Tuesday, November 6, 2012

1.5 and 3.5

Alena has changed so much over the past 6 months - she has her own language now - most words we can understand, but some of them are still gibberish.  Some of her favorites are: mama, daddy, nonni, sissy/Luci ("deedee"), pappy, babci ("bubby"), shoe ("doo"), juice ("joo"), baba (sippy cup), bow, hi, bye, night-night, eat, ear, eye, school, mine, teeth.

Her gait is back to normal since her cast was removed - it only took 10 days.  She is trying to jump and can't get the hang of it just yet, but it is so cute to watch her try!  She is also into coloring - as long as the crayons stay out of her mouth!  She adores her big sister and wants to play with her all the time.

She is a great cuddler and give tight squeezes around your neck when she gives hugs and she loves to give kisses too.  I will be washing dishes and she will run up to me, squeeze my legs and kiss them - she's so sweet!

Luci is doing great as well.  She adjusted well to school and loves to go.  She also goes to dance school and has no problems there - unlike last year. 

She recognizes letters and is starting to write them as well.  She will be sitting at the table with her paper and crayons, and then I'll hear "look - I made a capital I" - and she did.  She can draw faces too - she used to draw them upside down, but now she draws them right side up.  She struggled with using scissors at school, but she has gotten much better at using them now.

Luci plays very nicely - even by herself.  She will get out barbies, dolls, and other toys, and role play with them.  There's always a mom, dad, little sister, and big sister - I love to listen to her play the different roles. 

Her lastest obsession is watching how to bake cakes and now we have turned it into our new hobby that we do together - we love it!

We are looking forward to the holidays up  - and I hope to be a little better with my updates!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I did it!

I set a goal for myself to do the Great Race 10K.

I have done many 5K's before - but nothing farther.
Until today.

Despite the down pour of rain for the 2nd half of the race -
it was a great race - no pun intended!

I did pretty well for myself too -
I wanted to come in under an hour,
and I did - 56:45 - ~9:00/mile pace.

Next goal - half marathon!

The things we do for our kids - part 2!

Here is the latest cake that Luci watched on youtube:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The things we do for our kids

Luci loves to play with my iPhone.

She gets on to uTube,
and finds videos -
how to bake different kinds of cakes.

She watches how to make
princess cakes,
mermaid cakes,
castle cakes,
purse cakes,
doggy cakes,

Her latest obsession is a
rainbow magical unicorn cake.

She has been asking for weeks
to make this cake with me.

So I finally caved.

Here are pictures of the progress
and the final product!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Good reads!

When I first saw the trailer for The Hunger Games movie, I was not intrigued.
I had never heard of the book series until after the movie was released.
I had no interest in seeing the movie or reading the books.

Then I would hear people talking about the books-
how good they were,
how they couldn't put them down,
how they had read all 3 books in one weekend.

I became curious.

I saw the first book for $5 at Sam's Club.
So I bought it and read it on vacation.

Seriously - I couldn't put it down.

I watched the movie - pretty good adaptation.
Of course the book was better.

It took me a while to get to the store to buy the other 2 books.

I started book 2, Catching Fire, on a Friday afternoon,
and finished book 3, The Mockingjay, by Monday night.

Yes, they are THAT good!

I may even read them again soon!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our first broken bone!

2 weeks ago, Alena had an accident.

She was standing on her little rocking horse seat -
- and of course I do not encourage that!
The seat is about 6-8 inches off of the ground.
She fell.

I knew immediately.
The cry was different.
She wouldn't stand.
She wouldn't stop crying.

Off we went to Children's Hospital.

Diagnosis: spiral fracture of her right tibia.

Treatment: long leg cast (aka above the knee cast)
She adapted well - too well.
She started crawling, then standing, then walking.
We were assured that all of this activity was fine.

Then I noticed a weakness in the heel of the cast.
I brought casting material home from work to reinforce it.
But when I got home, the weakness turned into a blow out.
I could see her skin.

Back to Children's Hospital we went -
a new cast now.
This one has extra padding and extra fiberglass around the heel.

Hopefully this one will last-
I can't wait until September 24!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

He strikes again!

2 years ago, we got kicked out of church due to Luci's behavior - which really wasn't THAT bad!  You can refer to this incident in a prior post.

Well - last Saturday night, it happened to us again - this time with Alena.

