Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ten Years Ago - Happy Anniversary!

Three states, six houses and four children later, we have officially made it to 10 years!!

Ten years ago, the night before we were married, my husband told me that he loved me more that day than he did the previous day and that he was sure he would love me even more the following day.  It was endearing and sweet to think that as young and passionately in love as we were, we could somehow manage to fall more in love with each other.  But we have.

I do love Peter more today than I did ten years ago and I am sure he feels the same way.  It is a more confident love.  We've managed to put many petty and youthful jealousies behind us.  We are each a bit less clumsy about life and more comfortable in our skin.  We have settled into routines.  We have also embraced the idea that the world really does not revolve around us and that we are just two more people in a vast world of people wading against the tides, but we are wading against them hand in hand together.

There are other changes too.  I’m referring to changes other than the fact that we are both a little thicker around the waist.  He doesn't get in a temper as much and I don’t talk as soft as I used to.  He stands back more often and I stand up a little more often.  He communicates more and I've learned that it’s okay to communicate less.  We've also settled into the fact that we cannot change those around us and we accept them for who they are, or at least strive to, including each other.  This has allowed us to not fight about family differences, which are vast, or difficult subjects such as religious beliefs!   We can generally talk calmly about these issues, because we are ultimately on the same team.  Additionally, we have decided that living with less makes life great, if not sweeter.

Peter and I found each other nearly fourteen years ago, we married ten years ago today and life is still engaging and exciting.  We have our challenges.  We have our fights.  But we love each other more today than we did ten years ago.  I can only work hard and have the confidence that he will work just as hard to love each other more in another two, five and ten years.  Happy Anniversary to the best man that I know!  You are wonderful husband and a wonderful father.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Between the Bars

This summer had such a cool, wet start, but this past weekend as Peter acted as a referee for soccer, we tagged along.  Our primary intention was to gather supplies for our trip to Connecticut at the end of the month, but we managed to squeeze in some fun while the sun was shining.  As we walked through Storybook Island, I was able to stand in place as the kids circled around and one by one I took their picture, a rare treat.  So often they are piled on and over one another, so it is difficult to catch their independent moments.

Samuel, Ethan, Nina and Jocelyn are so obviously related as attested in their appearances, but they have vast differences in personalities.  During our outing, Ethan was always pushing forward before the other kids, jumping from one activity to another.  Jocelyn leaped to the edges of equipment with absolutely no fear and climbed as high as the boys did.  Nina approached everything with caution and lagged behind to finish each task completely.  Samuel fixated on one task and wanted to return over and over to his favorites and had a difficult time convincing the others to repeat activities.  Here is a glimpse between the bars of each of them alone, and maybe a glance or two at those personalities.









But of course, it wouldn't be a complete Rossi outing without a line up of kids.  Here they are, looking out over the entire park.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

About Ethan

Ethan turns five tomorrow, and Wednesday after I delivered him to his last day of preschool, I sat there and had a good cry.  As he walked away from me to his classroom, his little swagger was such a mix of smart attitude, eagerness, and shy tenderness.  That is the dichotomy that is Ethan.  He is absolutely screaming and furious one moment, and laughing and hugging and telling you how much he loves you the next.  He’ll stick his nose in the air with defiance when you ask him to do something, always pushing and pushing his boundaries.  Then he runs to you and says, “I’m just kidding mommy!” with a burst of laughter and a quick squeeze.  But between these vast swings of personality, we see a little boy who is delighted with life.  He is so social, loves his friends and thinks just about anything is neat.  No true absolute devotion for one topic, he has a fondness for super heroes, dinosaurs, reptiles, cars, robots, legos, video games, the outdoors and rainbows.  The “real rainbows” with the color in the right order.  He likes to joke and make people laugh, in a way already a bit of a class clown.  Ethan is a similar to a puppy that climbs over and around his older brother Samuel and all his best friends.  

If a child at the Rossi house picks a flower for mom, it is Ethan.  Such as the piles of dandelions I collect each day.  If a child encourages someone to keep going, what we might label perseverance, it is Ethan.  We had a massive dogwood shurb die in the front yard and it was Ethan that told me to keep trying to get the root mass out and not just let daddy do it!  And by golly, with a lot of sweat and struggle, the two of us managed to tear out that huge root ball!  Even though I was ready to give up!

He already seems to have a head for numbers and announces them everywhere we go.  “Dad, that bus has a nineteen on it!” and “Mom, five plus seven is twelve!”  He’s starting to read and is very intuitive.  When we did the “Elf on the Shelf,” he was our only child that said “Dad, that just a stuffed elf,” and “Mom, you moved it while we were sleeping because it is just stuffed and can’t move by itself.”  It is so hard to get anything past him!

Ethan is our only child that was born with very much hair.  It was dark and wavy and boy were we shocked when he turned out to be the blondest of them all!  He’s a petite little thing with a flat rear end, so we have a hard time keeping his britches up.  But what he doesn't have in the waist, he makes up for in feet because his tootsies are nearly as big as Samuel’s.

