January 30, 2011

AJ, our little comedian

AJ is 3 and a half years old.  More exactly he is 3 years and 7 months and one week, or 43 months for those people that insist on following the month calculations past age 2, which is just too much math for me...anyway.  We were having a lot of trouble with him last summer, well mostly I was having problems with him.  He made it through the terrible twos just fine, not only was he still alive but we still had our sanity, it really wasn't all that bad.

He turned three and started pushing me just a little bit more every day.  We moved, which he seemed to handle just fine, until he decided that he wasn't going to take a nap any longer even though he still needed it.  It became a daily ritual of crankiness and attitude.  He almost always ended up in tears, I cried a few times, which always shocked him into silence.  He would scream and fight for so long that he would get a headache.  The worst part though, he would be so over tired that instead of giving up and going to sleep he would get physical.

He would flail, throw temper tantrums and fling himself backwards.  It got worse still, he started hitting me, intentionally.  If I got close enough he would reach out and smack me where ever his hand reached.  If I leaned back out of his reach in time he would sit up or take a step forward and try again.  If I grabbed his hand he swung with the other.  If he was standing and I got him in a bear hug he would knock his head into mine, if he was laying down and I pinned both his arms he started kicking me.  This sort of thing only happened a couple times, but just one episode like that is enough to (A) put you over the edge and bring you to tears, and (B) have you feeling totally defeated and wondering what to do next.

I knew that it was almost entirely because he was so over tired.  I was making him go to bed when he didn't want to, he was testing his boundaries and was stressed from the move (no matter how well he seemed to be taking it).  Even knowing that he wasn't doing these things to be mean, it was still very hurtful.  I was the only one that he acted like this with.  I know that it was because he saw me all the time, he felt most comfortable with me to act like this.  The same old story, you take your anger out on the people that you are nearest with, even if it has nothing to do with them, this was just the 3 year old version of that.

I stopped trying to make him take a nap every day.  Sometimes he still needs one but most of the time a little quiet time does the trick, watch a few shows while laying in bed, or play with a toy on the couch.  If he really needs it his body knows and he will fall asleep for an hour or so, especially after a long exciting day.

I titled this post 'our little comedian' and it has so far not been funny at all.  I felt I had to share that part of AJ's life to show how different he is now, since so many people think that he is always the perfect little boy.  Just about the time he hit exactly 3 and a half (around November) it was like a switch was flipped and he started becoming a 4 year old instead of acting like a 3 year old.  He was figuring things out, listening, comprehending, and even reasoning.  Instead of playing with toy cars he was more and more interested in how they worked and putting them together himself.  He will still get upset sometimes but he knows now that there are consequences.  He understands that he has to sit in timeout so that he doesn't end up in trouble and that timeout isn't the end of playtime, it's just a little pause to cool off.  He has become an even more amazing little boy.  He's not perfect but he knows right and wrong, not just good and bad.

His little mind is working in different ways now too.  He hears something you say and can process it, remember it and use it in the proper context later that day, next week or a few months down the road.  Here are two examples, really the whole point in me writing this...

*  One of his toys broke the other day (a Mr. Potato Head) and he asked Momah to fix it.  She was holding a cup of coffee at the time but couldn't get the parts back together with one hand so as she's putting her coffee down she says "I need two hands for this"  AJ jumps into action saying "two hands coming right up" as he picks up two Mr. Potato Head arms and hands them to mom.  It was so funny!  He wasn't trying to crack a joke, Momah just said she needed two hands!

*  He's playing with his Potato Head again and has one ear attached and is looking for the other one.  He says, "mommy can you help me find the other Potato Head ear.  It's like this one, right here.  Get it, hear! HaHaHa!!"  I cracked up!  He really understood the humor in what he said.  It was almost as though he had planned the joke out.  He cracks himself up all the time but this was genuine funny and we all got a kick out of it.

  It is such a joy to watch him grow up, I can't believe he's almost 4 years old.  He is still my chubby cheeked little babycakes, next time I blink he'll be a teenager!  So, we have a budding comedian in our house.  Hope that doesn't turn into class clown down the road.

January 29, 2011

Our Wedding Vows

Our Wedding Vows

I promise to give you the best of myself
and to ask of you no more than you can give.

