Monday, April 30, 2007

Surprises and recovery

Once again I have fallen behind in my blogging, but I have a good excuse... the last few weeks have been filled with getting ready for my Dad's surprise 60th birthday bash which finally occurred on Friday night. And what a blast we had!! He was totally surprised, as I was sure he would be and we had a great time spending a fun evening with all of our favorite friends and family. Thankfully we hired a photographer to capture the night so we will be able to relive it any time we want.

We got to spend the day before the party with Brian and Beth which thrilled Michaela to no end. They got to see the Y where she takes swim lessons, her school, her classroom, her teacher... everything important to her and she seemed to burst with happiness. They even watched her play in the first soccer game of the season on Saturday morning. Since they left, Michaela has been a bit out of sorts (not helped by a few late nights and lots of excitement) and ended up crying Saturday night and Sunday morning because she missed them. I tried to cheer her up by reminding her that we will see them again in just a few weeks for Michael and Jaime's wedding on June 2nd, but that did not seem to shake the ache in her heart.

Check out Brian and Beth's blog for pictures of the party as they have much more technologically advanced ways of displaying multiple pictures. I think the party was a great success and hope my dad felt the loving arms of his family and friends around him that night.

So now we are off of the high of the party and back to our normal routines... M started her second round of swim lessons and moved up to the Ray class today. She did awesome! No floating devices at this level and there was much more emphasis on technique. They did a few races from one side of the pool to the other and she won every time. (She's a competitive little bugger!) Soccer also started, as I mentioned before, and she had a good game- a few breakaway runs and close shots. She had a great cheering section there, with JuJu and Uncle Dick, Michael and Jaime, Gammie and PopPop, and us all rooting for her.

Jenna seems to take it all in stride... the party was pretty tough for her, with all the people talking to her, lots of noise and loud music, but she has recovered, too. I am proud to report that she had her first ever down-on-the-floor temper tantrum at the mall last week and I was thrilled... it is the only developmental task that she has not been 6 months late!!! She is very almost two and fights for her independence every day... except when she wants to nurse. I have to start planning her birthday party soon- our next big event!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My foreign iPod

I was surprised to get an early Mother's Day/birthday gift this weekend- a new pink iPod nano!!! I was soo excited to get it and use it at the Y when I am exercising... right now I am using earbud headphones of Michaela's that only work on one side and are too short to plug into some of the machines without leaning forward... not great for my posture or form. Another benefit is that I can use the iPod no matter what I am doing- the bikes, weights, or treadmills. I am so psyched to program it with all my favorite music.
I opened it on Friday night and was admiring it's brilliant, beautiful pink-ness when Jenna grabbed for it. Thinking to myself, "What could she possibly do to it?" (HaHaHa- anyone with kids knows that those are famous last words...), I handed it over to her and within literally two seconds she had programmed it to display in some type of Asian language (I'm thinking Japanese or Chinese). After fooling with it for quite a while and realizing I am not good at recognizing any of the characters, I had to give up and get help today from my dad's iPod, using it as a guide so I could find the language setting and switch it back to English.
So now it is pretty AND functional...a perfect gift!

The Bridal Shower

As I mentioned before, Saturday was Jaime's surprise bridal shower. It was so nice and she got lots of great stuff for her kitchen- appliances, dishes, silverware, glasses, cookware, etc. I was happy to meet the rest of the bridal party who were all very nice. Here is a picture of me with the bride-to-be. It was a princess-themed shower and we made her wear a tiara. We are all so excited for Jaime to permanently become a Libutti on June 2nd!

Pictures of the remodel!

So here are the pics of the new and improved bathroom!

Sweet Success!

Our bathroom is DONE.... and we couldn't be happier. We hung up towel bars, got out our new towels and generally finished up the project this weekend. It feels so good to take a shower and give the girls baths in such a clean, new room. When we go into our bathroom, it's like we're in a new house! It was stressful but in the end (as things often are) it was all worth it. I am hoping to take some "after" pictures and post them soon.

