Thursday, January 22, 2009



I love that my kids adore each other!  They are usually quick to share their last piece of food with each other. They usually play so well together.  Ryan says his best friend is Arianna.  I say usually because they also have their times where they fight like cats and dogs. 

In this picture Ari was holding Ryan and I caught the grin on Ryan’s face because of his sister’s love. 

He is dressed up as a knight and she is dressed as a princess.  Ryan is really enjoying dressing up lately!

Lasting Friends

Our Friendship

by Melinda Stankosky

Our friendship started many years ago.
Where the days have gone I don't know,
But when I think of all we've done
I stop and smile because we've had such fun.
I hope you know how much I care.
It's friends like you who create a pair.
I wish I were closer to share your happiness;
But near or far, I wouldn't miss
All the things you have to share.
I hope you know I am always here.
I know it is harder being miles away,
But always remember this when I say,
"Our friendship is a treasure
Well beyond any measure. "

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Arianna and Daniella have been friends since they were 3 months old.  Their birthday is just a day apart.  The boys have always been friends since the girls loved spending time with each other.  Their family moved to Connecticut last year and came to visit today. The kids had a blast hanging out!  This is the infamous Zach that Ryan wants to grow his hair out like.  They are an amazing family and we were all grateful to get to spend the day at Planet Child with them.  

More Winter Wonderland

During School yesterday we read The Snowy Day.  We then went outside and tried to do what we remembered from the book.  Ryan walked around and made footprints.  Ari and Chris had a snowball fight.  When we came in, we made snowflake pictures and then dictated a story about our time in the snow.  Today we went out and played in the snow some more.  Ari enjoyed using a stick to knock snow on her head.  The snow was too soft in the morning to build a snowman so we came inside and had some hot chocolate.  In the afternoon we succeeded in building a snowman finally.  Ryan named the snowman “Batman”.  When we came in, we read a book about a snowman (can’t remember the name) and then read The Mitten.  We tried to see how many kids and dogs we could fit into a sweater of Daddy’s (lots of animals climb into the mitten).

I am going to try a photo album to display the pictures.    Not sure how this works so you get to be the guinea pig:)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter Wonderland

God answered my prayer…snow.  We have been discussing winter in school and I wanted the kids to see real snow instead of just reading about it.  We woke up to a beautiful white yard.   DSC_0001

I thought this was funny…we have snow on our back deck and Ari is looking at it in her underwear.  Chris and I are dressed warm and Ari is running around in just underwear. 


The kids had a blast playing in the snow!  DSC_0032 DSC_0033

Ari was throwing snow balls at Pandora.  The dogs really enjoyed the snow too!


Chris and Ari having a snow ball fight.  This was just before he coated her face in snow. 

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Frozen Hot Dogs


Enjoying hot chocolate after playing in the snow


I Have A Dream…

Ari’s dream came true today…she had her cast removed!!  She has to go through 2 weeks of Physical Therapy.  She had her first session today (Monday).  The physical therapist said her range of motion was good, they just want to work on her straightening her arm.

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Today we discussed MLK, Jr.’s Birthday.  We made our own poster with our dreams in memory of his famous speech.  Ari’s dream was for Dorothy to meet Glenda.  Four year olds are so interesting. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nature’s Bed Warmers

Dachshunds love to burrow.  I came home to this twice in the last few months.  Pandora stuck in a shirt sleeve and then later Goliath stuck in a sweater sleeve.  They both acted pitiful when I got home! 

If you have ever stayed over at my house, you know that unless you want to be in dog heaven, then you better not get under a blanket.  If you have a blanket you will be surrounded by five burrowed dachshunds!  It worked great when the power went out in the middle of winter several years back.  It was a five dog night and we all stayed warm!

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Homeless Homeschooler

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I was playing with Ari yesterday calling her a homeless homeschooler.  She picked out this outfit and it made me laugh.  The pants do in fact match the dress because according to Ari they are pink and they have dogs on it that perfectly match the dresses dog.   Which they do.  It is from the same Gymboree line.  Ignore how the stripes on the dress seemingly clash with the dog spots on the pants.  The socks are pink too.  She has them pulled up to her knees because she calls them soccer playing socks.  The socks have a large picture of sleeping beauty on the side.  The red and black Mickey Mouse crocks really set the outfit off.  Believe it or not, Ari is very picky about her outfits matching.  She was just convinced that this matched.

