Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Well wishes and another crazy weekend!

Last week Grandma Genovese had knee replacement surgery. Little does Tyler know, but between both of his grandma's there are only 2 "real" knees. We decided that we would take a quick trip to New York on Saturday to surprise her and wish her well in person. On Saturday morning, Tyler made Grandma a really big picture to help her feel better soon. He was hard at work and kept his pens close at hand:

While Tyler was decorating his picture, Grandma Genovese called and asked me what we had planned for the weekend. I told her (sorry for the lie, Grandma!) that we didn't have much planned, that we were just going to hang out at home for the weekend and get caught up on things. Little did she know, but I was running around the house trying to pack and clean, and plan for our quick trip to New York. Less than five hours later, we walked into her room at the rehabilitation hospital and said "surprise". She was so happy to see us and even modeled her battle scars! Tyler spent the entire time using her walker to get around!
After we spent some time with her, we made our way to Long Island to stay with cousins Conor and Skylar for the night. As soon as we walked in, the kids ran off to play. At one point they went upstairs. Soon after, they all came down and this is what we were greeted with:

What a bunch of hams!
On Sunday, we had lunch with Grandma. She requested pizza and Tyler wanted to use walker again. Thankfully, that walker tired him right out and he slept the entire ride home! Feel better soon, Grandma!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Dear Tyler,

History was made today. The US inaugurated it’s first African American president and you were able to witness it. Even though you may not understand the enormity of what this means, I know that this is something that you will remember years from now as a “I remember where I was when…” moment. Some day in history class at school you will learn a lot about an era that led up to this point.

Although you are only 4 years wise, you were as excited as we were. When I saw you tonight, you proudly announced that “Barack Obama was on PBS kids today!” I am so proud that you were able to share in the excitement that was felt everywhere today—no matter what beliefs people may have. At one point tonight you even went over and hugged the television when Obama came on.

As your parents, we hope that not only Obama, but the other presidents who will succeed him, will continue to provide a country that is strong for you and for your children to come. There are opportunities out there, so please take advantage of all that you can.

I want to share with you our moments of “I remember where I was when…”
*September 11, 2001
*The space shuttle Challenger exploded
*New York Islanders won the Stanley Cup 1980
*Operation Iraqi Freedom began
*Green Bay won the Super Bowl
*United States beat Russia in the Olympics to win gold in hockey
*Dessert Storm began
*Pope John Paul II died
May all of your dreams come true with lots of hard work and dedication. Always know that your mom and dad are right behind you to support you and make all your dreams come true.
Mommy and Daddy
P.S. Thanks to Kristy for the great idea of the picture!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Burning Down the House

Tonight Frank dropped Tyler off at my work so we could go out on a mommy and Ty-ty date. I work in a very "open" office environment and very few people have their own office. This is the conversation as Frank dropped Tyler off:

Frank: "Tell mommy what happened at school today."
Tyler: "There was a fire!"
(At this point I thought to myself, "Self, there is no fireplace at school...." and "He is standing here with a smile, so I know he is safe!")
Me: "Please explain!"
Tyler: "We made cookies and there was plastic in the oven and then there was stinky smoke all over the house and baby Jakey cried."
Me: "What happened?" (At this point other people had joined in the conversation a) out of sheer terror for me, and b) to meet Frank and Tyler. Sometimes you never get a second chance to make a first impression!)
Tyler: "We went into the living room and watched Elmo and Katie put powder on the fire!"

To make a long story short, there was a lot of smoke, no flames, and a bunch of cookies that were still eaten by everyone despite the burnt plastic in the oven!

Needless to say, we spent a lot of our mommy and Ty-ty date night talking about fires at home and how to stay safe and what to do. For a four-year-old Tyler is very versed in what to do in case of an emergency. I can only hope that other kids out there are as smart as he is!

There has been a lot of talk about the pilot from the USAirways flight in New York. I have to think Tyler's teachers, Katie and Ellie, had some of the same teachers that guy did. They did an excellent job with the kids and I now know (not that there was ever a thought in my mind!) that Tyler is super-safe with them during the day! Thanks, Katie and Ellie!


Needless to say, things in the Genovese house have been very busy over the past few months. I know that a lot of our friends and family have been inquiring about my change in jobs and now that the holidays are finally over, I will give you my best update!

I started with my new company, Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) at the end of September. For the last 3 years my New Years resolution has been to find a new job. I am sorry to say that this year I have not come up with any resolutions so far! It is a lot different being on the “Dark Side” as many people refer to this position. I jumped not only from non-profit to profit, but also from direct care to managed care! It is something that I quickly adjusted to. After all, I don’t remember the last time I was able to order supplies when I actually needed them!

