Black and White Wednesday - "When Will Spring Really Arrive?"

March 30, 2011

Sarah in the fur hood HZ CP3 BLOG
Can you believe that we are still wearing our heavy winter jackets?
I was ready to move them into the other closet two weeks ago. It's a good thing I left them out because even though the calendar says it is officially spring, I don't think winter is quite ready to leave just yet.

Sarah in the fur hood BW BLOG
Sarah let me snap this yesterday as we were heading out to the doctor.
She had her 4 yr old well visit.... we are a few months late, but she did get a clean bill of health along with a shot in each arm.
Sarah is 43 inches tall and weighs 34 pounds. I am thinking she could be a Rockette with those long legs:)

I loved her tousled hair and how only half of her smile was peeking out from behind her big warm jacket in this photo.

Hopefully that jacket is only going to be worn a few more times before it is officially retired for the season.

Bring on the Spring weather....... PLEASE!

~Happy Wednesday~

Tiny Toys

March 29, 2011

Pearly Whites BLOG
A few months ago, I shared a funny story about Sarah hiding her favorite toys so Reagan would not play with them.

Reaching out and looking down BLOG
Sarah got over that pretty quickly, but now it seems we have a new "toy" issue.....

Playing on the counter BLOG
Toys that are really small and come with lots of tiny little pieces. Sarah is at the age where she is into Barbie Dolls, My Little Ponies, Polly Pockets, etc. Reagan is way too young for these toys because the minute she gets her hands on them.....

Toys in her mouth BLOG
Those tiny toys go straight into her mouth.
We have resorted to putting these toys up high like on the counter top when Sarah plays with them and when she is done, we usually put all the tiny pieces in zip lock bags before we put them away.

Spicy Girl BLOG
The morning I took these photos, Sarah was still sleeping(she likes to sleep late)and had been playing with her My Little Pony house just before bed the night before. Usually everything gets put away before bed, but she asked us to leave it out so she could come straight down to play with it the next morning, so we left it out on the counter.

Reagan spied it while she was eating her breakfast and as you can see giving her a princess doll or two to play with was not cutting it.....she wanted the house complete with all the tiny pieces.

Of course I caved and let her play while her sister was still catching some z's and she was under my watchful eye.

We don't really have a designated playroom in our house..... the girls have pretty much taken over the family room. They have a "Toy Corner" with baskets and we try to keep their baskets separated, but it has been kind of tough keeping Reagan away from the toys that are not age appropriate.

For now we have been keeping a lot of these games and toys up in Sarah's room and then we bring them down and let her play with them on the counter or table.

After the big Emergency Room ordeal, the last thing I want to do is have to go back to have a barbie shoe extracted from Reagan's nose or ear.... or even worse yet..... have her choke on something.

If I haven't mentioned it.... Reagan totally keeps us on our toes. You cannot take your eyes off of her for a second. She is a mover and a shaker and will do anything and everything to keep up with her big sis.

Speaking of the stitches..... Doesn't her eye look great?
For everything that we went through getting them removed, it certainly healed nicely.

Lots of pictures to come......I am way behind in my posting and my computer is bursting at the seams. My nephews came to visit on Sunday and there were lots of photos taken with that much cuteness running around.

Hope to have another post or two up this week, but it is going to be a tad hectic around here. Tonight is the first, "Get Out of The Auto Zone" class and I am super excited. Then I get to do it all over again Thursday night with a new group of students. The class is going to last 5 weeks, so the posts might be few and far between the next month or so. I will try to post and keep up as best as I can.

Wish me luck:)

Have a great Tuesday!

Black and White Wednesday - "NYC"

March 23, 2011

Hallway Collage Central Park BLOG
We had a WONDERFUL day in New York City!
Pat and I arrived just before noon and the minute we exited the port authority we saw Marla and Derek standing across the street waiving their arms in the air!

We were so excited to see Marla again and to finally meet Derek. Even though it has only been a few months since I saw Marla, it feels like it has been so much longer. My only regret is that she did not get to see Reagan this trip, but there is always next time:)

The weather was just beautiful and we stood on the street talking and catching up for about twenty minutes and then decided we should find a place to get some lunch.

