Saturday, December 11, 2010

Santa breakfast

We went to Riley's school last weekend for her Santa Breakfast- you pay $5 and get two little pancakes and a sausage patty- and then the kids can have their picture taken with Santa. Riley was excited about it, and talked about it nonstop last week, so Annie was all about eating breakfast with Santa!

We walked into the cafeteria and no one with with Santa, so we decided to do the picture first. I didn't think Annie would do it, but we decided to try anyway. She had even rehearsed what she was going to ask for- TOYS- so off we went....BIG mistake...she wanted nothing to do with him. She wanted me to carry her (the kid weighs a ton now!), and Riley went right up to sit on his lap but Annie shoved her face in my chest and that was it!

So, we got this great picture of Riley with the big guy, but none for Annie! I am really tempted to go to the mall and get one of those screaming pictures of Annie with Santa, but not really all that excited about paying $20 for it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Santa is watching....

When we visited Santa’s Village with Grandma and Grandpa Buckley this summer, at the end of the trip, I bought a Santa Letter for Riley….it was all computerized and I selected a few things that we did when we were there, and they would mail a letter to the child before Christmas. And then I forgot I did it!

Yesterday, Riley received it in the mail and she was THRILLED!!!!! It was on Santa’s Village paper and said how much Santa enjoyed their visit this summer and some of the rides that were her favorite and who she visited with….she brought it with her to school today and was going to show all of her friends.

I am so glad that she still believes. I am not sure how many more years she will- probably a few more knowing my child- but I am treasuring each and every wonder through her eyes….

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

She is all WOMAN!!!

Riley's school does a Santa shoppe for the kids in December so that they can buy gifts for their family, which I think is a very nice idea. I can't remember what she got us last year- just small little trinket things, but she has fun doing it!

So, we sent her off with $10 to buy for me, Todd and Annie. Her class went to the shoppe yesterday and she brought the bags home and put them under the tree. But, there were 4 bags. So, Todd and I asked her about it this morning...turns out she had some extra money so she bought something for herself and had the wrap it!!! It is now under the tree!!! Haha! Not sure if she learned that from me, but she is certainly a woman-in-training with that move!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

She is very much TWO

Annie has been…ummmm…asserting her independence lately! She is two. She is very strong-willed and certainly knows her own mind. She has very strong opinions about what she wants (or does not want) to do. And she has subjected us to some massive tantrums of late….wow!

They started off small. A refusal to put on her coat. Wanting to wear a different pair of pants. Things I could either work through or make concessions for. I am a mother who believes in picking her battles. So, if she didn’t want to wear that shirt or those shoes, it was fine. As long as she eventually let me dress her, I didn’t really care what she wore.

Then she started fighting us about dinner time. Dinner is always a rough time I think, for most children. We had fights with Riley when she was this age. I know she is tired, and hungry and just done with the day by that time (and so am I). Couple that with not much attention from me since I am trying to get dinner on the table ASAP- well, it is the perfect storm. But- she now refuses to sit in her seat most nights and if she does (if we make her) she screams and cries the whole dinner and ruins it for the rest of us. We have tried everything, and now I am hoping it is just a phase and it will pass eventually….one can hope!

Mornings are also rough. She gets up ok, but all she wants to do it watch TV! We have a rule that says no TV in the morning downstairs when it is time for breakfast- it distracts them both and then neither of them wants to leave for school. So, Annie pitches her fits and I have to bribe her to eat some breakfast most mornings (today, however, she actually ate some cereal), and then pin her down on the floor to put on her coat, which she never wants to wear (this did happen today!)….then I have to buckle her into Todd’s car, kicking and screaming and he drives off with them….

She is like a little schizophrenic- you never know what you are going to get from one moment to another….I just have to keep reminding myself that she is 2….it is normal….it will pass, right???

