Monday, March 25, 2013

Big Girl Bed!

Bye Bye Toddler Daybed! Yes, this was long overdue!
Julianna is almost 3 and has been ready for her big girl bed for several months now, but we had to buy the headboard and the mattress, boxspring & bedding.... we procrastinated big time since we're buying stuff for the baby too now.

We got a cute sleigh headboard off of Craigslist (big time score!) - Brian sanded it and painted it white & we got her a Bob-o-pedic mattress (tempur-pedic but from Bob's furniture- so they call it their own name). Julianna and I went to Homegoods & picked out a cute twin bedspread (and sheets) that go with her room decor, and we also picked up a special stool so she can climb into bed easily. We ordered THESE bedrails so she doesn't fall out at night while sleeping, so far so good. Their a little awkward to make the bed with them up, but we just put the one side down and it slips between the mattress and the boxspring sort of easily.

The good thing about waiting so long is she was totally 100% ready for it - the minute Brian set it up, she jumped on her bed and loved it. The first few days, it was all we could do to get her out of it! She has been in it for a little over a week now and we noticed she is sleeping better (not waking up and tossing & turning) and sleeping in later. Homerun baby! But - Did I take a picture of the bed so you could see the headboard? Nope, that would have been too smart. Maybe next time - but you get the idea...

So long old friend- I know the baby boy will like you. 

Sitting in bed reading. 

She pulled a bunch of toys up there and started playing within 3 minutes of us getting the bedding on! 

"I love my big girl bed!"

Sleeping friends. 

Reading on her bed.

Random shot of Julianna's shelf with hooks. 
She has no closet, so we had to make due with this for her stuff that needs to be hung up. 

Happy as a clam. (Are clams really that happy??) 

She needs more toys on her bed. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Total Randomness lately

Here's what's been going on in the past 2 weeks that is totally random, but not enough to require a post on it's own! And yes, I really should be using that nifty storyboard I learned how to make from CROPPED STORIES, but did I? Nope. I will. Soon!  Check out my 31 week pregnancy post if you haven't already - It's the home stretch!

We went to Target and decided to eat hotdogs for lunch there. 
Thank you to the food Gods for not giving us food poisoning on that day! 

 Loving her new "Hello Kitty" gardening hat, even though it's freezing, icy, cold and arctic out still. 

 Julianna is suddenly learning her letters of the alphabet. She is able to identify most of them if you show them to her. She knows that C is for cat, Q is for Queen, etc. I can take zero credit for this - our daycare provider has been working with her to learn her letters and ABC's - with incredible results I might add (Yep, mother of the year, right here!) She has been identifying letters now wherever we go - it's pretty cool. 
Oh and she knows her street name, town and state she lives in. Cool stuff! 

 We went to one of our favorite Italian spots (called Mama's) with good friends of ours. This place has been a staple in this community for years. I can remember when it was a small little take-out pizza joint. No more- it's a gourmet italian restaurant with the best food ever (and still great pizza too!). The owner took Julianna behind the counter and she got to put a slice of pizza in the oven - She LOVED it! 

 Brian set up Julianna's big-girl bed this past weekend. She didn't even wait until the sheets were on it before she hopped up and started playing with her cars and getting comfortable! (Another post on 'the big girl bed' coming soon!) 

 Daddy reading to Julianna before bedtime one night- 
It's so awesome to be able to get into bed with her and snuggle & read books! 

Woke up to this nonsense about 2 weeks ago. What spring? This is total March-Lion. 

We had milkshakes in the car- Ooooh special treat! 

This is Julianna's new favorite book that we HAVE to read before bedtime every night!
If you have a toddler and are expecting a baby ... I recommend this book. It's fast to read, simple and explains about being a big sister without getting into too many details. 

I also registered for this Elearning course on Clickin Moms called "Photographing toddlers". It was a helpful guide and some tutorials as well. I really want to take a full on course from Clickin Moms - maybe this summer when I am off and have more time to dedicate to a daily course. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

28 weeks! Hello 3rd trimester!

