Thursday, December 27, 2007

Goodbye Sweet Georgie Girl

Georgie 10 days ago!

We are all stunned. Our dog Georgie died early this morning. She was fine yesterday, running around the neighborhood, badgering other dogs. She ate her dinner & went outside - no problems. At around 9:00pm, I smelled poop - found a pile next to Georgie. I tried to get her to go out and she just lay there, looking at me. She stood up and fell down. I sat on the floor with her and she seemed fine. I thought maybe she had a stomach funk. I put her on a blanket in the kitchen. A few hours later, when I came to check on her, she was dead.
Georgie was a great girl. 9 years ago, I used to drive past a house every day, on my way home from working at a school in the inner city. For weeks I saw a puppy chained to the porch; sometimes I wouldn't see her for days. One day I knocked on the door and asked the person who answered if I could buy her dog. She said "sure, for $80." I offered $40 and she was mine! Georgie had obviously been neglected and abused but she turned into the biggest love dog! She loved the kids and was loved by them.
Thanks for being our friend, Georgie. We'll always love you.

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Eve

As is tradition, we spent Christmas Eve at my sister Anne's house. For the first time EVER we watched videos of past Christmases - I saw my mother for the first time in more than 10 years! Amazing to hear her voice again.
Can you see Analise's front tooth sticking out? It is so loose! Her permanent tooth is coming in but Ana will not pull her baby tooth.

Lewis has 4 teen aged boy cousins although he can't tell one from the other. He discovered Sam today and pretty much stuck to him like glue. On the way home, in the car, Lewis was eating a leftover spanakopita (spinach and feta wrapped in a phyllo triangle). It was the first time he ever tried one. After the first bite he said "YUM, Mama I love this thing. How come you've been keeping them from me?" Strange, par usual.

Elly and her beloved Aunt Suzie. On the way home Elly was chatting up a storm. She said, "Mama, your sister ROCKS!" Silly me to ask which one. SUZIE ROCKS!

Santa left a hopscotch rug for the kids! Gotta do something to get us through these long winters when it's too nasty out to play!

Did you ever hear that famous poem "....and the stockings were placed on the Cheetah girl couch with care, in the hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there....."

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Fruity mama

I wonder if this is what I look like when I'm out with all my kids. Who's that extra one anyway?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Spanish websites for kids!

Yoli requested, I deliver!
**Learn Spanish online: Games, activities, and songs
Play, learn and have fun on this site
Art activities for K-3 in Spanish and English
resources for kids in Spanish
Shedd Aquarium in Chicago – interactive games in Spanish
All about Mexico for kids

Monday, December 17, 2007

Yes Barbara, there is a Santa Claus

This is one of those special days, when I know that I am loved by the universe - MY KIDS HAVE SCHOOL AND I DON'T!!!!!!!!! I'm a librarian in our city school district (lots of walkers and snowy side streets) and my kids go to a suburban school. Gotta go savor every minute of the lovely silence.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ya call this a blizzard??

I ran around like a ninny yesterday, getting ready for the big ole blizzard that was due to whack us. We got several inches of snow but it was no blizzard. I was expecting a snow day tomorrow. Now I have to ready myself for a workday. Wahhhhh.
In the afternoon, Analise got everyone to go outside to play.
Lewis immediately plunked himself in a pile of snow and made an angel.

Analise quickly followed suit.

Georgia was so excited to go out front with no leash and just run wild. She LOVES the snow and just wanted to play with the kids.

The snow was too fluffy to make a snowman so they hunted for chunks left behind by the sidewalk plow.

This is the first year that I haven't cut the grasses back in Autumn. They look so pretty when they go to seed and are snowy.

After our outing, which included all the children enthusiastically shoveling....really.....we rolled out some gingerbread dough and made cookies. When they were ready, I was in charge of slapping a little frosting on and the kids decorated them, nice and gaudy!

They were some serious workers, except for Lewis of course, who is sticking a knife in the frosting to lick it off.

