Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First Soccer Game

Gillian had her first soccer game. It was quite the cluster but a bunch of 4 and 5 year olds couldn't be anything else. She just ran around following the group. She did kick the ball a couple times and she did a throw in (perfectly which we had discussed prior to the game). I asked her on the way home if she was happy with how she played and she said yes. I told her that is what mattered most how she feels she played. I felt this would be a good time to ask if she understood how the game is suppose to be played. She said no so I explained that the goal is for one team to control the ball and score on the other team so if the opposite team has the ball you need to take it away. Well, my daughter is just way to smart. Her response,"I'm only 4 Mom, I'm just learning and I can't run as fast as everyone. I run as fast as I can." She cracks me up and now I know what my Dad went through my entire childhood when he tried to give me

Time Away

As most know, Craig and I took a mini vacation down to NY City for a few days with Craig’s motorcycle club. I wanted to write about it and post some pictures but I’ve just been playing catch up and when I have had time I have just wanted to relax.

September 9, 2010

When we woke the day we were leaving, I hadn’t packed yet which isn’t like me and considering I had been on vacation for 3 days you would think that I would have found the time but no. I had decided that I would just pack the morning of….big mistake! I was running around trying to make sure nothing was forgotten which meant something would be but I couldn’t pin point it and figured I would just buy whatever it was so we left on time to make it to the meeting place.

Everyone showed up and we were on our way. I followed 4 bikes down which at first I thought was neat because they were quite a bit ahead of me until we got into traffic when I didn’t know where we were going so I had to get really close to them….how awful would it be if I ran over my husband and his friends by accident. That kept flashing through my mind the closer we got to the city where people drive like they are the only ones on the road.

About half way to the city I realized that I left without my backrest for the bike….that would be the big mistake.

Once we got near out destination all of us had flash backs to National Lampoons Vacation in London when they are stuck on the roundabout because our navigator was trying to read signs and drive his bike and we had to keep getting off and on ramps to make sure we were going in the correct directions…to his defense he got us all the way there by reading maps the night before and my GPS froze in the exact same location.

We got to the hotel and checked in and were told where the meeting room was so we knew were to go once we were unpacked and changed. I showered…I didn’t do anything other than drive but I just felt gross. I do it every time I travel anywhere. Even when I’m a passenger in the car or even when I fly, something just makes me feel like it’s been a long day…lol

We went downstairs and I didn’t know what to expect because I have never been to such a thing and hello….they are a bike club. We could hear people in the room once we were in the hallway although the room was at the opposite end of where we started. Once down there we realized there weren’t too many people there which I was fine with…much easier to mingle with a few people than be overwhelmed by 70 people at once. So Craig started chatting with people and I made myself comfy on a chair and women came over and started sitting and chatting with me. And it was then that I realized that this was probably going to be a really fun weekend.

Another point I want to make is that traveling with 4 guys is much different than my normal routine. I got Dunkin Donuts when I left (10am) and lucky I had snacks in the car for Gillian because they didn’t feed me again until 7pm that night when pizza finally arrived. Should I ever travel with just boys again….I know to pack meals with snacks….

So once fed the drinks started flowing which makes me more talkative so we sat by fire pits and hung out with everyone which after a long day was nice. I eventually had enough to drink and showed myself to my room….

The next morning I felt rough and was informed that I looked rough….and by this time I had been up for 4 hours…lol We went to a diner for breakfast and we were suppose to head back to the hotel after since I was on the back of a bike with NO back rest. But everyone was going to a Harley shop in New Rochelle and we were told it wasn’t too far (famous words) so we went….boys are so vague. It felt like we were never getting there. The roads were terrible and I tried to focus on the scenery rather than the fact that I could fall off the back or crack one of Craig’s ribs from hanging on so tight. I was so excited to see the Harley sign that I almost jumped off the back to run over and hug it!

On the way back from the Harley shop we took highways so that we would get there quickly….15 minutes I was told it would be. Driving on the highways in my car was a nightmare so on the back of the bike with NO back rest I was not looking forward to it. It was the longest 15 minutes. I promised that if I survived I would not ride without a back rest again.
Needless to say I survived but it was truly uncomfortable. I see people riding all the time without backrests and I don’t know how they do it.

Once back to the hotel we got ready to head into the city to go to a taping of Jimmy Fallon. I was really looking forward to this and one of the guys from the NY city part of the motorcycle club had given us pointers on what to do. We planned to take the train into the city and either take a cab over to NBC studios or walk. Go to the show then head back so we could make it to a scheduled dinner with the motorcycle club.

