4 02 2013

We have to get vocal and he’s right, it takes more then FB posts to make a difference…..we’re preaching to the choir most of the time, we need to preach to the ones that need to hear it!

The Night I Met Bo Johnson

24 10 2012

A beautiful read – The Night I Met Bo Johnson.  As my eyes are opened to the horror of Childhood Cancers, I am learning so much and reading so many incredible stories of strength, courage and support.  Every one of them makes me want to be a better person.  To live a life that will honor the beautiful, wonderful kids taken from us much too soon.  F.U. Cancer.  R.I.P. all you angels – smile down on us and keep us strong so that we may continue to fight on your behalf.

Good bye Grandpa…..

12 07 2011

So I know I still owe the follow up entry to our trip to Ocean City – which I will do, I just haven’t had a chance.  I updated your journal, put pics in the photo album and posted pics to facebook – so I guess that’s why I just haven’t felt like writing about it one more time, but I will.  We really had fun on that trip and I know you’ll love reading about it someday.  But this entry needed to happen so here I go.

This past Saturday was a day I always knew was coming but it’s hit me in a way I never expected.  I had left you with Daddy so I could meet a friend in the city to go over a photography job we’re doing later in the month.  We’re shooting a wedding and I am both excited and nervous about it – and it’s taken forever for Brian and I to be able to get together to talk about this.  Well as I was waiting for Brian in the lobby of his building I get a call that my dad is in the hospital, his blood pressure is really low and that he is very sick and he’s probably not going to make it – they didn’t know how long.  I couldn’t believe it – not so much that this call finally came, I was just so mad at myself for being so far away when it happened.  My dad hasn’t had much of a life these last 35 years or so, in and out of hospitals and institutions, and I couldn’t believe that he was going to be in a hospital dying alone.  Thankfully I made it to his bedside on time and I was with him when he passed on.  It’s going to be a tough memory to carry with me but I couldn’t have had it any other way – I couldn’t let my daddy pass on alone.

Monkey, my daddy has been sick my whole life – and well before that.  He spent all of my childhood in and out of mental hospitals.  But it wasn’t until he was in his late 50’s – early 60’s that he was finally diagnosed as Manic Depressive and given medicine that kept him “normal”.  By that time he was down in an Institution in Florida – all by himself with no family around.  Me and my sister had gone down to Florida with my dad when his illness got really bad and he had to be committed.  Me and my sister were living with people so we were taken care of – but eventually we ended up back in NY with family and my dad stayed in the hospital in Florida.  I was 10 or 11 years old when he went in and it was over 12 years before I saw him again.

Unfortunately I don’t have many memories of my father and some of the ones I have aren’t very good ones – his illness was at fault and I don’t blame him at all.  My dad had six kids between his two marriages and in the end I was all he had – I was the only one that could see past the illness and love him just because he was my daddy.

Some things I know about Grandpa that I’d want you to know –

1.  according to my Aunt Jean, his sister, he was always getting in to trouble as a kid.  one time some of the kids had gone with my grandma on the bus to the grocery store – and on the way home my dad ate all the cherries.  pounds of them –  he just sat on the back of the bus eating them all.  now my grandma was straight off the boat from italy and I’m sure my dad got an old country spanking for that one.

2.  according to Aunt Jeanie he was running off to smoke cigarettes at a very young age (don’t you ever pick up this nasty habit!!!)

3. he was a great bowler.  i’m told he bowled a perfect game more then once.

4.  he liked to bet on horses and one time he took me to Belmont Racetrack with him and let me pick the horses – even though I didn’t know what I was doing and only picked horses because I liked their names and not because of the odds 🙂

5.  he taught me how to check pay phone coin returns for loose change – there was one time when I am pretty sure he slipped coins in to a bank of phones before he sent me to check because I found money in each and every one!

