Thursday, December 28, 2006

Up all night

This is what happens when you stay up until 6am to play Playstation 3 with Brian!

He slept until after 1pm the following day.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Another 'thank you'

I just wanted to update and say thank you to Grandma Carol and Vern for the generous gift card from Sears for Brian and I, and the Target gift cards for Sean, Bren and Erin. The boys received theirs yesterday, and the rest of them arrived today. Thank you both!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families. I'll update the blog tomorrow with pictures of everyone with their goodies. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Beautiful green eyes

I'm experimenting with the manual settings on my camera, and I enjoyed taking these pictures of Erin with the sunlight reflecting on her face this morning. She loves to have her picture taken, so it allows me to get some good practice. She has the most beautiful green eyes, and I've been trying to capture that for weeks. She's just so sweet, and I think these pictures show a bit of that in her.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Our gingerbread house

Every year, we say that we are going to make a gingerbread house, and every year we forget to get it done. Not this year! We bought the kit at Costco, and let the kiddos have fun putting it together. Brian and I didn't touch a single bit of it. Sean and Bren did most of the icing decorating, and they had Erin put the candy decorations around the outside of the house. She also got to decorate one of the gingerbread cookies, which she promptly ate instead of setting up outside of the house! They had a blast putting this together, and we anticipate doing one every year from now on.

Monday, November 27, 2006

A little girl and her doll

Erin has had this water baby since she was not even a year old. Her name is Emily. About six months ago we lost Emily and have not been able to find another until this past weekend. When we finally found her again (the exact same one!) Erin was almost in tears she was so happy. She hasn't let Emily out of her sight since then. She is the sweetest little mommy to Emily and loves to nurse her, change her and play with her. I just love watching her with Emily.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fun adventures

We had a great weekend. On Saturday we spent some time at Hyde Park, doing a bit of Christmas shopping and letting the kids enjoy the park and fountain. We come here every year closer to Christmas to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Hyde Park. This is one of our favorite places to visit. On Sunday we spent the day at Centro Ybor and Channelside. We parked in Ybor and took one of the trollies to Channelside to have lunch and watch the cruise ship depart. Erin and the boys love to watch them leave. It was nice to sit outside in the beautiful weather,
watch the kids play and just relax.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sibling love

I love how affectionate my children are towards
one another.
Of course they have arguments like all siblings
do but as a whole they really respect and love
one another and I am proud of them for that.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A lady bug and a mask

We had a great time trick or treating last night.
Sean stayed home to pass out candy, wearing his puppy ears and tail,
Brendan rode around the neighborhood with his friends wearing a mask
and a big group of us from the neighborhood walked with the smaller children.
They were all so cute and Erin had a blast collecting candy from everyone.

Daddy and Erin

This is Erin and Paul, one of our neighbors.

Bren wearing his mask

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I love my children

There is no sweeter sight in the world than the faces
of these three angels.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

B-U-C-C-A-N-E-E-R-S....GO BUCS!!!!!!!

Final score Bucs 23 Eagles 21
The field goes crazy after the 62 yard field goal by the Bucs
Let me just say how awesome it was to watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the last ten seconds of the game today. To be there and witness this victory was priceless!

Friday, October 20, 2006

My little Flyer!

Bren has been a huge Flyers fan since we lived in New Jersey for a short time back in 2000. He learned how to ice skate at the Philadelphia Flyers Skate Zone and watched them practice there several times.

Thankfully we live in a city full of professional sports and hockey is included. Our own Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004. Brendan likes the Lightning and cheers for them UNLESS they are playing against the Flyers. So last night we went to the St. Pete Times Forum to watch the Lightning take on the Flyers. It was a great game but in the end the Lightning won 4-1 and Brendan left feeling a bit disappointed. He's such a huge fan and his eyes really lit up when the Flyers took the ice.

I've already purchased tickets for the return of the Flyers on 12/28/06 so we'll be there to cheer them on again!

Bren at the Flyers Skate Zone in 2000

Bren in his Flyers gear for Halloween in 2000

Flyers game in Tampa on 10/19/06

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Tigers pulled it off

They haven't won a World Series since 1984 but they are on their way now. We just witnessed the Detroit Tigers win against the A's which advances them to the World Series. We've been cheering them along throughout the series so it was great to watch them win the game tonight. We were at BW-3's eating wings and the place went crazy when they got the winning homerun in the top of the 9th. Way to go Tigers!!!

Oh, and our very own Redwings won their game today, too. Sean and Bren both had two runs each!

