Archive for November, 2009


Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Yes, crickets again on the blog.   I can’t even begin to explain how busy we are.  Not to complain but things are pretty hectic.  Good hectic though.  A few months ago Walter and I gave in to all the encouragement to develop our photo hobby.  Well, it’s been mad!  We are booked, and some days double booked, for every day until we leave for Canada at the end of the year.  Do you know how many photos that is to edit?  Plus Walter has a real job, plus I have two weddings, oh yeah – and then there’s the kids.  It’s a little nuts.  So please forgive me.  January should be much less busy!

Last week we celebrated Thanksgiving.  It is, hands down, my favorite holiday.  I love everything about it!  When I was a kid we would all watch the Macy’s Parade while mom and dad cooked and we helped out when we were willing as we could.  The smells, the smiles, the comedy in the kitchen… it was awesome!  To this day I refuse to miss the parade – I even DVR’d it once!  And this year was no different.  We had the Friedman’s over for breakfast and enjoyed the parade together.  We went to my parents and got there in plenty of time for the “comedy in the kitchen”.  Dinner was amazing, as usual, and it was great to enjoy each other’s company.  The kids didn’t make it home awake which, unfortunately, means we didn’t get to see Walter’s family.  So in the spirit of thanksgiving, tell me – what are you thankful for?

I am thankful for family…


_DSC7219   _DSC7201


I am thankful for my beautiful little girl and the abilities and materials we have to ensure she is care free for as long as possible…

_DSC7169   _DSC7170

I am thankful for my gorgeous son who has the best sense of humor, the most mischievous grin, the nicest imaginary friend – Chico, and the ability to outrun any photo attempt on Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for my father’s health, which isn’t what it used to be, but is still enough to make him a great dad, grandfather, and amazing chef!  He has always cooked the majority of our Thanksgiving dinners and he never disappoints!



I am thankful for my mom.  My mom is… my mom and everything moms are to every little girl when they’re 5.  I can’t imagine what I would ever do without her, I don’t even want to consider it.  Now that I’m older and I can appreciate everything she is and everything she’s been through I could never live far from her and could never go long without seeing or talking to her.  I am so thankful, despite any bumps in the road, for my relationship with my mom.


I am thankful for the laughs from the “comedy in the kitchen”… really, we laugh WITH them…


I am thankful for old china that’s only dusted off for the holidays and for my mom’s amazing pie…


I am thankful for my dad’s stuffing, the one dish at Thanksgiving I couldn’t live without and the one dish I could eat every single day for the rest of my life!


I am thankful for the “spirits” of the holidays!

_DSC7248   _DSC7205

I am thankful for our family tradition that says on the first Thanksgiving you have teeth, you shall get the drumstick.  Kate was pretty thankful for that too!


And more than anything, I am thankful for my husband, who avoided most efforts to be on the other side of the camera on Thanksgiving.  He is the most appreciative, inspiring and encouraging person I have ever had in my life.  He gives everything of himself and has made me who I am simply by believing in me.

I am also thankful for people who read my blog… they make me feel like I’m not talking to myself :)

There she goes!

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

I feel like it’s been so long coming… Kate to be a walker.  Well, it’s here.  She is officially a walker!  As of tonight she wants nothing to do with crawling and she’s good too!  It’s amazing how quickly she went from cruising and holding on, to taking a step here or there, to walking!  People who haven’t seen her in a few days are shocked.  It’s really quite incredible!  I’m so surprised it took her until she was 14 months to figure it all out, especially since Noah was running by 10 months, but in her own time she’s slowly making her mark on things.  She is also an expert climber!  More so than Noah ever was and without any fear (can you see my grays?).  Last week she climbed onto the toilet, then on top of the tank and maneuvered over to the bathroom counter where she happily played in the sink (after figuring out how to turn on the water).  Oy!  It looks like we’ll have our hands full with this one too, but happily so.  Kate is also the loudest child on the planet!  I’m convinced she just likes to hear herself talk.

And because I might find my house egged for posting without a photo…


This photo actually brought up a conversation in our house… one I would like your opinion on, since ours differ – at what age is it no longer ok to take naked photos of your kid?  I’m not talking awkward fully naked photos, but something like this, where she doesn’t have on a shirt, because really, what shirt would match a giant tutu?  Walter says she’s too old, I say she’s still a baby.  Either way I know we’re close but I’d love to hear your thoughts!