There are probably a dozen restaurants within each city block and it can be overwhelming trying to pick one. We assumed the first thing we should do was choose a cuisine and then go from there. Sushi seemed to work for the four of us, so we were on the hunt for a good Japanese restaurant.

We ended up in cute little place in Hell's Kitchen where we had Bento Boxes and a few celebratory cocktails.

After our lunch we walked through times square and started to head towards a very crowded central park.

Marla and Dita BLOG
As we were walking through the park we got the call from Dita and JR that they were on their way to pick us up so we could head down to SOHO where we had dinner reservations.

We were a little early for dinner so we went into a trendy tavern that had open doors and windows. It was the perfect place for the 6 of us to sit back, relax, and enjoy each others company. Many funny stories were told and before we knew it, it was time to move the party to the next restaurant.

The guys looking out the window BLOG
Dinner was INCREDIBLE......thanks to Dita who knows the city inside and out, she knew all the perfect spots to take her "foodie" friends! We ate at this great Italian restaurtant called I Tre Merli. By the time we left, I think we came close to collectively sampling the entire menu. There were so many things to rave about, but I think the one thing we are all still talking about was the Nutella Pizza that we shared for dessert!

The day could not have been more perfect(except for the race to make our bus back home) All six of us got along so well and have so much in common. My only complaint was that the day seemed to go by way too quickly. I felt as though we had just gotten there and we were alreedy having to say goodbye to our good friends.

I didn't get to take as many pictures as I had anticipated, but in this instnace, it is a good thing...... it means I left the camera in my bag and just had PLAIN OLD FUN with my husband and friends! Something that this trip made me realize we need to do more often.

We have not done much of anything since returning from China and that is something that we need to change. As important as it is to be there for our children, we also need to make time for each other.

We had such a fun day with four fabulous friends and hope that we will all be reunited again sooner rather than later. Whether we are in New Jersey, Philly, SOHO, NOHO, or Fort Worth...we can't wait to see you all again!

Happy St. Patrick's Day

March 17, 2011

Looking out the window biting her lip BLOG


Since I am not on the ball this week and I don't have any new photos that fit the St. Patrick's Day theme, I thought I would share a couple photos leftover from last week that never found their way to the blog.

Reagan has so many funny faces and cute expressions that she is starting to show us. We all get the biggest kick out of her budding personality. It shines brighter and brighter with each day that passes and always brings a smile to our faces. She has really become quite the ham and is starting to play to the camera....... and you know that I am all over that:)

Both Pat and I are working today, but we will be celebrating the big Irish holiday this weekend. St. Patrick's Day is extra special to us because it is the day that Pat asked me to marry him. If you haven't read the story of how he popped the question, you can find it by clicking HERE!

We are heading into New York City on Saturday to meet up with Marla, Derek, Dita and JR. We are beyond EXCITED...... this is our first real outing together sans kids(thanks Mom and Dad) since I left for China. We are long overdue and really looking forward to an entire day in a fun city with FABULOUS friends!

The camera is coming along so I hope to get some photos of our day in the big apple!

Hope everyone has a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

~An Irish Blessing~

Black and White Wednesdays - "Let's Cop A Squat"

March 16, 2011

Sarah Sitting on the ledge HZ SF BLOG
Do you remember the movie Pretty Woman?
I have seen it so many times I can't count, and if I happen to be channel surfing and see that it is on, I will pick that over anything else....even over the food network:) That movie is one of my ALL TIME FAVS and I know most of the lines by heart.

As soon as I saw this picture of Sarah, the line "You'll buy a snap dog and we'll cop a squat under a tree somewhere", went through my mind...... because that is exactly what she is doing....minus the grass!

Sarah Sitting on the ledge HZ CROP SF BLOG
I was out with the girls this weekend and they were running around and I was taking some pictures, but then Sarah stopped and sat down for a minute to watch her sister.

She's looking at her sister with a face that shows lots of love and adoration and to me, her expression is priceless.

Sarah Sitting on the ledge BW9 BLOG
Sarah has really blossomed and grown up since Reagan entered the family......sometimes I don't realize it and then I look at a picture like this and I can't help but notice it.

