Thursday, September 29, 2011

Random things lately

Random pictures... Random thoughts.

Autumn is here. I love this time of year. I love the colors ... and the weather... the crispness in the air. I love Pumpkins, Apple picking, Oktoberfest, Halloween, Fall festivals, and the list goes on and on. I can't wait to start snapping some colorful shots of the beautiful trees & landscapes!

I don't know if we are going to dress Julianna up for Halloween this year... it's not like she can go trick or treating. And we don't' have many people to go visit with her costume on. So we might just stay home and give out candy to our 4 trick-or-treaters LOL.

I also love buying new fall outfits for Julianna - especially this new hoodie sweatshirt from Baby Gap. I have to tell you I just love that store. They have the best stuff for kids! I could go nutty in there! I got this for Julianna, but in lighter pink. I love it and can't wait until it gets cooler to put it on her.

So I emptied my 'point and shoot' camera SD Card and found some pictures I took last month that I forgot about. Here we go.

This past weekend, we went to a huge mall by us called the Palisades Mall - It was nice for a bad weather day. It has an ice rink, a bowling ally, David & Busters, 4 levels of shopping, a carousel, a Ferris wheel, tons of restaurants, etc. It's a neat place to spend the day! It was Julianna's first time on a carousel horsy ride. She loved it so much that she cried when it was over and we had to exit!

Julianna loves when Daddy reads to her!   

 "Mommy, can you stop taking pictures of us?"

When we were packing for vacation in August, I turned my back for a few seconds, and Julianna had taken a bunch of things out of her bag. It's not possible to pack with sticky hands in the same room!  

Daddy & Julianna at the pool this past summer. Yeah Fall is here - but this shot makes me want to be at the pool just one last time... I miss it already! 

Isn't Pepper so sweet... she is so cute when she sleeps! She is our "other" little girl.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

A-Z with me {Skye}

I saw this "A-Z" on a couple blogs this week, like "A Sorta Fairytale" - it looked like fun and thought, "Sure why not?!" 

A. Age: 40 - blegh
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore that you hate: Laundry
D. Dogs: Pepper the crazy lunatic Jack Russell/Doxie mix. Here is a post about her.
E. Essential start to your day: Contacts in.
F. Favorite color: black or pink
G. Gold or Silver: white gold
H. Height: 5'1-ish
I. Instruments you play: Only my daughters toys that play songs.
J. Job title: Technical Analyst
K. Kids: Julianna Belle - 16 months old
L. Live: New Jersey
M. Mother’s name: YB
N. Nicknames: Pookie
O. Overnight hospital stays: Only time I've ever spent the night in the hospital was when I had Julianna.
P. Pet peeves: kids with massive snots hanging from their nose. (NO offense to anyone LOL)
Q. Quote from a movie: "May the force be with you." (If I have to say the movie, then I'm too old and you're too  young LOL)
R. Right or left handed: Right handed.
S. Siblings: None.
U. Underwear: Yes. Victoria Secret only.
V. Vegetable you hate: Peas.
W. What makes you run late: Other people. 
X. X-Rays you’ve had: Dental.
Y. Yummy food that you make: Italian
Z. Zoo animal: Giraffes and zebras and flamingos 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Julianna - 16 month Update

Julianna is 16 months.
At the risk of sounding cliche' - Where does the time go? It goes by like a freight train!

Here are some milestones & happenings from the past month.

Julianna is in the 90th percentile for her height at  her 15 month checkup.
Julianna is wearing 18 month clothes comfortably. I haven't purchased any 24 month clothes yet (except her winter coat) because I want to see how far I can get with these 18 month clothes. This is the hard part- that in between size. (Why can't they make 21 month clothes??!?!)
 Julianna is in size 4 diapers still... maybe size 5 soon. She's kind of skinny... so they fit fine still.

Words she says: Mama, Dada (Daddeee), ut oh, Hi, Oh sheee (Hmmm, we think she is saying sh*t ; I can't imagine where she got that from?! LOL), and a whole lot of other babble words that I have no clue what she is saying, yet she clearly is speaking full sentences! haha!

Getting smart. Julianna imitates everything we do. Everything.
She took my keys, went over to the door the other night and pretended to unlock the door. She takes her nail clipper when I am changing her diaper and pretends she is clipping her toenails and finger nails. She takes her comb & brush, and pretends to brush her hair. She helps us take off her clothes and button her jeans. I sneezed the other day and she imitated the noise I made. Too cute. It was then that we realized she watches our every move. No more giving the finger to the Boston Redsox on TV while she's in the room I guess. LOL.