{Fast forward 3 weeks!} OK so I attempted to start writing this when I was 28 weeks and then some other things came up (like my father passing away) and it kind of put stuff on hold. So as of this week, I am 31 weeks pregnant, that's well into my 3rd trimester. I have 8 weeks left- hooray! Yeah it's the home stretch! I am counting down the minutes.

How far along:
31 weeks. Here's your picture! (which I might add is one of the single most horrible shots I have ever taken of myself - but needed to do it fast and get er' done!)

Size of baby: 
He should be about 16 inches long - and 3.3 pounds - and about the size of a large cabbage (according to babycenter)

Weight gain: 
Total weight gain has been 6 or 7 lbs up until right now. The reason being is I lost 8-9 lbs in the first trimester due to how I felt like dog ass for about 8 weeks. So I gained that loss back slowly and now I am up a few more here & there.

Maternity clothes: 
Um yes - of course. And some of them are getting a little short in the front- Ugh! I remember this from last time, I always felt like my belly was hanging out on the bottom for the last few weeks- haha!

Bloating still. I really can't wait to eat normal again.
Feet aching during the day. Bottoms of heels throbbing at night so much that it wakes me up.
My hips still feel like they are going to separate from my body at night when I sleep. It must wake me up 10 times at least.
The carpal tunnel I had in my right hand seems to have gone away. I am drinking a ton of lemon-water, which the midwives told me can help the symptoms. Sure enough it did (or I like to think it was helpful).
I am now having some crazy hard pressure in my uterus (he's getting bigger!) any time I stand up. It doesn't hurt like cramping - but I need to get up slow - and my husband looks at me like "Oh my god, what can I do for you??" He feels so bad and asked me "When will this start to get better?" and I was laughing saying, "In about 8 weeks!" hahahahahaa.
Heartburn - Heck yeah - in full force. Praise Zantac - I am taking it daily and was given the OK to do so. Tums do not do anything for me other than leave a nasty metallic taste in my mouth. Blegh.

Ummm... Not much. We do get out on the weekends and walk around when we can. That's about the extent of it since it's been cold, icy, rainy & crappy out lately. Yeah, I am a lazy thing. By the time I get to night time, I am dead tired and I move like a 100 year old lady!

No major aversions right now other than super-deep-fried greasy food. I couldn't eat a big greasy burger or steak now - no way. Mexican doesn't thrill me either.
Red Grapes. Oh yeah - I Love em!
I am over the craving for Lucky Charms - too sugary and I think I may have OD'd on them - haha! However, I am in love with Ice cream - mostly Ben & Jerrys or Hagaan Daaz (Mmmmm!!) - I must have my daily fix of Ice Cream! :)

Kicking like a crazy boy! I see legs & butt sticking out now - haha! Brian likes to feel him move around. He is amazed that I am not up all night feeling this kid move! I guess I'm used to it. He moves around more after I eat ice cream and after something salty (like the pastrami sandwich I had the other day lol - you would have thought he was trying to get out!!)

Some nights I sleep great, and other nights I get up to pee, and just can not get back to sleep. For a few nights last week, I was up listening to my daughter coughing all night. Ugh. Other nights, I sit up worrying about stupid stuff that I probably shouldn't be worrying about at 2am!

Gender: Still a boy. Can't decide on a name yet- this has been harder to choose this time around. Girls names were easier for us. Boys names- not so much. We have 8 weeks- we'll choose something by the time he's born.

Looking forward to:
Not being pregnant any more. Having him here and seeing Julianna interact with her baby brother. She's very excited to meet him and always talks about him. We went to the doctor a couple weeks ago, and she thought we were going to bring her baby brother home that night - haha! (Um nope, that needs to wait!)

My hormones have calmed down and I am not keeping myself up at night worrying about everything anymore. I am finally not hating life so much and happy about the pregnancy (if you recall, I mentioned I was miserable for soooo long- not because we don't want another child, but just because I was hating being pregnant and not all happy joy joy about it - but that is MY personality + hormones totally!)