I promise to respect you as your own person
and to realize that your interests, desires and needs
are no less important than my own. 

I promise to share with you my time and my attention
and to bring joy, strength and imagination to our relationship.

I promise to keep myself open to you, 
to let you see through the window of my world into my innermost
fears and feelings, secrets and dreams. 

I promise to grow along with you,
to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship
alive and exciting.

I promise to love you in good times and bad,
with all I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how.
Completely and forever.

Husband     Wife

These are the symbols that topped our cake

5 years

January 29, 2006

Five years ago today this is what I was doing...

 There was a lot of this...

Here was the 'first'  "Remember When"

This was as formal as we got with our photos

The Girls

 The Boys

 More formal photos

 I was asked to show these a lot throughout the night, my something blue

Love this set of pictures


 We ate this...

...like this

 Mr. and Mrs.

Happy 5th Anniversary
January 29, 2011

We are going out tonight to celebrate while the kids stay home with mom, I'm very excited.  Can't believe its been 5 years!

January 28, 2011


I know I haven't posted in a while, I guess I didn't have much to say.  Although, I have been trying to say something for the past week, that's how long this post has taken me to complete!  Every time I tried to sit down and write, life came calling, extra loud.  Then, our internet was down for a few days.  Finally, that was fixed and now I'm back to hopefully get this thing up.  All that I wanted to do was tell you about our past few weekends, don't get too exctited, we are a young family with little time and little funds, but we have fun together.

For the most part, weeks and weekends just blend together in one big mash of kids, naptimes and meals.  Sometimes Jasey is home for a little bit, other times it's mom that is here, but most of the time it's just me and the two short people in my life.  I must also clarify that in our household 'weekend' has another name, Sunday.  Since mom works and Jasey goes to school all day, Saturday is not as excitement inducing for me as it is for most people.  So as I share with you my 'weekends', I am really referring mostly to Sundays, with a couple Saturday nights thrown in.  

New Years Day, I mostly remember cooking the traditional good luck meal of pork, collards and black eyed peas for that night.  Mom and I cleaned much of the day, a very early 'spring cleaning' of sorts.  It was nice to have everyone home on a Saturday, it happens vey rarely.  That night Jasey went to a buddies house for UFC fight night.  I haven't been going to UFC stuff lately because it's the softball team getting together and I don't want to be the only girl at a bachelor pad party.  I'm a little to old for that now, especially with my limited alcohol intake and tendency to fall asleep, where ever I am, once it passes 11:00 pm.  Seriously, I have fallen asleep at the table in the middle of Duffy's and have been known to wander away at friends houses to find a bed to lay down and take a nap.  Sunday night Jasey and I went to see 'Black Swan'.  I was feeling neglected and since there are few movies that I really want to go see in theatres that don't involve a magical castle and teenage wizards he was a good husband and went along with what I wanted.  Isn't he awesome.

Kirby is just cute and I wanted to add a picture of him.

The following weekend, we were invited to a friends house for a BBQ Saturday night.  AJ was being Mr. Crabby Pants all day long.  I was hoping that by the time Jasey and mom got home that he would be better and wouldn't be cranky at the BBQ, no such luck.  So we ended up leaving the kids home with mom so that they could get to bed early and Jasey and I headed to the party by ourselves.  I didn't want to leave them home because AJ loves playing with our friends kids and it's been a while since everyone had seen Ryan, she's walking and talking and showing her attitude and I knew they would have gotten a kick out of her.  Jasey and I had a great time and we ended up being there pretty late, so it worked out well that the kids were already home and in bed.  The rest of this weekend was more cleaning for mom and I and lots of Grad School application preparation for Jasey.

I try to treat my weeks and weekends like everyone else so I get grocery shopping, laundry and other chores done during the week so that I can really focus on the kids Saturdays and do fun things.  This weekend the weather was gorgeous, I didn't have a car to head to a park but I figured we could still have a fun outside day.  I made the kids lunch and we headed to the picnic table.  AJ is posing because he knows how cute he is and Ryan is stuffing her face because, other then yell at everyone, this is what she does best.  AJ kept running to the gate because the firetrucks were wailing their sirens but they always went the other way, he's very upset when the firetrucks head in another direction instead of driving past our house.