It's 12:20 am, I have to get up in 6 hours and go to work!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Ornament Elf

It seems like every time I look at the tree, a new "ornament" has been added! Lewis is undoubtedly the culprit since all the items belong to him, but he denies it every time.
This is one of Lewis' favorite stuffed animals. He goes by the name of "BooBooChicken." His trusted sidekick, "Kennis" the frog, joins him.

The ladybug landed last night. Let's hope it's not one of those serenDIPitous Chinese ladybugs that foretell another child will be joining the family. Excuse me while I go squish the thing.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ana's recital

Yesterday Ana had a violin recital. After 10 months of Suzuki "twinkles," (learning all the rhythms to the tune of "Twinkle, twinkle, little star"), she has graduated! Her teacher assigned her the first "real" song in book 1 and I wrote out the fingering on a piece of paper for Ana. She has played her new song over and over, so happy to be playing a "big kid" song!

THE Christmas card photo

It was amazingly painless. My new camera rocks, as do my children, who put on their clothes, washed away their boogers, endured me grooming them, and kept smiling while I snapped away. And yes, Lewis is holding a chicken.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Hanukkah!

Why Hanukkah is Better Than Christmas

There's no "Donny & Marie Hanukkah Special"
Eight days of presents (in theory, anyway).
No need to clean the chimney.
There's no latke-nog.
Burl Ives doesn't sing Hanukkah songs.
You won't be pressured to buy Hanukkah Seals.
You won't see, "You're a Putz, Charlie Brown".
No barking dog version of "I had a Little Driedl".
No pine needles to vacuum up afterwards.
Blintzes are cheaper to mail than fruitcakes.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The other side of the tracks

I *think* you could guess your day away before you were correct if you had to imagine where I went today. Lewis saw a motocross commercial on tv and really wanted to go. We decided that everyone should go since Lewis is dragged to girlie events all the time. It was quite the study in the human condition. LOTS of the riders were kids - there was a category of FOUR TO SIX YEAR OLDS. LOTS were girls. We had 2 riders sitting behind us between qualifying races - sisters about 8 & 10. From Ontario Canada! (for my "Northern" friends) What's up with putting your kid on a dirtbike when s/he is FOUR??! When the little kids were racing, Lewis asked me "Do you have to be able to ride a 2 wheeler to drive one of them?" No training wheels allowed Lew!

Wipe-out! The crowd went wild. I cringed.

The reason for the treason! (did I mention I blew $84?)

After about 15 minutes, Elly asked "Can we go yet?"

I think Frances was practicing her "doe in the headlights" look just in case she saw anyone she knew. She liked it a **little** bit.

After TWO AND A HALF HOURS, I insisted we leave. The noise and fumes were gagging me. Just another weekend in Western NY

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fun Websites for Kids

As a school librarian, I'm always on the lookout for fun websites for kids. Who better than my blogpeople to share my favs with?
My own kids are so in love with this one - it has interactive stories & songs for prereaders and early readers.
A new favorite of mine - activities to go along with specific books, lots of cut and paste projects, songs, poems.
If you love Jan Brett books go see her website - the woman must be a little crazy, maybe OCD. There are 1000s of pages!
Lots of fun activities for literature, seasons, animals & more.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sounds of Silence

I am home A-L-O-N-E. Can't remember the last time! Lisa took Mary 1/2 way home and A-L-L the kids went with might have helped that I yelled "Anyone who goes gets to have McDonald's for lunch on the way."
Cousin Mary is, in a NUTshell, a typewriter. She engages in nervous titter ALL THE TIME. She needs a deep tissue massage and a few years of therapy. Mary is from the hicks in Western NY and was impressed by the big city lights of Rochester. We went bowling on Friday - I bowled an 87........with bumpers!!
Elly managed to score a time-out! Isn't her posture just too ladylike??

Is Ana too cute? She could barely lift the 8 pounder.

It took several minutes for the ball to amble down the lane but Ana managed to get 2 spares!

