Love and Marriage... Six years ago, my husband and I decided to make the Week of Love something extra special for us. We got married on February 18. It was a cold day, had snowed the night before, and I wore a strapless gown. Right before we said our vows, it started flurrying, which made our ceremony that more beautiful. Every year during Valentine's Week, we celebrate our wedding anniversary as well.
Our Valentine and Anniversary present to each other was a weekend trip without the kids. We usually go twice a year with two other couples, our closest friends, to the Poconos. We always enjoy our time alone, our time with our friends, our time without having to referee roudy kids and take care of 100 different things at once. We have been going to the Poconos for three years now, and have enjoyed both Pocono Palace and Paradise Stream. We plan on visiting the third resort of the trio next time, Cove Haven.
Our favorite suite is the Fantasy Apple. With a heartshaped whirlpool tub for two AND a private pool and sauna, we could pretty much stay in the room all weekend! But we also enjoy the entertainment, having more laughs watching the XXX version of the Newlywed/Not So Newlywed Game, participating in Horseracing and Bingo, playing the adult version of Family Feud where the women fued the men in Sexual Fued and so much more. We love enjoying dinners with our friends, watching the shows at night in the nightclub, then heading back to one of our rooms and have so many laughs that our cheeks hurt. And of course the romance and the time my husband and I have alone is priceless. With four little kids, a weekend to focus on each other is always what we need.
If you are looking for a romantic place to go with your love, check out Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts. And if you want to make the weekend even more fun, consider going with some couple friends. Either way, be prepared for a great weekend away with lots of laughs, lots of romance, lots of adult only themed time and a weekend to remember.
Happy Anniversary Paul!
I am sp excoted and beyond humbled to be the March Fortune 52 featured woman for Extraordinary Networking on Long Island in Milieu Magazine and Long Island Press. I have been networking women for almost 11 years and I have been doing so because I recognize the value of women, specifically mothers, making connections and helping each other. I have said for years that motherhood is the most rewarding and wonderful job in the world, but it can also have its challenges. Moms can sometimes feel isolated, even though we would never want to be anything other that the mom of our children. We all need a place to go to be ourselves, get and give advice, share stories, make friends, vent, and find a little time in our hectic day for US. Networking women is so important, and I am thrilled to be able to bring my love of networking women out to Long Island.
Article appears on page 38 of the March edition of Milieu Magazine
Thank you so much to Beverly Fortune, Associate Publisher of Long Island Press and Publisher of Milieu Magazine. I am very much looking forward to the Networking Event in April where I can network with so many other extraordinary women on Long Island, including many of the beautiful women in our group Long Island Networking Moms!
Post also featured on my main web site Mommy's L inks.
Last summer, when we were still meeting with architects and getting the plans laid for our move, our family enjoyed the Massapequa Park Street Fair. It was there that I met many local business owners and groups such as the new European Wax owner Jennifer who was opening up her Massapequa store the following month, sisters Gina and Lia from Just a Little Something, and the manager and instructors from Ultimate Champions Tae Kwando in Maassapequa.
The Tae Kwando studio was featuring a new student special of $10 for 5 classes and uniform. Since my three boys were right at the start of their Power Rangers obsession, watching the instructors and students from the studio "perform" completely intrigued them. My older daughter was very interested as well. Naturally, we spent $40 and promised the kids after we moved in they could begin their classes.
Yesterday was the kids' first Tae Kwando class. After a very stressful day of running around after them, breaking up their arguments and pulling them down from any cabinet they could climb up or closet they could get into to find whatever their preschool minds thought they'd find, I was hesitant to take them because I was thinking that if I said they could only go when they could behave better at home (why do my kids behave everywhere but home???), they would listen. My husband and I decided that the discipline and structure they would learn in the program could only help their interaction with each other and us at home, so off I went with all four kids to Juliana's class followed by the boys' class.
The instructors invited the boys into Juliana's class as it was broken up into different age ranges and levels. I could not contain my excitement as I watched even three year old Joseph follow all the directions, get a great workout and enjoy himself. He looked like a little munchkin bowing and punching and kicking, smiling all the way. Louis and Anthony were awesome too, although halfway through they both came over to me to tell me they were really tired (GOOD! Express that energy!) Juliana was a Tae Kwando princess, and I am sure she will excel quickly.
Even though it was only our first class at Ultimate Champions, I am already very happy and I know the kids are too! Last night, my aunt said that we now have "structured chaos", and she is so correct! I am hoping our teaching of discipline and respect and healthy behaviors is reinforced with Tae K This is going to be a fun ride!
