Saturday, December 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Alexander

Dear Alex,

You are six years old today! No longer are you my chubby little baby. No longer are you my ornery little toddler. You are now my tall, thin, kind-hearted, sometimes short-tempered big boy.

You are in Kindergarten. You absolutely love school. You are learning to read. You can add and subtract. You go to karate where you demonstrate amazing focus and self-discipline. You are very loyal to your family. You are so excited to meet your baby brother in just a few weeks. You torment your sister as only a big brother can. You protect your sister as only a big brother can. You struggle with who is boss around here. (NEWS FLASH- I AM). You are too smart for your own good. You are sensitive and thoughtful and frustrating! You are independent. You dress yourself, take showers on your own, and like your privacy. But when no one is looking you still love to be sweet to your mom! A few weeks ago, you gave me the best compliment ever. You told me you thought that I did everything perfectly as a mom! It was the best thing anyone has ever said to me. Thank you!

You are such a boy! You love anything electronic, especially my iPhone. You still love to say bathroom words. (I am still waiting for you to outgrow that one). You love to push your limits. You love to be goofy and make people laugh. You love to dance. One of your signature moves is smacking your own behind while you are dancing. YOU think this is hysterical. Sometimes we butt heads because I am not into your “boy humor,” but don’t worry Isabella thinks you are hilarious!!

I hope you have had a very Happy Birthday my sweet boy. Starting a week ago with your Mad Science Party and then this morning your family party, A Pirates of the Caribbean brunch. I love that you are my son and know how to rock a theme – you are wearing your Pirates of the Caribbean shirt and even have on pirate underwear! Six years ago everyone camped out in the waiting room of the hospital for hours and hours and hours waiting for you to come into this world. Today your family joined to celebrate the amazing kid you are today!

I have a picture of you hanging in the sunroom from our trip to Disney this year. You are laughing out loud. It is the perfect picture of you. On the frame is written, “You Make Me Proud Everyday!”

And you do! I am so proud to be your Momma. I love you will all my heart. I hope God blesses you everyday of your life, because the day you were born He blessed me in in the most amazing way...I will spend the rest of my life thanking Him for the gift of you…my first born.

Love, Momma

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Alex's Science Birthday Party

Last Saturday, Alex's birthday celebration started with a boom! We had a bunch of his buddies over for a MAD SCIENCE party. The boys were entertained (and educated) with science experiments. They changed a liquid to a gas, "tasted" homemade soda, and washed their hands with bubbles. For the grand finale, the boys helped launch a rocket. Then they all had a great time running around the yard, singing Happy Birthday, and eating fun "science" food.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

The past few weeks since my grandmother died have been so hard on me. This is usually my favorite time of year. But this year, I have a heavy heart. I miss her so very much. I have a picture of her and I on my desk. I look at our smiling faces and her hand on my face, and I know I need to be brave. It is what she would want.

And although she is no longer on this earth, she is in my heart because as my cousin Richard said so beautifully, I was her heart. She was so proud of me and the family I have built. So I will be strong for her. I will not let her down. I will not focus on what I have lost, but rather the values of love and family she instilled in me and all of her family. And I know I have so many things to be thankful for this year.

I am thankful for my friends. They have been a tremendous support during this difficult time in my life. I am thankful for my family. We are blessed to have one another, and we have been there for one another in a way I know would make Grandma Mela proud.

I am thankful for my beautiful children. I am thankful for Alex and how smart and diligent he is in school and karate. And I am thankful that he is such a sensitive soul - he is wearing Grandma Mela's cross around his neck and says he likes that it is by his heart so he can always remember her and show her respect. I am thankful for Isabella who is the happiest, most imaginative little girl. I love that she gets so excited when we spend the day together. She always says, Girls' Day! I am thankful for how they both are so excited for their new baby brother to get here. My belly gets countless hugs and kisses everyday. I am thankful I have only 10 weeks of this pregnancy left!! I can't wait to meet my new little baby boy. I am thankful for my husband who carried up many many bins of Christmas decorations and baby clothes from the basement tonight without complaint. I am nesting in a big way lately, and he loves me enough to humor me.

