Sunday, June 22, 2008

SWM Loves Animals

To say that Jamison loves animals would be an understatement. He seeks them out when he enters a room. He lunges for them when they walk by. And he never misses an opportunity to grab a hold of one of them if they happen to be caught unawares.....

Luckily, both Gatsby (the cat) and Tulip (the dog) are pretty laid back towards him. I stress the phrase "towards him" because Gatsby can be particular and if Gatsby wanted to scratch him to shreds he would do it. He gently lets Jamison know when he's had enough and Jamison has been taught to back off at that point.

Here Jamison has found Gatsby relaxing by the back door. Lily is in the background in her princess "gown" which is actually a nightgown but you try convincing her of that. I'm on week 6 of that effort.

Gatsby is just so fat and fluffy.

Petting the cat isn't enough. He MUST lay as much of his body on top of the cat as he can. It's usually at this point that Gatsby feels that his personal space is being invaded.

For this shot, Jamison actually climbed onto the couch to get close to Tulip. I don't think Tulip is as gracious as Gatsby is when Jamison wants to cuddle; she's just too lazy to move. You can almost see her begging me for help in her eyes.

Instead of climbing on top of Tulip he tried to roll. His idea didn't exactly work out according to plan but it wasn't due to lack of effort. If Tulip had more initiative, she'd move her lazy self, but she just sits there and silently pleads with me to put the camera down and remove the man-child.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This Woman Watches My Children

This is my mother. She is telling a story to Michelle (on left) and Christine (on right) at Lily's third birthday party. These shots capture her personality when she is entertaining others with a story.....but now I have a story....

My mother is probably one of the funniest people I know although it's more about the things that she does (or doesn't do) that make her funny. To sum her up I usually tell people that my mother is a "character". I'm not sure she appreciates that description but I don't mean it in a bad way.

My mother is incredibly excited about a trip she is taking on Friday. My sister has the opportunity to host my mother for a week in Nashville. This trip has been planned for a while. My brother-in-law, Mark, will be out of town that week volunteering at their church summer camp and so my mother is helping my sister with the twins.
We've been preparing for the trip for months. I've taken the week off of work, Kristen has made plans for the visit, my mother is excited to see the granddaughters she hasn't seen in over a month. It's been a topic of conversation frequently. In other words, this is a widely known and well planned trip. Read on....

The day after my mother returns home next week, we are going to Rochester for my cousin, Myria's graduation. So this got my sister thinking. (NOTE:Kristen is always thinking. She is always planning, always conniving. Everything my sister does is 100% pre-meditated. Keep that in mind if they ever find my body in the Hudson.)
Back to her thinking: Kristen also wants to go to Myria's graduation that weekend. If mom is flying back home by herself, why can't she fly with Kristen and two infants? In fact, if Mark will be out of town, WHY SHOULDN'T SHE FLY BACK WITH MOM?!?!?
So Kristen manipulates the situation and is given full permission (from all parties involved) to go home for the weekend. She informs mom that she will change moms return flight on Southwest for her if she gives her the confirmation number.
Mom replies that she was never given a confirmation number, only an itinerary. At this point Kristen realizes that she would probably get better help from Southwest and proceeds to call them to arrange the flight home. She gives Southwest all of my mother's flight information. They can't find her reservation in the system. Kristen is starting to get a little irritated because not only does mom not have any information about the flight, but neither does Southwest.
She finally calls mom back and demands the confirmation number. Kristen absolutely needs it to change the flight so that her master plan can be put into action. She will not be stopped by a silly little thing as a confirmation number. My mother is adamant that she was never given a confirmation number, all she has is an itinerary. And then that's when the truth is discovered. MY MOTHER NEVER PURCHASED THE TICKET. She never purchased the ticket for the flight of the year, the trip of the century.
Kristen immediately calls me (because that's what we do when my mother does these things - yes things - plural. Things like this happen frequently) and we imagine how the visit to the airport on Friday would pan out:
Lila is dropped off at Albany International Airport bright and early Friday morning. She has her usual luggage with her - two huge bags, two carry ons (one is her purse for you TSA readers), and her ever-present travel sweater. She drags everything up to the Southwest counter and slaps her itinerary onto the counter. "Lila Meeks, 8:50am to BNA" and then it would all go downhill from there. She would end up purchasing the last ticket to Nashville for $700 just so that she could get down there.

So this is the question that is always on my mind: How do my children survive in her care each day? How are they fed? How does she remember to bring them home from the mall with her? BY GOD'S GRACE ONLY have my children remained safe and alive.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Last Day of Pre-Pre-School

Lily's last day of school was on Wednesday and they had a school picnic to celebrate on Friday. I thought that I would post a few pictures of her first year in school. There are some cute first-day pictures of her but they're stuck on the Mac and I'm not messing with that thing just to get those pictures.

