Tag Archives: Family

When You Look Back

31 Dec

Will you remember how you played hide-n-seek all over the house? Tucking yourself under blankets, squeezing in the pantry and linen closets, taking in the comforting detergent scent of the towels?

Will you remember how you counted to twenty while jumping on the blow-up mattresses that left only a small maze of floor space for walking?

How you counted so fast that your two cousins on the other team barely made it out of the room to hide?

Will you remember how you giggled at the dinner table over silly talk and words that made zero sense to adult ears but perfect punchlines for a child’s?

How you all loved black olives?

How you played “library” with the books in your moms’ childhood room? How when the piles of books you were “checking out” would get too tall it would slide over and some would drop off the shelf and bounce loudly down the stairs, hitting the door to the room? (The first few thuds had the adults worried and we’d investigate. After that, we knew it was an avid reader’s books.)

Cousin Library

Cousin Library

Will you remember how you laughed like you never did with others as you tried to destroy a candy-stuffed pinata?

How you played board games and negotiated the rules so all the ages at the game could play?

Will you remember how you spent thirty minutes chatting about all the world’s problems (“Nia says bedbugs are real.”) in Nate’s room when you were supposed to be sleeping?

And then, when morning came way too early, the only boy cousin in the house crazily “makes a sandwich” by throwing the twin air mattress on a full size air mattress of giggling and screaming girls. Sometimes that craziness turns to tears and scolding from the parents – but will you remember that?

Cousins. Our first friends. I can’t wait to remember the kids’ memories with them.


Getting “ready” for bed,

Sweet-n-Sour Siblings

14 Aug

I will always be amazed at the way siblings interact with each other. I’m a sibling. I have many friends/relatives who have siblings. I even birthed a pair.

How can we go from hot to cold in a matter of seconds? Fighting with each other one minute and then holding each other tight the next. I know some siblings don’t work that way – some don’t speak to each other at all – so I guess I should be thankful that, so far, Nia and Nate seem to have the sweet and sour part perfected.

Some of the sour includes:

  • Instant tattling – no matter what the offense. Look at each other mean? Tattle. Didn’t brush teeth long enough? Tattle. Elbows on the table while we are sitting right next to the offender? Tattle.
  • Intensely competitive – even if it’s just who gets to the sink first to wash hands. One of them has to beat the other. When that other loses, he/she immediately accuses the winner of not being fair or cheating. The Wii really gets them firing fighting words at each other.
  • Speaking of fighting, remember Nate’s punch that knocked out Nia’s tooth? There was also a time when Nate ripped a handful of hair out of Nia’s head. And once when Nia shoved Nate’s noggin into the wall. I think that’s it for now. I’m sure there will be more though.
  • Remote control hogs – they hardly ever agree on what to watch.
  • They live to annoy each other. Whether it’s Nia touching Nate’s head, putting her foot on him or Nate standing in the way of the tv, they don’t stop the annoying behavior until an adult steps in and even then it lingers.

I like to believe all of this sweet outweighs the sour:

  • They usually “take one for the team” – Nia swiped some cauliflower off of Nate’s plate to help him eat it because she knows he’s not a big fan. She even took food right out of her mouth for him (yes, gross) – a half-eaten lollipop. He didn’t hesitate to crunch into it.
  • Nate can be chivalrous at times – letting Nia use his special blankey if she’s cold and telling her she looks pretty when she’s dressed fancy.
  • Nia can be Nate’s biggest cheerleader (when they aren’t competing against each other) and Nate loved to watch his big sister shine on stage at her dance recital. I’ve even heard them exchange a “good job” from time to time.
  • They can be great sharers when they want to be – Nia offers Nate her toys and Nate will offer his Memory game match as a trade if he knows it’s a pair Nia would like. (She always wants to trade for the “girl” cards.)
  • They giggle and crack each other up when no one else knows why they’re laughing – speaking a special language only they understand.
  • They take care of each other – holding hands when crossing the street or parking lot and Nia helping Nate to tie his shoes.
  • I’m pretty sure I’ve witnessed more hugs then hits. (Makes my heart so happy!)

