Friday, February 27, 2009


As seen on Laura's blog, there is a site that takes the most common words from your blog and makes a graphic. Uhmm...maybe a little too much Ella going on? Or rather, not enough of the other two. I can't find Tyler's name in this at all! I have a feeling it may only use the information on the first page of your blog, because most of the words were unique to my most recent posts. Anyway, it is fun and cute! It is called Wordle If you click on the picture it will take you to the site and a bigger version.

Wordle: Untitled

Thursday, February 26, 2009

School Lessons

We went to visit a preschool yesterday and learned a few things.

After seeing the classrooms, I learned that my house isn't nearly as cluttered as I thought it was. (I know, not a good sign).

Hopefully, the staff learned that it isn't a good idea to put the snack out before saying goodbye to your guests and not offering any to them. (little chocolate donuts and Apple juice, if you know Ella, you know those snacks are like winning the lottery)

I thought the lessons ended there, but later Ella shared a lesson of her own. When we were discussing cleaning up toys before dinner, Ella began saying, "Its not fair that people clean their toys." I had never heard anyone in our house use the term, "it is not fair" so I asker her where she learned it. She replied, in that little matter of fact manner that she has, "I learned it in school today."


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Wear my Sunglasses

Some toys just stick around. These glasses are a staple around here, they even survived the move. They all take turns wearing them, even though there are other pairs in other colors. Right now they are Tyler's obsessions.

That was Ella at about 10 months. With the pictures lined up like that, they look more alike than usual. Same head shape, nose, and smile. Same cuteness.

I mean, who doesn't love red sunglasses?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


It is hard to describe the moment Mike walks in the door from work. The entire house changes. You can sense the excitement, the relief, the pure joy. Suddenly everyone is happier, smiling, and talking excitedly. After he changes his clothes, the kids talk over each other, giving the highlights of the day.

"We went to the gym class and Debbie said, 'Don't touch the trampoline!' because I could get hurt."
"I fell down and hurt my knee, see?!"
"Look at the picture I made, just for you!"
"How was your day, daddy?"

He listens. He smiles. He asks questions. He yells, "I love it!" and "Thats amazing!"

They bask.

I observe.

The highlight of the day, for all of us.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Blue Door

This morning Ella and Drew attended their first class without me. We have been talking about it forever. Sometimes they would seem excited, other times they would say they didn't want to do it. I wasn't sure what to expect.

They walked through that big blue door, actually Drew bounced through it like Tiger from Winnie the Pooh. They never turned back. Not a wave, or a hug, or a "mommy can you please come in?" I was so proud and probably beaming like a Cheshire Cat, thinking that maybe this separation stuff wasn't so bad. Who are these people that get so emotional on the first day of school?!

and then...

I peeked through the window. The carpet squares were arranged in a circle for songs and each child was choosing one to sit on. Ella and Drew sat next to each other, then looked at each other. They both stood up and pushed their carpet squares together and sat back down, shoulder to shoulder.

That was it. I lost it. Tears were coming fast and furious. They looked so cute sitting together. They are so loving towards each other. They supported each other. Maybe I am doing something right. At the very least I am lucky to be a fly on the wall, watching the show.

Tyler and I tried to go play, but both of us were drawn back to that blue door for the entire hour. Finally it opened and those two gorgeous smiling faces bounced out.

Ella yelled, "Im so proud of myself!!"

I couldn't be prouder.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Dear Ella, Drew and Tyler -
Mommy and Daddy are leaving you at Nonnie's house tomorrow for a 24 hour get away. This may be shocking to you. It has been 1 year and 4 months since we last spent a night away, and more importantly a morning sleeping in. Tyler, my little monkey, you have never woken up without me. I am most worried about you - but not enough to cancel our plans!! I know that you will be eating donuts, watching movies, playing endless games of hide and seek and will most likely not notice that we are gone. I also know that Daddy and I will relax and rest, but by Sunday morning we will be anxious to get back to you. Because although 24 hours without you is exciting for us for a variety of reasons, we truly enjoy and love being with you. Not an escape or a break, just a little time for us.
xoxo Mom

ps. This is my 300th post! Woo Hoo!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What are you talking about?

We think our kids are the funniest on the planet.
Even though I know all parents say that, and it is cheesy, I still really believe it.

My mother was chatting with the kids and after they told her a story she exclaimed, "Get out!!"
Drew replied, "Get out?!!" in this crazy half growl, half high pitched scream because he didn't understand why she would say that.

