things to look forward to

With spring just around the corner (and I mean literal warmth and sunshine not a silly date on a calendar that meant snow for pa) there is much to be excited for. Besides flip flops and walks and sun. Oh yes that sun. Beyond all that there is...

- The start of Letty's fourth round of swim lessons and finally we are getting somewhere. Moving on up. Moving on out. All the way to the second level of pre-school classes.

- Races! On the books for this spring is the Race Against Racism and the Manheim Rock n' Glow 5k. I greatly enjoy my 5ks. 

- Yard sale season baby! How I love a good bargain. And toys I don't need.... And any excuse for a walk.

- The opening of dw the first weekend in may. It's the kick off of summer in this house. And that amusement park is our favorite destination. I'm a bit apprehensive about how I'll handle it with a nursing baby and two big kids BUT. I shall figure it out. I'll probably rely on the Fitzs.

- Letty's last day of preschool being may 8th. So stinking early right? I enjoy not having to be someplace at a certain time and I look forward to getting my mornings back. Not to mention having that extra money each month.

- Deck nights! I missed out on these last summer because well, incubating a baby made me tired. 

- Fresh mulch and crisp garden edges. Getting all my annuals and filling up the window boxes and adding some color to the world!

- Power washed siding and sparkling windows. You know, spring cleaning in its entirety.

- Fresh fruit from the local farmer's market. I'm all about that place on a Tuesday morning, but just not when it's cold. Cold ruins everything. As soon as it warms up I'll be packing up this brood every week to stock up on my raspberries. And my strawberries.

So bring it Mother Nature. No really. Please do. 



photo of each of my brood, once a week, every week, of 2015.

Dominic, aged 15 weeks: Tummy time, to my understanding, is the least favorite activity of pretty much all babies. Mine is no different. He's on a strict regimen though, as he has to stay in (healthy) competition with his brother, who rolled over at 3.5 months. I figure he's got about a week left.

David, aged 2 years: He won't play in the basement alone because his highly imaginative and slightly cruel sister informed him such things as dragons and monsters and dinosaurs resided down there. Yet he loves dinosaurs. Where is the stegosaurus buddy?

Letteria, aged 4 years: Her papers coming home from school have improved drastically in the fine art of staying inside the lines. Stacking markers not withstanding. They also go in her mouth. As does pretty much anything else that's within reach.

Past weekly shots here.


little life lately photos

As taken by my companion and friend, my iPhone.

|| letty and avery at a matinee of cinderella enjoying her little kid's pack. popcorn, fruit snacks and an icee. || every now and again i renege and let her hold dom and when i do i don't regret it. || my mother the hoarder brought out my brother's robot halloween costume thinking david might enjoy it. as you can see letty had to try it on first. || it is a rare rare afternoon indeed when david naps. but when the car is warm and the sun is shining and you've played hard at grammy's then you just fall asleep, you do. || life cereal early morning breakfast with my inner child || the first diaper change of the day is always my favorite, his too i think. || replanting succulents from my sister's baby shower. || my niece learning to riiiiidde! || i love our tuesday lunches with my mom, and panera might just be my favorite lunch of choice. || david finally decided the robot costume wouldn't bite him. see also: oreos. in and around his mouth. || our college friend and photographer got a new toy and we were gifted these super large prints of what was once our sweet baby girl. now to find frames that are 24x16. || rubber band wrists need to be a staple on every baby. || baby's first kitchen sink tubby. in fact it's the first sink tubby any of my babies have gotten. || the deck furniture is up and the lights have been strung. now we just need the warmth! ||

have a great weekend!


the bottle problem

We have a problem. And I would LOVE love LOVE to find a solution. I am a fixer. Olivia Pope is my idol. And I sort of am most definitely kind of stubborn. 

The problem is a three month old who will not take a bottle. He has taken a bottle in the past, which makes this ever more frustrating. From birth till about 8 weeks on occasion he would drink from a bottle. He would practically waterboard himself. And then all of a sudden.... No. He wouldn't. My sister was able to get him to take a bottle once when it counted and for that I am eternally grateful. But since then? Nope. If we are lucky he will chew on it and maybe drink a half an ounce but then he will move on. That's if we are lucky. Cover your ears if we are not.

We have read articles all over the internets. Here, here, here, and here. And more. 

We have tried this bottle. And that bottle. And this one too. We have tried a sippy cup. 

We have fed in the same position as if he would be eating on his preferred side of mom. We have tried a totally different position. We have tried feeding in a carrier and reaching around from behind so the feeder is a mystery.

I have tried. My sister has tried. Matt and my mother have tried. I have been in the room. I have been within sight. I have been in a totally different area of the house. I have left the house. 

