Saturday, October 31, 2009


It's amazing how quickly this year flew by. Last year, my little butterfly just got the whole sitting and crawling thing down, and from the looks of the picture, wasn't too keen on the whole costume thing.
This year, to say my child was slightly obsessed with her costume would be an understatement! She loved every minute of being a duck and after one house seemed to "get" the concept of trick or treating.

What you don't see in that last picture is that in her hand she held a mini 3 musketeer bar. I'm talking death grip on that piece of chocolate. By the time we got home the candy had been completely melted and squashed inside the wrapper.
It was unseasonably warm and somewhat humid here, hence Bry in the shorts & polo. Thank God for that wagon as he pulled her along our neighborhood.
We have a neighborhood to trick or treat in this year, as compared to the townhouse parking lot last year!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again!
WOW! What a difference a year makes!
Happy Halloween!
Check out these other Halloween posts:

Thursday, October 29, 2009


From the moment Moira was born, she has adored my father. I know the feeling is mutual because the moment he first saw her, I know he fell in love too.
They love being together. He is teaching her all about his favorite things: The Phillies, baseball, The Eagles, and loves to teach her new tricks- how to throw acorns, run with her arms moving, and answer the question "How old are you?" by raising one finger. Meanwvile, her smile seems to extend ear to ear whenever he is around and if heaven forbid, my mom comes alone, she looks longingly out the front door for Pop, which has become her most recent new word.
Yesterday my dad came over to babysit for the night. Before we left, I asked him a favor. For as long as I can remember my dad has taken great pleasure in carving pumpkins for Halloween. When in Halloween mode, it becomes serious business. He has all his tools lined up- paper towel, different size spoons, knives, garbage bag, newspaper, cup of water all ready to go. I asked my dad to carve Mo's pumpkin. After approximately 45 minutes and with the aid of my little lady, he finished his masterpiece.

We still have two pumpkins left to be carved- mine & Bry's, but seriously after the art my dad created, they may just stay pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Do you like your job?
I know so many people who hate what they do, or who they work with, or where they work or all of the above.
The school I worked for was fabulous, and I do not think I am exaggerating a bit. My former co-workers were all or almost all great teachers. I liked them both in the classroom and out of the room, which made my working environment fantastic. The principal I worked under really understood that every good teacher needs room to do their own thing. I felt like I had the ability to be creative and at times, progressive, with the things I did with my first graders.
I mean, c'mon now. How many six and seven year olds have had a unit on culture? How many first graders have had the opportunity to discuss traditions culturally and religiously in their classroom? We talked about race and you know what? It was AWESOME! I did a unit on this after a graduate course on race & ethnicity and my principal was on board.
A friend and co-worker would often joke with me that the district was like the movie Pleasantville. We had a plethora of parents volunteering and unlike some other friends who teach elsewhere, I didn't mind them coming to help in my classroom.
I loved what I did! I felt like I was good at what I did. I felt so lucky to be in a position where I didn't mind going to work everyday.
Then I had Moira and my world changed.
I miss working, yes, however the idea of leaving her every day makes me unbelievably sad. I feel so thankful to be in a position where I do not HAVE to work to make ends meet. Grant it, things would probably be a lot easier finacnially if my paycheck was still coming in, but I don't have to work.
Lately though, the thought of returning to work keeps entering my mind. Yesterday, we went to visit my school and I realized all of my former students had aged out. I have only been gone for a little over one school year, but my kids are now in third grade at the next school.
I enjoyed talking to my friends and seeing siblings of former students. I even ran into a few parents. Luckily, they were parents I liked and who I think liked me! Mo was with me and as usual showed no fear. She was pleasant to all my teacher friends and was hysterical running into a few first and second grade classrooms saying "hi" to the kids. The best though was when we went to visit my friend Laura's room. Laura teaches inclusive pre-school and lucky for us, we walked in just as playtime was coming to a head. Mo eyed up the dolls and the kitchen area, and had a blast playing with the four year olds.
As I watched her play I realized how soon she would be four, and I would be dropping her off to pre-school every day. Wow!
I hate when people tell that it goes by so quick, but seriously, they're right.
For now, I think I'm sticking to my job as a stay-at-home mom. Come January my title will change a bit, as I will add another child to my full time duties and maybe those longings to be back in the classroom will fade.
Like I said, I loved what I did. However, now I love what I do too. Such an interesting dilemma to be in at this point in my life.

My friend Marilyn took this pics of Mo in the teacher's room!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good Mommy, Bad Mommy

I found out this morning while on my favorite message board as I looked at my ticker that there are exactly 100 days left until my due date for baby 2.
I have to be totally honest, things are so much different this pregnancy. I almost feel like a bad mom to be. I guess the best way to explain it is to compare my pregnancy with Moira and this one. For all intensive purposes, I feel the same, I think I am carrying the same, and really indigestion is my only negative side effect. However, my actions are definitely different this time around.

Pregnancy 1
I took pictures of my ever expanding belly at various times throughout it's growth.

Pregnancy 2
I think the closest I got to taking a belly shot was this:

I guess you can say that my hands are usually full and the opportunities to take photos my belly are fleeting when there's an 18 month old running around.