I hope this mix of the sweet and sour doesn’t lean too much any one way. Balance is important and besides, the challenges keeps things interesting and teaches them to deal with different situations/personalities.

Then again, more of the sweet would be nice.


Ninja Warrior In-Training

18 Jul

Apparently, I missed the parenting memo that said it’s ok to scale the furniture if your son is “being a Ninja Warrior.” (It’s an obstacle course tv show that Nate watches with Andrew.)

I caught Nate climbing over the back of the couch tonight and quickly corrected him. He replied, “But I’m being a Ninja Warrior, mommy.” His daddy thought his feat and response to me should be praised. Andrew gave a big laugh and told Nate, “I love you buddy. You know that? I love you.”

Yes. It was beyond precious. It stole my heart. I’m just afraid of what’s in store for Nate’s safety, the furniture and how far the training will go.

Scaling the house is off-limits.

Bye-bye Bean

10 Jul

Nia is now a plane – on her way to be spoiled until she may break. In fact, I’m a little worried we may never undo the amount of spoiling she’s going to be blanketed in when she returns from West Virginia. I love it.

She is so excited to spend the next 11-12 days with her grandparents and family and friends. We will miss her beyond words and will spend the time without her preparing to spoil her with hugs and kisses when she returns.




I Know a Mom

9 May

I know a mom who loves her children more than herself. She kisses their boo-boos and rocks them (and sometimes herself) to sleep. She usually ends up on the other end of projectile yuck but she does what is necessary, cleaning up the mess while letting her child know it’s going to be ok. She takes the time to play games with them, color with them and read them books. She tells them how to spell “love” and answers their questions that she isn’t even sure she knows the answers to.

I know a mom who does it alone. She plays the part of mommy and daddy, working to pay the bills while loving and caring to make sure her child knows he is supported and cherished. She goes without to give her child what he needs and wishes for – new shoes, sports dues, the latest gadget his friends have. She wears his sports picture button proudly on her purse.

I know a mom who has a child who suffers and struggles with an illness or special need. Her child is not able to do the same kinds of things other children do. She constantly worries about her. She stays up at night to comfort her angel through a difficult time and then manages to get through the day doing everything she needs to do for her family. She often feels helpless that she can’t make it all better but she is strong, patient and resolved to do all she can.

I know a mom who works all day away from home. When she is home she cares for her family while trying to care for herself – planning out their clothes, their meals, their activities. Making sure they have everything they need to be ok during the day while they are apart. She wishes she could be home a little sooner each day but she makes the most of their time together.

I know a mom who takes “staying-at-home” to a whole new level. She balances it all (and sometimes more) and takes pride in all she does for her family. She loves every second she gets to spend with her children and never tires of the routine of things. To her, it’s not a job – she wouldn’t have it any other way.

I know a mom who isn’t sure what she’s doing half the time and isn’t afraid to admit it. She loves her children with all her heart and tries to be the best mom she can be. She is a good mom. A great mom. An all-of-the-above mom.

Thank you moms. You are remarkable, beautiful, respected, inspiring and loved. Happy Mother’s Day.

Lip Glossaholic

2 Mar

It all started a few years ago. A small dab and that was it. She was hooked.

There ought to be a warning label on those tiny tubes of tasty temptation. “Warning: Once you smooth this on your lips, your mouth will never be the same. (Smaller print: Especially dangerous when given to young girls. Has been known to turn some girls into clown faces, pouters and pickpockets.)

I want some lip glohosssss!

Please mommy. Please can I have some lip glass?



This is not our first experience with the power of the flavored lip gloss. I’m more than happy to share my stash with her – if I have any left to offer.

Hereditary Hulk Hatred?

24 Feb

I don’t remember a ton about being little. I’m told stories about how I would scream like a madwoman when my mom brushed my waist-long hair. I loved playing Barbies and would get lost for hours in my Barbie world. I collected unicorns and had a beloved Dino Flintstone stuffed animal that my mom would use to wake me up every morning. I hated the Incredible Hulk.

