Thursday, February 23, 2006

I love you

Anthony: Mommy, I love you from where the moles live under the ground to the far-est planet on Earth!

He is such a SWEET little man.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What a family

I love my family. I really just can't stand it sometimes how great it is to be a Laraway. Now, I'm talking about the five of us here in Cali, but I have to say, that the Sr's are fun, too. ReRe's birthday is tomorrow, and she had a birthday celebration at Buca DiBeppo's on Saturday. So, we received a call from her dinner party with the usual expletives unique to the family... "Smelts" "Chicken Broccoli" "Flouncy" "Stay out of the damn wet" "Broccoli Rabe" and the list goes on. Now, everytime ReRe hears these, she laughs like it's the first time she's heard them. It's great! So, the phone call was all of these crazy Italians yelling stuff in the background, usual background noise from a restaurant, and ReRe laughing. These shouts kept coming, so she kept laughing and could not even get out a sentence! Doesn't that sound awesome?! I love it. I have no doubt it was the best birthday celebration and she was filled with love! I laugh just thinking of the scene and wish I could've been there laughing along with them.

So, Russ had a 3 day weekend like most, and we just enjoyed ourselves! Lots of outdoor playtime, bike riding, picnics, and together time was spent during those days. I love it. I love that my husband honestly just wants to be with us no matter what we're doing. "So you have to go grocery shopping, well, let's go." He can't stand grocery shopping, but if it means we're together then so be it. It's great!
We're great here. We're excited for our ski trip this weekend with our friends, The Stapletons. They just returned from Antigua for two weeks and are now heading to snow?! So, we'll try to get the kids on skis, play in the snow, and keep our sanity juggling 3 kids 5 and under! We'll let you know how it goes.
I hope you all enjoy your families, too and are reminded daily of what blessings these children are to our lives, spirits, families and world.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day was awesome! The boys woke up and went on a scavenger hunt to find their giant Hershey kisses. Anthony even read his clues all by himself. Anyway, the chocolate was the beginning of breakfast, and I fed them oatmeal a couple of hours later to just make myself feel adequate as a parent! We played at the park with friends in this gorgeous 70 something degree weather before coming back to the house for our party. Anthony had been planning this party- food, dessert and treats- for weeks and was excited to see it coming together. Our friends Jackie, Fabry, Bill, Connor, Elena, Brianna, Christina, Angela and Alyssa all came over to play and eat. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and the kids had so much fun together! Anthony helped make heart shaped cookies the day before, chocolate covered strawberries, heart shaped pb&j sandwiches, and punch. He's the entertainer! Anyway, just being outside playing and eating was treat enough for Valentine's! Life is good. We made Daddy his favorite dinner, and everyone got what they wanted!

To top it off, Starks turned 8 months old yesterday. He's such a big guy!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Happiness returns

Well, Russ is tapering his steroid dosage yet is much happier. Granted, he has reinfected himself in a few places, but he's not having nearly the reaction he had last week. Poor guy. I tell you, he looked so pitiful. But, he's well!

We've been going on bike rides every weekend. Yesterday we went one direction to a lake and park, ate, played, and came home. Today we went the opposite direction and found another park to do the same! Very nice... we are kid magnets at the park. They all come up and want to tell you their life story, touch Starks, ask you to play, etc. It's nice! So, we ate, played and came home today logging an 8 mile trip! Anthony gets stronger, braver and more adept at riding every time he goes out. I am so impressed those little legs can do so much. He's such a cutie and feels so free. He's the happiest when he's flying downhill, and the fact that it scares him and he still does it makes me happy.

Anyway, it's been a great, beautiful weekend here spending time together and with friends. It's always fun entertaining, and I get a jump on Spring cleaning! We're looking forward to our Valentine's party with our friends Tuesday afternoon. Anthony has been planning this for quite a while and is very excited! So, we hope you have a very happy Valentine's Day, and we hope to see everyone soon.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


I didn't get my braces off yesterday after showing the orthodontist some things I wasn't happy with, and he said he didn't notice them before but agreed they should be fixed. SO, we're in braces for another 4 weeks at least. ARGHH!!! That's OK, after having them this long, I just want them to look right.