I should note that while it is a school, Our World Montessori is basically a pre-school. And since she won't even start kindergarten until Fall 2009, we called this past year her pre-pre-school year. We absolutely love Our World and Jamison will be joining her this coming fall. She will be moving up to another age group and Jamison will be in the classroom that she was in this year. His teachers will be her teachers from this past year, Michelle, Manar, and Maliha.
Almost every day when we asked her what she did at school she said that she played on the trampoline. They went outside whenever it wasn't raining/snowing or below 40*. Since most days of the school year it is below 40*, they have a lot of indoor physical activities like the trampoline, slide, and balance beam.

When she turned 3 in December, she had a small celebration in school. They have a ceremony where the birthday child holds a globe and walks around an inflatable sun as many times as old the child is. It's an honor for each child to do this and it helps teach them about time passing. we brought the typical cupcakes to share. Her teacher, Michelle, is in the background.

Jamison was not allowed any cupcakes despite the birthday-girls wishes.

One day they had the fireman and a fire truck at the school talk about fire safety and such. She was allowed in the truck (yes, I was slightly jealous). One of her classmates dad was the firefighter and he dressed in all the gear and each kid knocked on his helmet. Lily and I are in the front row at the far right.

Michelle has the kids ready for circle time. It took Lily almost half the year to join the group. Neither Michelle nor I have any idea why she didn't want to participate since she sang the songs and looked like she wanted to participate. Eventually she joined the group in Dec/Jan and participated.
She did similar things like this for the Spring Tea in which she was supposed to stand with her class and sing some songs. Instead, she just stood there and pouted. We've deduced that she either doesn't like to perform in public (hard to imagine) or the whole experience is a little too overwhelming for her (most likely).
Another time she did this was when my cousin, Lynn, mailed some princess dresses for Lily to play with. To say Lily loves princesses would be an understatement. She is a new princess everyday. Yet when the dresses arrived she sobbed and wailed. And then wore them constantly. It's almost as if she is so excited and in love with the occasion that it just overwhelms her and she shuts down. (see example below: School Picnic Performance)

Here she is doing her part in helping make the snack - a smoothie.
We took the picture of Lily and Michelle on the last day of school. Michelle is a great teacher and we are so glad that Jamison will be in her class next fall. We're on the same page on a lot of things so it was very easy for us to talk about Lily and our children. Her son, Will, was one of the children that Lily played with in class.

School Picnic Performance. Lily is in the center in the orange dress and sunglasses. As they are about to begin you can see how she starts to shut down....eventually she came to stand by me and she watched the school perform. The whole school is below, not just her class.

What is great about this pictures, is not just Lily's disinterest, but Michelle's face. She's on the far right laughing because she knows exactly what Lily is doing. I'm just glad I had fancy pants on Lily so no one saw her Tinkerbell panties.
Lily and Grace on the slide. Grace is another classmate that Lily bonded with. Hopefully they will be taking swimming lessons together this summer.

At the picnic, Jamison became an attraction. Lily and her friends surrounded him and talked baby-talk to him and then laughed hysterically at each other for being so clever.

Enrolling Lily in Montessori was the best idea and I am so glad that we ran across this school. It was beautiful to watch her mind expand. We are so excited about the possibilities next year will bring for her and Jamie.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Jamison started the walking process a few weeks ago. Every time we tried to practice with him he screamed as if we were making him walk across hot coals. The reason is that he is a phenomenal crawler. If we could have a baby crawling race, he would be a contender for the top prize. He would give me looks that he knew that he could get anywhere faster by crawling and that the walking business was so beneath him. I tried explaining that while it was a lovely idea, he would still need to walk in order to participate in all the sports his father expects him to play.

Last week he finally got it. I saw the look in his eye when he walked those 5-7 steps to me. He knew that walking was way better than crawling - better view, less damage on the knees, less dog hair in the mouth, etc... So now the question was this - how long will it take for him to walk full-time? We're still working on it.

Brian took some pictures tonight of Jamie walking from me to him. He was bringing some very important train tracks to Brian. After viewing the pictures I voiced to Brian that they didn't exactly show him walking. He made an excellent point that a still camera is probably not the best method to record movement.