Although she has matured a lot, I am still not ready to call her a "Pretty Woman"...... she is a "Pretty Girl"...... and just for the record....we were nowhere near Hollywood Boulevard and you won't find a safety pin holding the zipper in place on Sarah's boots. Haha... I couldn't resist!

Have a great Wednesday!

Raggedy Ann and Reagan

March 14, 2011


She had a boo boo too blog


Standing on her head BLOG

I guess Reagan and Raggedy Ann have what you would call a LOVE HATE Relationship!

Close Up of the scar BLOG
Poor Raggedy Ann got the brunt of Reagan's frustration after we returned from our second visit to have her stitches removed.

Yes..... you heard me, two visits to get them all out.

It's no wonder that the healthcare industry gets such a bad rap! We had an awful experience all the way around.

No one wanted to remove these stitches. Last week the ER staff told Pat and I to take her back to the pediatrician in 7-10 days to get them removed.

I called my Pediatrician's office last week to let them know what happened and to schedule an appt to have the sutures removed. They told me that they do not remove stitches in the office and have not done so in years. They said I had to go back to the dr that put them in.

So, I took Reagan back in exactly seven days and when I walked in, they said, you were supposed to go to your dr, not come back here. After speaking with the girl at the registration desk, I was told that I needed to go to the walk in center connected to the hospital to have the stitches removed. Off I went with Reagan in tow.

I walk into the "walk in" center, register her and fill out a gazillion forms. After waiting 20 minutes, they call us back and some young dr walks in. I could tell the minute he saw where the stitches were placed, he was nervous. He wanted me to try to hold her so that he could get to her eye.

After five minutes of trying to get the first stitch, he looks up at me and says, "Why did you wait so long to bring her in....the stitches are going to need to be dug out with a scalpel" Ahhhhh...... because that is what I was instructed to do?

He and I wrestled with Reagan for about 15 minutes and did not get one stinkin stitch out of her eye. I said to him, "This is never going to work, can we get some help here?" He then leaves the room and comes back in to tell me that they are going to take her in the ER.... the very ER that I tried to go to just moments before.

Are you kidding me??? I wanted to SCREAM !!!

We walked back to the ER and guess what..... had to register her again!! They finally take us back and luckily we had the same two nurses that we had the week before and they were very good with Reagan. They apologized over and over again for the run around and assured me that they would get the stitches out as quickly as possible.

They bring out the papoose, wrap her up and the new dr comes in and says, "Boy, those stitches are really in there" He had to pull at them quite a bit, but he finally got them out. Thank goodness.

The nurses were very nice and I think they felt horrible for everything that went on. They gave Reagan a bag of mini chocolate chip cookies and lets just say that she had forgotten all about that nasty papoose in no time....One cookie later to be exact:)

Fast forward to Saturday night.... I start looking at Reagan's eye in the bathroom under the bright light and I think I see another stitch in her eye. I call Pat and have him look at it and he agrees..... there is one more left in her eye.

My stomach started doing flip flops.... I was SO UPSET at the thought of taking her back in for one stinkin stitch, but what was I going to do? I would never risk leaving it in, so first thing Sunday morning, we packed up and headed back in.

I called to tell them we were coming and when I got there (they now me by name by now) they tell me that the nurse is going to come out to see if there is really a stitch left in her eye before I go through the trouble of registering.

The nurse comes out and takes one look.... "Oh yeah, it looks like the dr must have missed one"

They take us back and repeat the whole process. Papoose, scalpel, guaze.... and more tears!

Seriously.... I have been through a lot medically in my life and I have never had an experience quite like this one.

Isn't this CRAZY?

No one communicates and it seems eveyone wants to play "pass the patient"

It is very frustrating to say the leeast and I have half a mind to write a letter to the medical facility explaining what went on.

Luckily, Reagan is a tough little cookie and handled it all so well. Each time she bounced right back and I am sure this will all be a distant memory.

On a positive note, her eye looks better than I expected! I think it looks really good considering only one week has passed. With any luck, the scarring will be minimal.

Okay.... I better run! Another crazy week for me. I am heading to Baltimore again today. I have been a real road warrior the last few weeks.