6.  he loved chinese food and he always took me and my sister to eat out at a chinese restaurant

7.  he’d let me drink all the creamers for the coffee when we went out to dinner

8.  Grandma Candy says she loved Uncle Luchy (that’s what everyone in the family called him) because he was the fun uncle.  Whenever the family got together he was the one that would play with the kids and have a good time

9.  I brought you to meet your grandpa on my first birthday after you were born – thankfully my dad was in good spirits that day  and it seems like he was lucid enough to understand you were my son.  He didn’t quite get that you were his grandson, but please don’t be upset because he never quite remembered that I was his daughter 😦  I was just Donna Marie, the one that came to see him all the time.  Senile dementia is a sad thing monkey.

10. even when Grandpa was at his sickest though, he still could be a charmer.  at the nursing home where he spent his final years he was known for being quite a handful.  he called people horrible names, hit people and could just be a pain in the butt – but there were times when he could be incredibly sweet.  It was moments like those when he charmed the socks off one of the aides there, her name is Carrie Williams but my dad always called her Cassie.  She took a liking to him like no one else there did and she looked after him better then anyone.  knowing she was there to care for him really made my life easier  and she came to visit him in the hospital on that last day.  it wasn’t 10 minutes after she left that he decided to let go and I truly believe that he waited not only for me, but for his Cassie Williams to come before he’d say good bye.

Getting Ready for Vacation

26 06 2011

So we’re getting ready for our trip to Ocean City – we’re really looking forward to it.  Last year we had so much fun – going out to dinner, to the beach, the boardwalk and the water park!!  Aunt Dawn can’t wait to see you.  It’s been a while since she saw you last.  She’s gonna be so surprised by how you’ve grown and how much you are talking.  I told her to make sure she put away anything that was breakable since you’re the original Dr. Destructo 🙂  She said she’s ready for you – but we’ll see about that!!  We’ve been showing you pictures of her and Uncle Jeff – want to see if you’ll surprise them with saying their names when you see them.

You’re getting really good with repeating things we ask you to say.  Today we practiced saying Auntie for Aunt Dawn.  Daddy kept trying to get you to say Uncle but you’re having a hard time with that one – so I had you practicing Jeff.  It’s fun to hear how you say things.  Like today Nan was asking you to say the names of people from school – and when she said Angelica, you said A-ca-ca.  The way you say good bye is the best, your voice gets high pitched and you wave while you say “bye bye”.

Daddy taught you how to sign “please” so you’ve been doing that a lot.  We’re starting to teach you “thank you” now.  You’ve started telling us when you have a poo poo or pee pee diaper.  You’re an absolute carb junkie.  You love bread, cereal, cookies and crackers.

Here are some pictures since my last post:

Rocking the cool jacket Auntie Dawn got you – it finally fits

I don’t think you have enough toys to play with

such a happy little boy 🙂

at Auntie Gen’s  HS graduation

I just love this picture  – you look too funny

hanging at Nonna Candy’s house – you were going to be staying the next night with Grandpa Richie while we went away for a spa day….my first night without you – it was bittersweet

you were mad cause daddy was changing your diaper but you wanted to come to me – mommy doesn’t want you til you have a clean diaper on your bum you silly monkey!

goofing around with Emmy & Patrick

hanging with Emmy, Erin & Samantha

So sad

3 06 2011

Today mommy is so sad.  She went to a funeral today.  These things are always sad because it means someone has passed away and they are no longer with us.  That is very sad because who wants to think of a friend or family member not being there anymore??  But this funeral was really sad because it was for a baby – a beautiful little girl that had been born too soon and the odds were just stacked against her.  Her name was Remy Elena and she belonged to my friends Pete and Mary.  Mommy can’t imagine what they must be going through right now – I think if anything happened to you there would be an ache and a hole in my heart that would never heal.  So I know this must be the same for them – and although I know that much, I don’t know what that pain feels like.  When my mommy passed away I was only five years old – not really old enough to understand what death meant and young enough to adapt to a life without her as if that was normal.  But a parent losing a child – it’s a pain that is inconceivable to me and I wish that my friends didn’t have to adapt to a life without their beautiful little girl.  I can only pray that the short time they had with her will have filled their hearts enough that though painful now, that love will help them go on.