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


So much has happened since the last time I posted, and much of it is boring and really not important and to be honest, I really can't even remember :)

I went on some trips- CT and Washington DC. Annie had a cold- not a bad one, but enough that her sleeping schedule is all messed up again...child does that to me every.single.time she gets a cold! Halloween happened- will get some pictures up here soon. We had a small party with a few friends- painted some pumpkins and decorate some cookies and had some food! I went to Annie's school to do trick-or-treat. Riley had an awards ceremony at school and then I went back for lunch one day- that was...uh....interesting!

Here are some random Halloween pictures to tide you over until I get my sh*t back together enough to post more!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October is ALWAYS a very busy month for at home with the girls and also at work. It is right in the middle of our fall travel season at work and while I do not travel as much as I used to anymore, I do usually pick up a few things that either no one else can cover or that I really want to go to- definitely a perk of being the boss :)

So, this weekend I am traveling to CT for a chiropractic convention (because the person we asked backed out) and then the weekend after I am in Washington Dc (mostly because my boss wanted me to go), and while I am looking forward to both trips, I am sad to leave my girls. They will be in their Daddy's very capable hands...hope they don't drive him batty!

Riley also has a bunch of things going on both at school and after school and they both have a few days off this month because of teacher conferences and mandatory furloughs, so we had to arrange for other care....Todd's birthday is at the end of the month, Halloween and our Halloween party (just decided to do that one) and miscellaneous other things and that makes me a bit of a controlled- schedule freak....think I have it all under control- at least at this minute!

Monday, October 11, 2010


Riley has decided that she is too old for baths so for a few months we have been taking showers. I say we because at first I had to get in there with her. She does not do well at all with water in her eyes, so I had to do everything for her while she stood there with a towel over her eyes. A few weeks ago I decided she was old enough to start to do some of the showering on her own, so for a while, I stood outside the shower and did everuthing while she stood there with a towel over her eyes but I ended up getting just as wet!

So, I told her that was it- she was learning to do this herself and after some nashing of teeth and a bit of histerics, she is doing pretty well. I still have to tell her what to do, but she pretty much does most of it herself.

Well, last week, Annie happened to notice that Riley was taking a shower. Before, with me in there with her, I guess she just wasn't aware of what was happening. But this time, she noticed and she wanted to get in there with her!

So, I put her in and she played a bit and just got wet....but tonight she decided to take a shower with Riley again and this time I did wash her hair and her body and got them both clean in one shot. I have to say, while very cute, it was also quite convienient and I hope that Annie will continue to want to do this....even though she does love her baths, too....we will see what happens....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The potty training chronicles

As I write this, Annie is walking around, sans diaper and pants as we continue to work on the potty training! Not sure if my memory is fuzzy from time or if I have just blocked it out (probably a little of both), but I just don't remember doing this with Riley. I know that we had issues with her early on, and then we backed off and she essentially trained herself.

Annie is actually doing pretty good, for all of the complaining I do! We bought her a little potty seat for the toilet downstairs since it is too far to run all of the way upstairs when she needs to go. She picked it out at Walmart last weekend- a Thomas the Train seat since she likes trains so much.

Today, Todd took Riley to the church where she does her Upward Cheerleading for a celebration service and I stayed home with Annie (we joined them later for lunch). Annie was watching some Wiggles while I emptied the dishwasher and she was singing and dancing for a while, and then I realized she was quiet. I looked and she wasn't there anymore, but I found her in the bathroom...she had pulled down her pants, taken off her diaper and climbed up on the potty seat ALL BY HERSELF! Now- her pants were wet, so I am not sure if she had an accident or just missed, but either way, this is an excellent development!!!!

You can probably look forward to many more stories since I have a feeling this will be a long process, but regardless, she is progressing so I guess that is all that matters!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pottys and alarms

So, the potty training continues. It is a slow process :) Annie is doing pretty well at night- when she doesn't have a diaper soon as I put a pull-up or her big girl underpants on her, she goes in them. If she is nakey- she does fine! But, she is learning and that is all that matters- I can deal with the diaper thing for a while longer (not that I really have any choice in the matter anyway!).

