Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Great Find!

It's not really a big clearance time of year, so I wasn't expecting to buy anything when I went to JC Penney today. I had to go in and pick up the girls' pictures that we had taken a couple weeks ago. They were ready last week but since I was in NY, and D.R. totally forgot, they've been sitting there for a while. Of course I had to walk past the little girls section on our way out. I saw a big rack with girls underwear and a sign that said $1.19. I grabbed 6 packages, since I have 2 girls and they will always need underwear. There were some socks marked clearance too but I wasn't sure how much they would be.

When I got to the register the clerk told me all my items were ringing up regular price. She sent a girl back to check the rack and sure enough, I was right and everything was on sale. However, when she rang up the discount on the underwear, they came down to .98 a package! That's my kind of bargain.

So, I got 18 pairs of underwear, and 12 pairs of socks for a grand total of ...

The original prices were $7.99 each package. My receipt tells me I saved $54.88 today. I'm pretty proud of myself on this one!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Nice Surprise!

Late last night, way past my bed time, I was sitting up chatting with friends. I was just saying how my husband had told me to get some rest and "take a night off", as to not get run down. Of course, I didn't listen and was having wine with the best girlfriends in the world. Suddenly I hear a pounding on the front door that sent me into panick mode! I couldn't imagine who would be knocking on the door so late. When I looked at the glass door, there was nobody there. As I cautiously peeked around the corner, there stood my smiling husband! What a sweet and much needed surprise.

Apparently he missed us so much, and felt I needed him to be here, that he skipped out of work and drove 11 hours, straight through, so he could spend the weekend with us. Me being happy to have him here isn't the half of it. The girls are jumping out of their skin with joy! The expression on Tia's face this morning when she saw her Daddy was just priceless.

So today, D.R. gets huge husband points. Our family feels whole again.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Road Home...again

I'm back in Rochester this week, visiting with my Mom. We had a scare last week where she admitted she thought the end was 'very near', so I felt visiting now was the right thing to do.
My DEAR FRIEND Sheila, who I have known for what seems like an eternity, decided to fly to Chicago and do the road trip back with me. She was a great help and the trip couldn't have gone smoother. The kids love her and she loves them.

So, we have been here in Rochester since Sunday evening. My Mom is still with us but seems weaker by the day. She is happy to have us here so she can see the kids running around, full of life. I'm glad I am able to provide that gift to her.

Everyone keeps asking me how long I will be here. I don't have an answer to that question. This is one of those things that just can't be planned. I keep thinking I don't want to leave because she could take a turn for the worse tomorrow, and I would have to come right back anyway. Doesn't make much sense for anyone. I miss my husband, and I'm sure the kids miss their Daddy. Tia started asking about him yesterday. I just have to remind myself that they are young and this disruption will not affect the rest of their lives.

So, for a while I will be staying with my in-laws, missing my husband, visiting with my Mom, trying to keep things normal for the girls, and everything else that goes along with managing a family crisis. Once I'm back in Illinois, the blog will be up and running again. For now, I'm a bit busy with other things.

Best wishes and happy thoughts to all who read my blog. See you again soon!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Memories in the Making

The other day my Mom confided in me her sadness that my girls won't really be old enough to remember her. I reassured her that we talk about her often and have pictures of her around our house, so I had hopes that they will have memories of her. Then, out of the blue, the girls started talking even more about Mema. Here's what has happened over the course of a few days.

At the zoo Gia was starting to whine a little. When I asked her what was wrong, her reply was "There's no Mema here!". I wonder what made her think of her Mema at that moment. Maybe because we went to the zoo in Rochester one time with my Mom, but I'm pretty sure Gia was too young to remember that. Maybe not!

While riding in the car, Gia pointed at the empty passenger seat and exclaimed "Dat's Mema's seat!". She remembers my Mom sitting there one of the times we went for a visit.

Yesterday while cleaning up after lunch I said "Let me clean that angel face". Gia said "Mema say dat!". She's absolutely right. My Mom does call her Angel Face, and I had totally forgotten that. This child has a mind like a vault.

While packing for our upcoming road trip Tia and I were talking about who we would see in NY. She said "Mom, how 'bout we have breakfast with Nonna, and dessert with Mema?". I told her that was a good idea and then she said "Mema always has ice cream". Come to think of it, she's right. They have had ice cream just about every time we've gone to visit.

Then, this one takes the cake. Tia told me yesterday "Mom, Mema sometimes kisses me too hard". I tried not to laugh and asked if she would like me to have a talk with Mema and ask her not to kiss so hard, and be more gentle. She said that was a good idea.

Here's proof of the hard kissing!

So, my point is that even though the girls are very young, they have already established memories of their Mema. They know who she is and have associated her with certain things in their lives. I will continue to encourage them to talk about her and remember her fondly when she is no longer with us.
She will always be their Mema.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Who's the Baby in this Family?

I wonder whose idea this was? I can't believe Gia was able to squeeze her chunky butt into a doll stroller! And, you might notice she is holding a play baby bottle. Something tells me she likes being the baby of the family!

Then, as I was preparing to write this post, they came strolling through the kitchen again. Check this out!

Never too big to be a baby I guess. At least they're learning how to take turns!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Here's a re-cap of our Mother's Day here in Chicago...

Last night we went out for my favorite dinner, which is Pizza of course. Some Mom's would want a fancy dinner out with candle light and linen table cloths. Not me, I'd rather be in a comfortable, family-friendly environment where my children are welcome. It was great.

This morning D.R. made me breakfast, which was very yummy. Then the girls gave me their home made cards, which were beautiful. I will keep them forever!
It was a beautiful Chicago morning so we decided to take the girls to the zoo. It was our first time there, and we all enjoyed it.

