Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick-o-treating on The Lawn....

After a quick trip to the doctor this afternoon, Savannah was cleared to join hundreds of other children at the University of Virginia's Lawn for trick-o-treating.
Savannah has been battling a runny nose all week, but she woke up this morning looking like someone had socked her in the eye! I was worried that she might have an ear infection or bad case of allergies so I took her to the doctor... and she has a head cold, but nothing more.
I dressed her up in the Hello Kitty witch's costume Aunt Debbie made for her... sans the hat... and the doctors loved it. We actually had several people comment on it before we got to the Lawn.
Pat was able to get off early and join us... and we saw lots and lots of cute children all dressed up in their finest (and not so finest).
Pat didn't watch Savannah very closely (it was pretty hard to watch her and not run over other little children) as she liked to hold pieces of candy while they went from booth to booth.
I had to clear her mouth of several pieces of wrapper.. what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger, right?
We got a nice supply of candy and left before Savannah got too cranky... but I still think she had more energy left than we did! Pat took some of the candy back to his office, but we still have plenty to eat ourselves... just what we don't need.
Here are some pictures of Savannah... I have a few special photos I'm going to post of the most popular children at the Lawn today.

Happy Halloween...

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween. We're taking Savannah to the University of Virginia's infamous "lawn" tomorrow to trick-o-treat. Apparently all of the student groups pass out candy to the children.
It will be good to be out in the crowd and see Savannah running around... she loves to be around people.
I promise to take lots of pictures.
Have a good day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our pumpkin...

I wanted to share my first attempt to carve a large pumpkin... this is one of three we got Sunday at the pumpkin patch. I haven't decided if I'll carve the other one... guess I should because what else will we do with it?
Here are a couple of pictures I took tonight after putting Mr. Smiley on the front porch... what do you think?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Making my blog private...

I decided today to make my blog private... to limit those welcomed here to family and friends who mean the most to me.
This has been a year of losses, but it has also been a year of incredible gifts. Losing my Daddy was the hardest things I've had to face, but finding out weeks later that we were having another baby was a blessing that helped ease that pain.
I've learned since his death that although Daddy couldn't read or write, he knew a lot about a person's integrity and what made them tick. I've come to realize he was right about a lot of things that I once thought were just his ramblings.
I walked a hard road to leave my childhood life behind... and after watching my Mama work her fingers to the bones I wanted nothing more than for me and my siblings to have more than that.
Life is about personal decisions... and the time has come for me to make another hard one. It is time to let toxic people, those who literally suck the life out of you, go from my life.
That is why I made this blog private... because I no longer want those people into my life where they can spew their bitter judgments.
This is my favorite poem and I wanted to share it with you... it speaks about several times in my life, including this decision:

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this wish a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost

Registry for Julius...

I've had several people ask me if I would set up a gift registry for Baby Julius... and have hesitated because people were so generous with gifts for Savannah that I didn't want to seem greedy.
Over the weekend, my sister-in-law Debbie and niece Erin said they wanted to throw us a little baby shower in December. Therefore I thought it would probably be a good idea to set a registry up so people could see what we needed... which is far less than the last time since we saved a lot of Savannah's baby things.
You can find our baby registry at ... just search under Sharon Fitzgerald in Fitzgerald and you should find it. Anyone who likes to shop at WalMart can find the equivalent there, but I'll also create a register on that site as well... directions are the same.
Thanks again for thinking about us... as always, it's wonderful to be so loved.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What a difference a year makes...

I've been itching to compare these photos ever since we planned a trip to the pumpkin patch.
Where has the time gone? Can you believe how fast she's grown already?

Let it go...