The train ride was nice…it was down time for the 3 of us. We got to Grand Central Station which was absolutely beautiful. I’m glad it was suggested that we take the train just so I could see it. I wish I would have stopped for pictures but I figured I would get some on the way back (had I realized that we had plenty of time at that time I would have taken the pictures). Then we found a map and headed out to walk to the studio.

I apparently have high expectations. The sidewalks were crowded, people are rude and it’s so loud! I was not impressed. I actually found it to be quite a letdown. I don’t know what I had expected (after watching many years of Sex in the City, I know my ideas are a fairy tale) but it was nothing like I had imagined.

The show was really good but I would never recommend anyone going to see an NBC taping unless you have about 6 hours to spend on that sole purpose. The taping was suppose to be done at 6…it got done at 6:36PM and we still had to get back to the train station get back to the hotel so we could get over to the dinner that started at 7pm. It was not looking good so we basically walked as fast as humanly possible back to the train station…just missed the 7:04Pm train so we had 2o minutes to figure out where our train was and get on it. You would think this is when I would have taken some pictures but no…still no pictures of such a beautiful building.

We got on our train and headed back…this is where I was reaching the end of my rope with what felt like the longest day ever. When it was our stop we got off the train….this is where I totally screwed up…lol We had to go North and when we stepped off the train there was a sign that read south… so I thought we got off at the wrong stop and I stepped back on the train and my husband stepped on with me and the doors closed and we were headed even more North….Oops! And without Bob! After discussion with a passenger we realized that we had been in fact at the correct stop so we had to get back there. A nice person offered us information at the next stop to get us back on the right track and we ended up on the wrong side of the tracks and running around trying to get to the right side of the tracks with the train coming down the tracks. Needless to say the person with back pain running down stairs was getting yelled at by her loving husband because she was not moving fast enough….lol

We eventually made it to the dinner right before the food was picked up so we did manage to get to eat. Then after we went back to the hotel and headed back down to the fire pits to hand out. We ended up staying up until 5:40am because at about 4:30am we finally decided to head to the diner that we had talked about going to since about midnight. It made me feel like I was so much younger…I honestly didn’t think I had it in me anymore.

Four short hours later I was awake and playing around on the computer trying to not disturb Craig too much. I did feel the need to take his picture since he had told everyone what a bed hog I was because he was snuggled right next to the side of the bed although we had this king size bed and I was nowhere near hogging it. I think he likes to sleep there and just blames me…lol
When Craig was up he went to find out what everyone was doing so I turned on the TV and started watching a 9/11 memorial. I don’t know why I was so na├»ve but I had never connected that some families lost more than one person that day. Watching I kept noticing repeat names and the speakers were either family of a victim or a member of the company that is building the memorial. It was so awful imagining what those people had been through. Craig and I had talked about where we were when we heard the news that very day and couldn’t believe that it had been 9 years.

Once we located people, we headed out on a trip to the mall to look around and try to find something for Gillian. The mall was enormous and the stores in the mall were way out of price range but I did manage to find a Zhu Zhu pet named Jilly just for my Gilly. And a few items to put away for Christmas.

After our shopping trip we lounged around the fire pit waiting for 6pm line up time to head into the city on the bikes. I had been looking forward to this since I had heard about the ride on Thursday night. There were 3 police officers escorting 60 bikes to stop traffic so the group didn’t get separated. It was truly amazing. I tried to take pictures along the way but I was just so taken back by seeing everything that I didn’t get many pictures but other people took them so I wasn’t worried. The first stop was at Time Square. Going into Time Square I was amazed by all the people that were taking our pictures. We were causing a scene. Once we were parked people came and took pictures of all the bikes…it was amazing. There is a lot squished into Time Square…people and stores and restaurants and because it was 9/11 there were activities going on everywhere. We had 45 minutes to wander around before we had to be back on the bikes to head down to Ground Zero.

When we started towards Ground Zero we eventually could see we were headed towards the 2 beams of light. It was still an indescribable feeling headed through the city surrounded by the roar of the bikes. I just took everything in as much as I could. Looking at all the buildings and the two beams of light took up all my time on the back of the bike. The closer we got to the beams of light; it was like they sparkled which gave me chills. It looked like spirits swirling in the light. Again, all I could think about is all the families that were affected by that terrible day. I felt somewhat selfish enjoying the cool air, checking out sites and being able to share it with Craig while there were families out there with such big holes in their hearts.