Erin is at Chuck E Cheese with Papa and Judy and I can't wait for her to get home. I miss her when she's gone.

Friday, September 29, 2006

How time flies

My oldest nephew turned 16 last week. 16!! How does that happen so quickly? Let me reflect for a few minutes and tell you about Tyler and my relationship with him.

My oldest brother and his girlfriend had been dating. I didn't like her all that much because up until that time I was very close to my brother and I kind of felt like she was taking part of him away from me. In 1990 she became pregnant with her first baby and on September 19, 1990 my first nephew, Tyler, was born. It was several days before I first got to see him but when I finally did it was love at first sight. It was at that moment that my relationship with my sister in law, Sue, changed, too. I immediately had a newfound respect and love for her as the Mother of my beautiful new nephew. From that day on she and I became very close and I considered her to be the sister that I never had.

While attending school at the University of Florida I would drive to Orlando just to spend time with Tyler. He was the light of my life. A year later I was living in Orlando and it made me so happy to be able to spend a lot of time with him. One of the things that I always loved to do with Tyler was go to the park. I would pick him up in my little Honda Civic hatchback, buckle him in his car seat and off we would go. Just the two of us. Tyler loved the ducks. He would run after them with the biggest grin on his face. He always had the cutest smile and his giggle was contagious. I would spend hours at the park with him and then we would usually go to McDonalds to get a cheeseburger before I took him home. I'm so thankful for the time that I lived there in Orlando so that I could be there with him while he was little. My relationship with him was priceless and I was so proud to be his Aunt. I dreamt that my children would some day be as loving as he was.

Tyler had a very special name for me. He couldn't quite say Michelle so it came out sounding like "lerl". I loved it and I would sometimes ask him who I was just to hear him say it. I can still hear him saying it as vividly as he did back then.

So now he's 16. He's legal to drive. So maybe now if I could be with him he could drive me to go somewhere instead of me driving him. I wish we could. I would do anything to be able to spend time with Tyler the way we used to be able to do.

It was because of Tyler that Sue and I became close. To this day I adore her and now that we live so far away from one another I miss her terribly. They live in Oregon.

So, happy belated birthday to my first nephew. This little spot in my heart will always be yours.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Definitely a girly girl

There's no doubt about it. She may want to play in the dirt with the neighbor boys or throw a baseball or football with her brothers and her Daddy but when it all comes right down to it she is all girl. Give her the shiniest, frilliest clothes, "fancy" shoes, dangly earrings, name it...and she's happy. She is, after all, the princess of this house!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

This isn't fun

Using this device and expanding Sean's jaw is not fun. I felt bad doing it to him and I could tell that it was hurting him despite the fact that he didn't say anything. He just let me do it, took his Advil and went straight to bed. Poor kid. 29 more days to do this before that thing is removed. I can't wait.

Both are still having a hard time eating. Today Brendan had a frozen yogurt from Costco, a cup of applesauce and a serving of macaroni and cheese. Sean had frozen yogurt, chocolate pudding and a few bites of lasagna that we made for dinner but he couldn't eat much of it. I know they are hungry and they drink a lot of milk to compensate for the lack of food. I feel for them.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Palatal expansion appliance and baseball

This is what the device is called that was placed in Sean's mouth today. This device is mounted on the roof of his mouth. Once each day I have to use this small screwdriver looking mechanism to expand the "palatal expansion appliance". What does this mean? Slowly but surely we are breaking his upper jaw to become wider than it is so that it can accomodate all of his teeth properly. They are severely crowded and are in rows in some places. On the bottom he has a metal spacer that is expanding his lower jaw but doesn't require any adjusting and will just slowly do it's job on it's own. Brendan has the spacer on the top and bottom and doesn't require the palatal device that Sean has. Thank God. Neither of the boys can talk (at least not well enough that you can understand much of what they are saying) and they haven't been able to eat a single bit of food all day. Not even the fettuccini alfredo that we had for dinner. I ended up taking them to Steak & Shake to get a milkshake for dinner just so that they would have something in their stomachs. I feel badly for them but I know that in another day or two the pain will subside enough that they will be able to eat and talk. The good part about all of this is that since they aren't able to talk they are also not able to argue with one another! It'll be a nice break for a couple of days.

Baseball practice resumes tomorrow for both boys. It was supposed to start two weeks ago but with the amount of rain that we've had the fields have been flooded and the practices and games have been postponed. So there's a lot of catching up to do.