Now, maybe hate is the wrong word. I more, lived in fear of Hulk. My mom says if it came on television, she would frantically change the channel or yell from the other room for the person closest to the television to, “change it, change it!” I remember once at my Grandma Rafiani’s house, I hid under the couch cushions as I waited for someone to rescue me from the growling, green fury with glowing eyes.

It seems my dislike for the green one has been passed down to our little man. I never voiced my fear of Hulk around Nate. His feelings were not influenced by mine and are unique from mine in that he can watch the cartoon and loves to play with his tiny Hulk toy – during the day that is.

At night, this is what happens to the glow-in-the-dark, plastic superhero:

Andrew tried for three nights to catch Nate on the hidden camera. He thinks it’s so funny how Nate doesn’t just place Hulk outside his door, he walks Hulk to the back of the couch and perches him on top, facing the stairs. Catching Nate on camera involved some pretty sneaky work on our part. We had to get Nate to bed without him noticing Hulk in his room. If he noticed, he would say, “Mommy, Hulk.” Andrew left Nate’s bedroom light on for as long as he could as he tucked Nate in, said prayers, gave kisses … Then, Andrew hurried me downstairs as he pressed record. When he finally succeeded in capturing Nate banishing Hulk on camera, Andrew came dancing downstairs, ecstatic about what he was about to see.

I love how Nate is so determined to make Hulk stand on the couch. He’s concentrating so hard – biting his tongue, brow furrowed. Kind of like his daddy was as he carried out his hidden camera plan. 

I guess Nate really takes after both of us. (After all, Andrew actually liked watching Hulk.)

Big Plans

18 Feb

I’ve reached a point where I’m finding myself comparing what I’ve accomplished in my life to what others have accomplished. It’s not a jealousy or an “I wish I did that” kind of thing. It’s more a – there’s so much I still want to do – thing. I’m also not saying I’m not proud or happy with all that I have attempted, failed at, conquered, laughed at, attempted again – I just have a small list of wants and it goes a little something like this:

  • I want to learn Italian. Andrew does too. I have one rule after we learn it though – we are never – never – allowed to argue in Italian. Man, I remember my Grandma and Grandpa’s Italian-only arguments. I never knew what they were saying but their complicated-sounding words were always laced with such fire – such anger. It scared me beyond belief. I want this language to only be used to communicate sweet nothings or compliments on a meal or excitement over sports or other such happiness.
  • Once we’re comfortable with our Italian and the kiddos are older, a trip to Italy will happen. We will visit all the areas our grandparents came from and all the romantic places I’ve read about in books or caught glimpses of in movies.
  • There will be a book. I can’t promise it will be an awesome book – or even a good book – but it will be written by me. Even if I have to pay to have it published, one of the many ideas I’ve started will eventually become something I can hold in my hands and say, “I wrote this book. Cool.”
  • We will take the kids to Disney World where they will lose their minds in Princess, Spiderman, Peter Pan and other animated character craziness.
  • I will sing Karaoke. In front of people. At least once.
  • I will learn how to dance a sexy dance like Salsa or Tango and I will not feel like a total doof and laugh the entire time. I will feel incredibly sexy, womanly and confident.
  • Andrew and I will live to our 50th wedding anniversary – plus some. I know, I know. I really can’t control this one. It could happen though … it could.

I know I have more wants but I think this is a good place to start. Will I be happy if none of these ever happen? Sure. (Well, except for the last one that is.) After all, these are all wants – not needs. A girl can dream, right?


9 Feb

Things got you down? Think your life is so hard? Wondering when you’ll get the next break? If things would only turn around soon … Why can’t I just seem to have something go right? … I don’t think I can take much more of this …

Well, a good dose of it’s no so bad – it can always be worse – should have you feeling better in no time.

Works for me!

Every time I start worrying about something I can’t control, stressing about something one of the kids did, dealing with grown-up stuff like work, bills, car troubles – I stop and tell myself – I have Andrew, Nia and Nate and they are healthy and here with me.

That’s an instant pick-me-up for sure.

New Year’s Eve Pizza Party

1 Jan

The kids I thought it would be fun (and yummy) to celebrate New Year’s with a new tradition – a pizza party. Here is a little video of the fun!


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