Friday, December 31, 2010

5 on Friday

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week:

5. Marino got new slippers for Christmas, which he calls his "slipperies."

4. Marino has this "Michael" doll from K's Kids. I gave it to him initially for his birthday and he was fairly indifferent about it, but now he insists on sleeping with "my boy" every night. The other day he told me, "Mommy, this is my friend, 'boy'."

3. It took us 12.5 hours to get back from South Carolina on Sunday - we ended up in the thick of the snow storm in North Carolina. At one point, we were completely stopped for over an hour. As you can imagine, Marino was getting irritable by the end of the trip. He told Aunt Chelle, "you leave, Richelle. You go to Gramma's house."
Just a note: he does love Aunt Chelle. Saturday night he heard her talking outside the door and he said "You hear it? That's my Richelle!"

2. Our old DVD player broke, so we bought a very basic one to replace it. The other day, Marino turned it on, opened it and out a DVD inside! I mean, it only has a couple buttons, but seeing as though I never taught him how to do it, I was impressed.

1. Tuesday I had to take Marino to the doctor's office for an illness. She looked in his ears and in his nose and was all done with checking him out. Before she could get far, Marino asked "You look in my mouth, too?"

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas in South Carolina

On the morning of Christmas Eve, we got up very early and headed to South Carolina to visit Evan's family. Aunt Chelle came with us, which was a tremendous help. She was able to keep Marino entertained and make our drive a lot easier. We got there quickly (6.5 hours) and were ready to relax. On the way there, I told Marino we were going to see friends and he said "See Jen? See Megan?" (who are my girlfriends).

Evan's family is very special. They all genuinely enjoy each other's company...a get together with the family is like going to a party with all of your best friends. In each generation, the "kids" are extremely close - quite literally they are the best of friends. It's really great and I hope Marino has that kind of relationship with his cousins (when he finally has some!).

Of course, Marino was spoiled rotten on Christmas. Presents were overflowing from the tree, all for Marino who was the only child there with 18 family members. I think he was overwhelmed from all the gifts - we took a 3 hour nap together on Christmas Day!

Here's a video of him playing with a gift from Pop Pop (his great grandfather) and Donna on Christmas Eve. He loves this toy!




Some pictures from Christmas morning...



Aunt Ann checking out Marino's tunnel



All the family
(L to R) Mikey, Mike, Rich, Dexter, Evan, Don, Monique, Krissy
Ann, Pop Pop, Donna, Debbie, Ronnie
Rianne and Richelle
One with me - Marino was not in the mood for picture taking
My two wonderful sister-in-laws - I love them!
Trying to take a picture with Marino...not easy!
Unfortunately, our trip home was a lot more difficult. We left early Sunday morning, hoping to beat the snow storm. Instead, we ended up in the middle of it. It took us 12.5 hours to get home. At one point, we were completely stopped in North Carolina for over an hour. Kids got out of their cars and had a snow ball fight. I would be happy to not see the inside of my car for a while!
I can't believe Christmas is over already! Looking forward to warmer days ahead...

Friday, December 24, 2010

5 on Friday (with video!)

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week:

5. On Sunday, Marino was asking to watch Cars for the 12000th time. I said "No, let's just play." He turned to my mom and said "Gramma? How about Diego? How about Mino watch Diego?"

4. Short video of Marino doing a Lightning McQueen impression...


3. Learning to blow a whistle. This was a gift from Aunt Sonia - its a flashlight, glow stick, flashing glow stick and whistle all in one. Best toddler toy ever!!


2. Marino can be a bit dramatic. The other day, he fell down while playing with Evan (Evan was laying on the floor) and he hit his head on Evan's hand. He ran over to me crying "Daddy hit me!" I said "I watched the whole thing and Daddy didn't hit you. You fell down." Evan said "I'm sorry, Marino" and he said "Daddy didn't mean it. He hit me right in my eye, but he didn't mean it." Evan and I were debating how long it would take before we get a visit from CPS!

