Wednesday, February 27, 2013


It was time for a change.  I cut my hair big-time!


A particularly bad photo of me, but its the most recent that shows my hair.  This was taken at the end of January.


So much better!


I was able to go down (all by myself!) to Orlando to hang with the family during President's day weekend.   I spent 2 days at the beach with my mom and sister, Lori.  It was a particularly memorable trip that I won't soon forget.  :)   I do have to mention, that I got one of the best night's of sleep I've had in months.  It really makes a difference when you get the opportunity to sleep and not have one ear listening for Sam to make some kind of noise.  Or, have to wake-up and face a day full of responsibilities.  The break was truly needed.  This alone made the trip worth it.

Unfortunately, my dad, Rita and Meghan were all sick and I stayed far, far, far away from their house.  I will get to spend time with them at the end of March when Sam and I go down for her trip.

I have so much love and adoration for my husband, Jeff who supports me 100% in being able to do these trips.  I miss not seeing my family. My parents aren't getting any younger.  I want to be able to visit as much as possible.  If Jeff wasn't as fantastic a husband or father as he is, I wouldn't be able to get on a plane and go.  I've said this before, but it bears repeating, I won the husband lottery. 


Monday, February 25, 2013

It's time for Purim!

It has been a long standing tradition (for over 42 years!) to bake Hamentashen cookies each year at Jeff's parent's house.  It's a favorite activity for all observing Jews, but especially sweet (no pun intended) for my mother-in-law who has been baking these triangle-shaped cookies with Elaine (Jeff's sister) since she was two years old. 

Over the years, the hands helping in the kitchen grew to include Jeff, Grandson #1 Matthew, me, Ian and finally Sam when she came on the scene 4 years ago.  Coming together each year making Hamentashen is an event! 

Unfortunately for me, I missed this past year and Jeff took the kids solo to his parents.  They had a wonderful time, not only creating great memories, but 10 dozen Hamentashen cookies! 

Voila!  The finished product!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Miracle of miracles

About a week ago, Sam started complaining non-stop that her teeth were hurting.  Every meal she ate and random times through out the day she would start crying and complaining about tooth pain.  It was not fun.  Jeff took a look at her mouth and determined that her front top two teeth were a little loose. 

After 3 days of hearing Sam go on and on about her teeth hurting, I decide to bring her into the dentist.  It took me long enough, right?   An X-Ray was taken and it turns out the roots above her top two teeth are dissolving.  This isn't because her adult teeth are coming in and pushing the baby teeth out, it's because Sam is a thumb-sucker and it is doing damage to her teeth.  Lovely.

Between me and you, I like that Sam sucks her thumb.  Why?  Because when she is sucking her thumb, she can't scream at the same time.  It's a nice built-in quiet time when you see the thumb in her mouth.  According to me, that is more than worth any amount of money needed for braces in the future.

The dentist recommended that Sam stops sucking her thumb pronto.  I asked if the roots would then restrengthen and cease the pain being caused.  The dentist said no and the best we can hope for is that further damage is not created.  I then asked if we would have to wait another 3 years until the teeth would fall out on their own and the dentist replied, most likely she will lose these teeth within 2 years.  OMG!  Two more years of hearing Sam whine and cry about her teeth hurting.  Ugh! 

I came up with an idea.  Let's just pull these two teeth now!  When the dentist finally stopped laughing (I was serious by the way!), she said she would lose her license if she did that.  I am guessing the dentist doesn't have little kids at home.

The dentist had a nice long chat with Sam about how she has to stop sucking her thumb.  She recommended we get this product called "Mavala" that will help create a bad taste on her thumb and discourage from her putting it in her mouth.

Of course we ordered this product right away, but here's the coolest thing.  SAM HAS STOPPED SUCKING HER THUMB!!  Whatever the dentist said to her worked its magic.  And, Sam hasn't complained one since her dentist appointment about her teeth hurting.  Sam was able to see the bigger picture and know that stopping her thumb-sucking was necessary.

