Welcome to my blog. It has become therapy for me and I hope you laugh and cry when reading it. Why cry? Because that is what I want to do on a daily basis because I am either laughing hysterically or becuase I don't know what else to do and murder is still illegal! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A fitting tribute for Uncle Joe

In mid-January Rich's Uncle Joe died (Joe was his mom's brother). Uncle Joe was a great man and it is a true loss for everyone - not just his family. Rich and I went down to PA for the wake and funeral . . . . we told the boys what happened and they decided to make cards for Aunt Greta and for Judy (Rich's mom). Wonderful idea!!! We were smart and had them tell us what they wanted to say on the cards and helped them write it out on scrap paper. Ha! No worries there, right? So we packed the cards and headed out after dropping the kids off at Nick and Sofia's house to catch the bus (thanks again!).
It was going to be a tough few days, but the cards would make my mother-in-law and Aunt Greta smile. We had no idea what was about to happen . . . . .  
After the the fun drive through the non-scenic Southern Tier of NY and east nowhere PA, we finally made it to Patton - just as a light snow started. What?? You have never heard of Patton, PA?!?! Were you raised under a rock? It's a thriving metrop . . . . who am I kidding? I had never heard of it either until I met Rich! It's a LITTLE town between State College and Pittsburgh. The big city near them in Altoona. I know, you are jealous that we got to go to such an exotic place!! Oh - the light snow turned into a fairly decent storm. A side note - people in PA do NOT know how to handle snow. It was amusing . . . I would like to introduce the concept of salting the roads to them. It's a new idea that just might catch on . . . .
So, we made it through the first part of calling hours - lots of family and friends to talk with and catch up with. There were tears but there were also a lot of laughs!! After the little dinner break, we headed back upstairs for round two.
I guess I should now mention that Uncle Joe was in the family business. He was a funeral home owner/director. As were his father and grandfather. His son (Joe Jr.) was also in the business for a number of years. Some cousins now own the business - including the funeral home that Uncle Joe owned. Not only did Uncle Joe own it, he lived in it. And grew up in it (as in lived in it) along with my mother-in-law. Man have we heard some stories!!! Actually, during our dinner break we got to hear some great stories from Rich's cousins about growing up in the funeral home . . . one was about the boys using a bucket to raise food to the two girls who stayed in their bedroom on the third floor during wakes - the boys decided to stay in the kitchen/basement so they had the food!
Anyway . . . back to the cards. So during the second session of calling hours we decided to give the cards to Judy and Aunt Greta. Judy was first . . . .
Timmy made a nice card with this message: "I am sorry Uncle Joe died."
Simple and to the point . . . . I guess - but not quite what we thought he was going to write. Typical Timmy.
Then came Andrew's card . . . . .

Yes, those are pop-up gravestones.
Yes, I wanted to crawl into a cave far far away. My son made a sympathy card for his grandmother with pop-up gravestones. Thank GOD Judy found the humor and laughed. To his credit, he did work really hard on this and it is . . . . original. The funniest thing is that Rich put the card in his suit coat packet and forgot to give it back to his mom. The next day Judy was very worried because she couldn't find the card and was VERY happy that we had it . . . and she made sure to get it back!

But wait - my heart (along with Rich's heart) skipped a beat or three . . . what the heck did he do for Aunt Greta?????
We nervously walked over to her and gave her the cards. Timmy's was cute and he said something about how he loved her. Then she opened Andrew's card. I was scared to look. My palms were starting to sweat. I think Rich was a little pale . . . .
She pulled the card out ..... no obvious cutting . . . .
A HUGE sigh of relief!!! A big heart on the outside . . . on the inside he wrote that he loved her!
We could relax. Then we decided to allow others to enjoy the gravestone card. We showed it to Rich's cousins and their kids. Everyone laughed - a lot. It was the perfect way for them to see Andrew's personality and for him to make people laugh when it was really needed. And he did it without even being there!! And more importantly, it was the perfect tribute to Uncle Joe.
The rest of the evening was wonderful - the firemen and Vets were there and it was beautiful. The funeral the next day was extremely moving and the graveside military service was beyond beautiful. Even the snowstorm was funny in an odd way - Uncle Joe HATED snow. BUT . . . . there was a snow day for his grandchildren so they didn't miss school and their perfect attendance record wasn't in danger!
It was obvious that Uncle Joe was an amazing man and that he was loved by everyone that ever met him. I am lucky that I got to see him a few times and I treasure those memories. He is missed but his love continues through his family!! He brought everyone together and we were able to reconnect with family. I look forward to visits from cousins and to invading some cousins on our way to Florida (watch out Jeff and Laraine!).
And yes, we are planning a trip to east nowhere PA to visit Aunt Greta and Sally this summer - with the boys so they can have the pleasure of making Aunt Greta laugh in person!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Jill!!!!

Yes, I am a day late - but I DID see her yesterday!! I happened to be there when the Cub Scouts sang Happy Birthday . . . . . for some reason they were wishing her a happy 45th birthday. No idea why . . . . . *ahem*
Anyway, Jill is one of my best friends. She has a heart of gold and would do anything for anyone - she is one of the most caring and loving people I have ever met. She is also patient. Very patient. She has to be to put up with the rest of us. One of the best things about Jill is that she has a good sense of humor and just ignores us. A lot.
Jill and I are very different people - and I think that is one of the best parts of our friendship - we even each other out. She is pink and girly. I am not (at all). She would do anything and everything for her kids (in a good mommy way). I force independence on mine (in a good way). She likes math and numbers. I run from them. When a child is crying, she wants to run to them and hug and kiss them while I tend to ignore the crying unless I see blood. I have calmed her down and she has made think more about things. We work well as a team!
We are Yin & Yang . . . . and for that I am eternally thankful!!!

