Meet Mary's newest addition! Baby Kate!
I finally got to meet her when Mary and her family came to Florida for a visit last week. It was worth the wait. But, she is so much bigger now!! Kate is such an adorable little girl and she is so good! She sleeps through the night and most of the day and only cries when she's hungry. This one, is a baby dream. We had six kiddos playing and sleeping under one roof and this sweet newborn was, by far, the best sleeper of the bunch. Her big sister and brother already adore her and Tess was fascinated by this tiny person that was smaller than her. She learned the word "baby" while Kate was visiting and she would point to Kate and excitedly scream, "Baby, baby, baby!" There were probably a few pokes in there too, as she was very enthusiastic about the baby.
Mary took these portraits! I'm so proud of her!! Book your sessions now..hehe! :)
So this is pretty exciting!
The Editors' Choice Awards honor Two Bright Lights submitters whose work was continually recognized by top print magazines, blogs, and websites. Just honored to be a part of this group!
So this is happening. In a few short days. Wow!! It will be all green and sunshine and no snow. What will we do with ourselves?! I think we've packed in as much as we could these last couple of weeks. Lots of visiting with friends and family, eating out at all of our favorite restaurants, and spending time in this little house we bought 4 years ago, never planning to live in it for long, and it has become our greatest sense of the word "home". Even with it's age, never really converting it from a double to a single family residence, and all of the many flaws that have driven me crazy, we will all miss this home of ours. Yes, we will be back for summer but it will still be different, secluded to the upper apartment. I believe that Tommy will remember this place. All of the many "battles" he and Joey have had dressed as super heroes, snuggling up in our bed, playing bubble hockey in the basement, begging to cross the street to play with the "Baloney boys". I really hope Joey remembers, this is the only place he has ever lived. Mini stick hockey is played daily and he sets up all his Starting Lineup hockey guys on "the ice", which varies between our living room floor and the hallway. He uses the Dustbuster as a Zamboni to clean the ice. It is so cute! Tess will have many photographs to remember her first home. I feel change is much harder for me after I've had children. I'm continuously second guessing every decision and wondering if it's right for us as a family, for them. As Tommy keeps telling me he's "already 6 and a half", I can't help but believe that these days we are living - yesterday, today, tomorrow, these will be the good old days. The times when the kids need us, they still think we are cool and they want to hang out with us. These are the times we will look back on and think, "remember when." I find myself reflecting on how big the kids have gotten. When did they grow up? I feel this is magnified as I'm packing up our things and deciding, sometimes gleeful and sometimes with a heavy heart, what we will bring with us and what will be donated or thrown in the trash. As 2017 comes to a close, new beginnings occur for everyone. It's hard to say goodbye to this life we have built in Buffalo, but our new beginning will be to a place where we have family and friends, a place that is familiar and a place that is warm and sunny! 2018 we are (almost) ready!!!
And here are some film scans from the last time we were in Orlando. P was her usual, cooperative self. One day, we will look back on these and laugh! Thanks, Dad, for making me get in a couple photos to calm her down. Don't mind my greasy top knot. Although who am I kidding? That is how I usually roll!
New beginnings are often bittersweet. As I am writing, I'm feeling so many different emotions. My husband recently accepted a new role at his company and we will be moving to Orlando, FL. We are sad to leave Buffalo, but excited about this next chapter. We will be moving in January!
Thank you for all of your support over these last few years. I cherish every friendship, and have loved watching all of your families grow. I plan to travel back to Buffalo for the weddings I have booked in 2018. We are also planning to spend summers in Buffalo. Once I have those dates, I will post them if anyone is interested in a summer photo session! I keep telling myself we will be like snowbirds, basically only missing winter!!
We are lucky to be moving to a place that we are familiar with. We lived in Orlando 5 years ago, before moving to Buffalo. We will be returning to the neighborhood where we used to live and are excited to be closer to my family in Florida and all of our Florida friends. Tommy is worried about missing his friends and meeting new ones which breaks my heart, but he's an outgoing kid so I think he will do just fine. Joey is excited about the move because he wants to go swimming, so there's that. Tess is along for the ride, and it will be a long plane ride with her. We are pretty pumped to be able to come back to Buffalo for summers, because it's definitely one of the coolest places to live, especially during the summer! Most people will never understand that until they live here, but after five years, I've grown very attached to this place and our neighborhood. Even as I look out my window and see 18" of snow on the ground, I love it here. The people in Buffalo are just the best! Hopefully, we will have lots of winter friends trying to escape the cold and snow that will want to come and visit!!
On another note, I got the film back from our last trip to Florida. I shot a roll of the three of them playing, wrestling, laughing...just a day in the life. That little Peanut is not one to be left out, so she's always right there in the thick of it.