Sunday, (we are on the 16th now) we headed to a friends house in Jupiter for their daughters 3rd birthday.  There was cake, a pinata and AJ's best friend, Alex.  AJ and Alex need to stick together since they are the only two boys in a sea of little girls, at least they won't be afraid of girls when they get older.  Ryan and Sabrina (Alex's little sister) were the youngest there.  They are a month apart and get along very well though I think both were having an off day and were taking turns being cranky.

Unfortunately, we think someone at this party was sick because Wednesday AJ woke up with a sore throat.  By the time the weekend rolled around, he wasn't eating, was barely sleeping and running a constant 103 degree fever while taking medicine every few hours.  It made for a very low key Saturday. Sunday, Jasey got an extra day of studying because mom and I had plans, luckily AJ was feeling a little better so we could take him along.  We met up with some old friends for a lunch date.  Lindsay, Cathy and Janis we still keep in touch with and we all meet up whenever we can, hopefully one day Lane will join us again.  Angie and Jennifer met up with us this time and it was great to see them, it's been a long time.  A group of moms and daughters from our old dancing days, that's us.  I brought my camera but we always get talking, we were there for over 3 hours and I didn't once remember to pull out my camera.  So, sadly, no pictures.  We got home and Jasey and I hopped in the car, leaving the kids with mom, to meet one of Jasey's classmates and his wife for drinks and football.  It was the first time I said more then just 'Hello' and "Goodbye" to Alan, his classmate, and the first time I every met his wife, Lynn, but it was a great night out.  

So that was our month of weekends so far.  There is one more left, which is the most exciting for me.  It hasn't happened yet and there aren't any crazy plans ahead, so why is it so exciting?  Well, it's our anniversary and my birthday!  Saturday, the 29th is our 5th Wedding Anniversary, 5 years already! Monday, the 31st will be my 31st Birthday.  Thirty-one on the 31st!!!   Unless our internet goes out again I will be posting this weekend, so check back!

 - Today, I am grateful for a lovely playground within walking distance when I have no car and the kids are climbing the walls. - 

January 07, 2011


As we all know I'm pretty horrible at regularly blogging, and I've already said that I am hoping to become better at it this year.  Looking back at the last few blog posts, well quite a few actually, I noticed that I was really slacking in the picture department.

I started an iWeb website through Mac a couple years before starting this blog.  We have family spread far and wide, even over seas, and this was a quicker and cheaper way to keep them up to date with the kids.  (Isn't that always the story)  I did pretty good for a while, then slowly started posting pictures less and less.  So what did I do, I created a blog!  If you suck at one site should you add another to your list?  So for the past year I've had two site mostly just sitting there with old pictures and posts and outdated information.

Well, I've decided that this will become my next Better Me improvement.  I will still use the old site as it was intended, posting pictures, since I can easily post 100 pictures a month and that would just be crazy to try and do on here.  But this improvement is two fold.  I've already said I want to blog more on here and in addition to that I need to post more pictures with my posts (it might help me with ideas sometimes, too!)

To begin, I'm cheating a little bit.  (The best way to start self improvement if you ask me!  Ha Ha!)  I just finished posting pictures on the other site to totally get me up to date, so I can start fresh.  Check out all the pictures here.  Click on '2010 to the end' to see all the pictures that I just posted and if you have never checked out the site before feel free to poke around a bit.

I don't want to totally cheat on this Better Me task, so here is a picture, just because they are cute.

 - I am thankful to have such wonderful kids, all three of them :)

CSN Gift Certificate...

In the middle of November one of my favorite bloggers the Green Bag Lady posted a $55 CSN Freebie.  Seeing as how I enter just about every giveaway from the GBL, I entered this one too.  I almost didn't enter, one because I figured I wouldn't win so what was the point of entering and two, because I almost missed the deadline!  But I made it and what do you know, I won!

I was so excited and took a couple weeks browsing CSN.com any free moment I could.  They have such cool stuff, everything from kids toys and dog beds to living room decor and handbag accessories.  I had my shopping cart filled to the max with all the goodies I would have loved to get.  With urging from Jasey, Mom and Nene I had to tear myself away from all the kid stuff, they all thought I should get something for myself since everything I do is usually for the kids, guiltily I agreed.

