It's about volunteerism.  It's about making a difference in the community.  Everyone has been touched by cancer in their lives whether directly, or indirectly it's time for us to give back and support the cancer survivors, and honor those that have lost their battle.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to comment and I will answer you.  Or you can email me

Thank you all for your continued support!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let the MADNESS begin!

I love March Madness.  I am not a huge college basketball fan, although I have watched way more this year than usual because of my beloved Hurricanes.  I love watching the games.  I love filling out my bracket.  I just love all of it.  There is something that I find inspiring about watching these kids play their hearts out for the ultimate goal, the NCAA Championship.  I know that others would disagree with me.  I know that there are plenty of non sports fans out there that couldn't give a whistle about the Tournament.  I just love it.

My bracket is all ready to go, and the action has begun.

I hope that when this is all over I will be singing our cheer, It's Great to be a Miami Hurricane!!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Single/Double Sickness Nightmare

Ok so we all know how excited I have been for my sister to come visit.  Well she is here and I got to see my totally adorable nephew.  He has gotten so big and he does all these "tricks" that a 10 month old does.  He is so precious I can't stand it!!!  He claps his hands, shakes his head No.  Climbs and pulls himself up on anything that he can find (including his cousins), and is just too cute for words!!!  We were having such a great time with all the kids together and enjoying them and watching them play together.

And hits....the Single/Double Sickness Nightmare!!!!  On Tuesday, my nephew had a cold and had been running a low grade fever, so my sister took him to my pediatrician just to have him checked out.  He was diagnosed with a cold and the pediatrician told her that he was definitely teething.  This poor little munchkin looks like he is about to pop 6 teeth at any minute.  So my baby nephew was not sleeping so great for his mom and was just a bit out of sorts, although I have to say he is the happiest little thing on the planet even with a cold and teething.

Then on Thursday afternoon out of nowhere J1 spiked a 103.5 fever!  The beginning of the Double portion of the nightmare.  Took her to the pediatrician and she tested positive for Influenza B.  So we got her home and set her up in my bed to keep her away from the baby and from J2.  Picked up a magnet dress up game, some coloring stuff and a little lap desk for her.  Poor thing has rubbed her nose raw from wiping it, even with the lotion tissues.  Poor thing felt so awful that she didn't even care about anything.   We had her set up in our bed, and I was sleeping in with her.  We set hubby up in her bed in the kids room with J2 for the night.  Little did we know what was to happen next.

Illness number 3, at 11:30 Thursday night I heard this horrific noise coming out of the kids bedroom.  I jumped out of bed (mainly because I thought that J2 was vomiting) to find her coughing like a seal and not being able to catch her breath.  It was very frightening she just kept coughing over and over and over.  So we started the shower and she finally calmed down and began to breathe but it was still labored.  So off to the ER we went.  Her and I got there around 11:00 and were quickly triaged and she was diagnosed with croup from there.  We had X-Rays of her chest which was quite funny because my little dress up queen was thrilled to "dress up for her pictures".  Then we had nasal and throat swabs which I would not consider fun at all.  This was all done in about an hour.   We were then moved to an ER cubicle and the nurse came in.  At this point J2 had started to run a fever.  The respiratory therapist came in and gave her a breathing treatment.  Even with her fancy (and very cute) "dragon mask" did not go over exceptionally well.  We sat in the ER for over 3 and a half hours before seeing a doctor.  All the while her temp climbing.  I finally had a nurse take her temp again and it came up as 102.2 so he went to the doctor and got permission for some tylenol for her.  So after all that time the doctor finally came in and gave us the official croup diagnosis.  She was clear for the flu and strep (AMEN).  I told the doctor about J1 and he told me that they had to be kept apart until J2's cough is gone.

Fast forward to 4:30 am when we arrived home (with an extra large Dunkin coffee for me and a large for my sister).  Put J2 to bed and J1 was already awake.  I crawled into bed with J1 and said "Honey, Mommy needs 5 minutes and then fell asleep for 3 hours.  J1 just stayed in bed and watched Sprout and snuggled with me.  J2 on the other hand at some point got up and went down to the couch and slept.  My amazing sister (who was also up all night between us at the ER and my nephew and his teething), took care of J2 so that I could get a bit of sleep.