I am enjoying our new neighborhood as much as the kids are! Last week at the boys' preschool was Special Person Week. I visited all three boys' classrooms and had the honor of being their "Special Person". This was something very new to me as we didn't do this in the kids' Bronx schools. I have to say, I spent many, many years in school, all the way through college. I do not think I have EVER enjoyed a week in school as much as I did this past week.
On Monday, I visited Joseph's Nursery school class. I spent an hour with three-year olds. Joseph was a bit shy at first as it was his first day back to school after being out for a week with the flu. Once he got out of his shell, Mommy and JoeJoe made a Valentine craft, then we painted and worked on a portrait of a hibernating bear. Joseph shared his snack with Mommy and he introduced me to some of his new friends. So much fun!
On Wednesday, I visited Anthony's Pre-School class. He showed me all around his classroom, introduced me to his friends, and we built Lego buildings with some of the other little boys. Anthony and I did a letter Q craft, making a queen with a paper plate, crown, yarn and stickers. Anthony told his teacher that he and his brothers are the princes of the family, his sister is the princess, Daddy is the King and Mommy is the Queen, so he wanted to be sure we used the same yarn color as my hair. I was very honored!
On Friday, I visited Louis' Pre-School class. Louis was the weather forecaster of the day, and he forecasted snow and chilly weather. We then made a craft for Valentine's day, where we made a Valentine bag for their party coming this week. Finally, the class went down to Social Hall (my kids rant and rave about their time in social hall), where I watched Louis and his friends ride toy cars and bikes, play in the playhouse and have a blast.
Watching my little boys in their classrooms, interacting with them and their teachers and friends, spending quality time with each of them individually was absolutely priceless. We never did anything like this in our old neighborhood. Too bad I cannot be Juliana's Special Person for fifth grade, but we have already done quite a few mother/daughter activities such as "Companion Night", the "Science Olympiad" and we got to visit her and watch her class perform their square dancing at the Hoe Down.
I am so happy for all of my children and how much they enjoy their new Long Island Schools!
On Friday night we got a doozy of a snowstorm. Actually, we really got lucky, considering just two miles east of us our friends got 28 inches of snow, and we got ONLY 14. It started at about lunchtime on Friday, with rain and sleet and finally snow. When we went to bed Friday night, I thought we were going to be avoiding all the snow the weathermen were predicting because there was not much snow on the ground. When I woke up and looked out my bedroom window, I knew my kids would be thrilled.
This was the first snow storm since we moved in December. Our house is a corner house and I didn't realize how much property we actually have until it had to be shoveled. Thankfully my father-in-law has a snowblower, but it still took my husband about four hours to clear the garage and the sidewalk around our house. My daughter did our walkways and I did the cars. The landscaper came with his workers just as we were about to shovel the cars out of their spots and we were saved from digging out. Then it was the fun part!
Bundling the kids took what seemed to be hours. Boots, hats, gloves, scarves, layers and layers of clothing and my kids walked like mummies. The snow was up to the boys waist, and it was hysterical to watch them walk through the snow. They made a snowman, made a fort, had a snowball fight with their sister and enjoyed themselves immensely. And boy did they sleep well that night!
I love one good snowfall a year, but I hope it goes away quickly and that is all. I'm ready for the summer!
All the kids are settled into their new schools. This week marks a month since their first day as suburbian students. I have one in Elementary and three in Pre-School, and if I thought I was a busy mom before we moved, that was certainly an understatement!
My daughter is in 5th Grade at McKenna. The night before her first day last month, I think I was more nervous than she was. After all, for ten years she lived in the Bronx, for the last six years she was in a Private Catholic school and there were 32 kids in the entire fifth grade. She wore a uniform, rode the bus, and we basically knew EVERYONE. When I picked her up on that first day after school and watched my little girl walk out with all these other children we never saw before, my heart stopped for a few seconds. As she got closer, I gave her a thumbs up sign, hoping to get one back, and was immediately relieved when she threw up TWO thumbs and a huge grin appeared on her face. A month later, my daughter has made many friends, loves school, is doing well and has not given us one morning of moaning and groaning to get out of bed and out the door.
My twins are in Pre-K at Community Presbyterian of Massapequa. In the Bronx, they were in the same class. One of my twins (although he is not at home!) was very attached to his brother, and would always want to play with him at school, while the twin wanted to play with the other kids. We decided to split them up after the move and this was something that worried me. Anthony is doing very well! He does not give me a hard time in the mornings and has made a lot of friends! Louis is doing well also, and the two of them “argue” with each other about who has more fun and more friends and are really enjoying pre-k.
