Sunday, August 30, 2009

My new adventure

A while back I got a email from my college days. My pledge daughter from Alpha Phi, who now works for Alpha Phi International, knew that I was in Syracuse and asked if I would consider being a chapter advisor. My first thought was all BABYSITTERS!!!

Fast forward to today and I just came from my first Alpha Phi Chapter meeting in 11 years on the Syracuse University campus. I am the advisor to the new member educator (a position I held in college). I had some orientation over the weekend and I've met with some other advisors over the weekend and throughout the summer, and I'm ready.

Tonight, I met the girls. It was so much fun. A huge room of college girls, and the energy absolutely radiates from them. You know the scene: lots of hugging, kissing (they have all just returned to campus), screaming, giggling....ENERGY! I loved every minute of it.

Many of the girls introduced themselves to me after the meeting, and believe it or not...the current chapter president is from my hometown, Edwardsville, IL. And, my college brother, Brian, knows her. What is the chance of that? All the way out here in Syracuse, NY!

Their chapter house is absolutely gorgeous and this Alpha Phi chapter is the very first in the whole country, the Alpha chapter.

I have a key to the house and I look forward to stopping by and bringing my little men for lunch and dinners here and there. The energy of these women is revitalizing. I can't wait to soak it in.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

One of our most awesome nights in Florida....

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occurred at this restaurant/pub. The second generation gang offered to watch the 4th generation kids, the children of us, the 3rd generation. Do you follow?

And, WOW, what a super fun night we had. We bothered our waiter, Benton, to no end, drank and ate too much, got tatoos (almost), and laughed harder than I have in a really long time. Makes me think how lucky I am to have brothers, sister in laws, cousins, aunt and uncles that I absolutely LOVE and furthermore, would choose to hang out with even if we weren't related. How many people can say that?

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Me w/ my sister in law, Nicki, and cousin, Brooke. Mel - where are you?


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My aunt Mel and I accidently walked into the wrong bathroom (see what happened below). Read the sign carefully. I'll bet you would have been fooled, too.

This might have been staged...

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and after a few drinks.

The whole crew

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Notice the money hanging from the ceiling. They say that they have more then $800,000 hanging.

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We totally look like college kids still. Right? RIGHT?

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Nicki and I had a few too many of these this evening. Can't remember what they were called.....

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My adorable sister in law, Nicki, with her "bear goggles on" :)

Absolutely disgusting!

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My brother ordered (this is the honest to goodness truth) a peanut butter hamburger (Amy Busch - this is TOTALLY up your alley). How absolutely disgusting is that??? They also had a hot fudge sundae on the menu...among many others. Doesn't this look like melted cheese on the top? It's not! It's runny, warm peanut butter. GAG! My brother's review, "some things just aren't meant to be put together". Ya think?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Owen't holter monitor

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A month ago, Owen saw a peds cardiologist after he had bradycardiac episodes (low heart rate) during his sleep study. His EKG was normal, but the cardiologist heard a "click" that he was slightly concerned about. He said that it sounded like a mitral valve prolapse, but that mitral valve prolapses are essentially nonexistant in 8 year old boys. So, he wasn't sure what it was. He said to come back in 6 months and if it was still there they would put him in a holter monitor and follow up from there.

But, on Wednesday, I got a phone call from the nurse saying that the doctor, after reviewing his records, decided not to wait.

So, today we went back to the peds cardiologist to have a holter monitor placed. He has to wear it for 24 hours and he's supposed to maintain his normal activity level. Well, he doesn't have any soccer activities scheduled for today, so I'm going to make him jog some laps around the block and sprint some. On his soccer game days, it's not completely unusual for him to play for 4 games in a row. I want them to see his heart when he does that.

I'm sure it will be fine (I tend to think that about everything and I'm not always - or often - right), but I'm praying that they don't find something that would lead them to tell him that he can't play soccer anymore. Can you imagine me telling him that?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More fun Florida pics

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Little by little I'm sorting through my fave Florida pics.

Emmett - buried to his neck.

Sweet little baby foot

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Do you love the fading nail polish? I have to paint his toe nails every time I paint mine :)

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My youngest brother, Brian, who will be a college junior (20 years old) this year at Southern Illinois University (Carbondale). He's Henry's Godfather....and I think that they might have an extra special connection.

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The German and the Italian

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The whole time we were in Florida, my grandpa kept saying, "You have one German boy and one Italian boy." (not sure what that means for Henry). But, can you guess which boy is which?

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My mom and my youngest brother, Brian, stayed in our condo in Florida. The boys LOVED that. They all slept in one room. It had bunk beds and a full/queen bed, so they rotated beds every night.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My mom's fave flower

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MOM - look how much this flower has grown! The petals close and open in the sun....

Anybody able to identify this flower? My mom and I are stumped. We picked it up at a shop in Pennsylvania and they didn't know either.

