Friday, December 31, 2010

"The dusty road that's ahead will be my board and my bed..."

There are only 45 minutes left in this year, 2010.

My sweet baby Boy, who has spent his first full year with us, is tucked into his bed after a fun (early) New Year's Eve celebration with his cousins!

It's been an amazing year- the best year of my life! Becoming a mother is the most wonderful, exciting, challenging journey I have ever been on, and I can't wait to see what the new year has in store for me!

I already know how lucky I am. I have a beautiful, funny, charismatic, sassy, healthy son. I have a husband who sees all my light and loves my dark, as our wedding song said. I have the most loyal, hilarious, sympathetic, wonderful friends in the world. I have a close, crazy, noisy, nurturing family. I wish all of them nothing but the best and most outstanding of New Years blessings!

For them, I want to be better. A better wife, a better Mama, a better human. I want to understand my worth and make sure all of the people I love know theirs. I want to set the best example possible for my son.

I somehow feel like I am about to start a road trip, and have miles and miles of winding, uncharted road ahead of me.

2011. Let's ride.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

"Home, where my thought's escapin'..."

Oh, my goodness! Not to state the obvious or anything, but it's friggin' cold out! PJ is in bed and I have been up and down trying to get some laundry done. I can't wait until the day comes when I don't have to go outside to get to the washer and dryer!

I finally got outside today after being inside for four straight days! Seriously. Four days. I did manage to have some people come here, so I wasn't completely shut off from society! But between the snow and that coming-down-from-Christmas exhaustion you can only know after a bog holiday has passed, I was more then content to just stay inside, snuggle PJ, chat with Pete, and do housework!

Oh, quit yer laughing! I did do housework! I have been kicking ass and taking names! Kitchen. Clean! Living room. Clean (cluttered with the spoils of PJ's birthday and Christmas, but clean!)! PJ's room. Clean! There's still a lot to be done, but I don't feel like the idea of a clean, orderly house is completely insurmountable! Amazing.

Either way, Pete and I are hoping that 2011 will be our last year of apartment dwelling! For one thing, I'm really just too bitchy to live in this close of a proximity to other people! ;-) Especially in an old house like this one, having three apartments is really like being roommates with the people in the building, and I'm just not good at it! Also, now that we have started a family of our own, and PJ is getting bigger, a two-bedroom apartment just doesn't have the room that we need. While I'll miss the location (we really do live in an awesome spot!) I am praying that the coming year opens a new chapter in our first home!

All we have to do is win the lottery.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"Just a day, just an ordinary day..."

Hello, friends!

Thank you so much for your kind words on this post! Your encouragement really means a lot- I just hope I can live up to it!! My follow-through is not always so great. :-P

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday! Our was full of food, family, and noise- as it should be! PJ still doesn't really get the whole "open presents" thing, but he is having a blast with his new toys! Mama got him some old-school, Steve (not Joe, ew..) Blues Clues episodes on DVD and he's loving it! Dada picked out a cool car toy that's almost as tall as he is! He watches the cars roll down the ramps and laughs his head off! Even better, PJ loved gifting his cousins! The kids did a pollyanna and it was hysterical to see how seriously they took choosing gifts for whichever cousin they drew!

Thanks to the snow, we have been able to come down from Christmas with a soft thud instead of the usual sharp plunge! Pete enjoyed four days off and we enjoyed having him home! The snow kept us all pretty much inside, lounging around. Today we finally got off of our bootys to do some much-needed cleaning and organizing- and to be truthful, it's only because we had my parents, sister, and her husband over for dinner tonight! Had we not had company, we might have continued our post holiday, sloth-like behavior!

Tomorrow, it's back to reality. Pete has to work tomorrow night so he will need to sleep for most of the day. I've been inside for three straight days, so I am considering venturing out! Either way, I hope it's a good day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

"That's what love is for..."

Cousins. Christmas. Love.

Picture taken by Shelly

One moment. Two cameras.
Peter Joseph and Riley Michele.

Picture taken by Ann Marie

A patient, doting big cousin.
A happy little cousin, smooshie-faced with joy.
A Mama whose heart grew three sizes that day.

Hoping that the holiday was just as beautiful for you and yours! 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Come on, show 'em what you're worth..."

This time of year always goes by in a crazy whirlwind for me! Everything is so busybusybusy that I don't have time to kind of sit back and realize that the year is coming to an end until it's suddenly New Year's Eve! Last year, we were half-crazed with happiness, Beginner Parent-ism, and lack of sleep thanks to a newborn Peter Joseph, Jr! This year, I think I'm feeling a bit more like a normal person! 

Of course, the end of a year and the start of a new one brings about the inevitable practice of New Year's Resolutions. The thought of an entire, shinny new year stretching ahead of you seems like the perfect jumping off point to create a new you, one who cooks/cleans/doesn't bite her nails/is nice to her mother/stops bad habits/insert other neurotic quirk here ____________.

The combination of that and watching What Not To Wear too much has me thinking a lot about my presentation to the world. I've never been what one would call a fashion plate, and I can be lazy about General Upkeep-y things like plucking my eyebrows (which are horrible!). Still, I used to have some semblance of personal style- terrible or not,it was mine and something that I cultivated to make so.

Somewhere along the line, somewhere between the end of high school and now (which is a trillion years, I know, and gives kind of a wide berth to try and pin down a date) I lost whatever that was. I put on a ton of weight. Then took it off and put it back on as so many women are wont to do. I stopped working in an office and no longer had to dress in a professional manner every day, and things took a huge plunge! Jeans, sweatshirts, and Uggs became my uniform. I look at stylish women and want so much to have an effortless approach to style but lose the motivation to actually put in the effort to do so.

Then PJ came along, and any time invested in or concern about myself went right out the window. Jeans, sweatshirt, hair in need of a cut/color and overgrown eyebrows aside, I hold my son and I am enveloped in sunshine! He has become so bright to me that sometimes...okay. Pretty much ALL of time? He's all that I can see. And not only am I unable to see myself, I sometimes can't see my husband, the state of my kitchen, or anything else in the world. To me, PJ makes the world beautiful.

