These Are The Days

Smart ~ Writer ~ Mom

Month: June 2012

Photo A Day for June

If you don’t follow Chantelle Ellem and her blog at, you should. She lives in Australia, is a phenomenal photographer, mom, wife, writer and designer and all-around great blogger. She does a photo-a-day project each month and while I failed at my attempt to do the April one, I’ve picked up the June one as a challenge.

She posts a random topic for each day of the month and then you upload your photo and tag with the hashtag #photoadayjune, or whichever month you’re doing. Then post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or on a blog. Here are my June photos thus far:

June 1 – “Morning”

June 2 – “Empty” – O and I at the salon getting pedis for her dance recital..

June 3 – “On your plate”. Although not food related, O’s dance recital was on our plate today. She did an amazing job for being absent the last month and a half. And kudos to her teachers for alllowing her to still dance even after she moved. We’ve spent many afternoons and evenings at Tawn Marie’s Dance Center in Baldwinsville…just one of the many things we miss.

June 4 – “Up Close” this is the fabulous print on one of two pillows I just bought for my living room. Thanks to Mom for helping me pick out the pattern.

June 5 – “Sign” – Love this photo. The growing pile of rocks and leaves at my front door is a sign that my 14-month old is a borderline hoarder of nature.

June 6 – “Hat”. Love this shot, too. This is little B on the patio wearing the purple princess sunhat that used to belong to her big sister.

June 7 – “Drink” – A yummy bottle of riesling from upstate New York and a bottle of water. Tough choice when my husband is out of town and I’m the only adult in the house with two little ones.

June 8 – “6 oclock” – Isn’t this known as the witching hour? Yikes. A whole bunch of crazy in our house tonight.

June 9 – “Your view today”

June 10 – “Best bit of your weekend.” This is one my most favorite photos in the whole world. We walked the mile or so to the park – I’m pushing B in the stroller behind them. We played and climbed and rode the slides. O finally made it across the monkey bars – quite an achievement!  B climbs stairs all by herself and chooses which slide to go down. We stopped and rested and had a drink. And while sitting on the park bench, the tooth that had been driving O crazy finally met its doom. She twisted and wiggled it. She tried so hard to get it out. It was her top front tooth and it just hung over on her lip and caused so much aggravation. Finally – a bit of blood. A little pull. A little twist – and it was out!

This shot reminds me of all the special things that happened today. It’s a great snapshot in time.

June 11 – “Door” – These are the doors to the cabinet / armoire that my husband made several years back. I was pregnant with O and we were living with my folks at the time. He made this and the crib that we never got to use in their basement. (unfortunately, the crib turned out to be too big for the condo that we moved to once the baby was born). The armoire has served as an entertainment center, a dresser and a storage unit. It’s been through a lot with us! But now, it sits prominently in our living room and houses precious crafts for our 8 year old.

Thanks Chantelle for this photo project. If nothing else, it’s forcing me to see my world from a new perspective.

Finally, She’s the Cool Kid

So it’s been a while since last I wrote. Much has changed. We’ve moved to New Jersey and are adjusting to life in an area that worships pinstripes more than, let’s say, red socks.

We have a nice 3BR townhome apartment in northern New Jersey about 30 minutes from New York City. I was skeptical at first to live here, fearing that Olivia would be the only kid in the complex and the only kid at school that doesn’t live in a regular house. But we chose this place deliberately because of the school system and were willing to make that sacrifice.

As it turns out, there are tons of kids here. And what I love most is that they’re from all over the world. We’ve met families from outside the US – Africa, India, England; and some from other states like North Carolina, New York and Florida.

It’s been a bit of an adjustment – finding the right grocery store. The nearest Target. The park. The way home.

But all in all it’s been quite an adventure thus far. I love that we are so close to New York City. We’ve gone a few times to visit Central Park, the Apple store to get Olivia’s new iTouch, the Guggenheim and a kid’s production by the American Ballet Theater at the Metropolitan Opera House. I love the city, but at the end of the day, it’s nice to hop a train and be home in 40 minutes.

The elementary school here is fantastic. Her classroom is colorful, friendly, and very committed to academics. They study a rigorous math and writing curriculum and in the first six weeks she’s mastered counting to 40 in Spanish. She’s struggling a bit with math concepts that hadn’t been covered in her old school yet, so we’re working on that. But I’m confident that she’ll do well.

At our old place, we lived on a cul de sac street with mostly empty-nesters. Translation = no kids. Play dates had to be strategically arranged. There was no hopping on your bike and riding up the street to see who was home. Olivia felt like an outsider and it broke my heart to see her physically so far away from all of her friends.

But here, and in a matter of a few short months, she’s had tons of playdates and gotten to know lots of kids that are within walking or biking distance from our home. And I love that.

Today, she bounced off the bus and announced that two girls wanted to come to HER house! Is that OK, mom???!!!

Finally, my little bug was the popular one. The cool one. The one at whose house everyone wanted to play.

Yes I know it’s shallow. And I know this is a precursor to becoming one of those crazy batshit cheerleader moms on Lifetime that kills to make sure their daughter is head cheerleader. But still, I’m enjoying the moment for what it is. My daughter is making friends and her social life is flourishing. And I’m happy.


It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Three months to be exact. In that time, we learned that my husband received a job transfer to New York City. And today, we’re living in northern New Jersey. Yup. Alot has happened in 2012 so far.

Saying goodbye to Syracuse was actually harder than I imagined it would be. We moved there in 2004 shortly after Olivia was born. We only planned to stay for a few years but it turned into nearly eight years. We made friends, got to know our neighbors, and became involved in the local elementary school. In short, we put down roots. And now we were up and moving to a whole new city in New Jersey. No offense to New Jersey, but seriously? New Jersey?

Our place is nice, but small. A bit bigger than our last place and tons more stairs.

So far so good.

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