First Amusement Park Trip

About 45 minutes from where we live is a local amusement park that specializes in families and wholesomeness.  I have been there many, many times as a child and always had wonderful memories of the merry-go-round and my first roller coaster ride.  Just good, old fashioned fun.

Chris has never been to this park and neither has Jack, so we figured a beautiful Sunday of 82 degrees and sunny was as good a day as any to venture there.

Considering that I haven’t been there in well over 15 years, it was nostalgia all over again as we drove in the grassy field to park the car.  My father used to ride the rides with us and my mother would be off to the side snapping photos of my sisters and I having the time of our lives.

Jack was told before we left that we were going to a special park which had rides instead of monkey bars and slides and he was intrigued.

When we arrived, we all stopped and ate something as it was lunch time and we needed our strength!  After eating, it was time for Max’s lunch, so we sat on a bench in a shady area so that Max could eat and Chris and Jack were off to ride the rides!

Fireman Jack

Initially, Chris said that Jack wanted to get off the first ride as he was unsure, but after that, he was thrilled!  He loved the cars, the train, firetrucks, everything!  Chris was enjoying himself just as much!  So much so that when my in-laws are in again from California next week, Chris would love to bring them there for the day again.

On the kiddie ferris wheel

Jack has not stopped talking about the rides, especially the helicopters.  He had seen the helicopter ride and had said that he did not want to ride it as the helicopters went into the air.  We spent the day avoiding the ride only to get to the car while Jack cried about not riding the helicopters.  He has since said each day since, “Mommy, are we going to go to the special park to ride the helicopters today?!”  It looks like he will give it another try if we go back again soon.

Captain Jack

We were all overdue for a family day together, so I am glad that we dropped everything and spent this day together!

Oh, and Max was wonderful!  He was happy to be in the carrier and occasionally in the double stroller as we navigated the park.  So well behaved!

Max watching big brother on the rides

I absolutely cherish these family days!

Taking a cruise with Daddy

The End is Approaching

Yes, my blissful maternity leave is almost over.  In a little less than a month, I will be back to work full time with both boys spending a full day in day care.  However, the director at the daycare said a week or so ago that Jack was demonstrating readiness to move to the Preschool program from the older toddler room this fall.  She said he has hit the milestones and would be great to move up with the other children!  We are so proud of him!

So much has changed since Jack was an infant and started in daycare.  No more glass bottles (we use Coddlelife glass bottles as we feel they are safest for our children), only sleep sacks, no blankets and the list goes on and on.  Jack never used a sleep sack, so we just bought one from Baby Gap that was on sale with an extra 40% off!  Go me!  And yes, I bought the 6-12 month one to get the most use out of it.

I have so enjoyed my maternity leave with my little ones.  We were really able to spend the time together that was desperately needed.  Jack has been able to spend more one on one time with me and Max has gotten to know his Mommy and his brother, as well as his Daddy.

Some of my projects that I have been working on have been completed or almost completed while I have been home.  The cleanout?  Well, that is an animal all in itself, but it is getting done.  The dumpster will arrive Labor day weekend and many of the weekends in September will be spent cleaning everything out of the garage, attic and basement, as well as other areas.

One project for me that was very important was to create a photo book of all of the pictures with my Mom and Jack so that Jack can have that and look at it to remember her.  That should be completed and ordered sometime this week from Shutterfly, and I just got a free photo book code, so it is a win-win!

Many of my days these past few weeks have been spent choosing things for our new house; tile, plumbing fixtures, granite, cabinets, siding, shingles, stone for the front, shutters, and the list goes on.  Trying to get as much done as possible before I go back to work full time as I know that we will only have the weekends to get any major planning done as I will not have any vacation time left for the remainder of 2012.

The house is coming together and we should be going to settlement next week!  We can’t wait!

Although I am going to miss all of this extra time with the boys, I know that working will allow me to be able to provide for them and also allow us to build and live in this beautiful house.

So, for now, I am cuddling with my little Max and enjoying some extra time with Jack while playing with cars and trucks.  These are the moments that are most important for me.

Crazy Two Weeks

From the fall, to giving birth, it was already a pretty momentous week when Max was born.

