Monday, December 27, 2010

The "big" storm finally hit! I admit that there is a lot of snow, but nothing unusual for this neck of the woods. So far, every year we've been hit with a storm that drops any where from 12"-24". This year has been no different! It started late Sunday night and ended this morning. The snow is half way up our fence and an estimated 14". Troy shoveled for 3 hours convincing him that next year he's going to buy a snow blower!

Brenden hit the snow around 7am this morning and had to be pulled in for breaks! As usual, I found him in his favorite tree in the front yard. He's a kid after my own heart and loves the snow! Unfortunately, I'm inside with Wes (too cold for him) and Annie ( a self proclaimed "inside" kinda girl).

Can we say SNOW BLOWER????

The brave boys outside after all the shoveling has been done and the wind has died down for a bit. I really do love the snow!!!!

Present from Santa for Brenden!

Present for Annie from Santa!

Wes did his very best to keep up with the older kids, but got stuck in all the paper!

This was another amazing Christmas for the Camarata's! We have so many things to be very grateful for this year. I'm not sure how we would have done it without the support of our loved ones! Thank you for thinking of us and sending your love and gifts! Santa needed some extra help this year and he certainly got it!!

Making cookies

Tradition continues...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What do you think?

Family resemblance? Annie on left with Troy and Wes on right...

This is where we are people! Wes has decided that crawling for 5 weeks just isn't enough for him. This is he and I doing chores.

I was doing dishes to turn to put one more thing in the dishwasher to find my little one "helping". I was not ready for this. So we moved on to laundry. I placed him in his crib while I folded clothes. I kid you not, I turned around to find him standing dangerously in his crib. I screamed, he laughed. Needlessly to say, he now resides in a lowered crib.

He's also made the move from our room to Annie's room. I must say that this is a hard transition for me! Last night was the first night we were apart. He did really well. He woke me up with a call, not yelling, and smiled as I walked in. He didn't even wake Annie! I woke up around 7ish to find our door closed (not usual). I headed out to investigate. I found all 3 kids in Annie's room with Annie coloring (her new passion) and Brenden dumping all of Wes's toys into his crib (he's not allowed to get him out). They were prepared to play while I slept on!! I have amazing kids!!


Brenden has been amazing with Wesley. Now that Wes can crawl, he follows Brenden around the house and waits at the baby gate for Bren to return from the basement. It's really cute to watch! However, like everything there has been some touch and go moments. Brenden forgets to close his door and Wes wanders in to chew on anything Bren left on the floor...everything! Brenden has even gone so far as to tell me that if he leaves everything on the floor, Wes won't crawl in. Which is why his room is a mess! Really?! It's all too cute! Here's Brenden's solution. He built the "wall" of pillows thinking Wes would just play happily on the other side...not so much.

Soccer Season

Brenden's soccer season has come to an end. He had a great first time out playing! He scored some goals, they lost a game and won a handful, and most importantly Brenden made new friends. Til next year...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall has arrived in New England!!

mmm apples

This was Wes's first experience with any "real" food. He was confused at first, but then it went straight into the mouth.

He managed to suck off a little juice, but the apples were pretty sour and he didn't seem to like them. And really who cares?? Look at how cute he is!!!

Bath Time

Bath time, most nights, is a hectic time. This was a rare night indeed. Brenden and Annie don't take baths anymore...they're too big for that! But as soon as I put Wes in, they jumped at the chance to get in on the "fun".

On a side note...when will I ever be able to get all 3 of them looking at me at the same time? What do I have to do????

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wesley is crawling!!

Wes has been army crawling around our house for a little while, but he can finally crawl!! He's right on schedule for the Camarata months and crawling. It has been fun to watch the process again, but I've forgotten how much effort it takes. Wes crawls for a while and then crashes. Now I have to figure out how to baby proof this house, there are so many places that are not good for Wes. We have to retrain the kids to keep everything put away and safe. Brenden already had a realization this morning! He was trying to play with his cars and Wes was right at his feet trying to get into the action. It was really cute! Here we go...

Hanging out

Annie and I made blueberry muffins. As you can tell, she loves cooking!!

Wes being his usual cuteness!!!