I think most of that is pretty typical new Mama stuff, although someone more practiced at taking care of herself might not let it slide so easily. Being dazzled by my child is hardly a brand-new emotion, and I also don't think it's something that would ever really change. My son is, by far, the best and most amazing thing I have ever done! Hopefully, Pete and I will be blessed with another child and then they both will be the pinnacle of my life's output!

Still, I don't think that I want to lose myself in that process. For one thing, it's not good for my marriage, and Pete already takes a backseat to our child. Again, parents always come second to their children, but my marriage to Pete being healthy, tended to, and fresh can only be positive for the growth of our child(ren).

Perhaps also, being healthy, tended to, and fresh myself can only be a good thing. I love being a mother, and it's the most important thing I have ever done or ever will do, hands down. Still, taking care of myself not only means that I can feel positive about my own self-worth, but it also means that I will be around- and the best version of myself- for PJ as long as possible.

Now, I have no earthly idea how I am going to go about all of this change, but I think the realization of its need is a step in the right direction. Hopefully, with a little imagination, motivation, love and support, I can make it happen.

I don't want to be overweight.

I don't want shrink into the background.

I want to participate in the things that make me, me.

I want to be a good wife, have a healthy marriage and make Pete know how important, how vital he is to me in more then just casual words.

I want to be the best mother possible.

I want to be the best me possible.

Now, if only I had a friggin' idea on how to make this happen!!!!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

"Oh, the sweetest thing..."

You may need to squint, because this much cuteness straight on could damage the eye.

Rad Bromance

Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Well you know that it's going to be alright, when we go shopping..."

Today. Was. Awesome!

I managed to get a ton of holiday shopping done, knocking out gift-getting for 11 people! It was a pretty diverse haul, so there was alot of running around to be done!

Of course, by running around, I mean from my seat in the kitchen, to my fridge, and back again, since I did all of my shopping online! Hee hee! PJ and I never even made it out of our pajamas today! Double awesome! There were tons of deals to be had and free shipping (in plenty of time for Christmas!) to take advantage of, so take advantage I did! I love buying presents but I hatehatehate the malls, shops, and roads this time of year! PJ is getting to that precarious age where he's primed to repeat anything I say, and if his first full sentence is something like


...Pete might divorce me.

Not too long ago, Christmas shopping was a pretty new experience for me! I am Jewish, so there was some shopping for the odd boyfriend every now and then, or gift exchanges with friends, but I had never been a part of full-blown, shopping-for-the-family, start-on-Black-Friday type of holiday madness! Since Pete and I started dating, to the point we are at right now, eight more children have been born (in the circle of kids who are PJ's first cousins or close enough) and many others have been added from the extended family! So thankfully, my shopping skills have grown with each new kid!

Now, after all of that hard work (ahem...) it's time for bed!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Well, how was I to know there was a party going on?"

Here we go!

All about PJ's 1st Birthday
Pajama Jammy Jam!

This past Saturday we had our big "Family and Friends" celebration of PJ's 1st Birthday! We are blessed to have a large number of both friends and family, so we were surrounded by love and sharing the joy of PJ's 1st year!

I had so much fun making the invites! Actually, okay, it got to be a huge pain, LOL! There were alot of them to go out and they each had lots of little pieces that needed to be put together! So it was a bit tedious, but totally worth it to have handmade invites that featured a paper-doll version of my cute blonde boy in footie pajamas! The insides instructed our guests to get out their favorite pajamas and be ready to bust a move!

Please note the baby
hiding his face!
And, you've figured it out, right? Pajama party? PJ's? The birthday boy is PJ? Ha! You know I have been planning that corny-ness pretty much from the second we found out it was a boy and we were naming him Peter Joseph! I had been dreaming about this party for months!! Mama, Dada, and Birthday Boy even wore totally nerdy super-cute matching pajamas!

Not the face of a happy Boy!
What I didn't count on? The birthday boy getting a yucky virus a few days before the party! He was fever-free the day of the party, but was still just so worn out and miserable! PJ, who is usually friendly, smiley, and silly, only wanted his Mama, and anyone who tried to get near him got a one-armed shove while he buried his face in my shoulder! It really was so sad for him! Thankfully, he's one, so it's not like he's going to remember! I'm just going to hide the pictures where he looks sad and tell him he had a blast! :-)

Even thought the poor Birthday Baby had a terrible time, the guests seemed to have a bast! There were many, many pajama-ed children flying about, dancing to the music (Teen Nick stars = Elton John for the born-in-the-2000's set!), wearing glow jewelry, blowing bubbles, and helping themselves to Froot Loops, Pop Tarts, Lucky Charms, and other yummy breakfast treats from the cereal bar! Between the cereal, the candy, the cake, and the soda, these kids were about 20 miles high on sugar! I am not 100% sure all of their parents are still talking to me! :-)

The grown-ups seemed to be content to sit at the blue, yellow, and white draped tables, chatting and perusing the photo albums filled with pictures of PJ that were out (self-indulgent much, Brie???). There was lots of yummy, comforty, good-to-eat-in-pajamas food like meatballs, baked ziti, and pizza! Pete and I had a ton of help with the food and we were so thankful for it!

My awesome sister Marla was nice enough to gift us with PJ's birthday cake (that we was too miserable to taste, poor baby!). The cake was amazing! Made by Sweet Treats by Jen, it was based on the invitations, and the attention to detail was so cool! The squares on the sides matched the pattern on the pajamas the paper-doll-PJ was wearing on the invite! A little Elmo- a PJ favorite- was clutched in the cake PJ's hand, and an open butt-flap revealed some PJ hiney!! The kids, for reasons still completely a mystery to me, kept fighting over who was going to get the slice with PJ's butt hanging out! And how cool is this- the cake is even on the Sweet Treats by Jen website! PJ's fondant butt-crack is famous!!!

Aside from all of that? The party pretty much looked like this:

...and this...

...and a lot like this...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

"What's the matter, Mary Jane? Had a hard day?"

Sooooooo tired!

I start alot of my blog entries like that, don't I? It's terrible- maybe this sweet girl can help me get inspired to move my keester (yeah, I said keester) a bit so I can start to have more energy!

