Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sums It Up

Luke and I were discussing clearing out some old toys to make way for the ones he now plays with the most. After explaining that he needs to give some old toys away to kids who have none, especially if he wants some new toys, Luke agreed. I told Luke "Thank you for speaking to me so nicely about your toys." Luke then said to me "Thank you for always being so nice to me, Mommy." AAWWW - what a sweetheart I'm raising! As tears started to fill my eyes, Lukie looked at me and said in his adorable toddler voice: 
"Actually, Mommy, you're not that nice." 
I cracked up. Out of the mouths of babes comes the truth, right? As sweet as Luke is, he certainly doesn't sugar-coat things he says. He doesn't even know how, which is why talking to him is always interesting. 
Even if the honesty stings a little bit.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We Did It!

We completed the Canines for a Cure walk on Sunday. Being our first attempt at anything like this, I really wasn't sure how it would go. It was a beautiful day to walk a mile around a lake through a lovely park. Thankfully my parents came also, because I needed more than the two hands I have to keep a hold on both my 80-lb. dog and my 30-lb. fireball of a son. Kyle was calm and cool despite being surrounded by dozens of other dogs, which usually causes stress for both of us. Luke was excited about being in a new park with lots of playground areas to explore, and lots of dogs to see. Mr. Personality also got a chance to sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and signal the start of the race on the microphone, and he loved the attention. He kept Nonno and Nani on their toes while I kept Kyle chillin', pre-walk, in the shade. My sister is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Coordinator who worked so hard on all of the details that made yesterday such a success, and I have to say CONGRATULATIONS LEENIE, the event was terrific!  Here are some photos (taken with my phone, I really need a new camera - but that's another post entirely) of the Canines for a Cure walk:
                  Superstah Luke with his Aunt Leenie

                             The Big Guy and Me

                           Nani, Nonno and Lukestar

We're rocking red, the color of the Leukemia & Lymphoma 

            Kyle resting after the walk - he did so well!

THANK YOU so much to those that contributed to support our participation in this walk. We raised $365 to fund cancer research through YOUR donations. There's still time to donate, if you'd like - just click here:

We look forward to trying out other ways to help others while enjoying ourselves too. What organizations are your favorites? How do you participate in charity events with your family?

                           Momma Lioness Michele

Friday, May 14, 2010

Canines for a Cure: Who Let the Dogs Out?

As many of you know, my family is participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Canines for a Cure walk. This one mile walk takes place this Sunday, May 16th, at Belmont State Lake Park in Babylon (on Long Island). This is the first time we are trying anything like this, and I'm excited. I hope our 11-year old dog can handle the mile (and me too! Not exactly in the best shape over here), and that Luke will be relatively good while walking when we begin and eventually being pushed in his stroller by his Nonno. Lukie knows we are walking on Sunday, at what he calls "the park parade", and he knows it's to help sick people. Thankfully, this is the most that Luke knows about what Canines for a Cure is fighting.

We're walking to raise money to fight blood cancer. Every FIVE minutes someone is diagnosed. Someone just got the awful news of a cancer diagnosis within the time I sat down to type and now. Obviously, no one wants their life affected by cancer. But as a parent, just the idea of dealing with my child being sick is enough to make me feel ill. To hear the words "Your child has cancer" is incomprehensible. That's why we're walking on Sunday. Not because I've heard those four life-shattering words (Thank you Jesus) but because NO parent should have to. There is work to be done to remove the word cancer from our vocabulary. Can you imagine a future when our kids don't have to worry about cancer? It's possible. It's what we're walking for.

If you're with me and want to have a hand in changing the future for our families, you can help. Click on my link and donate - even $5 is better than nothing. Have a dog? Come join us! Want to enjoy a beautiful day in the park, with live music and vendors? Come join us! Even without raising a dollar, just showing up to the event on Sunday is supportive of this fight. 


My lazy ass is walking on Sunday to make HIS future better. Who's your inspiration to make a difference, or at least an effort?
                         Momma Lioness Michele

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

First Time Out

     Last night, I attended my first blogging event.  My inaugural real-life interaction with fellow bloggers was at a cocktail party at the Affinia 50 Hotel in Manhattan.  This party was hosted by two local blogging mothers who I follow on twitter and looked forward to meeting.  
Carol of and 
Corine of 
organized this fabulous event through Help A Mother Out, which organizes diaper drives across the country to help parents struggling to afford diapers.  Every person who attended last night's event brought a package of diapers with them, which was then donated to Baby Basics, a NYC-based organization that helps struggling working families. You can read more about them at   
     I was intimidated when I first walked in, but the bloggers I met were even more welcoming to me than I could have imagined.  I really was unsure about attending since I have only "talked" to a handful of the attendees online, but I wanted to extend myself past my computer and was happily surprised by how open and warm everyone was.  Last night's cocktail party was a wonderful introduction to merging my online connections with the people behind those tweets and posts.  It was terrific to meet and talk with other local parents while helping families in need at the same time.
     In addition to the diaper donations, raffle tickets were sold to raise funds for Baby Basics to spend on diapers. These raffle tickets raised $400, which was major considering there were only approximately 30 people at the party.  I bought $30 worth of raffle tickets and won big!  The first raffle prize chosen was a $200 gift certificate for a photography session with super-talented photographer Alethea Cheng Fitzpatrick.  Alethea was at the party and we chatted before the raffle winners were chosen. Corine chose the first winner of the night, which happened to be ME!  I'm slightly embarrassed now by how I reacted, but I was very excited to win the photography certificate, and certainly looked it.  Alethea, who not only donated this prize but also took photos at the cocktail party, captured my reaction in her photos. Click below to see how I looked...

