Sunday, January 31, 2010

Curious George Live!

A while back D.R. won an award at work which entitled him to 2 free tickets to a show at the Sears Center Arena. When he heard Curious George was coming to town, he requested his tickets be for that event. Well, somehow he got 4 tickets instead of 2, which meant we could all go and sit together!
We didn't tell the kids about the show until this morning. They were so excited. It was a great experience because our seats were in a suite. This allowed Gia to get up and dance, eat, walk around, and of course eat again! Tia really enjoyed the show. Gia enjoyed everything else.
Here are some pictures, but unfortunately it was so dark in the arena, I didn't get very good ones.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cuddle Time

They really do love each other! Sometimes they fight so much it makes me wonder. And then there are times like this one when I find them cuddled up together, totally unprompted by me. I love it!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Christmas Crafts in January?

I'm not sure why I get myself into these messes. I was in Michael's (craft store) the other day and they had all their Christmas "kits" on sale for .99. I figured they would be fun for the girls to do on a boring afternoon. This particular one was for making a gingerbread Christmas tree.

It sure was fun for the girls, and VERY sticky!

I can't believe how much frosting was involved, and I only mixed one of the two packages that came with the kit.

Gia was actually sucking the frosting out of the piping bag! Look at the smile on Tia's face. I'm not sure if she's excited, or just completely hyped up on sugar.
Nonetheless, they had a great time, and it really didn't make a huge mess since I kept everything on the baking sheet.
Oh, the things I do for my kids!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Getting Organized

In my continuing quest to become more organized, I decided to ask Santa (my Mother in Law) for a laminating machine this year. I'm not really the type to go for lots of gadgets and gizmos, but when I decide I need something, I use it a LOT!

Recently my friend Amy Jo posted on her blog something about how many papers and craft projects her son comes home from school with. Then there's the dilemma of what to keep, what to toss. I was in the same boat here with Tia now in preschool. She brings papers home almost every day, and would be crushed if she ever saw me throw one in the garbage. I have been keeping a huge pile of all her school work on top of my refrigerator (so baby sister won't ruin them), and I thought "there has to be a better way".
Well, Santa came through with the laminator, and I was able to get started on the latest organizing project.

Here's the lovely specimen!

And here's what I'm doing with it these days.

I'm saving the important papers, then when I have a big pile, I laminate each of them. I use a 3-hole punch and put them all in a big binder. Tia was very excited to see her work preserved, and didn't notice at all that I have tossed a few pieces here and there (Shhh). We even included a couple paintings that Giuliana did in her little 2-year old class.
Now, don't ask me what I'm going to do with that big binder once it's full. I haven't gotten that far!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Giuliana at School

As promised, here are some pictures of my baby girl at "school". I never even thought to bring my camera last week and then felt guilty about it.
She goes once a week for one hour. They play and create, and she loves it!

This is shaving cream, which she was very reluctant to touch with her fingers...

But that only lasted a couple minutes! She came back to this table 3 times, she couldn't get enough.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Rare Winter Sighting...

The sun! It was shining brightly today. We don't often see it here in the Windy City during the winter months.
I hear all these reports about how kids today don't get enough Vitamin-D due to lack of exposure to sunlight. Then they say if we live north of Georgia, the sun isn't strong enough to really make a difference anyway.

So, my thought is, why not just stay inside where it's warm, and take a vitamin!
Well, for the sake of the kids, I braved the outdoors. I'm not exactly a big fan of winter, and would prefer to stay inside, in my flannel pajamas!
They had a blast playing with their sand toys, shoveling the snow INTO the driveway.

When exactly do we begin to despise winter and snow? I can remember playing outside in the frigid temperatures with all the neighborhood kids. I wouldn't come in until my jeans were frozen and hands were numb. We built forts and tunnels and snowmen, and loved every minute of it. I wonder when and why we lose that. All I do know is that it's gone from me forever. I was actually happy when Gia's boot came off and her foot got wet..."whoops, we have to go in and change her socks before she gets too cold!".

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Artists at Work

Last year we decided to have a wall put up in the basement to make an exercise room. We wanted our equipment out of the way in order to make it safer down there for the kids, without actually finishing the whole basement.
My goal for this year was to set up and art area for the girls to do their projects, and keep the mess out of my kitchen. I finally got around to bringing most of the art supplies and easel down there, and the girls had a blast! They loved it. I'll eventually get around to painting that ugly wall you see behind them, but that's a project for when I'm not working every weekend. At least we're now getting some use out of the space.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

All Kids Do It

My Mom always told me that all kids, at some point, will give themselves a hair cut. For that reason I have told Tia over and over again that Ms. Christi (our hairdresser) is the ONLY person who is allowed to cut her hair. Not even Mommy or Daddy are allowed to do it. When she first started using scissors in preschool, I reminded her repeatedly of the no hair cutting rule. I have been pretty confident all along that she knew the rule well and would never try to cut her own hair.
Well, I came home from the grocery store this morning and began cleaning up the messy kitchen floor. What did I find? You guessed it, a curl!

