I don't know why, but I love it when the light comes through the covers in the morning. Is there anything more wonderful than sunshine first thing on a Saturday?
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
So, it's not every job that invites you to play with, think about and be around stuffed animals all day. I am lucky. My new job enables me to do just this. I am a New Business and Marketing Manager for a company that makes plush toys. So far, so good. I am loving helping them develop their ideas and doing market research to see which of these ideas are viable.
I took these pictures because Elena is DYING to come to work with me. I told her she can come sometime soon, but not yet. I'm new there. So, today I promised her I would bring my camera to work and take photos. I told her, as I was leaving, "Elena, I remembered my camera so I can photograph my office for you." She looked at me disapprovingly and said, "NOT your office, Mommy, JUST the animals!" Ha! She knows what she wants!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
When my sister was about Elena's age, she called the remote the "moke metrol" and the name stuck. Our family has called the remote the "moke" since then. In the last few weeks, Elena has discovered the moke. My mother, thinking it would help her learn numbers, wrote her a TV guide of sorts...a list of all the channels she might like to watch. She now has the power...watch out world!
I swear to you that this child so longs for independence that this little step in this direction, has completely changed her mood to sunny. You can see the rising sun of her cheek in this picture as she grins from ear to ear after successfully landing on a show with which she's satisfied.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I rue the day someone taught my daughter how to snip snowlakes out of paper. Every room I walk into looks like it has had squalls of paper snowlakes in little piles here and there. If you look closely on the right side of the picture, you will see the horse snowflake. It's a snowflake with legs and a little horse face. Have I mentioned before how this daughter of mine can explode all over a room? She is always an inspiration waiting to be born....a project waiting to be undertaken...a picture waiting to be created...She reminds me so much of me as a girl. I love her.
I have to admit, however, that the perspective of the clean-up committee (aka Mommy) is very different from that of the little messy girl. Take it from one who has been both in her life.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I just remember the imprints made with Silly Putty and the funny papers used to be good pure fun. I am wondering if I changed or if the pursuit of making backward newspaper prints just pales in comparison to all the high-tech, internet fun that exists today? I recently had a similar disillusionment with a Slinky and some stairs...
Monday, January 26, 2009
We used to jokingly say, "It takes a vilage to raise a child..." ALL THE TIME when Liam was little and screaming all the time and when Elena was little and needed constant rocking and holding to stop wailing. Now, they have grown up quite a bit from those days. We don't find ourselves calling for "fresh horses" (another favorite expression) as often. When the kids were little, friends had to be careful not to get too close, lest they sucked into the black hole of desperation that colicky babies and needy mommy created.
So, today I embarked on a new chapter in my life. I added a part time job to my contigency consulting work. This is the first time in a long time I will be working outside of the home on a consistent basis. It felt wonderful to get up, get dressed up, do my hair and pack the kids off to their respective morning places...Elena to school and Liam to the sitter. At noon, there was a changing of the guards. I was still at work (I work 9:30-2:30 as a New Business and Marketing Manager at a toy company). The kids came home and hung out with Grammy and Boppa. Then, at 2PM, Grammy headed off to one of her tutoring jobs and left the kids in the care of my dad, Boppa, the Boppa-sitter pictured to the left.
When I came home, he was sound asleep. He didn't even notice I was home. Elena was cradling the remote, telling me that she had been flipping back and forth between channels. I was only a touch unnerved when she told me that she didn't really like "Killer Elephants" on Animal Planet...Um...I can see why! Oh well, the children are USUALLY well cared for and at least he, unlike me, naps right there in the same room with them.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
In the summer, we go to Lover's Leap. It's a beautiful, green, lush state park. There is a tomato colored bridge that straddles the Housatonic River. In the summer, it's inviting and cool and you want to plunge off the bridge in a dramatic swan dive. Today, it was not so inviting.
I decided, since I arrived in New Milford to pick up the kids a half hour early, to go on a photo hike in the park. It wouldn't be too cold in my big puffy jacket, I surmised. I surmised wrong!
First of all, it was 15 degrees out. Secondly, the ice and snow made it so slick, I was afraid I would fall into the icy jammed river. The river was so cold, it looked like green ice water and barely moved. By the time I had snapped twenty pictures or so, I was numb in the face and fingers and I had to run back to the car. On my walk to the bridge, I was thinking, "I wish I had the kids with me...they would love sliding down these hills!" On my run back to the car, I amended my thought to, "THANK GOD I DO NOT HAVE THE KIDS WITH ME!" Whew! Haven't been that cold in awhile!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Elena cracks me up. This morning, we were driving to their father's house. She was yammering on in the back seat about all kinds of topics. She was playing with two Polly Pocket dolls. This is probably the very first time she has even noticed a doll. I was trying not to make a big deal, but listening to her talk about and to the "girls" as she was calling them.
