Sunday, February 28, 2010

Zach's 2nd Birthday...Bounce House Party #1

Friday was Zach's "real" birthday, and it was a day to remember. It started pretty low key. I had his 1st present of the day waiting for him in the morning. Apparently he is still a gift-opening extraordinaire since Christmas, he didn't waste much time...

He was pretty excited about his Color Wonder book and his new ball set. He didn't waste anytime in asking Daddy to help him get his mitt on:

After the excitement of opening a few gifts, Zach settled in to watch a little TV with his brothers and enjoy their morning beverages:
By 10 a.m., the boys and I headed off to Grandma's. (Dad swung by later when he had a break in his schedule)You may remember, Bounce House Party #1 was scheduled to take place at my Mom's house on Friday morning. As it turned out everyone on my side of the immediate family turned up to see Zach's reaction, which made the day just that much more memorable. For those who weren't there to enjoy it, his face looked something like this:

For about two seconds before he unleashed that Zach power smile. I'm sure you're familiar by now with those dimples.
And even though I knew what was coming, I must admit that the sight of Z's bounce house made me gasp just a little too. I mean come on who can blame us when you see this:

Jack and Zach had so much fun together...making it nearly impossible to get a shot of them together that wasn't a complete blur.

Trying to get a shot of the three boys was nearly impossible. Notice Jack is the only one cooperating for this shot:
In an attempt to share in the moment, I climbed in for a pic with Z, after he said, "Momma you bounce." Here we are my Taz and I:

I of course had to get Matt in on the excitement. I didn't want him to look back and wonder, "Where was I?": (Note: Matt did not go down the slide, I think he wanted to, but I wouldn't let him!)

The Bounce House wasn't the only excitement at the party. Grandma also surprised Z with his own cake, and a pile(yes a pile) of gifts.

Our time at Bounce Party #1 was awesome, and Zach smiles just prove how very happy he was:Sadly...looking back, I didn't get pictures of my Mom in the Bounce House, or at all there. I can tell you that my Mom makes being a grandma look good...and that she was enjoying every minute of watching the boys.

After a much needed nap, back at home, Z woke up to find balloons for his party the next day, his Dad, and more presents:

Among his gifts was his 1st pair of roller blades and a helmet. Zach really wanted to model his helmet, so we put it on him.

I should have know that he would want to give me my turn...he is just so thoughtful(or devious?)!:

We ended the day with some Italian sausage, french fries, and salad(some of Z's favorites) at what turned out to be a sort of impromptu gathering. And of course what Birthday would be complete without some cake and ice cream.

Speaking of sure to come back for tomorrow's posting of Z's 2nd Bounce House Party so you can see the very special cake his Aunt Lisa made for him. He has such very talented Aunt Lisa's...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Anticipation and My Parents...

Tomorrow is Zach's 2nd birthday! I know every mother says this, but I can't believe he is two years old! I am so excited for tomorrow, maybe even more excited than I was at Christmas to see his reaction. You see...I know something Zach doesn't know and it is going to totally blow his mind. How do I know? Well I'm 31 and it blows mine. This surprise comes from a very special parent's heart and my mother's love of "doing it big". I love that my Mom relishes childhood so much, and I know today, as I have all the days before, that I was the luckiest kid in the world to be born to the parents I have. Did they spoil me? Sure sometimes. Do they spoil my sons? Yes..all the time, but it isn't just about the gifts they give its about the people they are to them.

Growing up...I never wanted to be older...I never wanted to leave my parents. This might be why I was 22 before I moved out, and was back by 23 and stayed till I was married. (Did I mention I'm going back in June till the house is ready? about love, accepting a family of five(Lennie too) into your home) I could tell you I stayed till I was married to save money, which I did, but really it was because that was the place I was the happiest, the place that I felt complete. As a parent I really want to give my sons that same feeling of home. A place where they thrive because they are loved, and the knowledge that they are never ever on their own. I also want them to feel the magic of a parent(s) who cherishes them and their childhood, who sacrifices for them and never throws it in their face. I want them to love me the way I love my parents, because if they do, I will be loved so completely it makes my heart want to burst at the thought.

I will devout myself to trying to create a childhood for my sons that would do my parent's success justice. I feel so blessed though that they are just as involved in cherishing my sons' childhood as they were mine. It makes our job a bit easier knowing that they have three grandparents who adore them. It makes life interesting that my Mom, particularly, loves to create magical moments. It is her magic that has broached time...crossing from my youth into Zach's and now Matt's. Whatever could she be doing that has invoked this much buildup?

Well folks... at the mention of a bounce house idea for Z, my Mom said, "Let me get it." I was thinking of something small for the backyard. What my Mom opted for was just a bit more grand...generous but not shocking. She settled on this beauty:

And while that is ultra exciting in it's own right. The greatest part of the gift is that my Mom completely reconfigured her family room this evening, so she can blow it up for Zach to enjoy on his birthday. Can you imagine? I can't wait to see his face, and although he might not "remember" it, the memory of what his grandparents did/do to make him happy will last a lifetime. I am the luckiest Momma in the world because I have two beautiful sons, a loving husband, and parents that continue to teach me about embracing this life!