Mary, who claimed to be a near champion bowler although she has never bowled before, shows off her form. Notice the ball is not touching the floor? She hefted it over her head and threw it - I nearly saw everyone in the vicinity's lives flash before my eyes.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a great time on Thanksgiving! We made an awesome breakfast - homemade tortillas, eggs, veg sausage, guacamole & homemade cinnamon rolls - YUMMY!

At Noon, we headed to Buffalo for dinner with Lisa's peeps. Aunt Laurie always has a cool project for the kids. She made these trees from the foam corners that cushioned her new kitchen cabinets. She is capital K KLEVER!

Grandma yacking on the phone and Ian chiilin'

The kids' cousin Mary came home with us and we're going to my brother John's house for dinner so the madness rocks on!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Crazy New Camera

My old camera slipped into oblivion a couple weeks ago and I bought a Cannon Power Shot on ebay last week. It's a *little* out of my league! I have to get my $1 Target reading glasses out every time I use it so I can read all the little buttons. I have been having fun with it though.
Yesterday Elly's front tooth was hanging all lopsided. She wouldn't pull it out. I held onto it and she backed away from me - voila! Now if only I could explain why I want her to sing "All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth." She just doesn't get it!

I love the camera's ability to capture Lewis in motion!

It also captures my children's boogers really well too!
Not on my darling girls of course.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life
- Savage Garden
The first moment I met my darling Analise. I burst into tears. It was the only time I cried when I met one of my children.

An hour later we were in our hotel room. Analise grabbed Frances' face and Frances started to cry, out of stress more than anything else. After that it was true love between them. Frances told me "Baby Ana isn't our baby Mama, she's MINE."

Analise was 18 months old but only 14 lbs - tiny and malnourished. She came to us, never grieved, and never looked back.

I ADORE this girl and celebrate one of the happiest days of my life!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The weekend report

Man-o-man, weekends are just too much fun lately!
Well, let me contradict myself right off the bat and say how much I hate changing Lewis' bed sheets. He has 1000 little bitty stuffed animals, books and assorted little toys that MUST be on his bed. After I take them all off and change the sheets, he must come in, get up on his bed, arrange everything just so and entertain me with stories of why everything needs to be in it's specified spot......fascinating.

In this family, we're big on celebrations......and excuses for cupcakes. Saturday was Analise's 1/2 birthday! We each got 1/2 of a cupcake. I'm pretty strict - you only get one candle to blow out.

Frances got glasses last year, when her vision was 20/40. This year she got another exam and her vision was 20/100! Since she has to wear her glasses all the time, I let her pick out some stylin' $$$$$$$ glasses. This photo was taken by the 1/2 birthday girl.

Phew, on to Sunday. Grandma's birthday. We shuffled off to Buffalo and had brunch with Grandma.


All this and daylight savings (or is it standard?) time. I have to go recline myself.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Our Halloween festivities began on Saturday with our 4th annual "ZooBoo" at our local zoo. The kids went on a treasure hunt, got candy, visited the animals and ran crazy with the throngs of other people who came out!

Lewis was THRILLED to get a Power Ranger costume - he only got it because I found it for $9.99 at Kohls that morning!

Ana just finished a butterfly unit at school so she was a monarch butterfly. Elly picked a devil outfit - both were reused from previous years. I was happy about that! Frances doesn't like anything about Halloween besides the candy. Masks freak her out and she is frightened easily so she put together her own costume and said she was a "hippie diva."

Every year at my school we dress up as our favorite book characters. This year I was Captain Underpants. The kids LOVED it!

As soon as it got dark we were ready to go trick-or-treating. The weather was perfect - 65 degrees, which is warm for us. This neighbor greeted us with his own mask! The kids had a riot and scored a lot of candy.

Notice Ana on the top of the couch - she is ready to pass out.

At about 8:30, after we turned off the porch light and were getting ready for bed, the doorbell rang. I found my friend and co-worker Robyn on the porch! She stopped by to say hi on her way to a party. Is her outfit too much?! Robyn is the phys ed teacher at my school and my kids LOVE her.

I called to Lew for him to come out and see Robyn. He wasn't answering me so I went to see what he was up to - he was crashed on the chair in the family room!