Showing posts from December, 2007

A Look Back, A Look Forward

Can you believe today is the last day of 2007? As I'm sure many others do, I have been thinking back through the events of 2007, as well looking forward to improvements and changes I hope to make in 2008. This review is mixed with some sadness and a lot of hope. Where did the year go?

Not too much about 2007 stands out as being particularly "great." It was a run-of-the-mill sort of year, with a couple of major disappointments and a couple of shining moments. Among the disappointments: losing our sweet dog Casey in April and our long-time-companion cat, Bailey, in July. Gaining our new wonderful family member, Jasper, in June offset some of the sadness, and we look forward to a great new year with him. Mostly we just lived our lives in 2007, got a little older, watched beloved relatives as they got a little older, too, and celebrated the every day triumphs!

Looking forward to 2008: I noticed in the last several months that I don't have as much patience (and understandi…

Think Snow, For Goodness Sake!

Now that the kids and Mark have all the gear for downhill skiing - NO SNOW. I know, I know, the ski places make it, but it sure would be nice to see some of the real stuff ~ it's so much fluffier and less icy than the manufactured stuff.

I never though I'd say this, but we can't wait to enjoy the winter (if you know me you know I'm a summer-lover). Cameron started skiing with ski club four or five years ago, and last year Mark and Annalisse decided to give it a try, and both loved it (who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?). This year's Christmas was definitely ski-oriented. Annalisse got new skis and all the stuff to go with it, and Cameron's main gift was the weekend ski trip to Gore Mountain he'll be taking through school the first weekend in February. So c'mon! Shake the clouds! Get the white stuff falling already!!

Holly. Jolly. And All That Jazz.

The big day is here! The presents are unwrapped, the breakfast is eaten, and the kids are lounging on the floor watching The Simpsons Movie. We all hope the best Christmas for you and your family, and hope you will be touched with the peace and goodwill that, for me, demonstrates the true meaning of Christmas!

Jasper & Cooper: BFFs

On Saturday mornings we like to take Jasper to the "unofficial" dog park in Fairport. It's really just a farmer's field up on a hill that's far away from the road, but it provides a great space for the 10-15 dogs (and their owners) who visit each morning at each afternoon (usually around 10:30 every morning, and around 4 every afternoon ~ but we only usually make it up there in the morning on Saturdays) to run around and socialize with friends. Ironically, the dog field is just behind our old house. Who knew?!

One of the regulars there is Cooper, a 6-month old Australian Shepard. Jasper and Cooper go way back, they were in puppy class together and were fast friends. In typical Shepard fashion, Cooper spends all his time herding and jumping Jasper, and pulling with all his might at his neck skin and ears. Jasper, in typical chicken fashion, spends a lot of his time running away and being submissive to Cooper.

The result, after a couple of walks around the field, is …

Random Thoughts

Just a few random thoughts since not any one of them would make for a substantial blog entry...After today I'm off until Wednesday, January 2 - HURRAY! ~I can feel that nap coming on already! Tomorrow's Jasper's 8-month birthday. We haven't weighed him in a while but he's probably tipping the scales at around 45-47 pounds. I think he's still on the small side for a male Golden, which is just fine!After tomorrow, the days start getting longer (Mark always likes to correct me on this. The days aren't getting longer - they're still just 24 hours long - but it STAYS LIGHTER LONGER. Whatever.)On the heels of yesterdays attention-grabbing-all-over-the-news announcement that Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant at 16, follows the headline "Lynne Spears book on parenting postponed indefinitely." That was a classic - you can't make that stuff up!Today I'll be done with my Christmas shopping with one more special gift for Mark.Work has been a foodfest.…

The Blizzard Flurry

There's nothing like the threat of a big snowstorm (dare the weather people call this one a "blizzard"?!) to throw people into a panic. Yesterday the frenzy at Wegmans was unbelievable - Hurry! Get enough milk, bread and eggs for two months! - and as of 3pm many businesses, organizations and churches (except ours!) were already closing or cancelling activities for Sunday. What wimps! Snowstorms have never bothered us (except for if we plan to travel up north), and I say: BRING IT ON! We'll probably do a little Christmas shopping today and will definitely go out for dinner tonight. I'm sure the kids hope the conditions get worse as the day goes on so they'll have a snow day tomorrow! Well, they can hope, can't they?

A Family Three Christmas

This afternoon I was baking molasses cookies for our neighborhood cookie exchange (I chose molasses cookies because I had 3/4 jar of molasses from the rice-crispy gingerbread house the kids made with Aunt Lena earlier in the month. If I didn't use if "now," chances are I would find it in the pantry two years from now and throw it out then) when on the radio came the classic "Blue Christmas" by Elvis.