Addendum to prior post

Before you read this, read the post below.

This afternoon I had to take Emmett to see his asthma doc. His asthma is flared up again. I had to wake Henry to go. As soon as we got to the asthma doc's office, Henry said he had to go potty. We went into the bathroom and he let me put him on the potty and he went. I put the diaper back on him.

Before we left he had to go again, he said he had to go potty again. I put him on again. He went again. His diaper had remained dry. I threw it in the trash.

Then I consulted my parenting/potty training expert, Toni, who is my go to gal for advice (she has one more kid then me - more experience - and she's MUCH older then me :))). She advised me to be done w/ the blasted diapers. Expect lots of pee and poo on the floor for a while, but hang tight. He's ready.

So...we're back in business. I'll keep you posted, but you may want to avoid my house until this stage is over and we get the carpets cleaned :).

Admitting defeat....

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I did something I said I'd NEVER do. I feel like it THIS is the key to successful, easy potty training. I was beaten down, defeated, and (embarassingly) had little patience. I put diapers back on Henry. Is he ready to be potty trained? YES! Am I ready? I guess not....

Thursday and Friday, Henry had only ONE accident each day. Saturday he had a few. So, Sunday Eddie took the big boys to mine for diamonds at the Herkimer Diamond Mine and I spent the day getting Henry to the potty. The morning it went great. No accidents. The afternoon was a different story. He flipped on me and decided to be defiant. He got made when his trains wouldn't stay on the track and threw them. He took a drink out of his cup (he doesn't do sipee cups much anymore) and dumped the whole rest of it on the ground, he now refuses to sit in his high chair (even the kind that pulls up to the table), and in the middle of all of this - he peed and pooed...every where....constantly. What the heck? He obviously got up on the wrong side of the crib. It was SO frustrating! He would tell me EVERY SINGLE TIME when he had to go and I would say , " the potty...let's go...let's go". He would say no and literally sit down. And, since I'm not pulling him there, I'd walk away and he would stand up and pee. Not once. Not twice. Over and over again. Sunday afternoon.

Monday - I resolved to be more patient. It lasted for 2 hours after we woke up after which point I put a diaper on him. I folded. He won.
I did what I swore I would NEVER do. I went back to diapers.'m not quite sure what to do. He tells me when he has to go potty, still. Even though he's in his diaper. He's young, but he's ready. I'm all "OK...let's go potty" and he's all "no" and then he goes in his diaper. What's a girl to do?

My plan is to completely ignore the potty thing for 2 months and do it again. That time, I won't fold. I promise.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's a bit hard to get a cute picture of Evelyn these days...

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My adorable, spunky niece is into making pirate faces. And, I had to laugh hysterically when I was reviewing the photos from Florida. Scroll down......for a good laugh. She is super'll see at the end.

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Pirate face.

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How about this photo?

My fave photo of Miss Evelyn

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Her beautiful backside...

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Love this photo!

My Grandpa and Grandma

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This whole trip to Destin, Florida was courtesy of my grandma and grandpa. My grandpa said as hugged and kissed me bye that it was the best money they ever spent. And while we were so thankful that they allowed us the opportunity to spend a week on a beautiful Florida beach, I am more thankful that we got to spend a week with them. I absolutely adore my grandpa and grandma and that is one of the hardest parts about living so, so far away from my family. We only get to see them once a year. Not nearly enough time for me (or my kids). I miss them dearly. This trip was in honor of my grandma's 80th birthday and my grandpa's 85th birthday. They have been married for over 60 years. They are active, alert, and a lot of fun. They're the best. I wish I had gotten more pictures of them. Like a photo of me with me grandma and grandpa. Next time, for sure!

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Owen snuggling w/ his papa.

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Henry...deep in conversation with my grandpa and brother.

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My grandma (and grandpa) spent a good deal of time in the water too.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Potty training update

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With a naked Henry from Florida (one of my fave photos).

Day 2: Only one accident yesterday in the morning. :)

Day 3 - today: Only one accident early evening right before bedtime (on Eddie's watch I might add), but it was a super successful day. Henry slept w/ us last night - that's a whole separate story - and woke up at 645 AM saying he had to go potty. I ran to the bathroom (this part stinks about having kids out of diapers) and took his night night pants off (they're really diapers, but we don't say the d word in our house anymore) and he peed. Great start. I had to work today at 3, so it would be his first time attempting the potty somewhere else and under someone else's watch. Thankfully, he was going to my good friend, Sheila's, house. She has a wee bit of potty training experience herself. So...success there, too! No accidents. He told her when he had to pee and kept his train underwear dry. YIPEE! Then, when Eddie got home w/ him he peed a few times, but had one small pee accident right before bed. Pretty good, I think, for the third day!