My little guy is in the Nursery Program at Community Presbyerian. He goes three days a week. Joseph is really doing well. He asks me every morning if he is going to school that day, and if it is a Tuesday or Thursday, he frowns when I tell him no. Joseph is enjoying his activities, his show and tell, and his artwork.
Three of my four kids were already invited to birthday parties. Juliana has had a Hoe Down (which I took the boys to and we really had fun watching her and her new friends square dance), a Companion Night (I was her companion and we learned about puberty – fun!), has plans for two field trips, a Science Olympiad (I was her partner and we really had a blast with the activities) and so much more. Every week there is something else to do either extra curricular or with the family. Such a great environment!
This week, I will be visiting each of the boys’ classrooms as their Special Person Visitor. I can’t wait to see the boys in their school environment and watch them in action!
There is so much to do in our new town… good thing I have everything in my iPhone calendar!
Yesterday, I partnered with Fran Meadows, Infertility Advocate, author and blogger to host the first DREAMS, ANGELS AND MIRALES Expo in Westchester County, NY. Despite the blistering cold and the snowfall from the night before, it was a beautiful day. So much came out of this event for attendees, speakers and sponsors alike. Infertility awareness is so important, so many of us have lived or are living it.
Twelve years ago, I lost two babies, the first to ectopic, the second to miscarriage. After the birth of my daughter, I once again dealt with infertility when we could not conceive. After infertility treatments, tons of stress, lots of prayers and years of wishing for a family, I am blessed with four beautiful children.
The memories never go away. One child never replaces another. The pain you see in someone's eyes when they are going through infertility is a pain that I can remember clear as anything when I see it.
Dreams, Angels and Miracles was not only an outlet for women and couples to learn more about how to deal with their pain, a place to find friends and others who understand, a place to laugh as well as cry with others, it was also MY therapy... therapy I didn't even know I needed. I laughed, I cried, I remembered, I celebrated. Yes, I am a statistic of infertility. Yes, I am a survivor of infertility. Yes, my children are products of infertility. I will never forget.
Everyone who attended Dreams, Angels and Miracles took something precious home with them that day. Enjoy the photos. See below for testimonials.
Thank you to all of our speakers, most notably our Keynote, Mrs. New York America. For all of the donations, especially More than Mocha for their delicious sweets table. And thank you to my fabulous event partner, Fran Meadows, who worked so hard at making every last detail special and perfect for this event!
Testimonials: What people are saying about the Dreams, Angels and Miracles Expo
"While the turn out for participants wasn't what we all would have liked, it made for a very intimate day and there's something very special about that. Thanks to Fran Meadows for pouring her determination and heart into making it happen." ~ LisaPath To Fertility Blog
"I had an amazing time at the Dreams, Angels And Miracles Expo. Being surrounded by and being able to network with like minded people who were in the same boat as I am, helped me feel empowered and like I was not alone in my situation. What a great experience…can’t wait until the next one!! Made such wonderful connections; thank you!!" ~Kendra
"It was so amazing! I had a very good feeling about it - I bet your efforts there have already made a difference in people's lives. As for me, I was thrilled to meet the sponsors and speakers, and I feel as if we made a lot of great contacts. Even better, I already got an order from the show :) - I learned a lot from the speakers too. Hope it will be happening again next year!" ~ Jennifer, Diaper Bag Dailies
"I thought the event was great and a start for others to come out to gather information for the future." ~Lisa J.
"Thank you for putting together the event and for including RMACT. We were honored to be a part of it." ~ Alicia
"Your amazing efforts have helped so many." ~ Jennifer M.
"Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of this amazing event. The healing and love that was flowing through the attendees and vendors alike was palpable. I connected with so many wonderful, aligned businesses - a few new partnerships were born that day- thank you!!!!" ~ Patty
"Being in the presence of so many great people, professional and passionate people with their personal stories helped me feel less alone and I learned about other ways to continue on the journey."~ Dana
For mamy years I was a fan of soda. I loved Coca Cola, loved the taste, the fizz, always enjoyed how I thought it was so refreshing. I thought wrong. When I was pregnant with my twins, I developed gestational diabetes. The first thing that had to go was my drink of choice. I decided to switch over to water, although I think it was because I basically had no choice. I missed the element of taste and I missed the fizz. Since I had to try something, I added lemon to my water and a lot of ice. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I did not like water, it wasn't my drink of choice. The lemon helped, but I still missed the fizz. My husband introduced me to seltzer water. He was definitely on to something!
Four years later, I have never touched a Coca Cola again. I am totally addicted to seltzer water, with or without lemon, flavored or unflavored. My favorite is from the fountain, but I will drink any kind of seltzer. When I go to the supermarket and see the price of brand name seltzer is just as much as Coca Cola, it makes me shudder. So naturally, I always buy the store brand seltzer. It is half the price, and carbonated water is carbonated water!