Tonight we all cuddled in Isabella's bed and read our Thanksgiving books. Alex said he is thankful for everything he has. Isabella said she is thankful for her fam-a-wee (family) and Snow White. I am thankful for how much they love one another, their mommy and daddy, their cousins, their grandparents and their aunts and uncles. I am so thankful and proud that I am the Mommy of two kids with such strong family loyalty even at their young ages...

And I owe it all to the example set by our big, crazy, amazing family. Because... "Other things may change us, but we start and end with family." -Anthony Brandt

Friday, November 11, 2011

Dear Grandma Mela,

You called us your “kiddies.” We called you “Mam-ma, Grandma, Grandma Mela." You made the sign of the cross on our foreheads and said “May God Bless You.” And now every night I do the same for my kids and they say it to each other. You never tattled on us when you babysat even when we were rotten. I looked forward to sleepovers on Plumbrook Court. And Sunday dinners at your house. And Christmas Eve. You always made Christmas so special. We were the luckiest grandkids – we even got Christmas Eve gifts! And the best cookies in the world. They were always unveiled after our wonderful dinner of sausage and peppers and lasagna. You were at every birthday dinner. You always had to see us on our actual birthdays! I will never forget our trips to Nutley or our beach vacations in New Jersey and Ocean City. You used to love to sit on the porch at night and listen to the ocean. (And I remember when Alex was a baby, he sat on your lap on the beach and you fed him a peach!! A random thought I know, but one I will never forget).

And we grew up. And you were still there calling us your kiddies. You celebrated our graduations and danced at our weddings. And held our babies. I still remember coming home when Nicki was in labor with Sophie and you were sitting at the kitchen table timing her contractions. In every picture I have of you in recent years, you have a great grandbaby in your arms. They brought you so much joy. As you always said, “I just such a kick out of them!” And they loved their Grandma Mela. Alex is already calling you his angel and is praying to you! He learned in church that you can pray any time of the day, so he said that he knows anytime he wants to talk to you he can…not just at bedtime. He is wondering if you are getting free ice cream in heaven. And he told me he will never forget you. He wants to put a picture of you in his room so he can always see you.

When I told Isabella you were in heaven, she said, “Grandma is in heaven with Jesus. I wish we could take an airplane to see her.” Me too, sweet girl. Me too.

And don’t worry about Poppy. We will do our best to take good care of him. Alex told me the other night that he had a good idea. He said, “We can go visit Poppy every couple of days. Remember Mom, when we would always go to their house?” Yes. I remember. Eating pizza, drinking wine and Anisette, trying to drink coffee (you always made it so strong), and then eating candy…reeses and green leaves. You loved having us there. You would always clean the floors so the babies wouldn’t get germs when they were crawling around. Sitting around your kitchen table chatting will always be one of my fondest memories.

I know without a doubt you are in heaven with your mom and dad and your sisters and brothers. I am sure you are playing poker. Hopefully you are having better luck then you always did in Atlantic City. I know you will always be looking down on all of us. But I want you here. I am really not sure how I am going to live without you in my life. I miss you so much already. I want you to hold my new baby in February and bless his forehead. I promise to tell him all about you, and I will tell him about all the times you made the sign of the cross on my belly and said, “May God bless you.” And I will tell him how the last time I saw you, you put your hand on my belly and said, “I love that belly.” You loved him before you even knew him, and I will make sure he knows it. And one more promise – I will always hold you in my heart and never forget how much you loved me – I am so blessed to be your oldest grandchild and to have had you here with me for 34 years. I love you Grandma Mela. May God Bless You!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

3rd Trimester

Wow! 27 weeks down. 12 to go! Yikes. 12 weeks sounds like a long time. I can't believe I have to be pregnant for almost 3 more months. I know it will go by quickly with the holidays coming up...Thanksgiving, Alex's birthday (yes, he thinks it is a national holiday), Christmas.

