Wednesday, June 30, 2010

lady liberty

as the 4th of july approaches
we all prepare to celebrate America.

i thought it would be a good time to share a recent day trip we took to
Liberty State Park in New Jersey.

we celebrated a dear friend's daughters first birthday.

here is violet.
{at 8 months}

she is like a little doll!
makes me REALLY want a girl.
{her mom is really creative and has this amazing children's stuff she designs and makes here}

this group of lovely ladies are "my girls".
{minus a couple who were either working or moved away}

we met at marist college.
im so blessed to have found them.
we are like sisters.
all these years later,
no matter the distance,
or time elapsed between visits,
we pick up RIGHT where we left off.
like a group of 19 year old girls.

these girls make me laugh.
you know the kind...
when your cheeks hurt.
we talk about and share things that you wouldn't dream of discussing with anyone.
we annoy each other.
and we love each other.
its very unconditional.
i have learned SO much from these girls.
how to wear make up.
how to dance {well i never really LEARNED that but they tried}.
how to be not so "connecticut"!
and most importantly what friendship is.

{there are a LOT of kids under the age of 5 between all of us.
i can't be bothered to count}

so this day was amazing.
i teared up when i pulled in.
i thought
"oh my goodness. im bringing my children to see the statue of liberty"
i was awe struck.
i wondered before we got there if i would arrive and think,
"i remembered her much bigger from childhood"


still magnificiant.

if your kids monkey bars overlooked this wouldn't you be here

and the rest of the photos below are just snaps of our day.
there are a lot.
it was hard to choose!

it was a good for the soul kind of day.
we had lunch at the park.
and went back to my friends for pizza and beers.
it was perfect.
enjoy a few highlights.

jake being crazy with violets head phones to go to her daddy's shows with
{the milwaukees... go check them out. awsome tunes}

here is dominic swiping sammy's cupcake.
sam is thinking "dude get your own good stuff!"

jake and sammy being mad men!

the kids looking at the statue of liberty.
i love this photo.
there was only minor "staging".

flower picking!

is such joy!
this is my favorite photo of the day i think.

cole checking her out!

and dominic

the big kids singing happy birthday to violet

this is cole and olivia.
brother & sister.
sharing the job of pushing the toys.

that hair!
makayla... winking!

this is jackabie...relaxing watching a movie.
this should be an ad for apple.

oh... and this is jack & olivia.
they are trouble together.
they had to be peeled off one another.
this was hilarious.
this will NOT be hilarious in say, 10 years.
but for now... funnnnnnny!
we got in the car to go home and jack declared "i weally like wivvy mommy" and asked when we could go to her house.

hope your lucky enough to enjoy your friends this weekend as you celebrate america!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the list.

i feel random today.
we have been in the house trying to get mister asthma recovered.
this humidity is killing him.

i have "a list".
the list is a compilation of words that i do not like to hear.

i think the top two, in no order
are moist and panties.
i cringe when people use them.

did you know that the NY Post did an article that Betty Crocker was taking out the word moist from their cake boxes because so many people did not like it?

{i tried too look for it to link up but since i'm lazy and have 2 kids to entertain time is not on my side}.

it's hilarious though.
i have a hard copy of it...
my friend amy {who also enjoys the list} snail mailed to me from work.
i still laugh thinking about the day i received it in the mail box!

there is even a facebook page for the word moist!
im not alone.

there are other words on the list but today i figured i would just share the top two!

figured i'd also share some random pictures to go with my random disclosure.

we've been having lots of summer fun.
we had a weekend get away this past weekend and i have a TON of pictures to edit.

so i'm summer cleaning my photo files.
which reminds me i REALLY need to back up my files before something bad happens to them.
must add to list of to-do's for the week.

without further ado...

no one {with the exception of his brother} loves watermelon more!

he loves his daddy. i wish this photo wasn't so grainy.
i gush of his hair!

mister nathan... i posted about him in may.
he has had a very rocky road to recovery.
this photo was taken a couple of weeks ago.
i love his smirky little grin!
he's looking amazing and doing much much better... but still working on getting better!

i have an obsession with baby feet.
these belong to sam.
they are delicious!!!!!
he loves blueberry's too.
i love the curiosity in his face.

