Color My World

Coloring outside the lines is a fine art. ~Kim Nance Pinkilicious Coloring Collage


March Madness: Snow!!

After a glorious weekend of sunshine and near balmy temperatures we were hit with yet another taste of winter....
SNOW at the end of March!

When my little Sweetie saw the snow as we walked out the door she was absolutely amazed.

Because of the snow?
Well, kinda....but she seemed a bit more over the top than a blast of snow might warrant (especially since she's seen it so much this winter).
It wasn't long before I found out exactly why....

JRR Mach Madness Snow Frames

She quickly squealed with delight...SANTA'S coming!
I spent the entire ride to school managing her expectations
for the Easter Bunny and not the Big Man!

Spring is coming.....I just know it!


Black and White Wednesday: Couples Weekend in NYC

These two Texan love birds flew into town to celebrate
a long St. Patrick's Day weekend in New York City.

Derek Marla Love Birds Blog It

On Friday night, JR* and I met Marla and Derek smack dab in the middle of Times Square.

We took them for a whirlwind NYC tour though the City on our way downtown
for a wonderful evening of tapas, sangria and lots of laughter.

There were only two things missing that night...
and luckily they showed up on Saturday afternoon!
GMT Friends

These two couples share a very special bond of friendship.
Not only do they have a slew of gorgeous kids between them;
one child in particular, Baby Reagan, prompted Marla to leave her 4 children (and her hunky husband)
for 2 whole weeks to travel across the world with Lisa to China to bring Lisa's daughter home!

JR and I have been fortunate to spent lots of time with Lisa, Pat and even with Marla
but this was the first time we met Derek in the flesh.
(and the first time Pat and Lisa met him too!)

Take if from me....the man did NOT disappoint!
Derek and Girls

Oh what fun we had together.

The weather was unseasonably gorgeous making it a great day to just walk around and explore.
Watching Perfect Pat, Dynamite Derek and my own Hot Colombian (HC as Marla has dubbed him) together had us scratching our heads wondering if perhaps they were long lost frat brothers.
(Cherries anyone?)

The playful, easy way they interacted seemed as if they'd known one another for years.
There's no question our "boys" could get in quite a bit of trouble together.

I hope they don't decide to do a guy's weekend 'cause I don't think we'll be able to afford the bail!
GMT Tavern

We ate and drank ourselves silly (not necessarily in that order)
and though there's no doubt we all adore our children;

I truly don't remember us speaking about the kids at all.
We had so much fun together as couples....just what the doctor ordered for all of us.
i Tre Merli

And, if you need proof of that...it is evidenced by the fact that even Lisa barely took out her camera (a real first!) and told us to put ours away!

(Yeah, lucky for YOU I didn't listen!)
Lisa Bottles Talk to the Hand Blog It

Our sweet friends from Texas and Pennsylvania are back home but we will remember this weekend as the very special one it was....until the next time!

Derek Marla Love Birds Blog It

It's Black and White Wednesday!

To see more of our NYC weekend and some wonderful images from
so many fantastic photographers,
click on over to

the long road
*Special shout out to JR for being such a good sport and joining us both nights despite the issues he's had with his eye this past month. He told me he wouldn't have missed it for anything!


My Sweet Pirate

This is the face of my Sweet Pirate.

JR Pirate Horizontal

I'd be fine if I knew that he was sportin' this pirate patch as part of a Halloween costume.

But, he's not.

Unfortunately JR developed a very, very bad infection in the eye that underwent a cornea transplant just 5 weeks ago. This is rare, according to the doctor, but not unheard of. If left unresolved it could lead to permanent loss of vision. It is very complicated and he is undergoing lots of antibiotics and poking and prodding.

We have been going to the doctor every day for a week (weekends included) to try to get this infection under control. The doctor has told us that this could take many weeks, even months to resolve and, unfortunately, could compromise the success of the corneal transplant. We are hoping and praying for the best.

JR Pirate 2 Pictures

JR has been such a trooper through it all.

I cannot even tell you how it breaks my heart to see him in any discomfort at all.....and when I look at his beautiful eyes I just know that somehow, some way, this is all going to get better.


Open Sesame

JRR Looking Up Phone

I finally got an iPhone for my birthday last month after years of waiting.
I really love it but my little Sweetie is absolutely addicted to all the great preschool games
I downloaded for her.
The problem is, she won't let me anywhere near it when she's around.

So I had to get tough and put a password on it.
When there's about 10 seconds of inactivity, the phone requires a password to unlock.
It definitely set the ground rules and she quickly understood that my allowing her to use
my iPhone is a privilege and its not one of her toys.