Been going to the doctor once a week. Measuring right on. Heartbeat nice and strong. He is a mover. He seems to be doing somersaults in there. He gets the hiccups all the time - no joke. Several times a day. Excited for next week. I have another sonogram. Can't wait to see him again.

My c-section is scheduled for February 1st. I am praying for no snow this winter!

Alex and Isabella are beside themselves with excitement. They have both felt him move. They kiss my belly. Alex hugs me and thinks it is funny that his arms do not reach around me. ha ha. Real funny! Isabella went with me to the doctor and heard his heartbeat. Each of my pregnancies has been so special, but I think this one is most special because I get to experience it with them.

I can't wait to meet my little man. But as uncomfortable as I am, I am cherishing this time. This will probably be my last baby. I sit every night and just enjoy feeling him move. And even though I am over most things about being pregnant, that is the one thing that never gets old.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Lost Tooth

No, it wasn't Alex who lost a tooth today. It was Isabella. About a year and a half ago, she fell and chipped her two front teeth. We have been to the dentist 4 times, had it x-rayed and everything looked fine. Last week I noticed she had a blister on her gum and took her back to the dentist. They x-rayed it again and gave me the news that her front tooth would have to come out. I held it together until we got outside and then lost it. Isabella said, "Mommy. Stop crying over my tooth." I just couldn't help it - my poor baby girl.

All week long we have been talking about being brave at the dentist (more for me than her) and how the tooth fairy is going to come to our house and leave her money just like on Yo Gabba Gabba. Alex offered to let her use his special lost tooth pillow (that was daddy's when he was little). He also offered to go back to preschool and be in her class just in case anyone made fun of her.

This morning, we headed to the dentist. She climbed in the car, breathed the silly gas and held perfectly still. She was the model patient. Daddy and I were nervous wrecks.

An hour later we were home watching movies. Pop came to visit. Nana is on her way. She got some Lalaloopsy dolls for being so brave. Her best friend Kaitlyn surprised her with balloons, a card and some ice cream - just what Dr. Kohn ordered. (Thank you, Ms. Sarah).

A little while ago, she came into the kitchen. "Momma, I looked in the mirror."

"What did you see?" I asked.

"A princess."

Here she is, my beautiful, confident, happy princess with her new smile.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's a Boy

Baby Boy,
Since the moment I found out I was carrying you, I wondered day and night if you were a boy or a girl. Well today at the ultrasound you were more than happy to show us that you are all boy!!! You are so cute…you were all curled up and comfy in my belly. I hope that means you are going to be a cuddle bug. We called all your grandparents and aunts and uncles to tell them that we were having a baby boy.

Then off to the store I went. I bought blue balloons, a blue stuffed monkey, and a little brother onesie. I picked up Isabella from school and told her the news. And then when Alex got off the bus we put the onesie on the bear and the look on his face when he realized he was having a brother was priceless!! He is going to be such a good big brother to you. He has already promised to teach you math when you turn 4. And he also said that he wants to go look through all his books and give you some and he will read them to you when he learns to read. And Isabella is going to be like another little mother to you. She tells me that she will hold you and rock you.

I can’t believe we still have a little over 4 months until we meet you. But when it is cold outside it will warm in our home because baby boy you will be here – and our family will be complete.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Big Day for My Big Girl

Today Isabella started 3 Year Old preschool. When we got to school she smiled as we snapped pictures of her by the “Chestnut Grove Tree.” Then it was time to go to her classroom. She put her tiny hand in mine and looked up at me. “Momma, you are going to stay with me?” I held back the tears and told her that no I wouldn’t be staying but she is a big girl and will be fine (but would I?) She wouldn’t let go of my hand. She might as well have been squeezing my heart. I kissed her and said a quick goodbye knowing she was in good hands. I held back my tears until I got into my car. I cannot believe she is already in preschool. As I have said so many times before, the years are going by so so quickly. I want her to stay my baby girl. I kept busy this morning and looked forward to seeing my girl at 12:30. When I picked her up she was sitting in her cubby with a huge smile on her face. She had a great morning.