Arriving at Ground Zero was truly amazing. There were sites to see but really we didn’t go far. Yes, we should have taken it all in but it was such an experience that just standing chatting with friends was enough. We did go to the NYPD’s Memorial site that had a wall with officers that had past not only in 9/11 but going back into the 1800s. That is where Craig, Kristina, Sue and I spent the most time. We talked about what we thought it was like that awful day. It was peaceful and not the type of conversation that would have happened the same anywhere else. It was truly truly a phenomenal experience that I have never had and can’t imagine having again.

I was exhausted from the last couple days and emotionally exhausted from the day so I knew once back to the hotel I would not be able to stay up late. We went to bed the earliest that night as we were all wiped out and had the long trip home the next day. I was excited to get back to Gillian but sad to leave such a fun group of people. I had gone into the weekend not knowing what to expect and without high hopes but I left with so much. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

She's ready....I'm not....

I brought Gillian to gymnastics class this morning and we chatted in the car on the way. We passed the local BOCES and Gillian asked,"Is that my school or Grammie's school?"

I responded,"No, that isn't your school or Grammies. We live right near your future school. We haven't showed you where the school is?"

Gillian responded,"No." (FYI we have but she was dazzled by the playground.)

I said,"The school is right near our house. You probably wouldn't have to ride the bus if you don't want to but you should try it. Mommy and Daddy rode the bus."

Gillian responded,"I don't want to ride the bus. And you will have to make me lunch."

I replied,"You may want to ride the bus when the time comes, we'll wait and see. I can make you lunch but they also have a cafeteria and you can buy lunch."

Gillian responded,"No, I want you to make me lunch with a juice box too."

I replied,"Okay, I can make you lunch with a juice box."

Gillian replied,"I get to go to school when I'm 5. Catherine (daycare friend) went to school when she turned 5."

I told her,"Yes, you will go when you are 5 but remember school starts in September and you turn 5 in March so you will have to wait until September to go to school."

Gillian said,"I didn't know that....are all schools that way?"

I replied,"Yes, give or take few days."

Then we arrived at gymnastics....I was thankful....I couldn't focus on my baby going to school anymore at that moment.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Photo Friday

Check out the fashion diva!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

Gillian and I were hanging out this past Sunday and she started saying stuff like,"That's awkward." or "How embarrassing..."

After these weird phrases I would ask,"What is awkward or embarrassing?"

Her response,"I don't know."

Which then I explained what these words meant so she could use them properly. Just kept making me laugh because she kept using phrases that made sense but not with what we were

Tonight we went over to my parents to drop off some stuff for Zandra for next summer. Gillian had brought her bouncy ball which was forgotten when we left. She became frantic and thought we would drive back to my parents to get the precious ball.

I called my Mom and said the ball had been left by accident and could she set it aside for the next time Gillian went over which of course my Mom would do. Before I even got off the phone with my Mom Gillian was asking what she was going to do with her ball. I explained to Gillian that Grammie put it on the counter near her picture.

"What picture?" Gillian asked.

"The way she was talking I thought you would know, I'm not sure," I told her.

"The ones with the rocks on it?" she said.

"Sounds about right," I told her.

"Okay," Gillian said after a pause.

I was waiting for her to ask for the GPS coordinates of the ball so she could

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Recap

We didn't have a busy weekend planned which after last weekend was a good choice.

Saturday morning, Gillian and I had to be at gymnastics for 9am....I hate 9am stuff on Saturdays but it is the only time Gillian's age group meets. This was her second class and I didn't really know what to expect because my Mom had taken her to the first week because of Craig and I being out of town. Ms. Kelly keeps them very busy for 45 minutes. And I'm amazed at the stuff that they do at such a young age. Summer saults, hand stands, knee ups on the balance beam, chip ups on the uneven bars and hanging upside down on the uneven bars....needless to say Craig is not making appearances at Gymnastics class. Some of the parents in the class are already questioning why they agreed to enroll their children. It is definitely going to help Gillian's balance and strength so I'm all for it.

After gymnastics class we watched Emma's gymnastics class. I got some pictures of Emma and Zandra.

Emma doing a hand stand.

Ms. Zandra getting around.

Not a fan of paparazzi Auntie Barb.

Gillian showing off her skills.

Snuggle time with Grampie.

Then we went to feed the Geese.

She was amazed at how fast the ducks/geese made it over for bread.

This duck was actually brave enough to take a piece of bread right from Gillian's hand.

Grammie and her girls.

Then it was off to the Apple Orchard to see the animals and get some apples, donuts and cider.

Love this picture of Emma horseback riding.