Wow!  Gooooooo Sam!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I've got Summer on the brain

Even though we are a good four months away from the start of Summer, it is time to start thinking about what the kids will be doing each week they are out of school.  It's important to have a plan!

Ian is finally at the age that we are considering sleep-away camp.  There  is a great Jewish camp called "Capital Camps", located in Waynesboro, PA.  They offer a "rookie" camp for kids who will be attending camp for the first time and are rising 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders.  It is a 4 day, 3 night program, starting August 13th.

We got to take a tour of the camp this past Sunday.  It is fantastic!  I am not sure you can actually call it "camp", more like a "resort".  The camp is beautiful.  The presentation was outstanding and all our questions got answered.  Ian will be attending with a few of his friends.  To say they are excited is an understatement. The kids had so many questions.  Every time another sentence was said by our tour guides, all the kids' arms instantly went in the air asking a question about what was just heard.  While walking around the grounds, Ian said, "I could live here for 2 years!".

If all goes well (which I am sure it will), Ian can go for a longer amount of time next year.

While we were taking the tour with two of the families that will most likely be attending too, everyone commented on how excellently behaved Sam was.  She was so mellow and didn't whine, complain or say anything for the 2 hours we were there. I believe she was thrilled to be there with the big kids (the siblings of the boys we were with, who are also her bff's weren't with us).  Sam was mentally taking it all in.  She would LOVE to go to sleep-away camp too.  One day!

I am so excited for Ian.  I know he is going to have a fantastic time.

The boys on the way to Capital Camps

Listening to Adam and Sam talk about how great camp is.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

From 0 to 5k in 48 minutes.

The Pacer's in Pentagon Row (Arlington) hosts a very fun Valentine's day run called, "Love the Run you're with".  It's a 5k where pretty much anything goes...strollers, dogs, walkers, runners, people dressed in costumes, etc.  It's great course, where the killer hill is over and done with before you even know what hits you.

I've done the race a few times over the past years and love it.  It's hard to find a 5k that is offered in the dead of Winter.  Believe me, they are far and few between.  There is nothing more fun than putting on layers and bundling up for a run in temps that are in the low 30's.  It is so invigorating!  You can see your breath! 

I hadn't been part of an organized race since the marathon (11/20/11) and was finally missing that runner's high.  I registered for the "Love the Run you're with" and planned to make that my comeback.  A very, very slow comeback. One of my most favorite running quotes is:  "You don't have to go fast, you just have to go."

My only goal was that I didn't finish last.  I didn't finish last, not even second to last.  I came in 1,673 out of 1,721.  Woo-hoo!!!

And who did I run with, you may be asking yourself?  Me, Myself and I.  No one I had emailed wanted to do it this year with me.  No worries.  I was very happy to go out there on my own and run like the wind.  Or, more appropriately, walk like the wind.

I should mention my mom did offer to "run" this race with me.  She volunteered to be on the phone the whole time and provide encouragement and my own little cheering section.  I probably should've taken her up on her offer as the music I was listening to didn't motivate me to move any faster.  :)

While I don't see myself signing up for more races throughout the year, I will go back and do this one again and again.  Who knows, maybe my Valentine will one day join me? 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Now it's a party!

The other day Sam and I started the conversation on where she would like to have her birthday party this year.  Since I always have it during the Memorial Day weekend, I like to start the process early in case the place Sam wants isn't available during the holiday weekend.

ME:  Sam, where would you like to have your party this year?

SAM:  Where do you think would be good?

ME:  It's up to you Sam.  Where would you have fun with your friends?

SAM:  You know that place we went to because Ian's class didn't know how to celebrate Hanukkah and we bought driedels?

ME:  You mean Party City?

SAM:  Yes! I want to have my birthday party at Party City.

ME (while laughing):  Um, Sam, they don't do parties there.

SAM:  But they have everything you need there for a party.

ME:  Well, yes, they do.  But they just want you to buy the stuff there and take it somewhere else to have the party.