JRR Open Sesame Yellow Boots

The other day I allowed her play with it as I was getting us ready for school and work.
When I left the room she must have become distracted for a minute and put the phone down.

When she went back to it; it was locked.
She came to the door of my room and, thinking nothing of it,
she said, "Mom, I need the password."

I told her that the whole point of a password is that its a secret and
I couldn't divulge it to her.
She was not at all happy about it and was determined to get her way.
She was not taking no for an answer.

She left my room and laid on her bed with the locked phone in hand.

I could hear her talking...at first very quietly, then it grew progressively louder.
When I peeked my head around the corner toward her room to hear what she was saying,
I saw her staring intently at the phone....that's when I finally made it out.....

Open Sesame, OPEN Sesame, OPEN SESAME!!!!!

JRR Leg Over Phone
*See those cute little bumblebee boots?
They have a matching umbrella and raincoat that all belonged to WonderBoy almost 10 years ago.
I always knew one day I'd have another sweetheart and just couldn't part with them!


Black & White Wednesday: Elegant Young Lady

In December I had the privilege of meeting and photographing this very elegant young lady.

Livi BW

Her mom called and asked if I'd take some photos of her daughter to surprise her grandmother for the holidays.

Apparently, the only thing on Grandma's Christmas List was photos of her grands.

Livi Movie Star

Well, as the story goes, Grandma was in tears when she saw these images of her stunning granddaughter.

Actually so was her mother and, I have to admit, I too, got a bit choked up when I saw them.

(I think she looks like Ingrid Bergman in the above photo......she's got real STAR quality!)

Livi Pink Flower Color

She has a classic timelessness that makes me think she could have lived in any era from the 1900's to present day.

Livi Princess

Like a Princess in a fairy tale...that alabaster skin, those sparkling eyes;

she looks downright REGAL!

2 Pix Livi Color BW

Oh, and this stunning girl...is only TWELVE years old!

Livi BW Hat Sideways

Thank you sweet girl for letting me capture the beauty that lies within you!


It's Black and White Wednesday!

To see some wonderful images from some fantastic photographers, click on over to

the long road


Coming out of Hibernation

It's been a LONG Winter 'round these parts.
Kids Snow Day 2011 Blog

It seemed to roll in rather innocuously, December came, as usual, with the requisite scurrying and planning for the holidays. We had lots of excitement at Christmas when one of our all-time favorite people arrived from Europe for two weeks to celebrate the holidays with us "American Style."

Christmas and New Year flew by in a blur though I have so many wonderful memories of this Christmas in the photos I took. I will be posting them here soon so if the thought of seeing Christmas pictures in March makes you weak in the knees......sheild your eyes!
I promised myself that I will get every stinkin' photo I wanted to post up on this blog by hook or by crook.....and, I am sorry to say, that includes some from last year that even go further back than Christmas (ahem...way further back!).
After all...its the finished product that I'm in it for here...a permanent memory that I (and my family) can go back and be reminded that living is in the every day...the little things that really are the big things and always remember just how wonderful life is and how blessed we truly are.

So without further ado...my master plan is to bring you up to speed with the current state of affairs in Ditaville, get back into a regular posting schedule (which I love to do and have missed terribly for a few months now) and along the way go back and sprinkle in the posts that have been keeping me up nights for about the past 9 months.
AND, on the subject of sleep, I have learned that sleep should NEVER be underrated.
Take it from someone who believed it was unimportant until it all caught up to me...
remember that when you wonder where I've been for months......I've been HIBERNATING!

January ReCap:
I don't remember much in January but I am sure I did lots.
I am pleading the 5th on January right now though
I do reserve the right to revisit my recollection any time I please.

February ReCap:
I wish I could forget lots of things that happened in February. Don't get me wrong...some good happened in February but since two of the Darlings were out of commission (yeah, that's 50% of us if you didn't do the math) for a bit in February I can't count February as a stellar month in 2011.
That's just a fact.

In mid-February, my sweet JR underwent cornea transplant surgery to replace his own cornea which had been severely damaged in an eye surgery he had in the 90's. He was amazing throughout the surgery (much braver than I would ever have been!). I was a basket case pretty much when I even thought of it
(Note to Self: do not watch cornea transplant surgery on you tube the evening before you bring husband for his surgery).
I remember sitting in the waiting room the day of his surgery and I noticed a guy get off the elevator with his lunch in a Coleman mini-cooler. A little while later another guy came with a cooler too and I thought to myself, wow, those guys eat a lot for lunch. It wasn't until the 3rd guy stepped out of the elevator with a cooler that I figured it out (remember, I told you sleep should not be underrated...I still hadn't caught up at that point). I realized how lucky we were to have been the recipients of generous strangers who selflessly donated their organs for others. JR and I have been registered organ donors for more than 15 years. I used to think of our promise to donate in a vaccuum. However, watching the progression from donation-to hand-to hand-to surgeons hand-to miraclously giving the gift of sight to another; to us, made me so grateful to be part of something so very special.