Since I, as of right now, just don't have energy, I will have to blog more extensively about PJ's birthday party tomorrow! It will be chock-full of awesome details like:

  • a sick, clingy-to-his-mama birthday boy!
  • many, many children hopped up on sugar
  • lots of friends and family
  • many, many children hopped up on sugar!
  • tons of love and happiness
  • loads of dancing, playing and running around
and, of course
  • many, many children hopped up on sugar!

Despite alot of my anal carefully planned details all falling apart due to poor PJ not feeling well and being in my arms the whole time (and carrying 20+ lbs for three hours is hard- yet another good reason for me to get in shape!), it really was a good time and I can't wait to share it with everyone!

For now, it's time to tuck myself into bed and do some window shopping for family gifts in my iPod! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!!

PS- Ugh, did anyone else watch Sarah Palin's Alaska tonight and see the Kate + 8 folks? Kate and her whining made me want to club baby seals. Or see her be eaten by a baby seal. Whatever. We all know that I lovelovelove my garbage television shows, but really? I have had enough of that Whining Blonde Psycho and her pack of kids. There. I said it.

Now, and I mean it this time...goodnight, friends!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"When you put your arms around me, I get a fever that's so hard to bear..."

If you could read the drafts of my blog, you'd see that this week, I started about 4 entries with the sentence "I am so tired..." but then I would get distracted by the television and that was the end of that.

So there you go. My week so far.

It really hasn't been as bad as all of that- there's been some relaxing time with my son and husband, TONS of awesome TV to watch (The Sing-Off and Glee!) , and time at my favorite coffee haunt with some great friends and my usual peppermint mocha coffee with whip and a bagel!

Still, PJ has been sleeping terribly and has added a fever to his repertoire- it had finally broken just before I put him to bed tonight and I am really, really praying that it stays that way because he was miserable today! If he wasn't in my arms, he was crying, so needless to say he spent the majority of the day snuggled with me watching Sesame Street!

And the biggest, nerdiest secret? I didn't even mind! PJ is so active and such a man on the move that he doesn't always want to snuggle, and Sesame Street is really funny! It just sucked that PJ was feeling so terribly!

The only fail is that I had planned on getting the rest of what I need for PJ's birthday party! So there will be a lot of scrambling around tomorrow trying to get things done, but as long as PJ is healthy enough for his 1st birthday party, that's all that matters! I am so, so excited to have all of the people I love together to celebrate PJ's 1st year!


In other very exciting news, my cousin Matthew and his sweet wife Colleen welcomed their daughter Braelyn Kathleen into the world yesterday! She is the cutest thing ever and the spitting image of her Daddy! Matt sounds like he's over the moon and I am so happy for them! Matt and I are a week apart in age and grew up together, and we became parents almost exactly one year apart! Matt is even PJ's Jewish Godfather and stood up for him at his naming! I know how happy I have been this past year, my first as a mama, and I am so, so excited for Matt and Colleen to experience the same thing! From what I can tell, they are well on their way!

It's time for me to be on my way to the kitchen to clean up and then find my way to bed! I pray that a good night's sleep is ahead for PJ and I!

Good night!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

"Just let me hold you..."

Even a year later, I still lovelovelove PJ's bedroom!

This is the chair.
I remember planning it all out, curled up in our armchair with one hand on my belly and the other searching away on my laptop for the perfect paint color, furniture, decor.

I poured over websites like Etsy and Ikea and did searches for ideas. I had settled on an "Owl" theme and had exactly what I wanted in my head- I just needed to somehow get it onto the walls!

I had found the perfect starting piece- an owl on a branch wall decal. It was looking on Etsy for some ideas and stumbled upon the little dude sitting on a branch and centered my whole idea for the nursery around it!

This is the owl.
Soon after, I found the perfect furniture at Ikea- clean and organic-looking. Simple and uncluttered. Even better, it was safe (as per Consumer Reports!) and inexpensive. I think the entire room ended up being about $750.  There was plenty of room in the drawers for teeny baby clothes; loads of room on the shelves for books, and in the middle, the changing table, where my newborn son would lie for countless diaper changes!

As the big pieces fell into place, so did the little pieces. We painted the walls a creamy, glowy golden color.

There was a handmade owl mobile over the crib.

The Etsy store that made the owl that inspired me created this gorgeous tree for PJ! 

His name was over the crib, and a soothing-sounds lamb was hung on a crib rail. 

And the changing table that was made to hold a plump baby butt was ready!

It was the nursery I had dreamed of and when we welcomed PJ home, it was like there was no other baby in the world it could have been made for! Over this first year, we have filled the drawers with tons of clothes, and switched out sizes at an alarming rate! We played on the floor, under that tree. There were countless diapers changed upon that changing table.

Lately, that sweet, soft changing table had become an Elevated Ledge of Death! The more mobile PJ got and the stronger he became, the more difficult it was to safely change him at his table. Today, for his own safety, Pete and I decided that the table needs to be off limits, and we took the attachment off of the dresser.

I'm sure it must sound silly, but without the little table attachment, the room looks completely different! The shelves are still filled with books, the top of his wall unit lined with stuffed animals. Our rocker is still in a corner, and his toys sit in baskets along the wall. Owls peep out of random nooks and the walls are still glowy when the sun comes through the windows. But that changing table being gone signifies that gone with it is the fragile, tiny little babe whose every diaper I fretted over ("Is he wetting enough?" "Is that enough poop?" "Is that too much poop?" "Does his booty look red?").

In his place, in the room that's largely the same, is a bright, handsome, funny, active, noisy 1 year old that I still rock in that rocking chair!

It's a pretty good trade. ;-)

all pictures (except the owl decal) are by the amazingly lovely and talented michelle bottalico

Friday, December 3, 2010

"So how can I help but to shout and rejoice?"

I can't believe it's already Friday night- this week went by so fast! But here we are, PJ tucked into his bed and a Jersey Shore marathon on the TV for Mama!

Don't judge.