We have a walker!!!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We appear to have a walker!  A drunken walker, but a walker none the less.  A few days ago she was taking a step or two and then falling but we didn’t care, were so excited!  So excited for her, in fact, that when she would stand on her own or take a few steps we’d give her a standing ovation and now she does for herself as well.  It’s so cute!

When she first started toddling I was determined to get it on film, to share with you and with her, maybe when she’s taking those nervous steps down the aisle at her wedding.  Ok, reaching.  I’m emotional, leave me alone.  So we went to the park and I got all kinds of comfy across the patch of grass with the camera and, well, it didn’t quite turn out how I’d hoped…


She loved the little bench I brought!

_DSC1006   _DSC1026

She got comfy and played on it.  She wrestled kicked off her shoes… she was having a great time…

_DSC1027   _DSC1081

Or so I thought.


And then it hit me… 


She doesn’t love the bench!  She hates the grass!


Thank God I was prepared…

Food!?  I’ll calm down for food! 

I’ll even stand for you – in the grass.

_DSC1177   _DSC1192

But I am not walking!


And if there is one type of person you can’t force or trick into doing what you want, it’s a toddler.  So instead of trying to get the perfect photo of the perfect step captured at just the right moment we sat in the park and enjoyed the brisk cool front (81 degrees) all by ourselves.  It was an overcast but gorgeous day.  We watched birds and ate pretzels.  I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon!


We tried to get a photo of us together, ok I tried. 

Have you ever taken a photo of yourself at arm’s length with a digital SLR?  You should be impressed.  I am.



And then Kate offered to share her pretzels.  We left those for the ducks.


And just to spite me she waited a few days and then she walked, she really walked.  She walked all day today (11/10/09, if you’re the bad mom without a baby book).  At the very end of the evening with soaked, matted hair, crazy pajamas and a cluttered play area she strolled from one end of the room to the other.  All by herself.  She held on to my post it notes and shuffled across the floor like she’s always been a walker.  Despite my disgust with the photos being real, and really candid, I love them and share them with you, my blog friends.  Don’t judge me for the toys!





And while we are so super excited, and shocked to have captured this moment, I know it is bittersweet.  Finally, she can walk!  Finally, I don’t have to wrestle with her in a public place when she’s bored to keep her from crawling all over the dirty floor.  Finally, she can stand up.  But…. my baby is growing up.  Soon she’ll look more like a little girl and her first steps will be a distant memory.  Soon I’ll be sorry I encouraged her to walk because without a moments notice she’ll be darting into dangerous situations, maybe even the street while I holler after her.  You don’t plan stuff like that, but it always seems to happen.  Congratulations baby girl!  My back is so happy you’re walking – you’re very heavy – but my heart is just a little sad.

Our little pumpkins!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

For our blog Halloween feels never ending.  So here we go again, here’s one more step down Halloween Road, I promise there’s only a few more.  The older the kids get the more activities we seem to get roped into!  So here are our ”fall” photos.  I say “fall” because, well let’s face it… our palm trees aren’t changing color anytime soon and our big cold front, when it dipped down to 81 degrees, only lasted a day.

So here are the kids in “fall” clothes in 90 degree weather.  Apparently that’s the best time to go to a pumpkin parking lot, um, pallet, um… patch since there is no one else there!





I love how she looks at him!  Noah will probably never find someone who is as crazy about him as his sister!


The pumpkin recliner.  She sat there until we made her move.  Apparently pumpkins are comfy!  Who knew!?





Noah got to pick out our pumpkin this year.  He’ll need to work on his muscles if he wants a bigger one next year!

_DSC9735   _DSC9769

And for laughs I have to contrast Kate’s photo with baby pumpkins from this year…


And last…


I guess thinks are looking up… please don’t call Child Services!

This year’s pumpkin actually got carved!  Far before Halloween though because pumpkins rot in 90 degree weather – and fast!  So we carved him one Saturday morning and it was quite an experience!

Noah wanted to design the face himself.  We let him draw out what he wanted and I promise you – this was the best of the worst in the idea department!


I opened him up and it thoroughly grossed out Noah.  I didn’t realize little boys who like bugs and lizards might not like pumpkin guts.


But he loved watching me carve it…



And he was in love with the end result!  Or maybe the fire, but how can you not love this smile!?


Don’t they look so excited?  We’re really into the photographic torture!


Later in the day…


And that night…

_DSC0147   _DSC0188

Poor Mr. Pumpkin only lasted a few days before completely rotting out.  RIP “Doc” – as Noah deemed him!