Sometimes this is what you must remember when nothing else seems to make sense:

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

I don't pull this out and use as often as I should, but it's the only thing I can tell myself as I worry about what the future holds.
I used to say this to myself when I left home and made my own way in the world... it carried me to college and then from one newspaper job to another. It went along with me to Arkansas where I met and married Pat and now I have it here with me as we raise Savannah and await Julius' arrival in a few months.
We cannot change our pasts, but can only hope the decisions we make today will carry us in to a better tomorrow. I've always tried to make the best decisions for myself and now for our little family and I'm confident there is a wonderful end to our rainbow.

Savannah in her Halloween costume...

I took this short video of Savannah today at cousins Erin and Joe's house. Savannah is modeling her Halloween costume and trying to catch Deuce... one of Erin and Joe's four cats.
She was so excited about Deuce that she forgot the hat was on her head.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pictures Round 3...

I have to say something about these last set of photos... the first one is of Pat holding all of the pumpkins in order to get a "all you can carry" for one price. He has to be carrying at least 50 lbs. of pumpkins because our pumpkin alone weighed 23 lbs.
The second picture was taken after we were leaving the patch... I thought Savannah would like to ride in the wheel barrow, but she wouldn't have any of that... she wanted to walk.
The last picture (since you can clearly see what the third picture is) shows Savannah pointing at her Mama's big belly... and me trying my best to hold that heavy pumpkin!
We really had a great time!

More pictures...

Trip to Belvadere Farms...

We took Savannah to get a pumpkin today at Belvadere Farms in Fredericksburg ... and we had a blast! Aunt Debbie and cousins Erin and Joe joined us for a few hours of fun... Savannah took her pictures among the pumpkins, rode on a zipline made for babies, went into the slide with Daddy and cousin Erin and picked her own pumpkin.
I'm going to post pictures in two stages... so you can see all of them.

Savannah's Halloween costume...

Aunt Debbie made Savannah a witch's costume and we tried it on her today before we went to the pumpkin patch. The dress is made out of Hello Kitty fabric and it's adorable (and fit Savannah like a glove).
Here are a few pictures of her wearing it... she's just so cute!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Our little princess....

I took these pictures yesterday morning while Savannah was getting up on and down from the couch. She's wearing the Disney princess gown ... something her Daddy never wanted her to have because he didn't want to further the myth that girls are princesses.
But she is our little princess... he can't deny that now!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Teaching children about money...

Anyone who reads my blog knows that I really like Suze Orman... the advice she gives about money is always interesting and reasonable (even if she constantly reminds me Pat and I have a LONG way to go before we're financially secure for our future).
Suze was on Oprah today talking about the importance of teaching your children the value of money. This is something Pat and I were discussing today... how important it is to make sure Savannah and Julius are able one day to stand on their own feet and take care of themselves... financially and emotionally. It's a part of the parenting process that some people tend to forget... and they cheat their children and themselves by doing do.
Here are five tips Suze gave for talking to your children about money:

1. You should talk to your children about money as soon as they're able to understand math. You should talk to them about money, but not force your financial problems upon them and make it their burden to carry.

2. Don't reward your children with money just because they get good grades... instead reward them with your time. This is interesting because I thought it was a good motivation tool for children, but Suze said a child would much rather have one-on-one time with a parent than $10 for a good report card.

3. Kids do as you do, not as you say. Therefore, if you live beyond your means you are teaching them that it is OK to be irresponsible with money. Giving your children something because you didn't get it when you were a child isn't the right thing to do if you cannot afford it.

4. Teach your children how to prioritize. The most important things children need are the basics: A roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their backs. The rest is just extra and shouldn't come at the expense of the family's financial security.

5. Don't tell your children you can afford something when you know you can't. You will only do two things... lie to them and set your family up for failure.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Savannah finds Daddy's iPod...