They didn't have a helmet small enough for Gillian's head. She chose to ride the pony and he was in a mellow mood. Willie is 13 but was exhausted by the time we got to him.

She played games.

Fed goats.

Sat in the pumpkins.

Apparently the fresh air was too much for Gillian and I...we went home and took a 3 hour nap. We both needed it as Gillian has a cold and I've been exhausted.

Sunday we didn't do much. I had to go to Target to pick up a prescription which gave me time to wonder around the store (a favorite past time) and I found a couple Xmas items for Gillian and I found a Phineas and Ferb soundtrack. Needless to say I have already hear it 3 times in less than 4 hours. It's safe to say she likes the CD. Gillian and I relaxed on the couch singing songs. Gillian would tell me about every episode that the song came from which I thought was very good for her memory. I knew she had a good memory but sometimes she truly amazes me with it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo Friday!

Seems like so long ago...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Soccer pictures

Learning to stop the ball

Water break!

Gotta go!

Teammates paying attention to the coach

And she scores!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Heart Breaking

Craig and I have had a get away planned for a few months now. 4 days....3 nights, it's been 2 years since we went away together for more than a night a two. We had told Gillian she would be staying with Grammie and Grampie but we hadn't mentioned to her that we would be leaving town.

We are traveling with a group of people and motorcycles so I will be driving our car and following the bikes so I will be taking people's suit cases and bags. So people have been stopping by our house to drop stuff on and this apparently tipped Gillian off that something was going on.

We made a last time trip into town to get anything necessary, Craig and I were talking and this voice comes from the back seat...."Are you guys going away with Tom?" It was the saddest voice.

Craig and I looked at each other and I knew we both just felt our hearts break because we could tell her heart was broken. We explained to her that we were going away with Tom and a bunch of other adults. And her response,"And I wasn't invited?" Ugh...

We told her sometimes parents just need to get for a few days. That we need a break too just like daycare closes so the kids and staff get a break. And that Grammie and Grampie needed amusement. She seemed okay with this answer and happy to get away.

I started really stressing out because it had been so long since I had left her for any extended amount of time that we were making the wrong decision. I knew it would be good for all of us but I also knew that dropping her off at daycare was going to be hard.

We get in the car this morning to drive to daycare and Gillian immediately notices the change. "I see you've cleaned your car," she says to me. Killing me kid is what I think. I explain that her toys have only been removed until we get back because I didn't want anything to happen to them.

So now I'm prepared to possibly cry after I drop her off. We get inside and I make sure that her daycare provider understands what is going on and who will be dropping off and picking Gillian up. I give Gillian and big hug and kiss and tell her to be good and have fun....and she tells me to have fun. She is such a great kid!

No tears shed on either of our parts.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Wednesday!

She has said so many things that are making us laugh. Her vocabulary is just growing in leaps and bounds.

We were in Wal-Mart looking for a water bottle for Craig. His broke and that is where we had gotten the first one so we were looking for the same one. We searched the aisles but couldn't find the one we were looking for so we started to walk towards another section and Gillian says to Craig,"I hate to tell you Daddy but they don't have it."

We went for our last ice cream run of the season. We were the only ones there. It was chilly out so we sat in the car. Cars started pulling in, Gillian says,"Seriously, there are a lot of cars coming here."

Gillian couldn't find certain My Little Ponies she was looking for so I was helping her look. She was looking downstairs and I headed up to see if they were in her room. As I'm walking upstairs she yells to me,"I'm been looking for them for years."

I know she learns all this stuff from the stuff we say but it always amazes me that she uses everything right. And because she is so tiny and talks like an adult it always makes us laugh.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Gillian started soccer today! I'm so excited about it. I enjoyed the game so much and I hope she enjoys it as much as I did. So far she seemed to really like it. They practiced for about 45 minutes. It's definitely a lot more moving than t-ball was but she kept up and she wasn't the smallest kid or the biggest kid. She definitely has some pretty good dribbling skills and a good kick. Think she might be interested in the goalie position just so she can use her hands. I have threatened to duct tape her arms to her body if she keeps touching the ball.