Of course my story doesn’t end there. Sunday morning, Max begins to fuss a bit around 6:00am, so I wake up and bring him downstairs as not to wake anyone else so I can feed him and hopefully get him back to sleep to get some more shut eye myself.

I came down and got Max situated on the changing table and began to unfasten his diaper. being that it is 6:00am and we had woken several times to nurse, I was a bit delerious, but I noticed that his entire diaper was dark and somewhat appeared to be a large bowel movement. Thankfully, I turned on the light to get a better look and to clean him up. Once the light turned on, I looked down and saw that the diaper was actually filled with blood and Max was bleeding from his penis. Immediately, I screamed for Chris to come down and help. He came running down and we both went into shock. He was still bleeding profusely from his penis and was now crying to boot.

I rushed him to the ER after we applied pressure to stop the bleeding and the physician’s assistant checked him over, said to continue to apply Vaseline until the would healed and to follow up with my pediatrician in a few days. They never sent a doctor down or anything. Turns out that the late bleed was due to an artery close to the skin. What a mess.

A few days later, I stopped by a friend’s house with both boys for a visit and she called to tell me that she was picking up steaks and we could all just have dinner together at her place. A excuse for not cooking? Count me in. Chris came over and we began preparing dinner. I washed all of the steaks and my friend prepared the sides to be cooked. Meanwhile, Max had a dirty diaper, so I went to change him and Jack went out in their backyard with the babysitter to play. Chris went to fire up the grill and realized that the tank was empty, so he was off to get a new tank.

In a split second, Jack was walking back in the house as I was finishing Max’s diaper change and all I hear is a dog growl and Jack scream a blood curdling scream. My heart absolutely stopped and I came running. My friend reached Jack first and when I looked at Jack’s face, he was covered in blood. I tried to remain as calm as possible, but was slowly losing it. We called Chris to come home and rushed Jack to the plastic surgeon for stitches. Chris in true Chris fashion remained calm, cool and collected. I passed Max off to someone in the house and jumped in the back seat of the car to apply pressure to the bleeding on our drive to the surgeon’s office.

Several stitches later and lots of screaming heard from the waiting room (they don’t allow the parents to go back to the OR), Jack came out bandaged and swollen, but happy to see us.

We found out afterwards that when Jack was coming into the house from the backyard, the dog had secretly grabbed one of the raw steaks from the counter that I had washed and was eating it in his cage when Jack stopped to scold him for eating the food on his way into the house. That is when the dog attacked him.

We finally had the stitches out, but it has been a long week of not going outside, not swimming, no bathing, and playing as many quiet games as possible to ensure that Jack’s face healed.

The plastic surgeon told us that it is too early to tell whether or not he will have scarring, but we have all of the lotions and potions to try and avoid scarring as much as possible.

When I brought him home from getting his stitches out (he was so brave!), he felt very hot and over the 2 days before that had developed a wet cough. I took his temp, which was 101.4. Off to the pediatrician again. He has a right ear infection and a cold and is now on Amoxicillin for 10 days with a follow up appointment to discuss tubes in his ears. The poor kid can not catch a break.

That has been my 2 weeks in a nutshell, but I am so thankful that both boys are ok and on the mend.


Jack right after the bite


With stitches and steri strips


After the stitches came out

First Swim of the Season

On Saturday, Chris and I had plans to get so much done, after Chris was done golfing, but from 7:00am on, every plan that we had went to the wind as everything began to change.

Chris had planned to golf in the morning, but had to cancel to run to the doctors office.  I had planned to get a much needed pedicure (can’t reach my feet comfortably), but was home with Jack cleaning, doing the wash and trying to organize.

One thing that we did make a priority was to go out and buy a swimming pool for Jack.  We knew it would be hot and since Jack loves to be outdoors, a pool sounded like the perfect solution for an active and beautiful day outside.

Once he awoke from his nap (Daddy mowed the lawn, Mommy set up and cleaned the sand & water table and hosed down his house), he jumped into his swim trunks and off we went!

He is still ever so much the water baby that he has always been with trying to lay down in the water, splashing the dogs, pouring water over his head, playing with his toys and just having a wonderful time.

It makes my heart sing to see him enjoying something that he truly is excited about.  I’m absolutely sure that this pool will get a lot of use this summer!!