Riley is doing well- she got her interim report card last week and got ALL A's on it...of course! She has quite the busy schedule lately- and that means so do I!

This morning Todd woke up at his regular time- around 6 am- and Riley was sitting up in her bed, with the light on, completely dressed. Her alarm doesn't go off until 6:35...when Todd asked her what she was doing, he learned that she had woken in the middle of the night- she claims around 2:30 when she supposedly heard her alarm go off. She got up, got dressed and then realized what time it was! Poor thing must have gone back to sleep with her light on and never woke us! She has done this once or twice before- claiming to hear the alarm go off- but never that early and she has never gotten dressed before....I feel so bad- she is going to be tired tonight!!!

Oh, well...that is about it for now :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Let the training begin....

You might have noticed on my Twitter feed that Annie used the potty intentionally the other night. Most nights I strip her down before putting her in her pj's and she sits on the potty in front of the TV until she goes. Doesn't really count because she is sitting there anyway! But this night, she was naked and just walking around...playing...and all of sudden she yelled- PEE-PEE and sat on the potty and went!! Of course, we have a big celebration and she gets a few M&Ms! But it got me thinking about spending some more time and energy to really get her moving ahead towards potty training. I know a little girl who is just a few weeks older than her who is trained already, so I know it is possible.

So, when we were at Walmart, we bought some big girl underpants- she chose Tinkerbelle over Dora- and some rubber pants that go over them (the rules at her daycare- no pull-ups because they are too much like diapers). I have some Pull-ups from some friends, so we can still use them at home and when we go out maybe- but we will start trying....and we will see how it goes!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


So, we had a rough week and I think it pretty much passed in a blur. Riley is immersed in school and has quite a bit of homework each night, coupled with cheerleading practice and piano lessons and spirit nights and football all of the emotional heartache with Angel....and some well-thrown tantrums by the little one....well, I am glad to see that week go. Hoping that this week will be better, but she also starts her religious education classes this week so she can make her first communion in 2nd grade and I have a few things going on with work in the next few weeks- well, such is our life :)

We have had a nice weekend- Saturday was the football game and Riley had to be there early for her team pictures. It rained a little bit in the beginning, but then it turned into a pretty nice day. Todd went golfing in the afternoon, so the girls and I headed to Earthfare and stocked up on some healthy food and snacks and did our regular shopping this morning. We tried to get Annie's 2 year pictures taken- a bit late, I know- but they stopped using the wooden numbers that we usually use and we really want to stay consistent if we can, so that means dressing her up again next weekend to try another place...just one more headache to deal with.

I have been working hard trying to get this house clean- and most of all- decluttered....I have thrown away bags and bags of stuff and we are planning a yard sale in a few weeks....lots of kid stuff that Riley is too big for and Annie seems uninterested in....and lots!! of clothes!

Oh, well, that is about it....Annie should be awake soon from her nap and we are thinking about heading to the pool while we still can.....later!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

R.I.P. Angel

You might remember, or not, that we have had some ongoing health issues with Angel for a long time. A few years ago, she had a few bouts with bladder stones and on and off since then and then this winter we almost lost her when she stopped eating and lost a lot of weight.

Well, for a while now Todd and I have assumed that the stones are back. She was urinating everywhere...she would do it for a while and then be ok for a while and then do it again. She also started eating an unusually amount of food.

Anyway, it was getting worse and worse and we finally had to make a decision about her. A decision neither of us really wanted to make, but it was time. She had become really lethargic and sometimes would lie down on the table just to eat.

We took her in today to the vet and they put her down. She was 13 years old and lived many, many more than her requsite 9 lives. She wasn't supposed to live at all....we saved her from certain death when she first came into our lives and she had a pampered, great life.
We will miss her. She was a sweet little thing who loved attention from everyone, who liked to sleep on my head and put up with Roxie chasing her around the house. She loved chasing bugs, sleeping in the warm sunshine and hated when our babies (or any baby for that matter) cried.

