Saturday, December 31, 2011

Celebrating Christmas

I know I posted a hand full of pictures that I took with my cell phone on Christmas day, but I wanted to share all the pictures I took of our family, while celebrating with our extended family on Christmas Day.

It was a quiet day overall, which was nice. The weeks leading up to Christmas were just way too crazy for us!

This was the best picture I could get of the kids first thing in the morning. Camden wasn't too happy to be awake, even though Santa came. It also didn't help that Will and I were like little kids and woke them all up. Well... Ben and Camden at least.

Ben was showing Grandpa Mo Mo his InnoTab and new Dora the Explorer book. I think my Dad was completely fascinated by it. Maybe he will get an InnoTab next Christmas? LOL!

We were all extremely thankful Will didn't have to work on Christmas day. He was originally put into a "lottery" and was 9th on the list to work that day. Oh the joys of being a Supervisor now right?

I love these pictures... it really shows what a character Camden is. Can you tell where he gets it from?

Daddy and Addie... I wish you could see her big glittery bow on the front of her dress!

I love this picture too... My mom looks so happy, and so do the kids. Well, this is Camden's "shy" face that he has when you put him on the spot.

On Mom's Christmas tree... The Angel with Dawn's name on it I found for her, and my baby ornament. Sisters together... forever.
It was extremely hard to get through Christmas without Dawn. The day included a lot of tears all the way around, mainly my mother and I.

Ben loves Grandma, but hates taking pictures... I think this is the best picture we got of him all day besides the one with Grandpa when he wasn't paying attention! They all go through that stage right?

Addie and "Auntie" Courtney, she is really my cousin making her their second cousin, but we call her Auntie... and she loves it!

I tried to get the boys to take a picture with me... lost cause. So I got Addison since she is the only one who can't say no...yet!
For once I got in front of the camera for the holidays.

Here is to a beautiful, successful, and happy 2012 from our family to yours!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

2011 has been a really hard year for everyone in our family, and if it wasn't for the birth of our daughter, I could probably say not much good has come from the year. BUT! She is here, and we are heading into 2012 and hoping for a great year!

We celebrated Christmas with my parents, aunt, cousin, and friends of our family like we do every year. I got some really great pictures of the kids I wanted to share. I still have to upload my full stash from my camera though!

Addie and Grandma

Ben and Grandpa reading Dora on his InnoTab.
I think Grandpa was most interested in the book!

Finally a holiday I got a good picture with my husband!

I will update with more pictures once the craziness settles down a little bit and I am able to actually sit down with my camera and upload some of the pictures I took.
I am also going to really try and go out of my way to keep our family blog current for 2012. I really fell off the family blog bandwagon when Dawn got sick, and I still want to be able to share with our family who isn't local to us.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Grandma and the Playground

I have been going to visit my mother a lot since we lost my sister. I know it is hard for her, and I know the kids are a nice momentary distraction, of course until they start trying to kill each other. LOL!

We went to visit grandma today and head to the playground they just put in by her house. It is actually the playground I used to play on as a child, but they put up a whole new playground. New equipment that is. It is amazing, and the boys can do almost everything on it all by

It was beautiful out, and probably one of the last park days we are going to have before the weather starts to get harsh. Another reason I hate New England... Long winters INSIDE!

Anyway! We had a blast, and so did Grandma! I am sure she is going to kill me for sharing these pictures, but it was great to see her let down her hair a bit and have fun with the kids!

I got stuck on top of one of the playscapes you can climb to the top of... LOL

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I love Halloween! It is my second favorite holiday of the year, so of course I got all into it with the kids this year. We made a Mr. Frankenstein Head Pumpkin, decorated the front, and of course come Halloween morning, I made Halloween Baskets... no joke!

Despite a giant snow storm where we ended up with 8... yes EIGHT inches of snow in our yard, Halloween went on without a delay on Monday night. Camden decided to be a clown this year, after he first decided to be a cow, then a fireman, and changed his mind in the Halloween store itself.

Ben was a little bit different, he was undecided all along. He wanted to be Buzz Lightyear, then Scooby Doo, then he wanted to be a Piggy when Camden decided to be a cow. Well in the end, Elmo it was. He wanted to be Elmo somewhere along the line, and I just picked it and went with it. It was a warm costume too!

Addie was an Owl, and I am sure no one was surprised by that. LOL!

I got a couple pictures of the boys first. They were anxious to get going, and Addie was snoozing in her swing. She fell asleep right after I got her into her costume. My luck right?

See! How cute is she there?

Thankfully I finally got him to let go of his collar and convinced him the sweat shirt under his costume was not going to wipe his face paint off. I was actually intimidated by the whole face paint thing. I have never done it before and I was planning on pawning the task off on Will, but he got stuck at work.

Yes, I was solo with these three...