Ironically, she is pretty much the exact same age as Luci was when it happened before.

The age span of 12 months - 18 months is a challenge at church, but it's worth it to muscle through it so that the children can eventually learn how to behave appropriately during mass.

I refuse to go to the cry room for multiple reasons - my top 2 are these:
1. I wouldn't feel like a part of the congregation - I don't think that there should be segregation at church.
2. The cry room is basically another play room, and how are children supposed to learn how to behave in church if they know there is a place the play there?

My children have never been in the cry room and they will never go in there.

So - the obvious question is - why don't we just leave this parish and join another one.
Trust me, I am considering it - but there are 2 things keeping me from doing just that:
1. I LOVE our parish (excluding this priest, obviously). We have made such great friends there, and I can't bear the thought of leaving them.
2. I don't want this priest to drive us away - he can't win.

Therefore - I am being proactive in making sure that he understands that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. 

I already composed a letter to the bishop.  I actually wrote this letter 2 years ago, but  never sent it - it was more of a venting outlet for me at that time.  I edited the letter by updating it with this most recent offense, and I have every intention of sending it.

The thing that I am struggling with right now is my attitude toward attending mass - which consists of anxiety, paranoia, fear, and even anger.  These are not the emotions that should be associated with going to church.  Therefore, I have contacted our parish's deacon so that I may be able to obtain some spiritual guidance during this time.  I am hoping that he will help me through this and give me some good advice.

I am open to more advice too - hint, hint!

I probably should just go directly to this priest and confront him, but he will twist everything around and I will end up even angrier - and will probably have to go to confession afterward.

I will keep you updated on what occurs...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

So honored!

A little background:

As newlyweds we joined a local Catholic church.
I noticed another young couple there -
the wife looked familiar, but I always think I know people.

After we had Luci, they had a little boy.
Then I would see them walking in the neighborhood.

We started talking after church,
and would walk together if our paths crossed.

Her name is Erin, he is Jay,
and there little boy is Cameron.

Erin is an OT and works with children.
She did her OT schooling at Pitt.

She graduated in 2002 - 2 years after me!

Well, we have become very close and do a lot together.

They just had another little boy - William.
Today was his baptism.
John and I are his Godparents.

I can't think of a bigger honor.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Toddler Drawing

Luci just started drawing "people" a few months ago.

I'm pretty impressed-
mainly because she draws them upside down!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Vacation Bible School

I signed Luci up as a preview to 3-year-old preschool.  I was a little apprehensive, but optimistic.

Monday: a little clingy, but let me go eventually - no tears, I even lingered a little, but she seemed ok.
Tuesday: just a quick drop-off - no lingering - no problem.
Wednesday: Nonni took her - a few tears, but she was fine shortly afterward.
Thursday: Pappy took her - no problems at all :)
Friday: a little teary-eyed, but she was ok - or so I thought
             10:00am - phone call - she vomited while eating her snack
                              I told her that I would pick her up - she insisted on staying
                              They gave her a new shirt.
              10:30am - another phone call - she wasn't participating as usual
                               Again, I told her that I would bring her home - she insisted on staying.
                               Then she was fine.

Last night was the family night where they performed for us.
It was adorable - all the songs and dancing -
She looked like she was having so much fun - despite the late week drama.

The words for the week - TRUST GOD!

Good words to live by!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Big Day

We didn't succumb to the drama of the "Dance Moms" studio, but we still have a diva in the making!

Luci successfully completed her first dance recital!

But let me tell you - it was a hot mess:
everyone doing different dance moves at different times,
a senior dancer had to come out and help them along,
and finally, they almost did front rolls on top of each other!

I had tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard!

Despite the craziness - it was awesome! 
I am just so proud of her for actually getting on stage without me nearby!

Here are some of her professional pics:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Highlands!

Growing up, we belonged to a neighborhood swim club - Highlands Aqua Club.
It was the best place EVER!!!

We spent pretty much every day there in the summer:
we would arrive early in the morning for swim team practice,
stay through the afternoon,
return in the evening for swim meets,
or just remain there for dinner on non-meet days.

Seriously - the best times, the best friends, the best memories,

Well, Highlands is celebrating its 50th summer this year.  They had a big party yesterday and spent all day there just like in the good old days!