We had a fun Friday that started with a quick trip to the Garden State Discovery Museum with our buddies, followed by a nice, long afternoon nap for Mama, Dada, and Baby Boy! Family naps are wonderful! After that, it was off to Applebees with PJ to meet up with my sister Marla! Applebees is our favorite haunt- it's even where we were when I told Marla I was pregnant with PJ! A friend of hers works there (going to the Deptford Applebees? Ask for Brian S.!) and we always sit at one of his tables, so it's always a good time!

There is less then a month left in 2010 but so much still to do- PJ's big birthday party, parties for friends, my sisterIL Shelly's birthday and pollyanna party, and of course, Christmas and New Years Eve! Last year, PJ was a teeny, brand-new newborn and I was kind of spazzed out during the holidays! Keeping the Newborn Alive kind of blotted out any other holiday activity for me! This year, I can watch PJ react to his cousins and family, actually enjoy his gifts (last year I insisted he have wrapped gifts and really? He didn't give two shits. He just started at us like he still wasn't sure who we were!) and not be a nervous freak Nelly when people want to hold him!

I want to enjoy every single second of this holiday season, because when it's over it means that my first full year as a first-time mother is coming to an end! It's been the most amazing time of my life and I want to savor this last bit before our new adventures begin!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"So when you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree..."

Jewish Baby Action Shot!
It's the first night of Hanukkah!

Last year, PJ was only a week or two old, and Hanukkah went by in a sleep-deprived haze! I don't think we lit the menorah once, and if we had, we would have likely burned down the house in our confusion!

This year, PJ is one (ONE!!!) and even though he still has no idea what's going on, we lit the candles as a family for the first time ever! PJ played with all of the Hanukkah toys his Bubbie got him last year and with the special Hanukkah Little People set his Aunt Jen gave him at his baby naming!

The day even started out well with a visit with some favorites for coffee, pizza, and grown-up conversation (which I had been starving for with Pete working for two days!). PJ played with his buddy E and laughed his head off! It makes his mama so happy to see PJ surrounded by so much fun! This afternoon, my favorite mother's helper Gabby came over to play with PJ while Pete and I got some stuff done around the house! PJ had a blast and I could hear him laughing hysterically the whole time! It was a total win.

After a much-needed bath for PJ (the kid has no table manners!!) we gathered as a little family for the very first time and lit the candles for the first night of Hanukkah! It was a brief but sweet moment, and I can't wait until PJ is old enough to really partcipate!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"But you're so precious to me, sweet as can be, baby of mine..."

November 26th, 2010

My dear, sweet Peter Joseph,

We can't believe this day is here- you are ONE YEAR OLD!

A few minutes old
 This year has been the most amazing time of our lives! Your Dada and I were so surprised when we learned that you were going to be arriving, but it was the sweetest surprise we have ever known and one that we needed more then anything!

I knew pretty early on in my pregnancy that you were going to be a boy- I just felt  it in my heart! The ultrasound wasn't a surprise to me, but oh, hearing the official declaration that we were having a son was so wonderful, so overwhelming, so joyous! I carried my ultrasound pictures with my everywhere (still do!) and would wonder what those teeny hands, feet, and face were going to look like!

The night you were born was a whirlwind- at 8pm Thanksgiving Eve, I felt fine. At 9pm, I sat down to eat dinner (chicken and rice) and watch Glee! And by 10:30pm, I was calling Dada to take me to the hospital! Just a few hours later, you were in my arms- two and a half weeks early, blonde, and perfect.

In a year, you have gone from the 6 pounds (5th percentile) you entered the world with to over twenty!  You are soooooo tall, 19 inches at birth (15th percentile) to  30.5 inches at your 1 year check (75th percentile). You were so tiny and fragile when you were born, and now you are so strong and solid! You skipped right over 12 month sizes and have moved on to 18 month! Thankfully, you have lots of friend who could take the cute 12 month sized clothing Mama had stockpiled for you!

One Month Old
I think the biggest change we have seen in the last few months is the development of your personality! You were so serious during your first few months, and then you saved your sweet smiles for Mama and Dada later. Now? You're just funny! You can sometimes start out shy with others, hiding your face in my neck when you first see a crowd, but once you warm up, you become a little star- clapping, waving, smiling, and laughing! You think it's hysterical to pretend to cough, giving a little "hackhackhack" and then laughing your head off! You also think it's funny to pick your nose when we tell you "No pick!"! Your squeals of delight when you are happy make me laugh, and your "happy growl" makes me downright hysterical! You are a ball of sweet, energetic sunshine and you make us so happy!

Two Months Old
PJ, you are very, very stubborn and I can't imagine where you get that from {ahem...}. I have seen you spend 5 minutes trying to work on something you are trying to do- usually, it's something you're not supposed to be doing, like getting to the camera when I've placed it out of your reach! It's usually not until your Dada and I are able to distract you with something else that we can get you to forget about whatever it is you want! Your determination amazes me, and I just hope that as you get older it not only stays with you, but that you use it for good and not evil!

You are soooo close to walking- you will take a step or two but then go right to crawling! I think you can do it, you're just not feeling brave enough yet! In the meantime, you can cruise, roll, crawl and wiggle like the wind! Put you down and you can be across the room (and into something!) in a flash! You figured out that if you push something like a toy, a box, a pillow, etc, up to the couch you can just climb right up! This morning at the coffee shop you climbed up a high chair!

PJ, you are lucky enough to be surrounded by an outstanding group of friend and family, all of whom love you very, very much! Your Nan and Pop, Bubbie and Zayda, aunts, uncles and cousins all adore you, and you seem to love them, too, lighting up whenever they are around! There are always friends to play with and fun things to do, and it makes us so happy to know your life is so full love love, friendship and happiness, even at such a young age! I hope more then anything that this follows you throughout your life! 

This year has been the most amazing, wonderful, tiring, crazy experience of my whole life! I can hardly remember what life was like before you were here! My heart is so full of you, where there used to be so many holes. I still (and always will) miss the people who are gone from my life, and will always be sad that they didn't get to be a part of yours. But from the moment I learned that you were on your way to me, I was able to remember that life is good, it's worth living, and that it's always possible to love with your whole heart.