One for Me and One for You

I glanced over at my son the other night and discovered him and Apollo sharing an apple.  Ryan was thrilled that Apollo was interested in him and Apollo was thrilled that Ryan was sharing.  In general the dogs are really good about taking food from the kids unless they think that the kids are offering the food to them. But if the kids are offering then the dogs are all for sharing food! 

Now I know that some of you are disgusted by this.  All the germs…but you just don’t understand.  My son has licked shopping carts, floors and his latest was licking the chair in my Daddy’s hospital room.  Our dogs are mild compared to those things:)  Ryan is trying to keep his immune system boosted since he is not in a daycare setting.

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Daniella meets Apollo

We have had our fish Daniella for almost 2 years and now her life is in danger.  My oldest persistent dachshund Apollo has discovered that a fish sits on our table.  He paces the foot of the table crying because he wants up to see the fish.  Luckily he is pretty good about following directions and doesn’t get on the table unless we let him.  I guess maybe one day soon, Chris will get his wish…to be a fish free household.    DSC_0081 DSC_0082DSC_0085

Boys vs Girls

I am glad to have a boy and a girl.  There is one slight disadvantage to having opposite sex children though…the battle of the sexes.  My daughter wants to listen to girls sing and my son wants to listen to boys sing.  My son wants everything blue and black and my daughter only likes it if it is pink or purple.  My son even went as far yesterday to refuse to say hi to a nurse.  I knelt down to talk to him about being friendly and he adamantly exclaimed “I don’t like girls Mommy”.  Well what am I? 

One would think that I spend my days emphasizing the difference between girls and boys, that I don’t let my boy play with dolls and my daughter isn’t allowed to wear pants.  However the opposite is true.  I try really hard to allow my children to explore their own interests independent of their sex.  When they were younger, I bought mainly gender neutral toys.  I have never cared if my son played with dolls.  In fact I figured he would end up in ballet since he has always loved to dance.  When my son was little, what my daughter wanted most in the world was a penis.  She tried to grow one, she was so disappointed that she would never have one.  Fast forward to today when she only likes songs that are sung by girls and my 3 year old son won’t even talk to nurses that are girls. 

I guess this is an argument between nature vs nurture.  I have not knowingly nurtured this distinct preference for things of their own sex but their nature certainly prefers them.  My daughter loves Barbies and my son loves Transformers. 

Those of you with children of the same sex, enjoy the ability to listen to a song without an argument (at least not over what sex sings it).  Because when our music is on, at least one child is unhappy.  Sad when I look for the songs where they can’t tell if it is a girl or boy singing:)

My View from a Hospital Room


I have been in the hospital on and off with my Daddy for the last 6 months.  This is a first for me.  I had no idea about hospitals until then.  In fact, I was quite nervous about hospitals.  I didn’t know how things ran and I was terrified of all of the germs.  As I type this, I sit next to my sleeping Daddy in his hospital room.  He has been here for 2 weeks now.  We hope to get out in the next couple of days. 

Some words of advice if you ever have a loved one in the hospital, keep a close eye on them especially if they are at all weak.  I have seen quite a bit staying with Daddy.  I have found that there are very caring nurses and then there are those here for the paycheck.  Those that are here just for the paycheck are dangerous for your loved ones.  When Daddy has been left alone, he has been hurt, almost overdosed on more than one occasion, had to urinate on himself due to no answer to his calls for help, had to sit in his own feces because no one came to help, and these are just to name a few.  This is disheartening to those in the hospital.  Just having someone here beside my Daddy makes a world of difference.  It prevents the above things from happening as well as makes sure he is taken care of, not to mention his own peace of mind. 

You are your loved ones best advocate.  I believe it is important to be loving and kind to the nurses.  They do have a tough job.  I believe you also to be willing to ask for what your loved one needs.  It is helpful to keep things written down such as time meds are given.  It is also helpful to ask lost of questions.  Such as if they can eat before a procedure.  Daddy has been offered food when he is NPO (no food by mouth) for a procedure.  This resulted in delaying the procedure for a day.  

I am thankful for the many kind and loving souls that have cared for my Daddy.  I am also grateful that my family and friends have been so supportive to allow me to spend as much time as possible at his bedside.  I greatly miss my family and yet I will be eternally grateful for each moment spent with my Father.