We went home, had a snack, changed clothes and then we were off to her first ballet class. She was too cute in her pink tights, ballet shoes and tutu. When we picked up Alex from the bus stop she showed him all her new moves!

What a day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Alex's First Day of School 2011

For almost six years, Alex has been mine. For all his days, I have been his caregiver, his teacher, his playmate. Yes, he went to My Gym, and to camps and to preschool. But the majority of his day was spent at home with me. Today that all changed. Today was a day that we have been talking about all summer. Today was the day that Alex got on the bus and smiled and waved as his daddy and I cried behind our sunglasses. Today was Alex’s first day of Kindergarten.

I can’t believe that he is old enough to go to school all day every day. I am one big conflict of emotions right now. I am so excited as he starts this new chapter in his life. He is going to learn so much at school. But I am so sad that he is no longer going to spend his afternoons with Isabella and me or be able to sleep in like a teenager. This morning she told him, “I am really going to miss you Ally.” And my heart literally broke. I still see him as my baby and I can’t believe he is no longer my baby, or a toddler, or even a preschooler. He is a school-aged kid. I want to rewind time. I want those years back when he was mine… all mine.

Today when I picked him up (did I mention he was only gone half day today? I might really fall apart tomorrow when he goes all day) he was so happy. He had such a “great day” (Mrs. Bensen’s words). I asked him how the bus ride was and he said, “I started to cry, but I was able to hold my tears back. And then I realized they were just tears of joy.” Then I asked, “Did you say, ‘I miss my Momma?’” He said, “No. But I was thinking it in my head.”

Well , I spent my whole morning thinking “in my head” how much I missed you. You may be a big kid now but as far as I am concerned you will always be my smiling, silly baby boy (even if you only allow me to say it when we are by ourselves). And even though I have to share you with teachers and friends in my heart you will always be mine all mine.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday, Isabella

Dear Isabella,

I think I am in denial. I can't believe that tomorrow you will be three years old. As I rocked you tonight you barely fit in my lap. It seems like only moments ago, you were an infant in my arms.

In the past six months you have really changed from my baby girl to my big girl. Six months ago when I asked if you wanted me to have another baby you would say, “Momma , you don’t need another baby. You have me. I’m your baby.” Now you call yourself a "big girl" and you are so excited to be a big sister in a few months. You tell me that you love the baby in my belly and you are so cute taking care of your baby dolls. I know you are going to be a great help when the baby comes.

Six months ago you wouldn't even consider using the potty or giving up your "nippy." Now you are potty trained and haven't asked for your pacifier in months.

Some things haven't changed though. You still think Alex hung the moon. You talk from morning til night. You are still in love with Gigi. You only want your daddy when you are hurt. You are as stubborn as can be and will not take no for an answer. You need to have your toenails painted...always! You love to cuddle. You always say, "Momma, will you cuddle with me?" And often times I walk into the playroom to find you and Alex cuddled on the sofa watching a movie. And although you two love to torment each other, your bond is and always has been undeniable. You are as much his protector now as he is yours.

