Monday, March 31, 2008

Sandy Saturday

How is it that boys instinctively know to throw rocks?

The last five weekends have been busy with birthday parties, housework, holidays, yardwork, and relatives. This was our first weekend with nothing planned. We decided to do one of your favorite things - head for the beach. We love the beach in the off-season. No traffic and no parking meters, but with plenty of sun and room to run around.

Yes, Dolle's was open. And they got haircuts later that day.

Exactly how I feel when I am the beach.

Hey, our table is ready at Grotto !

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Weight Watchers Week One Weigh In

4.8 pounds lost, but I had to pee so I am offically calling it 5 pounds. Yea me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Full Circle

When I was growing up, holidays were always big, loud days filled with cousins to play with, the laughter and banter of uncles watching football, overflowing meals of Polish and Italian and Irish food, and an abundance of filled candy dishes. The men would go for a ride or fall asleep in the living room after the meal, and the women gathered for coffee, gossip and sweets in the kitchen after the dishes were done. The kids would play outside or head down to the basement to ride Big Wheels and play Barbies. When it was time to go home there would be frantic negotiations to have this cousin or that one spend the night, and then a sleepy ride in the car, with a carefully wrapped stash of homemade Easter bread in the trunk to take home. Those days are some of the best memories I have.

As we got older, and the families extended even further, holidays started to splinter off into immediate families. We saw less and less of the extended cousins, aunts and uncles. Every family started their own traditions. But I missed the big holidays of my youth and this year I decided that we would throw open the doors for Easter and invite the extended family. Phone calls were made to cousins and aunts and uncles. And on Sunday we had over 30 people.

Heading out the door for the Easter Egg Hunt.

It was loud, and filled with kids and laughter and Easter eggs. After a huge meal and an Easter Egg Hunt,the men went for a ride down the road to check out the house that my cousin is building. The women did the dishes and laid out the desserts. We made coffee and gathered around the table to laugh and gossip. The kids ran in and out swiping candy from the many baskets and bowls scattered around the house. The older kids played football in the back yard, while the little kids ran all over the house.

Checking out the Easter Egg's he found.

At one point the basement door opened and we could hear a loud racket from below. My kids were down there riding Big Wheels with their cousins. And then it hit me that it had come full circle. My kids were enjoying exactly the kind of Easter that I did when I was a kid. And that was better than a whole basket of Peeps.

Better than all the Peeps in the world.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Give Silda a Break

I would have dumped him hard. Lawyered up, taken him for every penny, and then booked myself with Matt Lauer for an in-depth interview, and then Oprah for some healing. Perhaps a book deal.

But she didn't. For whatever reason, be it a sense of loyalty to the father of her children, or an attempt to save face, or as some people have intimated, a well-paid last obligation as first lady of New York. She had her reasons.

But since she did do what she did, and did it on TV, in two different press conferences, we all feel entitled to comment on it. And I for one am a bit perturbed by some of the commentary I have seen on her - how she is Harvard educated and a fool and how could she do this and demean women? One jackass even blamed her. Blah, blah, sanctimonious, self-serving BLAH!

I, for one, would have killed him before there was time for a press conference. But no one know what happens in a marriage. No one know what other people suck up and deal with for the sake of the kids. Or to preserve their lifestyle. Or because it is easier to look the other way than to deal with the ugly truth of the situation and what it would take to leave. Lots of women and men make the same decision every day. To stand by their spouse, even in the face of cheating and lying and dishonor. They just don't have to do it on TV. Instead they go on with their lives as if everything is fine, posing for family Christmas card pictures and making vacation plans and keeping it all shiny, happy and perfect on the outside.

Everyone has dirty laundry. Silda just had to wear hers in front of us. Instead of slamming Silda, lets all just be grateful we don't have any hooker-related press conferences in our near future.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I Can't Bring Myself to Write on Them!

Somewhere in my travels through the old internets, I found a link encouraging me to enter a contest over the The Paper Cafe. Being a ridiculously hopeful sort, I linked right over to enter and ended up practically spending the afternoon there looking at all of the cute stuff.

The contest, which I won!! Was for these adorable fun note pads.

No more sick notes scribbled on the back of a deposit slip!!

Good for kids, and husbands.

It just needs a spot for "The good candy is hidden in ___________".

Makes remembering to buy tampons and Windex much sexier.

I have already saved a few favorite items in my shopping cart for future purchase, as soon as I know where one sister will be moving.

Run over there and enter the March Giveaway

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Big Three

Three years ago right now, I was being wheeled into the delivery room. I was about to begin the greatest experience of my life. I knew that I would love being a mother, but nothing prepared me for how much I would love it, and love you.

From the moment you were born, you were better than any fantasy I had ever had about what my children would be like. I held you in wonder and I couldn't believe that you came from me, that I was responsible for your perfect little nose, your tiny hands and your pink feet. I thought I would get used to it, but you still take my breath away all of the time with your gorgeous deliciousness. Eamon, the way your eyes twinkle and dance when you laugh at something I said. Jonas, the way you stare at me with those big blue eyes, full of so much trust and faith in me that sometimes I don't feel worthy.

