Friday, July 29, 2011

This Moment

 {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Great Idea from SouleMama

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Zoo Camp

Before I had kids I was steadfast that summer camp in unnecessary. I still think it is a little silly, especially if one parent stays home. There is so much to do in summer, why not enjoy it with the kids?! 

Then we became members of our favorite little local zoo 3 years ago. In the first members brochure I saw it:: ZOO CAMP. Starting at age 5, just one week of mornings, $100 a kid. I decided that day, when they were 2.5 that they would attend. 

So, they did! Along with their cousin Joey they went to Zoo Camp last week. Each day they entered the zoo before opening. They covered different types of animals (reptiles, birds, mammals, etc), toured the zoo, touched animals, played camp games and had snack.

They loved it! All afternoon our conversations were filled with fun facts.
"Mom, did you know that a Toucan tosses his food in the air, catches it, then eats it?"
"Mom, a girl condor has a little stripe on her neck, but not the boy"

It was all I could do to not sign up for the Junior Zoo Keeper camp myself.
Who says we can't live vicariously through our kids?! 

Monday, July 25, 2011


 15 years ago this Fall, I barely had one foot in New Jersey when I was tackled. 
I had made the voyage to the Garden State for the first time with my new boyfriend/eventual husband. He was to introduce me to his family and I was nervous.

But my nerves were knocked out of me by a bear hug before I even stepped over the threshold. 
Melissa, full of energy and barely a teenager, was the first to greet me and I felt welcome immediately. 
It is hard not to smile when you are with Meliss. 
And everyone laughs at least once. 

And watching my husband with her made me fall in love with him even more. 
And now watching my kids love her, well that just seals the deal. 

We are all lucky to know her and love her and be loved by her. 
(and even luckier that she is a teacher and hangs with us all summer!!)

Friday, July 22, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Great Idea from SouleMama

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Baby Boy

 Did I forget to mention my baby boy Colby turned 11 months a few weeks ago? 
 He is always eating. Always. As a result his face is always messy - why keep wiping if he is still eating? 
He'll have whatever your having. Chicken, fish, steak, veggies and of course fruit galore. Baby food now comes in squeezable little pouches - he starts sucking and doesn't stop until it is empty! 
And don't even think about eating ice cream in front of him without sharing! 
 As soon as the music starts he dances. He waves his hands in the air like he just don't care! Except he always stops to check if your boy likes an audience. He also slaps his belly and knees to help with the beat. We love it. 
He is OBSESSED with dogs. He chases them (at a sadly slow pace) shouting his attempt at "dog!" He also says "woof woof." We are working on patting gently, as his petting style is currently the "grab a handful of fur and don't let go" method. Thank goodness we have a plethora of nice doggies around. In fact, the kids have been around so many dogs this summer, they started treating Colby like a puppy. 
"Come here boy!" 
"Sit, Colby, sit!" 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Big Brother Awards

When you love someone this much, you squeeze them with every opportunity, and plant big fat juicy kisses on whatever body part is in reach.
And if you were able to choose your big brother, you wouldn't do better than Drew.
He is patient, thoughtful, loving and above all else - kind. 
And as much as Colby loves Drew....Drew loves Colby right back.

This is the stuff that makes being a mom so kick ass (excuse my language Nana). 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Here we go...

Ella:: Mom, can I have one of those bathing suits McKenzie has? The one that looks like underwear and then the other part looks like the thing you wear when you're feeding Colby?

Me:: A bikini?

Ella:: Yeah, that. Can I have one?

The conversation kept going, but my chest tightened and I immediately saw the road ahead of Ella and I. The one where she grows up despite my best efforts to keep her my little girl forever. I don't want her to know what a bikini is, never mind want one. And Im well aware that my ignoring conversations, or avoiding teaching moments isn't helping her...or keeping her little. Exhibit B::

Ella:: Oh, they look like those things you have. You know the things that kind of pop out when you feed Colby?

Me (after mentally forcing myself to not change the conversation):: Ella, those are called Boobies or Breasts.

Ella (as she rolls her eyes on the way out of the room):: I know that Mom.

Im a little sad tonight thinking about how my little girl is going to change and grow. Leaving her braids behind for makeup and heels. But Im a little excited too...looking forward to talking as friends...if I do it right :)

Wish us luck!

Friday, July 15, 2011

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Great Idea from SouleMama

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bonus for Grandma

Grandma was wondering if I ever get shots of the kids faces...of course!! 
Here are some beach portraits just for you Grandma :) 

Summer Playground

At first we were all a little disappointed. We signed on for ocean front, and although we were technically ocean front, it wasn't what we expected - sand and waves. Instead it was a winding walk through natural marsh finally ending in a short sandy beach. Beyond the beach was sea grass and at low tide, tidal pools and sand bars as far as the eye could see. At high tide you could walk forever just to get waist deep, as the water gently lapped against the shore. 
To the left of the house was a small beach on the corner of where marsh met ocean. A channel curved snake like through marsh and sand, meeting the ocean with a pretty impressive currant. 
Peppered throughout the landscape were big jetties - long stretches of giant rocks, providing relief from the burning white sand. 
 But what we discovered was that the landscape in front of our house was the perfect summer playground (and provided jaw dropping views, day and night.) 
The kids had an absolute blast. Riding the currant on kick boards, searching for crabs, snails, periwinkles, hermit crabs and more, and jumping across jetties like nimble little sprites. 
The adults floated too, on the natural lazy river, and we plopped our chairs in the oceans edge, watching the tide change the landscape hourly. 

The unexpected turned into unexpected bliss. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vacation Recap

Going on vacation with 10 adults isn't always picture perfect, no matter how much you build it up beforehand - and I build it up, I do. 
There are 10 different ideas about everything from the best beach to what time we should have dinner. 
Add in 7 kids, 3 dogs and a case of Vodka and there are bound to be some moments that don't make the memory book. 
But thats ok. Because for every not so perfect moment, there is an awesome one. 
 Great moments arise when you are surrounded by people who have always been there. The shared memories and experiences added up over the decades give way to deep belly laughs and good natured teasing. 
 And now we are laying that foundation for our kids. One day sitting around a campfire they will laugh about these shared experiences (remember when Nonnie got hit by a firework?!) and bask in the easy going feeling that only comes with family.
No matter how many Holidays and Kids Birthday Parties you stack up, it just isn't the same. 
And that's why we go on family vacation. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

We're Baaaaaccckkk!

We are back in NJ after 2 weeks away. Phew, unpacking isn't as much fun as packing. But as I sort through clothes and shake out the sand, Im gathering my thoughts. A lot has happened and is happening still - so stay tuned for a week back on the blog.

And the pictures? Oh, I've got pictures!!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

This Moment

No words....just one moment I want to remember and cherish. Great idea from soulemama.