One day when you look back and read this letter, there are some things I want you to know about yourself as you were turning three. You know your whole name - Isabella Grace Beynon and say your nickname is Izzy Grace. You sleep with about 20 stuffed animals and call them your "cuddly things." Your favorite movies are Snow White and Beauty and the Beast. Your favorite color is pink and you love books, especially Pinkalicious. You have a best friend named Kaitlyn. Your cousins vie for your attention and the older neighborhood kids think you are a local celebrity. I call Sophie and you "American Girl Doll and Bitty Baby." You love to help daddy in the yard. You went to ballet camp this summer with Mason and Preslee. You love to dress up and pick out your own outfits. You sit at your banity (vanity) and put on jewelry and brush your hair. You are a girlie girl. But you are also tough. You don't take any stuff from anyone and tell it like it is. And if you are in a mood watch out! You are quite the tattletale. Poor Alex can't get away with anything these days. You are learning the art of shopping. We go to the mall and our first stop is Starbucks (a chocolate milk for you and a coffee for me). And I know I am in trouble when you pick something out and say, "But Momma. I need this." (But usually I agree).

I am a little sad and a lot nostalgic tonight as I write this letter to you. You are growing up way too fast. But I am also excited to see what this year will bring. You are getting ready to start preschool and in a few months you will be a big sister. Big changes are coming your way my sweet, sweet girl, but one thing will always remain constant - you are and always will be the light of our lives. I have always said that you have a light in you that brightens the world around you. Your spunky personality and beauty both inside and out make my world a wonderful, funny, beautiful place. I love you with all of my heart.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Isabella's Strawberry Shortcake Party

When I asked Isabella a few months ago what kind of party she wanted for her birthday, she said, "A Strawberry Shortcake party." And you know how I can run with a theme. With last year's beautiful day in mind, I started planning and buying. I bought everything strawberry I could find...candy, cookies, clothing, decorations, even hand soap!! I started searching for strawberry dessert recipes. I hired a DJ and a Balloon Artist.

Everything was going according to plan. And then came Irene the hurricane. All week long I watched the weather and Irene get closer scheduled to make landfall in Maryland Saturday night. And that meant rain all day on Saturday! At first I was baby deserved a beautiful summer day just like last year. But that was not in the cards. When I told Isabella that it was going to rain on her party day, she said, "It's okay Mommy. It won't rain inside." So we cleaned out the garage and set up tables and decorated the inside of the house. We put the DJ in the mudroom - not ideal but it worked. We thought maybe people wouldn't come because of the weather - we should have known better - people filled and I mean filled our house. We ate and danced and Isabella had so much fun. She played with her friends and opened a ton of gifts and smiled when everyone crowded in the dining room to sing happy birthday to the sweetest girl in all the world.

Last night when I was putting her to bed, I asked if she had fun at her party. She said, "I loved my Strawberry Shortcake Party. Thank you for my party, Mommy."

You are welcome, Isabella. Anything for you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby #3

Dear Baby,

Here you are at about 12 weeks. You are about 2.5 inches and completely perfect. I saw your little arms, your legs, your heart beating (165 bpm). You had the hiccups. You looked like you were doing karate in there which Alex thinks is so cool. And when I showed Isabella your picture she said, "That baby is sooo cute." And speaking of your sister, you look just like her. But that doesn't mean I think you are a girl. I have no idea. I knew for sure with Alex and Isabella, but little one, you have me stumped...I have had boy and girl dreams (including one where I was wearing a shirt that said, "It's a girl." And another where you were born and the doctor said, "It's a boy!")...Alex says brother...Isabella says sister. Well, I guess we will just have to wait 6 more weeks to find out.

One thing is for sure, no matter boy or girl, I am madly and totally in love with you.



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In Her Words...

Alex was dancing around naked after his bath. Isabella said, "Stop that, Alex. You are freaking me out."

Isabella was playing today. She picked up her bag and said, "Bye. Mommy. I am off to Target." Then she noticed the capital I that is stitched on the bag. She said, "I'm not 1. I am 2." I explained that it was a letter I. She said, "I'm not I. I am 2."

Alex was bothering her as only a brother can, so she said, "Go to your room. You are being a bad boy."

After asking Alex and Isabella to behave about 10 times, I raised my voice and told them it was time for bed. As we were walking up the stairs Isabella said to me, "You know, you don't have to be such a mean wady (lady)."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

As is the mother, so is her daughter.