November 1, 2009

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

What were you doing on November 1st this year?  So many of my friends were huddled by fire places, dressing in layers and keeping dry from the rain.  I don’t mean to brag, because trust me this summer has been hot, but on November 1st I was getting a sun tan!  I’m wondering if winter will ever come because, well, I do love our 2 days of winter and I’m hoping my blood will thicken up before we go to Canada in December.

So here we were on November 1st with the family at Grammy’s pool…


Noah takes swimming twice a week at school and while we know he’s holding back on us and demanding his swim floats we got to see him floating on his back a few times, for the first time.


The only caption I can think of for this is – “Oh, no you didn’t!”


Motorboat, motorboat, go so slow…. motorboat, motorboat go so fast…




Kate is our daredevil in the water.  She’ll try anything!  Noah is just the opposite.  Here’s Kate taking a break from diving under…


Future cheerleader???



At Kate’s birthday party a few people commented on how happy Noah was.  We were surprised because even though he’s quiet and shy in public, and while he’s never been particularly outgoing or overly friendly – he’s a happy kid.  Here’s the Noah we know -


Silly, sweet, Noah…


And this is my RIDICULOUSLY gorgeous niece, Julia!!!  Can you believe she’s 12?  12 going on 25 maybe.  The blue tongue is from these crazy Cheetos.  They are giant, yellow Cheetos (like we all remember) but they turn blue in your mouth.  What will they think of next?!

_DSC0976   _DSC0992

Kate’s other love…


November 1st wasn’t all fun and games.  It was also a very somber anniversary for my family.  My grandfather passed away 21 years ago on this day.  I felt like I knew him so well, I have such vivid memories of him and our times together.  We visited them (in Clearwater) often and he was always so special to me.  I didn’t realize it at the time but I was a bit of a strange kid.  He always made me so happy though and would go out of his way to make sure I was having a good time, no matter how annoying and awkward I was.  I spent countless summers at my grandparents’ home and I have such fond memories of him.  I always sat on his lap at night, in his great big lazy boy chair, shelling roasted peanuts.  In the mornings we would all lay in their bed, just hanging out.  I’ll never forget the long pajama pants and button down, matching shirt he slept in – like old men do.  He was the love of my grandmother’s life and the hero in mine.  Noah’s middle name, Thomas, is in his honor.  Although I was only 10 when he passed I think of him always, talk to him often, and miss him so dearly.  May you rest in peace, Papa!

Excuse the 80′s… my grandfather is the tall guy on the right.  As a child I always thought he was so super tall but looking now he’s not much bigger than my afro dad.  I am the one in front trying my hardest to ruin yet another family photo.  It’s a miracle my parents let me live past 10!


Halloween Aftermath…

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

Happy (belated) Halloween!  Wow, what a month it’s been, and it’s already over!  I can’t believe it!  We’ve been running around like wild, crazy people trying to cram fall activities into summer weather.  The good news is we’ve been spending time as a family and if the blog (and the housework) get a little neglected because of it, I’m ok with that.

This year Noah picked out his own costume.  He knew exactly what he wanted to be – a monkey.  And when we gave him all the monkey options, he immediately picked one out.  We even let time pass, offered up other ideas, wondered if it was a phase, but he wouldn’t waver.  “Mom, I said I want to be a monkey!”.  A monkey he was, a darn cute one!

Kate had no choice in the matter.  We have been storing 4 costumes for her from before she was born.  They were all sized 6-12 months so each had it’s own obstacles as Kate is definitely not a 6-12 month size kid.  But like with everything, she was a trooper and make them all work!  Before the end of the holiday we definitely got our money’s worth out of all of them, we had so many parties, activities, photos, and trick or treating.

Since Halloween comes and goes so quickly we decided to photograph Noah in his costume before the big day.  The photos came out great and everyone had a lot of fun!  It spurred a movement.  We’re now the go to people for your Halloween costume photos!  We photographed a lot of adorable kids this season and these short costume sessions almost always leave us in hysterics!  Here are a few from the past few weeks…

 _DSC7251   _DSC7255

_DSC8833   _DSC8808





_DSC9006   _DSC6074  


_DSC9319-2   _DSC9405


We have more costume photos, it was super popular!, but we also have photos of our kids from the pumpkin patch, Halloween parties, school parties… etc. and I promise to get to them, just not tonight.  Tonight I will go and relax and enjoy the peace and quiet that the time change brings.  Sweet dreams!