Thursday, February 19, 2009

5 Months...

My big boy is 5 months today! He is getting so big and smiley and talking so much. He is rolling over with ease now, like he has been doing it for months. He always goes from back to tummy, but last night he did tummy to back, so we are really in for it now! He still is not wanting "solid" foods, but I know as soon as he gets it, he will be an even happier boy!

It was right before bed when I was trying to take this picture, so the only way I could get him to smile was blowing in his face. He LOVED it! Couldn't get enough! So cute!

I forgot to mention while we were back east, my cousins gave him a nickname. Hoagie. What do you think? I like it, I feel like it's fitting.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rollie Pollie!

Andy rolled over today! John, Julie and I were all cheering him on. He is almost mobile!!! Ahh!

Sorry you missed it Tim and Uncle Tom!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fast Trip

Disclaimer: this is really long with lots of pictures so that family can get all the pictures that I took...sorry!

When Memere passed away, I knew that we were going to go to the services since we weren't able to go to Peperes. So we packed up the kids and flew to Boston. We stayed at a great hotel just down the street from my Aunt Marie's house.

Julie was really excited to see the snow when we landed, so we couldn't wait to get her out in it. We bundled her all up with her new "Cars" snow boots from Walmart and out we went. Uncle Justin jumped right in and we expected Julie to follow. She took two steps into the snow and a huge gust of wind knocked her right over, face first into the snow! She screamed, cried and ran to the that was the end of the snow.

We went inside and did something we were a little more comfortable with.....swimming!

After a really fun lunch with my Aunt Marian and Uncle Tom we went back to the hotel to get ready for the services the next day.

First thing Monday morning, we got up to go pay our respects to my Memere. It was so hard, but so great to see all of the family together. There was a nice mass afterward, followed by a reception put on by the church ladies. It was delicious. We got to mingle with all the people who knew and loved Memere and Pepere. A girl who lived up the street from them who I used to play with all the time was there, I hadn't seen her in about 8 years. So that was really great.

After going back to the hotel, we went to my Aunt Marie's and ate leftovers and shared Memere stories. We talked about how Memere would always end a conversation with "and a partridge in a pear tree!" in a singsong voice, and how she had a really cool necklace with a charm that looked like a basket (which is now in my possession) and how she and Pepere would give each other their wedding rings to keep safe whenever they went anywhere like the hospital or surgery. That is about the point we found the old home movies. There was one summer that Justin and I spend a lot of time traveling with my grandparents and our cousins, Tim (who is a year older than Justin) and Keith (who is my age). And apparently my grandpa got a lot of it on tape. We laughed so hard at that video, hearing Pepere yell at us and Memere yell at him for yelling at us! Seems like it was yesterday.

As we were leaving Marie's house, we noticed Julie feeling a little warm, and sure enough, she had a decent temperature. So she and John slept in while Andy and I went to the burial the next day. It was a short ceremony, followed by a great lunch at Memere's favorite place where I ordered her favorite...the lobster roll! All my mom's siblings were there.

After lunch we went over to my grandparent's house to help my Uncles Charlie and Jimmy get some things done. We made a huge stack of things to be shipped to California and laughed at some of the silly things we found. It was overwhelming seeing the house so empty, but perhaps it gave us all a little closure as well. As we were leaving, Julie (who had a temp of 103.6) said "Bye house!" in her cheery, sweet voice and we all could not help but smile and say good-bye.

The next day we just prepared to go home. I know we won't be visiting the east coast as much as we used to. I am sad about that but at the same time it will give us more of a chance to explore other vacation destinations. I will miss 40 Congress Street, it was like a second childhood home. But, most of all, I will miss my grandparents. I will miss getting their cards on holidays, I will miss talking to them and them asking about all my friends and even my pets. I am sad that Julie will not remember them and Andy was never able to meet them. But I know they are in their lives, watching over us all, laughing at us every time we call our kids "goones" or "finke" and smiling when they hear Julie call my mom Memere.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Julie's First Day of Pre-School

Today, Julie went to Building Blocks for the first time. When we got there, she could not get out of the car fast enough. She carried in her own lunch and put it in her cubby. Then, when she saw the kids playing play dough, she stopped mid run to glance back and say bye to me, and off she went. When I picked her up, they said she did great. The other kids were already going down for naps, so the teachers couldn't really talk, but I am sure Julie will do great there.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Memories of Memere

Just 4 1/2 months after Pepere passed away, my Memere went to join him. You hear so often how when one person dies after so long of being together, the other one is not far behind. I think I knew all along that this would be the case with Memere and Pepere.

When Pepere passed away, it never really sank in. I had just had Andy and life was so wonderful with my new perfect baby boy that I wasn't as heartbroken as I probably would have been. With my Memere passing, it is safe to say that my heart is shattered right now.

I remember when Memere and Pepere would come visit, I would be so excited for weeks before. Memere would always cook us yummy things and buy us toys and souvenirs everywhere we went (even if they were places that we went all the time).

She would rearrange our kitchen cabinets so that they made sense to her. It would drive my mom crazy. One time, she cleaned our water heater and showed my mom the dirty rag at 5 am after my mom had been up all night with me (I was only a few months old) and said "I don't think this has been cleaned since last time I was here!" Good guess Memere!

She used to sit at our house, in 100 degree weather and knit mittens for underprivileged children out of the ugliest yarn anyone has ever seen.

When she laughed really hard, she didn't make noise, her whole body just shook. We all try to imitate it, but it can not be done.

Memere taught me how to cross stitch and embroider (yes, I know how to cross stitch and embroider). She made me doll blankets (some Julie still uses for her dolls). She did puzzles with us and read books with us and let us do whatever we want. She always got the same enormous ice cream cone from Hodgies that we got. In fact, sometimes I think she wanted to ice cream more than we did! She always had something sweet to give us after each meal.

When we woke up in the morning, the cereal, bowls and milk were waiting out on the table for us. The milk was usually warm by this point, but we didn't seem to mind. Over breakfast we would discuss what we wanted for lunch :)

As we got older, if she wanted us to not sleep til noon, she would play ragtime tunes on the piano at the bottom of the stairs and pretend like she wasn't trying to wake us.

One time my cousin Keith and I walked up to the pizza shop up the street and bought a HUGE cheese pizza. We brought it home and Pepere sat and watched as Keith, Memere and I devoured the whole thing.

Memere and Pepere were a huge part of my life even though they lived so far away. We got a card and a dollar on every holiday (even the obscure ones) and they called almost every weekend. I was always excited to see them, no matter if they came here or we went there. They supported everything that we ever did.

I will miss my grandparents every day. I will miss seeing Pepere without his teeth and miss Memere coming up randomly, patting my arm, telling me she is so happy I was there. I hope that I am able to be half the strong, intelligent woman that my Memere was, and raise my children to be successful and independent as she did hers.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Julie's Party

Sunday was a beautiful day for a backyard birthday complete with hot dogs and cupcakes. Most of the pictures are self explanatory, so enjoy. :)

And one of Andy for good measure.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Julie Bess!

Today my little girl turns two years old (well, tonight at 10:08, but you get the idea). I can't believe how amazing she has made our lives in just 2 short years. Seems like just yesterday she was born, but honestly, I can't remember what our lives were like before she came along.

We did have a party for her today, and as soon as we recover, I will post some of the great pictures of her and her friends. :)