Brenden is in Star Wars heaven with his new sheets from Sandy and Papa!

Just thought I'd load some pictures!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Are you kidding me?

This has been one hell of a weekend!! The beginning...

Friday morning I got a call at work to come pick up Wes. He had a fever again. It seems that he's been battling this fever for months now. I can't help but feel immense guilt every time I have to leave work. As I drove to get him I marveled at the day! First, I was driving away from a job that I love and was seriously enjoying that day. With the windows rolled down I began to feel the sunshine all around me and a bit better.
There was no traffic so I made the trip pretty quickly. I snagged Wes and we headed home. I sat at yet another intersection and heard seagulls and motorcycles roll by. Now, seagulls have always reminded me of my childhood on Mackinack Island and this day I found comfort and joy in their "noise". As for the bikes, they reminded me of my dad who is always a comfort to me.
Well, we got home and had a "normal" day for this mama of three. Late that night/early Saturday morning Wes's fever reached 104.1. To say I was beside myself would be putting it mildly. I gave him Motrin and a cool bath and waited. He nursed and slept while I waited with bated breath for his fever to come down. It finally did. We slept until 5am when Wes woke me with uncontrollable shivering. We bundled up and snuggled close to Troy (a man with a thermostat that is always set at 90 degrees). Anyway, we ended up in the doctor's office for blood tests and urine analysis. To find nothing causing his fever. Again, sent home to wait it out.
This is where I thought life would calm down and I could go home and rest, but alas the phone rang and I learned that my dad was in a motorcycle accident. He's fine, thank God! He was cut off going through an intersection and had to lay his bike down. He walked away with minor road-rash, a sprained ankle and a sprained shoulder.

Do you think there's ever a moment when you've been given too much to handle? There are several sayings that come to mind..."God doesn't give you what you can't handle" "that which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" are just 2. But really, when is enough really enough? I really want to know the plan. I'd like to be let in on the life lessons. I want to find out what I'm supposed to be learning from this. My heart is walking around on the 3 little people that I call my children and I can't keep them safe enough. I am a child to only one parent. I am a partner to a man who feels the stresses of it all. I am a sister to a woman who is trying so very hard to keep it all together. Can I just have a break? Is there ever an easy way out?

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I learned pretty early on that Brenden does not "do" things until he can do it 100% by himself. He did it with walking and with riding his bike. I'm not sure why I thought reading would be any different. This teacher/mama has been struggling with getting her eldest excited to read. I know he's seven now and should be a reading pro, but alas he's not. We have fought for 2 years to get him excited and reading! When it comes to the English language, Brenden could care less. Give him science or math and he's engaged for hours! I finally gave up....a pretty terrifying moment for this teacher. I continued to try but forgot the lessons at the table and continued hoping that one day soon he'd begin reading. Fast forward to this year. I prayed that he'd be given a teacher that would motivate him into reading. He entered first grade only knowing about a dozen words. Enter Ms. Reagan. I have to admit I was terrified to know that this is her first year teaching first grade and only her second year total! She has been proving herself worthy (really who am I to judge?) She started off with a bang and an envelope of flash cards for Bren to learn. This week, he and I were practicing his sight words and I realized that he knew many words and was using some basic phonics to figure out more. SO, I ran to the book shelf and grabbed our Dick and Jane anthology given to Bren by my dad. Sure enough, Brenden read the book cover to cover!! He got up from the table and ran to Troy and said, "I can read!" Of course this mama was terribly proud and amazed at my son!!! Now I know it's just Dick and Jane, but this is just the beginning! The very next day he came home excited to tell me all about reading an entire Curious George book to his reading buddy. He's thrilled with himself and ready to read it all. Thank heavens for little miracles!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Birthday Party

One bonus of the kids' birthdays being just 3 days apart is joint parties! So... This enormous jumpy house was delivered around 9:30am the day of the party. It was/is amazing! It can hold up to 1000lbs so you better believe that the parents had their go-around in it! We had it all morning before out guests arrived for the fun. Simply joyful!! The families and their children joined us for a jumping, Lego building, bubble blowing, good 'ol fashioned birthday party. It was a beautiful day! It was cool with bright blue skies. The cakes, ordered by Troy, were a hit! Kids running all around playing and laughing made for good fun!