What's different this time: 
Lately - the weird throbbing heel pain I get every night while I sleep. Never had THAT before!

None that I can think of other than I am too old for this - haha.

Best moment this week: 
Realizing that the best is yet to come. Julianna loves feeling mama's belly and she kind of gets (maybe) that the baby is in mommy's belly kicking. She keeps wanting to buy something for the baby any time we go into the store!

Something that bothers me:
There is some kind of thinking that your 1st child has to be potty trained before the 2nd baby comes along. I could care less. It will happen when she's ready and not a minute sooner.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Greatest Show on Earth

A couple weekends ago, we went to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Prudential Center in Newark. This was a Christmas present to us from Brian's father and step-mom. Brian and I talked up the circus to Julianna for a good month before we went and she was so excited to talk about the Elephants and the tigers! She was eager to go, even though I don't think she truly understood what it was we were going to see. Have you been to the circus recently/ I think I went as a kid but don't recall when. We went to Cirque-de-soleil 2 times before Julianna was born - but it was nothing like this!

Once we were there, as much as I thought she would love the animals, she really only liked the dancing dogs. To my surprise, she hardly paid attention to the elephants or the tigers. She did however love the acrobats, the trampoline performers, the high wire act and the human canon. Sometimes you just don't know what your child will like, even though you totally think you know!

Julianna was a good girl and stayed in her seat the entire time or stood up in front of it - there was no one in front of us, so it was perfect. We had good seats too, we were in row 8 right in front of everything going on.

I decided to take my camera, even though I wasn't sure what kind of shots I would get due to the dark lighting there. I think, considering the light, smoke and changing colors - I did ok. At least you can tell what's going on even if it's kind of grainy. And uh, it seems as though I sized some of these wrong. That's what I get for doing this with one eye open before bed.

Prudential Center - Newark

Elephants before the show. 

Expensive snacks & souvenirs. $8 popcorn, $7 snow-cone and $25 wirley light-up thing.
Gotta love free enterprise. 

Light-up thing that we wisely purchased from the street vendor before we came in for only $10. 

I loved the Elephants! 

Lot's of stuff going on at once! Hard to keep up with it all - Julianna's head & eyes were going side to side. 

I loved the dancing horsies too! 

Amazing strength on these acrobats! 

Tigers. Oh my. 
(I couldn't help but think of the end of "Water for Elephants" - and was happy to see the cage up! haha!) 

Julianna loved these guys! 

Human canon. And you thought your job was hard? 

Dancing doggy! 

Love these guys. How do they get them to do this? I'll never know. 

Dancing doggies in a row. 

Elephant finale! 

I love the finale with all the lights and confetti - So cool! Julianna loved it too! 

I got down on my knees to get a picture of us, and she sat down with her beloved Light-up thingy. Oh well. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Are you one of these? (And don't even know it?!)

I discovered I was one of "them" and didn't even know it!
Yes, I used to be able to comment on blogs and have blog owners reply back to me in email .... and then I was mysteriously switched over to a "NoReply-commenter" without my knowledge.

If someone tries to reply to your comment, they would see this unusable email address:
(Same goes for if you try to reply a "no-reply" commenter on your own blog)

For the past month or so, I couldn't figure out why no one was replying back to me via email on my comments. I felt so lonely. I also noticed some of my normal commenters to whom I was previously able to reply to on their comments, were now switched to the dreaded "NoReply-commenter" email address. What in the world??

It was then that I realized something else must be going on. After a little research, I figured out that when I switched over to GOOGLE PLUS a couple months back, it changed my email settings. You know what I'm talking about right? That thing that comes up 50 times asking you if you want to upgrade to Google plus? Well I did it, and never really fully understood what Google Plus is used for and truthfully, I could do without another social media site. Facebook, Instagram & Twitter is more than enough for me. (I am so over twitter too!)

