Monday, November 30, 2009


We had a playdate today with my friend Julie and her son Miro. It was a great way to spend the afternoon. They had one of those talking, singing, dancing Elmos that stands up and is about 1.5 feet tall. It was cute and both Isa and Jimmy were completely taken up by him. Jimmy just stared and looked at him and smiled. He tried to give him high fives and even kissed him a few times. Isa was hugging and kissing Elmo like he was her baby. What is it with the little, red, furry guy that every baby and toddler loves? I'm guessing it's that he's red, little, and furry.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Feeding the Deer

The deer getting brave!

Isa sneaking back out for round two after the deer left and then returned.

While Jimmy slept for most of the day, Marc, Isa and I went to visit my Grandparents, who live in the hill country of Texas. They have a nice big house that is easy to relax in and there is always good food. After a hearty meal of lasagna and a game of scrabble we made time to feed the deer. Normally my Mawmaw and Pawpaw can attract 30+ deer but the sound of a three year old's voice reduced the deer count to three. Even the three that came to eat were a little spooked and would leave and then come back and so on. Isa was super cute and whispering to the deer and waving to them to come eat.

We returned to a Jimmy, who was awake, and with a low fever. Jimmy and Isa have both been sick since we have been in Texas with runny noses and croup. I hope they wake up tomorrow feeling better.

I was just thinking that it's been great having Isa and Jimmy in the same room and that I might put them in the same room at our house...and then I walked into the room they are sharing and witnessed Isa climbing over the side of the pack in play. The one reason I haven't put them
together. I am afraid she will roll-over on him and suffocate him. I guess they won't be rooming together anytime soon.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Anniversary Party

my two handsome men!

Isa in her new dress.

Bebe and Mark celebrating 35 years together!

Marc reading to all the kids.

Marc, me, Jacob, Jess, Luke, Lisa and Jonny...all the party planners minus Nathan and Leticia.

the best little suit ever. Thank you Anne and Valerie!

There are little girls that are sent from heaven above to help you and Alyssa was sent to help me. She is a 7 year old from Houston, who came to the party to keep her grandma company, and she played with Isa the entire time. She read her 10 books (I asked and she counted them), she taught all the kids how to dig up rolly pollies, and she colored with Isa. She was the best sitter we ever had. She was amazing. On top of that, Jimmy fell asleep during the party and was out for two hours at least, so it was as if I was kidless. That can be a great feeling sometimes. The party went smoothly...between my four brothers, sister in law, two girl friends, and family friends, the party was beautifully done without anyone feeling overwhelmed. Now I am happy to be off my feet. Congratulations Mom and Dad! 35 years of marriage is quite a feat. I will post photos later;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you Mom for hosting Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful dinner and most of us got a quick snooze somewhere in the house. I got mine on the sofa. My mom was getting ready for everything early this morning and is still cleaning up now. That is some serious dedication! Marc is putting the kids to bed and after that we will join my brothers and root for Texas. I can't believe A&M already has a 7 point lead.

I am thankful for my wonderful husband. I am so lucky to have a man with hair! I am thankful for my two wonderful children. For my little clone, Isa, who looks and acts just like me, but is way smarter and way more good looking! For my little Jimmy, his cute red hair, his one tooth smile, his loving personality, and even his down syndrome. I am thankful for all the people Jimmy has brought into my life, the love I have seen in people's hearts, the wonderful community that comes with having a child with down syndrome, and everything that makes Jimmy, Jimmy. My family is the best and makes me feel like the luckiest woman alive. Thank you God!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for old friends.

Stormy, Melissa, Christi & Jimmy

Jimmy smiling it up!

Isa and Stormy playing Simon Says. Simon says smell like a flower (and then they start sniffing).

Hooray, pretending to play a row the canoe game.

