Friday, December 30, 2011

Two Girls/One Location

Two girls in the same location.............is something to celebrate.
I asked for the day off so I can make a Turkey dinner with all the fixins.
Yes, there will be dressing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole the whole enchilada.



Okay, so it won't look exactly like that, but I do promise not
to put any pots or pans on the table.
I hope to get pictures of the two little cousins today.
We picked Ashley & Daniela up at the airport last night,
but by the time we arrived at the house lil cousin, Rowyn was in bed sleeping.
Not just any bed, but Daniela's crib. 
Grandpa put Audra's toddler bed up for Daniela to use.
He get extra points for that!!!!!
Gary's Dad made the toddler bed for Audra was she was little.
I remember when Michael used it when he came for a visit.
I'm happy to see another grandchild sleeping in the family heirloom.
I'm sure Grandpa in heaven is too.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve Photos



Rowyn looked "Oh so precious" in her party
dress for Christmas Eve.


She loves the tree and touches the ornaments gently,
but doesn't try to remove them.

We dined on appetizers, pizza & Gus's Greek Salad & Bread sticks.
Also their were way to many deserts and goodies.

Then we exchanged ornaments.... open & steal style,
which was something new this year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Man of the Hour

Henry Owen taking after his brother
he loves cars & trucks.


Just look at those pudgy hands.


Henry rounds the family out perfectly
he's the icing on the cake.
Everyone adores him.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Michael & Ava's New Rooms

Busy doesn't even begin to describe my life lately.  I've only managed to post about my trip to Maine once or maybe it was twice...   Anyway, I've been back for a week and two days now and I'm going to put a few pictures up today.  Sorry for the lack of verbage ( I believe that means words) to go with the pictures.   I have the cutest grandkids ever.  I will keep posting the pictures I took in Maine even if it takes me the rest of 2011 and some of 2012.  So hang tight... I'm trying to get them up as fast as I can.

His closed mouth smile due to a missing tooth.
Michael and a couple favorite autos.

My favorite picture of Michael - So grown up looking for eight years old.

Ava  in her room

It's painted a sort of cranberry color

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lunch at Martes International Catering & Gourmet Cafe


video

Amanda took me to this amazing eatery in down town Bangor, Maine.
Their salads were so amazing I didn't even look at the soups or sandwiches
or anything else on the menu.  It was a salad lovers paradise.

I ordered a Chicken Twist Salad, which was utterly yummy.


Grilled fresh lime chicken, on a bed of romaine topped with roasted onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, mandarin oranges and spicy creamy chipotle dressing on the side
Amanda had a Chilled Poached Salmon Salad with Blood Orange Dressing,
which was out of this world.


- Mixed greens with mandarin oranges, cucumbers, Greek olives, feta cheese, red onions, pepitas (mini roasted pumpkin seeds) and chilled poached salmon fillet
Want to look at the rest of their menu, just click on the link below.
Montes Menu

Thanks, Amanda it was a great lunch and Henry was totally
entertaining not only us, but half the other customers as well.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hit the ground running


The trip home was llllooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnggg, got out
of bed in Maine at 4:00 a.m and walked in my door at home at 8:00 p.m.
After sitting in a plane with computer issues in NY the passengers
all had to disembark and reschedule their flights.  Ugh!

However, once I made it home seeing Daniela rejuvenated me.
No being shy this time, she was immediately in my arms hugging
and kissing me.
An hour later we were opening Christmas gifts, so Daniela
could enjoy hers for a short time before leaving Mexico.
She was very excited about going on the plane ride and
seeing her PaPa.  The last time they were in Mexico was Easter.

I have managed to download my pictures from my trip to
Maine and will put up a proper post tomorrow. 
Here's a sneak peak of my grandkiddos in Maine.
See how they've grown.

Michael playing with his bus and NYPD cars
Mama brought him from her trip.

Ava putting together some fairy tale puzzles.

Lil Henry cruising around, 14 months & good as gold for Gramie.



Friday, December 9, 2011

Hey from Maine

Tid bits

Long trip to the airport....traffic
three attempts to get to right gate....red face ( more ways than one )
bus ride in New York to another part of the airport
beautiful hanging art & a dinosaur skeleton - pictures I did not have time to take

Amanda & kids waited an extra 15 minutes at the airport
tour of the new house...awesome

Lunch with Amanda & Henry, memorable & delicious
(I do have pictures of our salads)
Christmas shopping (just a bit)
Gifts of Bendables & sticker girls book both well-loved
Soccer game the girls against the boys on the new wood floor
little mini soccer dude darn good--he knows what he's doing

Snow storm beautiful, but we can't get down the driveway
because the trees bent in and crisscrossed the road.
Fun sled ride for Henry in the afternoon to get the kids off the bus.

