Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pool Days!

Although I didn't get the chance to take Z over swimming at my Mom's this weekend, I was able to get him into the big pool during the week. Now that school is officially over, I am sure we will be headed over for pool fun more often. This week we are supposed to have three days of rain, but then it should be beautiful! In order to cheer up the dreary days ahead, here are a few pics of Zach enjoying the sun:

If you note: This is not the safest maneuver for a 16 month old...I should have had both hands on him, a fact that Zach would prove moments later, when he slid off the float and into the pool. I was able to get both hands on him and prevent him from completely submerging in the water, but it was a little too close for comfort. The moral of the story folks: Don't move out of the way just so the photo is cuter! Zach was a trooper though, he's been back in the water since and seems to enjoy being toted around in it. I think I will have to get him a float specially designed for his age, and maybe a life preserver to float it, so that my back doesn't kill me all summer.

While we were visiting my Mom, my bro stopped by and even though Z was soaked, his Uncle Nick just couldn't say no to a snuggle:

Even though Zach was only entertained by the pool for about 20 minutes, it was a fun adventure. I am looking forward to enjoying every day of my last solo summer with Zach. As strange as it seems, next year at this time I will have a 2 1/2 year old and an 8 month old! I don't think that pool days will be quite as easy then!

Friday, June 26, 2009

The King of Pop!

I was absolutely shocked yesterday to learn that Michael Jackson passed away. Although in recent years I found him increasingly creepy, I couldn't help but lament the Michael of my childhood. I absolutely loved his videos in the 80's and dancing to his music. I have so many great memories of his songs, and grooving on the family room floor. I also can't help but feel bad for his children and his family. I know that he was a strange man, but his music was brilliant!

What about those dance moves? Lets just admit it right now, we've all tried to moonwalk one time or another. Even in the later years of his life, when I swore he was one celebrity I wouldn't want to meet, or hug ever...I couldn't help but smile and sway with his songs. "Billie Jean" is one of my favorites along with "Smooth Criminal." Loyal readers, what are your thoughts on the death of this icon. Are you upset because you'll never see him in concert, or slightly relieved that you don't have weird pictures of him in a surgical mask to look forward to? I am sad for the loss to music, although recently I can't remember anything he accomplished in that area, I guess I am most sorry for his family particularly his Mom, who even though he was a creeper to the world saw him always as her little boy. I guess I would like to remember this legend like this, instead of the man he would later become:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Bouncing Graduate and Grandpa!

Although the title of this post is a bit misleading...I wanted to take a moment to Congratulate my nephew Jason on his graduation from kindergarten. I cannot believe that he is already going to be 6 years old in October! Wayne said the graduation was so cute and that his sister was beaming as she watched her baby boy sing songs and partake in the ceremony. I wish I could have been there, but unfortunately I was at work grading exams! I did get the pleasure of attending the post graduation party and it was a great! The weather was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the company was entertaining as well. Most of the time I was fascinated by how long these little kids could jump on the trampoline and not seem to lose energy...meanwhile on solid ground Z was getting into everything; including a pirate ship. I wish I had a better picture of Jay, but he was having so much fun with his friends that I didn't want to stop his fun for a photo opt. Hopefully his mom was more successful during the day than I was. Actually I am positive she was, since no one rivals Lisa in picture taking except maybe my mom. It would be a hard call! (My handsome and well-schooled nephew is the one in the Tye-dye shirt bouncing away!) Aren't his parents the best for buying him such an awesome graduation present?

Then on Sunday, I got some adorable shots of Zach and his Papa. Zach was so excited to give Papa his present that he actually carried it over to him on his own:

Zach bought him some very special gifts; books for Grandpa to read to him. Here they are delving into the first story:

The books weren't the only success...Zach actually got Grandpa a card that stated that some of the best traits skip a generation. He proved it when he started sportin' Papa's aviator shades...I would look ridiculous in those glasses, but somehow they both pull them off:
Is it me, or does my boy look cuter than both Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise in "Top Gun" in those shades. I swear add a bombadier jacket and fifteen years and I am in some major trouble. I think I'll have to google whether locking your children away during their teens years to protect them from crazy girls is legal! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

To my Dad on Father's Day!

Every since I was very small I knew I was a lucky kid. Not only did I have a safe and loving home to grow up in, but God gave me two of the most special people to guide me on my journey. My father has always been a force in my life, whether he was encouraging me with his motivating words, or communicating his love through actions. In fact, he is the epitome of the phrase, "Show me, don't tell me." in that he's never really needed to say I love you(although he does all the time), because he shows it in so many ways. My dad is the first person to the scene of any occasion, whether it be cheering our victories, or handling a crisis. He is the calm voice on the other end of the line when you feel like your world is coming apart, and he is the easy going listener to a million tales. I admire my father for so many reasons because although he is successful in every avenue of his life, he is humble and giving. He values his family above all things, and he would sacrifice for those that he loves without a second thought. He truly is an amazing friend, and a great role-model for not only my siblings and I, but for his grandkids who relish in his attention.