I know every parent says their child is smart... but I have to share this story to once again prove we're have a little genius in our midst.
Savannah found her Daddy's iPod today... the very expensive one I bought him the first year we were married. She picked it up and handed it over to me and said "Toot Toot" as if she knew the Wiggles were locked up somewhere inside this small contraption.
Pat does indeed have several Wiggles songs on the iPod, but swears he's never let her listen to it. The only way she knows about the iPod is by watching her Daddy fiddle with it when we want her to calm down in the car... the Wiggles are Savannah's "baby crack"... they calm her down every time!
I put on the Wiggles and put the ear bud to her ear... before I knew it she was listening to them on her own. I shot these pictures before she put the headphones up to each ear.
She is a very smart little girl!

Savannah's boo boo...

Savannah spent the weekend with her Aunt Kathy and Uncle Tom while I worked on a big freelance project. She seemed to have a wonderful time looking at all of the planes flying into Dulles and I'm sure she really enjoyed going to their second home in West Virginia.
She came home Sunday with a boo boo to showcase her tough ways... she apparently fell while walking and scratched her nose. I didn't realize until yesterday that she also bruised her forehead.
I had to post these pictures... because she's a trooper and doesn't realize she has any type of injury... she still gives me eskimo kisses with her nose. 
I'm not sure why she has the surprised look on her face in the last picture... but I think it's cute!

What to do...

Although Savannah loves her Wiggles bed, Pat and I are not so sure she's ready to make the transition from her crib to the "big girl" bed. She's went to sleep in her big girl bed several nights, but it was only a few hours before we woke up and needed Mommy and Daddy to make her feel safe.
Last night, I moved her mattress back into the crib and she slept there through the night... leading me to believe Savannah still needs the security of rolling around in her crib without worry of falling out of the bed.
So, that leaves us with what to do about Julius... I'm leaning towards just buying a crib, changing table, dresser and bedding and put him in the third bedroom. That seems like the safest way even if its not the most economical.

Beautiful pictures...

I normally use the term to describe one of Savannah's many pictures, but this time I had to share an engagement photo of Liz Boch and Alex Abrams. They're getting married in May and we'll be attending the wedding in Maryland... hopefully little Julius will be quiet enough to make it though the ceremony since he'll be too young to leave with anyone at that point.
Liz sent out engagement photos they took over the weekend and I had to post one because I thought they were so beautiful.
Liz and Alex started dating when Pat and I did... and we have had a lot of laughs at the progress our relationships have made.
Congratulations Liz and Alex... you make a very beautiful couple!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hot potato seats...

Although I get tired of hearing The Wiggles day in and day out, I'm still really excited to be taking Savannah to see them in concert next month.
I found out they were coming to Hampton from the lady I bought Savannah's bed from and came home to check ticket prices online.
There were still tickets available online, but they were far back and not much cheaper than the two tickets I bought on eBay one you added all of the taxes and fees.
I'm looking forward to seeing Savannah react when "Toot Toot" comes out in their big, red car!
Here is a map of where our seats are compared to the stage...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Going to see the Wiggles...

We bought two tickets tonight for Savannah and I to go see The Wiggles next month when they perform in Hampton. We got a good deal on eBay for two tickets in the "Hot Potato" section... which will have us as close to the stage as we could possibly be without sitting in their laps.
I can't wait to see Savannah's face when she sees them on stage... she loves "Toot Toot" almost as much as she loves Mama and Daddy.
I haven't asked Mom and Dad Fitzgerald if we can spend a few days with them, but I'm sure they won't mind having two weary Wiggles fans bunking with them for a few days. 

Savannah's Toot Toot bed...

I bought the Wiggles bed for Savannah yesterday and we set it up this morning... as you can see in these pictures, our little girl loves it very much! Yep, this is how she sleeps... it doesn't look comfortable, but it works for her.
The Wiggles are going to be in concert in Hampton next month and we're trying to decide if I'll take her to see them. The lady I bought the bed from took her son to six Wiggles concerts before he was "too cool" for them.
I still can't believe our little girl is so grown!

Crozet Arts-n-Crafts festival...

Here are some pictures we snapped at the arts-n-crafts festival in Crozet on Sunday... we had a good time. Savannah especially enjoyed seeing the other children and watching the cloggers.