Many people know why I left my old job and not a day goes by that I don’t think of my staff and all the people I worked with. I have been able to stay on at MSPCC as a “consultant” and continue with a Parenting Education Class that I started as an intern there. I also have the opportunity to speak with the staff throughout the day—they now have to call me for service authorization!

I can not lie when I say that this HUGE change will take some getting used to. I used to work in an office with people coming in and out, the phone constantly ringing, things always going on. Now, at most, there are 11 people in the office at any given time! I used to supervise more than that! I also don’t have an office any more. I have a cubicle! The atmosphere is relaxed, autonomous, and mature!

The change has not only been good for me, but also for Frank and Tyler. I am more relaxed, less stressed, and settling into the new routine. We are all up early in the morning, so we get to spend time with each other (and Tyler gets to see daddy!). I adjust to the earlier time by making sure I have my new best friend with me every morning, caffeine! I no longer work in the evenings, I no longer get emergency phone calls on the weekend, and I only have 1 cell phone in my purse. MINE!

I hope that this brings everyone up to speed! Thanks for asking how things are going; I knew I would eventually get around to a reply! Now maybe I can spend some of my new found free time thinking of some new New Year’s resolutions!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Beyond 100

A few off the beaten path hockey stats and facts:

~Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins was the first player to record 100 points in the NHL - March 2, 1969.

~The Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 marked a major milestone for hockey. It was exactly 100 years ago that hockey was introduced at the London, 1908 Olympic Games.

~The speed of a puck hit by most players is about 100 MPH.

~The Canadiens were founded by J. Ambrose O'Brien on December 4, 1909 as a charter member of the National Hockey Association, 100 years ago.

~Wayne Gretzky scored 100 goals in the 1983-84 season. That is the most goals scored in one season, including playoffs.

~Frank Genovese recorded his 100th victory on January 15, 2009 as head coach of the Fermi Falcons against Avon High School. The final score was 5-3.

At the beginning of this season Frank explained to me that with a little luck and some excellent playing and coaching, he would be earning his 100th victory as head coach this year! I am not sure that he expected to do after so few games into the season, but he did!

Frank is an excellent coach. The parents, players, and fellow coaches all respect his style and how he treats the game in general. That not only includes his players and their families, but other teams, rinks, and styles. I can not think that there is another coach out there who puts as much effort into coaching a high school hockey team as he does. During the off season, he attends their league games in order to support their growth and development. During the season, he always has an open door, listed phone number policy for whomever wants to take him up on a talk.

At last weekends game, a parent of a graduated player was there. He was speaking with Frank's dad and what I heard made me proud. This father told Frank's dad that "Frank is fair, educated, and respectful. He has high expectations of everyone, including himself. He treats every player, no matter what skill level, like they are his favorite." That comes from years of hard work and lots of dedication.

Tyler and I are proud of you, Frank! We know that you work hard and we all make sacrifices during the season, but we know your love of the game and are willing to do it! We can't wait to see what the next 100 victories bring!

Monday, January 12, 2009

What a weekend!

This weekend we had the pleasure of spending tine with Grandma, Papa, Aunt Laurette, Uncle Jim, Conor, and Skylar. Tyler's favorite cousins came on Friday night and we all headed out to Friendly's for dinner. The kids all sat at their own table, across the isle from the moms and dads! The moms and dads were all able to enjoy some "adult" conversation while the kids entertained themselves and were very well behaved!

On Saturday morning, Grandma and Papa came. As soon as they arrived, the kids all wanted to open their Christmas gifts. After that we had to get ready to go to Frank's hockey game! Papa, Conor, Tyler, and I were all going to go root for the Fermi Falcon's while everyone else stayed home to rest. I guess we took a bit long to get ready because this is what I found when I came back downstairs:

Tyler had strapped himself into his spare car seat and was watching "The Empire Strikes Back" in the family room! Grandma and Papa told Santa that Tyler really wanted the Star Wars box set and Santa delivered! Soon we were off to the game, though!