Special thanks to Aunt Barbara and Uncle Tony for the adorable adirondack chair fit for an empress:) I am sure it will appear again on the blog soon. I have visions of it out on the beaches of cape cod with a big colorful umbrealla and a sassy little girl sporting a bathing suit and sunglasses!

Black and White Wednesday - "A Day to Play"

March 9, 2011

Last Shot Texture BLOG
I have really loved taking photos of the kids around the house these past few months.

No Parking BLOG
Taking pictures of my own children is what forced me to get into photography in the first place.

Alicia Looking Up at me Yellow Line2 Texture BLOG
The original goal was to learn enough so that I no longer had to take my children to a "Studio" for the typical shots with props and a backdrop.

Sitting with the purse BLOG
But.... the more I learned, the more addicted I became.

Close Up With The Purse BLOG
It was a creative outlet for me and I came to look forward to putting that strap around my neck and heading out to a new place or area to see what I could capture.

Feet on step Blog
All of a sudden the things I saw everyday began to look different to me.

On The yellow step looking out BLOG
I started to notice things like color and texture.

Corner to corner  BLOG
I began to see the beauty in just about everything and everyone around me and often would say.......

Last Shot BW BLOG
"Ooooooo, that would make be a GREAT picture"

Taking a break COLOR BLOG
It kind of became a joke in my family....and when I would say it, everyone would roll their eyes and say, "Here she goes again"

Alicia Sitting On the Step BW Blog
Between the winter weather and getting adjusted to life as a family of five, I have not had much time to "play" but I was able to get away for a few hours last weekend for the first time since returning home from China.

kick a leg up BLOG
My Mom and I went to the local farmer's market early one Saturday morning and when we pulled into the parking lot I noticed this big red door with the bright yellow step.

Yellow Step Pull Back BLOG
As soon as I saw it, I knew it would make a very cool backdrop for photos....the pop of red and the lines on the door defintely called out to me!

Add a beautiful model like Alicia and I was like a kid in the candy shop!

Don't get me wrong... I LOVE LOVE LOVE taking photos of my own kids, but sometimes it is fun to change things up and get someone else in front of the camera...... someone that does not run away, roll their eyes, or stick their tongue out at me when I point the camera in their direction.

Alicia is my "go to" girl..... she likes to be in front of the camera as much as I like to be behind it. She has appeared on the blog numerous times.....and she is the daughter of my friend Trish, who happens to babysit Sarah and Reagan while Pat and I are at work.

We are very lucky to have this family watching over our girls when we can't be with them. We know that the girls are in GREAT hands and we never have to worry about the care they are receiving.

We are very grateful and it makes me feel good to be able to give Trish a little something extra...... like these photos of her Gorgeous girl.

I say this each time I post pictures of her, but can you believe she is 14 years old? MY WORD.... I hope Mom and Dad are ready....they are going to have boys lined up around the block!


March 7, 2011

Reading to my lil sis BLOG
Thankfully after Friday's happenings, the rest of our weekend was quiet and uneventful.

From the foot of the bed BLOG
Sarah was pretty scared when she saw Reagan bleeding. She had never witnessed anything like that so she was shakin up. I also think seeing me panic did not help the situation.

Each Reading their own books BLOG
As soon as we had the bleeding under control, Sarah calmed down and stopped crying. It was at that point that she realized Reagan was going to be okay.

Let Us Read Mommy BLOG
After we got back from the ER, she followed Reagan's every move. We could tell that she was still a little scared and nervous for her. She was trying to protect her sister and make sure that she did not fall again and hurt herself. It was very sweet to watch her hover over her sister with care and concern. She has asked us a few times this weekend if Reagan's eye will get better and we keep reassuring her that it will take a little time but it will heal and eventuially the "boo boo" will go away.

A little swollen and puffy BLOG
Reagan's eye swelled up a lot between Friday and Saturday. It looked so bad and I felt horrible for her, but it didn't seem to bother her in the least. She carried on in her usual fashion.

Whenever I look at her eye, I can't help but to think of the moment she fell and how I could not react fast enough. That moment keeps playing through my mind over and over again and I keep saying "If only".

So far she has been a total trooper about letting us clean and treat the area and she is not really going after the stitches with her hands. They warned us that the little ones like to pick and scratch at the stitches as the heal.