In the last year you have both taken off in a million different directions. Eamon you are a born performer, and are happiest when you are making us laugh with a story or a silly dance. You need a little more time to wake up in the morning, but once you do you leap into the day with the energy and curiosity of 10 kids. You want to learn all of the time, and you are always looking for something new to climb, read, color, or throw. You love school and your friends, but you also like just being with your family too. I love when we are all at the dinner table and you look around and do "roll call", saying "My Daddy, My Mommy, My Jonas, and Me!!". At night, just before bed, you snuggle up next to me and sigh contentedly "This is our house Mommy. You and me and Daddy and Jonas." You do love your brother and always refer to him as "My Jonas". You don't like when you don't know what he is doing or where he is, and you even stand up for him when he is in time-out, waiting at his knee until he gets out. You favorite things right now are your turtles, The Backyardigans, and Diego. You learn the words to songs quickly and love to sing. When we ride in the car for any length of time, Jonas invariably falls asleep and you sing. And sing, and sing, until the last mile or two of the trip, when you feel into a deep sleep, with your fingers playing with your hair. You are my sunshine, my sweet, sweet boy.

And Jonas, you love Eamon right back. Lately you have taken to grabbing him for a "Big squeeze" and saying "You my best friend!". Nothing makes me happier than watching how you two love each other. You have become protective of your brother, stepping in to protect him from Graham when he yelled at Eamon one day at "school", and always looking out for him when cookies or milk or markers are being handed out. You also love school, but not as much as football, which has become your obsession. We guess it is because you worship your older cousins, who all play football. You talk about it all of the time, and we can pretty much get you to eat anything if we tell you that it will make you a strong football player. You have favorite football shirts and Steelers socks that you want to wear every day, and can spy them in the clean laundry basket from a mile away. You love your books and "Jack's Big Music Show" and you love, love, love to dance. Most days when we get to school, you run up to your teacher and ask her if you can "go dance", and I am late to work sometimes because I just love watching you groove and shimmy to your favorite songs. But I think your favorite thing to do is to chase and wrestle with Daddy and Eamon. I love your hysterical screams and laughter when "Daddy Bear" chases you and catches you in a bear hug. You are getting so big, but your are still my snuggly Baby Joe with the softest, most kissable cheeks in the world.

Both of you have learned so much in the last year, You are full of words and chatter and stories and songs. You have very definite preferences in clothes, books, food, TV shows and stuffed animals. You like going to the park, and the "Milk Store" (Costco) to see the "Muffin Man" (baker). You love your bath, but hate brushing your teeth. You like balls and trucks and cars and trains. We watched "The Polar Express" at least 40 times in the last four months and soon, very soon we will take a real train ride to celebrate potty training success. I love when we are riding in the car and you spy the letters you are learning in school, and hearing you say the Pledge of Allegiance, and telling me what the weather is every day.

Every day with you is filled with joy, and delight, and challenges and learning. You have changed me forever, for better, and I have never been as happy to be anything as I am to be your mother.

Happy Birthday, and many, many more, my sweet boys.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Party's Over

It was great. 16 kids, plus my two. They had a blast. Jumped, rolled and danced in The Little Gym, which I highly recommend. Those women who run the party are great with the kids and had us in and out of their in 90 minutes with military precision. 90 minutes was just right for the 3-4 social set. Enough time to warm up to their peers, run around like lunatics, have a snack, and then head home for a nap.

I will try to upload a video later today. My kids are the greatest. Expect a weepy 3rd birthday letter tomorrow, the actual Big Day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lifting my head up from the party loot

I am neck deep in 3rd birthday party preparations. Oh, and work, and my marriage and parenting too. (Riiiiggghhhhtttt!)

Mostly birthday party prep though. I dont know why. We are having it at The Little Gym, where they pride themselves on doing everything for you. But I am still sweating the details. And losing sleep.

Helicopter much, Michele?

I think as of tonight I will finally have all of the crap
for the favors. I spent less time planning my wedding. The coolest part will be the Super Kid Dance Mix CD's my sister and my wonderful nephew Joost made up for us.

That's Christine in the middle, and Joost is off to the right in orange.

But I did lift my head up out of the bags of favors long enough to do some reading on what now with Obama and Clinton. And I saw this, on comments in the blog "Crooks and Liars", and thought it raised some interesting points regarding the experience issue, which is repeatedly being thrown around. I am at that stage right now where I am so overwhelmed with data by both campaigns, and the rest of my life, that I cant focus on what is real and what is spin. So these facts and figures (assuming they are as they say) were very helpful.

I welcome your comments. I do. Just dont make me have to think too hard until after Saturdays birthday party.

Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term - 6yrs. - and another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law - 20 - twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years.

These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress, but to save you trouble, I’ll post them here for you.

1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.
2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.
5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.
6. Name post office after Jonn A. O’Shea.
7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death.
10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men’s Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program.
13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.
14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death.
15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty. Only five of Clinton’s bills are, more substantive.
16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11.
17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11
18. Assist landmine victims in other countries.
19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.
20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected in the wilderness preservation system.
There you have it, the fact’s straight from the Senate Record.


During the first - 8 - eight years of his elected service he sponsored over 820 bills. He introduced:
233 regarding healthcare reform,
125 on poverty and public assistance,
112 crime fighting bills,
97 economic bills,
60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills,
21 ethics reform bills,
15 gun control,
6 veterans affairs and many others.

NY TImes Obama’s record in the Illinois Senate…..APHIC.html

The New York Times

His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and co-sponsored another 427. These inculded:

1. The Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 - became law,
2. The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, - became law,
3. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate,
4. The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, - became law,
5. The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, In committee, and many more.

In all, since entering the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and co-sponsored another 1096.

An impressive record, for someone who supposedly has no record according to some who would prefer that this comparison not be made public