Friday, January 27, 2012

5 on Friday

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

5. Out of no where last weekend, Marino announced "You and me and Daddy love each other."

4. Several times this week, Marino has woken up very happy. One morning he woke up and shouted down the steps "Mommy, I had a really good nap!". When he came downstairs he said "I just want to lay down and snuggle with you on the couch!" A couple days later he woke up in the morning and announced "I had a perfect nap!"

3. On the way to work/school the other day, a car in front of us hit a baby deer. After we left the scene of the accident (no one was hurt, aside from the deer), the following conversation took place...

Marino: "What happened to the baby reindeer?"
Mommy: "Um, he fell down, but someone is going back to help him."
Marino: "Is a superhero coming?"
Mommy: "Yes."
Marino: "Is Superman coming?"
Mommy: "Yes"
Marino: "I think Superman is going to bring all the Superfriends to help the baby reindeer. And they are going to fly him back to his mommy and baby deer sister. "

Heartwarming, right? Then three minutes later he announces "Um, Mommy? I think a wolf is going to come eat that deer. "

2. As I was dropping him off a preschool the other morning he said "Bye, don't forget to bring money!" I asked why I need to bring money and he said "So you can take out some of the teachers!". Then he popped his head out the door when I was half way to my car and said "Mommy, you need to get to work, so you can come home and snuggle with me!"

1. And last, but most significant, Marino is potty trained! Its definately not a flawless process, but he's gone over a month without wearing diapers with very few accidents (even overnight).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Years Eve Trip to Great Falls

The afternoon of New Year's Eve, we went over to Great Falls (Maryland side) for a walk. Would you believe that I've been living here 7 years and this is my first time visiting Great Falls? We all had a great time and we enjoyed amazing weather (60s). Only the dog was cold!

Marino asked about 60 times if we could get on this boat.

I love this picture of my boys!

We'll definately be back for more hikes in the Spring!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Goodbye My Friend...Meg Misove Case

One of my closest friends growing up, Meg, passed away unexpectedly on January 11th. She wasn't sick or hurt in anyway...she just died her sleep at age 35. It's hard to process.

I can't even remember when we became friends. I just remember her always being my friend, from 6th grade on. We lived in the same neighborhood and this meant we spent tons of time together. We rode the bus together, hung out after school, spent every snow day together (we grew up in NY...there were a lot of snow days). She went to Florida with my mother and I - the first time I ever went on a plane. I remember us in Florida, forcing my mother to play wildly inappropriate tapes in the rental car, like R. Kelly.

Meg was already riding horses when I started, but we had even more fun doing it together. For a few years, we spent every extra moment at the barn. We both loved everything about being there - the horses, the smell, feeding, bathing the horses, mucking stalls, painting the jumps. We just loved being there and learning as much as we could. It was a really special time in my life, and Meg was a huge part of that.

Meg taught me how to drive. She had this big white Blazer and we rode to school together every day. We grew up in upstate New York, where snow and ice are on the road 75% of the winter. One morning, while she was teaching me to drive, I rear ended someone after sliding on ice. Ugh, I've never felt so guilty about anything in my life. I remember calling Meg and her saying "I'm mad at you, Sara, but I really don't want to be." She was mad at herself for being mad at me. I think that's a good representation of who she was. She lived in the moment, she saw the good in everyone. That was the closest we got to ever having an argument. Meg was a loyal friend - she didn't have expectations of me - she was just happy to be doing whatever we would be doing. I was a much more polarizing figure in high school...people tended to love or hate me. Not Meg. She had no enemies. Everyone loved her - she had friends within the various cliques and groups in our school.

We lost touch after high school...she never really got into Facebook or email and those are pretty much the only ways I communicate these days. I saw her in 2006 at our 10 year high school reunion, and instantly, our bond was intact. She was so happy to see me and had such kind things to say. It was clear we missed each other, and we exchanged numbers and talked on the phone, though certainly not as much as I liked. The last time we "chatted" was one of her rare occasions on Facebook, we talked about how she wanted to start her own family and the trickier aspects of being a stepparent. She had just gotten married to a great guy in 2009. They were the first couple to be married on The Walkway Over the Hudson. Her husband is collecting donations to install a memorial for Meg on the Walkway. I love the idea of having a tangible reminder of her there.

I wish I could hug her one more time and tell her that I loved her. Sometimes we forget that we don't have all the time in the world to spend with the people important to us, and to make new memories. Meg was a really amazing person, and I'm grateful for the moments that made up our friendship.