1. Speaking of dramatic...the other day he clutched his neck and said "OH NO! What's this on my neck?" It was his collar bone!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mommy Graduates

We had another fun and busy weekend! Gramma came to visit from New York and she played with Marino so Evan and I could redo his room. We got him a race car bed and some transportation themed decorations. Gramma got him a train table. When we showed him to room, he was pretty overwhelmed. He also keeps trying to ride his car bed like a ride-on toy and tries pushing it.

While we were putting his room together, Santa came by on a fire truck. Marino was VERY excited about this and is sort of grasping the concept of Santa and the naughty/nice lists.

Saturday evening, Gramma and I took him to see the lights at Great Seneca Park. It was so fun to see him excitedly naming all the things he saw (and the colors). He was pointing things out that my mom and I missed! At the end he started insisting we "go home right now" and passed out before we made it back.


Sunday was my graduation. I am now officially a Master of Community Planning. There are no words to describe how happy I am to be done. It took me 4 and a half part-time years (with 1 semester off) to finish this degree. In the meantime, I worked full-time, changed jobs, moved twice, had a baby, had c.diff 6 times, spent countless nights in the hospital and awake with a cranky baby, celebrated 4 wedding anniversaries, turned 30 (and 31...and 32), made some friends, finished with a 3.7 GPA and learned a lot. This past semester specifically helped renew my passion in true community development and helped remind me that my true interest is in ensuring equity in housing. All in all, it's nice to be done!

A few pictures from my graduation...
Receiving my diploma from the Dean and the Director of the Urban Studies and Planning Program
Celebrating with my friend Dana (and a pumpkin head)
My mom and I
Me and my boy - my motivation for finishing! Hopefully he is proud of me one day! I'm looking forward to lots of leisurely snuggly weekends with him now that school is over!
Watching Mommy graduate. At one point, all was quiet and I heard "Mommy is down there!" and when I got in line to receive my diploma, he was cracking up!
Playing with Gramma and his new train table

Making Buzz fly
That night, my mom took us to dinner, along with Evan's family, and my friend Megan (who graduated from the same program 3 years ago). It was great having them all there to celebrate!
2 Masters of Community Planning
Marino LOVES pho!
He kept saying "this is yummy spaghetti!"
It was a great weekend!

Friday, December 17, 2010

5 on Friday

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week:

5. Last week in the car, I was "cheering" for Marino "Go Mino, Go Mino, Go, Go, Go Mino". When I was done he cheered for me "Go Sawa, Go Sawa, Go, Go, Go Sawa!" Everytime he calls me Sara he gets this smirk on his face because he knows it will get a reaction out of me.

4. I don't think Marino has much faith in my driving skills. The other day we exited off the highway and stopped at a light at the top of a hill. Marino said "Yay! We made it to the top!"

3. Marino has decided he doesn't like his "candy" (vitamins) at the moment. I told him that made me sad and he said "No, you're happy". I told him, "No, I'm still sad" and he said "SURPRISE!! You're happy!!"

2. Sydney had left one of her doll bottles at our house on Saturday. Its one of those bottles that have faux milk in them, which looks pretty real. I was upstairs getting dressed the other day and when I came downstairs, Marino was attempting to drink out of the doll bottle. He looked at me and asked "You open it for me?" I attempted explaining it was a toy, but he kept asking me to open it.

1. Yesterday when I dropped Marino off at daycare, he ran over to his "Shi Shi". She picked him up and he touched the skin under her neck and said "Is that your body?"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More Fun with Friends

Saturday, Evan, Marino and I went to a holiday party and then had some our favorite people over for dinner. Jen, Matt, Sydney and Noah came for a visit (after getting stuck in 495 traffic, ugh!). We had a great time, as always. Sydney and Marino were really sweet together, they just melt my heart (when they're not playing a game that involves hitting each other over the head with something).