I believe I’ve mentioned once before I started this blog as a way to let you know how loved you are by me.  I have this nagging fear in the back of my head that I could die young, like my mother, and you’ll get older and wonder what I thought about you.  I know people think I’m silly for thinking about this – but how can I not when that’s what happened to me?  I needed to do this so you know, you never wonder how much you mean to me and how much you are loved.  You’re my world  – that’s the only way I can describe it – and you really won’t appreciate it until you have kids of your own someday.  So on a day like today, as a mourn for my friends, I am so thankful that I have you and you are healthy and quietly sleeping in your crib as I type this.  I smothered you with a few more kisses then usual (hard to believe really since I normally smother you way too much as it is!) and tomorrow morning I’ll hug you extra hard.  You are my little monkey. Night night Christopher, sleep tight.


Choo Choo

26 05 2011

So it’s been almost a month since my last post – I’ll really try not to wait so long between them!  It’s just incredibly hard sometimes to get my act together – you keep me pretty busy little man :).   Of course it’s not all you, a full-time job, housework and a photography hobby mixed in mean sometimes I don’t know which way is up!

Anyway  – back to your update! This has been going on for awhile but probably has heated up in the last month  – and by “this” I mean your love of Thomas the Train, choo choo!!  It’s pretty hilarious how you wake up in the morning and your first words are “choo choo.”  Seriously, I’m not joking.  Your eyes will be closed, just on the verge of waking up and then you go “choo choo.”  You’ll finally open your eyes and say “ma ma” in the cutest voice followed closely by “choo choo” again!  Then you’re sliding off the bed so you can run in to the living room, point to the tv while doing a little dance and say “choo choo” yet again!  This has been repeated nearly every morning for the last two weeks!

But you’ve been hooked on Thomas for quite a while now.  I’m guessing your obsession started with seeing Cousin Gerry’s trains when we go to Marion’s house.  Gerry has a giant train set in their basement and you LOVE going down there to see them.  Then I started dvr’ing Thomas episodes so you could see trains whenever you wanted.  Needless to say that is all the time.

Then we got really lucky because my friend Tara’s son Johnny is just out growing his Thomas obsession.  He is going to give you his entire Thomas collection – including a train table!  I just have to find somewhere to put it.  Johnny gave you a couple of trains to start you off and you play with them all the time.  One of these days I’d love to take you to go on a real steam train!   There are ones not too far away so maybe we will get to do that.

Word update – you’ve added a few more to your vocabulary.  The Baby Einstein First Words book is awesome.  It’s so much fun to go through the book with you.  You can say almost every word on the first two pages and you point to every item when I ask you where X is.  My favorite is when I ask you where the bread or carrots are.  You point to the pictures and say “bed” and “cat” 🙂  You’re starting to put words together too.  You’ve been saying “oh no” for a while, but now you’ve added “bye ma.”  I’m sure you’ve paired some others but I’m too tired to remember.  Will have to add them to the next post, which will NOT take a month to do, I promise 🙂  Love you monkey.

Oh yeah, that reminds me that the only book you let me read to you at bedtime is a Curious George book.  Any time I try to read you anything else, you fuss and fidget until I get the Curios George book out.

Here are some pics of you from the last month –

this picture makes me laugh.  we were at Anita’s house for the twin’s first bday party.  we went down to their play room to hang out with them and they followed you around like zombies.  everywhere you went, the two of them followed you.  you didn’t like it at all!  i thought it was hilarious

I have no idea how you wiggled your arm out of your shirt!

you’re so cute in your petite bateau outfit – oo la la

You’re first time on the school bus with nan – she swears you stopped crying by the  time you hit the corner

Day 2, still crying 😦

Day 3 no crying – Daddy helped get you on the bus.  You haven’t cried anymore – now you practically run to the bus every morning!  Grandma has you all singing songs and playing games.  Speaking of games, daddy bought you a lacrosse stick.

Aunt Victoria came down to watch you so I could do pictures at Jordan’s Communion.

See, now you’re happy on the bus.  Here you are blowing me a kiss bye bye.

Here you are visiting daddy at work.