Oh and Rogan the lifeguard (the dog) was on constant watch on the side of the pool and would become hysterical if Jack splashed or became excited.  (I really should get it on video…)

Jack playing and Rogan “lifeguarding”




































“Rogie Baby, stop barking!”


















Water baby

Chatty Jack

We have a parrot in the house.  Jack is literally repeating everything that we say.  Everything.

When Chris yells down from upstairs: “Babes, did you start the wash?”  A little 2 year old voice then runs into the laundry home asking “Babes, start wash yet?”  Yes, Jack is beginning to call me Babes, so I asked Chris to curb it on the “Babes” while he is in this repetition stage.

Yesterday, we went to the grocery store, and as always, we are walking through the aisles and Jack is telling me what each fruit is, what color and counting with me as we put the cucumbers in the bag and it hit me.  He is growing up.  He is a little intelligent toddler who can now count to 11 on his own, identify the majority of colors and tries to sing along to the ABC’s with his Mommy.

He talks about his friends at school, tells us what he wants to eat and can respond and follow simple directions.

My only issue is that sometimes he can’t control his emotions when he is told “no” or can’t do something that we don’t want him to do.  We have been trying the Time Out method on the steps with 2 minutes (for his age), but he didn’t seem to understand.  We did the diverting attnetion thing, but he would usually go right back to doing what he wanted to do.

So, Jack’s teacher gave us the Turtle Technique.  God, I love this.  When they are frustrated and freaking out, you mention starting the Turtle, and Jack stops, hugs himself with his arms and takes a few deep breaths.  Once he has calmed down a bit, he is supposed to say why he was upset and the parent explains the wrongdoing.  Ours is typically for when he doesn’t pay attention, hits, or says no to us.  This seems to be working for us, and we will do it as long as it works.

We like this technique because it tries to reiterate the fact that Jack has to use his words to communicate and let us know why he is upset.  I figured that I would share because if it works for us, it may work for someone else.

I’m finally back

After a long weekend, I had a short, but busy first week at my new job.  Flights were good, meetings were good, and I really like my new coworkers.  Everything was really great!

Since my flight was not until 10:30am on Tuesday, I was able to go with Chris to drop Jack off for his first day of school.  He knew something was up and that we were going somewhere when he was dressed and being put into the car around 8:00am.  We listened to music and I explained to him that Mommy was going to work and that Daddy would come to get him at the end of the day.

It was tough leaving him, but he immediately began playing with the trucks and the other kids and never blinked an eye.  He was in his element.  We got him sorted out and ready for the day, and he looked at us and smiled as I kissed him goodbye and told him that I loved him.

Once I left and the plane was taking off, my first view out the window was my husband’s office and the daycare.  That is when I promptly lost it.  The fear and the emotions set in as I realized that this would be the first time that I would leave Jack for more than a few hours.

I have to admit that it was strange to go to dinner, in a car, or go to sleep without Jack.  I was always so used to eating a cold meal, or making sure that all of his needs were met and haven’t really had time like that to myself in a long while.

Since being away, I feel as if I was able to recharge my batteries, and that the absence between myself, Chris and Jack absolutely strengthened our love for each other.  It also made it more apparent that Chris can absolutely handle the time as a single parent when I am called elsewhere for this job.

We did FaceTime on our iPhones while I was away and Jack loved being able to talk to me, blow me kisses, and show me his shoes.  However, it did cause for him to run to the door to see if I was there.  Tears came when I was getting of of the phone.

My excitement to come home had me awake by 4:00am on Friday and ready to be covered in kisses and cuddles for the rest of the day.

When I finally landed, I jumped in the car and headed to the daycare to get Jack.  His face upon seeing me was something that I will never forget.  It was as if I was a huge ice cream cone and Jack had just walked across the desert to get to me.  I breathed him in.  I felt his soft skin and held him close as he cried and clung to my arm.  He had really missed me.

We came home and my plans for the day were to cuddle with him, play with trucks and go for a nice walk when Chris came home.  Jack wasn’t really himself, so after a high temp reading and seeing that he was a mess, we went over to the doctor.  He has a little virus and is not feeling good in the slightest, so we spent the rest of the day and night cuddling with cold compresses, drinking juice and watching The Wiggles.  The doctor said that the virus will run its course, but I am so glad that I can be home to care for him when he needs me most.