Anyway - I decided to nix Google Plus (since who knows what it's for anyway?! I just want to blog, that's all). I went into going into my blog settings and chose "Revert back to old blogger". So long Google Plus! Once I did that, I had to re-add my email in settings (show email), and now it appears I am not longer banished to the lonely world of "NoReply-commenter"

If for some reason, you are enjoying all that Google Plus has to offer, then I saw another way you can get back your reply-commenting status. You can go back to old blogger like I did... then add & show your email in settings... then upgrade back to Google Plus. That is supposed to work too for some reason.

Everyone should check this if you like getting replies on your comments! I for one enjoy replying back to my followers via email - it's more personal that way (at least I think so!). And Hey, I love getting replies back on my comments too, let's face it!

HERE is a link to a blog that has screen shots explaining how to revert back to blogger from Google Plus. I, of course, totally forgot to take screen shots while I was doing it.

Good luck and happy commenting!

One other 'unrelated' thing
Spring is coming. We got a taste of spring this past weekend finally. It melted all the snow from Friday's snowfall luckily. I couldn't help but take a couple photos of the lake (Lake Hopatcong) on Sunday. It looks so peaceful now, but in a couple of months, it will be jam-packed with tons of boats, jet skiers, swimmers and kayakers! I for one, can't wait! These shots are not part of the main lake; this is looking out into Hurd Cove which leads into Woodport bay.

Monday, March 11, 2013

How come my toddler girl ..... ?

I started writing this post before I found out my dad had passed away... and just in case you missed my post about our reltationship, click HERE to read it. The kind of unusual thing is, I found out right after my father died that 2 friends I went to high school with lost their fathers within a few days of mine. One of them passed away from esophageal cancer too. I guess I'm at the age where we all start to lose our parents. I'm so sad that my daughter and (future) son will never know their grandfather. I do however, plan on writing down some childhood memories soon, so I can tell them all about him. 

On to a much lighter subject... 

Toddlers are a peculiar species. Anyone who has one or who has raised one can surely attest to this statement. Nothing anyone tells you can prepare you for the onset of "Toddler weirdness" that comes with turning 2. When Julianna was One year old, I remember thinking, "Wow, this is easy, she is going to be such an easy toddler" {insert hysterical rolling on the floor laughter here}

How come my toddler girl .....
Always wants Daddy lately? Daddy for bath time, daddy for snuggle time, daddy for reading her bed time book, Daddy Daddy Daddy.

How come my toddler girl ....
Screams everything is "MINE MINE MINE" and won't share?

How come my toddler girl ....
Tells me to go away? "Mama get out of my room". See last comment about Daddy daddy daddy.

How come my toddler girl ....
Needs to go to bed at night with her certain colored matchbox cars and all of her favorite stuffed animals around her? And 4 of her favorite blankets on top of her now? (First is the brown blanket, then the hello kitty blanket, then the princess blanket, and finally the lion blanket). She loves to snuggle under tons of blankets for bedtime, but they must be in a CERTAIN order.

How come my toddler girl ....
Will eat her pizza one night, and treat it like it's poison another night refusing to touch it?

How come my toddler girl ....
Likes LOVES Octonauts now out of the blue? - she is obsessed with that cartoon (on Disney channel)

How come my toddler girl ....
Only wants {Daddy} to read The Hungry Caterpillar book and the Tractors book before bed? (and no other books will do)

How come my toddler girl ....
Thinks Mommy & Daddy's bedroom is "Pepper's room" and our bed is "Pepper's bed"? Oh wait, could it be Pepper spends her waking hours (and sleeping hours) in there? Smart kid, it surely must be the dog's room.

How come my toddler girl ....
Loves chicken nuggets soooo much? She could eat them for all 3 meals & snacks if we let her.

How come my toddler girl ....
Has turned into such a picky eater? We have always tried new foods with her successfully until she turned 2. Then she decided she doesn't like beef, chicken (except in the nugget form), anything gooey like mac & cheese or anything with melted cheese, all pasta (except spaghetti sometimes). I assume sometime around 18 she will start eating normal foods. She has however started to like salad, cucumbers, baby carrots lately. I guess I will take a small victory as I get it. We are lucky that she loves ALL fruit too. She can eat any kind of fruit, especially berries or grapes until she falls over.

