Wednesday, February 1, 2012

the three ninjas

The three biggest boys spent the evening running around the house.... while listening to Mortal Kombat music.

Throwing homemade shirkens (cardboard throwing stars).

Practicing their ninja moves.

While the littlest Zeli laughed and screamed.  Running along behind them.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

our Little Penguin

We signed Luke up for the Little Penguins.  A learn to play hockey program started by Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.  We thought it would be fun for him to learn to skate... and give him some good exercise this winter.

Today he went out on the ice for the first time.

And it brought back so many memories of Jaxon.

Poor little Jaxon who tried hockey for the first time in second grade.  We sent him out there in sweatpants layered under his jeans (for cushion and warmth).  Some elbow and knee pads, a helmet and stick, all borrowed from Westmoreland Hockey.  Little Jaxon who clung to the wall for most of the practice.  Who we loudly applauded as he skated across the ice slowly as the first practice drew to a close.

So many memories brought back as our little Luke took the ice. Suited up in "real" equipment (including a mouthpiece).

And slipped and fell.

Who was helped up and around on the ice by the coaches....

See his feet?

But he learned how to get back up on his feet.  Although picking up the stick too was a bit difficult.  And he needed help with that. 

But he got back up.  And kept trying.  And we were so very proud.  He is not the boy he was a year ago.  More confident.  And willing to try.

By mid practice he was skating around the circles on the ice.  Skating around other children who had fallen.


Our boy.  Growing up.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


The Tooth Fairy snuck into the house today while the boys were at school.  Jack had finally put out his tooth last night....  and she must have been a little behind schedule....

I didn't see her.

But Ethan did.

I think they must have played together in my bedroom while I jumped in the showe.  In 10 minutes, they had a rave-like party....because when I came out of the shower, he ran out of my bedroom smelling like Jennifer Anniston's perfume and covered in "fairy magic".... leaving a trail behind him from the door to the window...  Where I found a pile....  She must have come in there... maybe he surprised her....  Or she thought he was too cute and had to shower him in lovely sparkles....  Whatever the reason, there was a pile of magic sparkles... a pile that clung to everything....  My clothes... Sam's work clothes.... shoes... sheets.... And let me tell you, the vacuum does not like fairy dust.... at. all.  Even the suction hose refused to pull it from the rug. 

Maybe it's a union thing between Hoover and the Tooth Fairy Association.  T.E.A.

But, she did stop by Jaxon's room.  Leaving him his own trail of magic... and a shiny tower of quarters....

Oh, and a bunch of tooth confetti. 

That Tooth Fairy.  She was in some mood today.

She and I might have to have a talk the next time she comes to visit.

Monday, January 16, 2012

a gold medal

His team worked so hard.  Winning the first two games... and a demoralizing loss (with terrible refereeing) the third game.  The championship game was this morning.... To the team they had the terrible loss to.  And it didn't look good.  They were losing 3 to 1 in the second period.  And they came back to win 6 to 4 in the end.

Very exciting.

And exhausting.

We're glad to be back home... playing and hanging out.

And celebrating with some ice cream.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Dear Tooth Fairy,

We hope you understand.  Jaxon loved this little tooth....  It had a small cavity... but he brushed it very thoroughly (twice a day) and flossed it and bathed it in bubble gummy fluoride rinse each night.  The dentist assured us that was OK, because it was a baby tooth...and it was loose....

But this afternoon....  during a heated hockey match (they were winning!)...   he got a break away and shot at the goal! ....  Well....  That poor little tooth got jammed in his mouthguard (we want to protect all those little teeth)...  And it decided to stay in the mouthguard instead of his mouth.

So, his coach brought it to us from across the ice after the game was over...  a present....

We hope you understand.
the Zelis

more bits....

Ethan grabbed my camera and made his own home movies.... mostly of his train table.

He also fed Max yesterday... made a mess with the dog food.... and cleaned it up with the dustpan and brush.  [all by himself]

Jaxon's hockey team won their first game (ever!) last Sunday.  Today we are off to Harmarville for a tournament.  Tomorrow, we head to the airport for one tournament game...and then jet back to Harmarville for the next....  He's hoping to successfully implement his shake and bake move that he did for the first time in practice this week (scoring a goal).  Very cool.

Luke cuddled up to Max fell asleep next to the fireplace last night.... They're both cold (with the chilly 20 degree temps and couple of inches of snow we got today).

This morning I taught him how to play Monopoly (Junior edition).  So many great memories of playing this with Jaxon.... My sister Erin and I used to play for hours when we were little. [I think we loved the play money the most....]

Friday, January 13, 2012


Lots of questions...  the hard ones....

About God and Heaven [we read Dog Heaven....a book he brought home from the school library last week...and both cried thinking about our Dude].

Who is God?  Who made God?  What did He make our bones from?

And he ponders these things, quietly.

Yesterday he came up with a few answers on his own.  We didn't know how he made bones.  But skin had to be made from band-aids.  Dried up band-aids.  And God's magic.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Ethan pulled me to the kitchen this morning after his breakfast waffle, for a drink of water.  As I walked over to the sink, movement in the backyard caught my eye.