Have you ever tried to keep 3 kids in the same house all separated?  It's would probably be easier to bring peace to the middle East, OK maybe not but it sure felt that way.  We had to completely rearrange the sleeping situations.  We moved my sister and the baby into the kids room, moved J2 into the guest room (it has a TV), and kept J1 where she was.  It's literally just been a madhouse here.  All I keep thinking about is the episode of the Brady Bunch where the kids get the measles and how crazy it was. I honestly feel like I am in some kind of twisted nightmare.  I have to keep my kids separated from each other and keep them both away from my sweet little nephew.  My house isn't that big for all this separation so I called the pediatrician to verify how long they have to be separated.  The news was not exactly stellar, they have to stay apart until J2's cough is gone.  Luckily J1 has been AMAZING and stayed in our bed and just been so good and understanding, I let her out of isolation for a little bit this morning and she went back to her "cage" with minimal drama.  J2 on the other hand had to be bribed with the Ipad to go back to her room but went back.

The worst part is that my sister and nephew are leaving today and they can't play with him, they can't even give him a hug goodbye!  My sister and I have been looking forward to this trip for so long, and were so excited about it.  Luckily I did get some quality time with my nephew.  In fact I am the first one that he ever "gave kisses" too!! It was the cutest, sweetest, most adorable thing!!! My sister and I got some time in the evenings to chat and while the kids were napping.  We didn't get out hardly at all but, I guess we will just have to have them come back this summer!!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Nooo not my Coffee!!!

It happened in just an instant.  Little fingers reaching for something on the table and there it went.  My entire extra large french vanilla DD coffee.  Down the table, to the floor.  Drip Drip Drip.  It was a gigantic mess.  All over the table, the floors, the walls.  Instead of enjoying my Monday morning coffee to start off my week, I was sopping it up off of everything.  I just spent the last 20 minutes cleaning the tables, the walls, the floors, everything on the table, my cell phone, the house phone, my computer.  Luckily all the electronics seem to be in working order, but I am still bitter.  I don't need much to make me happy but my coffee.  As I watch the news and wait to see this Winter Storm that is headed our way I wanted to be able to enjoy my coffee.  Now the smell of coffee tantalizes me as I have none to drink but I can smell it through the entire house.  I scrub and clean but the smell lingers torturing me as to what might have been.  This is not the way I wanted to start my Monday.  However there is good news that I am holding on to.  6 sleeps and my sister and my gorgeous little nephew will be here for a family visit.  I will just have to think about this and be excited about that.  I miss my coffee :(

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Waiting for the game GO CANES GO!

As a huge football girl after the SuperBowl I always find myself bummed out.  Well not this year!  The Miami Hurricanes Basketball team is MORE than making up for my missing football this year.  Having gone to Miami and always cheering and loving everything HURRICANES, this team has helped me to get over my "football is over" down time.  Usually I don't start watching college basketball until March, but the Hurricanes have been ON FIRE this season and have made watching an absolute pleasure.

I even watched the entire game (the one that they lost to Wake Forest) on the computer because it wasn't on locally here in IL.  I am getting so excited for this afternoon's game against Duke.  Am I nervous, of course I am.  Duke has quite a bit to prove after Miami destroyed them in Coral Gables earlier in the season.  They need to win this game to even have a shot at a part of the regular season ACC title.  I can assure you that at the beginning of the season NO ONE would have predicted that Duke's shot at the regular season title would come down to this.  I believe in this Miami team.  I believe in the drive that they have.  They have struggled over the last 3 games and they are ready to come back strong.  I believe that they can #BeatDuke tonight at Duke and win the ACC regular season title!

I have the kids getting all ready to watch with me.  I am training them early, they get the whole football thing and they will actually spend Sundays watching on and off with me.  Luckily there is a TV in the extra bedroom for Sprout and DisneyJr so that when they are bored of sports with me they can just go inside.  More than once I have heard from them, "Mommy you scare me you too loud".  What can I say I'm a girl that gets into my sports.  I love watching my favorite teams!  I get excited, I get loud, I yell at the TV and my little ones need to get used to it (which they are they tell Daddy, Mommy yelling at the football TV again)!!!