How come my toddler girl ....
Thinks the dog likes her ears, collar, legs & tail pulled? Julianna thinks it's hysterical. Thank God Pepper is an angel. We tell her over and over again not to do it and she is hurting the dog. In one ear.... out the other. I keep telling Pepper it will get better soon. But then the boy will be here and it starts all over again.... Poor Pepper.

How come my toddler girl ....
Refuses to drink milk out of a normal cup, even though she used to drink it out of a bottle. She REFUSES to drink milk from any cup and have tried over & over with different tricks & ideas. "Special cup", big cup, small cup, cups with straws, cups with bendy straws, chocolate milk, milk boxes, and flat out bribery. No go. Ahhhh!

How come my toddler girl ....
Now MUST HAVE her special Hello Kitty blanket for laying on when we change her? Ha!

How come my toddler girl ....
Points out to Daddy that his Whiskers grew back on his face every day? (hehe! so cute!)

How come my toddler girl ....
Will try new food if SOMEONE other than Mommy or Daddy introduce it to her? With us, she treats it like it's toxic food. Ugh toddlers.

How come my toddler girl ....
Knows how to cry on queue and do the fake tears, then looks at you with the big eyes to try and get anything she wants. I will admit, it works sometimes because I'm a sucker. (Daddy is too but he won't admit it freely)

How come my toddler girl ....
Can have such a bad day and just when I am ready to lose my mind with her moodiness, she wins me over with her big eyed smile and ..... then all is forgotten?! I love this kid!

How come my toddler girl ....
Says the funniest things that make us crack up?! Like when she said she is scared of deer because they have big eyes and long necks? (Huh??)

How come my toddler girl ....
Always wants a 'couple' of grapes when we get home from daycare and she asks me if I bought grapes at the store today? (Saying she loves grapes is an understatement!)

2 year old Toddlers are bizarre creatures. I can't wait to see what 3 years old brings in May.

When we got home today, she said "Take a picture of me with Giraffe".... So I did. (See giraffe squished below)
She loves the camera as you can see by her cheesy smile! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

R.I.P. Dad

I've been trying to write this for a few days now, but not really sure what to write. I've been thinking of things in my head to say while laying awake at night, but not sure how to write it down, or what order to say it in. So, here it goes, I want to put it in writing how I feel about my father's death. I don't talk about my father very often and I felt that I needed to do this to start the healing process. Maybe some of you can relate, maybe some of you can't.

I don't think you're ever ready for a parent to pass away - no matter what the relationship.
I don't think there is any difference if it happens suddenly or if it's long & drawn out.

My dad died last Tuesday, February 26th, 2013. He was 72 years old. He battled esophageal cancer for 26 months, and in the end, it spread to his liver and took his life. Cancer is ugly and gruesome.

He went through countless surgeries, chemo & radiation treatments, feeding tubes, parts of his stomach & throat removed, many hospital & doctor visits, and endless suffering. The end came fast once he went into hospice, and I was not able to see him in time (he lives 4 hours from me). I found out last Monday he was in hospice care at home (on heavy doses of morphine), and I quickly made plans to drive up to see him on Wednesday morning.

I never got to see him. He was gone by Tuesday night. I wish I knew sooner - I wish I could have done something. I wish I wish I wish. Wouldn't it be great to be able to turn back the clock somehow? I found out after the fact that he was down to 130 pounds and physically in pretty bad shape, so I have to think that it was God's plan to not let me see my big strong Dad in such poor shape. My dad was 6'2 and when he was healthy I think he weighed about 240 lbs.

Now let me give you the back story.