I almost went against the advice and got a mini trampoline for AJ, because that boy has some energy. I nearly had myself convinced that it would be a gift for me too since it would, hopefully, wear him out.  I resisted.  Then I was teetering on edge of either a mini coat stand for the kids, cause it was so cute, or a new doggie bed for Kirby, but he's a big dog and those things are pricey!  I was in the middle of my funk at the time and was hoping that maybe buying something that I would enjoy would boost my spirits.  Nene said I should get myself some shoes or a purse, something for me as long as it wasn't pots and pans.  I hadn't even thought of kitchen stuff!  Oh, she knows me so well.

So I started looking at cooking utensils and what not.  Then I saw that they had Rachael Ray cookware, woohoo!  Jasey got me new pots and pans for Christmas last year, Rachel Ray's Hard Anodized 10 piece set.  I love them.  Mom got me an oval saute pan to match and a set of the Bubble and Brown bakers.  I even have spatulas and spoons, seriously, can you tell, I Love Them!!!  I've also been missing them.  When we moved we packed up our entire kitchen and put it in storage along with everything else.  If you are in the kitchen as much I am you know you can cook just fine using someone else's cookware, but there is nothing like your own.  They feel like home and you flow much better when you know the little tricks of your pans.  It may sound silly but I miss them so much, sometimes, that I get a little teary eyed.  Anyway, moving on.

I've always wanted a lasagna pan, I love to make lasagna but would either have to buy a large foil pan (which I hated doing) or use my largest glass cake pan, which wasn't all that big and I'd end up with a short lasagna, not very impressive.  When I saw this Bubble and Brown Lasagna Pan to match everything else I knew I found my gift to myself.  I only had to pay a few extra dollars for shipping and taxes and as a bonus it came with two mini sized Bubble and Brown dippers, so cute!  And, how can this bright fun color not cheer you up!  It makes me miss my cookware a little bit more but I have this piece for now, it puts a little spunk back into my kitchen time, too

So I would like to say thank you again to GBL for a wonderful giveaway and a special holiday treat.  I've already made a yummy, sky high lasagna (no more short, silly lasagnas for me!) Jasey and mom definitely thank you too, since they get to eat whatever I make!  They said it was my best lasagna ever I guess I was putting extra love and happiness into that meal since I was so excited to use my new pan!  If anyone ever needs to replace their pots and pans I definitely recommend Rachael Ray products.  I have not come across anything that I didn't like, they are durable, convenient and user friendly.  They also come in many different colors.  Oh, the colors, so much fun!!

 - I am thankful that, even with all the hard times, I am still able to feed my family healthy food -

January 05, 2011

Terribly Funny...

After a long day of running around town with mom and the kids, we had hopped back in the car to head home.  I was about to turn left onto I-95 when from the backseat AJ shouts, "Mommy, I saw a kitty cat!"

I match his excitement and respond "Did you really?" 

We were under an overpass in an area that has been under construction for more than a year so I immediately start wondering where he saw this cat and what condition it was in.

Before I have a chance to ask him if the kitty was running across the road or sitting down, he states, "Yeah, I did see a kitty cat.  He was sleeping."

Mom and I freeze and I almost start laughing but keep it together and ask "Was he sleeping curled up like Kirby or stretched out?"

I thought it might take him a second to answer but right away he tells us, "He was stretched out, like this."  AJ stretched forward, reached his arms out in front of him and tilted his head to the side.

I had to laugh even though it was nothing to laugh at.  I never like to see animals in the road but when you get to see something like that through a child's eye it certainly puts a new spin on the situation.

He asked to go back and see the kitty cat again but I told him that it was too dangerous for us to go back and we should leave the kitty alone and let him sleep.  I don't think that 3 or 4 is too young to talk about death, it's already come up a few times.  Though, of course with all things the way it is presented changes over time so they can understand and right now sleeping is a fine way to explain a cat on the side of the road.  I know it is a terrible thing to laugh about but thinking back to the conversation with AJ  that is what makes me giggle.