Today I met up with my friend Melissa who I haven't seen in 8+ years. Today, nearly a decade later, and just a few conversations via facebook, we got together and we had a great time. It was like no time had past. Our freshman year in highschool Melissa came up to me at my locker and asked me if I wanted to be friends and I am so glad I said yes. Not that I had a choice. I knew nobody in a school of 2,000 kids so I was going to say yes to anyone who asked and I lucked out by being asked by her. We were connected at the hip that entire year...well at the side, since her hip was and still is like 6 inches higher than mine. We talked high school gossip and got caught up on the last 8 years. One of my favorite moments was when Paul, Melissa's husband, held Stormy's hand, who was holding Isa's hand, and Isa said, "I'm an elephant." She then pretended that her arm was her nose and kept her head down. I am pretty sure she thought she was an elephant from the Jungle Book. I am so thankful for my friend! Thanks for a great afternoon Melissa and Stormy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We landed in San Antonio!

Marc cut up some pears for move Marc.

Jimmy asleep on Uncle Jonny.

Isa happy watching Princess stories.

Jimmy jammin in San Anton...he wants to be in a Mariachi band!

Jimmy woke me up at 4:50am this morning and for once I didn't mind at all because my alarm was set for 5am. We left on time with only one set of tears after Marc told Isa he was not going on the flight with us. She was very sad but was consoled with the news that Uncle Jonny and Lisa were flying with us. The flight went off without a hitch. We read books till the use of electronics were allowed and then movie time started. At one point Jimmy banged the DVD player a few times and Uncle Jonny, who was sitting directly behind us, requested a visit from his nephew, and shortly after he was asleep on his shoulder. He even slept through the landing. We just had lunch at Tycoon Flats and now we are getting situated. I miss SA, such a great place!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Texas, we will see you tomorrow!

This photo was taken yesterday at Grandma's house.

This morning I went and dug out our DVD player. I asked Isa if she knew what is was. She thought it was a computer and I explained that it was only a DVD player. Then I asked her what we should do with it and she answered, “we watch a movie on the plane.” “we going to Texas?” She has done this a few times! We got some new books for the flight too. I hope they are good. I am super excited about this trip because my whole family will be there. It will be a week with no therapy, lots of eating, hanging out, playing cards and enjoying my big family. Did I mention that Jimmy was such an angel today? He played alone quite a bit as I whizzed by him packing. Thank you Jimmy! I hope he enjoys sitting on my lap tomorrow on the plane.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pecan Bars

Marc and Jimmy ready to cheer on the Wildcats!
Marc ready to cheer on Texas after removing his NU t-shirt.
Isa and Uncle Jonny celebrating NU's win!

Saturday was all about Northwestern beating the University of Wisconsin. It doesn’t get much better than that! It was an exciting game and NU held out till the end. We attended a Badger party just so we could talk trash and rough up their place a bit. It was lots of fun and I made some supper yummy pecan bars. I got this recipe from a cooking class I took at the Wooden Spoon in Chicago. This is the second time I have made it for a party and the reviews were awesome both times. I actually ate it for breakfast this morning and the crumbs as an appetizer to my lunch.

Mexican Style Pecan Bars (yields about 16 squares)

For Cookie Base:
6 ounces (3/4) cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
9 ounces (2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoons table salt
2 ounces finely grated bittersweet chocolate (1/2 cup)

For Pecan Topping:
10 ounces pecans (3 cups), toasted
¼ pound (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon table salt

Make the cookie base: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor (I just massaged it all with my hands because I don’t have a large food processor). Pulse until mixture is well combined, about 20 times. Scatter the dough in a 9*9 inch or 8 ½ *11*2 inch baking pan and press it evenly over the bottom. Bake the base until firm and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. When the cookie base comes out of the oven, sprinkle the grated chocolate evenly over the top. Set the pan aside. Leave oven on.

While the cookie base is baking make the pecan topping. Pulse the pecans in the food processor (or just bang them with a kitchen hammer). In a medium size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the dark brown sugar, honey, cream, and salt. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Stir in the pecans. Pour the pecan mixture over the baked cookie base, spreading evenly with a spatula. Bake until the filling is bubbling (not just the edges), 16 to 18 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. When you are ready to serve, cut into squares. The bars keep for 5 days…assuming they last that long!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Drum Roll Please!!!