My dad was a great father to me. I have such incredible vivid childhood memories about my father. He was there for every one of my basketball games (heckling the refs, and making the other parents laugh). He brought me and my friends to Great Adventure, baseball & basketball games. He played pick-up basketball games with my friends from the neighborhood. He built me a fishing pole from bamboo, for summer camp one year! He was the 'cool' dad that would pick me up at school with the cool music blasting from his car stereo. I thought ALL dads should be like him. To this day, I do so many things in my life according to how my dad taught me and how he did things. I drove a stick shift car for years because it was what he did. Funny enough, I dated several men in adulthood that were salesmen and my husband is in sales too. My father was in sales all his life. Maybe it's the personality?

My parents separated after I turned 18 (and divorced shortly after that).

I never really understood why he chose to move on with his life and not look back. I don't know how much of it was really my business to know.  I saw him when I was 21 and he had just gotten married. After that, I guess it was a combination of his own 'issues' and my unwillingness to accept his new life, but we slowly lost touch and both went on with our lives.... and months turned into years. I used to have regret, hate, sadness, confusion over our lack of talking for years. In the end, it was no one's fault. Sometimes, things just go unexplained for so long, that you lose sight of the real reason it all started in the first place.

Before I knew it, it had been more than 10 years since I had heard from him. Every so often, I would get a random letter from him letting me know how his life was going, but nothing too personal. I missed him terribly and just knew he had to miss me too. I tried for a very long time to get in touch with him by sending letters, cards, pictures, etc. I wished he could have been there for my wedding day in May of 2007 but it was not meant to be. I also sent him a Christmas card with my address, phone # and email address every year.

Then in early 2010, I finally heard from him, out of the blue, when I was pregnant with Julianna. We reconnected instantly like no time had gone by. I just wanted to reconnect with my father at that point in time, and not have any ill will regarding the past. It was forgotten. I had moved on before that anyway. At 38, I was at a good point in my life and a good time to have this happen. When I was 8 months pregnant with Julianna, Brian and I drove up to New Hampshire to visit him and his wife, Lynn. This would be the first time I saw him since I was 21 (17 years later!). He looked a older but he was still my dad. We visited for the day and it was like old times. I felt like no time had gone by and he hit it off right away with Brian too. It was a great day to say the least.

We kept in touch by phone, and then when Julianna was 8 weeks old in July of 2010, we drove up and spent the weekend with my dad and his wife. Again, it was like old times. We watched the Yankees game, talked about life, drove to Brattleboro (VT) and went to some antique shops, walked around, and ate ice cream. He told me stories about my childhood (when I was a baby) that I had never heard before.

But the single most important thing about that weekend was, he got to meet & hold my daughter, his grand daughter, for the first (and what would be his last time). That is something I am 100% grateful for and will never forget as long as I live. We walked around on his property and he proudly showed me each & every birdhouse, fence and garden box he built and talked about all the hard work they put into their beautiful garden.

He told us about the last few years since he and his wife (Lynn) retired and moved up to New Hampshire, and how they came to live where they lived. It was a great weekend. One of the other BIG things I took away from that weekend was, seeing how happy my father was. He was content and loving his life. That made me have some peace with everything that had transpired before then. I never truly understood why he distanced himself, and I don't think I ever will, but I did come to realize that it was nothing I did and this was just the "way" he was. He and his wife were satisfied living their life their way and doing their own thing. That is how I have accepted it.

After that weekend, we spoke some more. In April of 2011, I called a few times to try and make plans to visit again but I never heard back. A few months later, I heard from my aunt (his sister) that my father had fallen ill with esophageal cancer and was in the middle of treatment now and just had surgery. I was shocked but not surprised since he had smoked his entire life. He was expected to recover but he was not in touch with anyone during the time he was sick (this was just the way he was). I called and left a few messages and mailed him pictures of Julianna to cheer him up but never really heard back. (They did not own a computer - much harder to keep in touch that way!)

A few months later, I just knew something was wrong. I had a bad feeling.

Then this past December (2012), I received a letter from my father talking about what he had been going through with his disease over the past 2 years. He said he found out he had cancer shortly after we visited that weekend in July 2010. In his letter, he said he wasn't dying but I just knew in my gut he was. It wasn't a pretty picture. He was very sick and had been through hell. In his letter, he also wrote something that was as close to an apology as I would get from him for not being around for so many years. I know he was hurting and it was not the time (nor is it now) to point any fingers. Besides, what could I really do about it? It's water under the bridge.