I know that these things happen every day, it is just scary when it happens to one of your children. I am SO VERY thankful that Pat was home when this happened and that I was not alone with both of the girls. He was much more calm, cool, and collected than I ever could have been. You think you are prepared for emergencies and know all the proper things to do in any given situation, but in the heat of it, fear takes over and you lose your mind and your common sense.

Thanks for all the kind and caring words this weekend! If all goes well, the stitches will come out on Friday. I will keep everyone posted.

Back to work for me today and the girls get to stay home with Grandma.... they always look forward to their days with Grandma:)

Nick was with his Dad this weekend, so he has not seen Reagan yet, but he will be home after school today. I called him to tell him what happened and what to expect when he sees her. I am sure that he will be hovering over and protecting Reagan just like Sarah.

~Have a great Monday~

A Trip to the Emergency Room:(

March 5, 2011

Early Friday morning Reagan fell in the family room and on the way down she managed to hit her eye on the corner of our leather ottoman. Sarah and I were both within arms reach of her when it happened but it was one of those times where it felt like you were watching something in slow motion and just could not react fast enough.

I reached down and picked her up and as I began to lift her up, the blood just started to pour out. It was so bad that I could not tell where the blood was coming from. Her entire eye and face were drenched in blood. It was an ugly sight and I immediately flew into complete panic mode. My hands were shaking and I was screaming for Pat who was upstairs getting into the shower. Poor Sarah had never seen anything like this and started crying hysterically and yelling "Don't let her die Mommy". It was a bad scene to say the least.

Pat and I were trying to get the bleeding to stop, but we couldn't at first. It was not easy to apply pressure to the wound because Reagan was beside herself crying and carrying on and every time we touched her little face she flinched. We could see that the cut was right next to her eye, but there was a lot of blood in her actual eye and I was frightened that she might have done some damage to her eye and impaired her vision.

In a matter of minutes Pat and Sarah got dressed(they were still in their pjs) and we all headed to the Emergency Room. The cut had started to clot a little, but I could tell it was very deep and I had a sick feeling in my stomach about what she was going to endure once we arrived at the hospital.

The doctor examined the inside of her eye and checked her vision and luckily both appeared to be fine, but as soon as the doctor saw where the cut was located, he said he was probably going to try to use the glue method instead of stitches.

He changed his mind rather quickly once they tried to clean up and get a closer look at the wound. He said that it was too deep and he would have to close it with stitches. My heart sank....... How on earth are they going to stitch that close to her eye? and how are they going to keep her still?

Stitches BLOG
Before they began the procedure, they suggested that Pat take Sarah out of the room and we agreed that it would be best. They warned me that as a mother it would be difficult to watch this and if I wanted to leave also, they would have a third nurse step in to hold her down. THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS LEAVING MY BABY in that room no matter how hard it was for me to watch, I was going to be right there with her every step of the way.

For those of you that have never experienced this, they wrapped Reagan in a sheet like a mummy with her arms at her sides so she could not move. They called it a papoose. Once they had her wrapped up, one nurse held her feet down while the second nurse held her head in place so the doctor could start to administer shots to numb the area and then begin suturing.

As you could imagine, this was not a pleasant experience for all involved. I think the nurses were concerned that I was going to pass out from all the blood that was still coming out of the wound, but that was not what was bothering me. It was the screams of terror coming from my daughter that had me upset. The tears were streaming down my face and I was trying to keep it together for Reagan's sake. I felt helpless and as though we were torturing her and there was nothing I could do to console her in this situation. I think the procedure took about twenty minutes from start to finish, but it felt like a lifetime and I think that anyone within a mile radius heard her.

I could not wait for them to release her out of that sheet so I could pick her up and hug her and let her know that she was okay and very safe in Mommy's arms again.

She eventually calmed down and we got our paperwork and headed home. We could see that the eye was already beginning to swell and turn black and blue.

My Boo Boo BLOG
Once we returned home, I could tell she was exhuasted and completely traumatized. She looked like the "old" Reagan. We cleaned her up, fed her some lunch, gave her some motrin for the pain, and then put her down for a nap.