I took my final in Psychology today. Woohoo! Can I say check-it-tee-check? I think I can. Yes, I think I can.

Now some super-duper, wonderful, amazing news…Jimmy has a tooth! It’s for real. No doubt about it! I saw it at Grandma’s house. Grandma ran to get a spoon and did the clink test and low and behold there was a clink. It’s the best. He will be a carnivore after all!

Uncle Tommy came over and made some music with Isa. We also watched Earth together. There are some graphic scenes that I think would have scared the daylights out of Isa so I stood in front of the TV. The craziest scene was when a pack of lions took down a huge elephant. Not exactly kid friendly TV.

To hear Isa's next single mixed by Uncle Tommy, click on the title of the post, Drum Roll Please. Enjoy!

Meat Sticks!

I have so much to say and so little time. Yesterday, Isa said, while taking a bath and in some other world, “look at the bubbles my bootie made.”

Jimmy has been crazy for adult food. Isa was feeding him Gerber Little Crunchies (like cheetoes) and when she turned away, he would lean, reach for her, grab her dress, and then look up at her like more please. Marc bought him little meat sticks in a jar soaked in some liquid. They really don’t get any grosser. I took a video of him eating it but after the flack I got from posting a picture with vomit I think I will refrain from posting it. The two looks are comparable even though he didn’t vomit. He did bang his head with the meat stick and managed to hit every part of his face with it. He seemed to like those gross *sogged up meat sticks though.

Last night I went to an SFX (St. Francis Xavier) fundraiser, there were 30 vendors stuffed in a gym selling really cute stuff. Next year I will give everyone a heads up. It was very cool and I got nearly half of my Christmas shopping done. Woo hoo!

*my own use of the word soggy…sometimes made up words sound better, add more flare etc!

Sorry for the delay in explaining my last asterisk but it was referring to Wes and other guys from the MTV show, the Ruins. A lot of the guys on the show use steroids and it's so gross and obvious and they talk about it pretty openly. Wes is very athletic and was not expected to be on the show. When they found out, they mentioned they would have used a higher dose of the steroids. Marc and I listened to a Bill Simmons Podcast from ESPN talking about it and it was pretty funny. There was no winner. Maybe next time I will hit on a topic normal people know about.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

but, they are thirsty mommy!

For the last half hour or so I have been listening to Isa’s pounding footsteps walking around her room chatting up all her dolls. I poked my head in on my way to the kitchen and Isa told me that her princesses keep asking for milk, water and juice and they won’t go to sleep. I gave her a look like it’s bedtime and she sat there like a little lawyer and said her princesses are hungry and she has to give them food. "They just keep asking me mommy!" I told her to tell her princesses that it’s bedtime and no more food or drinks. She did! But, I can hear her right now talking them up. I might have to make another stroll by Isa’s room.

At playgroup today Jimmy tried to pull his body up to a train table. I was very impressed. I haven’t seen him do that before. He was holding his entire body up for at least a second. I think he will be crawling very soon!

It's 8pm and Isa is still up. hahaha, I better walk by again!

So I just went by Isa’s room and she is sitting next to her castle and she tells me that blue Cinderella is sick (said with a heavy emphasis, SICK) and she needs medicine. “She has a boo boo that is very very hurt.” She then showed me how all her princesses are sleeping in sparkly shoes in the castle so they don’t get scared. She put blue Cinerella’s daddy with her so she can get better and not very SICK. We will be giving her a band aid in the morning. I hope she recovers quickly. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ties, Mustaches and Mr. Man!

Isa smiled so beautifully for this picture but my million second delay camera wasn't able to capture it. Boo.
Cute mustache and tie cupcakes!

Tie streamers!

Yesterday, Isa and I went to a birthday party for, let’s call him, Mr. Man. He turned 3 and it was lots of fun. On the way there Isa said, “We are going to Mr. Man’s birthday and tomorrow it is my birthday.?” “No”, I said, “your birthday is in the spring time.” “Yes, when the leaves grow on the trees, that’s when my birthday is.?” As you may have figured out we have been through this a few times!

