Monday, July 30, 2007

They Sure Don't Let You Do This Anymore...

I was scrapbooking a recent Sea World trip this weekend and it brought back memories of this picture that I just begged Matt to pull out of the attic.

Yep, that's me! Couldn't tell you how old I am, but it had to be the 80's with that rockin' outfit! My dad used to be Sea World's attorney so we got all kinds of perks - this had to be the best one! I can still vividly remember the freezing water and the feel of the whale's rubbery skin. I don't think it even occurred to me to be afraid.

Anyway, it was a fun memory so I just thought I would share!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Super Stylin' Sporty Minivan

Heavens to mercy - has it been a crazy week! Oh wait, the week is only halfway over...can't wait to see what else is in store! It started out innocently enough - my husband decided to wash cars on Sunday because the van had gotten to the point where you worry about people using their finger to write "wash me" on your back windshield. An impending thunderstorm drove him back inside to watch golf, so my super-cool minivan remained filthy. It's just as well because now my van looks like this...

Actually, it looks much worse than this now - but, I don't want to get ahead of myself.

We packed up the van Monday and headed to the other side of town to a consignment shop that wanted to give me tons of money for old baby things that were cluttering up my house. The store wasn't open when we got there so we made a quick trip inside Toys R Us for a fantastic sale they were having (got to replace that clutter!) Anyway, we pulled onto the road that runs in front of the stores (let me emphasize - it was the main road that had the right of way) and all of a sudden there was a white car on the hood of my van. Pure terror - I cannot even begin to describe the feelings of pure terror that went through me, though I continue to re-live it in my mind. The car flew out of nowhere - I didn't see it until I had crashed into it, and I don't remember it flipping over, but there it was, on it's roof when we finally skidded to a stop.

With little thought about the other driver I ran to Abby's door because I needed to get her out of the car rightthatverysecond! She was screaming, but thankfully she was unharmed - just scared (and probably a little annoyed that this maniac had interrupted the Cinderella movie she was watching). Several bystanders had called 911 and two fire trucks, two ambulances, and three police cars were there within minutes (I called Matt while we waited). The other driver had crawled out from under his car and appeared to be fine.

Just as the paramedics were taking us to the ambulance to check on Abby, a bystander who had waited with us (he had heard the accident while inside the Borders next to us) brought over a lady who had witnessed the accident. God bless this woman for being willing to come forward with what she saw because Lord knows she's received more than her fair share of calls from insurance companies over the past few days. She told the police that the man in the other car was "flying" and that the lady "didn't have a chance." Can I get an Amen?

Ugh - I was on the main road and this guy was coming out from the row of parking spots. His defense was "I didn't have a stop sign." So, he was going straight across this little intersection and decided he needn't even slow down since no one thought it prudent to actually put a stop sign in a place where common sense dictates you STOP! And, he was going fast because I never even saw him coming - he was just there - scaring the living daylights out of me and my baby girl. The police did determine he was "at fault" and he received a citation for "failure to drive with due care." You think?

Matt and my good friend Kari arrived at the very same time to rescue us. Kari loaded most of my consignment junk in her car and then let Abby play with her kids while Matt and I took care of all the "business" that comes with an accident. Police report, towing company, insurance reports, etc.

Fast forward past all the boring stuff to the more interesting updates. I went to visit my car at the insurance place and it looked so much worse. The whole fender was hanging off of the car - exposing all the insides that are crucial to actually getting the car to run. I just knew it was worse than we thought, and that was confirmed later - the estimate was over $15, 000 in damage and a month to make all the repairs. I'll let you digest that for a minute...

Ok, on with it now because there haven't been any breaks for us. I'm going to spare you more of the insurance junk that has caused lots of stress for us and get to the bottom line. They still haven't gotten this guy's car insurance company to admit 100% responsibility so we are still waiting to see how this will all work out (and we have now enlisted my famous father as our attorney).

