Monday, August 31, 2009

Isn't it Ironic...

When Tia was a new born baby, my best friend gave me bags and bags of girl clothes. They had belonged to her daughter (my God Daughter), who is now 12 years old. I remember telling one of my new friends here in Huntley that almost all of Tia's clothes are 8 years old. She said something like "Well, aren't you concerned that they won't be in fashion by the time she wears them?". I laughed inside and asked myself what planet this woman was from. All of the clothes are in excellent condition (she wouldn't have given them to me if they weren't), and I'm not one to get caught up in fashion trends.

Well, the other day I went "basement shopping" again, picking out size 4 fall clothes. I found this shirt that ironically has '09 on it.

Keep in mind that it was probably purchased when the year was 2001! How's that for keeping up with fashion? Some things are built to last.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Moving on, Growing up

This must be the week for toddler beds! I have 2 other friends who moved their kids out of the crib and into the "big kid" bed. Here's how our story goes...

On Monday morning I heard a blood curdling scream coming from Gia's room. I ran to investigate and found that her door was locked. I was able to get in with one of those little metal poker things. She was sobbing and shaking. Apparently she had gotten out of her crib and locked the door, then she freaked out when she realized she was trapped. When it came to nap time, she refused to lay in her crib, and started climbing out right in front of me.
I figured it was time to transition her to the toddler bed. I let her nap on the living room floor on Monday and Tuesday, then I made the switch on Tuesday afternoon. I can't believe I actually saved all the hardware and instructions for her crib. Impressive!
I was trying to prolong that move as long as possible. Gia is the kind of kid who doesn't stay put. I just knew once she wasn't confined to a crib, she would be all over the place! My prediction was right on that first night. She kicked and screamed the whole way upstairs. First D.R. tried to put her down, even staying in her room with her for a while. Then I took over, singing and rocking for a half hour. Nothing seemed to work. So, I decided to try tough love and let her cry it out. I closed the door and listened to her cry for 45 minutes! She finally gave in, or passed out, and slept about 8 hours. Her norm is 11, but not bad for a first night.
I was fully expecting a repeat performance last night. I was totally shocked when I brought her up to bed and she actually let me lay her down and cover her up. I think she was totally exhausted and had given up the fight, because she slept about 10 hours before we heard from her this morning. Ahhhh. Maybe she is growing up and this won't be so bad after all. Fingers crossed!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Going Bananas!

I was shopping at Caputo the other day. It's my favorite place to go for fruits and vegetables. On my way through the check-out, a clerk asked me if I'd like to take home a free case of bananas. I'm not one to turn down free stuff, so I said "SURE!". I asked why they were giving them away, and the kid just said "customer appreciation". I got home and looked at the bananas and understood why the store was giving them away. They were all perfectly ripe already. There's no way they could sell them all before they went bad. I was suddenly stuck with the same issue. Do you know how many bananas come in a case? I can tell you...LOTS. I can't believe I accepted an entire case of ripe bananas. My first thought was "what the heck am I going to do with them before they start attracting fruit flies?".
I was able to fit 4 bags in my freezer, and give 4 bags away to neighbors. This didn't even make a dent in my loot! Today I looked up a recipe for easy banana bread, and quick banana muffins.
The kids were more than happy to help me bake. It was a fun project, and used up a whole 10 bananas. Yikes!
I could have made more but I ran out of vanilla, and I was sick of the smell of smashed bananas.

You see those bananas behind Tia in the fruit bowl? Those are the ones I bought at Caputo BEFORE they offered me the free case! I felt duped.

Here's our finished products of the day. I'm going to try to give some more bananas away to neighbors today (I'm sure they all think I'm a little flaky!). Tomorrow I just might try to make something else. How do I get myself into these things?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our NY visitors

My niece Jennifer and friend Sheila came to visit from Rochester. They've been here all week. In the days leading up to their visit, Gia kept saying she wanted to "jump on Aunt Sheila".
Well, she sure did, several times!

They were stuck together like glue all week!

Tia kept saying she was going to play with Jennifer the whole time. She got her wish too. Jennifer was more than happy to play dress up, kitchen, and baby dolls with her 3 year old cousin. They are best buddies.

We also went to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and our local spray park. Of course we went out for Chicago pizza too! It was a fun and busy week. We've all enjoyed the visit, but no one more than my kids. I can just imagine how sad they are going to be tomorrow when they wake up and our friends/playmates are gone. I guess they'll have to settle for their boring old Mom!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Little Summer Fun

I love this picture of the girls. They were looking at ducks at the Randall Oaks Barnyard Zoo.
I've been trying to do fun things with the girls this summer, especially since we didn't get to take a vacation this year. Next year will be different.

A couple more shots of them enjoying the beautiful summer day at the park. It was a great day.