The mommy who planned this wonderful shindig, let’s call her Mr. Man’s mommy, did such a wonderful job decorating for the party. The themes were ties, mustaches and Mr. Man…cause every 3 year old is a mustache trimming, tie wearing, Mr. Man!

I was so impressed. Every party I throw has the most basic theme of all, dare I tell you? theme is party. Sometimes I even have matching cups and plates but that is pretty rare!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Isa came up with a genius idea to make a castle with glue. Marc was the architect, he found the materials, and put them together with some duct tape. Isa helped!
It starts to come alive with two windows and a door Mama cut some windows and doors, much to Marc's chagrin, without measuring.

Mama and Isa decorated the castle. It is so beautiful.

Every time I walk into the kitchen I am beaming with pride.

This was all accomplished while the entire team, Jimmy included, were wearing pajamas. Saturdays are wonderful!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mostly Happy Friday...

Does it make me a bad mom that I left to go get my camera to take a
picture of him.

Not a huge surprise but last night Jimmy came down with croup. 2am! I was up with him till 3:30 and now all I want to do is sleep.

In the early evening yesterday, Marc and I went to Isa’s school for parent-teacher conferences. There wasn’t a lot to talk about…I mean she is 3, so she either likes school or she doesn’t. They labeled Isa as a happy girl. That made me feel good because sometimes, when I lose my cool, I wonder if she will be scarred for life.

Today started out so great. I cut up watermelon for 22 kids, got Isa off to school, came back, worked out, showered, worked on the business plan, fed Jimmy, and picked up Isa from school. After that things spiraled downhill quite dramatically. Isa and I had a serious fight. She cried, I yelled demanding that she stopped crying, essentially we both lost that fight.

Then things started looking up, we accomplished a few things, got Jimmy a birth certificate (I have no idea where the original went), went to the store, returned, Jimmy napped, Isa watched TV, I took a short nap, and everyone was peaceful till dinner time.

Back downhill, Jimmy vomited all over himself, Isa refused to eat the best dinner ever, homemade chicken pot pie, I told her she would have to go to bed with no food (she accepted…not a good plan), so then I told her she had no choice and would not be allowed to leave till she ate her entire bowl, she did, got both in the bathtub, both out, and fed Jimmy a second dinner.

The best part of the day occurred right before dinner when I got the proofs from our last family photo shoot. There are some really good ones in there and I haven’t even seen all of them.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Croup d' croup

Last night, about 10 minutes after I went to bed, I started to hear a barky cough. I tried to ignore it, but once it started it didn’t stop. I went into Isa’s room and she was just sitting there coughing and then she told me she couldn’t breathe. She was wheezing so badly so I called for reinforcements. Marc steamed Isa up in the bathroom until she calmed down. We gave her some water and then decided we should give her steroids. We gave her a Jimmy dose *(not knowing Wes would be there) with some milk and then put her to bed with me. It took a short time but she finally gave in to sleep. At that point her breathing became a lot less labored.

I would like to have a word with the croup virus. Could you come at a more inconvenient time? Why do you always strike without warning after 10pm when the doctor’s offices are closed? Go away, be gone, and don’t come back. You piece of you know what!

The nice thing about Isa being sick, although she has been perfectly fine since she woke up, is that we are forced to be homebound, cancel all plans, and chill. This week has been action packed busy and now we can just relax.

This evening we, the conspiracy team, are checking out a sweet location for the coffee playhouse. I wonder what we will call this place…feel free to throw out some ideas. If we pick it, you will definitely have bragging rights!

*if you get the reference you will win a prize. Marc that doesn't include you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Graduation and a Baby!

Jimmy graduated today at 16 ½ months from his baby car seat to a big boy car seat. Keep in mind that the baby car seat has a general age range of 0-6months. It worked out great for us. This car seat has seen a lot of babies. It was purchased by the DiCamillo family and spent some time with their son Matthew, followed by Andre, Olivia, Isa, Jack and now Jimmy. I think it’s time for the car seat to retire but I think I will hold on to it just in case my older brother, whose wife is expecting, might need it when they visit. I think it can handle a few random trips here and there.