I will be sure to post pics of Z enjoying his bouncy house as soon as possible!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Three months of his cuteness...

For three months Matt has been charming us with his soulful eyes and sweetest coos. He is an angel baby, rarely fussy(except when he's over tired!) and so patient with all of us. Matt is such a beautiful(I know I should say handsome, but beauty is what fits him better) baby and so relaxed. I love that Matt is always ready with a smile or a giggle whenever someone looks his way. I know all Moms sing their children's praises, but trust me folks this little boy has a light in his eyes that is contagious. Don't believe me? Let's let Matt show you:

Now be honest, are you smiling? I know I am! Need more proof of the joy this little man brings? Prepare yourself...Don't you just want to kiss those chunky cheeks? I know I do...oh wait I do!

Matt is growing everyday and he is picking things up so quickly...literally. Today he was grasping and shaking his rattle toy:

And then he was practicing sticking out his tongue...he is just such an entertainer!

I swear I could have sat here all day taking pictures of him...unfortunately Matt wasn't up for it...since he started to fall over (all with a smile on his face!):Happy three months my Matty boy,we are so lucky to have you and your light in our lives!

Bowling with the boys...

For the last week schools have been on a Februaury break. It is something I looked forward to as a teacher and still look forward to as a temporary SAHM. The reason is February break means extra time to spend with my nephew Jack, and my sister Lisa. This week alone we had two play dates a party and an impromptu visit, it was great and just what Zach, Matt and I needed to make this winter seem less long. My best friend Jenn(aka Penny) is also a teacher so we got all the boys together and took them bowling. Jenn brought her two nephews and one of their friends to the outing(three boys) she is brave, and did I mention expecting her 1st child this August? All five of the boys really liked bowling at first. (My mom was kind enough to watch Matt for me so I could focus on Taz(aka Zach) for the outing.) Thanks Mom!

Here is a photo of Lisa and Jack, she's actually talking him through how to throw the ball himself. I heard her say, "Shake hands with the alley." and had to smile since my Mom and Dad always said that to us when they took us practice bowling: By the way Li you can't even tell you are 6 months preggo here!

After Jack had his turn, Zach was up. For a nearly two year old, he didn't do too poorly. Here Zach

I had to help him hold the ball, (and throw it) but he thought the whole thing was really great, especially the part where the pins fall down(did I mention it was bumper bowling?). Here he is applauding his prowess as a bowler:

And for about four frames the boys were excited to bowl. Then their attention span waned. Thankfully Jenn brought snacks and juice for everyone, because for a good 15 minutes Zach sat and ate Cheetos with Tyler(Jenn's younger nephew):

Jack wasn't about to miss out on the snacks, so he joined in.

A minute later when I asked him to pose with his little cousin he went in for a hug:(Just look at Z's smile as Jack moves it to hug him for the photo:

And although this hug looks more like a tackle, I assure you that Z is smiling away, even with his head pressed up against the table.

After snack time the boys never really returned to the game. They were too busy playing bubble hockey:

And checking out the arcade. They both seemed really interested in Guitar Hero:

And Zach even rocked an awesome guitar solo:

Ok...he didn't really play the game, but in his mind, trust me, he was a rockstar!

The boys had a great time, and so did us girls! It's too bad break is over.

P.S. I went to Target and hated the shower curtains...I guess its back to square one. I hate admitting when I am wrong!

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Shower Curtain Debate...

Since we will be building a house that has 2 1/2 baths I am looking forward to decorating the "kids" bathroom. I want it to be fun, but I don't want it to be too kiddish, so that the boys can grow into it, and if we had guests they wouldn't feel like they were staying at a playhouse. For that reason I am avoiding cute animals altogether and planning on going with something vibrant and contemporary. I found two shower curtains that I think will work, I really want the curtain to be light in color(mostly white) since the bathroom doesn't have a window and I don't want the shower/bath area to be too cavelike once inside. My original thought was stripes, but I couldn't really find the tones I liked. I ended up finding some colorful circles and some blue circles.
This is my favorite:

I love that it is so full of color and that I can go in any direction with the wall color/towels. It is actually part of the Alex Moody Monster collection, so tell me people why does my hubby think it is girly? Please post a comment and tell him that he is so wrong on this one if you agree with me that it is a gender nuetral curtain.

Now I am not saying that even if he doesn't concede that he is wrong here, I won't go with the above curtain, but I may be tempted to go with something a bit more boyish, but not nearly as fun. Something like these geometric circles also from Target:

So readers, help me out here. Which would you choose if it was your bathroom and you lived in a house of all men?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My House Is Where?

This past weekend we had two open houses. To our great relief nearly 50 people walked through during our showings and by Sunday night we had two great offers on the table. We accepted an offer for a bit over asking and took a sigh of relief and a moment to try to let the past month's progress sink in. By Monday morning we were feeling really good about not having to prep the house and that so many potential buyers appreciated what we had done. Apparently too many people appreciated it because the following happened.