I haven't taken many pictures, but will try to make up for it today.
Amanda back from New York tonight.
Busy making memories.



Friday, December 2, 2011

New Job

I love my new job! 
I've been employed as a Mother's helper for a week now
and received the nicest compliments from the family.
"They are so glad they found me."
"They love the way the kids have warmed up to me."
"They think we are a perfect match."

The job entails helping the mom with 5 children
ages are four and under.  There are 2 boys & 3 girls.
The baby is a little doll and very easy going.
I spoon fed Baby B her first taste of real food yesterday.
The 18 month old took the longest to warm up to me.
Big Girl B - (yes the three youngest all have names that start with B)
is 6 months older than Daniela and very tall for her age.
She is going to start potty training after the first of the year.
The boys R & D are fun and cute, I really enjoy pretend
play with them as they have wild imaginations.

The family is very private and I know they would not want me to show
pictures or too many details.
I am enjoying going to work every day, but that means less time
on the computer for me, so if my posts are a bit more
spread out you'll know why......
I'm busy changing diapers, feeding the baby a bottle,
teaching shapes and colors, reading books, playing peek-s-boo
doling out snacks and wiping chubby fingers and chubby cheeks.

And the best thing about this job is that I can take a week off whenever
my girls need me to come help out, or I just want to go visit them.
I'm not getting rich, but I'm happy!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Turkey Day


Our Thanksgiving Celebration was on Saturday this year.
It worked out great for us, because we were able to do
birthday activities with Daniela on her real birthday, which
was Thanksgiving Day this year.


The Fedon Clan from Ohio & Virginia (Elaine & Ryan)


Steve, Rose & Bugsy who invited us all to their house.
Rose is an excellent cook.  She put cherries in the turkey
dressing and usually I don't like raisins or anything in mine,
but it was really delicious.


Patty & Mike.

For Christmas this year it will be just Gary and I
plus his siblings and Audra & Rick will
be the only adult children that are able to make it and
Rowyn will be the only child.
Christmas Eve will be at our house with an ornament
exchange.  Changing things up a bit this year.
Mike and Patty always have it at their house and
it's decorated like you're visiting Bronners, but
they are under construction this year.
I will do my best to make it festive.

I'm thankful for family.
There are no outlaws on my husbands side of the family,
they are all great, loving, caring, generous people.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Birthday Time!

Daniela's Mom & I took her to see the Muppets for her birthday.
We were a half hour early, because we heard we may
have trouble getting in on Thanksgiving.
Apparently not that early in the day.  We had no trouble at all.
The preview didn't start until the time the movie was suppose to start
and they lasted 20-30 minutes.  So..........
the snacks were gone and so were Daniela's patience
for sitting still, we saw about half the movie and then
chose to leave.  All in all she did pretty good.
She was so darned adorable the entire time sitting
in the little booster chair and standing up leaning over
the seat in front of her dancing.

Grandpa stayed at home and put her birthday present together.
He said the directions were in hieroglyphics,
but he seemed to still be in a decent mood, so it
couldn't have been all that bad.
Her reaction to seeing her birthday gift for the first time.
Priceless.

The kitchen set is from Mama & the food sets
are from Grandpe & MiMi.

She's been cookin ever since.

She loves washing her hands with the soap dispenser (thanks again Rosie)


Food sets are wood and made by Melisa & Doug.
The kitchen is  by Kid Kraft - Razzleberry Kitchen Set.


Her favorite food set is the cutable fruit, she's sliced
pears, strawberries, kiwis, oranges, bananas and melons;
put them back together and cut them again and again.
Looks like we can add fruit salad to today's menu as well.

Happy Birthday Daniela!
It has been oh so much fun and we haven't even had cake
and ice cream yet.



Happy Birthday Daniela



Still putting the pieces together....
Two years ago today she was born
and a week later I met her for the first time.
She was amazing then and remains so today.
As I looked over the pictures from my trip to Mexico
and her first two weeks, I noticed more than the
usual amount of pictures of me holding the baby.
In all the pictures I am beaming, even
the ones where I'm not actually smiling.
She is my sunshine and she brings out the best in me.



She often flatters me by saying "Awe, cute!" when
she sees me.  I can be in denial that she said the same thing
about the wild turkey at the Nature Center.  Not a problem.

She often runs to me when she gets home and we have
a bunch of silly little games we play and things we
do to make each other laugh.
She thinks it's hysterical when I tuck her in at night.
I kiss her Kitty, her dolly and then her blanket.
Who else besides her crazy MiMi would kiss a blankey?
So funny!

