Happy (belated) Easter!


Easter came early this year--so early that we didn't get to color eggs or make special birds-nest cupcakes like we did in prior years...  Still, we had a chance to go to mass and then go out to eat with our family (which becomes smaller and smaller each year).

Just as the Easter season elicits both the sentiments of sadness and rejoicing, our holiday felt the same way.  My father-in-law died back in September, and my husband, of course, is still grieving.  For him, he didn't just lose a father--he lost a best friend, a confidant, and "the man of wisdom" in his family.  Celebrating the holiday without him was tough.  And quite honestly, these past few months have been tough.  My husband's sadness and grief have turned into feelings of anger, despair, and depression.  He wakes up in the middle of the night sobbing, and although our faith teaches us that there is more than just this little life of ours, he still can't shake the feeling that his dad is "gone," fearing that he'll never have a chance to speak with him again...

It's at times like these and during holidays like Easter that we are called to "keep the faith."  We are reminded that there's an after-life with God and our loved ones and that our mistakes on earth are forgiven with God's great love.  I remind my husband that he will see his dad again--that his dad is most likely watching and protecting him now as we speak.  Still, for my husband, there's a void and an emptiness that is shaking both his faith and hope for the future.  We're seeking therapy, and I'm praying for him.  I desperately want to stop his emotional pain and suffering, and yet, even as his wife, I am still nothing more than a bystander, a mere onlooker, in this process.  Nothing that I say or do works...

The joy of this Easter, of course, was celebrating this wonderful holiday with Little Lewie.  My mom and aunts spoiled him with candy and presents as usual, and of course, the Easter Bunny paid us a visit too.  He's been grieving the loss of Papa in his own way too, but I make certain that we talk to God and Papa all the time, so he knows that they're close to us.  Believing is a gift; it's the gift of Easter.  Now if I could only wrap this gift up and give it to my husband. 

It looks like the Easter Bunny may have hid some eggs...

My annual Easter photo of Lewie posing in front of our church sign.

Lewie and "Aunt" Karen

Lewie with "Aunty Kiki" (and his Thomas the Train gift)

My mom and Lewie

Our family

Trying to cheer up my husband...

Posing in front of the Connecticut River

Happy (belated) Easter from our family to yours!



Everyone told me there'd be homework in first grade.  I laughed.  What?  A few fill-in-the-blank sentences, a ditto of simple addition problems, maybe a seek-and-find word search. 

In the beginning, Lewie's homework was exactly how I described it above--simple.  However, as the expectations grew, and I was informed my son's reading and math skills were not up to par, homework became challenging.  Now, along with the ten-minute dittos, there were books to read, flashcards to drill, and math facts to memorize.  Then, of course, the projects came too--make your own boat, make a gingerbread man, create a Leprechaun trap.  (If there's one thing I learned from Pinterest, it's that I have not been blessed with a creative gene, and my son takes right after me in this department too.) 

The creative projects, it seems, take the most  time for us, and my son and I both lose patience when a piece of tape doesn't want to stay in place, too much glue spurts out all at once, or an idea for a trap door seems to work perfectly in our heads but not so well in real life.   Convincing my son these projects are fun and useful is another challenge. In today's age of technology, my son would rather learn how to design a boat using Photoshop on a computer than glue a bunch of popsicle sticks in real life.

I'm not complaining.  Homework is designed to teach important skills, lessons, and facts.  Still, this new "homework chapter" has changed our carefree days of play into days of discipline and structure.  This weekend, for example, was reserved for completing our geography fair project and Leprechaun trap.  "The weekend went by too fast," my son complained when Monday came around.  I agreed. 

It's necessary, and yet, I'm not a big fan either.  After coming home from an eight hour day of work, I open Lewie's book bag; sift through a sea of papers about upcoming activities, permission forms, fundraisers, and theme days; mark my calendar accordingly before the information eludes me; and then plot out our time to do work.  What activities do we have tonight?  Is there time for dinner?  Can we manage to read a book or two before we go out the door?  Oh darn, it's bath night. 

The plain reality is that I/we have at least another eleven more years of this routine.  I'm hoping my son will become more independent with his school work as he gets older, but for now, we've entered the age of "homework."  Boy do I miss those carefree toddler days when we could spend hours just running around acting silly at the playground.

Lewie's Leprechaun trap. 

The idea, of course, is that the Leprechaun will be so mesmerized by the gold and the rainbow that he won't recognize that he'll be falling right into a carefully covered-over "pit of doom."

Lewie's older cousin showing off her geography fair project.

Our final project about Beacon Falls.

Lewie-isms - Age 7


I started this blog when Lewie was only a year old; now he's seven.  Time is going by faster, it seems, with each year.  There are days when I literally wish I could freeze time. 

Lewie - 18 months old

Lewie - Seven
I remember when I was seven years-old.  I loved going outside on the swings in my backyard, playing with Barbie Dolls, and going to tap-dance lessons each week.  I didn't like school.  I didn't like my teachers, and I'm pretty sure I was behind in both math and reading.  My parents divorced when I was five, so there was still an empty feeling inside our house too.  I became my mom's buddy, and in my mind, school kept me from being with her.  (By then, I was also a master conniver--I knew how to play sick in the nurse's office, so I could go home!)