RIP Angel....I am sure you and Sonny will have a fun time playing in heaven!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010


I think I posted some pictures from the night Karen and I took the kids down to 1st beach in Newport. We were trying to get there in time to ride the carousel and do the bumper boats but we missed both my just minutes, so we got some dinner and then let the girls run around on the beach. Riley loves the water, but Annie was a little freaked out about it at first...and Sophie....well, you can see for yourself. She is pretty much fearless in the water and one of us was constantly chasing her in and out....they all got so wet and sandy and Annie and Sophie ended up stripped and sprayed down at the hose.

Playing in the pool...

While we were in RI Riley and Annie, and then later Sophie, had a lot of fun playing in the plastic pool that Grandma and Grandpa bought for you can clearly see :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Santa's Village

We stayed overnight at a motel near Santa's Village and headed out after a breakfast at Dunkin Donuts- YUM- to Santa's Village. It was way up high in the mountains and really a pretty drive there.

Annie's very favorite part of Santa's Village- the real reindeer. They were sooo cool....the had huge fuzzy antlers and you could feed the carrots and cookies, which Annie very much enjoyed!

Riley and Annie did this one all by themselves- wasn't sure if Annie would go for it, but as you can see, they had a good time!

View from the top of the Ferris Wheel- very pretty!

Grandma and Annie on the sleigh ride- we waited a really, really long time to get on this one, but it went all around the park, which was nice to see where everything was

Annie loved the carousels!

Riley and the pengiuns...which we found out later are actually trash cans!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


When I had originally decided to take a vacation in August to New Englad, the plan was to find a beach house somewhere and spend the whole week on the beach! When that did not work out for us, Grandma and Grandpa thought a trip to New Hampshire to visit StoryLand and Santas Village would be fun! Riley and I checked out the websites and she was quite excited.

So, on Tuesday of our week the 5 of us loaded into the car and drove up to StoryLand- we got there around 3ish and spent a few hours there. For some reason, I didn't take a lot of pictures there- not sure why- but it was fun and both girls had fun. Annie was a tad grumpy when we first got there- probably the reason for the lack of pictures since I was trying to make her happy- but then we took a ride on the Choo-choo and she was better after that!

It was quite warm that day, but not very crowded which was great. Riley rode everything we let her and she had a are just a few pics I took....

Riley and Cinderella- Riley, Annie and I took a pumpkin coach ride to the top of the hill where her castle was, but when we got there, she wasn't there! On our way out, we were lucky enough to run into her headed back up the hill!

Riley in the pumpkin

Annie loved the animals- think this was Baa Baa Black Sheep....she and I looked at the animals for a long time while Riley and Grandma rode the tea cups

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The girls!

One of the first nights we were there was just gorgeous and Karen, Sophie and Maya were over so Karen and I decided to take the girls down to the water for a walk. We saw a very pretty sunset and walked for a while, until Maya decided she was done and wanted to go home to bed!

Karen was stopped a few times by people admiring the little baby!

Riley and Annie had a good time looking at the boats in the bay

Maya and Sophie in their super BOB!

Riley could not get enough of holding Maya- she wanted to do it everytime we were together....

Beach babes!

Going to try to get some pictures up here from our latest trip to Rhode Island but it is going to take me a long time to get to them all...blogger is taking a really, really long time lately to upload pics, so I will probably break them up into multiple posts.

We went to the beach a few times during the visit. Annie kept asking to go, but then she wasn't all together thrilled once we got there. I think the waves still scare her a little, but she was better than the last trip, so that is good.

The first full day we were in Westerly we went to the beach with Nannie and Poppie, and then we spent a full morning at the beach in Newport with Auntie Karen, Uncle Carl, Grandma and Grandpa and Sophie and Maya. There were two guys making a really cool sand castle that time but I didn't get a pic of it :(

Here are a few beach pics.....