She is doing and saying new things every day.
"It's not working" is a frequent phrase which can be used
for "I can't open it" or "the puzzle piece won't fit" or
any number of other situations.

Today instead of turkey....
we will be enjoying popcorn while watching the Muppets
at the theatre and cake & ice cream later with gifts.
A Dora balloon & other colorful balloons are hiding in the closet.
Oh! It's going to be a fun day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Still here.... Still walking


Yes, I'm still walking.  Yesterday was a beautiful day for November.
Danan and I walked down to the end of our road and back and I
took a few pictures.  It actually looked much more gray and dismal,
but with the help of Picnik.com I was able to boost the colors a little
and now it looks much more appealing.

The days have not all been so accommodating.  It has rained and
I have walked in the rain.  Ya, me.... walked in the rain,
hard to believe I know.
When it's windy and we walk at the school it's like being in a
wind tunnel.  I wear my cuddle duds and a fleece head band over my ears.
and sometimes complete the look by wrapping a matching scarf around
my head.

This is a picture of the water in the pond down the road.
I cropped out the tree and grass that's being reflected.
The green scum is really almost that green.
It fools with your mind.  The water looks like the sky.
Sorry I refuse to go to all the trouble to turn the darn picture,
I wish they'd put a magic button on the toolbar, so I could
just click and fix it.  Wouldn't that be nice.


I've been trying to be super good this week with Weight Watchers,
so that I don't have to feel guilty when I eat a portion-controlled
Thanksgiving dinner.  That's the plan folks.
Last week my weight stayed the same.  I'm at -26 pounds and
fighting like heck to stay there.  The one coffee and one can of pop
a day is such a drag, but do feel like maybe it's giving me more
energy without it, so will continue on as long as the will power holds.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Freya has been replaced

Daniela's favorite dolly was dreadfully dirty and only
surface washable, so Mommy replaced her.

Daniela holding Freya's replacement

She talks and moves and Daniela likes to sit her up by herself.

She said her name is Our Baby.
MiMi is working on a new name, stay tuned.

Daniela has been cracking us up wearing these glasses.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

25 And at a Plateau

I'm at a plateau with my weight loss.
Definition of a plateau = a period or state of little or no growth or decline:
I want the decline.
For the past 4-6 weeks I've been hovering around the 25 pound weight loss mark.

I really want to lose another 15 pounds.
So this morning I started looking around the web for some
reputable information and found this article on WebMD.
It is not word for word, but the ten ways and a little excerpt to
help explain the step.


10 Ways to Move Beyond a Weight Loss Plateau **


1. Imagine You: Healthy and Vibrant
"Visualize yourself dancing at an upcoming celebration in a fabulous black dress," Tallmadge tells WebMD, "and then apply that vision every day to stay motivated."
2. Understand Your Weight Loss Personality
Oblivious. If you tend to not pay attention when you eat -- maybe you're a TV snacker? -- you need to avoid such situations if you want to control portions.
Uptight. "If you are highly anxious, you will probably have more difficulty," Przybeck says. "Those who are anxious, nervous, and depressed might eat to feel better."
3. Record Every Food Morsel You Eat, Taste, or Lick
Track the time of day and your feelings when you eat to discover problem times and emotions that cause you to binge eat. Recognize your eating triggers and find healthier foods to satisfy your
hunger or better alternatives than food to cope with your emotions.
4. Beware of 'Calorie Creep'
A key reason for a weight loss plateau is eating more than you think. It's easy for portion sizes to creep up, and before you know it, you end up eating more than your plan prescribes. That's why it's important to weigh and measure your food to understand proper portions
5. Watch Restaurant Overeating
At restaurants, rich foods and supersized portions can sway even the most determined dieter. Especially if you eat out often, look at restaurant eating as a chance to practice good portion control.
6. Eat Low-Fat Protein to Manage Hunger Pangs
New findings show that a high protein diet can help squelch hunger. Protein foods work by suppressing ghrelin, a hormone secreted by the stomach that stimulates appetite (yes, it triggers hunger!).
7. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
8. Push the Envelope Past That Plateau
To keep your muscles guessing -- and performing the ultimate calorie burn --vary your physical activity. And push the envelope to power past that plateau!
For example, during your 30-minute treadmill session, include a few intervals at higher speed or at a higher incline (climb hills if you're walking outside). Sustain this higher intensity for a few minutes, and then return to your comfort level. After you recover, do it again -- and again. This will help you burn more calories and blast through the plateau.
Also make sure your routine includes strength-training exercises (like weight lifting), which help counteract muscle loss due to aging. Building and preserving muscle mass is a key factor in reaching a healthy weight, as muscle requires more calories to maintain than fat.
9. Wear a Pedometer
Put the pedometer on first thing in the morning. Then make it a point to be more active: pace while you talk on the phone, take the dog out for an extra walk, and march in place during television commercials. Each 2,000 steps burn roughly 100 more calories, so aim for 10,000 steps daily for weight loss.
10. Try Yoga to Avoid Stress Eating
Stress eating is bingeing on food -- homemade chocolate chip cookies, salty chips, a handful of this, a fistful of that -- to soothe your inner emotional turmoil, not your real hunger. Studies show that yoga lowers levels of stress hormones and increases insulin sensitivity -- a signal to your body to burn food as fuel rather than store it as fat.
 