Yep. Pretty freakin' thrilled.

     Alethea is doing her own part to assist Baby Basics in their goal of providing diapers to those in need.  Check out her website,, for details on how to enter her spring giveaway, which ends this Friday.  

     I guess it's true what they say about beginner's luck, because I was also chosen as the winner of another gift certificate.  YouCake is a company that provides personalized cake toppings.  The website is, and you should check it out to see what a unique concept this is.  Being a rookie at these types of events, I wasn't sure if I was even allowed to win twice...and although I was assured that I could win both, I decided it would be the fair thing to do to let someone else win the cake gift certificate.  I was still giddy over winning the photography gift!  However, there was one prize I would not have given up had I been called again - a two night stay at the Affinia 50 Hotel.  The Club Room we were in was wonderful, and the food and service presented was fantastic, so I can imagine how lovely it is to stay there...but will have to find out on my own dime, since I didn't win that prize.  Honestly, the excitement of winning the photography certificate drowned out any blues I may have had about missing out on the hotel stay.  I am extremely excited to have Alethea photograph Luke and will post those photos when they are done.  Wonder if he'll do the alligator pose for Alethea?

Chomp! Chomp!

      Overall, this cocktail party was a fun night out, and a terrific ice-breaker for me in terms of attending blogging events.  I'm now even more excited to attend BlogHer, a huge conference in August.  Thank you again to Carol, Corine, and everyone I met yesterday, who not only helped Baby Basics provide for their clients, but also helped ease my anxiety about attending more blogging events like this one in the future.


                            Momma Lioness Michele

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Friendships: Past, Present and Future

My longest friendship has been with a girl I met in kindergarten. Alison and I met and became instant best friends at the age of five.  Going through grade school, we were inseparable, the way that only pre-teen girls can be - not sitting next to each other at lunch would ruin our day, despite the fact that we sat next to each other all day, passing notes to each other, and then went home and called each other at night.  My family moved from Queens to Long Island when I was in sixth grade (worst time ever to move, by the way), and our friendship eased into a long-distance one. Thanks to our parents, Ali and I visited each other when we could, staying in contact while living our teenager & young adult lives.  We never completely lost touch, despite this being before the internet (gasp!) - we actually had to call each other, and we did.  Years later, when Rich and I decided to get married, I wrote Alison an email letting her know, and was thrilled to hear back that she, too, was getting married soon.  The girls who met as five year olds attended each other's weddings, then celebrated each other's pregnancies and firstborns.  Today is Alison's birthday, and I hope she had a wonderful day with her family.

                   Happy Birthday, My Forever Friend!

Thinking of Alison today while spending the day with Luke made me realize that, someday, he will come home and tell me something involving his "best friend".  Luke and I say now that we are each other's best friend, and there's a truth to that, but I know that soon he will have someone else he spends his day with. Instead of playing in the sprinkler with me or asking me to push him on the swing, he'll be calling out his best friend's name to take my place. I hope and pray friendships will come easily for him.  But a corner of my Mother-Heart weeps at the thought of being replaced as the central "friend" in Luke's life.  I never asked my Mom how she felt when I wanted to spend every second with Alison.  I wonder if she felt hurt at all (Sorry, Moobie!). Now in my mother's place, I hope not to, but I think I might. I hope, though, that when Luke finds that best friend, that person is as special to Luke as Alison is to me.  I plan on supporting and helping any way I can so that Luke is able to sustain this future friendship the way Ali and I have held onto ours.

Who WOULDN'T want to be friends with this kiddo? 


Momma Lioness Michele

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Every Day in May

This blogging world is still new to me.  I spend lots of time reading other people's blogs and not enough writing on my own.  I am making a pledge to myself to find time everyday this month to write long as I write.  I don't even know if it's the actual writing or the time set aside for myself that's driving me, but I think it's a combination of the two.  In addition, I'd like to work some more on the design and layout of this little blog.  It's almost like redecorating my little corner of the web.  I'm looking forward to figuring out how to do more in terms of my blog, writing & technology-wise.  I also think the discipline of holding myself to blogging daily will be good, too.  Being a Stay at Home Mother is a full-time job, full of lots of things, but discipline isn't one of least, discipline for me. Disciplining this guy: 

                                 Flirty Flower Fella

is definitely a large part of my daily duties (Mommas, am I right?).  Speaking of my darlin', I do plan on writing about him - alot - but I'd like to try writing about other topics this month as well.  We'll see how & where this goes.  If anyone has any tips or ideas on how they find time to do something for themselves, or how they keep the momentum going for a project, please leave a comment - I appreciate all advice.  
Thanks for taking the ride with me!

                             Momma Lioness Michele