Yes, Leticia is pregnant! Porfin! jk! It will be great to have some Wittig cousins. She is due in June, 2010! Woo hoo:)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Beautiful Day!

This pic was taken with Marc's blackberry.

The weather was awesome today, 70s and sunny. Marc took Isa out to play at the park while Jimmy napped and I read. Then later in the day Marc took both kids on a bike ride. Jimmy in the buggy and Isa sitting on the bike seat…giving me a little more time to read my psychology book.

I am currently reading about psychological disorders and it’s kind of scary because I feel like I am a little bit of all of them. I am hoping that makes me a well-adjusted, "normal", human being. I think of myself that way, but there are lots of disorders where the person is clueless, which is extra scary! Please don’t tell me if I am one of them, I prefer to live in blissful ignorance.

Like most Sunday evenings we dined at my in laws house. They always prepare a wonderful feast and have a ton of toys for the kids. Tonight was roast beef with potatoes and a fresh salad with a homemade dressing. Oh and homemade bread, sliced perfectly, wonderful...just wonderful!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Flu Fighters!

Today I spent a lot of time waiting in line for the H1N1 shot for Isa and Jimmy. It was kind of fun since I saw lots of friends. Being a good friend myself, I went to the end of the line after seeing my friend Emily who arrived after me. That made my wait at least 100 people longer! Ok, maybe it was like 30 people longer, but I heard Emily tell someone it was only 20 people and she needs to respect! haha! Marc came a little later with the kids and we waited and waited. I hope in a month that we will be able to get the second round of shots.

After that, Marc took Isa to a birthday party at a friend’s house. Isa and a little boy Jack played a classic birthday party game, the one where you see how many times you can grab the same toy and cry about it. They both won. They had fun anyway and got to hear a lot about how it’s best to share toys.

Later, Marc and Jimmy and I walked along with Isa as she road her bike to Papa and Grandma’s house. Isa told us the names of all the squirrels we met and shared little bits of information about each squirrel’s personal habits. For one, “this one is bhaati, he like to run on the pavement. He is not scared of me” for another one “her name is deenty, she climbs to the top of the high tree”. There was even one who was her best friend and liked to climb into houses, but I forgot her name.

On the ride back home from Papa’s house, we had a leaf hunt. Isa’s idea, and a very slow way to get home, but we found lots of yellow and red leaves. Isa loves the red leaves. Jimmy just loves being outside and watching Isa ride her bike.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Two firsts for Jimmy and a bug for Isa!

This morning Isa and I were having breakfast together…Cracklin Oat Bran cereal. Isa calls them the squares with holes cereal. We were talking about what she would take to school for show and tell when BAM she slapped her hand on the table, removed it, and then said, “I got it.” “It was a bug, Mommy.” It was a bug indeed. I’m glad she will be helping me in the future with our bug problem in the kitchen!

Jimmy had two firsts today. The first one will be disapproved of by a few of you but I am proud of this accomplishment. He cried when Baby Signing Time was over and I turned off the TV! He is so into it and I am so happy because he will learn lots of great signs and will be able to communicate with us. Marc and I are big advocates of the TV…especially when it’s educational.

His second first, is kind of gross, he pooped in the bathtub. Unfortunately, Isa was in the tub too and not aware of what happened. I told Isa, “Isa get up, Isa get up now, STAND UP ISA!” She just swam around oblivious to me till she finally realized and finally got up. Jimmy thought it was hilarious and smiled proudly every time I asked him if he pooped in the bathroom. I will spare you the photo!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Big Secret!

Ok, I really want to talk about it so I am going to spill the beans. Or, at least, a few of them… I posted something about my trip to Family Grounds, a coffee shop with play area for young kids in Chicago, awhile back. That stirred up some conversation from two friends in particular…both told me they had the same idea and I thought that was cool and didn’t think about it again, until I saw what I thought, was the perfect location. I immediately, at the next red light, texted my friend and from that moment on been seriously considering opening something like that in Evanston. How cool would that be, right? I have met with a commercial realtor and talked with a coffee guy. We are currently trying to put a business plan together to see if this is feasible in Evanston.