These two just love each other!


Two little monkeys, jumping on the bed...

Marino playing with a balloon octopus we got from the party earlier in the day - he loved this thing!

Playing with Daddy

Friday, December 10, 2010

5 on Friday

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week:


5. Sunday night we put a small, 2 foot, lighted Christmas tree in Marino's room. He wasn't particularly impressed with it initially. A few hours after he went to bed, I heard the doors slamming upstairs and Marino running. I found him in our room, looking for me. I asked him what was wrong and he said "I love my Christmas tree, Mommy! I love it!!"

4. The other night I was putting Marino to bed and, as usual, he was talking my ear off. I told him to stop talking because it was bed time. He began whispering the Barney song "I love you, you love me..." including dramatic pauses for the "great big hug" and "a kiss from me to you." At the end when it says "won't you say you love me too?" I said "I love you" and he whispered back "me too." I started laughing and he began cracking up. "I so funny, Mommy" he said, "You so funny, too."

3. Last Saturday I was holed up in our bedroom working on finishing up some papers for school. Evan came upstairs to talk to me. A few minutes later, Marino came running into the room. Butt naked, not a stitch of clothing on him. I asked Evan why he was naked and he said "Uh, he had clothes on when I left him downstairs!"

2. Your kids love you like no one else ever will. Every night when I put Marino to bed, he asks me to lay down with him. When I do, he puts his face right up against my face with an ear to ear smile and says "Mommy!!!" and starts giggling, like me being in his bed is the most exciting thing ever.

1. We watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas this week, which is my favorite Christmas story (we have the DVD). It was so fun watching with Marino this year. He kept being super dramatic about everything that was happening, "That's not nice, The Grinch." "Mommy, that's not good." "Mommy, The Grinch is not nice."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nutcracker and Fun with Friends

On Saturday, Marino and I met Jen, Sydney, Justin and Noah at the Tiny Tots Puppet Show at Glen Echo park. The month of December the puppet show is always The Nutcracker. We hadn't been to a puppet show there for several months and it was amazing the difference in Marino's interest in the show. He LOVED it! He jumped up and down the whole show, danced, talked to strangers about the show, etc. And interestingly, he kept loving on Sydney, holding her hand to jump up and down, hugging her, giving her kisses. He is usually pretty aloof, but not this day! It was really sweet.


After the show, we headed over to the new Silver Diner in Rockville. They have lots of gluten-free options and it was delicious. Here's Noah checking the place out.
It was a really great start to our weekend! Unfortunately, I had to spend the rest of it finishing school work but only one more weekend until I graduate!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

5 on Friday

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week:

5. We got to see Gus at my Dad's last week. Our dog, Max, is continually trying to put Gus in his place, which means they "wrestle" as dogs do almost non-stop. Marino kept getting freaked out and saying "Max is eating yittle puppy!"

4. We were reading a book the other day and he pointed to a woman and said "Its Sawa". I said, "Do you mean it's mommy" and he said "No, not mommy. Mommy's right here." and pointed to me. "It's other Sawa."

3. Story from Gramma:
One of Marino's bath toys, a star, is supposed to make a fountain. I told him it doesn't work. He flipped it over, looked at the back, and handed it back to me, saying matter of factly, "Batteries". I think he may be right, I just hadn't thought a bath toy would have them :-)


2. Marino has been bottle-free for 2 weeks now. I know, I know, he's almost 2 and a half, but I really debated with myself whether or not it was really that bad for him to still drink a bottle before bed (I brush his teeth after), since it gives him so much comfort. I decided if he seemed unable to move on, I'd reconsider, but I packed up all the bottles and toughed it out. However, Sunday night he was having trouble sleeping because he was so sick. I asked him what would make him happy and he said "Mino want to drink a bottle." I asked again and he settled for "Sing Old McDonald" (he fell asleep on my chest while I was singing).

