Monday, July 30, 2007

Reflections on a good day

It was a good day today at the Libutti House:
1. I got lots of laundry done that was piling up.
2. Michaela found a pair of pajamas, which she had only worn once, that had been missing. They were under her dresser, probably placed there by daughter #2.
3. I cleaned up our bedroom and put away a few things that had been bugging me every time I stepped over them.
4. We Libutti girls got invited out to lunch by Daddy and enjoyed a very fun lunch at Fudrucker's, which was yummy AND very fun to say out loud.
5. After lunch, Jenna and I took a really nice lie-down on the couch... I dozed and listened for Michaela every few minutes. She played quietly and totally amused herself for about an hour. It was delicious. It was afternoons like this that I will greatly miss when the time comes for me to go back to work.
6. I used a gift certificate I got for Mother's Day and got an hour massage this evening. The masseuse used the most beautiful words in the English language: "I lost track of time and massaged you for an extra twenty minutes... Hope that's okay." Honestly. She said that. And it was fantastically okay.

Funny Michaela story of the week: Michaela LOVES to negotiate with her father and me, especially about food. Her greatest negotiation is after meals... had she had enough of the good food to get a treat. Yesterday she was debating with me after lunch. This was roughly the play by play:
Michaela: "If I finish my carrots can I have a treat?"
Mommy: "Yes."
"Can I have a treat and a stick of gum?"
"If I finish my carrots AND pasta, can I have both?"
"Why not?"
"If you finish both, you can have a treat."
"Why can't I have both if I finish both?"
"Michaela, just eat your lunch and have your Popsicle and stop talking to me about it. That's enough."
"I love it when we play this game!"
To which I tickled her mercilessly.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hoffman's Playland

In my effort to catch up with the events of the last few weeks, here is my third post of the day (I hope you enjoy all these posts, Carrie!). We had a great time at Hoffman's, a small preschool/elementary age-geared amusement park about 20 minutes from here. The girls rode every ride and Uncle Brian and Daddy rode the scarier ones with our fearless rider Michaela. We got lots of nice pictures and I actually remember this day because the weather was sunny and not 93 degrees. (See previous post about Great Escape.) We finished off the day with some ice cream, which made it perfect.
In other news, I called the town today about the camp (see previous post) and had a pleasant conversation with the Assistant Administrator of the Parks/Rec dept. I felt like I vented a bit and felt better. Michaela has chosen not to go tomorrow but does want to go to the Town Park field trip on Thursday. I am hoping she will pal around with someone then and want to go for the last day on Friday.
We went to the library tonight for a nice storytime... the girls had fun. Afterwards we explored some puzzles and books at the library children's area and Michaela and Mommy met some new friends who were also at storytime. We are planning on getting together next week for a playdate.
Tomorrow night I am getting out with some girlfriends to talk about Blue Like Jazz, a great book that Brian recommended to me and we all are reading and discussing. I may stay out all night... it was a long day today.

Camp Underwhelming

We signed Michaela up for a summer camp through our town, who generally has good programming. It's called Camp Whatablast and said the week would involve games, arts and crafts, and field trips. It sounded really fun so I sent in my $150 check for five full days of camp.
We went yesterday for the first day and it was a disaster. I felt so bad for her because she was so excited and a little nervous since we didn't know anyone there. I mentioned to two of the counselors that she was looking to meet some new people, hoping that they would introduce her to some kids or at least kind of stick with her and help integrate her in but they both said hello and then moved on. They started the day by coloring on blank paper with markers and crayons. When I went back at 12 :15pm to check on her (I had a bad feeling), they were coloring on blank paper with crayons and markers. When I came 15 minutes early to pick her up, they were... coloring on blank paper with crayons and markers. It was like the worst daycare I'd ever seen. To make matters worse, each time I went, the three or four counselors were all bunched together talking and not interacting with the kids.
Today they are going to a waterslide park in Mass. - 45 minutes away. I told them yesterday that Michaela wouldn't be going. There is no way I'm sending my five year old on a bus across state lines to go to a waterslide park with disengaged camp counselors and all older kids (there are only 26 kids in this session, 1st through 5th grade and they are all lumped together with more kids on the older side. All the kids looked miserable to me- like they had been dumped there.) I told Michaela that she can decide if she wants to go back. They are taking a trip to our town Park an Thursday and she wants to go, which is fine with me as there is plenty of supervision there. We'll see about the other days.
Needless to say, we will make some phone calls to whoever is in charge and write some letters to get our money back. We were hoping this would be a great enrichment for her summer, but it turned out to be glorified day care, and really not very glorified at all- just boring.

No vay!