Abby has been to her doctor and appears to be in perfect health. I'm very sore (as you would imagine) so I visited my doctor this morning. He's going to see me again next week to keep track of how the sore ribs and back are healing, but he's more worried about my head. The man thinks I have a concussion. This is embarrassing, but hilarious, so I will share. He began by asking me to perform some subtraction. "What's 7 from 100?" I got that one right - 93. He did about half a dozen more and I'm pretty sure I got them all wrong. At one point I asked for a calculator because my husband is an accountant for crying out loud and he still needs a calculator for simple math. No calculator was forthcoming so he moved onto other questions, "What does it mean if I say don't cross the bridge before you come to it?" I had a pretty good answer for this that seemed satisfactory to him. Then he asked, "What does it mean when you say a rolling stone gathers no moss?" Ummm, I really didn't know this one (even before the accident) so I rambled for a few minutes before he motioned for me to stop just making things up (Mom, I'm blaming you for this lack of knowledge - Matt has now explained it to me and I discovered I didn't do all that bad with my rambling answer). To break the tension, I blamed my shortcomings on "baby brain" and said I was willing to discuss the age old question that every mother struggles with: Huggies or Pampers? He didn't seem interested, but a few minutes later when he asked me what I preferred I could not figure out for the life of me what the heck he was talking about. I was diagnosed with a mild concussion. This didn't bother Matt, who promptly drove the rental car to work and left me to care for his two children. Let's all pray for my kids...

This has been long, I know. But, you also have no idea how much I have left out, so you are really getting the short version of the story. Everyone is fine and that is the most important thing - I really am so grateful that we (especially my Abby) were not more seriously injured. Abby has been telling everyone that her blue car has a "boo boo" and she will kiss it to make it better - that is, if we ever get it back.

And, in case you were still wondering...Pampers all the way!! :)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

1,460 Days

Happy Birthday Andrew Joseph!!
(Yes, I know it was yesterday - we were a little busy!)

1,460 days is how long it takes to grow from this...

to this

and from this....

to this!

Happy, Happy Day my sweet boy!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Life Before Kids?!

No, this is not a picture of us from "life before kids." It's a picture from a recent wedding we attended, but I'll get to that in a minute.
Matt and I have had this conversation more than once, "what in the world did we do before we had kids?" We truly can't remember. We assume there was sleeping in and loads of free time that we apparently did not take appropriate advantage of. We know we went out to dinner more often and went to the movies occasionally. What else did we do? Is it crazy that we can't remember? Things are so different now. Free time is a thing of the past - the present now filled with keeping two children alive on a daily basis. It's a lot harder than it sounds - believe me! But, this really isn't even the reason for this post, so I'll just get on with it...

We recently had a glorious weekend without the kids so we got a glimpse back into that life of just being husband and wife. We went to New York for our cousin Billy's wedding. I can't tell you the number of people who asked, "did you take the kids?" Ummm, no. We did not take the kids. Why would we do that when there are perfectly capable grandparents around who are more than happy to babysit for us? There are two categories of parents, and Matt and I fall into the minority (I think). We don't take our kids with us wherever we go. We miss them (a little), but we also really enjoy the time to recharge and be free of all the responsibilities. Ok, I'm off topic again...

Anyway, Matt's family knows how to party. We flew into New York on Friday afternoon and went straight to his cousin's house for a surprise birthday party for Matt's Aunt (the mother of the groom). It was also my birthday so it was tons of fun! I met the bride-to-be for the first time and she was wonderful and they looked so happy together. The wedding was the next morning and the reception shortly thereafter. Did I mention that Matt's side of the family knows how to party? We had a blast! There was so much food - it was unbelievable. The music was great - we danced until the DJ kicked us off the dance floor. There are no shy people in this family. Everyone is on their feet and ready for a good time! I swear, you could put us all in a bare room with no music and we would still be out of control! We haven't seen much of the family since the kids have been born, because, like I said, we just don't travel very much. It's always like we just saw them yesterday though.

Oh, and the kissing. Every time you say hello OR goodbye to anyone in the family it involves a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Every time - no kidding! Don't get me wrong - it is very sweet and loving. It must be hilarious to watch as an outsider though - a huge group of people hugging and kissing each and every person even though we might have only seen them hours before. I just love them all - you've really never met nicer and more loving people than the daughters, sons in law and grandkids of Grandpa Joe!