I immediately started asking who did it. Both girls have exactly the same hair color now so I couldn't be sure whose hair it was. Tia told me Gia did it (I wouldn't be surprised). Gia told me Daddy did it (not likely). After I asked a couple of times, Tia said "Mom, I did it, it was me". I almost cried because she had that concerned look on her face, and she was being sincere and honest. I didn't yell at her, I just made her promise to never do it again, and thanked her for telling me the truth.
Thankfully this is all she cut, and I can't even tell where the curl came from. She has a lot of hair! I made sure to let D.R. know that this incident happened on his watch. I asked him where the adult supervision in the house was when it happened! We all had a good laugh about it, and again asked Tia to not do it again.
So, Mom was right, ALL kids do it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gia the Talker

Almost daily someone asks me how old Gia is. She will be 3 in April. She talks like an 8 year old. There isn't a thing she can't say, and she's not afraid to say it all! Some days I think she never stops. Even when she's supposed to be napping, I hear her on the monitor talking to her teddy bear. In fact, last week Tia came to me and whispered that she was going to play in her room. She told Gia she was going to lay down. I'm pretty sure she just needed a break from the constant chatter of her sister. I later checked on her and sure enough, she was playing quietly in her room with Barbie's, surely enjoying the quiet.
Gia started a class this week for 2 year olds (Shame on me, no pictures!). She really enjoys it, and the other parents enjoy listening to her (I hope). They have all asked me to clarify how old she is. I quickly realized that none of the other kids in the class can talk like Gia. I'm not bragging, I'm wondering what the heck I'm in for!

Here are some of the things she says that have had me cracking up over the past few days:

We were walking down the hall at school where there was a poster with Elmo and Zoe from Sesame Street. I said "Look Gia, those are your friends". Her quick response was "No, they're not my friends at all Mom. You're my best friend, forever!".

On the first day of class, Gia noticed cubbies and hooks in the hall and asked "Mom, can I hang my coat on the hooker?". I thought I'd fall off my seat at that one!

At play group she sat next to another Mom, not caring where I was, and proceeded to tell this stranger "When I turn 3, my birthday is in April, I'm gonna' have a party with all my friends and Mommy will get me a Strawberry Shortcake cake. It's gonna' be a party". Naturally the mom came over to tell me how delightful Gia is, and ask how old she is!

This morning Gia woke up, came to me for a big hug and said "Mommy, I'm going to be your baby all the time, every day, forever". Now that's music to my ears!

Later in the morning I asked her if she'd like to watch a movie on the big TV upstairs while I took a shower. Her answer was "Is it Blu-Ray?". Seriously?

I promise to get pictures of her at "school" next week.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

silly snow time fun

We've been a little bored and a little silly lately with all this snow and cold weather. I brought home pipe cleaners for the girls to play with, and D.R. decided to make a pair of glasses with them. Of course then they both had to have a pair.
Shouldn't we all look this cute in glasses!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Sister!

Today is my sister's birthday. I jokingly say she's my favorite sister, but she's my ONLY sister. I'm pretty sure she'd be my favorite even if I had a whole bunch of sisters.
My kids affectionately refer to her as "Aunt Kimmie" and she loves to spoil them. She's the most positive, outgoing, and caring person I know.

She is a friend to all who know her (and she seems to know everybody!). She gives of herself, and takes care of others without ever expecting anything in return. In fact, today she has chosen to spend her day volunteering at The Journey Home, the hospice home where my Mom was cared for.
She and her husband (of 22 years) have opened their home to us so many times since we moved out of state, offering to host parties and dinners whenever we are in town. There is no limit to their generosity and love of family.
I am proud to have her as my sister, and even if we weren't related, I would choose her to be my friend!
Happy Birthday Kim!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

2009 was certainly a tough year for our family. It was the year we lost my Mom. We miss her terribly, and the holidays were hard without her. We thought of her often, and believe she was 'with us', in spirit.

2009 also brought us a new family member. My first Great nephew, Angelo was born. What a blessing!

Here are some of the other things we have to be thankful for...

Most importantly, we all remained healthy and safe in 2009. We are thankful the flu has not hit our household! We hope for the same in 2010.

In today's economy, it's worth mentioning that D.R. continues to do well at his job with Sears. They like him there and he is very good at what he does. We are so thankful for that! Because of his continued success, I was able to stay home with the girls for another year. That's something I don't take for granted and appreciate every day.

Tia started preschool and almost immediately came out of her shell and became a whole new kid. She is more confident now, not shy, and has a bubbly personality. She's doing great in her class and loves school. We are so proud.

Gia started taking dance class and thoroughly enjoys it. She looks forward to getting dressed up in leotard, tights, and tu-tu. We think she has found her "thing". Both girls had their recital on the same night, and both did awesome. They will start again in February.
Also in Gia news...she's potty trained! We really lucked out. Although she kept her diapers longer than I'd like, when she decided it was time to give them up, she just did it by herself and was done. That's it. Simple, just the way she likes it!

As for me, I continued to interpret just enough hours each month to keep my skills polished. That's enough for me. I prefer to be with my girls!
I read 32 books in 2009. It might have been more because sometimes I forget to write them down.
I also decided to take my fitness goals to the next level and join a big, fancy gym. I'm having a great time with it and I'm feeling good. I can only hope that all this hard work will pay off in 2010!

Happy New Year from our family to yours!