January 30, 2011


boogie hair gel


While my fellow new mom and dear friend Jocelyn is figuring out the ins and outs of menu planning and organizing her life, I'm finding it difficult to chop cooked carrots and prep enough food for Jill's school day, nevermind rosemary grilled chicken in wild mushroom sauce.  Jocelyn sent out a witty email to other new moms where she explained that a severe lack of organization had crept into her life.  It snuck in about 9 months ago when her adorable son Lucas was born.  All of the sudden, Jocelyn couldn't remember her own phone number or how to prep a meal without wanting to "stick pins in my eyes and run screaming from the pan of food burning on the stove."  Her message made me laugh.  It also made me contemplate the idea of an organized life.  Is it possible with a toddler and two parents working fulltime?

I linked to her suggested website - organizedhome.com - and thought long and hard about the concept of menu planning.  This of course would require cooking.  hmmm I pondered.  Could I find the measuring cups and dust off the spice rack?  The cooking concept has crept in and out of our lives multiple times.  Our spice and seasoning selection slowly expanded then remained stagnant through multiple moves, three states and a baby.  Our pepper is from Albertson's in New Mexico, circa 2002. 

So the ironing board came out last Sunday afternoon and work outfits were ironed for the entire week.  Why didn't I figure this trick out sooner?  Oh yes, because it's not realistic.  I also took a stab at menu planning, or at least cooking a nutritious meal instead of pouring bowls of Life and Special K with berries.  Our fourth major snowstorm this month hit Wednesday night so Jill's school was operating on a two-hour delay.  Perfect, I thought!  I'll prep red potatoes and actually remember to take the steak out to defrost.  Jocelyn's meal planning cruisade had inspired me.  That evening I baked butternut squash and roasted carrots (note: need more olive oil next attempt).  Jill fought bedtime and by the time we sat down for dinner, it was 8:30 and my potatoes were cold.  A+ for effort but not the night for potatoes warm out of the oven.  That's why Tony calls me the microwave chef!

Sunday Fun Day

I love Rachael!

helping my Dad make pancakes

who needs toys when there's tupperware?

Saturday Visiting

huge icicle in Gi-Gi Furze's front yard
Tia Marjorie can make me smile! She is visiting from California. Don't leave!

Transition Time

When Jill's upset, there's a problem.  Her first grumpy day at school, one of the teachers called and said, "Jill's not herself today.  She's been upset."  The other kids followed suit and soon everyone was fussing and crying.  It's not her norm. 

Several times this week at pick-up Jill has been cuddling with her teachers and pouting.  The lip's out, fake tear ducts activated, the whole nine yards.  For the majority of the day, she's been running free in the toddler room with not a care in the world.  Late morning she returns to the infant room where she fights a nap then wakes up angry to be confined (the toddler room is more "free range").  This back-and-forth "transitioning" must be part of what is making her grumpy.  Put me in the fun big kids' room then stuff me back into the baby room??  Ha, I think Jill will be a happy camper when her transition is complete and she's in the big kids' room fulltime.  Part of this change means going from the being the big kid (and let's face it bully) to the smallest.  Thursday that translated into an accident/incident report.  This is Jill's second report except the first time she was antagonist.  This time some wise guy pushed her down the slide.  I asked if she pushed him back.  Combine the back and forth business with three teeth making their way in and a slightly elevated temp and it's hasn't been the most enjoyable of weeks.

In other news: Friday was Miss Natasha's last day at day care.  She's one of the favorites and we will miss her!  Frank and Christine are on their way out of town as well and moving halfway around the world to Australia.  We wish Natasha, Frank and Christine the best of luck in their new adventures!!

January 22, 2011

Saturday Morning Entertainment

what's up, girlfriend??

reading National Geographic and watching Thomas the Train

mmmmm pretend porridge!

January 20, 2011

How Very Mafia

How very Carmella Soprano or Adriana La Cerva.  Today Jill wore a white velvet pant suit to school.  It was absolutely adorable!  I wished we went the super Italian route and named her Carmella Musante because that's what we were calling her all morning!