Try to ignore my expressions in the pictures. I was very excited and had no idea I was in the frame.
I will try to get pictures of him climbing since that is really where he excels. As my mother noted a few weeks ago: "I don't believe in evolution, but this kid must have some monkey in him." That was after she found him sitting on her coffee table.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Haiku to Dr. Rizzuto

You chiropractor!
INTENSE pain paralyzed back
Realign my spine
My chirpractor
miracle worker of backs
i can walk again

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Spring Cleaning

This morning was Spring Cleaning at the church building. We decided to bring the kids and see how much we could actually accomplish.

Since I did something to my back Friday picking up Jamison, I was restricted to window cleaning. Lily was given the choice to play in the nursery with Jamison or to help me clean. Oddly, she chose cleaning windows. To motivate her I called her Cinderella the whole time. I thought it would be a cute idea. Ingenious, even. She pointed out the falsity of my idea:
1. She was not wearing a gown
2. Her hair was in pigtails and Cinderella did not wear pigtails.
3. I was not an evil step-mother
So her logic analysis of the Cinderella-game killed the whole idea.

Brian pulled weeds with Jonathan, Dem, and Jessica in the INTENSE HEAT. It was way over 80* so it was a good thing I was cleaning windows inside. Who knows what would have happened to my flesh if I had stepped out into that kind of weather.
Jamison eventually went down for a nap but was abruptly woken up by the fire alarms blaring throughout the entire building. Lights were flashing, earsplitting sirens wailing, and people were calmly walking around the building wondering why the alarms were going off. Apparently it was a two-alarm fire warning so two fire trucks showed up. At that point we decided to leave before we were blocked in by fire trucks and stuck in a HOT parking lot with our terrified children. Waiting for the alarms to stop:

Despite the fire drill, I was just proud that we got windows cleaned and weeds pulled AND had two children present. I think we should be given bonus points for being able to clean and keep children contained.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

On Why the Brit Office is Better

Since everything is re-runs Brian and I decided to watch the British "The Office" the other night. This was our attempts to try to decompress after a LOVELY Monday. (note to self for another post: The Truth from Behind the Lines: Why Married Couples Should or Should Not Work Together)

Anyway, so whilst we were watching the programme (I'm writing in a British accent now. I couoldn't find the "british aaccent font" so you would automatically know that, so I hope this will suffice), I decided that there are a number of reasons why this version of The Office is superior to the US version.

1. Ricky Gervais

2. This version actually has the ability to make me feel uncomfortable - REALLY uncomfortable. Nothing can beat his motivational speech in which RG sings Tina Turner. Simply the Best!

3. The US characters are pretty believable but the Brit characters are even more believable.

4. Brit slang keeps me on my toes. It's possible to completely miss a joke if you don't understand the slang.

5. ummmm it's the original. I was hoping that when the US version came out it would be more creative, more funny, etc... and while it is hysterial and I will always watch it, it just seems to not match up to the creativitiy of the Brit version.

6. I think that i could argue that both have excellent theme songs so this is not really a point. I just wanted to make sure I gave credit where it's due.

I will spare you on why I think the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice is better than the Kiera Knightly least for this post.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I've Succumbed


So I wasn't ever going to start a blog for fear that I would never keep up with it. Another reason I have avoided this is that I have very high expectations for blogs. But I've given in. I'd like to be able to post twice a week. It will more likely be twice a month. Just making sure we're all on the same page. Now on to the real post:

On Saturday a few of us ran in the Freihofers Run for Women. It's a 5k for women only and over 3300 of us competed. Since my base is 3 miles I really didn't do much in terms of "training" for this race. In fact, because April and May were so busy with work and family I hadn't trained at all. So I was very clear to all my friends that I was planning on running a 13 minute mile - if that. In the end, I paced somewhere around 11 min 22 sec a mile. That explains why I so desperately wanted to puke after the race.

The first race I ran was a half marathon 9 months after I had Lily. I was hoping I'd be able to do something similar after I had Jamison a year ago, but I just couldn't find the time to train properly between the kids and working. So this was the next best thing.

There was a beautiful "before" picture of our group but my eyes are closed and my vanity won't let me post it.

After Picture:

Nikky, Heidi, Demeree, Adrian, Jessica, and me. It was taken on Dan's cell so I think that's why it looks hazy. And that also suits my vanity since you can't see me very clearly at all.

Brian and the kids surprised me at the finished line. I didn't expect them to come to the race since it's such a pain to drag two kids to downtown Albany, find a parking spot, and manuver through a crowd with a double stroller. Although there is a beneift to a stroller in a crowd - you can ram people's ankles if they're walking to slow. Voila! the crowd parts the way for you. Just like Moses and the Red Sea. It's a very powerful feeling and I have now decided to always bring a stroller with me when I go to NYC. Whether I have the kids or not.