You taught me all of those lessons, and you only have two teeth! ;-)

Sweet Baby Boy, we love you with all of our hearts! You are a gift- the best gift! Your Mama and Dada love you all the way to the moon and back! You ARE, without a doubt, the very best Boy-Boy in the whole world!


With love,
Mama and Dada

One Year Old behind the wheel!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

"I'll keep you my dirty little secret..."

These are my confessions...

  • I ate all of PJ's Goldfish crackers.
  • I don't like wine, but we registered for pretty wine glasses when we got married, so I drink Diet Coke out of them.
  • It annoys Pete to no end when I drink Diet coke out of the wine glasses.
  • I really, really need to shave my legs.
  • I open a new box of cereal before the last one is empty.
  • I love to write poetry, but while I want to write like (my hero) Bernie Taupin, I usually end up with something that reads as if Taylor Swift went on a crack binge.
  • My brother-in-law Greg passed away a little over two years ago, but I still have his cell phone number saved into my phone. Every now and then I go to erase it, but end up not able to do it.
  • There's banana on the floor from PJ's breakfast that I haven't swept up yet. It's 2:49pm.
  • This blog post still makes me laugh my head off.
  • I'm getting baby fever in the worst way lately- I think it's because PJ is about to be one and the year just went by so damned fast!,/i>
  • I really, really want my sister Marla to try for a baby, but I don't know if I'd be okay with her risking her health to do it. Since she doesn't have a baby yet, I still like her better!
  • There was a beautiful piece on The Today Show about the amazing St. Jude's Hospital, and I found myself in tears, because of the bravery of the children and unfairness of their illness, but mostly out of relief and gratitude that so far, that hasn't happened to my son.
  • Being mature is a real struggle for me sometimes. Left to my own devices it can be hard, but taking the high road when I'm provoked...gah! There are times I feel the immaturity coursing through my body!
  • When PJ turns one on Friday, it will also mean that I have been breastfeeding for a whole year and I am insanely proud of that fact! Yay for my boobies!
  • My husband and I do not get enough time together. It's easy sometimes to put everything first, but it's something that we need to work on.
  • I am full of randomness today and should stop blogging before it gets out of hand.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Those were the best days of my life..."

I decided to take a break from eating my son's Goldfish crackers {shame} and window shopping/potentially Christmas shopping on Etsy to blog about eating crackers and window shopping.

You're welcome.

Today was a pretty easy day spent with my little family! I let Pete sleep in since he starts nights this week (boo) and will have to start getting used to being nocternal. That meant a quiet morning with PJ in which we ate breakfast together, sang along with the CD of Sesame Street music his Aunt Marla got him (it says his name!!), and practiced "walking" before his morning nap!

Thankfully, I was also able to be in Get Shit Done mode, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning out our desk, doing laundry and straightening up PJ's room! There's still a TON  left to do, but hear me now: It WILL be done by Thanksgiving so we can gear up for the holidays! That means having a house that's clean and orgainzed so we can set up our tree/Hanakkah decorations and have enough room for PJ's bithday/Hanakkah/Christmas gifts! Pete and I have these excited talks about what toys will be banished for new ones! Hey, Exersaucer? Pffft. You're outta here!
Or, well, moving to the basement to wait for the next little Latini to play with you, anyway! :-P

I can hardly believe the year is almost over- just over a month until New Year's Eve! Last year, I fell asleep on the couch right before the ball dropped! PJ was still brand-new and only weighed seven pounds, I was a sleep-deprived, nervous, happy new mama who was just getting her legs under her, and our time together was just starting out! This year, that teeny newborn has morphed into a tall, blonde, smiling, over twenty pound baby boy and the Mama is a little less sleep deprived, still completely happy,  and a little more confidant in her mothering skills! This has been the sweetest time of my entire life and it went by in the blink of an eye!

Just five more days until this little dude is one!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Run and tell the angels that everything's alright..."

Ah, Saturday night!

Pete and I tag-teamed some time out tonight, my taking the first shift for a quick night out with my friend Michelle, and Pete taking the second shift to catch a comedy show with our friend Adam! Even though we could surely use some Breezy-Pete time, we are both happy to have had some free time to ourselves tonight! I know I certainly enjoyed the chance to share appetizers and conversation without having to pluck children from under the table between sentences!

Today was actually a very sweet day and a great ending to what turned out to be a busy week! It started with our shopping excursion on Sunday and ended today with an almost-soccer game (my niece Riley was supposed to have a game but it was cancelled), lunch out with my sister-in-law, nieces, and our Aunt Susan, and then our split-shift nights out tonight!
On Thursday we managed to squeeze in some time for a family portrait to put on our holiday cards! Sadly, it doesn't look like PJ is going to support us in our old age by being a male model- he had no patience for the process at all, and made it clear he would rather slither to the floor/crawl away/nom on his shoes/stubbornly refuse to smile/make a stinky face/pull on his Daddy's ear then smile for the camera! We did manage to get some good shots, so keep you eyes open for our Happy Christmas/Hannakah cards!

These are the memories, folks.

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner! Last year, I had a brand-new baby in my arms on Thanksgiving morning and had tortelini for dinner that night! And all of this means that next week, my sweet baby boy, the one who looked like this:

PJ was actually about a week old here. going to be one year old!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"I need a sign to let me know you're here..."

This past Sunday my sister Marla, PJ, and I spent the day together- a Mama-Sister-Aunt-Son-Nephew Day!

We had big plans to go to Neshaminy Mall so I could shop at the Crazy 8 store there, and then we were going to visit my Mom-Mom's grave, since the cemetery she is buried in is right next door to the mall. We hadn't been there since her unveiling this past spring, and since we had what might have been the last beautiful weekend before it gets cold, the timing seemed perfect.

I shopped my brains out at Crazy 8 (Love. That. Store!) and got PJ a sweater I'd been lusting after for him, plus a few other items! We had lunch together, shopped a bit more, and PJ even got to take a mini-carousel ride! He was less then enthused- the ride was before lunch and (not unlike his Mama) he gets crabby when he's hungry! Aunt Marla gifted PJ with an early birthday present, a CD of songs sung by Elmo and other Sesame Street characters that's personalized with his name, so PJ hears Elmo singing right to him! We played it for my little blonde Sesame Street fan the next day and every time he heard his name, he would look up with an excited look on his face and clap his hands!