I will tell you that this mama was stressed. You see, this was my first official birthday party! I wanted it to run smoothly and be a great time for my kiddos. Well, it was! High five to this mama and dad!!

Victory..even though we don't keep score

Brenden is now a soccer player!! Yesterday was his first game. He was psyched! He and his teammates practiced before the game. Brenden kept stopping to smile and wave or give us a thumbs up. The game proceeded and for these proud parents was thrilling. It was a typical game of seven year-olds chasing the ball around a miniature sized field, BUT it was exciting. Now for this competitive mama it was hard not to scream and yell the whole time. I did manage to control myself...most of the time. My son the soccer star scored 2 goals and had an assist! Because the kids are so young, we don't keep score and their are no goal tenders. However, we won 6-4!!!!

Brenden and his soccer buddies!

Whatever, just a soccer game right?! Afterwards, Brenden was elated!!

Presious moments

Last weekend my youngest and I flew to Pa for my cousin's wedding and a (many) trip to the Canfield fair. I had an amazing time with my family! Shane and I bonded over BBQ nachos (the BEST), Heather and I had some much needed sister time, and I got to share my wonderful son with my family. As I sat on the flight home holding Wes as he slept, I couldn't help but become weepy. You see, I have been blessed with the most amazing father and that is a tribute to his amazing mother. My 88 year old Grammy is one of the most incredible people I know. She has had a tough couple of years but is still stomping through life with a smile. To see her with Wes is a blessing! They shared some incredibly special moments throughout the weekend.
There are not enough words to express my father. He was a typical father while I grew up and when my mom passed, he stepped in to fill her shoes as best as he could. He is both compassionate and loving while being stern and protective. He would do anything to keep his family loved. I am truly the luckiest girl around to have him as mine!

First day of school

Yes it has been 2 weeks since Brenden started school and I have just gotten around to posting his pictures...

Well, I'm not really sure how we got here. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was riding the train on my way to the hospital to deliver him?! I simply can not believe that my boy is in 1st grade at Flaherty Elementary School! He is in Ms. Regan's class. He loves going to school and does his homework without prompting...for now. I will tell you that I was worried about my boy. He was really nervous and concerned about making friends. He is a sensitive young one with a volatile temper. I worried that Ms. Reagan would not understand him and nobody would like him. I know...crazy mutterings from a nervous mama. So far, so good..

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Our Phil and Ted

This is my new stroller!!! Troy and I saw them in Chicago a while back and totally made fun of them, but when we needed to replace our other double stroller this was the one I went to. Why, you might ask? Well because I hate side-by-side strollers! I think they are inconsiderate and too big to take anywhere but outside on a huge path! This one is amazing!!! I can push it with one hand with both little kids in it! The bottom seat is really easy to take on and off for a single rider. My only complaint is the sun shade is a bit small, but I bet you can buy a bigger one! This made the trip to FL with us and I am ever so grateful to my dad for getting it for me!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our story

Troy and I met at college 16 years ago this August. Boy and girl meet at a BBQ, say few words and part ways. The next day however, I was yelling at the mail kiosk for not dispensing my change (while standing in a Florida rain) when Troy walked by. He claims to have said hello, but I was really involved with the machine and didn't hear him! He continued on his way but stopped and turned around to come to my aid. Now this is where I believe that something special took place because if you know Troy, this behavior is totally out of character. Normally he would have just kept on walking, but not that day. On this day he took the step forward (or backwards) to me. To be honest the rest of our conversation is a blur to me, but we learned that we both had the meal plan and decided it was safer to eat together instead of all alone. For the next 6 months, we ate dinner together. Our relationship was based on a strong friendship that blossomed into something deeper.
7 years after that fateful rainy afternoon, Troy asked me to marry him in the very spot where our friendship began. The kiosk is long gone, but the spot where our story began is still there. And so 16 years later, we stand with 3 amazing children and a love that is deep and true.

teacher vs. mama

It is no wonder that often I am caught between being a mother and being a teacher. I have said many times that I can not do both well at the...