I look at Lewie now and often wonder how his life is different from mine.  He loves the swings (and his trampoline) but would prefer to play video games all day if I don't force him to go outside.  He loves swimming, roller skating, playing with LEGOS and computers; he recently asked me how to use PowerPoint, and he's good at it.  He doesn't like school.  He very wisely tells me how our weekends should be three days or four days long.  Like me, he's a little behind in his reading, but unlike me, his math skills are excellent.  He's also quite the conversationalist.

Only three short years ago, I was worried that Lewie might have a speech impediment; now talking, quite honestly, is what my little boy does best!  Here are some of my favorite "Lewie-isms" at age 7.

-"To be honest to you..."  (Instead of saying with you, he says to you.  Ex.  "To be honest to you, I really like this Iron Man Super Suit." )

-"Well actually...basically...apparently..."  (I don't believe I used any of these words until I was in college, but Lewie uses them all the time.  Ex.  Well apparently, Mine Craft has a new mod where the animals can talk.")

-"That is interesting to me." - Interesting is pronounced "in-tres-ing."

-"I'm sad.  It's a Monday.  Why can't there be more weekend days?"

-"Mommy, can you go to CCD with me?  It's too much like school."

-"I never have time for videos."

-"Mommy, don't ever sell Tigey!"  (Tigey is his stuffed animal tiger that goes to bed with him at night.)

-"Why can't I sleep in bed with you and Daddy?"

-"Mommy, can we talk more about heaven?"  (Lewie is still sad about losing our dear Papa in September.  We talk about God, heaven, and angels.  I'm not sure what I said, but now Lewie has told me he wants to be an angel because they have superpowers.)

-"Mommy, I think God sent me to earth to help people."  (My son has become quite the spiritual seven year-old.)

One of my favorite moments happened a few weeks ago.  I had to be away for a weekend (our College is searching for a new President, and I was on the screening committee).  When I came home, Lewie asked to sleep in bed with me.  Before we fell asleep, he whispered, "Mommy, I just want to stare at your face all night long."  I jokingly told my husband that Lewie is the now the new "romantic" in the house. 

Here's to wishing I could freeze this age for another few years...  Thankfully, Lewie won't be eight until August.

Leap Day


My son and I did a little research on Leap Day and Leap Year.  Here is why we have an extra day every four years: "A complete orbit of the earth around the sun takes exactly 365.2422 days to complete, but the Gregorian calendar uses 365 days.  So leap years are added as a means of keeping our clocks (and calendars) in sync with the Earth and its seasons."  (You can read more interesting facts about Leap Year from The Telegraph here.)

For me, Leap Year means an extra bonus day added to the schedule, and since bonus days should be fun, I took the day off from work, and I let Lewie take a day off from school.  (Okay, I shouldn't advertise that too loudly, but Lewie hasn't missed any days from school yet this year.)  We played chase and hide-and-go-seek inside the house; I played MineCraft with him on the Xbox (I think he became annoyed at Mommy's lack of coordination there), and when the sun finally came out (it rained in the morning), we headed outside to play and work on his school geography project. 

Since Lewie is only in first grade, he isn't required to participate in this year's geography fair.  He confuses states with countries all the time.  But then, after considering the project some more, I thought we could make the project fun and interesting by focusing on our own hometown of Beacon Falls.  In order for young children to understand more about states and countries, shouldn't they first start locally? 

He had questions like, "Is there a president of Beacon Falls, and how many people live in our town?"  We didn't complete the entire project on Leap Day, but we did get a good start.  When the rain stopped, we hopped in our car and went to visit our Town Hall, library, churches, the train stop, and of course, our local parks (where Lewie spent the majority of his day on the swings). 

We still have more places to visit such as the fire station, police station, and senior center, but I must say we accomplished a lot in one day, and Lewie learned what it's like to meet people and ask important questions.  Besides taking regular still photos, Lewie brought his video camera and asked for a few interviews; my favorite is with our First Selectman.  (It needs to be edited somewhat, but Lewie did well for his first time.)

Here's what it's like to live in our little town...(in no particular order).

The Train Stop - This train runs to Bridgeport and then onto NYC.

Toby's Pond (One of our three town parks)

The Rimmon School House; this small building was one of the first two schools in our town. 
There must have only been about twenty children back then!

Entering our Town Hall.

Lewie posing with our First Selectman

Our library (inside the Town Hall).

St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church.
(This is my church from childhood, and now it's Lewie's.)

Lewie's elementary school.  (I went there as a child too.)

Our other church in town.  We often have our Cub Scout Pack Meetings in the basement.

Our favorite park in town - Matthies Park. 
The park used to be a summer residence for a prominent and affluent industrialist in the area. 
When he died, he gave the land to the town.

This was the summer residence, which now is an abandoned house on an island.

This is the way to the playground.

The falls inside the park.
(When I was little, I used to sit on this bridge and make a wish.)

Yes, we made Leap Day fun this year (and maybe even a little educational).  The geography fair will happen in a few weeks.  Wish us luck on the final project!