After the mall, we made the quick trip across the street to King David Memorial Park, where not only Mom-Mom is buried, but also her son, my Uncle Gary, Mom-Mom's twin brother Harry and his wife Bea, and their son Paul, who died when he was only in his 30's (I was very young when he passed away). The park is beautifully kept and it was a gorgeous, late-afternoon day when we got there. We stopped at my Uncle Gary's stone- PJ's Hebrew name is the same as his, Gadaliah. We sat down by Mom-Mom's stone and I let PJ reach down to feel the cool, raised letters. He squirmed from my lap, sat down on Mom-Mom's stone, and started talking non-stop in his baby-babble/growl. He looked earnest, but happy, and truly, honestly seemed like he was having a conversation. I've never seen anything like it.

We stayed for a bit, watching PJ "chat" with Mom-Mom, talking about how much she would have loved his blonde hair (and how much she would have hated my dark hair!). We left a tube of lipstick by her stone in her signature color of pink and got into the car to head home.

I will always be convinced that PJ and Mom-mom are connected- the timing of PJ's entrance into this world and Mom-Mom's exit was meant to be, even if it does hurt me that I can't see them together. I know they know each other though, and since it's all I have, it means everything.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"But then I just smile, I go ahead and smile..."

Today made me smile!

It started off with some mama chat with dear friends, drinking coffee, watching the littles play, and enjoying each other's company!

While I was there, I found out that my cousinIL Jen's husband is home on leave from Afghanistan! I had just been chatting about what an amazing job she does with her husband gone so much of the time when Pete called with the exciting news!

When I got home, PJ napped and I hopped on Facebook. I love Facebook! I admit it! It's a drug, and I'm addicted! And today, I found out that another cousinIL, the amazing, outrageous Heather, is having a little boy!

We went out to dinner, just our little family, and ran into some friends just finishing theirs! PJ started clapping furiously when he saw his friend Ezra! Dinner was yummy, PJ ate like a horse and behaved like an angel, and a number of people stopped to admire our sweet boy!

With the babe tucked into bed and Pete relaxing in front of TV, I hopped back onto Facebook to discover that a friend is pregnant after a long journey to get there! My heart is so full of happiness for her and her husband!

Now, I've packed Pete's lunch and tucked a note in with it. PJ's sleeping, the cat's been fed. It's chilly, quiet, and smacks of bedtime!

So, off to bed I go!

Good night!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"I've simply gotta march my heart's a drummer!"

I... feeling so content after a full day of friends and family in my little apartment! It feels so cozy to have people you love in the place that you live!

...managed to get a lot done today, thanks to the amazing mothers-helper-ly assistance of my niece Gabby! She's the oldest of PJ's 13 cousins and did an awesome job today!

...really, really, really need to get PJ's birthday invites done!

...can't wait to sleep on my clean, crisp, Dreft-y sheets tonight! Ahhhh.... so happy that Pete has the day off tomorrow so we can have some family time!

...was looking at pictures of a very tiny Ezra and PJ and it seriously made my heart ache and sing at the same time! How did our boys get so big so fast?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

...can't figure out how to get PJ's hair to stay up in spikes or a mohawk. Someone suggested hair wax and I think that might be the ticket. Plus, it doesn't have alcohol! super-excited that Marla got a Cricut and can't wait to have a frenzy of sisterly crafting! thinking of my cousin Matt and his sweet wife Colleen, who very soon will have a beautiful little girl to make them three! having one of those days when my heart feels full and life seems pretty good.

...hopes you're feeling the same!

Good night!

Friday, November 5, 2010

"Three, oh it's a magic number..."

I totally stole this from my sweet friend Michelle (with a few modifications!).
 Get the handcuffs- I'm a blog thief!

3 Favorite TV Shows
1. Glee!
2. Parenthood
3. 30 Rock

(truthfully, I watch alot of television, but this is my general top 3!)

3 Favorite Places To Shop For Clothes
1. Old Navy
2. Express
3. Target

3 Favorite Places To Shop For Clothes For PJ
1. Crazy 8
2. The Children's Place
3. Target

3 Least Favorite Shows
1. Aqua Team Hunger Force (what the hell is that about????)
2. anything on Fox News (sorry, Pete!)
3. afternoon Judge shows (Judy, Joe Brown, etc. Take your pick)

3 Favorite Movies Of All Time
1. Slap Shot
2. A League of Their Own
3. The Muppets Take Manhattan

3 Favorite Books Of All Time
1. Anne of Green Gables
2. The Stand
3. The Ramona Quimby series

3 Favorite Websites
1. Perez Hilton
2. Facebook
3. Cakewrecks

3 Favorite Thing About My Husband
1. How he's ridiculously nice, friendly, and laid back
2. His dedication to his family/friends/fire department/anything he cares about
3. His cute, teeny behind

3 Favorite Holidays
1. Fourth of July (it's a holiday and our anniversary!)
2. New Years Eve
3. Season Premiere month!

3 Favorite Chores
1. Laundering, folding, and putting away PJ's clothes
2. Um.........
3. Yeah. That's all I got. (seriously, Michelle??? Favorite chores?? <3)

3 Least Favorite Chores
1. Pretty...
2. ...much...
3. ...all of them.

3 Favorite Things to Nom
1. Mexican food!
2. caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaake
3. chips and onion dip

3 Disgusting things my dear Grandmother used to eat frequently:
1. liver and onions (ewwww, must be a grandma thing)
2. gefelte fish (blerrrghhhhhh)
3. the leftover carcass of the Thanksgiving turkey after it had been carved to death!

3 Favorite Childhood Activities
1. reading
2. singing
3. playing wiffle ball with my neighbors

3 Favorite Current Activities
1. reading
2. watching TV
3. spending time with my son and hubby

3 Things I Am Thankful For
1. The health, happiness, and well-being of my sweet son
2. My amazing husband, sister, parents, in-laws, friends and family
3. That despite technology's best efforts, REAL books are still available!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Sunshine, go away today..."