** Taken from a WebMd Weight Loss Article


 I'm going to choose two to work on this week and try adding another step next week and see if I can work myself past this weight loss plateau.

I'm already using number 7, eating more fruits and vegetables and number 3, tracking what I eat, although I need to be more diligent (getting lazy about it).

So what I've decided to do is work on number 9.  I have a great pedometer that I purchased at Weight Watchers and I wear it when I walk, but haven't tried using it all day to track how active I am.

And number 8, using the interval method of training, and adding some weights.

Wish me luck, say a prayer, leave a word of encouragement.   26.....27.....28.... 29.....


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Remembering


I remember showing Miguel (Daniela's Papa), pictures of the rest
of my Grandchildren when I went to Mexico.
He was amazed at how many pictures I had of Sydney and Griffin, who
I had just been to visit.  He said he hoped I'd take a few of Daniela.

"Don't worry" which was the answer I gave him, was an understatement.
I can't resist taking pictures of this little one and the fact
that she lives with me...well let's just say I'm using it
to my advantage, while learning photography skills.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Snow----Oh No!



I saw a post by a friend today that they'd received snow this morning
and after a few hours went by and we didn't get any,
I breathed a sigh of relief.
No sooner had I done that and I noticed some kernels of sleet
falling on my windshield as I drove home around
one o'clock.

Snow indeed has been falling on & off since then.
Huge flakes came around 6 pm and I took
Daniela out on the back deck to try and catch some.
She loved catching the cold snow flakes and didn't want to come
back in.


This is not the real picture, but since I didn't snap any, this
one will have to do.



Monday, November 7, 2011

My Reward

I debated, him hawed (is that even a word?), mulled it over
and slept on it for days, and then even more
time slipped by and it was weeks.....

 
but I finally decided what my reward would be for
losing the 25 pounds.
Can you guess?
Weight Watchers tells you not to go out to eat
to celebrate or I know just where I would have
gone---- Chinese!

I wanted to make it relational, so I set the price at $25.00
that's $1.00 per pound.
I came up with the perfect reward.
A subscription to Picnik, so I would have access to all the
premium features.

Here's a peak at my latest pics.




This is too much fun.
Better get off my fanny now, before I
gain back those pesky pounds.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Last Day of Play Group - Mom & Tot - Pre-Preschool


Tuesday was Daniela's last day of school.
The day starts with 45 minutes of free play.
On this particular day she gravitated toward the doll house
area and stayed for a long time.
Other days, it has been the baby dolls,
painting, or shopping with the grocery cart.


Here's two of her friends sitting at the tables with their parents
playing with special toys put out for the day.


After free time, they do circle time, where they read books, sing songs etc.
The girl in the blue dress is Rosie, the others are new friends she met at school.
After circle time, they make a craft or two and then have
snack time before singing the good-bye song and going home.


This is Daniela's teacher, Miss Becky leading them in
Hap Palmer's song - Sticks Together.
It was a favorite of Daniela's, she loves
following all the directions with the sticks.

There is another session starting up, but we
decided not to sign up for it.
The class was great fun, but getting out in the nasty weather
that's around the corner isn't going to be.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

More Halloween

When we walked out the door to go over to our friend's house
it was misting rain, but by the time we
got the costumes on made it out to the street it had stopped.
Hurrah!


After trick-or-treating.
Little ones always go for the suckers.


This photo looks great as a poster too.



An action photo. 
All smiles as she receives her loot.


Her roar was so quiet I'm surprised a few people
actually heard it.



My favorite costume of a total stranger was
this little T-Rex guy.




It reminds me of the Laurie Berkner song....
We are the dinosaurs  marching, marching.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Halloween!

These pictures are straight out of the camera,
no picnik.com,
no cropping,
no nuttin.

I couldn't resist getting this little ghost's picture.

Daniela went trick-or-treating with the same two little girls as last year.


Daniela made a very cute little lion.
She even did a "roar" for a few people.


The moms and the girls making their way around the neighborhood.


Happy with her loot!


Fi Fi the fairy with her candy from us.

Happy Halloween!
Stay tuned for more pictures tomorrow.