Last Days of Our NY Trip

My mom and stepfather were nice enough to take Marino to the Hudson Highland Nature Museum in Cornwall to visit some local animals. He really enjoyed himself, especially checking out some very active mice and a talking crow. I had no idea crows could talk, but apparently, this one says "hello." Marino was very impressed.

The amazing talking crow!
Checking things out with Grampa Ray

The last day of our trip was really special because I got the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend. Lauren was one of my roommates in college and has been an amazing friend to me. She's one of those people in my life that came along at a time when I really needed her, and she's fiercely loyal and hysterically funny (great combination). We hadn't seen each other in years, but we met up (with Marino) at The Beanrunner Cafe in Peekskill. The cafe is great, they have a gated playroom with seating for adults so you can have a conversation while you watch the kids play - I wish there were more places like this! Marino decided he loved Lauren in no time, and I had a great time catching up with her...I'm looking forward to seeing her again soon!

I know, she's gorgeous, too!
Can't wait to catch up again!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Baby Alana

I am so I am still blogging about things that happened last month, but these are special pictures below and I need to share them!

The Tuesday after Christmas, Marino and I headed to NJ to visit Sonia, Wil and the girls, including new addition, Baby Alana. All the kids were cute with her...even Marino was very interested and concerned. At one point she cried and he said "Oh, its the tv! The tv is too loud; she can't sleep!" Her sisters totally adore her - its so sweet to see!
3 amigos: Marino, Cat & Siena. The kids had a great time playing together, as always. Siena and Cat singing lullabies to Alana Smushy, sleepy baby - what's better?

We love our new baby friend!!

5 on Friday

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

5. The other day, Marino looked at a picture of Evan and I on our wedding day. He said, "Mommy, you were a princess!"

4. Funny or sad? Last week we had to give Marino a suppository because he'd gone 5 days without pooping and was obviously in pain. As we were positioning him to get the suppository he said "You guys, this is the best!" We stopped trying to sell it at that point, since, clearly, it was not going to be the best (although he did really well, considering)

3. On Monday, Sabrina and her friend Zahra came to my dad's to hang out with Marino while I went to a wake. I said, "Marino, the girls are going to stay here and play with you." "No" he said "They can't. These are the bad girls."

2. Marino is very interested in the concepts of being "big" and "small" (old/young). The other day in the car, he asked my mom, "Gramma, when I'm a big giant boy and a daddy, can I drive the front of the car? And you will sit in the cow seat?" (his car seat has a cow print).

1. Lots of conversations these days start with Marino saying "When I was a tiny tiny baby..." The other day he said "Mommy, when I was a tiny tiny baby, you would hold me in your arms and I would cry like this 'wah wah'. And I looked just like Baby Megamind!"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

First Train Ride!

The Monday after Christmas was filled with Marino's favorite thing - trains!

First we took Daddy to the train station so he could head back home (he had to work Tuesday; Marino and I were off all week). Marino was really excited to see the train come and go.
After dropping off Daddy and getting a quick lunch, Marino, Gramma and I headed to the Catskill Mountain Railroad for a special train ride. The train is really awesome. Perfect length of time for young kids, the train is open air so they can get an amazing view, and the ride is very affordable. All of the staff work as volunteers, and it's clear they love their work and the kids. Oh, and they give you candy on this train, which won me over!

Marino and Gramma

Not so sure about the ride through the tunnel.
My friend Jill, her husband Charlie and sons James and Parker joined us. The boys were sleepy (past their nap time).
Charlie, James, Parker and Jill
Santa was on the train!! Normally, Marino is afraid of Santas, but not so after Christmas! He immediately thanked Santa for the gifts and said "Santa, you ate all the cookies I left for you! And the carrots, too!" It was sweet.

Can you tell he's happy to be on the train?

He wanted to get a look at the tracks.

Looking forward to another train ride in the Spring (when its hopefully much warmer!).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sweet 16

Can you believe this gorgeous girl is sixteen years old today?
It's hard to believe its been sixteen years since the snowy night she was born.
I'm so proud of her and I love her to pieces.

5 on Friday

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

5. Last week, Marino announced, "Mommy, I just want to hug girls. Not boys. Just girls." At the time I was downloading mp3s and he saw a picture of Rihanna. "I want to hug her" he said.

4. When Marino is mad at Evan or I, his new insult is "You're not my family anymore!"

3. We had our first (tiny) snow fall of the season on Monday. "Mommy, is all the snow down yet?"

2. Marino is slightly obsessed with the concept of a "best friend". In his world, best friend status changes daily and sometimes hourly. But the other day he said "Mommy, Aunt Sonia is your best friend." (this is true).