It got a little akward when she said to me, "Mommy, isn't it funny that I used to love animals so much and ONLY animals, but now I find that I really like girls. I just LOVE girls!"
So, I repeated back to her with one edit. "Yes, you did love animals and now you like DOLLS, too!"
(The picture above is a horse, in case you are trying to squint and figure it out)
Friday, January 23, 2009
Last night, I scared up the old copy of Green Eggs and Ham that we were raised on. I read it to Liam. He loved it due to the fact that there is a train and a car and a boat in it...I would not, could not on a train...I also like to think he liked the cadence of all that fun rhyming language spilling out of his mother's mouth.
Anyhow, as I was reading it as an adult, I was struck by what a shyster that Sam-I-Am is. Being in sales and being a mother, a nagging approach to getting what you want is not my favorite method. He's just plain annoying. He gives the main character not a minute to consider any of his offers, he just keeps bombarding him with potential scenarios whereby he might want to eat green eggs and ham. I assure you, Sam-I-Am would have met with a violent end had he been trying to persuade me to eat those nasty looking breakfast foods.
When I was training sales people, I used to describe two scenarios of potential sales tacts. Imagine if you will walking into a high end suit shop to buy a suit. Imagine one shop where you are immediately pounced upon by a salesperson dangling suits from each arm...this salesperson is bringing you all the top selling suits and not taking your wishes and needs into consideration. This is a bad salesperson. This is the Sam-I-Am approach.
A good salesperson welcomes you and sits down with you for a consultation before even getting to any suits. What colors do you like to wear? Tell me about your favorite suit? What is the occasion? Are you a trendy or traditional suit guy? etc...
See the difference? So, is Green Eggs and Ham teaching my child to wheedle, whine, persist and carry on to eventually get what he wants? Or is it teaching him to try new foods and he might actually like them? What do you think?
Thursday, January 22, 2009
What do you think of yourself? Do you love yourself completely? Do you think that a lot of the shortcomings in your life come from areas where you lack self-love? How is self-confidence tied to self-love?
These are the questions I ask myself when I look in the mirror. I have always been confident that what I offer the world when I open my mouth, or serve up the contents of my brain, is exceptional. Lately, I am starting to find my physical appearance more and more trued up with the internal image. This is odd, because years ago, I lost a lot of weight. I was actually down to a size I hadn't seen since Junior High! I was still the same girl inside, though, and all the same insecurities still plagued me. I remember thinking this was odd. How could my "new and improved container" not have impacted the way I felt about myself?
Now, the reverse is true. I am working on becoming more at peace with myself inside and am, therefore, finding happiness with what I see in the mirror. Pretty cool, actually.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
So, this is an awful picture. It doesn't even look like Elena, but I had to post it for the story that goes along with this picture. Tonight I said, innocently, "It's bathtime." Herself freaked out. "No Mommy! NO! I DO NOT WANT TO TAKE A BATH!!!"
"Sorry honey, you need a bath and you need your hair washed!" She stormed out of the room. I asked my dad where she was, "Where did she go?" He thought she was going to the bathroom. I didn't. She had just been.
Moments later she emerged from the bathroom with a sopping wet head. "There! I washed my own hair!"
She was perturbed that I was laughing at her..."STOP LAUGHING AT ME MOMMY AND BOPS (my dad)!" So, what did I do? Made her pose for a picture and stick out her tongue...so cute!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I am forced to photograph the TV screen because I am not in Washington, DC today. I wish I were. I am so excited this morning, I am almost motivated to toss my kids in the car and drive to DC. But, practicality will always get the better of me. I was mighty disappointed to realize I was in Philadelphia when Obama made his "whistle-stop" on Saturday and was cluelessly hungover and missed it. Makes me feel sort of uninvolved.
OK...here it is three hours later and I am sitting on my couch, riveted. I came down from my "home office" to turn on the tv at 11:43 and it was all just starting...10 minutes later, they introduced Barak Obama, our president elect. I started crying. I was crying tears of gratefulness. I was crying for Rosa Parks. For Martin Luther King Jr. For all the immigrants who have scraped and fought to be treated as equals. This day brings me tears of hope and promise. Tears of sadness for all who were not so lucky to see this day, but who were instrumental in its fruition.
God bless us.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I love this flower. It lasts forever. I love the dashes all over the petals. They are like mini-lilies without the horrible smell. I don't have much more of a blog in me today...tired after a fun weekend away in Philadelphia.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
What is the body part you most love on yourself? Easy, my feet. I love my feet because of the family-inherited stairstep toes, their proportionate width and nicely formed toenails. This morning as I was fluffing the covers, I saw my feet hanging out angelically in the light at the end of the bed. Breathtaking. You may think me vain, but come on...you gotta love something about yourself. What is your favorite body part?