Well, it's April 15th and it's snowing here in the Northeast. How absolutely depressing. It is times like this that Dan and I really wonder why we live here and not somewhere further South. But then we think of our family and friends and job and house and church and schools and we just sigh and say that Spring will come sometime. Maybe. Hopefully.

Michaela story of the week: My mom, M, Jenna and I went shopping for new cleats and shinguards for M for her upcoming soccer season (yay!). M was only interested in the exercise equipment at the story- the Total gym, thighmaster, free weights, etc. and kept blowing me off about /picking things out to buy. I pulled her aside and told her she needed and attitude adjustment and that I wanted her to pay attention and be grateful that she was getting new things. As she was walking away from me, quite annoyed, she went up to my mom and said in an incredibly condescending voice, "Gammie... talk to her!" (meaning me). We were dumbfounded and my mom did the least helpful thing in response- burst out laughing.

Jenna has now linked her two favorite words- when you try to do something for her she says, "No, me!" because she's an independent almost two year old and wants to do everything herself. Her sense of humor is so apparent now... just like her sister, she has a great sense of timing and gets the jokes now that we make with her. I went to a bridal shower for Jaime yesterday and was gone from 9:30am until 6 pm and Jenna did fine without me. Danny did a great job of holding down the fort. Several months ago, this would have been unthinkable.

Stay warm, and I'll post those pics soon!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

A Fresh Start... literally

Happy Easter! We had a really great Easter- filled with lots of fun, family and FOOD! The girls looked beautiful (we woke up at 7am to start getting ready for church at 10am, so it wasn't exactly effortless...) in their matching outfits... we watched the flurries come down outside as we put on our white spring shoes and our sleeveless dresses. Church was wonderful and Michaela sang in her first ensemble/small group with Creator's Crusaders. She did great! We sat with JuJu and Uncle Dick at church and they gave M and J some treats and DVDs from the Easter Bunny. The we went to my parents to do the famous Easter Basket search using the hot/cold technique. We returned home and Paga came for lunch, bearing cute bunny purses and fun candy and toys for the girls. Later in the afternoon my parents came to our house and we had a nice ham dinner. It was busy but lots of fun.

In other Libutti news, the bathroom is almost done!!! We started using it this weekend and have never felt cleaner. We are thrilled with the results and feel like the bathroom is now the nicest room in our house! All that is left is to do the final sanding and painting of the walls and trim. We are going to miss seeing our contractor every day... the girls really grew to like him. We even baked him some cookies on Friday! He started talking about doing another job and I got jealous- he's OUR contractor!! It has been a long 17 days of not showering regularly... I was thrilled to be clean and wearing makeup two days in a row! When it is all done I will post the final "after" pictures.

This week coming up is Michaela's Spring Break, so she is off from school, choir, swim lessons and any other structured activity. We are all looking forward to the respite. We are probably going to Lee, MA shopping for Michaela one day and also spending a day with the Strausses (we went to their house on Saturday for an awesome Easter Egg hunt... the girls had a ball!).

Two cute stories of the week: On Thursday, I told Michaela we had to do a big cleanup of her room. She said to me, "Mommy, I have a great idea... why don't I have a sleepover at Gammie and PopPop's and you and Daddy clean it up while I'm gone?" (One time in the fall we threw out two GARBAGE bags full of junk from her room while she was at their house under the guise that we 'cleaned it up' for her.) I told her, "No, I think we were going to do it today." And she said, "But that's what you did the last time!" We did work together and got it looking good.

On Friday night, Michaela had gone to bed and Jenna was still awake because she had taken a very late nap. She wanted to watch a DVD and I said no. She waved it in front of my face, showed me the DVD player, anything she could think of to indicate she wanted to watch it. I kept saying no and telling her it was time for bed. Finally in desperation she clutched it to her chest, leaned close to my face and said, "Peeease?? Peeeease??" Even a new word for please and good manners wouldn't make me relent! She did eventually settle down and go to sleep.

Well, that is enough news for now... hope you all had a great Easter.