1. On Saturday, my mom gave him a piece of French Peasant Bread while we were waiting for dinner. We never even told him the name of the bread, but apparently he heard us talking about it, because when he finished the piece he was eating, he said "Mino want more french bread".

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Friends + Family = Perfect Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we got a chance to see so many of our friends and family - it was great!

On Wednesday, we got a chance to see Aunt RiRi, home from Brown for the holiday. She and Marino had lots of fun playing together and forming their own band.

Thursday morning, we got up early and headed to New York (5 hour drive). We take a back route there (through the mountains of Pennsylvania), which was not a great idea on this day. We hit a snow/freezing rain storm on I-81. The roads hadn't been salted and cars were sliding off the road in front of us, including a trailer full of horses. As if this situation weren't bad enough, Evan says to me (while we are trying to not slide off the road), "I think Marino pooped." I look in the backseat and Max (the dog) had diarrhea. On my winter coat. And then stepped in it and jumped in the "trunk" on top of Evan's coat. Needless to say, Evan and I headed out to the mall on Black Friday to buy new coats (meaning we were coatless in 30 degree weather for 36 hours).
We made it to New York in one piece and generously did not leave Max on the side of I-81.

We had Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house and my stepsister Jennifer, her husband Haagen and her daughter Bae-Corine joined us for dinner. The first thing you need to know is that Marino and Bae-Corine love each other. Everything she says, he gazes up at her with this smile on his face. The second thing you need to know is that Bae-Corine is quite extraordinary. All children are special but Bae-Corine is the sort of child you wish you had a magic ball to see the amazing person she will be in the future. She's beautiful, talented (at both dance and writing), sweet, articulate and mature without being a sassy pre-teen (she's 11) and she is AWESOME with Marino. They spent all day together on Thanksgiving and they did a great job of entertaining each other. I'm so glad to have this wonderful new family in my life!

Here she is giving Marino a ton of gifts - all of which he LOVED! He's played with his "Boody", "Jeshie" and "Bulleye" and his "potato" non-stop since Thursday!
She also gave him "The Velveteen Rabbit" with this very sweet (and well written) inscription. Is she special or what?
Marino was in love with her iPad!
How cute are they?

This monster face was his favorite!
We had a great dinner and a great time visiting with everyone.

Friday morning, we went to the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum with Sonia, Wil, Cat and Siena, Sonia's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Kimlin and Sabrina. We had a great time - it was great to see everyone. The kids had a great time, of course.


Marino showing Mrs. Kimlin how to climb the wall. Climbing is his favorite thing. Every time we passed a mountain on the drive to New York, he would say "Look, its a mountain. I climb it?"


Sabrina and Marino had a standoff over some carrots.
The Kimlin's, Sonia and a sleeping Siena, and Patrick, Sonia's father.



We went out to lunch and then, after naps, met up at Sonia's parent's house. The kids were being adorable together and spontaneously decided to sit together for a picture. Catalina told us "get a camera!"


These two were wrestling on the ground - they always have so much fun together!

Here they are being dinosaurs "ROAR"
Look at this sweet face!
Poor Nena wasn't feeling well but she is always adorable!
Saturday morning we opened Christmas presents with my dad and Barb, since we won't see them again before Christmas. Marino was definitely a lot more excited to open presents this year than he was last year; he wanted to open everyone's!


We got to visit Gus aka "Yittle Puppy" who is doing great in his new home and has grown already!
Bernadette and her boyfriend Jay came over on Saturday and it was great to spend some time with them and get to know Jay better. We went back to my mom's on Saturday and Marino took a 3 hour nap - definitely not normal for him. I tried to wake him up after 2 hours but he didn't even stir. Unfortunately, he woke up with a fever of 102 and no voice. We ended up going home Saturday night, which worked out well, since he slept the whole way and we didn't have to drive home a miserable sick boy on Sunday morning. Here he is snuggling with Gramma on Saturday.
Luckily, the ride home was less eventful than the ride there.
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!