Since film is light hungry, it seems sunny Florida will be a good place to continue learning this medium!
This year's group family photo session. 91 degrees, 100% humidity. The hottest day of the year, but the only day we could do it. It was so incredibly hot, we lasted less than 5 minutes. Everyone was completely soaked with sweat and beyond thrilled to be at the beach in their nice clothes. The older kids were mad they couldn't go in the water because it was closed due to harmful bacteria. Ewww! The babies decided to hate sand on this particular day and Tess screamed most of the time. (This is becoming a trend.) We took some really great photos on film, but I realized later that I had never loaded the film in the camera. So, life happens. This is our crazy life right now.
On a side note, doesn't Mary look amazing!!! I can't believe baby #3 is due in January!!
How is our little peanut already one year old?! She is walking, trying to repeat words, clapping and not wanting to sit down. Ever. Not even in the tub or high chair, and especially not while at Wegman's or Target. This is one busy little girl. She was sick, teething and has scabs on the tops of every single toe from Joey taking her for a ride in the red push car, but she performed. Come on, we all knew she'd be fine with a cake in front of her. If there's one thing P like to do, it's eat! She walks around the house screaming MY with her hand out whenever she hears a package opening or someone in the kitchen. She is something!
Things I'd like to remember:
She has 4 teeth. The top 2 teeth are coming in going different directions, like East and West.
She loves playing rough with the boys and is not afraid to pile jump when she sees an opportunity.
She smiles and does a little dance when she hears a song she likes.
Has a few words: Dada, My, Mama, Bubba, Ow.
Her favorite item is "Pinky," her pink blanket that she pulls out of her crib and rubs up to her nose when she's tired.
She sucks her tongue to soothe herself and go to sleep.
Loves to sleep in her crib, definitely the easiest baby to put to bed. She doesn't make a peep.
Loves any type of ball or sword the boys leave behind.
Favorite thing to do is to go up the stairs or roll away while you are changing her diaper.
Happy Birthday baby girl!! We may have to call you the baby forever, even though you have thought you were 4 since birth.
It takes a village. I owe a huge thank you to Mary O'Sullivan and Fran for coming over to help entertain this little stinker and to Kelley Comerford for the beautiful floral arrangement she created for the cake! Thank you so very much!!!
Just wanting to remember this season in our lives. I love the kids ages right now. They are all young enough to still want to hang out with us and independent enough to play on their own. Sort of. There is a lot of fighting, arguing, and crying, but watching them all together is everything.
And I wish it would stay summer in Buffalo forever!
Film scans back from Spring Break! We took a couple of beach trips to Daytona and Cocoa. The boys loved playing in the waves and this was Tess's first time in the sand! She was less than thrilled when we sat her in the water. It's still a little chilly. The boys can't get enough of Daytona even though there is construction everywhere and no ramp to get the stroller down to the beach. That was a little bit of an adventure. They just like that there's an arcade and ice cream at the beach. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing with this film camera, but I do love the nostalgic feel of film and the pastel colors are my favorite! I still look at the back of the camera every time I take a picture even though there's nothing to look at. Waiting for the scans to come back after sending in a roll of film is definitely a fun surprise! :)
This is 3. Always, always playing hockey and requests to watch old Buffalo Sabres games on tv instead of cartoons. If he's not playing hockey, he's playing basketball or soccer. Our middle child. So laid back, so aloof. He is feisty in the morning, and puts on his happy face after he woofs down his main meal - breakfast. Favorite color is purple. His nickname has been shortened from "Cuddle Baby" to "Cuddles". Thank you, Tommy for that gem. Phrase most often used is "Whaaat???", even though he can hear every word you say. Some of the conversations we have with this kid are never ending and wind up with me saying, "I'm sorry, I have no idea what you are talking about." He thinks differently, and is more interested in how things are made than what they do. If you leave a toy out, he will take it apart. He thinks his older brother is the greatest and mimics EVERYTHING he does, good or bad. His laugh is contagious. Most people cannot believe it, but he has a very mischievous side. He even smiles to distract you when trying to get out of trouble. He trips over himself when he walks. He often tells us "no hugs or kisses", so when we get one, it is the best thing ever! He likes his hair "up, like a hockey player." He has started to walk with his hands in his pockets. That last picture, I can't even take it, just so Joey!!
Coloring eggs with Gramma and Poppa on a break from the pool. We ended up with 2 blue dye pellets, a purple that was mostly blue, and zero pastel colors. We also had a tube of gold glitter and a sponge to mix it up. Mama definitely shopped at the Dollar Store for these goodies!