I love seeing him play with Z, because it takes me back and makes me remember all of the great times I had with him as a kid. Whether it was going to breakfast, or playing roller bowler in the family room, making Donald Duck noises, or having him flip his eyelids up, making pizzas and potato skins, playing SEGA, spending hours in car rides, or using his belly as a pillow, he was then, as he is now, always there. Dad, I know that I don't always call and tell you what I feel, but I love you. You have been the backbone of my life, and you have given me support on so many levels. You are everything a father should be and so much more, and we all admire you! I hope on this day, you relish in the fact that not only do your three children,their spouses, and your wife cherish you, but two little men adore and look up to you! Dad, you are the true measure of a man, and you are loved entirely. Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day Daddy- From Zach

Zach asked me to post this little message for him, since he hasn't mastered typing let alone spelling or speaking just yet, but he did pick a poem to share. One of Zach's favorite things to do is chase (or be chased by) his father. The two of them are always engaged in some new games that results in laughter, and a little bit of panic on my part. I mean Wayne does throw Zach up in the air quite a bit, or roll him around in his play tunnel, and yet the two of them sit and snuggle and watch Handy Manny in the am, and Z loves to give his father hugs and kisses. They are the perfect blend of fun and friendship and I hope it always stays that way. In truth, I always knew what a remarkable husband I had, but I never fully appreciated Wayne's wonder till I saw my son looking up to him, both literally and figuratively. What a blessing to get to see my love be a daddy, and what lucky kids we have to have a father like Wayne! Zach and I agree, you are the best daddy in the world!

"Walk a little slower, Daddy.",

said a little child so small.

"I'm following in your footsteps,

And I don't want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast

Sometimes they're hard to see;

So walk a little slower, Daddy,

For you are leading me.

Someday when I'm all grown up,

You're what I want to be;

Then I will have a little child

Who'll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right,

And know that I was true;

So, walk a little slower, Daddy,

For I must follow you."

- Anonymous

Happy Father's Day Wayne! We know that you sometimes feel like you have a lot on your shoulders, we just wanted to take this time to let you know how much we all appreciate you! Oh, and Zach thanks you for carrying him on those broad shoulders of yours...the view really is better up there!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Flutters!

For quite a few weeks now I have been feeling some gurgles from below. Sometimes I convinced myself that it was gas, others I thought I must have a super baby in there to feel movement this early, and yet I knew I was. Now in my 18th week, I can definitely feel the flutters, and I am positive that the movements within are not my dinner, but my baby. Only other women who have felt these tiny shifts can understand how each one is so precious. They let you know that on "the other side" the life within is growing and flourishing. It's funny because each flutter seems to remind me, "Hey I'm in here, you can talk to me too!"

Having a second child is so different from the first. With Zach I constantly read weekly what was developing when, and took hours to sit on the couch and just try to feel some movement. I waited anxiously for each moment, and called everyone I knew the instant something new happened. This time around I find myself racing through the day, trying to make dinner as a toddler hangs from my legs, hoping my house doesn't look as unorganized to others as it does to me, and wishing I had more time to enjoy my hubby and my son. No where in that list do you see me reading to Baby X, or rubbing my ever growing belly, and yet, that little girl/boy reaches out to me, and says, "Hey Mom, I'm waiting!" I feel guilty quite a bit that Baby X seems to come in last place on my to focus on list, wait to be fair, I kind of come in last place, but still you get the point. I don't fret over the nutritional value of every meal, I don't look at my belly from every angle to see what's changed, I don't discuss names incessantly or scour the Internet for design ideas, or cribs to have, and yet I love this child.

On some deeper level, I know that the moment they arrive I will learn that love can grow in ways I never knew, and I know they will shape my world just as much as I will shape theirs. I know all of this, and yet each flutter reminds me! Its almost as though this baby was sent to me to say, "Slow down Mom, you can enjoy things and still be productive." And as this baby grows it reminds me that all kids really need is their mother to nurture them,love them, and take the time to focus on their flutters. My baby X is teaching me, that I am not only mothering the child who runs through my house with dimples blazing, but the little one within who communicates silently but poignantly, that life lies not in the hassles of the day, but in the beauty of what is grown within.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some Fun in the Sun!