I have to admit, that's pretty creative of Sam. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


This is Ian and my sister Meghan

While we were in Orlando, my sister Lori turned a year older and the family got together to celebrate her birthday at dinner on Church Street.  Everyone was there!  Dad, Rita, Mom, Jim, Lori, Ben, Meghan, me and Ian. 

During dinner, conversation turned to go-karting.  Meghan and Ian were having a friendly rivalry and this conversation was overheard:

Ian:  I am going to pass your ass Aunt Meghan!

Meghan:  The only ass your going to see is mine from behind!

All of us (with the exception of Meghan and Ian) had our mouths dropped open in shock.  WHAT DID IAN JUST SAY!?!?!?!   And, Meghan didn't even think it was odd to hear Ian cuss and came right back with a response (equally inappropriate too!).

We were all in shock.  It was pretty funny.  I said, "Ian, you just got one pass on the word "ass", I don't want hear it out of you mouth ever again."

Ian turned bright red.  Where is he learning this kind of language??  Ok, I admit we all laughed, but it was pretty shocking to hear your 7 year old son talk like this.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Four Very Special Days

Ian and I did it!  We boarded a plane on Friday night (Jan. 25th) and made our way to Orlando.  From Friday night to Tuesday evening we made the most of the two days he had off from school for teacher work days. 

Other than a two and a half hour delay leaving on Friday night, the entire trip was a big success.  Ian designed the weekend himself.  The goal was two-fold; spend quality time with my side of the family and to do things he would love to do without worrying about Sam enjoying it too.

I'll let the pictures tell the story.


Breakfast at Aunt Lori's and Uncle Ben's house. 

The beach with Mom-mom.

Even though the water was freezing, Ian spent a good portion of an hour jumping waves.

Dinner to celebrate Lori's birthday.  Both grandmas are counseling Ian on how to pull out his loose tooth. 


On the way to the Kennedy Space Center.  Ian is hanging out helping Papa drive.

Ian finally loses his 7th tooth.  We text the Tooth Fairy to tell her where to find Ian that night.

Nana and Ian ready for action

Ian and Nana start the Astronaut Training Experience program.

Going for spin!

Playing with the simulator.

Ian is the commander, Nana is the pilot.

Ian launches the rocket he made.

Ian and I hanging out in my sister's new neighborhood.

The house my sister and her husband are buying.

Ian made new friends at dinner.  Their parents are friends with Lori and Ben and live in their new neighborhood.


Mom-mom and Ian continue their tradition...eating oatmeal in the garage.

We met up with good friends and spent 12 hours at Epcot!

Ok, so I only feel mildly guilty that we also spent the day with one of Sam's BFF's too.  That's Ainsley in the front.

Ian and Dagan planning their next move.

The kids had a blast!


Ian was exhausted!  He averaged going to sleep at 10:00pm/10:30pm each night. Our original plans were to go meet up with Ben (Ian's very cool uncle) and get a tour of where he works.  Ben makes video games for EA (Electronic Arts) and he was going to show Ian around and then we would have lunch together, before heading to the airport.  Despite Ian's intense love for all things video game related, he couldn't take much more.  Therefore, we made a last minute decision and decided to hang with my Mom-mom and Pop-pop Jim.  It was nice to relax for a few hours before heading to the airport.

Watching tv together.  Ian is explaining the show "Survivorman" to Mom-mom.

I have to say, this trip was very easy!  Traveling with one child is a breeze!  Doing Epcot with someone like Ian was wonderful and so much fun.  It was a great 4 days.  Ian is already planning for his return trip next year when he comes back without Sam.  I'd say it was a big success.   My parents aren't getting any younger and I think they too enjoyed the one-on-one time with their grandson.  It was very special to me that I could do this for Ian.  I hope that we can keep these trips going and continue each year with a solo trip for Ian and Sam.

Kudos to Jeff and Sam for holding down the fort while we were gone.  Sam will get her 4 special days in Orlando (without Ian) at the end of March.