But, here's the cutest part: When Henry sits down on the potty he yells, "BOYS! BOYS! Come on!" and motions and calls for Owen and Emmett. Owen and Emmett being the best big brothers that they are come running, watch him pee/poo, then we all sing the potty song and hi five. However, by today, day 3, Owen and Emmett were all "Do we really have to come EVERY SINGLE TIME?". So, I bribed them with candy :).

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This is what he thinks of leaving Florida. :)


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Don't you love our cheesy (but FUN!) family reunion t shirts. Every family has different colors. Our color was red and the Leahy's was orange, but unfortunately, they look like the same color in the photo. There is a picture of a family tree (filled out) on the back. I don't mean to be sentimental, but it's amazing to believe that all these people came from 2 people that fell in love.

You're going to have to click on this photo to blow it up, so you can see everyone.

And, Amy, maybe I should have taken you up on your offer to come along as the family photographer. I'm sure we could have gotten a better group photo then :)

The complete cast of characters

I'm going to go through the whole group of us that were in Florida. It may take a bit to sift through all the photos. Bear w/ me, because there are some good ones :)

The Boerio Family

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Aunt Hilde and Uncle Tom standing behind my grandma and grandpa. Uncle Tom is my mom's twin brother. They live in Naples, FL.

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Aunts Mel and Hilde and my grandma and grandpa hanging out in the evening. Aunt Mel made us strawberry dacquiris in the evenings from her condo. YUM!

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Uncle Tom, jellyfish hunter.

The Boerio Family

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This is my Uncle Brad and my Aunt Mel. Uncle Brad is the youngest of the Boerio siblings. They live in Columbia, MO and their adorable little girls are below.

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Uncle Brad and Henry

PS Notice the car in Henry's hand. He carries them around EVERYWHERE now.

Carlie and Sophie

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My cousins, Carlie and Sophie.

Carlie is 7 and Sophie is 5.

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Aunt Mel snuggling Henry. She threatened to take him home w/ her all week. They were buddies.

The Leahy/Wilson Family

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Pardon me but this is the ONLY photo I have of the Leahy family and in particular of my Aunt Jeanette and Uncle Joe. Can you believe that? It's even harder to believe, because we got to stay at Aunt Jeanette and Uncle Joe's home for 2 nights on our way to Destin and 1 night on our way back. How come I didn't get any photos of them at their house? Owen and Emmett curled up w/ Uncle Joe on his sectional and watched Little League baseball and Shark Week. It would have made for a great photo.
Anyway, Aunt Jeanette is my mom's sister (the oldest of the 4 Boerio kids). They live in Nashville, TN.

We're missing Aunt Jeanette and Uncle Joe's other daughter, Kate. She and her husband, Mark, live in Nashville, TN. She is 37 weeks pregnant w/ her first baby and couldn't travel. We missed you guys!

Wilson Family

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My cousin, Brooke
Her hubby, Andy
Their baby boy, Caleb, who is 15 months old.
From Nashville, TN!

We got to spend a little extra time w/ them, because we stayed in Nashville on the way to Destin and back. It was super great, because I haven't seen them since summer 2007.

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Henry wondering why Caleb is crying?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Potty training update

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Yesterday was potty training day #1 and Henry did pretty well. It's funny - I can't really remember how the first day went for my other boys, but I suspect it was pretty much like Henry's. Lots of accidents, but also some successes and he told me every time he went potty - even if it was running down his leg.

Today, he's done better. 4 successes this AM and only 1 miss. So, yeah! I'm still watching him like a hawk, so I can "catch" him if he looks like he's getting ready to go before he has an accident. He is preferring to run around naked, although he has put on undies a few times.

I'm not completely sure...but I think it might be working :).

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Track!

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One of my boys favorite things that we did in Florida was go to a big go kart, bumper boat, mini golf, bumper car, etc place. My mom watched Henry one morning and Eddie and I, Owen and Emmett, and my brother, Brian, and I went. Well...technically we went the evening before, first. But the place was packed! I'm talking they said it would take 3 hours to get through one mini golf course. No thanks. So, we went back the next morning and it was perfect. We didn't wait for anything. The boys loved every second of it, but their favorite was the go-karts.

Bumper boats and rain

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It only rained twice the whole time we were in Florida. The first time was Wednesday from 4ish-7ish.....the second time was here. At the track. Right after we started Bumper boats. It only rained for about an hour and then it was sunny the rest of the day, but it was SO super funny because Owen was the ONLY bumper boat out in the middle of the open while it was pouring. Everyone else was under shelter (see below). I think he didn't know how to steer, but he denied that. He said he wanted to be in the rain. Yeah...right.

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The sheltered part

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Owen was big enough to drive the bumper cars and bumper boats himself (you had to be 50 inches). Emmett wasn't, but he WAS big enough to ride w/ someone and that person didn't have to pay. Owen can't wait to go back for our next family reunion in 2 years, because he's convinced he will be big enough then to drive the race cars (you have to be 56 inches).