The boys (young and older!) had a wonderful time at the game! The Falcons were playing Wethersfield High School and won, 11-0!
Staying warm in the rink!
For dinner, we ordered food from one of our favorite restaurants, Cafe Leone's. We were able to celebrate Grandma and Papa's anniversary which was in December. After dinner we celebrated Frank's birthday with the "Best Chocolate Sheet Cake, Ever" cake. Despite having such a yummy dinner everyone was waiting to dig in!
After so much excitement for the day, the kids quickly settled into bed. All the adults stayed up and played Texas Hold 'Em. While our basement was nice and warm and cozy, it seems that outside was getting colder, and snowier, and more white!
When we woke in the morning, there was more snow on the ground! The kids all wanted to go outside and sled down Mt. Geno, so after lunch they all bundled up once more and out we headed!
The great thing about sledding? It is really tiring!
All three kids preparing to go down the hill together. You think Tyler is trying to tell me something? Like perhaps he can't see? Sorry, bud!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Christmas in January!

It seems like some things around here never end lately. The cold, the snow, and Christmas! Today we celebrated Christmas with Frank's family. After a quick breakfast, it was just like Christmas morning. The kids were so excited to have more gifts to open up that they demanded we do it right away! (You know how those kids are!) When they saw what Santa dropped at our house for them, they were all very forgiving of him for making such a mistake!

Tyler had to survey his most recent "loot" pile. He had no problem digging right into the gifts that Grandma and Papa Genovese, Aunt Laurette and Uncle Jim, Conor, and Skylar, and some of Frank's aunts and uncles had sent from New York! It seems that Santa made quite a few mistakes Christmas night ;-) !

Sklyar waiting so patiently to get green light to rip right in! Santa dropped off Hannah Montana cards, a swimming puppy, and a personalized duffel bag all for her at our house!
Conor was super excited to open up his gifts as well, Santa left him a duffel bag, Star Wars Legos, and a Power Ranger (green, just like on his list!)!
Grandma and Papa got Tyler a new scooter for Christmas. Now we just have to wait for the ice and snow to melt. I wonder when that will be?
Tyler opening up his Hess truck from Poppy Fagan. He was so excited to get this! As soon as he opened it he said "Just what I always wanted!" Who knew that the best gift of the year would be purchased at a gas station?
Another top notch gift-- an Islanders backpack for school!
After the kids were done opening their gifts, it was time for Grandma and Papa to open theirs. Lucky for them, Tyler and Skylar were not too tired to lend them a hand as well! At Thanksgiving, we took a secret picture of the 7 of us. Lucky for us, not one child said anything! They managed to keep the secret for almost 2 months! Good job, guys!
Tyler and Conor managed to find a little bit of space to play with Tyler's new dragon play set! Thanks everyone for the thoughtful, wonderful gifts!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Dear Daddy,

We love you!

Last night, I asked Tyler what his favorite things were about his daddy. The first thing he said was watching his daddy coach on the ice (no question of whose kid he really is!). His second favorite thing is when daddy sings the Barney song about all the lemon drops and gum drops and goes "ah ah ah ah ah" all the time. But then he also remembered that he loves it when "daddy gives me lots of kisses". How sweet is that?

In your, ahem, 39th year, remember those things from your sweet son and it will make this next year even more wonderful than the previous ones before. We love everything about you-- your hard work, your love, and your silliness. I think Tyler did a wonderful job summing it all up for you!


Jennifer & Tyler

(Grandpa Perry helped get Frank last week at Red Robin-- the came, they sang, and they embarrassed him! Isn't that what birthdays are for?)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What a trooper! And other random thoughts.

This weekend it was finally quiet around the Genovese household. I do not say that in a bad way, I say that in a kind of sad way. After weeks of different house guests, the last ones left yesterday morning. We have been blessed with such wonderful people who want to come and visit and often time brave the Western Massachusetts ever-changing winter conditions to spend the holidays with us. Grandma and Grandpa Perry left on Monday, and Aunt Laurette, Uncle Jim, cousins Conor and Skylar, and Cortney and Hailey all came from New York to visit for New Years.

Knowing that the past few weeks would be very busy, we planned a family outing for last night. The Springfield Falcons we in town and we had been given tickets to the game and it would also be Holy Family Night, the organization that puts together Tyler's Learn to Skate Program. Frank also had a game down in Connecticut and Tyler and I were going to meet him there and then go to the Falcon's game. Sounds easy, right? Wrong.

On out way out of town, I stopped and got Tyler and Happy Meal. You can never go wrong with nuggets and fries. But yesterday you could. He took a few bites of a nugget and said "I don't feel well". Knowing that it had been really busy at our place, I gave him the option of just returning home to rest, or continuing out ride to the game. He was adamant about going to the game, so I carried on. As soon as we got off the exit in West Hartford, Connecticut, all I hear is retching coming from the backseat. Oh shoot!