sam is peculiar.
very unique.
maybe he was looking for more.
maybe he just likes to put his face in the bowl.
who knows with him!

little fingers with blueberrys!

moving on to some more randomness
my niece & nephew were pitching at the same time on adjacent fields.
talk about stress.
{i shot with my iso setting on 100 for the ball photos}

this is my niece krystina pitching in the play offs.

and her brother justyn pitching in his play off game.
how does his body go in those directions?
and his tounge went out for every single pitch!

i love this one of him.

while cleaning out the photo files i discovered that you can stay tuned for
peanut butter balls
liberty state park girls trip with the kids
and a few other projects we have been working on!

stay cool!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

get low low low....

the word of the week for you capture is
"get down low"

i was gonna be funny and take pictures of our daily dance parties.
but i just kept missing the moment.
or really... enjoying the moment with my kids.
not behind the camera.

then i was going to be creative and capture some sort of "D.L."
aka... secret.

but with the kids being sick im fried.

here are some photos from our day strawberry picking last week.
before they decided to go and get sick on me!

{i was down low to take these photos}

i have said before.
i hate hate hate when people say:
"what kind of camera do you have? it takes amazing pictures?"

while yes a good camera helps.
its all in the angles and how you work your camera.
you can get great photos with a disposable camera.
so this challenge i felt embraced that thought.

and it's also a check off my summer to do list!

here is sammy ... he was practically paralyzed at the end of the field.
he just stood there.
never moved his feet.
and shoved strawberry's in his mouth.

here is my little farmer.

he had so much fun!

afterwards we went back to my parents house for a swim.
the little water rat checking out the temp first.

and this photo has nothing to do with the "you capture" challenge.
but its part of strawberry picking.
and i simply adore this photo for some reason.
i think it has part to do with the fact that you can tell we are all having fun but can't see any one's face entirely.
but i also love how my mom's smile is what catches your eye.
i love my mom tremendously but she tends to not be the most photogenic person...
therefore we don't have many great pictures that capture her beauty.

and her smile in this picture is
so familiar and comforting.
so natural.
makes me feel like a a little girl again!
at the strawberry fields picking with her.

head over to 'i should be folding laundry' and check out this week's entries.

enjoy... im off to bed.
two sick kids on vacation has zonked me out!

just breathe....

my oldest has what they call "asthma".
he seems to flare up in the fall & winter months.
it seems mostly related to allergies or a cold...
essentially anything that causes post nasal drip.

its awful.
he coughs, and coughs
and coughs
and coughs
til he throws up
and coughs some more.

how sad.
this was taken after her threw up one night from an attack.
and was in the bathroom for the steam.
heart breaking.

it gets worse at night.
he will ask for the steamy shower!
i have anxiety... terrible anxiety that starts the SECOND i hear "that cough".
i panic.

recently i discovered,
sort of by accident,
that he didn't really need the drugs he was taking
-albuterol inhaler
-advair inhaler
- zyrtec
- nasonex
- patonase
- saline spray


not to mention the oral steroids used during flair ups.

so, against the better judgement of the pulmonologist
i advocated for my kid {proudly}
and took him off everything.
he has been fine for several months now.
and was even better behaved!

stay with me here....
so my little guy came down with a high fever this weekend.
i happen to JUST have switched their pediatrician.
so i was worried we would get a little lost in the shuffle.

let me tell you... this new place is AMAZING!!!!!!!!

they were more concerned with the health of my child than copying my insurance card
{can you believe our last dr's office required to show it EVER SINGLE VISIT... and if you didn't have it with you, you were required to sign away life & limb before being treated}.

the dr spent time reviewing his symptoms.
onset of them.
to what was happening now.
to what may or may not happen moving forward.
she sent me on my way with papers to read.
a script just in case his cough got worse in the middle of the night.

its the most amazing thing to have a pediatrician's office that really cares.
not just a business!

ok... sorry for that detour.
back to the asthma and sick kids.

long and short... my little guy came down with a cold.
and after 2 trips to the new pediatrician's office he has croup!

and guess who started coughing again today!?!?!?!
you guessed it... mister asthma!
caught his baby brothers cold.

i had to start ALL the drugs again.
the nurse at the pulmonologist made me feel like a horrible mommy for stopping them to begin with.
and im back to pumping him with drugs.