I have taught them how to throw up the []_[] and they will do it and say "It's all about 'da []_[]" It's very cute.  They know some of the cheers, currently we are working on "It's Great to be a MIAMI HURRICANE."  Even though I didn't graduate from Miami it's a huge part of who I am and where my life has gone.  I met my amazing husband there.  If it weren't for Miami I wouldn't have my amazing little pumpkins.  Miami is in my blood and my heart and I just wanted to let them know that this former Hurricane Girl will be watching ANXIOUSLY tonight for them to wrap up the ACC tonight!!!

GO MIAMI GO!!!! #BeatDuke

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

History was made yesterday!

I know that it's a total stereotype that a SAHM sits around all day and does nothing but watch soap operas.  We all know that isn't true, however I am not going to lie.  I have always been an ABC daytime fan.  I was devastated when the shows were canceled almost 2 years ago.  If it wasn't for One Life to Live, I am not sure how those nighttime nursing sessions would have gone.  I would DVR the show and watch it while I nursed my girls as night.  Having the soaps as an "escape" daily really helped me with my postpartum and I honestly just enjoyed them.

Yesterday, after a 2 year long fan outcry and movement that I was involved in, there was good news.  All My Children began production again in Stamford, CT.  One Life to Live is scheduled to begin again on March 11.  This is very good news for me.  Even though the format has changed, and the delivery of the shows will be online I am thrilled.

I can't wait to see what is going on in the lives of my friends in Pine Valley and Llanview.  It sounds silly but I moved from Jersey to Illinois and three weeks after we got to Illinois I found out I was pregnant.  It's not easy to make friends in a new city and with a newborn it's even harder.  Then I was almost instantly pregnant again (Irish Twins are like that).  So now not only did I have one infant I had another on the way.  I used my friends in Pine Valley and Llanview and it helped me to get through a very long pregnancy (it feels like I was pregnant for 2 years which I kinda was).

Not having a huge amount of friends or my family around me as a new mom, I had my soaps.  I had 2 hours a day where I could escape and feel apart of something.  It gave me something to talk about besides my kids.  It kept me close to my family because they all watched the shows also.  It was a link to a world that wasn't just about being a mom for me.

My girls are January babies so we were pretty much on lockdown for the first 3 months because of the weather and the fact that it's flu season.  I only left the house to go to postpartum appointments and the kids checkups.  These shows were such a godsend to me.  I used that time to straighten up the house I used it to nurse my babies.  I used it to just relax and get out of my head.  I spent so much time worrying about everything that I could be doing wrong, but when I watched my shows all that went out of my head.  I immersed myself in the lives of these people.  They always had more drama than me, and it was fun to watch.

So I just wanted to take a minute and congratulate that cast and crews of both All My Children and One Life to Live and tell them that I can't wait to see them all back on my screen (even if it's only my computer screen) as soon as possible.  I also wanted to congratulate those that worked tirelessly behind the scenes and fought to get these shows back in production!  Long live Pine Valley and Llanview!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Oscars...

Ok so I need to preface this by saying I am NOT a fan of Seth MacFarlane, his humor, his shows, or pretty much anything he does.  However, I must say that I have been pleasantly surprised this evening.  I enjoyed the opening number.  His set ups are good.  He hasn't been any more offensive than most comics, but I have also thought that the line needs to backed up about what/how we "tease" people at awards shows.  I think Seth did a decent job, and who knew he could sing?  I wouldn't call him again but he did OK.

I must say though Shirley Bassey was fantastic, for an Oscars that is supposed to be celebrating musicals that small little segment was good but it seemed lacking.  Obviously and of course Les Mis should have been included, but I just wasn't in love with the Chicago or the Dreamgirls numbers.  Not to say they weren't good but they would not have been my choices.  I did LOVE JHud's performance dress though it was gorgeous!!!  Adele was perfect as usual.  Not that anything else can be expected.  Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" stole the show for me.  I love that song.  I loved the performance.  I loved the context of the performance.  I just flat out loved it.  The closing number is adorable.  I just love Kristin Chenoweth she is so adorable.