Riley and Maya, who slept the whole time and woke just as we were leaving....she is certainly a beach baby in training.

The girls and I at Second Beach

Sunbathing beauty!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Now entering 1st grade....

Riley started school last week....1st grade, wow! It is hard to believe she is in 1st grade, although this year has been better than last year already! I was a mess last year- kindergarten is such a huge step- but maybe because we are already used to the routine, and the fact that she was at the school all summer, too, in Summer Edition...this time it went pretty easy!

Todd registered her for school when we were on vacation, and was able to meet her teacher and see her classroom, but Riley and I did not. So, on the first day of school, Todd, Annie and I parked and walked her in...along with about 1/2 a million other kids and families! Her teacher this year is Ms. Allison- she is young, single, pretty and seems very nice. Her classroom is 115- the very last one on the end of the 1st grade hallway, and only 2 doors down from last year's teacher, Mrs. Graham, who is teaching 1st grade this year.

Riley seems very happy so far, although she comes home from school most days exhausted and is tired getting up the next morning....she has lots more work and homework and even had her very first spelling test, in which she scored 100, of course! She and Todd practice her spelling words every.single.night....he has become the homework Nazi!! ANd thank goodness, because Mama has a lot of other things to do every night and homework seems to always slip between the cracks.

Anyway...I will keep you updated on her progress, but so far, so good!

Monday, August 23, 2010

She reads!

Annie was sick today so I stayed home with her and we had a nice day together. She was feeling much better after a three hour nap, which started at 11am when she fell asleep on the floor in the middle of Blue's Clues, 2 hours before she usually naps. I got lucky because I picked her up and put her in her crib and she went back to sleep!

Anyway, the whole point of this is not to tell you she was sick (not really sure what her deal was- she got sick in the middle of the night on Saturday night at Grams and Gramps house while Todd and I were celebrating our anniversary, very, very late!! Poor thing...and poor Grams and Gramps), but in spending the whole day together without Riley as a distraction, I realized how much she can do and how advanced she is at this age, much more so than Riley was.

She can totally manage the DVD and VCR by herself. I watched her open the drawer, pick out a movie, open the case, pull it out, turn on the DVD player, open the player, put the DVD in and press play....wild! Sometimes she needs a little help with a step or two, but she can pretty much handle it on her own!

And she is reading books!!!! Now, not really reading, but there are a few books that she has "memorized" already and will sit in her bunny chair and turn the pages and say the lines from the book! This one blows me away because, 1. she can atriculate the words so well, and 2. she REMEMBERS them....seriously, at this point in her development, Riley was just starting to use words together, and Annie is READING (sort of!).....

My conclusion....both of my children are absolute geniuses and will receive full ride scholarships to the colleges of their choice and have wonderful, fulfilling, prosperous lives and take care of Todd and I in our old age....right????? No pressure ladies :)

PS- I am totally joking...sort of.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Annie is TWO

Yesterday, my baby turned two. It is hard to believe it has been two years....two years since I carried her inside me, trying to get out for weeks and weeks and then when it came right down to it and it was time for her to exit, she stuck in her heels and wanted to stay. Two years since we experienced the trauma that was her birth and nearly lost her. I think about her birth often still....and truly can not imagine my life without this is impossible.
She is my crazy, willful, loving, brilliant wild child. She is the opposite of Riley in many ways, yet she wants to do everything her big sister does. She worships her...and Riley was made to be her big sister. Even when they fight, they make up quickly still with hugs and kisses (and no, I am not naive to think it will always be that way, but for now, it is and it is sweet).