all just in time for our planned weekend get away to the beach for tomorrow.
so much for that!

my little lovies...
please sleep well tonight.
respond to your plethera of drugs to help.
so we can go away and have a nice family weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

just so!

summer is here!

usually yeah!
and in the grand scheme of things ... "yeah!"

but you see, i'm one of "those people" who just craves routine & structure.
i do better in crisis.
the crazier things are, the more hectic...
the more organized and functional i become.
i loved back to school because i loved to be organized and have routine.
i always had better grades in school during swimming season...
when i worked full time... it was a very high stress chaotic setting working with mentally ill children.
when a child was in crisis, i was quick on my feet.
the more challenging the case the better therapist i was.

when things slow down.
i forget things.
get disorganized.
hence am cranky.
subsequently cranky kids.
and the house becomes a bit messy!

these piles of laundry are waiting for me!

where did the come from?
this isn't even all of it!
there are piles to be PUT away.
i hate putting them away!

my bathroom is suddenly "college dirty".
you know.
just disgusting.
i'd consider myself a clean person.

i don't know if its from the increase in dirtiness from summer fun.
but my tub looks like a frat house tub.
i would take a picture and be more descriptive... but i think i'll leave your imagination to yourself on this one!
i can't let all my dirty secrets out of the closet!

am i alone here with this?!?!!?

i just can't seem to get anything done.

ok i'm off to get everyone tucked into bed and tackle the laundry... maybe!

oh... i also have to finish picking up all the beach toys that are piled up outside from being cleaned off after the beach today.
i suppose the bonus would be that i DID in fact clean them!
just didn't put them away.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

my baby's daddy!

when i found out i was pregnant with number one i thought it was hilarious to refer to my hubby as "my baby's daddy".
it just cracked me up!

i have the most amazing baby's daddy on earth!
{although i'm sure i'm not the only one saying that today}

he works incredibley hard so our boys can have a good life.
he teaches them things i would never dream of teaching them...
yard work.
bike rides.
cleaning the garage.
weather... just the other day jack declared, "mommy, i see storm clouds coming"
sure enough... there was a storm!

when i tell you our 4 year old can rattle off nearly every vehicle on the road im not kidding.
some i've never heard of!
all thanks to daddy.

he does things like send them post cards from work!
he teaches them to hold the door for people.
to be gentleman.
he includes them in our life.
not just has them there... INCLUDES them in the process.
teaches them along the way.

he get's up with them in the middle of the night way more often than i.
not only because he does better without sleep than me.
but because he's that kind of guy!
and they often would prefer him over me {sniffle}.

he makes them giggle.
belly laugh really.
he gets down on the ground and tosses them around.
he totes them around with him every where he goes when he is home.
sends me off for some 'me time' and takes the boys.
he bakes with them! REALLY!
he hates when they cry... to a fault sometimes!
they have daddy wrapped around their finger a smidge!

he doesn't always do things MY way.
but he does them.
his way.
{i'm getting much better at sitting back and letting go... sorta}
and he is awsome.

there is nothing better in life than watching your children and your husband together.
there is nothing worse than those morning that they cry at the door when daddy leaves for work.
or every day the first question is, "does daddy stay home today"
followed by
"will we see daddy tonight?"

but they know daddy works hard.
and the best thing is their beaming faces when daddy gets home at the end of the week.
simply happy and content!

ok... enough about him {wink wink}
below are some pictures of a "tradition" we have every year.

finger painting for daddy.
i take pictures.
frame the pictures in a frame that has 2 openings.
one for the art work.
and one for the photo.
{i would show the finished product but previous years are at his office and this years...
well... it's not entirely done!}

we missed last year because of the baby... i just couldn't get it together!
although i must say i have memories of doing it.
but i can not for the life of me locate the photographs {grrrrr}.

this year was fun because the boys did it together.
sam ate it!
jack got really messy!

they have FULL license {i ALWAYS have to spell check that word!} to get filthy dirty.
then the hose comes out after!

happy father's day to all the baby's daddy's out there!
may your days be full of the perfect mixture of daddy time and "you time"!
and to my baby's daddy... thanks for being the most amazing daddy to our children a girl could ever dream to ask for!