I recently bought the Soda Stream soda maker. Since we go through so much seltzer in our house, I always wanted to have a backup plan. If I ever run out, I can make my own... although I would much rather just open a bottle!
I suggest if you are trying to limit your sugar intake or trying to eat/drink healthier and are like me and enjoy the fizz, give seltzer a try!
My children all started at their new schools on January 2. My oldest is in fifth grade, and she went from being in a NYC Catholic school the last 5 1/2 years to a Long Island public school. The twins are in Pre-K, and the little guy is in nursery, and they were all in the same Catholic School as my daughter. In the weeks leading up to their first day of school in our new neighborhood, I was majorly stressing over their big changes. The night before their first day, I don't think I slept more than two hours. My stomach was in knots and I was a wreck, hoping and praying they would be happy. I am thrilled to say that they are all loving their new schools!
Juliana says the kids are all so nice and have been so welcoming. She is enjoying not having to wear a uniform, loves her teachers, is doing very well with the work, and is making a lot of friends. Louis was nervous his first day of Pre-K on Long Island, and as I brought him into his classroom, his lip quivered and he kept saying "I'm scared!". Anthony, his twin, was in a different class. Previously, they had been in the same class and the teacher kept telling me that Anthony was always wanting to only play with his brother, while Louis would get upset that Anthony would always be on top of him. I was very anxious about having them in separate classes, but I was hoping this would help Anthony get out of his shell. While Anthony did cry at drop-off, which broke my heart along with his brother telling me he was scared, he did great on his first day. And after his first week, when Anthony asked me if he could invite his new friend Frankie over for a playdate, I knew all my fears were unfounded. Anthony was coming out of his shell and enjoying making friends without the security blanket of his twin! Joseph, my little guy, was the bravest and most excited of them all. He walked into his classroom like a trooper, giving me a quick kiss and saying "Bye Mom!" He loves school along with his siblings!
My husband, although he is 15 miles closer to work than before, now has an additional 30 minutes travel time to and from work due to now being in the flow of traffic during rush hour. This has made it somewhat more difficult on me in the mornings, getting the kids ready for school, but we are managing well, having about 20 minutes longer in the mornings before the kids need to be out the door. Dinnertime is a bit later now as Paul is home a little later, but it is all working out. I miss seeing my parents daily, especially my mom who would come by every day after work to help with the kids, but my in-laws living upstairs has been a great help.
Being in Long Island, while taking some getting used to, is wonderful. I love our new neighborhood, and look forward to springtime when we can enjoy it even more. Shopping is a pleasure, with no meters to feed and parking to pay, the town offers so much for the kids, and the people are really welcoming. We are very happy with our move.
And just like that, 2012 is over. The years go by faster and faster with each passing year. About a week ago, we welcomed in 2012 (or so it seems), and now it is over. I have to say, for my family, 2012 was not a bad year, although there were some sad things that happened in it. Overall, as I type this in my new office of our new home, I am happy with 2012. We are truly blessed.
In 2012, my oldest daughter turned double digits and started fifth grade. My twins turned 4 and began pre-school. My "baby" turned 3 and started nursery school. My husband continued his line of work in the field of Customhouse Brokerage, and I continued to work on my blogging and advanced my career in counseling by remaining a Behavioral Coach for AbilTo, but adding the Diabetes forum to the Resilience and Cardiac Forums. I thoroughly enjoy my work and the success my clients are seeing. It is a wonderful feeling to know you can help someone at a time they really need it.
In the spring, we learned my older cousin Lisa, who was handicapped and brain damaged all of her life, had cancer. After a short bout, Lisa took her place with the angels in September. While she was only 41, leaving behind her mother (who is like a second mother to me), our family knows she has earned her beautiful golden wings and is singing in the heavens watching over us all. Rest in peace my cousin.
As I have been talking about it for some time now, in 2012, specifically last weekend, we moved into our new home. It was a bittersweet move, as we left the home my father grew up in, renting from family since Paul and I got married in 2007. I have so many wonderful memories there, and I am so proud to have raised my children in that house in addition to the other generations before my kids. The house was built by my GREAT grandfather almost 60 years ago, so my children were the fifth generation to live in that house. It was difficult to leave, but we are now a Long Island family in a beautiful house in a beautiful town and we are excited about all of the new memories we will make as a family in our new home.
The year 2013 is only hours away. I hope and pray for a happy, healthy, prosperous new year for our family. I hope and pray the same for yours. Happy New Year!
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