But I survived... I was stressed but we survived, and went to our local Trick-Or-Trunk instead of going door to door. It worked out well, and both of the boys were content with it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Picking

Every year we take a day and go up to Pumpkin Seed Hill for pumpkin picking right here in our town. Well this year Daddy couldn't come with us because of his new work schedule, so I enlisted my best friend Hilary, who also has an ass ton of kids. Four boys to be exact... and off we went.

Lets do the math on this one... 6 boys, and one girl, which all 6 boys doted on the whole trip. It was adorable!

I got a couple really great pictures, although I wasn't able to get many on the hayride since Addie decided on the bumpy hayride she needed to breastfeed right at that moment!

The theme of the pumpkin patch this year is Nautical Connecticut, which I absolutely love since I grew up on an Oyster boat, and went to the Aquaculture school for High School! I also love that my nephew is following in my foot steps and going to the same high school!

I love how most of the boys want nothing to do with the picture. Can you tell they were forced to pose together? This was one of the only pictures we got them ALL in. HA!

This is the picture where I realize Camden's cowlick is completely out of control and I am glad we brought him and Ben for haircuts a couple days after this!

These are our pumpkins we took home. A total of 5!
One for each member of the family!

The one picture I was able to get of Camden on the hayride before Addie demanded to eat.

We had an awesome time. I am still kind of bummed out we didn't make it to the Apple Orchard this year. Typically we always take a Sunday and go to Lyman Orchards, but the Sunday we would have used for that this year was occupied with a trip to the Clinton Fire Department for their open house. We were going to head to an orchard local to them, but they unfortunately closed because of the crop damage done by Hurricane Irene.

Maybe next year right?

Now to just convince Will to get a real Christmas tree this year so we can go and cut it down. Not likely but I am going to try!

Friday, October 14, 2011

They Are Growing!

I got some great pictures of the kids out in the yard about two weeks ago. It is incredibly hard to get them all in one place, or in one picture, but isn't that life?

I wanted to share since I have been horrible keeping up with our blog in the past two months!

He loves her, and she tolerates him. I think once she is a little older she will like him a tad bit
more. For now most of her expressions are "Get out of my face kid"

Ben had no interest in taking any posed pictures at all. He just wanted to hang out with Nana
and play with his new Thomas the Train and Friends set.

I caught this one, and it was priceless. It is moments like this I am so glad I invested in a DSLR
camera when I did. This is a moment of Addison tolerating Camden.

PROOF! Finally I have proof that my three year old has a tongue like Gene Simmons! His
newest trick is touching his tongue to his nose. I think he learned it at school.

Look at these two. Don't they just look like they are ready to get into trouble? Ha! Oh, and see the number the kids pool did to my grass this summer? I hate that thing!

I am hoping to get our photos from the Farm up in the next couple days as well. In the next couple weeks we are going to the Apple Orchard, Pumpkin Picking, and our annual trip to the circus.

Camden has been waiting since we went last year to go again, and then he saw the commercial on TV! I almost wish he wasn't old enough to realize what commercials mean sometimes! LOL

Thursday, October 13, 2011

And She Is At Peace

My sister lost her battle with on again, off again illness last week. Friday to be exact. The 7th of October. I think she was waiting for the 7th because she would always tells us that 7 was God's number.

She left this world the way she lived, quiet, peaceful, and without a lot of pomp. (In the words of my aunt) She was simply sick of being sick.

The last two months have probably been the hardest of my life. Through it all I have been trying desperately to keep it together for my kids. I love my sister, I miss her more than anything, but I have to maintain a level of acceptable grief for the kids, because they can tell something is not right.

Her last months filled me with so many what ifs'. Wishing some things had been done differently. What if the last four years had been played out
differently. Choices in both of our lives had drifted us to an unacceptable distance from what we always had been. But I mainly place the blame on a person, not her, and not myself.
Something I will carry with me forever.

Growing up we were two peas in a pod even though we had such a big age difference. When I was sick she was the only person I wanted, and as I got older, especially in my teen years, she was my rock. She still is my rock. She will always be my rock.

I don't think that I really have come to terms that she is gone. I almost think that in the back of my head it is all just a dream, and she is going to walk through my front door, or show up at Christmas dinner.

I don't think it really is going to hit me for a while.

In her last months I became her big sister, her protector. She only wanted me. She wanted me
calling the hospital, and talking to the doctors. She wanted me at her side feeding her mashed potatoes from KFC (one of the only things she would eat) she wanted me going to her house
and getting her favorite t-shirt or glasses...

I don't think I will ever accept the diagnosis of an incurable brain infection. It was like something out of a scifi movie, or the lifetime tv special of the week. I am kind of pissed at the medical community as well... nothing they could do for her? That is some bullshit right there...

I was given the task of writing her obituary, and eulogy. How can you sum up your big sister in front of a room of friends and family? You really can't but I did the best I could. I am sure I left a lot out... I know I left a lot out. I couldn't put all of my favorite memories into it or we would have been there all night.