Saturday, January 17, 2009
It's ridiculously cold in the Northeast today. I am in Philadelphia with my sister and we both had to huddle together in her bed to keep warm. So, our view of the city today has been very abridged...through big blinds which we have kept closed to try and keep the cold out. It's not working, but made for an interesting obstructed view for today's photo.
I tried all day to capture a photo that sums up the absurd attraction I have felt to watching all the news about the US Air flight that landed in the Hudson River. To listen to the passengers talk about it, is to hear them say their lives were saved...complete strangers holding hands and hunched over in emergency crash positions, made me tear up. To hear the newscasters talk about the pilot's heroicism, made me verklempt. To hear them call this man Sully, made me laugh out loud, because I had just read this blog.
All the pictures that did not make the cut are probably just as interesting as the one that did. There was one of Liam pointing excitedly at the tv shouting, "PLANE!! BOAT! TUGBOAT! TWO TUGBOATS! WOTS OF BOATS!" There was one of the tv screen in a bar which said "SULLY - Hailed as a Hero." There were many of the George Washington bridge, as I drove over it thinking about the folks who had been in that exact same spot the day before as an A320 was, what felt like, feet from their heads. But, the one that made it was this one. A shot from the George Washington bridge as I attempted to capture some evidence of the melee below. As you can see, I got nothing but serenity. As always, the hubub of the city is made still by being photographed. You would think I was the only car on the bridge. It's actually quite a peaceful shot.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
There is no finer moment than the first sip of hot coffee in the morning. I awake in my bed already thinking about it and anticipating its warm silky glide down my throat. I steal downstairs (hopefully without either kid in tow) and perform the ritual of making it. I push the button. The light comes on encouragingly. I have to find something to do to entertain myself so I don't pace idly by the machine. Today, I take its picture and anticipate posting this note.
There have been some questions about this picture. This is a picture of the light that goes on when you push the button on my father's coffeemaker. It's a Cuisinart coffeemaker with a lovely carafe that stays warm for a long time after brewing. The irony of this fact is that whoever is the first to get up each day, is forced to "decant" their coffee into a second thermal carafe to free up the machine. I usually get up first (thank you, Liam) and have to empty all my coffee and grounds out for Dad.
If Dad has to do it himself, I get a lot of flack about the amount of grounds I choose to use, how it's ruining the machine, gums up the works and, if I am not careful, we are going to have a major coffee event. Now, the terms "major coffee event" and "minor coffee event" were termed by my father to describe the kerfuffle that ensues when the coffeemaker's pinhole pouring mechanism, or the pot's tiny receptor hole, gets jammed and coffee proceeds to extrude all over the counter and floor. Coffee events can ruin your morning. There is a theory in the family that, like one person's using too much toilet paper might cause the next person's flush to overflow it, my use of coffee grounds is responsible for any and all coffee events from here on out. I guess I will just take that blame and keep on trucking...I like my coffee strong and dark. It needs to be able to wake me up and carry me through the first hour of awakeness.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
About ten years ago, I discovered rose gold. Not sure how or why, but I LOVED it. My skin tone has always been rosier and it just seemed to go nicely with it. My wedding set is actually in rose gold (and I still LOVE it, despite not wearing it on account of the divorce). The interesting story is not about my love of rose gold (snooooooooze), but instead it's about this bracelet.
Do you ever buy yourself a gift and put it away for Christmas? Do you ever wrap up things you want from yourself? I have been known to in the past...This year, a similar thing happened. It was Christmas morning, I was at my ex-husband's house with the kids. We were celebrating a lovely Christmas morning, opening gifts, pancake breakfast, and basically just jubilant that Santa had come!
My ex produced a jewely box from the basement. It was awkward for a moment as I wondered what he was doing buying me jewelry...Then, I opened the box. It was a bracelet I had bought myself probably three years earlier. It had gotten lost in his stuff in the divorce. It didn't fit my wrists right after childbirth, but now, it fits like a dream. Merry Christmas to me, from me...
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Elena is going through the phobic four-and-a-half-year-old stage. She's afraid of heights, stairs and being knocked off her feet. She scurries around the house like a little mouse afraid of being stepped on. Lately, she has taken to hiding out in the living room. She has made herself a play area behind the couch. She still takes in all that is going on around the house and comments on it. This morning, I was sitting in another room, Liam was in the kitchen and she was in her hiding place. She was shouting orders to both me and Liam from behind the couch. I tried to impress upon her that her orders hold much less power when shouted from another room, but that doesn't seem to stop her! Sweet little sassafrass!!!
