Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Last Day of Preschool

First day of school September 2009

Last day of school May 2010

It's hard to believe we've come to the end of a full school year already. More than a year ago we took a tour of Sonshine Christian preschool and made the decision that this was the place for Tia. She had been struggling with EXTREME shyness and a lot of anxiety so finding a place where she would be comfortable was very important. I feared she would cry the entire time I was gone. That's one thing I was wrong about, this girl was so ready for school. She kissed me goodbye and never looked back.
I knew right away we made the right choice. The teachers there have all been wonderfully patient with Tia. They've always made a point of keeping us informed of her progress and giving us tips to use at home. She has blossomed into a confident young lady who makes friends easily. We are so happy with her progress. You can even see the difference between the two pictures here.
Today was her last day at Sonshine. She will be going to a 5-day preschool in the fall. I know she will miss the wonderful teachers she had this year, but I'm confident that they have prepared her for new and exciting challenges.
When Tia got home from her last day of school, she found a surprise. I got her something she has been asking for, a bubble machine! Look how big the bubbles are...

So proud of our big girl!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Balloons for Heaven

On Mother's Day we went out for lunch to a family friendly restaurant. The kids each got a balloon. When we arrived home, Tia turned to me and said "Mom, I think I'd like to let my balloon go up to heaven so MeMa can have it". I'd been thinking about my Mom all day, it being my first Mother's Day without her. This generous act from a sweet 4 year old brought many tears to my eyes. Thankfully I was wearing sunglasses so she didn't see me crying. As soon as she let the balloon go, she yelled "Here you go MeMa! Happy Mother's Day!". Oh, my aching heart. We watched that balloon as long as we could, until it disappeared into the clouds and then she said "I think she has it now Mom".
For some reason I didn't write about it then. However it has happened again, and this time I had my camera! We took the girls out to dinner after their dance recital. Once again they got the customary balloon. When we got home Tia said "Mom, I'd like to let my balloon go up to heaven for Great Nonno this time". That's my mother in law's grandfather. I had my camera because we had just been to the recital.
So here is my sweet, thoughtful angel letting her balloon go up to heaven for her great-great grandfather to enjoy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spring Recital 2010!

For the first time, the girls were both in the same age group for dance, which means they were in the same class and same recital! It was so nice to have them together this time.
They were super excited about the recital, especially the costumes.

I'll apologize right now for posting way too many pictures, but what can I say, I'm a proud mama!
Here they are waiting patiently for their turn to go on...

Lining up...
Gia doing her hop step
Tia doing the Boogie Woogie

And, my absolute favorite picture! I don't know what it is but I just love this one of Gia doing a turn. Maybe it's the black on black, or maybe it's her cute ruffle tooshie!

They both did a great job and really seem to be enjoying it. What more can we ask for!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bon Voyage Nilu

Shortly after Gia was born, I met two wonderful ladies at play group. For some reason Nilu, Anna, and I just hit it off. We still get together even though the play group has since disbanded.
Recently Nilu informed us that she would be spending the ENTIRE Summer in India! My first thought was "how could she do this to us!?". Once I got over the initial shock, I decided that we must get our families together for a picnic, and that the ladies had to have a night out. Not that these things will make me miss her any less, but at least we got to send her off in style!
Unfortunately I didn't take a single picture at our picnic. We all had such a wonderful time but the camera never came out. Of course I thought about it after everyone left.
Last night was our girls night out. We went to a very nice restaurant in town. The food was fantastic, but the company was even better. We realized it had been more than a year since we had gotten together without our kids. Nilu was pregnant with her daughter at the time and we went out for coffee. That was TOO long ago!
So, our sweet Nilu leaves tomorrow for the very long journey to India, with two small children in tow. I'll miss her dearly, even though she assures me we'll be in touch via email and facebook!