Words Words Words

26 04 2011

I’m copying this idea from my good friend Allison – she always updates her daughter Olive’s blog with the new words she can say.  I’ve updated a few – but since you still don’t have too many I’ll list them all and then just let you know the new ones as we go along.

There is mama and dada of course.  Then ba ba, appa (apple), choo choo (train), leh-mon (lemon), cook cook (cookie), go go (car), gool gool (school bus), ah plane (air plane), up, ehmo (elmo), ehnie (Ernie – even though he points to Bert EVERY time!!), orn (corn), manana (banana), woof woof (dog), who who (owl), eh phant (elephant), nan (grandma) and a few more we just don’t quite understand.

You sign for more, milk and all done.  I really need to teach you please and thank you!  Of course I need to remember those signs before I can teach them 🙂

A Day of Firsts!

26 04 2011

What a day we had today little man!  Today was your last day off from school – you’ve been off for over a week.  Mommy decided to take today off from work to watch you since I used up a lot of baby sitting last week with Grandma Angie and Marion.  I was looking forward to a day off during the week anyway – it’s always different then being off on the weekends.  And I figured I’d use it as a chance to book your first dentist appointment since it’s about time I took you in!

But first we started the day with some errands – we had to go to Orvis in Greenvale to pick up daddy’s birthday gift 🙂  That’s right, today was daddy’s birthday!  We got him a gift certificate so he could go back and pick out the fishing rod he wants.  Of course daddy has a bazillion fishing rods but he really needs a bazillion and one.  I really didn’t understand it until today when my friend Tara said,” it’s like a woman and her shoes.”  Then I had an A HA moment and it finally clicked for me.  Then we had to go to Walmart to pick up the drawing table I got for you – we have no idea where we’ll put it but I’ll find a place.  Time to get you playing with crayons and stuff.  Next we went to Tara’s house for lunch and then some playground action with her kids Amy, Johnny, Erin and Julie.  It had been a long time since we’ve seen them so they were so happy we were coming.  And it was like YOU had a birthday today because Johnny is going to give you his Thomas the Train train table and all his trains.  That’s another thing we’ll have no idea where it will go but I’m not passing up getting you that.  Right now you LOVE Thomas.  You point to the TV going choo choo all the time 🙂  We had a lot of fun at the playground.  You got to run around with the kids and go on the slide – they had so much fun with you.

After the park we had to head to the dentist for your first appointment!  I can’t believe I forgot to get a picture of you at the office 😦  Oh well.  You did great – you cried when they were brushing your teeth and poking around in there – but you recovered quickly.  The dentist said your teeth looked great.  Good thing momma got you used to brushing your teeth early.  We don’t have to go back there until November.

Then after that we headed home to get poppa so we could take you for your first haircut.  We were going to Rino’s in Elmont – that’s where daddy got HIS first haircut!  I was nervous about taking you there because I didn’t know Rino was used to cutting kid’s hair – daddy knew but he didn’t tell me.  He thought it was funny that I was nervous.  But once we walked in there and saw the kiddie chair and all the pics on the wall of the hundreds of other kids that had their haircut there, I knew you were in good hands.  I even saw pics of people I knew on the wall.  Rino did a great job and you were soooo good!  You didn’t cry at all.  Rino knew lots of tricks to get you to sit still.

This is pre-haircut.  Rino gave you a lollipop to butter you up.

How Rino got you to sit still while he had the clippers going is beyond me!

All done!  You look so handsome and even more like your daddy 🙂

Then it was off to the diner for dinner!  What a day 🙂

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

29 03 2011

Just chilling watching some Sesame Street and eating cheerios

another day, another snack -this time it’s blueberries – but he’s still watching Sesame Street

another day, more sesame street minus the snack

Hanging out at Marion’s house, watching Gerry’s trains…choo choo (oh yeah, he can say choo choo)

walking around with dada’s phone saying “mama mama”

knock knock, who’s there – Nan!

a mom’s eye view of Christopher reaching up, wanting to get picked up…again

Trying to get a shot of Christopher in his St Patty’s “hat” like last year….this year he wanted no part of it!