Food and eating:
Julianna just started using a fork (kind of) with her food. We have to hold her hand to help her with the fork but she loves to use it.
She also just started eating yogurt. She wasn't crazy about it for a while, and now she loves it. She eats it daily. Yo-baby rocks.
Julianna loves fruit. All kinds. Our {awesome} daycare provider Cathy says that Julianna eats more fruit than the other 2 kids combined!
She also just started snacking on whole grain Ritz crackers and whole wheat goldfish- lovvves them. I question how much whole grain is actually in those snacks... but it makes me feel better if it says it on the package at least.
Squeeze Fruit - She loves them. What a great invention. Squeezable applesauce. Genius. Why didn't I think of that? I could have quit my day job by now!

Julianna claps, waves bye-bye, points & squeals with delight over everything. I love her hysterical laugh! She is a pretty happy kid. Most days. She does have her days where she turns into the "Beast from the East". The beast surfaces out of nowhere and usually doesn't go back underground for a few hours or so. We just have to 'wait it out'. We knew those days were coming ...and expected it. It's now here. She's a toddler. We are dealing with it.
I try to tell myself as she is kicking, screaming {horribly loud} and waving her arms, that it's only temporary - and my sweet little girl is under that sinister facade somewhere. She is that sweet girl 95% of the time. The other 5% - look out! All  you moms know what I mean! She has just learned to do that annoying whiny cry - the "I want something" Or "attention" cry. Ugh. I hope this phase passes soon. Then again, if this is my biggest complaint in life, then I think I am doing OK.

Julianna is a late walker... but the pediatrician says she is doing great and not concerned. She finally took her first lone steps this month (video here). She still prefers to crawl as her way to get around- but she is walking more and more. She makes it across the room now - she's wobbly but it still counts! Good girl my Julianna!

As I wrap this up, I am thinking about tonight before Julianna went to bed. She had a fun bubble bath and was so cute and perfect. She played with her bath toys and giggled. I look at her precious face and I think how much love I have for this girl. I hear about horrible stories of moms who put their kids in harms way, neglect them or worse things. I can not imagine ever doing that to my child. Brian and I will always make sure Julianna has a happy, joyful & healthy household to grow up in. Being Julianna's mommy is a privilege and an honor. I wish all moms in the world looked at it the same way.

This picture is from the beach this summer


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's Wednesday again

And here we are again ... it's the 'all too easy' wordless Wednesday.
I promise - I have a blog coming with Julianna's 16 month update tomorrow!

For now, I will leave you with this. 

The Flying Sea Lion at the Bronx Zoo.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless{ish} Wednesday
Help me choose!

I have been going through some of my older photos from last year to see what I can print & frame. I found this one of the white geese from last fall that I took at a festival. I did a color fix on it and also converted it to black & white.

Tell me which you think would look better framed? 

Original SOOC

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beach Vacation {Part 3} - Last one!

I had some leftover shots to add here from our August Beach vacation ... last ones, I promise!


Monday, September 12, 2011

I will never forget.

It's been 10 years.
I will never forget. Never.
I live in the NYC area and still, 10 years later, I have many raw emotions and feelings about that horrific day.
It still hurts.

I watched the entire ceremony Sunday morning.
My heart broke for the young children that read the name of their own parents who perished - and then said "I love you daddy". Those parents never got to see their children grow up. They were robbed. I made sure to enjoy the day with my family, and it reminded me how lucky we all truly are.

(This was a picture of the flag I took at the Yankee game last month)

 This is one of my favorite photos from 9/11. It symbolizes so much more than they could have ever known at the time!

God Bless.

Edit: 12pm est - Adding this link to a nice blog entry posted about 9/11 - check this out when you get a minute. It's worth the read.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Look! It's Bunny!

A funny thing happened last week. When we were staying in a hotel due to our power outage from the Hurricane, we went to IHOP for lunch. We usually bring a stuffed animal in with Julianna so she has something to play with while we're there. We brought her pink Bunny into IHOP on that day. Bunny hung out with Julianna and kept her company until our food arrived. So we ate a good lunch... paid our bill, and left. (IHOP has a great children's menu!)

Last Friday night,  we decided to go back to IHOP for dinner (we're real wild & crazy people as you can tell!). As we were waiting to be seated, Julianna was looking over my shoulder very eagerly and pointing at something over and over... and making the cute squeaking noise that she makes when she wants something. She was very determined to point & show us WHAT she saw.
So I turned around... Low & behold, there was BUNNY! Ah! It then occurred to me that Bunny must not have made it out of IHOP a few days earlier when we dined there for lunch. I guess Bunny was left behind, and some nice person brought him up to the front in case the child that lost it came looking for it. Well she sure did. She saw Bunny and pointed him right out sitting up on top of the cooler behind the register. I promptly asked the host for Bunny and said we must have left him there the other day. Julianna grabbed Bunny with all her might and snuggled with him for a long time. She was not going to leave Bunny behind this time. We ate a good dinner... paid our bill, and left... this time with the much loved little pink Bunny!