Pregnancy 1:
I got weekly emails sent to me by Baby center dot com to tell me what exactly was happening week by week. I also found myself eagerly reading the chapters in What to Expect When You're Expecting, imagining all those things happening to my little bundle of joy.

Pregnancy 2:
I find out via a ticker on my message board that I'm 100 days away from my due date. After updating my facebook status to reflect that, and then freaking out a bit, I check out it's sister site to find out the kid is roughly the size of an eggplant, and strangely I think how appetizing eggplant parmigiana would be for dinner.

Pregnancy 1:
Bry is freaked out when Mo starts moving and he can feel it.

Pregnancy 2:
Bry is freaked out when the kid starts moving and he can feel it.

Pregnancy 1:
I take long naps after coming home from work on the afternoons I don't have grad school. I milk the pregnancy thing for as much as I can and we end up ordering out 3-4 times per week.

Pregnancy 2:
I occasionally fall asleep on the couch while Mo naps upstairs. For some reason, I find pleasure cooking more. Perhaps it's the bigger kitchen or the fact I think I'm finally getting better at it!

Pregnancy 1:
I struggle to find clothes that cover the bump, even as early as 25 weeks and also look professional enough for work. Old Navy becomes my go to store when I discover their extra large maternity t-shirts are long enough and thin enough to keep me cool.

Pregnancy 2:
I have 3 pairs of pants and a boat load of pregnancy tank tops that rotate with open hoodies. A stay at home mom wardrobe is a little less formal then a teacher's.

Pregnancy 1:
I search high and low to find the perfect gender neutral bedding. Both Bry and I engross ourselves in the Baby Bargains book and various websites trying to find the best car seat, stroller, crib, diapers, etc... to register for.

Pregnancy 2:
Baby 2 will be enjoying the same infant car seat, jumper, and crib with bedding that Bry and I agonized over the first time around. Instead of checking out baby bedding, I've been looking for bedding for Mo's single bed.
The message board I frequent teaches me two important lessons.
1. The Baby Jogger double stroller is AWESOME and worth every penny.

2. Even if you don't have a shower, (which I don't want) register again for baby 2 (or 3 or 4) for the completion coupon and put a due date a few weeks before the baby's actual due date. This way you can buy what you need with an extra 15% off.

I must confess though, I do find myself having some of the same fears this pregnancy as I did with Moira.
Will I be able to handle a newborn? I know I can, but this time, how will I do it with a toddler running around?
Moira was an easy baby for the most part. She nursed like a champ from the very first session in the hospital. What if this one isn't so easy?
I also worry that I'm not going to give Mo enough attention and she'll act out. So far, she's a really easy going kid and a lot of fun. I don't want her to go all postal on me when she has to share the spotlight.
It's crazy to think that in a mere 100 days or less, our lives are going to be turned upside again. While I do have those fears, I also can't wait to meet this little guy or gal and enjoy the ride!

Monday, October 19, 2009

For a Good Cause

My mother in law is involved with her local chapter of the Red Hat Society. In case you have been living under a rock or have never been out and saw a bunch of ladies parading around in purple outfits and huge red hats, I'll fill you in a bit. The Red Hat society is a social group for women. Besides monthly dinners out, they are host two philanthropic events a year for organizations in the greater Cape May county area.
This month they hosted a fashion show/basket auction/ luncheon to support The Coalition Against Rape and Abuse. Over two hundred women showed up to support this organization. My mom and I made the drive down and after showing up fashionably late, we enjoyed our time there.
The Red Hatters did a great job pulling in the dough- as they had numerous door prizes, 50/50, and over 30 different gift baskets to raffle.
I came home empty handed, but my mom won a basket filled with homemade jams and pickles. Honestly, I was hoping for the gift certificate for dinner, but the pink basket will actually match Moira's new room, so we'll take it!
All in all, it was a great afternoon even if the weather didn't cooperate.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Do you hear that?
Of course you don't, because there's nothing there. (or it could be because you aren't in my house right now!)
I am home alone and loving it!
For my birthday Bryan asked what I wanted, and like every suburban mommy out there I asked for a spa day.
Today was that day! One hour prenatal massage, one hour facial, and one hour pedicure- HEAVEN! My face and feet are beau-teee-fulll and I have no place to go, but honestly would I want to go anywhere right now? The weather in the northeast is horrible. I think someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that fall comes before winter. It's freezing and raining here.
Since Bry had Mo all day he decided to go visit his parents down the shore and so as of now, it's just me and the laptop enjoying the last minutes of peace and quiet before my two crazies come home.
I am smart though. Initially, Bry got a gift certificate to this spa with enough money for me to get the above services and a haircut. My sister gave me a gift certificate for a haircut at her friend, Joey's salon - Rinse in Philly. Being the ever resourceful person, I booked the massage, facial, and pedicure and then booked the haircut using the gift certificate from my sister. By doing that I still have a balance left on my gift card for the spa!
Hmmm....what should I use it for?
Ta-Dah! We've got a winner!
I'm thinking right before the holidays I'm going to be ridiculously big and round and dying for another massage. Luckily I'll have the gift certificate for that!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MANual Labor!