About the only moment where he was smiling at the circus…..unfortunately he as in no mood for it….oh well

Playing with toys at Grandma Candy & Grandpa Richie’s house

Celebrating Aunt Victoria’s birthday….by picking her a present while at the table…..

Hanging with Aunt Gen before we headed home

C is for cookie

I told you he likes playing with his shovel in the house…..

I was driving down the street and who was on the sidewalk waving to passing cars – Cookie Monster!  Of course I had to pull over for a picture – we went inside so someone could take a picture for us.

hanging with Em & Pat at the playground

Mid-March Check-In

25 03 2011

So things around here have been busy.  Time just seems to be slipping through the hourglass way too fast.  I seriously think some sand is missing and I’m not getting a full hours worth on my time.  Like I’m really only getting 55 minutes to an hour and those missing five minutes add up…to two hours!!!!  Those are two hours I could use cleaning…putting away the laundry…or cooking…or god forbid, sleeping.  I wonder if there is a repair shop around here for hourglasses so I can have mine re-calibrated.

Anywaaaaaaayyyy…..what is really on my mind these days is how fortunate I am and how it’s really important that I remember that!  I have friend’s whose daughter was born at 28 weeks and she’s in the NICU and will be for some time.  I just read a story about a couple in Brooklyn that were each diagnosed with a terminal cancer within days of each other.  They have an 18mos old daughter.  And I am sure there is someone out there with a story that is even worse then that.  So the fact that I wish my house was nicer or cleaner or that my furniture didn’t all look like it came from a garage sale…that isn’t really something to be wallowing about.  I have my health.  My husband has his.   My ridiculously precious son has his.  That. Is. All. That. Matters.

I was gonna make this post a bitch session about our experience with the Ringling Brothers Circus but I’ve just gotten finished reading the story about that couple in Brooklyn and it kind of put things in perspective.

Instead I’ll talk of happier things – like words!  Christopher’s gibberish is really starting to take on the appearance of real words.  Now dada has always been better at interpreting what the little man is saying, but now he’s saying stuff even I can understand!!  For instance, yesterday morning he was watching Sesame Street like he usually does.  I came in to the room to get him in his coat and he started going “Ernuh Ernuh Ernuh”….it took me a minute but then I saw Ernie on the screen and realized that he was saying his name.  I couldn’t believe it.  I’ve been trying to teach him everyone’s names for months and all he’s ever said was “Ehmo”.  He really loves saying “Appa” and walks around saying that all the time.  There are more words but I can’t remember what they are at the moment.

He’s a great mimicker.  He sees my keys, grabs them and heads right to the door to try and fit them in the lock.  He sees a telephone and puts it right to his ear.  He loves his shovel and pushes it all over the house. When he sees me open the hall closet he comes running to try and grab the swiffer to sweep the floor.

He also loves to brush his teeth.  Once I wrap a towel around him to take him out of the bath, he starts sticking his finger in his mouth and pretends to brush his teeth.

He loves to be surprised.  He gets a kick out of me jumping from behind a corner and go “aarrrrrgggghhh” really loud.    You have to see the way he flinches and starts laughing.  I’ll run towards him and then he runs in between my legs to get away from me.  We can play that game forever.

He’s close to 29lbs now.  I don’t know his height but he’s tall enough to reach over the table and grab anything that’s not in the middle of the table.  Every day his reach seems to get a little bit longer!!  And he’s strong as an ox.  Try wrestling something away from him that he really wants to hold!  And he just got over the croup again and yet another ear infection.  Hopefully that will be it for awhile.  We had him home from school for a week and I don’t want to do that again.

He loves school!!  Especially now.  They moved him from the 2nd baby room in to the toddler room.  Before he was the oldest in the room and now he is the youngest, but he is doing so much better in there.  He doesn’t cry anymore when I drop him off – he practically leaps from my arms so he can go play with his friends.  And he might be younger then these kids, but he’s the same size so you’d never know that.  In this new room he gets to do more activities, like finger painting and coloring and playing with blocks.  They’ve been sending him in there for a few hours at a time, and officially he started in there full time this week – but you can see a difference already.  I’d say this environment has really helped with him finding voice to so many new words!