Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend firsts

Aliza experienced some firsts this weekend; her first experience with (real) sand and her first taste of ice cream. Here she is checking out the sand:Her Gramps brought her some ocean water to play with and she sure had fun splashing in it:

See? LOTS of fun:

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Yum! Ice cream!
It was a fun day!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Changes

A couple of weeks ago I finally put away my pumping back pack. I had been pumping at work all along, committed to nursing and feeding Aliza primarily mommy milk for the full year. But I hit a stretch were things just weren't coming out. I would pump and get 1/2 an ounce, or an ounce, and it was getting uncomfortable. I figured my body was telling me something so I eliminated that pumping only somewhat reluctantly, because more time at work when you teach 20 kids is never a bad thing. We were down to just nursing in the morning and at night.....it took me a little while to put away the back pack though. I was happy to have more time in my work day but putting the back pack away felt a little like closing a chapter of Aliza's life as a baby. No more mommy milk, on to regular cow's milk soon.....it's a transition out of babyhood and into infancy and I had to get used to it before I could put away the back pack.

Right before her one year check up with the pediatrician I also eliminated the morning nursing. I thought I was ready to get rid of both morning and night but now that the moment has arrived to do so, I realized I'm not quite ready. I think I will be soon, because teeth HURT, but she is still my little baby girl and I like the cozy quiet time at night in the dark with lullabies playing and a warm baby snuggled close.

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My tough student is in Europe until the third to last day of school. Let me rephrase that; my tough parent is in Europe. I can not even begin to express what a difference this is making in my day. Suddenly, I have time. I am (finally) feeling like the teacher I used to be; the one that had her plans set, her copies made and her homework corrected every day. I also have more energy at the end of the day so that I am not practically falling asleep while watching Aliza play at night. And my students! The atmosphere in my class is so incredibly different. They are looser, more relaxed. We are having fun and working hard and it feels great.
The family is returning just in time for a marathon parent meeting that I am dreading. The last full Friday I get to be with my students and instead I have to sit in a meeting with a parent who tells me I'm the best teacher he's ever seen to my face and then submits a report that calls my classroom toxic. It's not where I want to be. Not even a little. But at least, it will be my last meeting with this parent.

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Aliza is changing almost daily. I mean, she always was, but the changes are more noticeable now. Things like new teeth appearing in her upper and lower gums and new words being said.... it is astonishing to me and I feel like I want to savor every single second because she changes so fast. After watching my two cute nieces at swim lessons, I decided to sign Aliza and I up for lessons also. I checked out our local Y and they have classes starting at the beginning of June. I'm going to call and register her on Monday. This feels like a big girl thing; to take swimming lessons....I admit, I kind of can't wait to see her in her little bathing suit (thanks to her Nonna and her GramS she has several adorable ones) splashing in the big pool!

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We have 17 more days until summer. Every weekend I think "soon I get to spend EVERY day at home with Aliza....." I am counting down more than ever this year.....

Monday, May 25, 2009

How does your garden grow?

This past weekend I spent some much needed time in the garden....it's been neglected for quite some time now, seeing as how at this point last year I was mom to a newborn with little time for gardening. I think I planted a few tomato plants last year and that was about all I had the time or energy for. Saturday morning, Aliza and I headed to our local Agway and bought all sorts of veggies and seeds and manure and soil....even some new garden gloves and a trowel! Just the motivation I needed to get to work.....So, I walked outside and was greeted with this sight:

Pretty scary, right? That green patch? Right in the middle there? That's actually some mint that has grown wild, right in the middle of my garden. I got to work weeding while Aliza sat and played here:

After a little while she got tired of sitting, so we took a break and went for a swing:

She does love her swing!

