Patience at Age Five

It was finally Ruslan’s turn for a Mommy day and he was excited to go to the Pirates game with me. There would be undivided attention from me, the promise of a treat, and he would get to run the bases after the game.

We arrived early enough for him to run through the giant inflatable obstacle course. And when we walked through the gate he got to meet one of the Pierogies – he was very excited!


It was almost time for the game so we bought hot dogs and headed to our seats. Rulsan quickly finished the foot long hotdog and settled back in his seat to watch the game.


We made it through the first inning before he starting complaining. I’m hot, followed by resting his sweaty head against my arm. I want my cotton candy now – I reminded him that we would buy cotton candy when the 3rd inning was over. He shuffled and climbed on me and asked for cotton candy every five minutes and cried – it is never going to be time for cotton candy. Being patient when you are waiting for cotton candy is very hard.

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Eventually the 3rd inning came and went and we bought cotton candy and returned to our seats. Ruslan was much happier after that and stopped complaining as much about being hot. There was an occasional request to go home until he was reminded about running the bases.

ruslan-pirates7 ruslan-pirates8The Pirates won and we headed off to find the end of the line to run the bases…it was a very long line. I let Ruslan know that we would be waiting for a long time. Are you sure that you want to wait? Yes, I want to run the bases! It was a while before the line started moving and then it was slow - we waited for close to an hour. When we finally reached the front of the line, he took off running. He flew from base to base and was thrilled to tell me how many kids he passed when he was done!

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Ruslan didn’t complain at all while we waited. Being patient when you are waiting to run the bases is easy.

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Science is Only My Second Favorite Subject

Juliana knows that I have a science degree and talks about me being a scientist (I’m not) and asks me where I keep my hidden lab with all of my potions. And for some reason that all adds up to her thinking that I want her to be a scientist. Granted I want her to like science of course.

One evening she was doing her science homework and I sat down to look over the questions. She turned to me and said, “Mommy, I really like science, but science is only my second favorite. I just love math too much!” I sincerely hope that the love of math and science continues.

Second grade was a great year for Juliana. All of her best friends were in her class and she loved her teacher. She recently told me that from the very first time she met Ms. S way back in Kindergarten, she hoped that she would have Ms. S when we got to second grade. Here they are the week before school started and at fun day at the end of the school year.

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Second grade was another year of straight A’s. This year she was invited to join the gifted program at her school (it starts in 2nd grade) which was an interesting change for Juliana. She is used to being the girl with all of the answers and the first one done with every assignment. In the gifted classroom activities (one morning each week), she was forced to find new ways to solve problems and think. Toward the middle of the year, Juliana would cry before school on gifted days. She would ask to stay home until lunchtime because the work was too hard. By the end of the year she started to take it more seriously and seemed to enjoy it more.

second-grade-deskThis was also the year of so much reading – you can read more about the “Reading Queen” and her reading journey this year. By the end of the year, she was reading on her bus ride when “a book was getting to an exciting spot” – that tells me that reading is starting to become enjoyable.

At some point this year Juliana started writing plays. She would write on the bus and at school when she was done with her assignments. She asked her teacher if they could have a performance. Once she had the green light from Ms. S, she assigned parts to her very willing friends and spent all of her recess time practicing lines with them. Both Kindergarten classes were invited to that inaugural play and the Principal attended as well. Her original version of the script is handwritten on lined school paper with illustrations on each page – a cherished keepsake.

During the last week of school, the class acted out Juliana’s second play. This one was even more elaborate and included props, including this boat that Juliana and one of her friends sat in for part of the play.

second-grade-playShe carries a folder of notebook paper with her so that it is always available for writing down ideas. I hope that her love of story telling continues to grow.

Speaking of growing, Juliana is wearing the same jumper in this picture. It was well below her knees at the beginning of the year.

fist-lastSecond grade was another great year!

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Summer is Off to a Good Start

The boys finished preschool almost two weeks ago and Juliana is hours away from finishing second grade and we have already jumped right in to summer fun!

The boys spent a day with my Dad on an adventure which included a new playground (new playground, aka playground they have never been to, is the best!)

The next day my parents took the boys to TownTown where they visited the Fort Pitt Museum and the Point Park Fountain, ate lunch at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, and finally played in the water at PPG Place.

Juliana had missed out on the fun for those days, so next we went to Kennywood Park. Wyatt passed the next height threshold so he is tall enough for the Music Express and the Racer Roller coaster, and Juliana passed the final threshold and is tall enough for every ride. Wyatt was so excited to ride both and we rode in the last row on the Racer. As I told Juliana – we aren’t middle row people. The highlight of the day was the Turtle. All three of them had so much fun and the boys laughed non-stop. Ruslan kept putting two thumbs up on the ride which I have never seen him do before.

Next Juliana had the chance to go to the Arts Festival with a friend on a perfect Saturday. There was festival food for lunch, impromptu gymnastics practice on the Point Park lawn, playing at the fountain, face painting and ice cream.

So far we are off to a great start to summer fun!



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Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day from Juliana, Ruslan and Wyatt to their Dad, G and Papa! Thank you to Scott for everything that you do for our children!

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Remember when they looked like this? (DAD Series 2011, 2012, 2013)


I Love These Happy Faces

Today was exhausting and wild and happy. At one point Wyatt was holding my hand as we walked when he stopped. He wrapped his arm around me, looked up and said, “Mommy, this is the best day ever!” And then we continued walking. I love making these kids happy!

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10 Years Ago, Part 3: We Bought A House


The house was never officially on the market. Scott’s Great Uncle was the original owner of the house and the family decided they were ready to sell it in April 2004. It was located in Forest Hills, less than a mile from the house that Scott owned at the time. Scott’s mom took us . . . → Read More: 10 Years Ago, Part 3: We Bought A House

Preschool Comes to a Close and the Next Chapter Begins


It’s a big week for the boys. The end of preschool, graduation and kindergarten screening. Wyatt was proclaimed the most improved over the year and it sure has been a big year for him. From the parent-teacher conference in the fall where I fought back tears the entire conversation and the weeks that I got a call . . . → Read More: Preschool Comes to a Close and the Next Chapter Begins

Brothers Stick Together


Ruslan and Wyatt are complete best friends. Given a choice they will spend every waking moment together – playing nicely, chasing each other, fighting over toys, snuggling to watch a movie together. We attended a Build-A-Bear workshop birthday party last week and all of the children were sitting in a circle together. The party coordinator . . . → Read More: Brothers Stick Together

April Celebrations


During the awful, never-ending winter, I keep my eyes on the first week of April and our planned vacation. We were promised warmth and a much needed break. But as excited as I was, I was also dreading the craziness that April would bring.

My philosophy on birthday parties for the kids is simple – . . . → Read More: April Celebrations

The Reading Queen


Juliana’s school uses a reading system based on 15-minute reading steps and each student is required to complete 15 steps each week. Every 25 hours of reading = 100 steps and they receive a new folder for their reading logs every 100 steps.

In first grade Juliana was the top reader in her class. . . . → Read More: The Reading Queen