Without a doubt, Ethan is one mass of personality that we were blessed with for laughter, gentleness, a reminder to keep trying, and to test our boundaries and patience!!  As we prepare for a celebration for his birthday tomorrow, I wanted to share one of my favorite pictures from each year of his life.

Ethan as a newborn - sleeping peacefully!

Ethan at one year old, leaving the tunnels in a playhouse.

Ethan at two years-old, peaking out from a tree.  We were playing hide and seek!

Ethan at three years-old, holding one of Grandma's baby chicks.

Ethan at four-years old, getting ready for his spring concert at the preschool.

Ethan now, just a week before his birthday, on a field trip for preschool.

We are so proud of you, Ethan!  We love you so much!  Happy Birthday buddy!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Samuel's Village

Happy Birthday to my big six-year old, Samuel!  I am so proud of the boy he is becoming!  It is said that it takes a village to raise children, and I believe there is so much truth to that.  Many, many people have already been involved in leading and guiding Samuel from family to friends to teachers to the stranger that offers a kindness to him.  I think one of the most important groups of people in a child's "village" is their grandparents.  Grandparents and grandchildren have a special bond that I have loved watching develop between my own children and their grandparents, and remember so fondly in my own.  As a tribute to Samuel's six birthday and the village that is helping raise him, here is a memory from Samuel's first year with each of his grandparents and great grandparents.

Shirley Carroll was my father's mother and she lived long enough to meet Samuel on several occasions   This picture of her and Samuel is my favorite of them because they both look delighted to be meeting each other!

George Watts is my mother's father.  Grandad is my last remaining grandparent and he has been able to spend many celebrations with us for holidays and birthdays.  This is such an awesome picture because he was truly pleased with his great grandson!  Samuel was just a few days old and snuggled right in.

Elaine Boudreau is Peter's mother and the children call her Memere.  This picture was taken right before Samuel's first Christmas as Elaine was out visiting us from Connecticut.  Memere and Samuel share a great love for books!  Elaine makes so many wonderful handmade gifts for the children and the kids know without a doubt that Mermere will always watch the entire Disney movie with them, because she loves it as much as they do.

Grandpa Angelo and Grandma Roz live in New York City part of the year and Maine the remainder of the year.  Angelo is Peter's father and he and Roz travel to see us every year in October.  It is great fun to carve pumpkins with them every year and it wouldn't be Halloween without them!  This photo is taken when Samuel was 5 months old and we traveled to the east coast to visit Peter's family.

Kim and Dee Carroll are my parents and have a had a huge impact on the children since they live locally and we see them all of the time.  All the children love spending time at Grandma and Papa's house where they get to have bonfires, sled, eat ridiculous amounts of sugar, go fishing and watch more television than mom and dad would allow.  Here is my favorite picture of my father with Samuel as a baby - it is one that speaks of true peace.

Here is my favorite of my mother and Samuel.

Grandparents provide completely unconditional love to their grandchildren.  How blessed Samuel as been to witness the love of these seven grandparents.  You are truly loved Samuel.  Happy Birthday buddy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Disguised Blessings

In preparation for putting our personal residence on the market, our children have watched entirely too much television and played an astronomical amount of computer, Kindle, and iPhone games.  Peter and I have been hanging sheetrock and trim, caulking, sanding, and painting.  We've cleaned and sorted and packed.  Meaning that ultimately, we've put the kids on the back burner for a few weeks, and oh the guilt!
Yesterday morning, Samuel woke up with red mucus filled eyes, sore ears, a fever and all the other tag-alongs including a cough and sore throat.  He was way too sick to go to school.  Ethan appeared in perfect health, as usual, so we readied him for preschool.  After all the morning rituals, I popped out to the garage to start the van only to discover that  the battery was completely drained.  Peter had accidentally left the ignition turned toward the radio position after pulling the van into the garage the previous night, something very unlike my meticulous husband.  I called two friends and couldn't reach either of them to take Ethan to preschool, so I made the executive decision that we were all staying home.  I didn't even call AAA, because Peter could just jump the battery when he returned from work.

And you know what?  It was wonderful.  It was a reminder to slow down with my kids.  We made homemade green and yellow play dough, and each kid made an awesome hand print.  We colored.  My princess and magical castle turned out quite lovely, thank you.  I built legos, cooked plastic cupcakes and watched LeapFrog's Amazing Alphabet with two perfect girls on my lap.  Of course I cleaned, and sorted a thousand toys, and dealt with a bloody nose and many diapers too.  But it was so fun.  That nasty cold and drained battery were disguised blessings, because I needed a day like that as much as much my children obviously did.  Here they are, playing with their homemade dough.

Thank you for this awesome day.  NOW I'm ready for the cold to go away, because my ears hurt too.