 - I am thankful for the innocent minds of my children -


New Me...

My cousin Erin and I have been walking twice a week for a while now, though it's been difficult recently due to the time change.  Luckily with the holidays Erin was getting out of work earlier so we could get a good walk in before it was too dark, but now she will be going back to normal hours.  So we were talking about where we could go and what we could do to beat the clock.  Our bright idea, join a gym!  So today while mom and I were out we swung by so I could ask a few questions and possibly sign up...and I did!  Guess what, mom did too!  Erin is going to go this weekend to sign up and we will begin our workout adventures next week.  I know it is a typical time to join a gym and say I'm going to lose weight and become a better me but who cares!  If I finally have the motivation and desire to start changing something about myself, what does it matter what time of year it happens to be.  I am excited to have the chance to get out and do something for myself and get some good cousin and mom time in along the way.  I'm not going to be making a resolution or setting any sort of goal, I'm just focusing on changing my ways and eventually changing my self.

On a slightly different subject I was introduced to a wonderful idea by a blogger that I love to read, Katie, over at Marriage Confessions.  She decided that as a pseudo new years resolution to add some positive vibe to her life she will write something that she is thankful for at the bottom of her daily posts.  In addition to adopting this 'resolution', I need to also come up with some sort of theme or schedule, like blogging 3 times a week or writing a weekly blog about our weekend, even if it wasn't all that exciting.  I guess I better get my butt in gear and figure out what that plan will be!

Maybe my weekly blog will be about what I plan to improve about myself and how I am doing it.  So, improvement blog number one, joining a gym!  I'm already on my way to becoming a better me!

 - I am thankful for a mom that is willing and able to help and support us in so many ways -

January 01, 2011


Alright people I need your help again. Please head on over to the Green Bag Lady and enter the Organic '11 freebie giveaway.  If you are one of the lucky winners then you will be sent a beautiful reusable shopping bag made from organic fabric.  While you are there make sure you mention that DRE sent you (thats me!) and you will be helping me on my way to winning the other great giveaway, wonderful organic fabric and twine!  We all know that I love fabric, it makes me so happy!  The colors, the patterns, the silky smooth feel, I'm in heaven just thinking about it!  Tell all your friends to check out the site, enter for the giveaway and make sure you mention DRE (that's still me)!  Thank you!

Happy New Year...

Happy 2011!!!!

Although 2010 was a trying year I am still a little sad to see it go.  Our children are a year older and have gone through so many wonderful changes.  We will miss the little baby in Ryan as she continues to grow but will remember this past year as the year she turned 1, took her first steps and said her first words.  AJ continued to grow into his own person in the past year and went from a toddler of 4 words sentences to a preschooler asking complex questions, understanding the answers and learning to reason.  Kirby was finally diagnosed with a low thyroid after many months of worrying and being told everything was fine.  Jasey and I entered into our 5th year of marriage and will be celebrating in just a few short weeks.  We also both lived this year as the first in our 30's, a notable milestone, though not one that seemed to bother either one of us.  Jasey completed the bulk of his schooling and began preparing for his next big endeavor, a stressful time for all of us.  I chugged along, though admittedly, it was sometimes with a heavy heart from all the stressful change.  We definitely had some tough times but we made it out happy and healthy and ready to take on all of the changes we know are ahead. 

I've always loved the idea of a new year, I've never been one to make resolutions (or maybe I just never keep them) but the thought of a whole new chance to start over is refreshing.  There are so many new opportunities at our fingertips that it's hard not to be excited about what might happen.  We know the kids will keep growing and changing, we know Jasey will be graduating in a few months, we know I will keep us all from self destructing.  We also know that we will be together where ever we go and whatever we do.  We know we can make it through situations that we never thought we would encounter in our lives.  We know that everything that we are experiencing now is for our future and it can only get better from here.  What we don't know is...everything else.  It is a bit unnerving to be in limbo about everything but I suppose that is part of the wonder.

So, we begin 2011 with excitement and smiles and the unknown wonderment of what lies ahead.  We look forward to new words, first days, caps and gowns and new adventures.  I hope that everyone else has such an exciting year ahead of them with just as many possibilities and joys.  Happy New Year!