Yes, it came down to Carmella and Jillian.  Other strong contenders included Lydia and Alice.  What were your kids' almost names?  Have your parents shared these aliases with you? 

this hat from Nana & Pop is SO soft I don't want to take it off when I get home!

don't let PETA get a hold of her

Jill's best bud

January 17, 2011

Cheese Hounds

More cheese, please!

Soul Searching and Snow Angels

Uncross your legs and turn down the volume in your life and apparently you can hear dead people trying to communicate. That’s what my Mom and I learned Saturday morning when we visited spirit medium Sandy Alemian. Our purpose was to hear from my Dad but we also communicated with others, folks I didn’t necessarily expect. Sandy was legit. She knew things you couldn’t google if you tried and even threw out some accurate dates. I called it “creepy;” she called it “cool.” We left with positive feelings about the experience and headed straight to the Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru. It would have been the bar if it was after 12.

In the meantime, Jill played in the snow at Aunt Jess and Uncle Scott’s house. She bonded with their dog Sammy, and snoozed in the hammock. She was tired from a physically exhausting morning. My Mom and I were beat from our mentally draining visit.

We ventured to Gram F.’s house where Jill amazed my Gram and Aunt Marjorie, who is visiting from California. She walked around the house, attempted to get into just about everything and tried relentlessly to get up the stairs. We visited as long as Jill’s cranky pants would allow then headed home around nap time. It was so nice to see Marjie! I’m looking forward to spending more time with them. I hear Trivial Pursuit is on tap!

Jill's muscle shirt wasn't enough to help the Pats on Sunday :(

January 13, 2011

Stats of a Growing Girl

A month late but Jill had her 1 year check-up this morning.  She surprised the nurses by running around the waiting room and stepping onto the scale while staying still long enough for her weight to register.  Any guesses on her stats? 

future bball star steps to the scale

Jill weighed in at 22 lbs. (54th percentile) and is nearly 31 in. tall (83rd percentile).  Four shots in the leg later and she was crying but not for very long.  She did great and was rewarded with a sheet of princess stickers.  (It starts this early??)  Developments from this appointment include cutting formula completely out of Jill's diet and gearing our efforts away from the bottle and more toward the cup.  So sad!  She seems to be growing up so quickly!

January 12, 2011

Snow Day!

need to grow into my snow suit from Auntie Andrea & Uncle Chris

playing with my first Lego set - it's new, from NYC!
Another blizzard and we were home for the day.  Jill proceeded to take three naps on the couch with her Dad while I hopped on a conference call and worked on - you guessed it - work.  We had lots of time though to play with Jill's new Legos, pet Rachael and just hang out!

January 10, 2011


Tony and I left for NYC Sunday around noon.  We hit up Rare Bar & Grill - a dinner spot recommended by Tony's co-worker - then Coppersmith's for gametime drinks.  NYC was freezing so we ventured onto the subway for the trip back to the hotel.  Pitstop for dessert that we brought back to the room and it was a fairly early but very relaxing and enjoyable evening.  Monday morning started early.  Tony left for work in Jersey City (see the amazing views his phone captured below) while I enjoyed my Starbucks and read the paper in bed.  After a visit to the gym (I really don't know why I did this...) where I ran, lifted and lunged, I walked the city from about 10:30-2.  My hip flexors were sooooooo sore by the end of the day!  What a workout!  The other score?  A $250 strapless dress for $9.88!  I told Tony it was $9.  Ha!  Why do women always round down?  We arrived back at my Mom's house at 6:30 p.m. Jill was so excited to see us!  Separation anxiety kicked in at bedtime though when she wouldn't let either of us out of her sight. 

a room with a view
nice Monday morning!

January 8, 2011

Catching Up

Here's a collection of pictures, some from Thanksgiving and others from Christmas and New Years.  My mother-in-law sent a bunch.  Thank you, Kim! 

Auntie Kathleen and Jill at Thanksgiving

Special Christmas visitors

New Years Day, what a difference a few years makes!
meeting Nona for the first time!
now this is fun!!

hooking up my doggie
reminds me of my Gramp's hair