Here are some pictures of those days:

1985 HAC Swim Team

That's me- going off the "low-dive" - 1984

 First year on the swim team - didn't know about cap and goggles just yet

A little more experienced now - 1985

Finishing warm-ups - circa 1990

Here's Luci swimming at the baby pool!

 Thanks Highlands  - for the best days of my childhood!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Motivation is a must!

I ran track in high school - just to do something when swimming ended.
I ran in spurts ever since.

But the furthest I ever ran was a 5K.

A friend has proposed something that I don't think I can pass up:
Rock-n-Roll 1/2 marathon in Pittsburgh on August 4th.

A bunch of Lady Gator Swimming Alum are on board,
which makes it even more enticing.

Training will be a challenge for me with working part time,
being on call every other week,
taking care of 2 little ones,
and having a husband who works A LOT during the summer.

My solution - getting up early on my days off and getting my
run in before the girls wake up.

Hope I can do it!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

April 2012 - Alena 12 months

What a busy month!  Full Easter egg hunts, Easter parties, birthday parties, and lots and lots of cake!
Alena is on the move.  She started walking a few weeks ago and is pretty steady on her feet now.  I really didn't think that she would walk for another month or so, but she proved me wrong!  I have to constantly be on the look out for her because she is getting into EVERYTHING!  Her favorite thing to do these days is to plop down on Luci's Elmo couch and sprawl out - it's so adorable!

Alena is now able to feed herself so well that she eats table food for every meal now.  It's nice not to have to sit there and feed her all the time.  I just break up or cut up whatever ever I am eating and she goes to town.  If we are at a restaurant, I just keep putting food in front of her and that keeps her contained and happy.  It amazes me how well she eats because she still only has her 2 front bottom teeth - and that's it!  Luci had 8 teeth by her 1st birthday - it's crazy how different they are!

Luci plays so nicely with her now that she is more like a toddler than a baby - well, most of the time that is.  Luci doesn't realize that Alena isn't as strong or as steady as she is and therefore she is a little rough with her at times, but Alena loves the attention from her big sister.

I decided to go crazy and bake them each their own birthday cakes.  Luci is obsessed with watching how to bake and decorate different kinds of cakes on my iphone, so I got a kit for a princess cake and made Luci a Cinderella cake, and Alena got a Belle cake.  I felt very domesticated doing those!

We also had a big birthday fiesta for both girls - with birthdays only 9 days apart - they will forever have joint birthday parties!  We had lots of family and friends to a fun place with food and games.   It was a definite success and the girls loved it.

We love that the warm weather has returned and we hope that it is here to stay now.  We really look forward to next month when the pool opens and we can go swimming!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Happy Birthday!

51 adults
23 kids
24 cupcakes
2 cakes

These 2 smiling faces - PRICELESS!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quote of the Day

Aunt Dani: Boo!

Luci: Aunt Dani, you scared me out of the crap!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March 2012 - Alena 11 months

Alena is still cruising with ease. She is able to stand on her own for long periods of time and has even taken a few steps. She walks really well when holding my fingers, which she wasn't able to do last week. Her balance is still shaky, so I think it may be a while until she is walking steadily.

She is a waving and pointing fool these days. She is hilarious at church - she loves to look all around and wave at everyone with a huge smile on her face. It's really adorable.

We went to an Easter Bunny brunch last week and Alena got her picture taken on the Easter Bunny's lap - unlike her sister who was petrified! Luci refused to sit on the bunny's lap, but we got a quick family picture with him!We have been loving the warm weather these days - going outside to play with neighbors, going on walks, and playing on the swing set (best purchase ever!). We even made a visit to the zoo - we had lots of fun seeing the animals and spending time with our friend Cameron.We just started transitioning Luci to wearing underwear at night. Despite the fact that she is potty trained, we still put diapers on her at night. About 80% of the time her diapers were dry, so we decided to try underwear. She did great for 2 nights, but had accidents the past 2 nights. Any suggestions/tips here would be appreciated.

Since I have a month supply of frozen breast milk packets, I am in the process of terminating breastfeeding and pumping. I wish I had documented how I did it with Luci, because I totally forget. It's going well though - I am able to go a full 24 hours now, but I was hoping that today would be my last day, but I doubt it.

We have a big month ahead of us with Easter, birthdays, and lots of parties! But we are most excited for Luci's 3rd and Alena's 1st birthdays!