1. Marino's language skills are great, and he really picks up a lot of the nuances of adult conversations. It's always a bit surprising when your 3 year old asks "How was your run, Mommy?" or "Mommy, you don't feel so good? That's too bad." I just love this boy so much!

Monday, January 9, 2012

More Christmas 2011

After opening gifts and having a yummy breakfast with my dad and stepmother, we headed up to Saratoga (about 2.5 hours away) to my Aunt Mary and Uncle Gordon's farm. It was great to see my extended family and Marino really enjoyed getting to climb on a real tractor.

Evan and I on Christmas day (with Marino giving us a dirty look in the background)
Aunt Carol and Mom skyping with my brother in Dallas. Isn't technology great?
My cousin Clare snuggling with my aunt Carol and Chloe.
More snuggle time with Clare's aunt Rashni.
Uncle Gordon patiently teaching Marino all about the tractor.

Of course, after all that explantation, his two questions were "How do I make the tractor move?" and "Can we get the tractor to pick up that car?"

Looking forward to visiting the farm in warmer months soon!

Friday, January 6, 2012

5 on Friday

As always, here are 5 special reasons I am loving my boy this week (I'm a week behind):

5. On Christmas Eve, Marino declared "I just love Santa so much!"

4. Over dinner at Jennifer's house, we asked Marino to sit down and eat. "I can't!" he said, "I'm too play-ee!"

3. While we were at my dad's house, Marino asked "Can we go see Gramma with the white hair?" (this is my mom). He calls all of his grandmothers "Gramma" so he has to find innovative ways to differentiate which one he's referring to.

2. While we were at my dad's house, he asked my dad, "Pap Pap, are you my family?" My dad said yes and Marino said "Let's be a family of ghosteses. WOOHHHWOHHH" and started pretending to be a ghost.

1. Evan and I have been very impressed with Marino's control over his own body (not so much the withholding his poop for a week at a time to avoid the potty). He can roll his stomach and raise one eyebrow at a time on each side. This must be hereditary, since we skyped with my brother the other day and he could do it, too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas 2011

I have tons of adventures to post about, since Marino and I spent a full week in New York with family and friends (Evan was with us the first 4 days). Christmas this year was really special, as it was the first year Marino "got it" and was anticipating Christmas and Santa's arrival. He truly delighted in every part of the season - every house decorated with lights, every Christmas tree, every gift. It was a joy.

Our trip started off with a bang - quite literally! 15 miles from home, in holiday traffic, the car in front of us hit a stopped car going 65+ mph, and then swerved into our lane...we coasted parallel with the careening car until we both came to a stop just inches from the guardrail and each other. To say we were lucky is an understatement. All the cars involved in the accident were totaled. A dog was thrown from the stopped car and was injured. It was very scary but after doing what we could to help and giving a statement to the state troopers, we continued on with our trip. Let's just say that experience did not make the next 5 hours of driving any more enjoyable!

Our first stop on Friday was at my stepsister Jennifer's house. She, her husband Hagen and their daughter Bae-Corine hosted a great dinner for us. Marino and Bae-Corine had an amazing time, as always. Those 2 really love each other and its so fun to watch them together.

I mean, how adorable are these two?

After our fun dinner, we headed to my mom's house for a good night's sleep. Saturday morning, I had my first success at getting Marino to poop in the potty (FINALLY! We've been at this for 6 months!).

Late Saturday morning, we headed over to my dad's house (about 45 minutes away). Marino was ecstatic to finally get to watch the Polar Express with my dad. He LOVED the movie. While he was engrossed with the North Pole, Bernadette and Sabrina came over to visit. Sabrina is turning 16 this month, I can't believe it! I mean, she looks 25, but if she's 16, that makes me officially old!! I remember the night she was born...the snow storm...ahhh! How was that 16 years ago?!

Christmas Eve, Evan and I did some last minute shopping while my dad and Barb watched Marino. He is in love with these musical penguins they he is dancing to the penguin music.

They also baked cookies for Santa, which Marino was quite proud of.

So, of course that night we left out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.
Christmas morning we woke up (Evan woke us up; he was so excited) and asked Marino if Santa came while we were sleeping. "No, he didn't" he said "I didn't hear him." We decided to go check and Marino couldn't believe that Santa had come and brought his beloved space station he had been asking for.

Special spy plane Santa brought for Marino for pooping on the potty the day before...

Reading The Polar Express with PapPap
Snuggle time with Gramma and Grampa Ray
More posts about our trip coming soon!!