Friday, June 18, 2010

come sail away!

this week's You Capture challenge...


this time of year there are water things going on everywhere.
slip & slide...

since i have done a few posts of the fun every day things...
i opted to share a little about this parade and event in our town.

we live near the harbor in this very quaint little town.
about a 4 minute walk or so.

{photos are not great on this series... it was horrible lighting and i was battling crowds and keep track of children... and the husband... he wanders more than the kids sometimes!}

time almost stands still in this town.
it was used to film the move Revolutionary Road with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
i saw leo... we are now considered friends after i saw him run by me filming.
so they have an annual event every year called
Blessing of the Fleets.

its a little parade.
perfect really...
all the fire trucks
marching bands- not the school ones, old fashioned ones.
very cool!
all the dignitaries in town.
all the religious leaders in town also since they bless the boats

and the boats in the marina come through at the end under the fire trucks in the harbor
where the fire truck is set up spouting water over the harbor to sail under.

there is a little free picnic sponsored by the volunteer fire department.
its so fun!

i loved this set up... unfortunately i had my zoom lens and was too close.
but this beautiful sail boat was pulling the canoe with the boy in the back.
it was perfectly picturesque!

happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

the grouchies

have you ever read this book to your kids?

go buy it today!
its hilarious.

and today... the grouchies got me.
i woke up feeling like i never slept.
and everything everyone did annoyed the daylights out of me.
and it is ME.
not them.

i hate that.
don't you?
it's like a monster takes over, your aware of it, but can't really control it!?!?!
i feel like a mini-bully... just being honest!

i look around my house and there are piles of laundry to either do or put away.
where does it come from?
maybe i'll institute a "birthday suit day" just so i can catch up!
imagine us all running around in our birthday suits all day!
that made me laugh a little ;)

there are things to put away and clean up and do every where!

im also one of those people that when i go to bed at night the house has to be JUST SO.
so when i wake up it is a fresh start.
well last night i didn't finish my chores so i was cleaning up peppers from dinner last night at 7 am.
just adds to my grouchies!

im snapping at the people in my house.
and just feel like its going to be a horrible rotten terrible no good day!

im going to go read "the grouchies" and try and snap myself out of it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

banana chocolate chip yumminess

so this is a "double whammy" post.

a partial check off my summer to do list of baking every week!
and another check on my "getting healthier" quest.

my mom used this cook book for my entire childhood.

check out that price!

it was published in 1982
{i was proud all these years later i knew where to look for this info}.
it has some really great things...

often i make their recipe for "banana bread".
SO easy.
{see below for full recipe}

my first "change" of business is i use whole wheat flour instead of regular.

i mash up my bananas.
usually one of jack's favorite "helper jobs" but he was NOT interested in helping this time!
which is too bad because he has an adorable apron he received as a party favor that he usually dons to help me cook!
next time.

back to the muffins...

i used cage free eggs for the recipe this time to make things healthIER.

i usually put some greek yogurt in to keep the muffins moist
{side note: i HATE the word 'moist', but its necessary when it comes to baked things}
but i forgot my yogurt because its not called for in the recipe and i was focused on photographing the process.

i also add some chocolate chips.
dark chocolate.
they are "better for you".
the mini kinds are the best.

and the kids (self included) think they are getting a huge treat!

this is my favorite trick.
i make mini muffins.
they cut back on the mess.
my least favorite part of muffins or cupcake making {large or small} is getting the batter into the pans.

until one day i had this amazing revolution...
the melon baller!
spray her down with some non-stick cooking spray and voila!

its mess free making!

and we put them in the oven and watch them bake!

*i have also added a butter/brown sugar/walnut mixture to the top of the muffins before baking.
*another "fun" way to serve them is to add some cream cheese on top as "frosting"!
jack thinks it's a huge special treat!
and i don't feel so guilty about serving them now & then!


adapted from 'Sunset Easy Basics for Good Cooking'

3 ripe bananas
1 C sugar
1 egg
4 TB butter/margarine, melted, cooled.
1.5 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp EACH salt & baking soda

preheat to 325
grease pan
mash bananas in mixing bowl (appx 1 cup)
beat in sugar, then egg, then butter.
in another bowl mix dry ingredients.
add to banana mixture and stir til just blended.
recipe says bake for 55 to 60 minutes.
for mini cupcakes i bake for about 17 or so.