So what did everyone think of the Jaws theme as the wrap it up music.  I thought it was kinda funny but I still think that part of the award shows are a little bit disrespectful.  Not for anything these people worked very hard to get there and should be able to say their peace, but I do recognize the need for brevity.  I am kind of bummed that Hugh Jackman didn't win I just so totally love him and LOVED his performance.

What did everyone think of the first lady's appearance and delivery of this years Best Picture Award?  Not sure how I feel about it.  She looked lovely and her dress was beautiful but really, why is she presenting an Oscar.  

So dresses I may have to have a follow up on this but I am in love with Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence's dresses.  So different but I just thought they were great.  I also love love loved Kristin Chenoweth's dress.  What in the world was Amy Adams wearing?  She usually is such a fashion frontrunner but I kinda feel like that dress was a flop which makes me sad.  Amanda Seyfried looked gorgeous as usual.  I thought Sally Field looked fantastic.  Jennifer Aniston was gorgeous.  Kristen Stewart really didn't do anything for me her dress was OK but nothing special.  Didn't totally love Nicole Kidman's dress either.

Jessica Chastain was beautiful, she looked very old Hollywood which I love at awards shows.  Have to say I didn't love Jennifer Garner's dress either.  I liked the color but the dress itself wasn't all that.  Charlize Theron was breathtaking.  Even my little ones were looking at her saying Mommy she's beautiful.  Sandra Bullock's dress was awesome too, I loved it.  I didn't love Adele's dress it was pretty but I don't think it was a good style for her.  Her performance dress was fantastic and the shoes were cool.  How could you not love Reese Witherspoon's dress.  Reese could wear a garbage bag and make it look good.  The littlest nominee also looked totally cute Quvenzhane Wallis the blue was a pretty color and she looked as age appropriate as a nine year old Oscar nominee could look.  Speaking of blue Robin Roberts was an inspiration on the Red Carpet tonight.  I think that Maria Menounos was stunning in her pink gown and the best dressed of the hosts of these shows.

So what did you all think?  Who were your favorites?  Best Dressed? Worst Dressed?  Who should have won?  Let me know what's on your mind.

What happens when the Mom can't sleep?

So the whole house is quiet as church mice and I am wide awake.  I hate when this happens.  I stay up to wait for hubs to come home so that we can have some quality time.  What ends up happening is I get my second wind and he crashes.  He has every right to crash he just came off a 16 hour shift with another 16 tomorrow.

I did however blow some wind in his sails today.  I decided that J1 is signing up for PONY baseball this year at the park that my husband played all his childhood ball at.  Hubby is over the moon.  He is talking about buying gloves and bats and practicing.  I have never seen him more excited than when he came home today!

My little girl is going to play T Ball this season! I can't wait and I will post pics as soon as I have some. Hubs has a whole regiment he plans to enforce to help them both learn.  J2 is absolutely NOT pleased that she will not be able to play.  I have explained to her that this year she has to help mommy cheer for J1.  Well she acquiesced to that but is still less than pleased that she is too small to play this year.

Wish this momma good luck and safety in the house once the gear is purchased LOL!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Day!

Living in Illinois would make you think that a snow day wouldn't be a big deal.  You'd be wrong the last couple of winters have been very mild and we only had one good snow last season, and so far one mediocre snow this season.

So we had a little bit of snow last night and the kids woke up to a winter wonderland.  Our eyes were barely open before we started getting the "can we make snowballs?" question.  So Daddy went outside to shovel and clean off the cars and I got them dressed in their snow clothes.  Here they are on their way outside to go play.

They made a snow mountain and threw snowballs at Daddy and they had a great time! There is something so peaceful about watching little kids play in the snow.  The pure white snow and their little pink cheeks are so sweet.

Then inside for hot chocolate.  They loved the hot chocolate.  "It's delicious" was J2's response.  I am so glad that they finally got one snow in this year.  Now let's bring on SPRING!!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Valentine's Day!  Lots has been going on here and I have been pretty busy.  The girls started a preschool class one day a week and it actually gives me 2 hours free to work on all my Relay For Life stuff.  Between that and just being mom I really have been busy.