-Ezekiel 16:44

I can only hope this quote is true. I try everyday to be like my mom. She is my role model. I believe she was put on this earth to serve others and to lead by example. She has amazing faith. She believes the best of others. She is a selfless mom and grandmother.

I try to emulate her in every way so that maybe one day Isabella will in turn want to emulate me.

I really enjoy Mother's Day now that I am both a daughter and a Mother. I love that mothers have a day to be pampered and spoiled. Because let's be doesn't happen often. Everyday I DO for my kids. I LIVE for my kids. I believe that is how it should be. If I am doing my job right, then my success in life will be reflected in how my children live their lives. I try to live my life in a way that will make my mom proud and to show the world what a great role model she is in my life.

I feel so blessed to have been honored this week by my children. Isabella and I made pizza in school which we shared at snack time. Then she presented me with her hand print in gold... her little hand that fits so perfectly in mine. The hand that touches my face when she says, "I love you, Mommy."

And yesterday Alex and I went on a date to the Mother's Day Luncheon at his school. He sat front and center on the stage and sang his heart out. He was chosen to hold up the sign "You" when the children sang our song, "You Are My Sunshine." He made me a plate where he drew us as a big sun and a little sun , because he always "wants me to remember our special bedtime song." Like I ever could forget. I can't describe the joy I felt when I realized that not only is he the light of my life, but I am his...

Some days are tough, some times I get frustrated, being a mom is not always easy...but it is SO worth it. As the Chinese writer, Lin Yutang, said, "Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother." I believe this with all my heart. Like my mother, I was born to be a mother and my children are most amazing gifts that I can give the world.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Disney World

I can't believe we have been back from Disney World for a month and I am just now writing about it. It has just been in the past week or so that I have recovered. Disney is not a vacation - it is a trip. We didn't do much relaxing, but we had an amazing time. We didn't miss a thing! The seven days were spent dining with the princesses and Mickey and friends, riding rides, watching shows and parades, and walking and walking and walking. The kids were such troopers - getting up early and staying up late! Alex's favorite things in Disney were the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, being transformed into a pirate, and The Great Movie Ride. Isabella's favorites were the princesses and the fireworks. My favorite part was seeing the magic and wonder of Disney through their eyes. They loved every minute and marveled in everything they saw! They have already been asking to go back!

Here is a link to our photo book.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Alex's Love List

Today Alex told his teacher, Mrs. Shipley, he wanted to write a list - a LOVE LIST! I love my sweet, sweet boy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Alex: Mom, how does this whole marriage thing work?

Me: What do you mean?

Alex: Who picks who? Does the girl pick the boy or the boy pick the girl?

Me: It works best when they pick each other?

Alex: What if I pick a girl and she doesn't pick me back.

Me: Well...

Alex: Never mind, I am just going to let the girl pick me - it will just be easier that way.

Smart, smart boy!

Happy 80th Birthday, Grandma John

Dear Grandma.

Can it really be 5 years ago that we celebrated your 75th birthday? Your kids took you to Charlestown - remember my dad won all that money? And a bunch of your grandkids and three great-grandkids went to the mall and got a portrait taken for you. We could barely stop laughing long enough to get the perfect shot.

I miss you so much. You may be out of sight, but never out of mind. Actually, you are not out of sight either. I keep a picture of you on the visor of my car. I talk to the kids about you all the time. I tell them stories of how I used to have sleepovers with you and how one of my favorite places of all times was your house on Deer Park Road. I remember your kitchen most of all - I used to love washing dishes with you. (I still have the phone number memorized - 922-9118). I tell Alex how when Pop and his brothers were bad you were known to pull an ear or two to get them to behave...he thinks that is hysterical. I tell them that I wish you were here to come to all of our parties because you loved to be around people. And I know you would get so into helping me plan. Remember the little cheesecakes that looked like black-eyed Susans we made for Nicki's wedding shower? And then there was my wedding. You helped me make the details so perfect - the ribbons on the favor boxes, the chocolate truffles, my bouquet. There are so many times I say, "I wish grandma was here to help." (You would be so proud of your daughters - you should see the capes they made for Alex and his friends for his 4th birthday). I tell Alex that you were the one who bought his baby book and found the undershirts with the snaps for him to wear until his belly button healed. I remember the night before I had him, I was talking to you the phone and I was complaining about being so big and pregnant, and you said to me, "Love. Babies come when they come." And I tell him that you called him Prince Alexander and that you named Luke (Cool Hand Luke). I wonder everyday what your nickname for Isabella would be? I can only imagine what you would think of my little wild woman...