However, better news for Starks. He gained 1 pound and 3 ounces in two weeks and made the GI Dr's very happy. She'll see him in another three weeks, then I'm hoping to not see them for a couple more times if at all. We know why he wasn't gaining weight before, and he's so darn active now that it's hard for him to pack it on! BUT, we're accomplishing that with butter, oil and calories. SO, he's 14# and 1 ounce. I love him being so small. He can crawl easier and will probably walk sooner because he doesn't have as much to haul around! He's doing the one arm hold on things... testing. And, he hasn't figured out how to sit back down when he stands, so I can stand him up anywhere to keep him in one place. So, at lunch today, I went to the restroom at Johnny Rockets and just stood him with his hands on the wall when I washed my hands. BUT, he decided to take his hands off to stand on his own. Then, he plopped his hiney down when he wasn't balancing anymore. SO, there goes that tactic! It's only time before he's walking, and I have to say it'll be fun!

Anyway, Russ is still feeling horrible with his poison ivy, so keep sending love!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Anthony's Question

"Can you imagine a creature running as fast as a car, Mommy? Can you?"

(Where does he come up with these thoughts at random?)

Well, California is warming up. Granted the high hasn't been below 59-60 degrees all winter, but these days now are a perfect 65-70 degrees! So, yesterday we all enjoyed a bike ride on the trails by our house, and Anthony rode over 6 miles! I think that's impressive for little 5 year old legs. He loves riding his bike, and Chas likes riding in the trailor with Starks behind Mommy. (Riding behind Daddy is too stinky) We had a great weekend together, and there's nothing like perfect weather to cheer you up! Man, sunshine affects my spirit! Anyway, from our enjoying last weekend by the stream, Anthony and Daddy have poison ivy... Daddy has it so bad that he had to stay home from work today. Wow. It's so horrible that the swelling on his legs even makes him walk funny! He's miserable but trying not to complain. So, if anyone has a straw, send it this way for him. (I'm kidding, of course... I shouldn't joke about his misery!) I have never in my life seen poison ivy like his. If the wind blows in the right direction, he picks it up. SO, you can imagine how bad it must be since he was rolling around in it like it was a mink fur blanket. (maybe he was just walking in it up to his shorts like he was in the grass on Little House on the Prarie... I don't remember.) It's awful; I DO know that. Send him love!

We'll be outside and at the park all week!!! Yahoo! We met Cathryn and Laurent at the park today. Laurent is 15 months old and SO sweet! This is a rare shot of me with braces... I GET MY BRACES OFF WEDNESDAY! Look for a picture of me on the blog since I haven't had it taken but now twice in 2 years and 8.5 months! AHHHHHH!!!! I'm so excited!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Did I forget to knock on wood?

SO, Starks wakes up last night twice, and the second time I went straight to the shower and turned on the hot water. We sat in the bathroom with the steam for about 15" then went out to my bed. I sat with him upright until about 5. He woke at 5:50 coughing again, and Russ popped right out of bed, got dressed and headed out the door to the ER! He has croup and received a breathing treatment and steroid shot. Poor guy. He's so tired today!
I had just told someone- and thought I had knocked on wood- that Anthony and Chas have never been to a sick appt. minus once for a viral rash. They've never had antibiotics, been to the ER, etc. KNOCK ON WOOD FOR ME NOW! Then along comes Starks... What a sweetheart. God just must be reminding me to baby him and pay him a lot of attention! Russ has been giving him LOTS of love today, too! He's just too stinking cute.
So, we pray it runs it course in and out of here in 48 hours! Anthony woke last night with the same cough, but being 5 again has its benefits! He's feeling well today and not sounding like the seal like Starks. Pray we're healthy soon!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Obrigado, Daniela Fazio!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Wow... that's the light at the end of this 2 year 8.5 month ordeal. Yep, you guessed it. I am talking about braces. Yippee... it'll will all be over next Wednesday. I hate them, and "it's a sin" to think there are people who only know me this way... funky shaped mouth, weird smile, etc. :) I can't talk during dinner for fear of making someone gag from the food in my braces. I can't floss in less than 20". I can't roughhouse with the boys without someone hurting my lips! God Bless everyone who's ever endured these darn things.

Also, Starks had an appt. yesterday for just a weight check. He gained almost an entire pound in 6 days! I think he has no problem gaining weight when he eats steak fat, chicken liver dipped in chicken fat, and everything else ladden with butter or oil! How lucky. ;)

Well, the boys are awesome. Starks is just on the move, Anthony is so mature, and Chas just loves being 3. Life is good, and next week it all just gets better!

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