After we got home from practice, Gillian and I were checking on the pumpkins and setting up the sprinkler and I told her that I was a pretty good soccer player in high school (although my husband had to confirm at Gillian's practice that I did indeed play soccer...glad you were paying attention to me in high school...anyway) and that I could show her some stuff to help her learn. She immediately said she wanted me to help (not was what I expecting). I asked when she wanted to start figuring maybe tomorrow...nope...she wanted to start tonight. We got out the goal, cones and the ball. First we dribbled then we worked on kicking in the goal then we worked on passing and kicking in the goal. Craig was in the goal first then Gillian gave the goalie position a chance mainly because she wanted to use her hands. Craig and I took turns kicking the ball at the goal going nice and easy well Craig then passed the ball to me and I didn't mean to kick it so hard but I nailed Gillian with the ball.....and she didn't care. Of course my husband won't let me forget it because she is 4 and as much as none of should have been laughing all three of us were. Of course Gillian didn't realize what we were laughing at but she was laughing too.

Already looking forward to the rest of soccer season!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekend Recap!

It was a nice relaxing 3 day weekend. I didn't make any plans because I wanted to rest my back prior to this coming weekend. Craig had doubles all weekend so it was just Gillian and I to be entertained.

Saturday night Gillian and I had a slumber party downstairs. I wanted to try to make it fun for her although my back did not appreciate sleeping on the couch.

Sunday we did a little shopping then headed up to my parents for a BBQ. It was a nice gathering.

Baby Zandra is growing up so fast. Crawling all over and standing on her own but hasn't figured out the foot in front of the other part so isn't walking without assistance. Won't be long.

Emma is starting first grade on Tuesday. Hard to believe. I remember waiting in the hospital for her to be born and I was one of the first to hold her.

Monday Gillian and I worked outside in the garden and then went over to my parents for leftover BBQ.

So the goal this weekend was to rest my back which I really attempted to do but I can't just lay around for 3 days. Although nothing was strenuous, my back is still not happy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Photo Friday

Our silly girl!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Permanent Reminder

I have had my newest tattoo picked out for about a year and a half. It was actually going to be my Mother Day's gift in 2009 but I just wasn't ready. I had the copies made and tucked them away knowing one day it would be time.

This past Mother's Day it came as a possibility again and I was feeling good after sharing our story at the March of Dimes walk but I still wasn't feeling it.

I wanted it done but hadn't made final decisions. Something just didn't seem right with it but I couldn't put my finger on it.

In the last month I made final decisions and had Craig make me an apt. So this morning I was a nervous wreck, not over whether I would like it but over how much it would hurt. There isn't much fat on the top of the foot. The pain that I was expecting was stressing me right out. I've gotten a tattoo before and that didn't hurt but I had convinced myself that because it was my foot it would be excruciating.

I showed up early (yes, it is possible) for my apt. I was immediately put at ease when she told me how excited she was about this tattoo and how she had shown everyone that came in the shop the size of Gillian's tiny foot since I dropped it off two days before. I explained that although the insurance company was heartless requiring a foot or hand print as proof she was born because she was 3 months early without them requiring it we wouldn't have that cute little foot print. The tattoo artist shared a preemie story with me of a man that is in his fifties now. We had a whole discussion about babies and preemies and how she was pregnant when she did my first tattoo and her son is now 12. Craig came (I needed a security blanket in case the pain was too much) and we all chatted. It wasn't painful and went by so fast....I would actually say I enjoyed it.

Now hours later I can't stop staring at it...I love it. It reminds me of the strength my daughter has and the strength Craig and I have. All 3 of us could have fallen apart at any point but we were there for each other and rather pulling us apart it brought us so much closer together....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weekly funny story

Gillian started a new habit in the last couple months. It's not a bad habit but it has become a habit. When she gets up she comes into our bedroom and gets into bed with either Craig and I or just me depending on who is home. It's somewhere between the times of 6:30-7:30. She is ready to get up but normally we are not. So she talks to us until we finally get up.

Well this morning she came in and although Craig had not slept in almost 24 hours she proceeded to tell him about our evening the night before. Here is the conversation:

Gillian,"Mommy took me to sign up for gymnastics and dance."

Craig - silence

Gillian,"She took me to McDonald's and Mommy asked for a girl toy but they accidentally gave me a boy toy."

Craig - silence

Gillian,"That's not cool Daddy! I'm playing with it anyway, it's a Batman toy. I'll show it to you."

Craig,"Okay, let's get up."

She cracks me up.

First because she somewhere heard - That's not cool and uses it properly.

Also because most people would think she is this quiet little girl because she is so shy but if she knows you she could talk your ear off about anything. Depending on the day she will talk the entire time we are in the car between destinations just telling us stories (most of which we know) but it's nice to hear her version.

And lastly because when Craig and I had previous careers we went to bed at he same time. It was during this time that I would proceed to talk his ear off and not let him sleep. Now she talks his ear off until he gets up.

The ladies in Craig's life just don't like to let him sleep...