Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Home Away From Home

Our family is originally from Rochester, NY, which is knows as "The Flower City". Long story short, it's because of our annual Lilac Festival. People come from all over the world to see the thousands of Lilac trees that are in bloom in early May. After 3 1/2 years of being away, I think I'm pretty well adjusted. However, there are a couple times a year that I REALLY miss 'home'. This is one of those times.
I've planted 3 Lilac's in our yard here in Huntley. I didn't know it when I planted them, but it seems I've got 3 different varieties which produce 3 different colors! It's so exciting to see them blossom. They're beautiful, and the scent is indescribable. The slightest whiff of a Lilac brings me back home for just a moment.
So even though I can't be in Rochester for the festival, at least I can look out my window and smile at this little piece of 'home.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Busy Weekend Away

My dear friend Jen was getting married in Rochester this past weekend. I was lucky enough to be able to attend. I flew in Friday and right back out on Sunday, it was a whirlwind weekend! Since D.R. couldn't get away I decided to take my sister as my 'date'. It's been a long time since we've done something fun together, just the girls!

On Friday we met up with some friends for lunch...

I'm not sure why this picture is so small but it might be because I stole it from my sister off Facebook!
That gorgeous girl in the front is my God Daughter. She's almost 13 and is now one of the "lunching ladies". So glad she was able to join us this time.

Then we went back to my sister's house where we got to spend some time with my great-nephew. I still can' t believe my sister is a grandmother! She sure doesn't look the part.

I actually got to see all my nephews and brother in law, but I spent most of the time taking pictures of this little Angel!

On Saturday morning I had breakfast with my in-laws. It was nice to get to see them too, even for just a quick visit.
Then, it was off to the wedding. It was so beautiful, and very classy. The reception was at a hotel so we stayed the night. We sat at a table with a great group of people and really enjoyed them. Jen looked beautiful, and of course very happy. They did such a wonderful job at planning the big day.
Here's the happy couple...

My friend Dena even came to the hotel at midnight to see me, now that's dedication!
On Sunday morning we were treated to a nice breakfast at the hotel, and then it was off to the airport again! It sure was a busy weekend but it was great to get to see so many good friends and be part of Jen's big day.
Of course, the best part of the weekend was seeing my little girls run through the airport and jumping into my arms! I have to get all caught up on missed kisses and hugs.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I love a good bargain

My kids were trained pretty early on that when we go into a store, they aren't going to get a prize. We never started that with them, so they don't expect it. However, even I couldn't pass up these adorable nightgowns when I saw the price!
Original price $10. Clearance rack price $3.

And the best part is that it wasn't a toy that would be played with for a day and then tossed in the toy box and forgotten. They can wear these all summer long and really get our $3 worth. I love a good bargain!

Monday, April 19, 2010

What Will They Be?

You know how sometimes parents of accomplished musicians or athletes often say "I knew he was going to be a .....from the minute he could talk"? Well D.R. and I often look at our kids with an inquiring eye, trying to see what they will be when they grow up.

We already know Tia is very into fashion for a child her age. Every day she gets excited about picking out her clothes for the day, and needs to make sure everything matches. Her favorite show to watch is "What Not To Wear", where they take an unsuspecting fashion disaster and give her a total make over. She watches every minute of the show from beginning to end.
However, because she has exemplary small motor skills and is quite a perfectionist, D.R. is convinced she will be a surgeon or architect. At any rate, she'll be a well dressed surgeon or architect!

And for Gia. Well, this girl has an ear for music like I've never seen before. We call her the music director in the car. She dictates what we can listen to, calling out "Harry music!" or "I want James Taylor". Not only that, but she knows the words of most of the songs and likes to sing along. Keep in mind she just turned 3! During each song she'll say "I hear the piano, do you hear it Mom?" or "There's the trumpet, I hear the trumpet!". I don't know how she knows these things. D.R. and I really have no musical talent to speak of. How can a child of 3 know the sounds of different instruments without someone teaching her? It's a mystery to me.
Gia also loves babies, and taking care of them. Whenever there's a new baby at our play group, she'd much rather sit next to the baby and watch than play with any of the toys in the room. She will talk for days about how cute the baby was that she met. Here's a short clip of her from when she was 2, taking care of her baby doll. Maybe she'll be a pediatrician, or maybe she'll just be a great Mom (who plays in a band on the side?)!