While at the diner a waitress said to Ella, "You are just the cutest little girl!"
Ella replied, "Yes I am."

Ella believes in the power of the people. Example, I say, "Ella you can't pick your nose because it is yucky."
She responds, "No mommy. PEOPLE can pick their nose because they have boogies!"
Next example: Me, "No more cookies, we will have dinner soon." She replies adamantly, "Momma, people do eat more cookies because they love them!"

After putting my hair in a ponytail, Drew commented, "You look like a different mommy. A better mommy!"

Drew was using the potty and Ella was waiting for him to finish so that they could resume their game. I overheard from the bathroom. "Drew, just do the poopies faster. You can do it. It's ok, Drew, you can do it."

Uncle Daryl

Uncle Daryl has a special touch with newborns. He carried and held Ella for hours as a baby.

Maybe he was whispering subliminal messages while she was sleeping, like, "you will like me. you will like me."

Most likely Ella was just able to sense and absorb his gentle kindness and genuine interest in her. And that has stayed with her. I have a feeling it will for years to come.

Recently she has named several of her puppies, and a plastic phone, "Uncle Daryl." She takes them for walks and tells them stories in her bed.

This past weekend she shot this photo all by herself. Then she asked to stay over his house - quickly changing her mind when she learned that Uncle Daryl does not in fact serve Munchkin donuts for breakfast.

I hope the recent events will overshadow that brief period when Ella refused to look at Uncle Daryl and would cry when he entered the room!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why Not?

It was 12:30 AM as we pulled onto my parents street. The kids (and I) had been asleep for hours as we made the trek "home" for the weekend. It had been almost 2 months since our last visit, and we were all needing a fix. Suddenly we heard a little voice from the backseat:

"We're here!"

It is as if Drew sensed we were nearing one of his favorite places in the world.

So, what to do when you arrive at your Nonnie and Caca's house in the middle of the night? Sneak quietly through a dark house and go to bed? No, no that just wouldn't do. Not after 2 months. Not when you love the inhabitants of this fun house so very much.

You might as well play dress up, because isn't that what all 3 yr olds do until 2 in the morning?!

Oh, and don't be fooled by his absence in the pictures, Tyler was playing right along with them!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I love this picture because it really feels like a moment captured. A real moment. Im wondering how long Drew will be heads above Tyler. I wonder how many things they will experience standing side by side. Looking at the ice over the boards, the field from the dugout. Maybe even belly up to a bar somewhere. I love this moment, 3 years old and a year, but at the same time I can't wait to see how their relationship develops. In this moment, Drew is the sweetest big brother, always gentle, ready to share, and quick to laugh at his little buddy. Tyler is watching, following, and mimicking everything Drew does - and tackling every chance he can get.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day

So many things take on new meaning when you are raising kids. A simple holiday is one of those things. Sure it is fun to make and give Valentines. The cupcakes and cookies are yummy treats. But there is a hidden message that I am trying to send.
Celebrate life.

Valentines Day has become a holiday that people love to hate. They feel pressure to buy gifts and to be romantic. Maybe it highlights the difficulty of being single. It isn't fair to men. It is a holiday that Hallmark made up. Instead of enjoying the day or even ignoring the day, people are spending energy HATING the day. It makes no sense to me. I want to send a different message to my kids.

Celebrate each day.

Valentines is a day to celebrate each other. To celebrate the idea of love. To enjoy. As every day should be. A day you will never get back. A day that adds together with all the other days to make your life. Is it a happy one filled with love and celebrations? Only you decide...not Hallmark.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Change of Scenery

Beth is changing her blog around, and it got me inspired to change this one. I would love some input!! I always call them my monkeys, so I thought the new name was cute - any other ideas?
Im also going to continue experimenting with the layout, design and picture...again ideas and feedback appreciated!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nana's 92