I tell them that you are our angel and that you can see us from heaven. This morning we were talking about how today is your birthday and Alex said, "I am glad you have that picture of Grandma John because when I get to heaven I will know what she looks like. I am going to heaven when I get old and wear glasses, because old people wear glasses. Except for Gabrielle, she wears glasses but she is a teenager." And last night when we were saying our prayers he said his usual prayer and then at the end he added, "Hey, Grandma John. Mom loves you and she talks about you A LOT." Then he said, "Are you sure she can hear me?"

Yes. I. Am. Sure.

Happy Birthday!
I love you,

When I get where I'm going
on the far side of the sky.
The first thing that I'm gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly.

I'm gonna walk with my grandma,
and she'll match me step for step,
and I'll tell her how I missed her,
every minute since she left.
Then I'll hug her neck.

Yeah when I get where I'm going,
there'll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I'll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I'm going,
Don't cry for me down here.
-Brad Paisley

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Two and a Half...

Dear Isabella -

Today is March 1st. You are two and a half. I can't believe it - where did the last 6 months go? I feel like I say that a lot, but it is so true. Time is going by too quickly.

You talk from morning to night. Each morning, your voice is the first thing I hear. You call your daddy or me to come and get you out of your crib. The first thing you say is, "I go downstairs." And you talk, sing, laugh and boss us around all day long. At night, I put you in your crib and cover you up with four blankets because your feet are "told" (cold), turn on your music, and fill up your water cup. Then I say, "May God bless you." And you say, "Goodnight Mommy. Turn off the light."

You and Alex play together so well. Your love to build forts and play Power Rangers. You are always the Pink Ranger. You always want to be where ever he is...

You love to dress up and you walk around with your crown and wand saying, "I am a fairy princess." You are learning all about the Disney Princesses too - just in time to go to Disney World in a few weeks. Your favorite movies are "Beauty and the Beast"and "Toy Story."

You are getting so tall. But I still can't call you a big girl. And whenever we talk about potty training or giving up your nippy, you say, "I am not a big girl yet. I am your baby." Of course, it is another story when you want a piece of gum or are resisting nap time. Then all of a sudden you a big least until I give into you.

You call yourself a baby, but you seriously could run the world (or at the very least your preschool). You are always on a mission. You are the most stubborn child I have ever seen. You know what you want and you never give up. You don't back down...ever. And you don't listen worth a darn. If it is possible for a two (and a half) year old to possess self confidence, you fact I think you have enough for the whole state. I am so excited (and a little nervous) to see what you do with that strong personality of yours as you get older!

You have started calling yourself Izzy. You are learning to spell your name (Isabella). You love to jump on the trampoline at My Gym. You call Alex "Brother Ally." You want to paint all the time. You drink at least three yogurt drinks a day. You have tons of friends already. You still love Gigi most of all. You don't like Daddy's whiskers, and you tell him to take them off. You can pout like a teenager. You think splashing in puddles is so much fun. You went for your first pedicure with your big cousin Sophie. You are like a celebrity with the big girls in the neighborhood. You have the gift to make people smile everywhere you go....People stop me all the time and ask, "Don't you just crack up at her all day long?" I usually respond, "Uh, no." But I am joking, because you bring me so much joy and laughter everyday. I would be lost without you.