Today was a rainy day, but for us, it was one of those days when you don't even mind!

Pete was off again today, so we got to spend the morning together as a family and snuggle while we watched Sesame Street (PJ's favorite!)! I especially love when PJ and Pete can get some Daddy/Baby Boy time together- PJ worships him and it is the sweetest thing you ever saw! When Pete has 12-hour shifts two days in a row he doesn't see PJ for two day straight, since he leaves for work before he's awake and gets home after he's in bed, so I try to let them have as much one-on-one time as possible when Pete is home!

I did interrupt family time to meet up with some friends at the Pop Shop, where they were holding a "Super Hero Party" to celebrate school's being off today! It was a little hectic and our server was struggling a bit, but the kids all loved it! PJ and I were joined by my friend Randi and her three (Natalie, Gabrielle, and Adam) and my friend Tammy and her two (Kaiya and Malie). Even though Adam and PJ were sorely outnumbered by girls, everyone had a great time!

The rest of the day was mellow- PJ took a great nap while I made meatballs to freeze and Pete ran errands. Soon enough, it was time to tuck our sweet Boy into bed and for me to make some rainbow pancakes....which turned out more wheat-y then rainbow-y since I used whole wheat pancake batter! But, they are healthy which was the main idea! ;-)

So, it was a day that would hardly set my blog on fire with descriptions of excitement, but it was a nice, nice day, despite (or even because of!) the rain!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Just what God needs, one more victim..."

So, I've put the bat down and have decided to stop beating myself up over yesterdays debacle when I was locked out of the apartment. Although it doesn't make me feel better about making such a stupid mistake, I know I am part of a very large club of mama's who have made similar ones. All you can do is pick yourself up, try to remind yourself that you are, indeed, capable of raising your child, kiss your baby and move on!

Besides, my sister reassured me that even though I managed to lock myself out of my apartment with my sleeping baby inside that I'm still a better mama then Britney Spears during her lower points.

Um. Thanks?

After sleeping off the effects of yesterday (having brought PJ to sleep with me around 4am when he woke up and seemed like he was gearing up for another two-hour awake-fest) we all were together as a family this morning since Pete is off until Friday! We took PJ for his flu shot (he took it like a champ, he's such an awesome baby!) and spent the rest of the day at home relaxing, which was wonderful! PJ took a great afternoon nap and I got the chance to catch up on some housework! After dinner, Pete took the evening shift with PJ so I could spend some time making fruit and veggie purees so I can make these cool-looking pancakes for PJ! I have been looking for ways to get things like spinach and other veggies into him. He totally refuses pureed foods but can't really chew spinach leaves with his gums, so I am hoping this trick will work nicely!

And just for the record, while pureed beets are superduperpretty, they smell like ass.

After a bedtime story from both Mama and Dada, and a false start in which he threw his paci's out of the bed and started jumping up and down, PJ is tucked into bed and sound asleep. Pete and I are continuing the relative peace of the day and have been relaxing and soon, it will be off to bed ourselves.

Good night!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Time and time again I can't please myself..."


This day has been horrible. Seriously. It's been nothing but one giant parenting fail after another for me, and I am just thankful that my sweet son is safely tucked into his little bed!

It came on the tail of another tough night with PJ. He has been sleeping terribly at night- up and down, tossing and turning, and often up for hours at a time. It's not out of character for him to get up a few times a night, but he is often super-easy to get back down. Just a quick dose of boobie and he's out like a light again. This has been a whole new ballgame, and it's Wearing. Mama. Out. His two bottom teeth have finally made an appearance (and they are suuuuuuuuuuper cute!) so it could be teething. Or Ebola. God knows.

Breakfast, at least, was a win! PJ tried a waffle and found it to be delicious! So there was that. After that, though, it was all downhill. PJ was fussy and grumpy for most of the day, and wouldn't take a morning nap. We found out the place we wanted to hold his 1st birthday party is booked, so we need to find another option, and fast! We can also change the date, but that could make things difficult for everyone to be there to celebrate. Harumph.

Still, that's nothing compared to my Epic Parenting Fail today, in which I locked myself out of our apartment while PJ was napping inside. I am mortified to even write that it happened, but it did. I wanted to throw a load of laundry in, and our washer and dryer is in the basement. I always lock ALL the doors when I do that, and only do so, of course, when PJ is safely asleep in his crib or buckled into his swing. I've been thinking lately about how I will do laundry when PJ stops napping in his swing and learns to climb out of his crib!

Anyway, I tried to get in through a window and woke PJ up in the process, and then my baby was crying for me and I couldn't get to him. I think it's about as horrible as I have ever felt in my lifetime (maybe only the pain he was in after his surgery was worse, since this time, he was just mad/scared, not hurting or in any danger at all). Pete was at work and not reachable, and none of my neighbors were home for me to borrow a key. So, I called the fine folks at the Collingswood Police Department, who quickly helped get the Hysterical Parental Failure back into her apartment.

PJ seemed to forgive me pretty quickly, and then went back to being alternately snuggly and grumpy as he's been the past few days. At least his dinner was good- chicken and veggies, but no fruit, since I need to shop (another fail. Boo.). We had some nice, after-dinner snuggly time, a warm bath, and our usual bedtime stories! He was asleep in my arms, and started laughing in his sleep, which pretty much mended my broken, mortified heart!

This parenting business. It's hard! All you want in the world is to do right by your child, and it's difficult to face yourself when you feel like you don't measure up. Still, in the end, even this terrible day ended up okay, with my little family all safe and sound inside, and tomorrow is a new day.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

"I'll meet you any time you want in our italian restaurant..."


PJ's first Halloween has come and gone! It was such a fun day! PJ got to Trick or Treat with his cousins along Haddon Ave in Collingswood, and I was gratified that 99.99% of people knew that PJ was spaghetti and meatballs and not a scarecrow! Only one drunk-ish lady insisted he was a ball of yarn and wondered "where's the cat?"


I can't believe that next year, PJ will be walking, may have an opinion on what his costume will be, and will want to eat his candy (drat)! I am just so happy that we got to enjoy it as a family!