Now I am not one to complain about the weather, but after a long 6 months of winter, we are very much overdue for some beautiful days. This weekend delivered, and so did Monday and Tuesday. So what if it is supposed to rain for the next three days and drop into the 60's, I look at those days as one less day we have to water the landscaping. To get me through I also took some great shots of Z in his "pool" when Grandma Alice came over to visit on Sunday. Here is my little man enjoying the sun!
After a few minutes of standing, Zach finally decided it was safe enough to sit. He did have his lifeguard on duty after all:
Actually it didn't take long for a second lifeguard to show up. Someone might want to tell him that he shouldn't be drinking on the job:

After playing in his pool for over thirty minutes, Zach was tuckered out. He of course decided their was one last thing he had to do before getting out of the pool.

It was... try to drown his hat! I actually think he did pretty well wearing the thing, he usually rips them off after 5 seconds, this time the hat made it almost 10 minutes. I guess even Z knew the sun was no match for his baldy head on a hot day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Landscaper's Challenge!

When Wayne and I bought our house almost four years ago, we ripped through almost every room, remodeling it to make it our own. Even spaces like our once frightening basement have been transformed in an effort to make our house a home. And we didn't stop at the interior, Wayne insisted on new siding, roofing, and windows, I mean seriously people we practically recreated the space. BUT... The final frontier lay like a wasteland in the backyard. Here, the only improvement made was a fence the summer we got Lennie, and us filling in a hole from the pool the previous owners stole. Yes, I do mean stole! For over three long years I hated going into my backyard, even after last summer when we had the patio redone in stamped concrete...well that fiasco is a different story, there was nothing of beauty to look at. For some reason my neighbors believe that sheds should look dilapidated and shabby, and when my rear neighbors took out their trees, I knew it was time for action.

Wayne and I hatched a plan, and like usual, Wayne set it in motion. By the end of the week we had a design, plants ordered and help on the way. The challenge was to turn this:

And this:

Into something fabulous. For two days, yards of dirt were spread, Tony and Wayne trenched out beds, and what seemed like a hundred wheelbarrows of mulch were shoveled (Just ask Wayne how his back is.) and some snacks were had:

Sorry...I couldn't resist the cute factor of this photo, so I snuck it in. Look at Z's smile behind his hand and Lennie's look of "Oh man, just drop one!" I digress.

In the end, what we ended up with was:and this:
And finally this:

We weren't the only ones who liked the new space. It seems to have attracted a few new friends like this guy:
Now "GROW TREES GROW!" and cover the shabby sheds behind us. In the meantime when I need something beautiful to admire, I can always look at these little beauties we added to the yard:
Ah... I love when a challenge is complete!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I'm Back!

After a little over a week, and about 1000 essays later. I am finally ready to re-enter the blog world. This week has been a hectic one; school ended for the kids(I still have exams and a lot more papers to grade, but mostly at school and not at home.), we put landscaping in the yard, Zach had his 15 month check-up, I had a dr. appt and scheduled my next sonogram, and...well the list could keep going. I wanted to hop on to say a post is forthcoming with pictures and stories, its late and I'm tired, so I'm heading to bed!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Sabbatical!

I just wanted to let my readers know that I am going on a grading sabbatical. I am overloaded with school work to complete before the end of the year, so I need to spend my time at night grading and not blogging. Hopefully, by next week I will be back with some witty and entertaining stories, but for now, I bid you a temporary farewell!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Update, Pony Rides, and A Birthday Shout Out!

I just wanted to assure you all that Zach does not have pink eye. I was happy to see that Monday morning there was no pus, or redness, so maybe it was just another allergy. I also wanted to let you in on some exciting news in Zach's life. He went on his 1st live pony ride today. Don't worry he was well protected, a person on each side, and the ladies at daycare said he loved it! I only wish I could have been there to see that signature smile, but I am sure they will provide me with some dashing pictures for a price! They also had a petting zoo section there today, and supposedly Z loved the goats. He loved petty them and looking at them, so much so that he cried when they had to go in. I don't know what it means that my son loved the goats so much, but I've always found them a little grimy and sort of gross! Like the saying says, "To each his own."

Mom, sorry to put your birthday wishes in a post accompanied by "pus" and goats, but I wanted to make sure I blogged to you. I would love to do it tomorrow on your actual birthday, but I have a great evening planned... with you! Dinner and the theater, now that is what a 35th birthday should be! (It is a little strange that you are now 35 and I am 30, but hey thats the beauty of numbers!) I just wanted you to know how special tomorrow is for me, because its the day one of my best friends and heroes was born. I love you Mom and I am so happy that I get to be your daughter. I know that in the coming year you will continue to amaze, support and inspire your family, but I hope this year gives back to you too! You are definitely a person who deserves her wishes! Happy Birthday! :)