I am stuck in traffic, my son is covered with vomit, and I have nothing to clean him up with. So I pull off into a Macy's parking lot, dig out about 4 wipes, and a handful of napkins. What good is that going to do? I am 45 minutes from home and really stuck! I did find some old clothes in the car and proceeded to strip my son in the trunk of the car and get him changed out of his puke covered jacket and pants, and into something clean. What really got to me was that there was a constant stream of people who parked around me, stared, and walked off. What is with people nowadays?

I also remembered that there was a Babies 'R Us right across the street. So I quickly used my handful of cleaning supplies, and went shopping. We got pants, a fleece, and a new car seat (what was I supposed to do?). I also asked Tyler about 300 times "How's your belly?" "How do you feel?". After awhile he told me I was "weird" that I kept asking him! I also gave him the option of going right home, but he still said he wanted to go to Frank's game. So we went.

After Frank's game (they won, 3-1), Tyler still maintained that he wanted to go to the Falcon's game. Here is my little guy, upset stomach, not in his own home, or in comfy clothes, and he still wants to go to this darn game! So we decided that we would go for a bit, but first we needed to get a new winter jacket, so we also found a Children's Place. Tyler is now the proud owner of his winter jacket for next year!

He made it halfway into the second period before he started shutting his eyes. He was not his normal self, very blah, but he was a trooper and would do anything for the love of the game of hockey. I on the other hand, learned a lot. Strangers can not always be relied upon, and if you really need something, ask. My 4-year-old is tougher than most of those people who passed me in the parking lot. After vomiting in the car, he still wanted to go root on his dad's team!

The good news is, is that it was a one and done deal (thank goodness! I spent this morning scrubbing the car seat and my seat cushions!). In the middle of the night he did wake up and Frank went to sleep with him. Frank however was awakened shortly after by Tyler who was singing in his sleep: "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way..." What a trooper!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Sledding on Mt. Geno!

New Years Eve Day brought Western Mass yet another snow storm. This was good for a few different reasons: 1) I got out of work at 1P.M., and 2) It meant that the kids would all have something to do on New Years Day!

Our house has two hills on either side of it that lead into out backyard. Instead of trekking out and fighting crowds at the public hills, we thought we would give our yard a try. And are we glad we did! After some initial slow starts, the snow became more packed which meant faster and farther rides! After awhile, we were stopping short of the fence at the back of the yard!

Tyler and Frank made sure they took a turn together.

Wipeout! Conor took a turn right into a face full of snow!

Tyler, Skylar, and Conor all took a turn together as well.

Conor was even thoughtful enough to offer a ride to Hailey, who at 1 1/2 years was a real trooper out in the snow!

Uncle Jim tried to sneak away for a ride by himself! Silly Uncle Jim!

Tyler and Skylar were little popsicles after awhile despite wearing a lot of warm layers. But it was nothing that a little hot chocolate with extra marshmallows couldn't take care of!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ringing in the New Year!

This year we rang in the New Year at home with friends and family! What started out as a little get together for our family and another turned into four different families and all of the kids. It was a wonderful time for everyone! We cooked 3 different types of wings, meatballs, pigs'n'blankets, stromboli bread, and tons of other food to munch on through the night!
Tyler helped me decorate with the "2009" confetti I bought. Frank was not so sure about the possible mess, but with 6 kids all under 6, I was sure that this would be small in comparison with what could happen!

A closer shot of my confetti!
I bought a few decorations to make the basement look festive. Maybe next year I will be able to do more. the holidays were a bit crazy this year and I plumb ran out of time!
As soon as people started arriving, the kids began playing. Conor and Tyler quickly started playing with Santa's gift to Tyler this year, the air hockey table, while Derek, Olivia, and Skylar all made good use of the slide in the playroom.
All the kids, in the same spot, standing still, and looking at the camera all at once! A New Years miracle! From left to right: Derek, Olivia, Skylar, Hailey, Tyler, and Conor.
We got the kids all sorts of New Years accessories: Happy New Year tiaras, 2009 glasses, and plenty of noise makers. Funny, but everyone left their noisemakers behind. Coincidence?
Skylar and Livie on the Sit'n'Spin. I am so bummer I don't fit on it anymore!
Frank and Aunt Laurette, with full bellies, and big smiles!
Glen, Livie's dad, even pitched to the kids so that they could play baseball before bedtime!
Right before we took the kids up and changed into pajamas, we helped the kids ring in the New Year with some confetti champagne poppers! They had so much fun, there were none left for the mom's and dad's to use!

These two girls had a great time playing together and decided that they wanted to ring in the New Year with the rest of us. They were so great and we didn't even know they were still awake! Happy New Year!