Here are the girls checking out the gorilla habitat.

Gia had it in her head that she wanted to walk by herself, and that meant she wouldn't hold hands with anyone. This is how she made sure we couldn't hold her hand.

Check out that scowl!

After lunch, we tried to get some nice pictures of me with both of the girls, with no luck. They are at the age where they want individual attention, so this is the best we could do.

The zoo has wonderful gardens and I enjoyed just walking around and smelling all the flowers that have just started to bloom. Every so often I would catch a whiff of a lilac tree that sent me "home" for a moment. We are from Rochester which is famous for the Lilac festival. Rochester is also known as the "Flower City". It's this time of year that I miss home the most, and I'm certain it's because of the smell. There's nothing like the smell of a lilac in full bloom.

I wasn't able to be with my Mom on this Mother's Day. I was with her last week and I know she understands. I'm not used to this day being about me, because I am a Mom now!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Mom's out there. I hope you enjoyed your day as much as I enjoyed mine.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A quick trip

I just got back from a VERY quick trip home to see my Mom. It was her birthday yesterday, she turned 69. We had such a nice time. My sister went all out and planned a huge birthday/cinco de Mayo bash. She did a great job, as always. Our Mom was very happy to see our family and friends. A big THANK YOU to my wonderful sister for making it all happen.

I also got to meet my first great-nephew, Angelo. He is a little over one week old and oh so cute!

Here's my Mom with little Angelo Joseph

I didn't bring my girls with me on this trip. They stayed home with Daddy which made it so much easier on me (not so easy for him!). I got a chance to be there with my Mom, and no distractions. It was great.

I have to say a special THANK YOU to my dear friend Sheila who stayed up way past her bed time to make sure I had a ride to my in-laws house last night.
Another HUGE THANK YOU to my in-laws who got up way too early to make sure I got off OK this morning. And especially my father-in-law who drove me to the Buffalo airport at 4:15am!
And of course THANK YOU to my sweet hubby who encouraged me to buy the ticket and "Just do it!", and who re-arranged his entire schedule so he could be home with the kids. Everything worked out just great.

Besides seeing my family and friends, which was fantastic, I got to do two other things that I really miss about Rochester. I watched Channel 10 news and went shopping at Wegmans! I know these things might sound simple but when you're away from home and miss everything, it's the little things that count.
On the news I saw my favorite weather man give his forecast. OK, so I admit I have a 'thing' for him but my husband is aware of my little crush so it's OK.
It has to be the dimples, I mean look at his sweet face. Who wouldn't like to look at that! I'm sure I don't even remember the 3 day weather outlook. I was too mesmerized by the blue eyes.

After I got my Rich Caniglia fix, it was on to Wegmans. We needed a couple things for the party and I was all too happy to be the one to shop! For my mid-western friends who don't know about Wegman's, it's technically a grocery store. Really, it's more than that. It's an amazing place where you can buy everything in one place, and can even sit down to have dinner while you're at it. People who move away from NY state tend to appreciate Wegman's even more after they leave. There's nothing like it, or even close, in other parts of the country. Oh, how I miss this place!

It was a wonderful trip all around. The kids were totally off schedule when I got back, but that's OK. We'll focus on getting back to normal tomorrow. It was all worth it.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Happy Mommy's Day to Me!

We went shopping today for my Mother's Day present. I asked for a bike since mine is about 15 years old and needed a new inner tube. We picked out a nice shiny purple one (not pictured). The funny thing is that the girls both insisted all the way to the store that Mom needed a purple bike. They got their wish.
I got this bike trailer for D.R. a couple years ago for Father's Day. We never got to use it because Tia was afraid to get in it. Gia was a bit afraid of it too but as soon as she saw her sister having fun, there was no stopping her. We took a couple trips around the neighborhood, then D.R. took them a couple times. I have a feeling we'll be going for a lot of bike rides now!
I wanted a way to get in more exercise, and I think I found it. The fact that it's fun for the kids too is an added bonus. I'm a happy Mom!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Words, words, words...

I have always been fascinated by the development of language. Maybe that's part of the reason why I became an Interpreter. Regardless of the reason, I pay attention to language and particularly words, more carefully than most people.

I can remember so vividly, my oldest nephew saying "Don't yoller at me". I knew right away he had combined the words "yell" and "Holler" into a version that suited him. The phrase took off and we still use it today! I also remember his other words, such as blanana, cramera, and pinano (banana, camera and piano). For some reason, they stick in my mind like they were said just yesterday.
Now that I have my own kids, I pay even more attention than before. I keep a journal for each of the girls and try to remember to record important events in their lives. I write lists of words that they learn, and funny things they say. I hope as adults they will read the journals and get a good laugh. I hope they will do the same for their kids one day.

Tia says just about everything clearly now. When she was 18 months old trying to learn to speak, and having gotten a late start, it was quite an adventure. The one word that will stay with me for many years is her version of "fingers". She would try and try to say fingers, but it would come out "fu*kers". My husband was mortified. The rest of the family thought it was hilarious and would ask her repeatedly to say it.
She still struggles with the "L" sound. When she sings "I've been workin' on the railroad..." she ends the song with "All the riv rong day". Hilarious to me, not exactly understood by others.

Now we have Giuliana who spoke early, and says everything! Her latest favorites are "Daddy, Listen ME!" and "Don't do again". I'm sure she has heard me tell her "listen to me" and "don't do it again" enough times that the words are emblazoned in her brain. She effectively copies everything we say, and then some. I guess we need to be particularly careful about what we say now.
Developmental stages are exciting to me and I'm glad I have the opportunity to document them along the way.