I just think this is the kind of place that you can be a stay at home mom and working mom at the same time. I might be super naïve but it would be soooo cool. Jimmy would get to know so many locals and they him. I think the community aspect of it would be beneficial to everyone in the area.

Location seems to be the toughest part of the puzzle. Where is there parking, foot traffic, square feet, and visibility for one low price? If you have any ideas please let me know!

Today it seems possible. Tomorrow it very well might not. That’s my big secret. Cross your fingers!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Clean is the word for today.

Today was a cleaning day. I cleared off my desk, organized a few files that were a little unruly, and did all the general cleaning. I ran some errands for Marc, went to the grocery store and managed to hit the gym only to walk on the treadmill. Gotta love that.

Isa took a yoga class at the gym. She learned the child pose, tree pose, cobra, and had a great time. Afterwards she was very insistent on us going to Jimmy Johns for dinner. We have done that twice and now she will ask for it every time we leave the gym. Err.

It’s times like that I wish I could go back in time and be a little less annoying for my parents. I remember trying to rationalize going to the dollar theatre over renting a movie with my dad. There is no real rationalization to that because I have 4 bothers and renting is always cheaper but I tried and my brothers tried. We must have been real pests.

Jimmy is still refusing to drink just about everything. Marc even made chocolate milkshakes and he said no by spitting it out and swatting the cup and spoon with his hand. He ended up a very dirty boy.

Once again everyone is asleep, although Marc is not in bed, he is on the sofa “watching” the World Series with his eyes closed.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Only love to share today!

Today I drove out to Wheeling to hang out with two of my favorite Moms, Katie and Emily. We went to a place called Nibbles Cafe. It’s a restaurant with a play area. I love getting the mom friends together. I wish all my mom friends, and you know who you are, if I were to list all of you I would inevitably forget someone and then be in big trouble so I won’t do that, but I wish all of you knew each other. One day, when I’m big like Oprah, I will fly everyone to a beautiful Island and we can have a big party. But, YOU, yes, you, I totally dig you and this includes all of you in Texas too, yes, you know who you are!! I am so thankful to have all of you in my life. You make being a stay at home fun...and all you working moms inspire me. I love facebook for being able to peek into your lives more often. Kisses and Hugs to all of you!!

PS Jimmy and Isa are both doing great. :) Marc is working late but should be home soon. Now it’s time for So You Think You Can Dance! My favorite show of alllllll time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Oh the joys of getting a physical...

All 3 photos were taken by Isa Harrison
Some of Isa's treats. I love the people that give out toys.
can you tell Jimmy's sock is orange? gross!
I love to give this boy tons of hugs!

When I think back on today I feel like nothing happened but we actually did a lot. I had a physical this morning and my drinking tea on an empty stomach caused me to vomit in the kitchen sink. Yummy, I know. Then, when I was finally allowed to eat, I stuffed myself into a coma, but unfortunately I was not allowed to rest. Instead, we had a play date with Sofia and Isabella, two girls in Isa’s class. I am hoping that some play dates will help Isa abstain from saying she has no friends. At least now I can bring up Sofia and Isabella and say but you are friends with them. Ha ha, I can totally back her into a corner now!

Jimmy spit up a few times today directly after I nursed him. I think my milk might be tainted. That is why he looks so dirty in the photos. The photos were taken at the end of the day so I didn't bother changing his clothes. Yes, I am that kind of mama.

All's well that ends well and Marc, Isa and Jimmy are all asleep. Marc is pretending to watch the World Series but he is totally snoring. I want to take a picture of him but he might kill me and I want to live a bit longer.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday in Berwyn

Every now and again we make the drive to Berwyn to get some good Mexican food and hang out with the Pond family. The kids had fun, the Bears won, and there were lots of art projects! Woo hoo!

Jimmy and Henry (Henry is a little weary of the redhead!)
Bate Bate Chocolate!

Time to paint a pumpkin!

3 cutie boys!

Henry warmed up. Look at that cute smile!