All in all, it was a great first week and I look forward to seeing what this coming week has to bring.  It would also be awesome if Jack’s fever went away quickly.

Memorial Day Weekend

We all had a blast this weekend!  Aunt Colleen came home with her friend Lizzie and we just kept busy from the minute that they arrived.  Following a day of swimming in the baby pool, playing on the sand and water table, and running around the back yard, Jack fell asleep that night almost instantaneously.  He was wiped out!

Hanging out with Daddy

Saturday was another busy day with errands, hot weather, and remembrance.  Chris and I put Jack down for a nap and took a trip to my father’s grave to plant some flowers and do some weeding.  Upon arriving there, I was a little upset to see that there was no flag placed on my father’s grave or on my Uncle Bob’s grave for their service in the military.  I started to get angry.  How could they just forget to put something on the grave?  They both fought for our country and served proudly and there is no flag to indicate that?

I located the groundskeeper who was returning the backhoe from a freshly dug grave and inquired about why there were no flags place on the grave.  He explained that the grave markers, the metal flag stands which used to be on the grave, were not there and the servicemen only place a flag for each marker.  “One hundred and twenty five of the metal grave markers were recently stolen from the cemetery and the military is the only group that can replace them.  I asked for two individual flags to place in the ground instead.  He obliged and Chris and I proudly put the flags in the ground at their final resting places.  They should be honored, grave marker or no grave marker.  Hopefully the military personnel will see the flags and replace the markers that were stolen from the cemetery.

We woke up Sunday morning and went to mass.  After mass, it was already beastly hot outside.  (Around 90)  So, Colleen, Lizzie and I all jumped in the car and headed to Target for a larger pool for the backyard and other fun outside items.  Chris and I took this large rectangular pool and filled it up with air at the local convenience mart and drove home with the pool being held onto the roof of the Venza.  Totally redneck, but we laughed the whole time and got some interesting stares from many neighbors.  🙂  Needless to say, even though the water was FREEZING, we still enjoyed cooling off and soaking up some rays while enjoying burgers, hot dogs and other cookout-style foods.  At night, Grammy offered to babysit so we could all go out together, so once Jack was asleep, we headed to see the Memorial Day fireworks at the casino.

Jared, Colleen and Jack

The new pool


Crawling through the tube

Grammy was having a good day

This was the first time that I have ever seen fireworks set to music, and needless to say, it was interesting.  We  were a little surprised with several of the music choices, but all in all, it was a great time.  A beer or two later, following some sightings of people in prom-style dresses (It’s a freaking CASINO people!), we all headed home.

We all went to the Memorial Day parade on Monday morning to honor those who have served and given their lives for this country.  Jack loved all of the trucks, especially the fire trucks, and was glad to see all of the children as well.  Aunt Colleen and Aunt Lizzie did their auntie duties by chasing down the candy that was being thrown by the people in the parade and filled a few bags of tootsie rolls and peppermints for later.  No children were harmed in the chasing of the candy, although they were the oldest two collecting the candy.  😉

Watching the parade with Big Leen

Watching the trucks

I need one of these

Fire trucks!!

Following the parade, we were invited to a cookout and to have a swim in a friend’s pool around the corner.  Jack loved the water and was thrilled to be able to splash around with Mommy and Daddy.  When we tried to put him in his float though, that is when the tears started.  Big fat tears.  Maybe the Mommy and Me swim class spoiled him into thinking that each time he is in the pool, he will be held and not in the float.

We left for nap time and I just started packing and prepping everyone for Tuesday.  My first day at work, even though I am spending it flying to Chicago, and Jack’s first day at his new school.  (Jack’s first day at school will be in a future post)

We remembered those who have fought for us.

Swimming Play Date

On Friday, our friends Carolyn and Elle came over with the Bridge Girls for a little iced tea, girl talk and to see two of the cutest babies splash and play in the baby pool!

Jack had quite the hard-to-get presence about him and even though Elle was mainly interested in splashing and playing with him in the pool, Jack was having a blast getting in and out of the pool.  Constantly.

I would say the most of Jack’s time was spent getting in and out of the pool instead of swimming.

And without further ado…

Jack kept getting in and out of the pool


Bringing the beach ball in

In again

And out again...

Blowing kisses to the Bridge girls. What a ham!