I let Letty try to feed him. 

We have tried every single morning. We have tried every single feeding. 

And yet we are failures. Kelsey suggested we try a nipple shield and while I was digging my heals in refusing to buy anything to get him to take a bottle I think I'll have to try that. She is a veteran mom and I don't know why I fight it. She is probably right. Any other suggestions?



On the chalkboard: It's like the Field of Dreams, if you write it, it will come. 

Reading: I think I can, I think I can. This is the second to last published book in the series and it's bittersweet. I can't get enough Claire and Jamie but there are other fish in the sea. And by fish I mean books. There is only one Jamie. 

Watching with Matt: We are so late to this game it is most shameful. But so good! We just wrapped up season two and my oh my. Underwood. Sheesh. 

Eating: These! Curses! I thought that we were over after Christmas but no. Here they are in all their Easter glory. Just put on this earth to torment me.

Drinking: I'm always in the market for a good boxed red. Economical. super classy, etc. This is the newest try.  Boxed wine is suuuuch a big commitment! If you don't like it you just have to power through for days and days. I vote that wine stores start offering samples. Or just make cheaper bottled wine. Or that.

Planning: This girl's summer dance class. There are a few camps around here and some with different fun themes such as Frozen and Tinkerbell. It's just a matter of which one. 

Thinking about: Having Matt make us a new entertainment center. Out of pallets of course. Our current Target one has been sagging in the center since.... forever. I'm liking these...
Watching on the treadmill: Oh Scandal and your irresponsibly tall wine glasses. This show is quite entertaining for my morning run. There was a time or two I almost fell off the treadmill. Which seems to happen to me quite often.

As I type this: David has found a new movie of the month: The Book of Life. He digs the music me thinks. The addition of a Mumford & Sons song makes me quite happy. And the vocal stylings of a certain Channing Tatum make Matt quite happy. Matt has a thing for Mr. Tatum.

Other currently posts here.


a pallet end table

The versatility of the pallet never ceases to amaze me. And thanks to Pinterest the uses for pallet woods never end for me, I can always find something more for Matt to makey. 

When we got married in 2006 we registered for furniture from Target. And thanks to a very generous aunt and uncle that's the set we lived with for the subsequent six years. We replaced the sofas at that point but the end tables were kept even though they didn't quite fit (seen here in the after section). The coffee table as well, much to our undying regret, now replaced with something much more child friendly.

And so with our newly found pallets from our pallet mule I asked Matt to make me a new end table. Rid myself of these end tables! Banish them from my sight! Stat!

And so here it is in all it's rustic glory. After about ninety text messages back and forth from my mother trying to figure out what looked best on it. She should have just driven the seven minutes over here, it may have been faster. Shopping in one's home is quite the deal isn't it?

Thank you Handy Matty!



A photo of each of my brood, once a week, every week, of 2015.

Dominic, aged 14 weeks: Isn't he just quite the porker? Like a little linebacker up there in his football attire. As a non-sports family he will have to go elsewhere to get that fix I'd wager.

David, aged 2 years: He's just starting to get into the whole dress up thing. I prefer that he not wear his sister's heels, and he prefers to wear hats.

Letteria, aged 4 years: This big girl takes solo showers and dresses herself and bites her fingers till they are bloody nubs (hence the double bandaid). Next thing I know she will be chewing gum and twirling her hair like a preteen. 

Past weekly shots here.


suessical the muessical and a high school time warp

I suppose we will be a family who musicals. Well, maybe not all of us. But some of us. Suessical the Musical was coming to my alma mater and I figured what better musical to expose David to the wonderful world of theater!? My mother's Greek friend's daughter was in the pit and they of course came to support her. Thank you Nonna for the musical treat! And a combination of Matt and my sister watched Dom and tried to get him to take a bottle (spoiler alert: he didn't really eat).  

I feel like my high school is in some kind of weird time continuum thing. When I left those doors in June of 2001 I was 17. I haven't been back since, at least not that I remember and we all know about my memory, but still. There are these huge windows facing the football field and they have a built-in bench running the length of them. We sat on those benches every single morning before the bell would ring and we would congregate there at the end of every day as well. High school is weird. And then my sister and I were talking about ranks and popularity and how that may have contributed to the location one landed in in the lobby? High school is weird. But on that day in June I turned my back and walked away from that building and have not been back. To the grounds sure, but inside? Nope. And then this past weekend I waltzed in with my mother and two eldest children by my side, decked out in backpacks. It was a time warp. I felt the pull towards the girl's locker room where I would drop off my field hockey bag every day. Or when I walked by the locker I "rented" from a friend (payment was a pack of gushers a week, totally steep, but the locker was in a prime location) and wanted to stuff my brown paper bag lunch inside. Not a single thing had changed to my eyes and yet it has been almost 14 years! How?