Love you (with all my heart),

Friday, February 11, 2011

Prequel to Disney World

I can't believe that we will be in Disney World in a little over a month. Isabella is so excited about Disney World. It is all she talks about. Anytime I tell her we are going somewhere, she says, "I don't want to go to Wegmans, Target, the gym...I want to go to Disney World." Today we had a little prequel of Disney. Isabella and I went to Disney on Ice - Princess Wishes - with Sarah, Kaitlyn and Kaitlyn's Grammy. Or I guess I should say we took Snow White and Cinderella to the show.

The girls were as good as gold. They were riveted as they sat in their seats with their snow cones and popcorn. It was a dream come true - real live princesses right there in front of them!

When we got home Isabella said, "Mommy, I know how to ice skate like a princess. You just put on your skates and go 'round and 'round!"

My Little Valentine

Alex learned a new way to say I LOVE YOU 2! What a sweet, sweet boy.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

All in the Family

This picture just makes my heart smile. And although I am only the mom of two of these kids, all five belong to me. And each one belongs to the each member of my family. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the oldest of five kids. And we were raised by the most amazing and selfless parents in the world. My youngest brother, David, always jokes that he had three mothers and two fathers growing up. And although he says it in jest, it is absolutely true. In my family, we take care of each other. We tease in a way that can only mean we are absolutely confident in our love for one another.We love fiercely and with a loyalty that doesn't exist in every family. Sure we fought growing up...phones were taken away (literally), little sisters were left out, brothers teased and were punished by having to sit on the side of the pool (now it would be called a "time out"). Oh and dinner time. As any parent can tell you, that is the witching hour. We argued over who sat where, who got to use the red cup and who was looking at who...we couldn't eat our dinner fast enough and get away from that table. As adults, we look back on those memories with affinity and humor. They are part and parcel of our history, and along with the good memories,we have grown into the cohesive unit that we are today. And now on any given night when we are all together, dinner will long we over...plates will be empty, wine glasses or coffee cups will be full...and there we are sitting at that table talking and laughing until we cry.
Growing up in a big family is hard to explain. Although each of us experienced the same things, we often times experienced them differently based on where we were in the line-up. We all have our roles to fill, but they are not as clear cut as one might think. Yes, I have very fondly been called the bossy oldest sister, but my other siblings also take on some of the typical attributes of the oldest child. They are strong-willed, they are protective, they are leaders. It is uncanny how well we know each other's needs at every given moment and are able to step in and fill the role of listener, advocate, defender, and above all best friend. My brothers, sisters and my parents make up my past, love my new family and are my best friends in my present, and will be by my side and in my heart and we continue on this journey called life.
This brings me back to the picture. I see history repeating itself in these five children (and I am sure it will be more as the rest of us find our true loves and start families). The bond of these five is already a force to be reckoned with...they love being together - can't you tell by the smiles on their beautiful faces? And I sleep well at night knowing that no matter what they will always have all of us to love them and take care of them. And even better...they will always have one another. And I know that one day they will be the ones who never want to get up from the kitchen table.

I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up....

Isabella: I don't want candy hearts. They are just not tasty.

Me: Alex, do you love me enough to give me a kiss?"

Alex: Mom, I love you so much that you can have a kiss AND one of my skittles.

Alex: Mom when I grow up and become a dad, I am really going to miss you.

Isabella: My nose turned to jelly (she had a bloody nose).

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This morning Alex picked out a movie to watch. Isabella said she didn't want to watch it. I told her that it was too bad, Alex already asked to watch it. And after he watched his movie, she could pick out something to watch next.

Alex said, "It is okay, Mommy. She can watch her movie first."

I said,"Alex. That is so very nice of you. I am really proud of you."

He responded, "Mommy, I just want Isabella to be happy."

So not only is he a sweet boy, but a smart one. He has learned at an early age to keep the women in his life happy!