Weekends have been non-existent in our house recently. Bry has been tackling our forest...I mean yard the past few weekends from sun-up until sun-down. I cannot believe how much he has done by himself. Being in my current state, nearly 25 weeks pregnant, I have not be able to do more then nod in agreement and bring out the occasional iced tea. He has shoveled and raked and stomped after ripping and digging and cutting the much despised ivy. While working through the ivy on the side of the house he has found the following items: 12 pieces of slate similar to the pieces used for our back patio, three empty caulking containers, a soccer ball, a deflated purple kickball, a bird house made by the former owners daughter in Girl Scouts in 2002, and a size 6 black lace up shoe. Seriously, one black shoe!
It has been an amazing transformation and I really hope and pray that after spending all that time on the front yard the 10 bags of grass seed and 9 cubic yards of dirt yield us a bed of lush green grass come spring!
Mo helping Daddy "rake" the front porch.

Actual action photo of Bryan raking the mound of dirt over the seed.

The side of the house, site of the bulk of ivy-hell!

One side of the front yard

Other side of the front yard

The House now free of ivy! Besides successfully destroying the much hated and despised ivy, Bryan tore out all the overgrown bushes and added red mulch to the front flowerbeds. In the spring we plan to add smaller bushes and some actual flowers. Now the porch is much more visible and one can actually sit on the porch and see without bushes obstructing the view.
Way to go Bry!
He's done with the manual labor....for now at least. I haven't posted pics of the backyard yet for a reason.
That's his job in the spring.
Rest up Bry!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Four Years to us!

It has been four years since Bry and I made it official. We had a beautiful wedding and the weather cooperated for us at least for the most part. Bry loves to tell people how ridiculously humid it was that day, and how he was sweating like a pig on the altar. He did look like he had been soaked. A little after the ceremony we were able to get a few pictures on the beach before the rain started. That rain continued for 10 days straight, causing the chapel where we were married to loose power the next day. Lucky for us it wasn't our wedding day, though I still feel bad for the couple that did get married without the organ, or lights or ceiling fans!
I know it's been four years but I still have two regrets from the big day.
1. My bouquet
I should have gotten a trial bouquet before the wedding. I thought it would be a lot bigger and so when I look back at those pictures, I still think it looks too small for my size. I loved the flowers, I just wish there were more of them!

2. The Cake
Before the ceremony, I had given Bry orders to check out the reception site to ensure set-up was to our liking. It was there, the time right before the wedding, that Bry found out what a disaster our cake turned out to be. We had wanted something fun, like this:
I should have known that when the baker, who was included in our package, balked at the idea because "I don't want people thinking that I messed up the cake." that we would not get want we wanted. We wanted fun, and in a color palette to match everyone else- terracotta, yellow, and white. As we piled into the trolley after the ceremony, I asked Bry had everyone looked at the reception site. After giving me the details of how beautiful the tables and flowers looked, he surprised me with the line "the cake is purple!".
Excuse me? The cake did not look like anything we had wanted. Besides the colors being off, the design itself was horrible. We ended up with this PURPLE disaster, leaving me to wonder if the baker wanted the guests to think he created crap?

In the end, the music, food, and drink were wonderful. Everyone had a fabulous time, or at least that's what they told us, and we finally made it legal. It was, by far, the best party I have ever been to and I hope someday we can recreate that atmosphere again.

Happy Four Years Married Anniversary Bry! Oh, and happy 13 years together too!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Half-way to TWO!

Moira is already 18 months old and honestly, I cannot believe it. Where has the time gone?
Bryan and I have the same conversation at least three times a week and it goes something like this, the lines can be reversed, as sometimes it's me bringing it up and sometimes it's him.
Me: Can you believe we have a kid? It's so crazy.
B: I know! It's even crazier to think she's already 18 months (or insert age) here.
Me: She's really awesome! (insert adjective here)
B: I love when she gives me hugs. (insert new activity like oinking like a pig, coloring with crayons, or trying to put on her own shoes).
M: I can't believe this is our life. We've got a beautiful kid, a house on it's way to being awesome, and a new baby who hopefully will be just as healthy and happy as Mo.
B: We are so lucky!
We seriously are so lucky! We've got a crazy kid who is full of energy and laughter. She is so curious and interested in things now.
She loves to try and put her shoes on by herself. So far all her attempts have been unsuccessful, but she keeps trying.
She also has been OBSESSED with her own reflection in the mirror since we've moved in here. The mirror that was suppose to go above our dresser has been permanently stored in the entry way and Mo has taken a liking to running across the family room at various moments throughout the day to "check out the baby". She'll even give herself kisses. I had some difficulty taking pictures of her full on pigtails because she was near a mirror. I think I may have deleted close to 12 pictures because she kept checking herself out.

Unsuccessful attempts!

Success and Finally Full-on Pigtails!!
While she is changing so much, she still is our wild and crazy girl and it's funny to compare how her 9 month shot and her 18 month shot weren't so different!

Happy 18th Months Moira!