Safe travels Nilu. Have fun and we'll be waiting for our next girls night out as soon as you return!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

There they are, my sweet Mother's Day gifts, the only ones I will ever need. Of course, I got some material, a new coffee machine, etc. But I'm a firm believer that the best things in life are free. That was confirmed for me today.

We went out to lunch and the girls each got a balloon. Tia carefully picked the pink one that matched her dress perfectly. She was so proud of that balloon. When we got home she ran up to the porch and then suddenly turned around, looked at me, and said "Mom, I think I want to let my balloon go up to heaven, then Mema can have it". Whoa! She didn't say up in the sky, she actually said she wanted to let it go to heaven. I started to tear up.
I had actually been thinking about my Mom today, and how this is our first Mother's day without her, but I kept it to myself. I'm glad Tia was thinking about her too and had the wisdom not to keep it inside.
So, we stood in the yard and let the balloon go. Tia yelled at the top of her lungs "Here you go Mema! Happy Mother's Day!!". We watched it float up until we couldn't see it anymore. I told Tia that I thought Mema was saying 'thank you for the balloon'. She looked up to the sky and yelled "You're welcome Mema!".
That moment was the best Mother's Day gift I could ever receive. The wisdom of children is a wondrous thing.

Happy Mother's Day to all the great Moms out there.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Mom

Today would have been my Mom's 70th birthday. She fought really hard to make it to her 69th, but sadly she couldn't make it to this one. I have to smile when I think back to when the doctor told her how much time she had left and her response (after she had some time to think about it) was "Nope, I have to be here for my birthday". She was one stubborn woman, and she sure did what she set out to do. I won't even bother posting pictures here of her at her 69th birthday party because honestly, she was REALLY sick and didn't look like the Mom I want to remember.

Instead, I'll share with you her most favorite picture, taken at one of the happiest times in her life. Here she is with all 5 of her brothers at my wedding. What a handsome bunch of guys they are! When we found out that they would all be there, I made sure to tell the photographer that it was very important to get a good shot of all of them together. You have to understand that this was the one and only time that they had been photographed together. They had a tough childhood and bounced around a lot. They weren't very often all in the same place at the same time. It turned out to be the last opportunity for a shot like this because less than 2 years later, her oldest brother Doug (blue blazer) passed away. This picture meant the world to her.

After our Mom got sick, she told us she didn't see the point in funerals, and that we should have the party while the person is still living so they can enjoy it too! A little unconventional, but it makes a lot of sense. So, my sister and brother in law invited our entire extended family over to celebrate our Mom's life. Of course she had a fantastic time and nobody sat around thinking about her illness, they just enjoyed her company.
Here she is with her 4 remaining brothers. It couldn't compare to the one they had 5 years before, but the important thing is that they were there for each other. She really loved her brothers.

Then somebody at the party had the great idea to get all the bald people together for a picture. How funny to see her surrounded by her bald supporters. Strength in numbers I say!

So, there's just a tiny glimpse into the life of my mother. She was an amazing woman. I'm sure she's having a fabulous party today up in heaven!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A bargain fit for a Princess!

I have a cousin who is getting married in August. Lucky for us the happy couple is planning to wed in Michigan (not NY) which is so much closer! We were planning to attend anyway, but then the bride called and asked if Tia could be a flower girl in the wedding. How could we get so lucky! We were told we could pick out our own flower girl dress as long as it was white. The bride to be suggested we start at JC Penney's.
Yesterday seemed to be as good a day as any to take a look at what they had to offer. The girls always love a trip to the mall, no matter what the occasion. Well, I must say we hit the jack pot! All the flower girl/communion dresses were marked 60% off, and of course we had coupons.
Tia found this adorable dress, which I must say makes her look like a princess, and said "Mom, this is the dress for me!". After all discounts were taken, we paid...are you ready for this? We paid...

The dress was originally $80, and I'm sure plenty of people paid that price! I'm so glad we didn't.
Tia is so proud, she's telling everyone she meets that she's going to be a flower girl. I can't wait to see this little princess walk down that aisle!