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Day by day I wake up for you..."

It's a chilly Friday night and the end of what turned out to be a lovely week!

Swim class with Randi and Adam- our next-to-last class! It's been so much fun watching our boys splash together!

PJ's 11-month "anniversary"! Oh, how the time with my sweet Boy has flown!

Unusually warm and rainy, enjoyed an iced coffee at The Treehouse!

Saw the amazing Shades of Poe show at the historic Collings-Knight House in Collingswood, NJ! If you read this blog and live nearby, try and catch this show! Not only were there recitations of some of Edgar Allan Poe's best works by some talented actors, there's a tour of the house, too! It's worth it just to see the actor who did The Tell-Tale Heart. He was astoundingly good!

More coffee with some of our favorites, and a wonderful visit at their house! PJ and Ezra got to cultivate their bromance while the Mama's chatted! Later that night? Dinner with Pete's parents, since we need to grocery shop and Pete's mom set her oven on fire yesterday! ;-)
The rest of the weekend includes a flurry of activity, from grocery shopping to Pete's fundraiser at his firehouse (I'll be home with the Boy for that, but if you'd like more information e-mail me! It's a great time for a great cause) to PJ's very first Halloween! It's such a busy time of year, and I am so excited and feel so blessed to have my sweet little family to share it with!

I hope all of you have had a wonderful week and have a weekend of fun to look forward to! Now, it's off to finish sewing PJ's costume!

Good. Night.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Let your eyes sparkle and shine..."

Dear PJ,

Aunt Marla took this picture
of you today!
You are 11 months old today! It's so hard to believe you are thisclose to being a 1-year-old boy!

The biggest change this month is the appearance of two teeeeny little bottom teeth! You hung onto that gummy, sweet smile much longer then all of your friends, but some cute, sharp little teeth have poked their way out! To your Mama, it's bittersweet- seeing those teeth just tickle me right down to my soul, but I also know that it's the end of your "baby" face and the beginning of your "little boy" face! My heart is filled with joy to see your bright, alert, observant child face, but oh! How I will miss that squishy little baby face!

(aaaaaaand cue the tears!)

You are what they call an "Active Baby"! If you're not asleep or strapped into your high chair, you are allllllll over the place! You love to crawl all over the place, and you are no 'fraidy cat! You're just as comfortable getting around the coffee shop, Nan and Pop's, Bubbe and Zaida's, or any other of of friends and family's houses as you are your own! If you see a dog or cat, you just HAVE to chase them until they let you pet them! You love people and will go to anyone who offers you a friendly smile and a leg to pull up on! You're climbing, crawling, jumping, rolling, stretching, wiggling and squirming!

PJ, you have the funniest personality! You make your Mama and Dada laugh so hard sometimes! I have a feeling that smile of yours will be a key component in your arsenal of Things That Will Keep You From Getting Into Trouble! You smile at everyone! And your "happy growl"? Oh, my goodness, I have never heard anything like it! We have no idea where that comes from, but we sure know when you're happy! "Grrrrrrrrrrrr!"

(flip flops make you happy)

We love you so much, Peter Joseph! Each stage of your life brings us more joy then the next! While your Mama may sometimes ache for the little baby I held a little over a year ago, seeing you grow is the most honorable privilege I have ever known! You will always be the very best Boy-Boy in the whole world!

Keep on grown'! ONE is right around the corner!

We love you!

Mama and Dada


Jersey Shore!!

At the playground!

Monday, October 25, 2010

"But then again, it feels like some sort of inspiration..."

I love when Monday's turn out well! Of course, as a stay-at-home mom, there's no real reason that Monday's should suck for me anymore, but there's just something about a Monday that can make you feel all blergh. Thankfully, today has been full of awesome thus far! PJ's next-to-the-last swim lesson, a lovely pre-lunch walk with my little family, and now the pearly coolness of impending rain while my sweet boy naps!


All of this comes on the heels of an awesome weekend! It started on Thursday with PJ's first official haircut! It was WAY overdue- he was looking like the baby of Justin Bieber and Gary Busey with that shaggy-shagfest going on! PJ was great and the lady who did the cut was awesome! She just plugged away no matter which way PJ turned his head, so we ended up with a smart, handsome looking guy in about four minutes! I didn't even have time to cry!! The stylist could not believe how thick PJ's hair is- thank goodness he takes after his Dada in that regard!

On Saturday afternoon my mother-in-law was sweet enough to gift PJ with a new pair of shoes! He got an adorable pair of See Kai Run sneakers! PJ got a kick out of having his feet scanned to measure his size! I was very impressed with the staff member at Olly Kids that worked with us- he was very knowledgeable about PJ's shoe needs and was very sweet and patient! We also had PJ's pictures done that morning thanks to a great coupon for The Picture People (click to see the pics!!)- they will be sent out with the thank you notes for his naming!

That night, PJ and Dada got to have a Boy's Night In and Mama got to go out! My sisterIL Shelly and my cousinIL Jen went out to The Melting Pot to celebrate Jen's birthday! MMmmmmm....oh, my goodness! The drinks! The food! The DESSERT!!!! Ooohhhhh, the dessert! So, so yummy! I pretty much died and went to food heaven (where you get to dip CHEESECAKE in melted chocolate!)! I didn't managed to get a picture of all three of us, I'll steal one from either Shel or Jen later, you'll have to settle for this picture of Shelly and I! Either way, we had a blast! We ate, chatted, and laughed our heads up all night- can't ask for a better evening out then that! The only bad part was getting home to my cranky husband since the Phillies lost (boo).

On Sunday PJ and I had a quiet day together since Pete had to work. My parents, Marla, and her husband Steve came over for a pasta and meatballs dinner! Poor Marla couldn't eat much since her face was still terribly swollen from having her wisdom teeth taken out, but we all had a good time hanging out and playing with PJ! We watched video of him at his swim lessons!

It was a wonderful, fun weekend followed up with a great start to a new week! There's pretty much nothing else anyone could ask for (ahemhoverhighchair)! It makes me so happy to know that I am blessed with such great friends and family and that, even better, so is my son!

Yay! :-)