Jenna's new words: instead of saying no, she says "No vay!" for "No way!" When she really gets into it, she sweeps her arm in front of her.
Mom and Dad's reaction: Oh, it's cute the first few times you hear it... but when you're trying to go into the bank and Jenna is refusing to wear one of her shoes, screaming, "No vay! NO VAY!" in your face, it's really not so cute. Somehow I feel like I'm listening to a petulant 15 year old.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Two funny Jenna stories

Here are two of my favorites for the past two weeks:
1. My mom, Michaela, Jenna and I went to the mall earlier this week and Michaela roped us into bringing two strollers so she could ride in one and Jenna ride in the other. (Yes, she is a bit spoiled.) As we were coming into the mall elevator, my mom commented, "I wish someone would push me around the mall in a stroller" to which I replied, "Me too!" and then Jenna added in her little voice, while sitting in the stroller my mom was pushing: "Me, too!"
2. We had our church directory photos taken last Friday. They turned out horrific of me but Dan and the girls look okay. There was one nice pic of Jenna and Michaela which we bought. One of the sacrifices I have made as a parent is to put the picture in the directory that is awful of me but good of the girls. No, no need to applaud my selflessness... it comes with being a loving mother.
Anyway, as we were getting dressed at home in our somewhat gay color-coordinated outfits, Jenna walked in on me as I was changing my bra and top. She saw me naked from the waist up and her eyes got REAL big and she said (and I am not making this up), "Oh my dad!"
I need to explain that we say 'Oh my dad' instead of 'Oh my God' because of a Will Farrell skit we once saw in which he is dressed like Jesus and says, "Oh My Dad!" It struck us as really funny when we saw it and now we say it all the time.
After she exclaimed her joy at seeing my boobs- both at once and out in the open- she reached up with both hands outstretched to try to touch them. I immediately started to get dressed and thought that more privacy for Mommy is probably a good thing.
I tried to get her to say it again, to which she told me "No, no say oh my dad." which was just as cute.

Our Great Escape

On Tuesday of last week, we headed an hour north to the Great Escape amusement park. We went last summer and Michaela really had a ball; this year both girls were able to ride many of the attractions. Some of the shows (the famous diving show!) and rides I remember from when I was a teenager. This year was nice as I didn't have to nurse Jenna on any of the rides, like I did last year. (It's another funny place to put on the "Places Jenna Has Nursed List.") Little things like that make me feel like we're making good progress.
So the day was a hit except for the fact that it was 93 degrees and humid, and the Great Escape has jacked up its food and drink prices so a bottled water would have cost us $3.50. Honestly, all I remember from the day is my brain screaming,"It's HOT! It's HOT!!" and searching for water fountains. Towards the end of the day we found this fantastic misting station, like on NFL games, and we stood in front of that as long as we could to try to cool off. Thank goodness I took pictures of the girls or I would have no memory of the roughly $130 we spent, I mean, good times we had.
Michaela loves the rides no matter what the thrill level and is excited to grow a few more inches so she can go on everything. Nothing scares her- neither heights nor speed nor peril. She did, however, get a little freaked out by the superheroes in costumes but did ten times better than last year when she screamed and clutched us in fear as they walked past.

For a few pictures from the day in which you can see the girls progressively getting hotter, click this link:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Our Fabulous Fourth

One of our favorite parties of the year is Aidan's birthday party on July 4th. We always have such a great time with all the kids in their red, white, and blue (the pictures look so coordinated!!) and everyone is relaxed and enjoying the summer. Aidan turned four this year and was super excited for his party. He got lots of presents related to his favorite things: dinosaurs, superheroes, crocodiles, and pirates. We were joined this year by Judy's brother from Oregon and his two beautiful daughters, who are almost identical in age to our girls. They were a great addition to the group. The picture above is the best shot we got of 10 wriggling kids, amped up on presents, games, and cake.

Amidst all the chaos of the day, Judy, Dan and I remembered that at Michael's first birthday party, there were 2 kids: him and Michaela. Now, there are 10+, depending on the families who come. That's a lot of babies in five years!

Happy, happy birthday to our precious Godson Aidan. We love you to pieces!

Finders Keepers

Look what I picked up at Price Chopper the other day! (Too bad it wasn't a buy one-get two free deal... it would may the 2 vs.3 children debate a lot easier!!)

So much to blog, so little time

Wow!!! What a few weeks it has been. I again have been delinquent in my updates but will attempt to catch up... though it may take several posts. We had a blowout party at the Strauss House for Aidan's birthday on the Fourth of July and Danny was off last week so we did lots of fun stuff. My brother and Beth were in town and we spent lots of time together, as well as caught up with our friends Mark and Carrie, who were also in town with B and B for a friends' wedding... check out their blog for pics and details of that fun night. Besides all that, we have had our normal day to day shenanigans and goings on.
Let me sum it up this way: I have taken over 200 pictures in the last two weeks. I will not bore you with all of them but have selected a few that I will post for your viewing pleasure.