On a side note, being the germ-phobe mama that I am, it occurred to me that Bunny might have been inadvertently rubbed in raw meat, greasy nastiness, or even a sick child snotting him up. I hid Bunny when we got back in the car, and dropped him in the washing machine the minute we got home.
Bunny is fluffy, clean and back home resting comfortably since his rescue in IHOP.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Different kind of Wordless Wednesday {Sort of}

Julianna's First Steps last night - and yes we caught it on video! She is 15 1/2 months old. (About time!) {Ignore my "End of night" outfit with no makeup please LOL! }
Also for some reason, this is not playing correctly in the Firefox browser - It does play fine in IE.

Did anyone else's babies take their first steps late like Julianna?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Texture Tuesday

Today, I linked up over at Kim Klassen Cafe's "Texture Tuesday" for the first time. I have been using her textures for a few months now and decided to finally link up.

I used her "Crackerjack" texture for one of my Fall Pumpkin shots from last fall. I thought it was a good picture for this week considering it has been cold & rainy. It feels like summer is gone, and fall is suddenly knocking on the door. Bring on the pumpkin picking, hot apple cider, changing leaves, hayrides and cider donuts!

What do you look forward to the most with Fall approaching?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

So long Hurricane Irene... Hello Electricity!

Hurricane Irene rolled in late Saturday night ... and brought with it a whole bunch of rain, wind & destruction. I think we got about 10 inches of rain total. Winds were at around 40-50 mph (not as strong as they predicted luckily!). Northern NJ was right in the middle of it. We live in a higher elevation and don't typically get flooding here, although we do see some roads by us get flash flooding during a rainstorm sometimes. Our power went out around 4am on Sunday morning and we did not get power back until early Wednesday morning!

Luckily none of our monstrous trees came down with all the wind & rain... and we did not get even an inch of water in our basement! Then we started hearing about how many roads were closed due to down trees, down power lines and flooding. Every town. Many roads closed. Too many houses, roads and businesses flooded out. Areas that never flood were covered in water. Major highways flooded out and closed down. Sinkholes. Roads being washed away. Amazing. This kind of stuff isn't supposed to happen in NJ. We drove 1 mile on Sunday morning to our friend's house (they had power!) and we were diverted a few times due to down power lines and a down tree. It was a disaster zone.

Click here for a Facebook link to News12 for some incredible pictures of Hurricane Irene aftermath and flooding.

So, what did we do during the power outage you ask??
When we realized about 750,000 people in NJ had no power and there were hundreds of down power lines & trees, Brian called Residence Inn and reserved a room for us. No power meant no water. No way to heat up food. No way to keep food in the fridge. No way to bathe. No way to live with a baby. So off we went to the Residence about 10 minutes from our house with child & dog in tow. (They allow doggies!)

We ended up packing up the expensive food (meat, milk, etc) and brought it to the fridge in our hotel room (it was a studio with a full kitchen). Brian reserved the room through this Saturday since we did not know how long we would be without power- and JCP&L couldn't offer us any ETA due to the staggering number of outages. Heck we couldn't even get a live person on the phone.We just knew we were not getting power back for a while. Thank goodness for Smartphones let me tell you. That was the way we stayed in touch with the world. We were able to follow along with the local feeds to get updates on what was going on in our area.

We ended up moving back home Wednesday morning once power was restored. After 3 nights in the hotel, I was never so happy to come home. We made out OK in the end since we did not have damage to our house. So many people in our area had damage to their houses & property, and lost everything. Thank God we ended up relatively unscathed.

We did get to spend some quality family time together... and of course I was there to take the pictures! ( I would like to add this note; Julianna was addicted to her Binky while we were riding out the power outage in the hotel room. I think she was stressed out from the change in scenery! LOL)

 Brian putting Pepper's life jacket on so she she could be ready for the hurricane.

 Julianna figured out how to get in ...

...and out of the bath tub in the hotel room.  (Don't worry, she was fine!)

Daddy playing with Julianna on the bed!

She loved it! 

Daddy & Julianna jumping on the hotel bed - What fun!! 

Daddy walloping Julianna with big fluffy pillows - she was giggling up a storm! 

Hysterical laughing after playing pillow fight!

Daddy throwing Julianna into a pile of pillows! Woooooo! 

 You can clearly see who had the best time!


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