Wayne picked up the phone late Monday afternoon to be questioned by a man who was looking for answers. You see this gentlemen was looking to rent a house in our area so he went on Craig's List to find an apt/house for rent. He stumbled upon a listing that interested him and contacted the e-mail address listed about the home. There he spoke with a man with a foreign accent who said he was traveling abroad and was renting his house while he was away. They discussed a deposit, but this prospective renter felt something was off. After getting the address of the home via e-mail he used software at his job to track down the home number of the house. What he got when he called was my husband confused about what he was saying.

Apparently someone stole our listing off of the realtor's site and posted it as though it was their home. Thankfully the good Samaritan called us and I immediately contacted Craig's List. I am still waiting to hear "back from a human" but I flagged the post as prohibited and it is thankfully no longer listed on their site. Story over right?

Not so much. Today as I was watching my boys and my nephew Jack, a car pulled up into my driveway. I was reading to the boys on the couch so the man saw me through the window, otherwise I probably wouldn't have answered. I figured he had a question about the for sale sign outside, or was a client of my husbands. He was actually a man whose daughter had been in contact with this scam artist as well and wanted to know if the house was for sale or for rent. I explained to him the situation and that someone was using an image of our house to run a scam, the house was pending sale and was not and would never be for rent. He went away thank God, but seriously it was awkward. I am hoping that no one shows up in a moving van one day and we have to explain they were taken in by a con artist. It makes me sick how some people abuse the Internet, and it also made me aware that caution is key when it comes to cyberspace. What strange cyber story can you tell?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Funny Valentines...

This morning I attempted to take a picture of the boys in their Valentine's Day best. For anyone who has ever tried to photograph a toddler and an infant, you'll understand that at first we couldn't get either of the boys to look at us:

Then we told him to hold Matt's hand...which got him a little more interested in his brother than the TV:

Just look at Matt's smile in the above photo as his brother takes his hand.

After a little more prompting I was finally able to get this shot, a moment before Zach darted off to play with his Elmo stickers:

Maybe next time I'll just take the picture of them doing what they love best... vegging with Lucky Charms(so healthy I know) and swinging away:

Happy Valentines Day Wayne, I love you and thank you for our funny(and energetic) Valentines!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


February, as we all know, is the shortest month of the year, but it isn't the most uneventful one in my family. It is the birth month of many of the most important people in my life, and it has been the parting month of many I have loved. We recently lost a family friend, and just a year ago on the 16th of February I lost my uncle, my godfather. Ironically it is the same month that we lost not only my Papa, but my grandmother as well. In God's master plan however, February has been the month that brought some terrific people onto this earth, people like my grandmother, my uncles, and two of my sons uncles(Nick and Ryan), as well as my first-born baby boy, Zach. So last night we celebrated, a much deserved celebration, my big brother's 35th birthday.

I have always loved celebrating my brother's birthday, in fact I can remember as a kid waking up early with my sister to run into his room, so we could be the first ones to wish him a "Happy Birthday." (He was born around 6:30ish a.m.) I remember how he savored his gifts, his parties, and how he always embraced the day. Last night, as I sat in his beautiful home, in his gorgeous kitchen thinking about the man he has become and watching him play with his nephews, I was so thankful that I had a big brother, not any big brother, but my brother Nick.

In a move like no one else, my brother gave a little speech about all the things that have happened in the last five years, and talked about how quickly the time has gone. He made the comment that we are all so lucky to have each other, and I really felt the meaning and emotion behind his words. Even though I don't always say it, or show it, I adore my brother and I am so very proud that for nearly 32 of his 35 years I have had the privilege of watching him grow into the amazing man he's become. I also feel so blessed that my sons have an uncle like him, who bounces on beds with them, battles them with Nerf swords, and gets excited to build Legos. Nick you will be an amazing father someday, and the next five years have so many amazing adventures that await you. I'm just glad I'll be around to celebrate them with you. I love you!

Some pics of our celebration and my brother's beautiful home:

Starting here:

I just had to share a picture of this range because its a total focal point in my brother's kitchen. What I love about this piece though is that my brother and his wife, Cheryl, designed the mural in the middle together. It is a stunning mural that shows the beauty of partnership. Knowing that my brother has someone like Cheryl in his life to build his dreams with makes me so truly happy!
Speaking of my sis-in-law, she hates photos, but posed anyway for this shot of the two of them. Aren't they a beautiful couple:

And speaking of beautiful, here is my sister, her hubby Mike, and my niece(in-utero):

And speaking of is my gorgeous Momma with her baby and mine:And here are the boys (Jack and Zach)hanging with their Uncle Nick:

Papa and Aunt CC jumped in to play Legos with the boys after Uncle Nick had had his fill:

And here's the birthday boy making a wish(with a little help of course)...I hope it comes true Nick!