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After the swing ride, I decided to go back to hoeing and Aliza decided to come and help me: Of course, Aliza's version of help is to crawl in the dirt and pick up rocks. Which she then either handed to me, or tried to eat:

My productivity has seriously declined at this point. But, I did manage to finish hoeing by the end of Day 1:

No more weeds (but I did leave the mint!), ground all turned up and ready for the manure and soil I bought. And the veggies.
Day 2 dawned cloudy and thundering but it eventually cleared enough that I managed to get outside. I mixed in the manure and the soil and got to work planting.....things were moving considerably quicker today seeing as how Aliza was napping. However, mid way through my planting, I realized that my friendly neighborhood woodchuck would have free access to my yummy veggies since we had taken the fence down. So, I decided to stop after planting some tomato plants:What you can't see in this picture (because they are buried beneath the ground, hopefully germinating away) are carrot seeds and arugula seeds. Here is where I admit that I'm about 75% enthusiasm, 20% sweat and 5% knowledge when it comes to gardening. I have no idea if my carrots and arugula will grow, but I figured I'd give it a shot.....Hey, if I can manage to make grass grow in the ugly brown spots in our lawn, I should be able to make some veggies grow. See? You can barely even SEE the brown spots (totally bragging here, I'm pretty excited about my new grass):
I also planted some herbs that I'm rather excited about:

From left to right that's parsley, rosemary, thyme (no idea that came back every year, this is last year's thyme!) cilantro, basil and a cherry tomato plant. I LOVE fresh herbs and if I had my way, I'd have them year round.

Day 3 (ahhh, how I love three day weekends!) was once again sunny so I got to work relatively early in the morning. Russ had planned to mow and then put the fence back up so I decided my veggies would be safe. Aliza was "helping" me again, this time by flinging dirt around:



With Aliza's help I did manage to finish planting....lettuce, peppers, and cucumbers! Voila! Instant garden:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Birthday wishes

Aliza's first birthday party was a happy event....we ended up being indoors because the threat of rain seemed imminent (even though it did not actually rain), but other than that the day was absolutely perfect.
Lots of people that love Aliza to pieces came: Her grandparents: Nonna and Grosspapa, Grams and Gramps, her Aunts and Uncles: Auntie Tina and Uncle Greg and Auntie Beth and Uncle Scott, her great Grams, her favorite cousins: Cousin Juliette and Cousin Cosette, and her mommy's dear friend, Auntie Nessa and Uncle Rob. We all crowded around the two tables we had set up in our cozy house:


Aliza had the seat of honor:

After she ate, Aliza decided it was time to open presents:

Which one first?

Then, of course, she wanted to play a bit with her new toys:But we finally decided it was time for cake:



She didn't like her birthday hat as much as her mommy did:


Hmmm.....I'm not sure about this stuff, maybe I'll play with it a bit:OK, everyone else is eating it, I'll give it a try:

Wait! This stuff is yummy! Mommy, get me more!

Finally, we headed outside to play with some more of her new toys. Her Daddy and Uncle Greg and Uncle Scott and Gramps worked hard to put her new toys together:





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Happy 1st Birthday!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

One!

My little baby is one today...I feel like I'm not ready for it to happen. Where did the year go? There are so many things I want to hold on to-
Like meeting her for the very first time:

Bringing her home from the hospital....probably the scariest drive I've ever experienced:
Arriving home and not knowing where in the world to put her!

Her first bath- in the sink. She used to make the cutest little face--eyes wide open, mouth in a little o, one hand fisted up by her head. And she used to go so still and quiet.....we captured it here:




Bringing her to the beach house- and taking her first fence picture:



Her first happy girl smile.....I think I took fifty pictures of this moment:


Her special baptism, with her gorgeous princess dress:

Eating cereal for the first time, she used to like to hang on to my hand when I fed her:
And the big girl bath that she still loves:


How can we forget some of her holidays- Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas:






Her favorite Snoopy-friend, that she loves to snuggle with:And here she is most recently- playing, eating, standing and laughing:











Happy Birthday Snuggles. Mommy and Daddy love you to pieces!