Thursday, June 30, 2011

Manhattan Beach Was Calling...

So Salvatore,
Fernando and Valery,
and I answered.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Knott's Berry Farm

On a whim, on a Sunday, we found ourselves at Knott's Berry Farm. The twilight price that starts at 4pm was just right for us. We spent hours in Camp Snoopy and the kids just loved it! The park closed at 10 pm and we stayed until the end. It was just what we all needed.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

More Asleep at the Wheel

It is so nice that Valentina is big enough now to fit in this seat. I have great plans for us this summer on this bike. So far, we have cruised all around our neighborhood on various nights. Salvatore follows closely on his little bike, while dad or David walk alongside him. He is getting really good at riding his bike and learning the rules of the roads.
It is such a nice way for us to all have fun, be active and enjoy the outdoors together.
How do you spend active time with your family?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oh Summer...How I've Missed You So...

and you came back...

I shaved my legs for you...

I sucked a plum down to the pit for you...

I slept on top of the covers for you...

I played extra hard outside with Salvatore for you...

I ate a HUGE salad and washed it all down with fresh fruit and tons of ice cold water for you...

I am so glad to see you.

Thank you so much for coming back.

I have big plans for you and I...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

13 months

Valentina is 13 months today.
A toddler.
Walking (though not exclusively). Babbling (constantly). She's slowly gaining weight (up to 18.9 lbs).
Slowly drinking more milk (about 4-5 oz a day).
Sleeping well now day and night.
10 teeth. Big appetite.
Loves Salvatore more than anything else. Wants to sleep in his big bed with him.
Wants to do anything that he can do.
He loves it. She is his little sidekick.
And we love her...she is our blessing to this family...
she TOTALLY completes us...all of us.

This picture is from exactly one year ago...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Look Who's Walking

Last night, we practiced.
This afternoon, she owns it.

Pink Tails

Like her pink tails?
I didn't realize until I was an adult that the correct word for this hairstyle is "pigtails".
I must admit, when I first found out we were expecting a girl, my excited visions were of us getting our nails done together, shopping together, enjoying the same romantic and heartwarming movies and music together...I wasn't dreaming of styling her hair everyday. I didn't know she would have so much so soon. Nor am I good at it. I don't even style my own hardly. And I hated getting it done when I was a kid.
I never even bought her any barrettes or clips. Luckily, my friends with little girls passed down many of their clips and bows and I was intrigued to start somewhere.
I have been practicing this "pink tail" style for a while now. You would never guess that although her hair in the front is really long, the little hairs in the back are too short to even make it into pink tails, so they all stick out. Looking like I did a bang up job. And she squirms and resists unless I give her something unique to play with or hold.

But she looks so so so pretty when the battle is over!

People ask me all the time if she is 2. Which cracks me up, because at 18 lbs., she is still only a big as a 9 month old though she is now 12 months. TWO? Gotta be the hair. And I wish my color was as soft, rich and shiny as hers. She will never have to color it and we will never match, but I prefer it that way. Children are always more beautiful than their parents.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Garden FROM Eden

Yesterday at work, my friend Eden surprised me by telling me she had a little something for my kids in the trunk of her car. She has passed on many nice things for my kids and has always kept her eye out for more stuff for me. While out with her daughter the other day, she said she came across this Little Tikes Activity Garden BuzzAround that was left for the taking and she wanted to take it...problem was, she and her daughter were on their bikes. In true wonderful Eden fashion, she said she did not hesitate to pick it up immediately-fearing another would surely come by to take it-and she CARRIED IT OVER HER HEAD while riding her beach cruiser bike home! For me! For Salvatore and Valentina! Because she heard me mention once that I was on the lookout for free Little Tikes stuff for our backyard....

See the joy this woman has spread to me and my family?

It is no secret that I work with an amazing staff at Richman and the friendships that have been created through education, common interests, and parenthood are unmatched anywhere. I have been really emotional this past week as we wrap up another school year. Saying goodbye to this particular group of 6th graders is tough...they were my favorite 3rd grade class. But to see how far they have come and to know how far they will go is just amazing. Really...does your job give you that satisfaction, that belief in our future, that humbleness that comes from learning how to listen and watch, that joy of seeing them grow, that smug smile that leaves your mouth when they move on as you secretly wipe your tears? That is what being a teacher at Richman does for me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Other Side of the Fence

After I wrote a little note for his lunch box, David turned it over and drew him this picture.
I put in in a Ziploc baggie so it would not get wet from his Thermos.

Salvatore loved his preschool and looks forward to returning next week.
He did not cry, was easy to wake up, and his teacher, Miss Mary, said he was a very good boy who fit right in.
I can' t explain how wonderful it feels to find a place and a teacher who loves him and will care for him greatly as he learns the ins and outs of school, friendship, fun, creativity, rules, and manners from more than just us.
As a teacher, I have always been on that one side of the fence-the side that cares for the kids, that counsels them, educates them, disciplines them, manages them, and acts like a mom or nurse or ______when the need arises for them...
And now I am on the other side.
When I dropped him off on his first day, he did not cry. But I did. Just a little. While driving to work. I was proud of him for trying something new. I was proud of me for getting out of the house on time with all things needed to start this day. But, I was really, really happy that he would be in good hands.
As I got to my school that day, I said "hello" to EVERY KID I SAW. I am friendly anyways, but this time I sought kids out. Made more eye contact. Stopped for every single hug. Talked about, and listened to, every single detail shared with me that morning.
I watched the parents who walk, drive and drop off their kids more intently now...wondering what joys and fears consume them in their daily journeys with and without their kids.
And I pray for them even more now, because I get it even more now...
Thanks be to God.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Preschool...

...and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
well, Benny was stirring...and sniffing his new lunchpail...
his clothes were displayed out for the morning with care...
(I can't rhyme this anymore)
but we were prepared to start preschool today, June 2nd...
power breakfast and all...(he already ate his bacon)...
Good Luck, Salvatore! We love you!