In a flash I was transported back to the mid-seventies, to Nonnie's living room in the light of the multi-colored aluminum tree. My two cousins and I, making a name for ourselves as the rock band "The Family Three" (remember, this was when we were knee deep in the pop culture of The Partridge Family and, as a cheap knock off, The Brady Bunch [when they tried to sing]), would perform for the hoards of relatives that was "our family."

Coming from a big extended Italian family, there were always tons of people around my grandmother's house, a…

...Judy's Very Bad Night

Okay, maybe Mark didn't have food poisoning (but I still think he did) since I was up all night doing you-know-what (it involves the porcelain throne and me on my knees). So, I'm home from work today feeling like I got hit by a truck, and hoping the worst has passed. Let's keep our fingers crossed this bug doesn't make it's way through the remaining two (human) members of the household. Additional drawback: I'm missing the College Holiday Party, which is sort of a bummer since I think I've missed it for one reason or another the past couple of years...

Oh well, back to the couch so the dog can come up and comfort me (he loves it when people stay home and lay around all day since it's what he does best).

Mark's Very Awful Day

For about two weeks now Mark has been suffering from (what seems like) his three-times-a- year cold...

...which always develops into a chronic cough...
...which (after much prodding by me and way too much time spent sick at work) results in a trip to the doctor...
...after which he's on five days of antibiotics...
...which helps the cough but never really cures it...
...and so on until the next time...

But yesterday's result from his most recent "cold" was different. After his usual trip to the doctor, it was off to get a chest x-ray - with a little PUKE thrown in. Actually it was a LOT OF PUKE, most of which left his body during the short trip from our house to the radiology office for the x-ray. That, as you can imagine, was really pleasant for all involved (especially me as the driver). Of course, it begs the question: did he have a plastic bag - YES.

He was a complete physical wreck all day. Mid-day he checked his voicemail at work and got a message that several of his …

The Todd Time

We are hopelessly addicted to Scrubs (we watch an hour every night on Comedy Central and the regular episode on Thursday nights). If you are too, you've probably already seen this. Okay, not much of a life in the winter...

From Field to Beautiful

This morning we decorated the tree (and just like every year) stood back and declared, "It's the most beautiful tree ever!"

Christmas Tradition Checklist

When you have kids, routine and predictability is a very important aspect of their life. Knowing they can count on something being "the same" - each day, week, year, whatever - gives them a sense of security and control. That's what I think of when I think of our Christmas traditions. Since I moved to Rochester 23 years ago (can it be that long?) and Mark and I started forming our own new traditions. Now, Cameron is careful to ensure that each of these events is accounted for each year. They have evolved to include the following:

The Christmas tree cutting party - a great event we went to yesterday where we all gather at our friends Scott & Kay's house in Palmyra then head out to a field (on Hogback Road!) to cut a tree (any size: $18 - I can remember when, before Scott & Kay started this party 12 years ago, we paid $40 for a tree - outrageous!). After cutting down the tree we all gather back at the house for horsd'Ĺ“uvres. For Cameron, this party is the of…

The Almost Snow Day

Yesterday it was really looking like today might be a snow day for the kids. It was the first big storm of the season and the conditions were right - lots of heavy, blowing snow, sub-par temperatures, tons of schools and businesses closing early. Annalisse did her part by going to bed with her shirt on backwards and inside out, and made plans to go sledding with her friends today.

Alas, this was not the day to sleep in and play in the snow because OFF TO SCHOOL THEY WENT! ~ Although not happily, and Cameron still fights with me every morning to wear his Old Navy sweatshirt instead of his winter coat. The weather this morning is actually still pretty bad, and I'm also a little surprised it's not a snow day...

The First of Many Times We Will Dress Him Up

He's probably thinking right about now...I'm in really big trouble if they are going to accessorize me for every holiday...

P2P Fundraiser, #1

On Friday, December 14 we'll be holding our first fundraiser for Cameron's People to People trip - a parent's night out from 5-9pm. We have a great night of activities planned including games, crafts, cookie decorating and a movie (also, a pizza and mac-n-cheese dinner). We'll also be taking a walk down scenic Fourth Avenue to look at all the Christmas lights (Fourth Ave. neighbors do a great job of decorating their houses!). Right now, we have 5 kids lined up, and we can take 5 more. So, if you know of any parents who could use a break to go Christmas shopping (or just out to dinner!!), send them our way!