It will be interesting in 20 years to look back and say "you know, I really thought she would be a ________, but she surprised us by becoming a _________________."
Oh the things to look forward to!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Gia!

My baby girl just turned 3. I know everyone says kids grow up so fast, but really, I have no idea where the time went! It truly seems like just last week that I gave birth to her.

In true Salerno fashion, we've been celebrating Gia's birthday for about a week. That's just the way we do things around here!
Of course Nonna and Papa flew in from NY so we could all celebrate together. We had a small birthday party while they were here, with a couple of Gia's friends.

We had an egg hunt for the kids, which was a big hit.

This is the cake Gia picked out all by herself. She had to have it!

So happy to have their Grandparents here!

Then, for Gia's actual birthday (April 12), we drove up to Wisconsin to the Wilderness Resort indoor water park. It was a first for all of us, but something we've been wanting to do for some time now. What a great time we had!

Ironically enough, one of Gia's little friends from dance class and her family were there at the same time as us, so we had someone to celebrate with (again). D.R. ran out and got cupcakes!

And of course, every girl needs a pedicure on her birthday. All the little girls got their nails done (by the Mom's) after cake, then it was off to play again.

Phew, that was a lot of celebrating and a lot of fun! I think we're all exhausted but it was well worth it. Our sweet baby only turns 3 once!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Great conversations with Tia

I think it's ridiculous that at my age I still get acne, but sadly, it happens occasionally. Yesterday Tia wanted to know what the bump on my face was...

Tia: Mom, you have a boo boo on your face? What's that bump?
Me: That's called a pimple. Hopefully it will go away soon.
Tia: Is it a boo boo, do you need medicine and a Band Aid?
Me: No, it's just a pimple, that happens sometimes.
You know, you'll get pimples on your face some day too.
Tia: Mom, we REALLY need to talk about this!

She had such a look of concern on her face, it was priceless! I think acne may interfere with her career as a super model.

Tia is a chronic breath holder. She inhales, holds it for several seconds, then lets out a gasp. It seems to bother me more than it bothers her. Yesterday she put me in my place...

Me: Tia, please stop holding your breath.
Tia: Mom, I'm fine. I like holding my breath.
Me: It's not good for your body.
Tia: MOM! I have all the air I need!

She cracks me up and the older she gets, the better the conversations are.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter

I don't think I ever realized how non-traditional we are until I started to upload pictures for this post. No fancy Easter dresses, no morning church service, no ham dinner. We went to church on Palm Sunday and chose to skip the Easter crowds. The kids got to stay in their pajamas as long as they wanted, and we had brunch instead of dinner. That's my kind of holiday!

I was trying to remember what Easter was like when I was a kid. I'm pretty sure we had a ham dinner, as my Mom always put on a nice dinner for the holidays.
However, several years ago we decided we would change tradition and started having an Easter BBQ! That first BBQ of the year became well known to our family and friends. Everyone looked forward to it. In fact, an old friend just sent me an email the other day telling me how this time of year always makes her think of me and that wonderful picnic we used to put on! We always made a point to invite anyone who had nowhere to go or no family to celebrate with. Those were great times. My sister continued the tradition this year by hosting a huge gathering of extended family at her house.
Our kids won't know that family tradition (although Easter is late next year so maybe we'll do it here!) but we've started traditions of our own. The important thing is that we were together, happy and healthy. That's what they will remember.

We do baskets with very little candy...mostly small toys, books, and one movie each.

Nonna and Papa had to leave for a flight back to Rochester on Sunday evening so we had a laid back afternoon. The girls played with the new water table that Gia got for her birthday (birthday celebrations will be a separate post). It was a very windy day but they didn't seem to care!
Overall, we had a wonderful, non-traditional Easter. Our family is blessed!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Coloring Eggs

The girls both had a great time coloring their Easter eggs this year. Each year when I do this with them, I think about how much my Mom loved coloring eggs with us as kids, and how much I really don't enjoy it! It's just such a mess and then we have all those eggs that nobody but me will eat! Well, it's only once a year, and the kids really look forward to it, so it's worth it.