Monday, January 12, 2009
Liam came into my room this morning crying hoarsely outside my door. Turns out he and my dad had gotten into a scrape about clementine oranges (Liam calls them cwememtimes). Anyhow, he needed Mommy. I was very grateful to be allowed to sleep in until 8AM!!! That almost never happens...
So, he comes to my room crying about Chapstick. He's still obsessed with Chapstick...completely and totally addicted. He talks about his face hurting or his lips hurting so he can get a fix. He came into my room so he could hound me for Chapstick. Funny boy...
Once the kids come into my room, while I am still in bed, they have to be a part of a "bed party" where I pull them up on my bed with me and we roll around like animals. Liam and I had a bed party this morning and I got out my camera. This is a picture of him staring into my lens, saying his name, fascinated by his distorted reflection.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
I don't even need to say much more about this picture. Crackberry, it is. I am an addict. This week, on Wednesday, my six-month old Blackberry stopped charging. This is exactly how my last one died. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach and a panicky burst of energy compelling me to go to three Verizon kiosks before finally finding the one that handled repairs. Repairs were not necessary, just replacement. Same model. Same color. Unfortunately. I actually long for the new touch screen one.
Friday, January 09, 2009
Every day we have a hunt for one of Elena's animal themed shirts. This one is known as her "new horsey shirt" and she adores it! She even calls the little horseback polo player on the Ralph Lauren clothing "horsey." I had hoped not to have a horse-oriented child. I remember longing for a horse, but not really knowing what it would entail. I am not sure she really wants a horse, more wants to bedeck herself in them, draw them, play with figurines and just be in the company of horse things.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
My grandfather got these cheap green glasses in Mexico (according to my grandmother). He used to fill them, as was his habit, with extra ice in whatever beverage he was drinking. He would drink the liquid and then proceed to chomp the ice for hours after. One of my fondest memories of my grandfather is sitting next to him and listening to his teeth satisfyingly crush ice.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Ice storm here in New England. How cool is this andromeda branch completely encased in ice? I tried to walk on the driveway and ended up skating!! We rarely have ice...usually just snow or rain. It's a treat for a photographer. Lucky me!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Monday, January 05, 2009
Liam, looking out the window upon waking up. I know it was early in the morning because, as part of my father's morning ritual, he pulls open those curtains when he gets up around seven or so.
This kid is a ham. Loves attention. Loves to be in the center of it all. He's recently taken to taking your hand to lead you places with him..."Tum here, Mommy...Tum wiff me..." Here he is modeling the latest fashion for two-year-old boys...DRESS UP!
Here Liam is playing with a snow globe that is plastic, cracked on the top because he dropped it, missing two out of its three feet and incredibly sentimental. When my grandparents Sassano moved out of there house and we all (all five of their kids and seventeen of their grandkids) helped, we got to pick some special keepsakes. I chose this little snowglobe that I remembered coming out for many, many Christmases past. When you wind it up, it plays Jingle Bells and a little train goes into a hillside tunnel and out again.
Elena is growing up to be a complex and bewildering little girl. I love this picture because she hardly ever lets me photograph her anymore. I love this picture because you can almost see her complexity. I love this picture because it appears as if I am slightly amused by her, while also being confused and in awe of her...all true.
I have started a little photo project, just for fun. I am going to be uploading one photo to my flickr account and facebook account daily. It's called a 365 project...I will be attempting to keep it going the whole year...fun undertaking!! Stay tuned.
The first picture begins in optimism...taking flight. We have lift off...
Saturday, January 03, 2009
So, onto bigger and better things. Let's see...under the header of a general update, both kids enjoyed Christmas, are growing like weeds and driving me crazy (when they are not cracking me up). Liam has had a language explosion. Not only has it been words he has been acquiring, but also teasiness and sarcasm. This child is F-U-N-N-Y!!!! Here's just a sampling:
"Mommy, wike it! Mommy, I WUB (love) it down here..." (playing with his penis while sitting on the toliet).
"Grammy MAD at me...Mommy MAD at me, toooooooo...Auntie Cate MAD at me toooooo....all da people MAD at me!!!" (after he kept incessantly putting a golfball in his mouth after being incessantly told NOT to put said golfball into his mouth!)
Last night, Liam sat on the potty for the first time. He asked to! I thought it was a stall tactic (and very well could have been). First, after about ten minutes, he peed. I was ecstatic. I jumped up and down and cheered. He shouted, "Yay!" He then asked me to leave the bathroom..."NOT DONE MOMMY! POOP ON POTTY MOMMY" So, I left. I folded some laundry, came back in five minutes, and lo and behold big old poop in the potty!
COORAY!! (to quote Elena)