Monday, August 31, 2009

Horse Party

Of course Julia had to have the rainiest day of the summer for her horseback riding party. We made the best of it though in the smelly, leaky, dusty barn and used lots of hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes. One of the moms reminded me that 100 years ago no one had hand sanitizer. She was so right! So we made due and the kids had so much fun!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Julia's 7th birthday

My little girl is seven today. I remember everything about the day she was born. OUCH is the word that comes to mind. It was a very difficult birth but I remember being overwhelmed with emotion when I finally realized I was holding a baby girl in my arms.

Chocolate chip pancakes for dinner...

This little bugger was so ridiculously jealous of Julia today...he was quite awful to her all day...

Hannah Montana wrapping paper...and several Hannah Montana gifts too...

She picked out this cute doll herself...of course it's a "virtual" doll too...

pretty dancer jewelry...

yummy confetti cake...

blowing out seven candles...

remembering the day she was born...

such a pretty, pretty girl...and wouldn't you know it? Nicholas took this last picture...

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Song of the River

Berta came to visit us exactly one year ago. We spent three wonderful days together, hanging out on the porch eating home cooked meals, late evenings just chatting and early morning tea. She brought each of the kids a precious, thoughtful gift. Berta loved young children and so enjoyed listening to what they had to say. I'm so glad we had that time together. I never imagined that it would be our last.

I'm slowly emerging from this strange state of disbelief that my friend is really gone...

A friend of Berta's happened upon this poem in the local paper the morning of August 14th, the day she passed away.

The Song of the River
By William Randolph Hearst, 1951

The snow melts on the mountain
And the water runs down to the spring,
And the spring in a turbulent fountain,
With a song of youth to sing,
Runs down to the riotous river,
And the river flows to the sea,
And the water again
Goes back in rain
To the hills where it used to be.

And I wonder if life’s deep mystery
Isn’t much like the rain and the snow
Returning through all eternity
To the places it used to know.

For life was born on the lofty heights
And flows in a laughing stream,
To the river below
Whose onward flow
Ends in a peaceful dream.

And so at last,
When our life has passed
And the river has run its course,
It again goes back,
O’er the selfsame track,
To the mountain which was its source.

So why prize life
Or why fear death,
Or dread what is to be?
The river ran
Its allotted span
Till it reached the silent sea.

Then the water harked back
To the mountain-top
To being its course once more.
So we shall run
The course begun
Till we reach the silent shore.

Then revisit earth
In a pure rebirth
From the heart of the virgin snow.
So don’t ask why
We live or die,
Or whither, or when we go,
Or wonder about the mysteries
That only God may know.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Childrens Museum of Science

We took the kiddies to the Children's Museum yesterday. They had a ball!

Julia is one strong girl from all the gymnastics she does. She was able to pull her full body weight up this pully thingamajiggy. All the other kids watching were very impressed.

And of course Nicholas could do it...he has zero body fat.

The kids climbed inside this big claustrophobic climbing contraption. I was freaking out just watching them...

The bubble room was a big hit. Here's Gianna inside a huge bubble.

"Get me out of here"....isn't this a cool picture???

Our three babies...

They had tons and tons of fun...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Goodbye my friend

I'm so grateful to have met you and so proud to have called you one of my dearest friends. I will miss you terribly.

Shiny and Sparkly
And Splendidly Bright
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like The Loss Of Sunlight

On A Cloudy Afternoon

Gone too soon...

Monday, August 10, 2009


My baby boy is eight, 8, in the world did that happen???

We had an all boy party here yesterday (which Nicholas has been wanting for years). Nana made one of her yummy cakes and decorated it just like Nicholas wanted. We also made a chocolate cake too.

The boys had fun swimming, playing football and kickball and riding bikes.

Why eat on the ground when you can eat up here...

He got lots of Bakugon stuff...

Today I picked him and a few friends up early from camp, went to McDonalds for lunch and then back home to swim. Tonight he opened up our presents and really loved everything he got. It was probably the most enthusiastic he has been in a while over presents so that made us happy!

Look at the smile on his face when he opened up this army hat...

Happy Birthday baby boy...please stay eight for a long time!!! I'm not ready for nine!

Oh...and lookie here...I think we have another gymnast on our hands...

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Another Visit

I went to NYC again on Thursday to visit my friend, Berta. This time she was awake although quite groggy from all the pain medication. She was "happy" to see me although understandably very sad. She looks so much better than two weeks ago when she had the respirator in and was quite bloated from surgery. She had a tracheotomy so her mouth is free again but she still can't speak. She needs to breathe more on her own before that can happen. At times, she would try to say something but struggled to communicate. She would look hard into our eyes trying to make us understand and then just give up. She can't write yet as she is too weak and her thinking isn't clear enough.

Just to be there with her was enough for me. I got to hold her hand and tell her that I'm thinking of her constantly, that there was no place else I would rather be, that she is doing great, that she looks good, that she can do this, that I hate that this is happening to her and that I love her. Her eyes filled with tears and she pointed to her heart to tell me she loved me too. We blew each other kisses when I left. I told her I would be back in a few weeks and hopefully by then she will be able to talk again.

She was moved out of the ICU that evening which means she has stabilized. Now there will be a game plan to get going on her treatment and managing her pain. Her mom and brother are more encouraged which is wonderful to see. They are truly amazing. To watch her tiny 90-year-old mother who has basically no hearing left and walks with a cane, go through this terrible ordeal is just heart wrenching. They have been by her side every single day, all day which is beyond exhausting in every way possible but they are her strength. They both have their moments but still remain positive and can make Berta smile.

I miss her laugh....the way she throws her head back and laughs this great deep laugh... I miss the way she says, "Shame Dineen" or just the way she says my name "Dineeeen". I'll hear her voice again...I know it.

Friday, August 07, 2009

She's getting good

Julia's newest trick...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Summer Fun

The kids are busy with their summer activities...camps, hockey, gymnastics, swimming lessons...but we took a break and went up to Canobie Lake Park last week. This has become a summer tradition for us as a family just as it was with my family when I was a kid. The first year we went, Nicholas and Julia spent all their time on the kiddie rides and Gianna hardly went on any rides at all because she was so little. Now Nicholas is just over 48" tall so he can go on all the bigger rides. Julia is at that in between size where she can go on some of the bigger rides with an adult but still small enough to go on all the kiddie rides with Gianna. Everyone had fun...even me as I love rides. I went on a ride called "Skater" with Nicholas and Julia which was like riding a giant skateboard. It was the best ride I have ever gone on hands down. Even better than any ride at Disney!

I have a picture of me driving these same cars when I was a little girl...

Nicholas has been waiting years to drive these cars...

After hours and hours of going on rides and standing in the hot sun, it was off to the water park to cool off.

I just thought this picture was so cute. Julia's friend, Kim, came over to play the other day. I love how different they look...Julia with her dark hair and eyes and tanned skin and then there is Kim who is so fair. Both such pretty girls and such cute friends.

Danny took Nicholas and Julia on the water ride below, The Boston Tea Party. They were soaked! And don't watch the last video too many times 'cause it will make you sick!