We had our first trip to the ER recently.  J2 fell out of bed on SuperBowl Sunday.  Luckily she is fine.  Just had us a bit nervous.  I have to say it wasn't even that bad of an experience.  We were in and out in an hour and half.  J2 was the hit of the ER as she was all smiles and adorable with everyone.  She was a trooper and let them do all the tests and blood pressure cuff and everything.  Thank goodness for Doc McStuffins!!!

I am also getting ready for a visit from my sister and my nephew and I can't wait.  I hate that they are so far away.  I feel like my little man is getting bigger every day and I am missing it.  I finally know and understand how hard it is for my family with me and the girls being so far away.

Relay For Life is in full swing and I'm the Team Recruitment Chair this year so I have taken on a big role and I am so happy to be part of such a wonderful event.  I'll post my link and explain more in my next blog.

For Valentine's Day, Daddy took J1 and J2 on a treasure hunt through the house.  He drew a little map and everything and at the end they found their treasure (heart shaped lollipops).  It was the cutest thing ever listening to them and hearing them as they went along on their treasure hunt looking for "X marks the spot".

The girls are getting so big so fast I can't believe that they are 4 and 3 already!  I am so grateful that I get to be home with them everyday.  I can't imagine it being any other way.  They may drive me cuckoo some days but I thank my lucky stars every day for my amazing husband who works so hard so that I can stay home with them.

So today I want to say a special Valentine's thank you to my wonderful husband, without whom I wouldn't have this opportunity to be what I have always wanted to be.  Being a stay at home mom has it's challenges but it is the most rewarding experience I have ever had.  I also want to wish my little princesses a very special Valentine's Day!  They have taught me so much and I wouldn't trade them or being with them for anything.  Hope that this Valentine's finds everyone having a wonderful day and being able to spend it with their loved ones.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My baby is 3!!!

I can't even believe it.  It has gone by so fast.  My littlest princess is 3 today.  Starting the cycle for the next 11 days where J1 and J2 are both 3.  J2 won't turn 4 until the 22nd.  I have such a crazy mix of emotions today.  I am thrilled for her and that it's her Birthday, but I am also feeling a little sad because she isn't a baby anymore.

She is still my Tiny Terror that hasn't changed (especially as she closed her sister's finger in the door earlier today).  She has such a personality and most definitely has a mind of her own.  She knows what she wants and how she'll get it.  I just can't believe that three years have gone by.

So for the next 11 days my girls will both be 3.  I think that even though it has been difficult at times having them so close, it is also a blessing.  They are the best of friends.  They play wonderfully together 90% of the time.  They love each other and have a bond that can never be broken.

I also am sitting here thinking about how J1 is going to be 4.  Where has the time gone?  I am just so lucky and so blessed that I get to stay home with my girls and be with them everyday.  Some days I may want to scream but I wouldn't change it for the world.  I love being a mom.  I love spending every day with my girls.  I love that we can pick up and go as we please and I will forever be grateful for the mom's that came before me to teach me.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sick Little Pumpkins

So it has inevitably happened, the weather has changed and the pumpkins are sick.  J1 seems to be on the mend, but J2 is still not feeling well.  I took them to the doctors yesterday and it's just a cold.  Is there anything more frustrating than not being able to make your kids feel better.  J2's nose is running faster than a NASCAR race and the poor thing is just not herself.  I hate this for so many reasons not the least of which is there is nothing grosser than running noses.  J1 is really good about tissues and wiping her nose.  J2 is not.  She is the kind of kid that just smears it all over her face.  The doctor said that he is pretty certain that it's not the flu which is very good news, but it also means that there is little to nothing that I can do to make her feel better.  I hate that.  I want to just use my "magic mommy wand" and say POOF (or as J2 would say Bibbidi Boppidi BOO!) and make it all go away.

This also leads to another dilemma.  We have relegated the binky to bedtime only.  With her being sick she has been asking for it and just wants to sit on my lap and snuggle.  I can't say no.  I know that with her turning 3 next week we really need to get on the binky issue under control but I just can't do it with her sick.

I wish that I had a better way, and I hope that this runs it course quicker rather than slower.