Nana Vera is 92 today, yes, as in years!
I have had this post in my head all day, but I was heading up to bed thinking about writing it tomorrow, when I realized that Nana is not in bed. She is in Foxwoods sitting at a 25 cent slot machine in all her glory. If she can do it, I can do it.
At some point of everyday I get a knot in my stomach wishing I could be with my Nana. She lives in the house she was born in, 92 years ago, but now she lives alone. Her entire life that house was filled with family, but now she drinks her tea alone in the kitchen I love. I would love to stop in - even though each stop in requires at least an hour as she brings various items out for your inspection. She knows where everything came from and how much it cost, even if it is 80 years old.
The funny thing is that most days if you stopped in she probably wouldn't be there. She loves to go "out galavanting." Whether to Foxwoods a few times a month, out to lunch, or even accompanying a friend to the beauty salon - Nana loves to go. She is the definition of a people person. Loves to chat and learn all there is to learn about a person. She isn't afraid to ask questions, and she isn't afraid to repeat the answers to anyone who will listen.
Im curious to know what she thinks the big lessons in life are...Ill ask her this weekend at her party. There are a few lessons I have learned from observation:
1. Go out. Go anywhere. Experience life.
2. Honor your family, but don't be afraid to offer cheap shots about their weight or cooking.
3. Keep a clean house.
4. Talk to people and listen to what they say.

Ella, Drew, and Tyler may not get to spend time with Nana, at least not as much as I would like them to, but they will know her.

Life Imitating Art

Say Cheese! Make a silly face! Oh, that's a cute one!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

All Dressed up and...

No where to go.

It's snowy. It's dark. It's cold. Why not have a dress up party? These hats were all $2 each at a local discount store. Best $2 ever spent. There is nothing like Drew wearing a silver lame (that's la-meh) cowboy hat all day! I just keep wondering, is someone wearing one of these at a mall or bar somewhere thinking they look good?!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Ella takes dressing up and accessorizing to a whole new level. A tutu is not for swirling and dancing, but rather to hold those pesky dress shoes that never stay on, and a few other odds and ends she may need in her travels.

Friday, February 6, 2009

We all Wear Red!!

Wear Red

My good friend Kristina discovered in a routine physical that she had a heart condition, She went on to have open heart surgery that saved her life. Today is "Wear Red" day to raise awareness about heart disease and offer support to women. Get a physical, take care of yourself, exercise and eat right. Simple lessons that can save lives.
Im wearing red today to remind me to be thankful for my friend Kristina and all the joy and warmth she has brought to our lives. xoxo

For more information Go Red for Women

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2 Years 2 Late

After we took this picture, I should have driven straight to the highly recommended co-op preschool to register Ella and Drew for the 3 yr-old program. Never mind that I had never heard of the school or the town. When I went to register them last night, I was told that I would have better luck registering Tyler for the 2011-2012 school year. Right price, right curriculum, right facilities, right program, but now it is back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Best

Dear Tyler,
You give the best hugs. You wrap your arms around my neck so tight and sometimes even a fistful of my ponytail. I especially love it when I think the hug is over, so I start to pull back, and then you grip me even tighter.
Someday when you are 16 and you want me to drop you off blocks from your high school, I will think back on these moments and love you anyway and Ill remember that you love me too.
- Mom

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

3 Little Monkeys

Since kids change so quickly -who are they right now?
Ella is a story teller. She recaps every experience from going to the bathroom to the super bowl party. She will tell you all about it regardless of whether or not you were there, or if she told you all the details 15 min ago. She also tells fascinating fictional stories about her puppies and princesses. Many times her characters are sick, encounter stores that are closed, and end the story by waking daddy up. Some start with "once upon a time" and end with "happily ever after." I love when she says, "and at that point..." These days you can find her caring for her puppies, hoarding small objects in her canvas bag, or building towers.

Drew is off fighting the mean guys. His weapons of choice are drumsticks, vacuum attachments, and play kitchen utensils. He may also be seen wielding his magic wand or his magical mirror. He loves to jump off the couch into his bean bag chairs. He can walk around the house or play on the couch for hours at a time - "getting the mean guys." He loves to show off his tricks and will announce himself first with a dramatic and very loud, "Ladies and boys, Boys and Girls! Watch this special trick!" Tricks may include running fast, balancing something on the end of a stick, singing a song, etc. Drew is the king of dichotomy, asserting his Independence one minute and crying for help for a long ago mastered task the next. He also gives the best hugs and kisses.

Tyler T, is a...well, he is....ah, how can you describe Tyler? He is in the middle of everything. He is running, climbing and my favorite the backwards tackle. If he sees one of us sitting or laying on the floor he runs over, spins around, and backs into us. Then he turns to jelly, rolling and laughing until you fall down too. He loves books, cars, and our castle toy. Tyler gives the absolute best hugs. He also screams louder than any human recorded on earth, ever. Sometimes after a scream he puts his finger to his lips and says "shhh." Very adventuresome, he will walk run or climb anywhere, never even glancing back to see if I am following.