JR had a rough few days when his eye pressure rose and he got sick from the anesthesia at the same time. The perfect storm of those two factors caused some of the sutures around the new cornea to rupture and they had to be re-stitched.
After those difficult few days he was much better.
Here are some pictures of JR a few days post op.
The stitches he has around the iris where the cornea was placed are clear but can be seen when the light hits them. They are tailored perfection. I will get a nice shot of that and post it one day...amazing.
I cannot imagine the skill of a surgeon who can do perform such an operation. The sutures will stay in place for one year and then be removed believe it or not.
JR is not be able to lift anything over 15 lbs for another 2 months (therefore lifting me is OUT!) but other than that he has few restrictions.
His sight is improving every day and we are so incredibly grateful!

JR Eye Surgery Blog

We all had off for Presidents' Day weekend and spent a wonderful 3 days together.
Scratch that...let's say a wonderful 2.75 days together.
The last .25, well, not so wonderful but we were all together, thankfully.

My Sweetie is true to her moniker most of the time but when the moment strikes, this gal is as rambunctious as they come. She makes her brother look like an angel (...almost!!) She loves to cut up with him and the day is few and far between when she doesn't get slowed down by the speed bumps in a Toddler's World: skinned knees, a bump on the head, a bruise on the arm, you name it.
After all, it's not easy for a 3 year old little girl to keep up with an almost 12 year old boy who is growing in epic proportions.
WonderBoy is 134lbs now with a size 11.5 MEN'S shoe (he's got big paws!)
Sweetie is 34lbs soaking wet....my little delicate flower with the iron will (and roar) of a Grizzly when she 'wrassles' with her Bro.
Although intellect is on her side; physics are not.

However, that doesn't change the fact that there's lots of horsing around here between the two, like most siblings. On this particular Monday evening, WonderBoy was not in the mood to have his baby sister choking him at his neck from behind as he sat on the floor playing his video game. He told her to get off, as did I, and then he moved sharply to the right just at the exact moment that Sweetie moved left and simultaneously let go of his neck. She tumbled off (only about a foot since he was on the floor and she was standing behind him with her arms around his neck) after she lost her balance.
She landed squarely with her head on the drawer pull of the dresser situated right next to them.
Yep, metal drawer pulls....
take a tip from me...they should never come in contact with one's forehead...it ain't pretty.

As those of you who know us KNOW....we've been down the road of forehead incidents with Sweetie before back in June of 2009. She was only 21 months old when Incident #1 occurred.
Click HERE to see that post.
(beware it includes a gory before photo taken with my cell phone)

Ironically, I had just mentioned to JR that very weekend how fantastic her forehead had healed in the year and a half or so since she injured it. I wish I never opened my big mouth.
Here is a Before and After of Incident #1....40 stitches inside and out.
Miraculous result if I do say so myself:

JRR Head I Before and After

and here is a Before and Before photo of Incident #2
(unfortunately the After will have to wait another 18 months!)
Voila......25 stitches inside and out.

JRR Head II Before and After

I've said it before and I say it again...with complete first hand knowledge.....
This plastic surgeon may have even been better than the last one.
Sweetie had her sutures removed a week ago yesterday and I cannot believe how well she is healing after only two short weeks.
The plastic surgeon who did the work this time credits the fact that Sweetie's first injury healed so well with our diligence (read: fanaticism) in aftercare.
I massaged the area every single night to avoid adhesions and the area NEVER saw the light of day for nearly a year. Sunlight (or any UV Rays even on rainy days, for that matter) is the kiss of death to a great healing result. I researched it and made a pact with JR that we were going to do everything we could to try to restore our daughter's beautiful skin to as natural a state as possible.
Sweetie was the undisputed Miss Northeast Toddler BandAid Princess.
A glance back at this blog from July 2009 on bears that out.

And so...(insert applause here and raise curtain...)
I give you.......the Return of the Adventures of Bandaid Girl!
We're stocked up (and were the very lucky recipents of BandAid love from two of our Besties!) and ready to rumble.

JRR Head II Lips Red Couch

We are so grateful that our daughter's eye was not involved in either incident and pray we will never have to go to the hospital again for either of our children.

And so, there you have it...the NOT so good part of February.
Stay tuned for the good part in the next installment of As Dita's World Turns.
*Oh, and did I mention....its GREAT to be back! *