But, the reason for going! The play itself was loud and colorful and peppy and full of wordly gibberish. I think it's an obvious point, but Letty loved it, she even brought her Thing One hat that they made in preschool. David climbed instantly up on my lap and clutched the program tightly till I could finally coax it from his hands some thirty minutes later. He ate his entire bag of CTC in silence. By the end of the first act he figured out the whole clap at the end of a number bit. We all hit the bathroom during intermission without event.... And Act two began with David climbing off my lap and wanting to drive dump trucks on the seats and then a fecal incident. High school bathrooms don't have baby changing stations, obviously. Which I mean, thank God. But what does one do? Well, he was changed on the hallway floor directly across from The Office. Breaking all sorts of rules I am sure. Nudity in the hallway!? Gasp!

And! Nonna wore the hat!

I wasn't in any rush to head back in after that diaper change, lest he forget the volume control on his voice. So we took a walk. We admired the shiny squeaky gymnasium floors (from a distance mind you, I know the rules, walk around not cut through). We found my brother's state champion picture (number 56 in the picture below) and the glowing awards and assorted plaques. I sat down on the very same benches where I spent countless mornings and afternoons and watched David push dump trucks up and down them. I tried to mentally walk through the halls to see if I could remember what was down what direction (I can't). I remembered who last sat next to me on that very bench, in fact I even know what I was wearing because I have a picture of it and certain things stick in my head like super glue, go figure. And my my my how things have changed. I like to maintain that I haven't aged a day since high school... But when I passed within a foot of one of my favorite teachers and he didn't even pause to second guess if I was a stranger or not? Well then. I guess those 14 years and three babies show after all.

So this high school!! Time continuum right!? How is that possible? The world is such a different place now (2001 being all pre 9/11 and the only school shooting being Columbine, among a zillion other things). I am such a different person now. And yet this building is just the same. And one day my three will be walking down those very same halls in an equally very different world. All vying for the best spot in the lobby. 



an interview about phantom of the opera

Me: What is the name of the musical you are going to see?
L: T's school. 
Me: No, not where you are going, but the name of the show
L: Uhm I don't know mom just tell me please. 
Me: Phantom of the Opera.
L: Oh. Right Fandom of Opra. 

Me: Who are you going with? 
L: T. Miss Sadie. Daddy. And mommy have to feed Dominic. 

Me: What are the rules when you go to a musical?
L: You have to be quiet. And you have to listen to the shows and you have to sit in your seats. And you don't bring toys. Just snacks and water of course. Like that stuffs. And my backpack. 

Me: Do you know what the show is about?
L: Fandom of Opra you have to watch something like on tv, like a movie. But it's not on tv it's on the show. 

Me: No, what it is about?
L: You have to stay on your seat till its done and then you get up and go home. 

Me: Do you know why mommy can't go?
L: Because uhm uhm uhm mommy has to feed dominic with her boobs. 
Me: Why can't daddy give him a bottle?
L: Because daddy has to come with me. 
Me: Touche. 

Me: You'll have to sing me some of the songs from the show tonight!
L: Okay I listen with my ears and I learn the songs and what words I remember in my head I'll tell you. 

David: Where is daddy?
L: No D! After daddy comes back with dinner then we go see moosical. And he has to sit down and be quiet I have to tell him. 

(Because David in his most ignorant of dreams kept insisting that he too was going to the show.)

At the per grainy iPhone photos:

At 10:30 p.m., two and a half hours past bedtime as she waltzes in the door holding a milkshake...

Me: So Letty, how was it!?
L: Good! T said I come back again!

Me: What was your favorite part?
L: The ballerina part. Lots of ballerinas!!

Me: Did you learn any songs for me?
L: Mmm. Nope. 

Me: Was it scary?
L: No!

Me: Were you bored? 
L: (whispers) Only for a little little bit. 

Me: Okay you go night night. 
L: Okay and we talk about it more in da morning!

There you have it folks. Fandom of Opra. A tiny bit boring but lots of ballerinas and most certainly not scary. Straight from the horse's mouth. She looks forward to these shows all year long and she really was excited to show her daddy the ropes. I'm just sorry I missed it. Anyone with any ideas for getting a highly stubborn three month old to take a bottle I would be most appreciative.

And just because I am one for the sentimental feels here is Letty heading out to her first show with her Uncle T two years ago. The show was Beauty and the Beast (shocker).