Here's the big man himself! Joe is helping Grandpa be a part of the celebration! I'm telling you- nothing keeps these people from dancing! Don't you just love the back of Melissa's dress? I've never seen a wedding dress like it and I thought it was gorgeous! Billy and Melissa have known each other practically all of their lives (I think since they were 10) and they make a beautiful couple! It's so hard for me to accept that little Billy is all grown up and married. In fact, many people referred to him as Bill over the weekend, and I had no idea who they were talking about! I think he'll always be Billy to us!

They are such fun, these Rossano boys. Crazy as you can get! Andrew (Billy's older brother) was the best man and he gave a beautiful toast to the bride and groom. Not even an hour later they were dancing and doing tricks for the crowd. They can seriously dance and it is so much fun to watch - you can't help but laugh. I would say that Billy is the more reserved of the two, but when they start dancing they look just alike!

After the reception, we all went back to Andrew's house to hang out. Andrew had quite a fireworks display planned and he did not disappoint. He cracked us up crawling around on the ground lighting all the fireworks with only his miner's light on his head to see anything. Billy joined in, and they were running all over the yard setting off every imaginable firework. Safety was really not taken into consideration. The neighbors decided to join in the festivities and started lighting fireworks of their own. I'm talking serious professional-type fireworks. It quickly became a friendly competition that eventually drew the attention of the sheriff...

It was a good weekend. We were happy to see the kids when we got home, but we enjoyed every minute of our time away (even the airport is fun if you don't often travel). And, if you ever want to make sure a party is a success...invite Matt's family - you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

I Pledge Allegiance...

Happy 4th! It's raining here - been raining on and off for days now and there seems to be no end in sight! Our plans were to join my family at the beach for the usual 4th of July stuff, but traveling in the rain and sitting inside all day just didn't sound like much fun. Instead, we took the kids to see Ratatouille - it was Abby's first movie and she handled the whole thing like a pro! It was cute - and not too scary for anyone who's thinking about taking the kids to see it.

But, I digress, and this is not the reason for this post.

My children have been feeling very patriotic lately. It seems they notice every American flag that we pass while in the car, and it inspires them to say the pledge of allegiance every single time. This repetition has resulted in a pretty good rendition of the pledge considering they are only 4 and 2 - it's really quite entertaining.
Anyway, Matt gave Abby her bath tonight but then she wanted me to get her dressed in her pajamas. She was still wrapped in her towel, sweet-smelling and a little damp and she just looked so precious. I leaned over and whispered to her, "Who loves you the most?" To which she replied with a big grin, "Mommy." But, I know the Good Lord who blessed me with her really loves her the most so I asked her "Do you know who made you?" And, though I've told her before, she said she didn't know. I reminded her that God made her and loves her so very much. "He lives in my heart" she says and I know this must be hard for a 2 year old to grasp, but we go over it in our quiet time at night. So, the rest of the conversation continues:

Me: Yes, He lives in your heart.
Abby: But I can't see Him.
Me: Yes, but He can see you all the time.
Abby: And He can see Mommy and Daddy and Drew! And, He lives in my heart but also in my house so that He can see me but I can't see Him because He's in my heart.
Me: That's right! Why don't we go ahead and say your prayers now.

She folds her hands together and begins -

"I pledge allegiance to the flag..."

I almost corrected her and I'm so glad I didn't. First of all, I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be telling anyone what they should pray about, so if Abby feels like saying the pledge in her prayers then so be it. Next, when she got to the part "under God" she really emphasized those words so I realized that she was praying the pledge because the word "God" was in it. Finally, the real zinger hit me, and I thought that God would really love such a patriotic prayer on the 4th of July. She finished with a hearty "Amen!" and then we went back to pray for a few people. I always ask her who she wants to pray for and she offers different names every night along with Daddy, Drew and I. Tonight, she wanted to pray for her playgroup friends: "I pray for Gavin, and don't forget Luet, oh and Emma, and don't forget Kendall and Sophia and little baby Lexi." We haven't seen those friends in awhile but we were looking at a group picture today so that must have been on her mind.

I love these glimpses into her thoughts and her heart. Oh, this Abby is a spitfire and she pushes Matt and I to the edge! But, she is sweet as sugar and precious beyond belief.

So, Happy 4th of July - and don't forget the say the pledge!