Happy Birthday Jill!!! We love ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Show 'em how it's done, Jill!!

Yes, this picture is a couple years old, but I love it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Old McTimmy had a farm . . .

A few weeks ago I was saying goodnight to Timmy and absent-mindedly picked a feather off his blanket. I made some small (and probably dumb) joke at the time - something about a party in his room at night. He got very quiet (BIG clue that something serious is coming) and very serious.
He looked at me and said that he we need to clean his room. I asked why . . . . .
"Because I have chickens in my room!"


Well, duh! The feather on his blanket was OBVIOUSLY from the free roaming chicken that apparently is a mute and only shows up at night (Vampire chicken? Maybe we should start keeping garlic in his room) . . . .
NOT from his feather pillow.

Remember, we are in the World of Timmy . . . . .

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy (belated) Birthday Nick!!!

Yes, this is a few weeks late - but I was with Nick on his real birthday so only the this part is late! So there! (that thud was me stomping my foot)
Sorry - reverted back to childhood for a moment . . . .
What can I say about Nick? There are very few kids that I would do just about anything for and that I love like they are my own - Nick is one of them. What started out as a little friendship made during a town rec baseball session has quickly turned into a new version of The Three Musketeers. Nick and Andrew became fast friends and they have gotten even closer as they have grown. They have been in the same class for two years in a row (still shaking my head on that fact) so that means that I get to see Nick and his beautiful smiling face whenever I am in school. That beautiful smiling face quickly turns into rolling eyes and laughter when he sees me and I love it!
Andrew and Nick are very similar. They are quiet, shy, studious, and light on their feet. World class athletes. Sorry. I was thinking of someone else. Nick has to be one of the most accident prone people I have ever met. Seriously. He is the only person I have known that has given himself a paper cut on his eye. No, I am not kidding - I was there when it happened.
I love this kid - he can laugh at himself and make us laugh. He has one-liners that make me proud to call him my pseudo-son. He can deal with his little sister like a champ . . . . and by that I mean he hasn't killed her yet. Just that part alone makes him amazing!
He is a smart, funny, and sweet young man and I know Jennifer and Chris are incredibly proud of him. I am happy to be a part of his life and have the chance to watch him grow and mature (*cough*). I am also happy that I am around to take the pictures and witness the stories that make Nick who he is. He is one of my son's best friends and I can't ask for a better person for Andrew to be friends with.
Happy belated Birthday Nick!!! We love ya kiddo!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Timmy!!!!!!

Hello?? Anybody out there??? Yes, I know it's been  . . . . . a bit since I have updated. Ok, as one friend so kindly pointed out, it's been a long time. No, I wasn't locked in a closet or anything  - although that would have been kind of nice . . . I could sleep, read, hear myself talk . . . . anyway, we have been busy!! Not to fear though, my boys have not become normal and continue to amaze us daily with their tidbits of wisdom. Yes, wisdom. I have to think of it that way or I will be even more nervous for my future with this generation at the helm!!
So, now on to the more important things . . . .  .
It's Timmy's birthday - our baby is six today!! I can't believe it - I am amazed that his cuteness and witty remarks have let him live to his sixth birthday. I guess miracles DO happen!!
Just this morning I was asked to describe Tim and I realized how hard that is. He is Tim. Just Tim. so trying to describe him is tough. The things that I love most about him are also the things that I find the most  frustrating at times. He is very kind, passionate, philosophical, stubborn, believes in a just world, passionate, stubborn, empathetic, philosophical, stubborn, passionate . . . . . basically, he is a six year old hippie. I wish I could say I don't know where he gets these traits, but I know that some people would either laugh at me or spit whatever they are currently drinking on their computer screen - or both. 
When I look at him, I see a child that is ready to take on the world and help every single person and animal that he can. I see a child that doesn't see the bad in people and wants to be friends with everyone he meets. I see a child who doesn't see differences in people and will play dolls, Legos, and cats (don't ask - I have no idea) with his friends at school. I see a child that can make me laugh with one look or sound. I see a child that loves his family and close friends unconditionally and would do anything to help those close to him. I see a child that would rather do without or suffer in silence rather than "bother" anyone. I see a child that doesn't care about typical girl/boy stereotypes and has two girls as his best friends. I see a child that loves life will do anything to make our lives and our planet a better place.
When I look at Tim, I see my brother. (Yes, it scares me to say that) I am so incredibly proud of my Tim for being brave enough to be his own person. I am proud to say that I named my son after my brother and I am proud that my Tim is so much like Big Tim. (usually) I know that there will be bumps in his road of life and I hope that he can weather them as well as my parents weathered my brother's bumps. I also hope that my Tim can weather them with the same courage and conviction that Big Tim weathered his.
He is forging his own path in life and we are along for the ride. It has already been a fun, hysterical, lovable, and at times frustrating ride with many stops and side trips along the way. I can't wait to see what the next few years bring us . . . . . . I am sure it will be just as exciting!!
Wait, with Timmy in the driver's seat I KNOW it will be exciting! We all just need to buckle up for the wild ride ahead!!

So, Happy Birthday to my little hippie!!! I love you, Timmy!!!!!!

A proud and happy Timmy!

Tim 1 and Tim 2