She is so very smart and loves to learn (and in this way, just like her sister!). She talks in complete sentences and most of the time we can understand what she is saying! She can count to 16 and is starting to learn her alphabet. She loves animals, Mickey Mouse and Dora and Elmo, and loves, loves, loves to read books.
She has turned into a pretty good sleeper- she takes a long nap most days when at home, although doesn't care much for napping at school. She goes to bed well, around 7:30 and on the weekends will sleep until 8 or later! She is stubborn and knows exactly what she wants. Her favorite word is NO! She hates to have her shoes on and always wants to take them off, yet loves to play dress up with Riley's shoes!
She is not really the best eater- surprising since she is such a giant. She generally eats one good meal a day and the other meals she just picks at. She likes spaghetti and grilled cheese and Mickey nuggets and fruit- especially bananas. She runs instead of walks and she does not like to sit still in one place. She loves the beach and choo-choo trains and swinging and getting dirty.

She will always be my baby....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Goodbye again!

So, I haven't had a chance to catch myself up yet on this blog- still have pics from our trip to RI a few weeks ago, and now we are off on another trip up there! This one is a planned vacation- planned and booked before we had to venture up for the funeral- but it feels like I have been on vacation all summer :) We have all sorts of things planned for this trip- a visit with Nannie and Poppie, a trip to StoryLand and Santa's Village in NH with Grandma and Grandpa, catching up with some old, old friends who I haven't seen in 17 years and lots and lots of time with Sophie and Maya (and Karen and Carl!!!).....I can't wait to get my hands on that baby...I might not give her back :) It is kind of sad because I didn't really get to enjoy Sophie as a baby since I had my own little nursling, but this time is different....hope I can convince Annie of that....she thinks she is still a "babbe"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I post this to say "adios" (we are watching Dora!) and I will be back in a week and a half to catch up....oh, yeah, and somewhere in there Annie turns TWO YEARS OLD....and Riley starts FIRST GRADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, my!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Another trip to RI, unexpectedly!

I think I might have mentioned a few posts ago that Todd's maternal grandmother, Nanna Brennan, passed away in early July, a few days after we returned from the beach. We knew we all wanted to try our best to make it up there for the funeral and to spend some time with Todd's family, but we weren't sure about the timing of it all. And even though it was for a sad occassion, it was certainly nice to be able to spend time with everyone while we were there and especially for Riley and Annie to visit with their cousins Eric, Jo and Cori from Chicago and Kendra and Brennan who live in MA.

Grandma and Grandpa Buckley picked us up at the airport and we had a yummy lunch at Chello's (lobster rolls- double yum!) and then they let us take their car for the few days we were there, which was really very generous of them :)
We ate a ton of food- I had forgotten the Italian tradition of bringing lots and lots of food over for the grieving family....and oh, the food! So, so good....I ate so much...and remarkable still managed to lose 3 lbs while I was there- don't ask- I have NO idea!

AND- I was there for the birth of baby Maya Rose and was able to visit her the next day!

But, it was sad to come back...even though the girls and I knew we would be back in just a few weeks for the real vacation this time!!

We got some great pictures of everyone...enjoy!

Annie with Great-Grandma Hildebrand
All of us except for Don and Irene

The Hildebrand clan!

Dress up! Jo, Kendra and Cori (with red hair!!!)
The girl cousins- Annie is playing dress up, too!
Nannie and Annie at the beach

We went to Watch Hill one night and walked to Nappa Tree Point- we were not dressed for swimming but some children (mine) got very, very wet. And then someone stole Riley's favorite flip flops- she was very upset!

Riley and Cori rode the carousel- Jo is too old now!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Maya is here!!

Welcome to the world little Maya Rose!

Born July 12, 2010

I was lucky enough to be in RI when Maya was born- Karen promised me that she would have her while I was there and she totally came through! Although not the birth experience that she wanted, everyone is doing fine now, a few weeks later.

I visited Karen, Carl and Maya in the hospital the day after she was born and took the video and some pics. The girls and I are going back in August to spend some more time with her and Grandma and Grandpa Buckley- we are really looking forward to it!

Carl and his girls!

Sophie and Grandma Buckley

The new Melchar family!

My two nieces- LOVE them! Sophie wouldn't stop looking at me- Carl couldn't get a pic with her, but I love this one!