After that, I kept putting off calling him. I don't know why, but I guess it was because I knew the inevitable was coming. Maybe I was somewhat like him in the sense that if I ignored it, it would go away. Maybe he wouldn't be sick later on .... just maybe.

Last Monday, I was actually talking to a friend of mine about my father, and about the letter he sent me saying how sick he was. Then, I thought about him all day long for some unknown reason. I don't know what made me think about him so much, but I did. It was like I knew what was coming.

That evening, I got an email from my aunt to call her ASAP about my father. I knew as soon as I saw the title to the email "Your Dad" - that he was dying. I found out he was in hospice and did not have long to live. He was gone by the next day, Tuesday. (Later, I thought back and wondered if he was trying to reach out to me that day. I have heard stories of people deathly sick in hospice who have out of body experiences... ya never know!)

I know some of you are reading this thinking "How could I be at peace and have no bad feelings after all those years of not talking?".
Here's why.
Life is too short to hold resentment and grudges. I only have one father and I feel my time is better spent thinking of the good times. There is no room for hate here. I miss him terribly. Of course I wish things could have been different, but they weren't. I am so sad for everything he went through and all the suffering he had to endure. It makes my heart ache when I think of how much pain he must have been in for so long. I wish I would have known sooner.

I spoke to his wife the day after he passed away, and she filled me in on details from his last weeks/months. She is a good wife and took very good care of him. She made his sick time less painful. In healthy times, she filled his life with happiness. You can't ask for anything better than that for your parent. He passed away after she told him it's OK to go. It's OK to not suffer any longer. And then he did. No more pain & suffering. At peace finally. I hope he knows I wanted to be there.

His family (sisters) never made it up there in time either. It happened too fast.

Since then, I take a lot of deep breathes, and I thank God for my life and think about all the good times with my dad from when I was a kid. I have been thinking about our weekend visit in 2010. All of it holds good memories for me. Good enough for a lifetime.

I miss my dad.

Here is what I think of when I close my eyes.
I think about all of the NY Yankees games we went to when I was a kid; getting there the minute the gates opened; rushing in and going down behind the batting cages to watch batting practice, in the days when they still let everyone down there. (For those of you that do not know, I am a huge Yankee fan). He always managed to get us seats right behind the dugouts or right behind home plate. When I went to Yankee stadium for the first time on my own without him, I was 29 or 30. I had tears in my eyes b/c it reminded me of those good times, like seeing a ghost. Baseball was such a HUGE part of my childhood with him. Baseball is the 'trigger' memory that makes me smile and think of him being young and the big strong man like I recall him being. That is how I want to remember him. Now, he will get to watch each & every baseball game from the best seat in the house. And when the game is not on, he will be tending to his beautiful garden. I pray he will also be watching out for my beautiful baby girl and my baby boy who will be here in May.

I'll see you again one day Dad.

For everyone else...
Hug your kids. Love your family. Live your life how you need to. Life is precious. Go out on a limb sometimes. There is no room for hatred & resentment ever. Don't smoke for your own health or your family's sake.

This was my father holding me - 1971. 

This was from July, 2010 - Me, my dad and Julianna. 

Dad holding Julianna. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Stuck in the house- When will Winter be over?

I took some photos the other day of Julianna in the house for my last post - but I wanted to put the rest here as I think some of these are particularly cute! I don't get inspired to take photos of anything in the Winter time in the house. The motivation is just not there right now. But last Sunday, I did have the desire to get my camera out and feel the photo joy. 

Julianna playing with her beloved legos. 

Legos again! She likes to build houses & garages for her cars. 

Cheese !! 

Snuggling in bed with Baby Giraffe - Julianna likes to climb into our bed & snuggle under the blankets (or as she calls it "Pepper's bed" since Pepper sleeps in our bed more than we do!) 

Spring is right around the corner.... I can feel it! 


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