Someone was eating out of bird feeder.  And it wasn't the birds.

Do you see him?  His little white tail? 

Santa brought Sam a corn feeder for the deer.  Our neighbor used to have one.  But, after she passed away, we missed seeing the deer.  He built it about the week after Christmas... and we waited and waited for them to find it. 

And we discovered the corn feeder isn't the only thing they have discovered.  Apparently, they have a taste for bird seed too.

As Ethan watched him, I ran to get my camera.  But, I was a little too late.

I watched him race into the woods.... 

And then turn back to look at me. 

He and three others.  Taking a leisurely morning stroll. 

Can't wait to see them again.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Impromptu moments in the Zeli house....

courtesy of a flashlight and little boy fingers.....

We shined Luke's little yellow flashlight on the wall (with dying batteries)...and found that we could make all sorts of fun guys.

Luke started with a dog.

And Jaxon joined us.  With a dog.  And a flying bird (similar to something Sense Wu made in the Ninjago movie, he said).  And a penguin (or a duck) with an acutal eye and eyeball.

I added a pac man (that kept chomping after Luke's dog) and a dinosaur of sorts. 

And little Ethan couldn't stop laughing.

Moments forgotten too fast.  Those little everyday fun things.  I want to remember.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


This should be January....

But this was December.

  • Today, Ethan and I ventured out to do the grocery shopping.  I wore short sleeves and a sweater.  And a hat.  That's it.  40 degrees.  And great for shopping and running around with Mr. ToddlePants.

        But not great for my boys dreaming of building snowman.

  • This morning Luke ate 3 waffles and a pancake for breakfast.  Good grief!  He must be getting ready for a growth spurt (Jack had his over Christmas break and he's now up to my nose!....have I told you I can't tell his pants and my pants apart when I take them out of the washer until I check the size....).

  • I miss the Christmas songs on the radio...  Bing was so cheery to listen to on the way to the grocery store....

Monday, January 9, 2012

@ the table

Little Ethaniel keeps me on my toes.  And my knees (cleaning up). And at the edge of the cliff of patience.  He keeps me laughing.  And sighing.  And thankful.

I can clean in short bits.  If I run back and check on him every few minutes while I get half a job done at a time.

This morning I went to get the dirty laundry from Luke's room (I swear I must not have washed any clothes during the month of December....there's a monster in my basement comprised of little boy shirts and jammies.....waiting to swallow me....grinning at me with his white sock teeth....).  I came downstairs, hands full, to find Ethan grinning at me.  A red foil mini Reese cup in his mouth (he must have just popped it in his mouth).  And was quite agitated when I popped it right back out and put it in the middle of the kitchen island where he can't reach it (he's growing and getting in that Coyote Sam let them watch over Christmas break....).  He loves to get into the kitchen island and get his own snacks...mainly the yummy, cavity-inducing ones.

He gave me a "Uhhhwuuu" and threw his hands done.  Skumped again.

I ran down into the basement.  Dumped Luke's clothes on the floor (which the monster immediately swallowed....laughing....).  Threw in a new load.  Ran back up the steps.  Four minutes.  Tops.

To find a little chocolate face boy.  Sitting at the tall bar stool chairs at the island.  Hands folded.


A little red wrapper in a ball in front of him.  Along with the brown paper cup (all spitty.... eeewwww). 

How he climbed up into that chair which is twice as tall as he is, I can only guess (and groan).

Score one for the Coyote.

Monday, January 2, 2012

a new year

We spent the new year at cousin Janine's....celebrating feeling good and time with family. 

We came home somewhere around the 11 o'clock hour.... must have been closer to 11:30, because I quickly found Dick Clark on the tv.  Sam took little Ethaniel to bed.  Little Luke lay on the little couch...and he was out.  The rest of us sat on the couch watching the big crowd in Time's Square...  As the ball dropped downwards, we tried to wake Luke (open-mouthed and drooling a smidge).  He opened his eyes...and closed the again.

But we watched the ball drop together.  As a family.  For the first time.  I loved it.  Bringing back memories of watching the ball drop when I was little...wearing hats and clanging bells.  [And somewhere I remember banging on kitchen pots at Gram's house.]  Loving the confetti that rained like snow.  Maybe an idea for next year....

Last year I post-poned the whole "new year's resolutions" thing....  Thinking I would get to it a week or so into the year.  And that never happened.  Somehow I think I can get swallowed up and drowned under long-term big goals.

So, this year, I'm trying something new.  I've read different ideas about "love lists" and "monthly goals" in place of traditional resolutions.  And I sat down (well, I stood up at the kitchen island while the boys had breakfast before school....and carried it around in my pocket as I did laundry and dishes and grocery shopped)... and came up with some things that would make me happy.  Fulfilled.  Some things to do this month.  A bit at a time.

So, here's January's Happy List:
  • sew a summer skirt
  • create a book of memories with Jaxon and Luke
  • get organized (a year long goal): clean the attic a bit
  • bake a sweet treat
  • be more with less: take a trip to goodwill
  • create a gallery wall: print some of my favorite pictures