My niece and friend are due to arrive tonight, and I have a whole week worth of activities planned for them. It's sure to be very much like a mini vacation. We can't wait!

More pics are sure to follow.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's the 12th

Today is August 12. That means so many things right now...

It means that Tia is 46 months old (October 12)
It means that Gia is 28 months old (April 12)
It's been 2 months since my Mom died (June 12)
And it's one month until my big race (September 12)

When Tia was born, we always knew the 12th would be an important day for the rest of our lives. Then exactly 18 months later, her sister was born. Even more reason to celebrate the 12th!
Now, with the passing of my Mom happening on the 12th, it won't always invoke happy thoughts. I guess from now on it'll just be a very significant date in the history of our family.

Do something significant today. It's the 12th!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

These are the Moments

I try to take the time to savor the little things with my kids. I know they don't stay little for very long. Yesterday Tia asked if we could have a movie night in our living room and pretend we were at the theater.
We agreed to let them have popcorn (normally no eating in that room), and the kids loved it. We watched Cinderella (for the 80th time!). It was one of those sweet little moments that made my day.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Celebrating 5 years

Last night we celebrated our 5 year anniversary. We already had our romantic overnight get away without the kids, so it was time to let them in on the fun.
D.R. brought home 3 bouquets of flowers, so each of them could give me one. Gia was convinced it must be my birthday and kept running around the house yelling "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!".

We decided it would probably be best to have dinner at home due to the girls ages, as well as it being a work night. They love it when we have "fancy dinner" in the formal dining room. They both wanted to get dressed up for the occasion. They were so excited!

Then I just had to take a picture of the food because I kept thinking "I wonder what we would pay for all this at a restaurant?". I know the answer to that question, TOO MUCH!

I tried to get the whole piece of fish onto the platter without breaking it, but it didn't quite make it. Oh well, it was still delicious! I paired this with a loaf of wheat bread and some edamame (Gia and D.R.'s favorite). Of course Gia ate everything we put on her plate, and Tia only had bread and yogurt. Part of being a preschooler I guess.

To further Gia's belief that it must be someone's birthday, I let them have birthday cake for dessert. It had been in the freezer since Gia's birthday in April. I figured that was long enough. D.R. and I shared a bottle of champagne for our dessert. The end result was, the kids were hyper on a sugar high. The grown-ups were mellow and tired from the alcohol. Not a good mix!

We talked about how much we've done and how far we've come over the last 5 years. We had two beautiful girls who have been such a blessing. We've had career changes and address changes. We know there's probably even more of that to come, and that's OK. We consider life to be an adventure and we accept the things that come our way as part of that. We're both so glad to have each other, and our girls, to go through this journey together.

Five years down, 50 to go!

Monday, August 3, 2009

We just had the most wonderful weekend. This week is our 5th wedding anniversary. D.R.'s folks (Nonna and PaPa) came in for a long weekend to help us celebrate. We all had a great time, especially the girls.
Nonna brought the girls new night gowns, and they were so excited about it they couldn't stop dancing around. Here's a quick video clip of their excitement.

They also helped us plant a lot of new flowers in our garden. Extra man power was key in getting so much work done.
Here's Giuliana smelling her new favorite flower.

The extra man power also gave me a break from pushing both girls on the swings!

On Saturday D.R. and I got a night out without the kids. We went shopping for new sneakers (real romantic, I know!). Then we went out for a fantastic sushi lunch, which was really our dinner. The sushi was amazing, and it was nice to just enjoy each other without the distractions that go along with taking two young children out to a restaurant. It was so nice. We sat there for a long time, not wanting the time to end. After our HUGE lunch, we headed over to our hotel for the night. We stayed at the Embassy Suites, and the room was great. We were on the top floor, and here's a picture of what the inside of the hotel looked like from our room.

We shared a bottle of champagne and toasted our 5th year as husband and wife.
Later in the evening we made our way over to Ravinia Festival for an outdoor concert in the park. This was our first time at the venue, and I must say we were both impressed. We agreed that we must go back again next year, for a concert of music more our style. The act was a violinist who I'm sure is great at her craft, but played very dark and depressing music. We left at intermission! We enjoyed the rest of the evening at the hotel. It's funny how we wanted so badly to get away without our kids, but spent the majority of the day talking about how much the kids would have loved to be there!
We both got a great night sleep, and woke up feeling refreshed and ready to get back to our girls. After a quick work out and a nice breakfast, we headed home. The kids were happy to see us, but I definitely got the feeling we missed them more than they missed us! They had a blast with Nonna and PaPa, and never asked about us once.

So, our overnight experience taught us a few things. We learned that we need to do these kind of things once in a while to rejuvenate our relationship as man and wife. We also learned that right now, one night away from our girls is plenty! We missed them like crazy.