When I changed her, I noticed her stomach was all scratched up and I was baffled for a moment.....then I realized that she must have scratched herself out of anger when they wrapped her up and held her down.

As soon as I got Reagan to sleep, I sat in my office with the door shut and had the ugly cry that I was trying to hold back all day. I needed to get it out.

Back to her happy self blog
About an hour later she woke up and it was as if nothing ever happened. She was back to her happy go lucky little self. Walking around, giggling, playing, and heading straight for her favorite place...... the steps:)

Isn't it amazing how resilient little ones are when it comes to situations like this? It blows my mind!

She was great the rest of the night. She ate dinner and played with Sarah right up until bedtime. Went down without a problem and is still sleeping as I type this.

I am anxious to see what her eye looks like today and pray that it will heal quickly and with minimal scarring.

Believe it or not, this was our first visit to the ER with one of our children. We have never had any kind of injuries with Nick, Sarah, or Reagan up until yesterday. I am sure it will not be our last vist because lets face it, kids are kids, but I hope it is a long time before we have to experience something like this again.

We are hoping to get out a little today! It is going to be almost 60 Degrees and I think we could all use a little fresh air.....and a play area with no furniture:)

PS... we bought a leather ottoman when we moved into this house to use as a coffee table thinking it would be a safe bet with little ones instead of something with sharp corners or edges. Apparently, even leather can do damage. She must have hit it at just the right angle.

Faster Than the Speed of Light

March 3, 2011

Faster Than A Speed of Light BLOG
We are in the "Steps Are Fun" stage right now....Reagan is completely fascinated with them and makes it up to the top rather quickly.

Watch me Go BLOG
She will climb them up and down over and over again(if we let her). We have baby gates downstairs so she can't even get to the staircase most of the time, but the minute the gates are opened you better believe that is where she heads first. One of us is always close behind waiting with baited breath for a slip of the foot. Thankfully, she handles herself pretty well.

Don't try to come after me BLOG
If we follow her a little too closely, we get the stink eye, boo boo face, or the raspberries.....LOL!
She's afraid we are going to pick her up and make her come down.

Jumping for Joy BLOG
After she reaches to the top of the staircase, she makes a beeline for Sarah's room and then points to the bed. Once she is up there she wastes no time getting on her feet so she can jump until her heart's content!

Ummmmm, didn't this girl just learn to walk two weeks ago?
She is trying her hardest to keep up with Nick and Sarah(and give her Mommy a heart attack in the process)...she does not want to miss out on one ounce of fun. She seriously never stops moving. She is either crawling, walking, climbing, or jumping.....and she is quick. You cannot turn your head for even one second......

Super Reagan blog
I'm starting to think that "R" on her shirt stands for "Really Fast" not Reagan!

As for her baby legs.... She started the day with both on and she kept pulling the right one off. I must have put it back on about 6 times before I finally gave up. Although she didn't want to wear it, she continued to carry it with her everywhere she went........ along with a few pats of butter. I shared in in a post a few weeks ago that she went to bed one night clutching pretend butter in her hand. Now she walks around the house with it for hours on end!
Isn't it funny how they are intrigued by the smallest things?

Have a Happy Thursday.....One more day until Friday, thank goodness!

Special thanks to my friend Jodee for Reagan's adorable "R" Shirt! We love the colors and the polka dots!

Black and White Wednesday - "There Is No One Like Him"

March 2, 2011

Holding her puppy purse blog
There is one person that will always bring a smile to Reagan's face.

Riding In Style BLOG
He always stops to take time to play with her and he loves to whisk her off her feet and raise her high in the air.

Down The Steps BLOG
Then he places her in the seat of honor where she can see things from a new perspective.

Alburtis BLOG
She loves it up there and before you know it......

Bottom of the steps BLOG
That smile turns into one of those contageous and ever so sweet belly laughs that makes everyone in the room smile from ear to ear.

Me and My Big Bro blog
What these two have is pretty special!
I'm quite certain you can tell just by looking at these pictures, but just in case you can't; He totally adores her and she is completely smitten by him.
When you are in their presence, you can see it almost immediately.
In Reagan's eyes, there is no one quite like her big brother.