But I wanted to share with those who couldn't be there with us last night.

Where can I even start?

There are truly no simple words in the to sum up the world win life my big sister lead. And it is no secret to all of those who knew her.

Her name came from my mothers thumbaleena doll, and truly fit her as she grew over the years. Her petite little frame which became a joke in her later years because her little sister was giving her hand me down clothes. A little backwards right?

But the true meaning of the name Dawn means sunrise. When we all think about the light she brought into our lives, and how she lived her own, sunrise...sunshine... anything to do with the fresh slate of a new day fits her perfectly.

Every person who came in contact with Dawn could tell she was special but no one could ever place their finger on why.

I can tell you today...

The truth is Dawn is an angel, always has been. She was placed here on earth to watch over all of us, and touch us all in one way or another and I can certainly say she accomplished that!

George Elliot Said:

"The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand. The angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone."

Now you all know Dawn was your angel.

And remember every time you hear a bell ring, an angel gets their wings.

She always pushed limits in life, she never settled for simple. She was too extraordinary to settle for anything less than everything she wanted. And she went for it.

Her greatest accomplishment in life was her boys. Dylan and Jacob were the light of her life. She would do anything, and did anything for her sons. And in these hard days there are no words we can all say to comfort them, but keeping her memory and love alive for them is most important.

Motherhood is the one thing in all the world which most truly exemplifies the God-given virtues of creating and sacrificing.

And that is what Dawn did.

Dawn could talk… and any of you that ever got one of her phone calls middle of dinner, or after bed time phone calls from her knew it. She always had something to go on and on about.

It wasn't until late Friday night my mother and I looked at each other and our disbelief of her passing became real. Solidified by no more two hour long chat sessions in which we sat on the other end saying "Uh huh" "Yup" "Oh" and "Ok I gotta go, I will call you back"

If I could take back all those times I hung up… I would, just to have her back.

I don't think Dawn ever advanced past 1989. She loved everything 80's. From her bright blue mascara, to her collection of hair band ballads. True story… one time Dawn actually dragged me to see Journey, Styx, and REO Speedwagon. She laid down in the back seat of the car, and demanded Frank drive till we got to Hartford, and we had a blast.

Those are the memories I will cherish.

Dawn wouldn't want us all to sit around crying about her death. She would probably kick all of our asses for crying. She may have been tiny, but I wouldn't mess with her! She would want us all to celebrate her life, and all the good memories.

Because this is not goodbye… it is just a see ya later!

Goodbyes are not forever.

Goodbyes are not the end.

They simply mean I'll miss you

Until we meet again!

Our Grandmother who couldn't be with us today wanted me to express how much she truly loves Dawn and misses her. She said "Till we meet again"

I leave you today with Footprints. One of Dawn's favorite poems she always had in her home.

Remember right now, we are all being carried.

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord,

that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Happy Five Months Addie!

Addison turned five months old this week, and she also had her check up with our pediatrician.
She is doing awesome, making all her milestones, sitting up, and of course trying incrediblyhard to bring a little tooth to the surface of her gums. Teething isn't even the word forwhat she is doing.

She is now in all of her 3-6 month clothes, even though she can still fit into a hand full of 0-3 month things. But all of her baby shoes, excluding her Robeez, are still too big. I guess she is
going to have small feet like I do!

She is starting to pay attention to things, surroundings, and people more. When I took this picture Ben was over to the side distracting her. "Baby goo gooo!" That is what he calls her.

She loves playing in her crib, which is the most attention the crib gets, although I am considering putting her in there at night because she is sleeping for longer stretches at night. She loves sitting in there playing with her owl pillow, baby doll, or whatever toy of the day she has.

She is a cuddlier, and a Daddy's girl. When Will comes home for the day she lights up like a Christmas tree... No lie!

She is still breastfeeding great. Since she turned 4 months old we have done brown rice cereal one day a week, and she is finally starting to get the hang of it, but not overly interested. One day at a time right?

Her stats? She is 13 pounds 2 ounces, and 24 inches tall! She is growing great, and her pediatrician is completely happy with her growth and development, as am I. I am not overly worried about weight or anything else this time around, I am just enjoying our little girl and
soaking up the amazing job of being a mom!

Oh and I captured this picture today, and it totally melts my heart... The boys love her so much!
I think this is a framed mantel kind of picture!

I just wish I could get Ben into pictures these days!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day of School

Today Camden headed to school for the first time... on his own of course. I took a ton of pictures.

Before leaving the house, he was checking out the kids at the corner bus stop

Getting into the van

All strapped in

Walking to the doors

Getting ready to go inside

Outside of his classroom...

I am still in shock that my first born is in the 4 year old pre-school room at school. Wow! Time flies right?

In the upcoming weeks I will remain pretty quiet as we are cherishing the last months and weeks of my beautiful sisters life. It comes to us all as a shock.