Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tis the season to help the children =TEAM TAJI



SO I FOUND THE COOLEST SERVICE PROJECT!!! My brother Jeff lives at Camp Taji in Iraq, he is an attorney for the Army. He was deployed last summer from Ft. Hood, yes this is the same base where the shootings took place. As you know Iraq is a war torn country, the soldiers saw that the Iraqi children didn't have much, especially in the way of school supplies. So, some of the soldiers on the base in their spare time started a service project to help impoverished Iraqi children get school supplies, it is called Team Taji: OPERATION BACK TO SCHOOL.

My brother Jeff, emailed his friends and family to see if we could help collect any school supplies. I immediately wanted to help. Having been to third world countries, I have seen first hand how little children have, yet they always seem to be smiling some how. It is amazing how MUCH we have here in America, and where much is given much is expected. Plus having my own little child, it has made me so much more compassionate for the little ones where ever they are. But even more than that aspect, I really wanted to support my brother and the troops. This was such a neat thing they were doing and I wanted to help them to do it.

** Side note**

These soldiers sacrifice SO SO MUCH to serve our country. I never really realized it until I saw it first hand with my brother. He left a wife and 6 little kids at home to serve to keep us safe. All soldiers put their OWN lives at stake to protect us, EVERY DAY. Such a selfless act, and they are very proud to do it.


So about a month ago I took on the project. I knew it would take a great deal of time and effort, but I was willing to give it a go. I started to walk around to the businesses around my apartment to see if I could get any of them to donate. I wanted to get as many school supplies as possible, and I was all fired up after hearing about how cool the project was. The soldiers outlined what school supplies each child needed and called it a school kit. My initial efforts with the businesses were a little demotivating. All of them said no, except two, who gave me random pencil boxes and folders, which I was grateful. I decided I needed to recruite some help. I told the idea to my Relieve Society presidency and they loved it, so we decided to make it an enrichment program. One sister, Connie was super passionate about the project because her father had served in the first Iraqi war and she had lived on Ft. Hood! She jumped on board and we became partners and started our own Team Taji NY.


I realized some thing about this project as I was preparing to present it to my relief society. I learned that this simple service project is SO much more than giving kids school supplies, it is an opportunity to support our American troops, as well as help the Iraqi soldiers serve thier country as well. Jeff said that the US and Iraqi armies were giving out the school kits together, this was SO important for the Iraqi army to do because for SO long they have oppressed thier people instead of serving them. This project helps the Iraqi civilians to TRUST thier army rather than fear them, and intern as they trust thier army, it makes for a more stable Iraq. An Iraq where other countries do not need to be there helping out, including our precious soldiers. SO, as you can see, this service project is SO AWESOME on so many levels.


Anyway, after many late nights of putting together my presentation with pictures and all (thanks Jeff), it was ready. I gave the presentation to the sisters and it went really well, my brother Jeff even Skyed in to tell the ladies more about the project and give them his first hand expereince! That was the BEST part! After he spoke to us, we sang him a Christmas song and we were all moved by tears.


The next day Dec. 9th, Connie and got to work,

  • we started a non-profit organization so that people who donate could get a tax write off,
  • we started a website www.teamtaji.org
  • email address teamtajiny@gmail.com
  • Facebook- "Operation Back to School-team Taji"

We wanted to give people more information about the project and try to get as many school kits as possible. If you are reading this and want more info, click on the link above to see a video of the project. Jeff was able to deliver some kits already! Also email us at teamtaji@gmail.com or go to our website. You can see more pictures on Facebook too.

I know most of the people that read my blog are my friends and family, if you want to help, I would LOVE your support, here is how you can help:

  • Donate a school kit, Kits are $10- make your check out to "Team Taji" send it to:
    • Team Taji
    • 211 West 56th st. #27H
    • NY, NY 10019
  • Send ideas on how to get more kits to: teamtajiny@gmail.com


More info:

Watch video

http://www.96thsbde.com/

Go to: Galleries> Video> Deadeye min 7

Merry Christmas!!

Zoe is wearing her Christmas dress next to the beautiful bouquet Scott gave me for my birthday

Happy Thanksgiving from St. Martin!!


We went to St. Martin for Thanksgiving, just the three of us! It was so fun! We got up super early with Zoe every morning and hit the beach. Since we had been there last year, we knew the best beaches and we were glad we did because it cut out the exploration time.
Zoe was such a little angel! On the way there the people in front of us didn't even know we had a baby. She just slept the whole time. It was really hot and humid in St. Martin but we were prepared. We went crazy buying sunblock, baby beach tent, tube sun shade, baby swim shirts fully sunblocked, baby sun glasses, sun hats, beach toys and of course plenty of sunblock. We did go a little over board but we were glad we did because we used almost all of the things we bought. Every morning we would hit the beach around 8am and Scott would set up the tent next to our sun chairs and umbrella while I waited in the air conditioned car with Zoe. Once he had everything all set up, Zoe and I would join Scott on the beautiful beach.
Zoe would play in her little tent with her toys, we would pour ocean water on her to keep her cool. At first she didn't like going into the water but once she saw Scott and I going in and out after a few days she warmed up to it and absolutely loved it! She loved to be in her tube and just float around. The water was clear Caribbean blue, SO PRETTY! We had so much fun with her in the water. I do have to say though, this vacation was not as relaxing as our last, but super fun.
We discovered some things about Zoe on this trip. The first was that she is very social. If there is anything else going on around her she just has the hardest time taking her naps. She has to be in all the action. She would finally fall asleep in her little tent for about 45 minutes and that was it for a naps. The second thing we learned about Zoe was that when she gets tired she gets super giggly, almost like she is drunk! It is hilarious. So of course she got pretty tired after very short naps, so she was pretty giggly! One day we decided to go home early to let her take a good nap and she slept from 2pm to 6am!!! Yeah, we definitely wore her out!!! We put her to bed really early hoping to make up for her lack of good naps.
We just had a ball with Zoe she was super pleasant, at one point Scott and I looked at each other and said, where did we get this little girl, she is just a little angel. I am pretty sure I was not good when I was a baby and neither was Scott, but we are convinced we have it coming for us with the next kid, that is for SURE.
On the way home we got lucky and got an extra seat so Zoe sat on her own seat and played and then fell asleep so we got to watch a movie! All in all we had a great time and would definitely go again.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bath Time


Zoe hair has started to come in a ton lately and it seems to have grown mostly on one side! We had to stick it out in this picture to show how much hair she has gotten. The new things that Zoe is doing, eating all three meals in solids: breakfast lunch and dinner! She loves to sit up and play with her stackable cups. We found out that her favorite color is green because she always goes for the green cup, even if we hide it! She loves it when I sing Christmas songs to her, she gets SO excited and waves her arms. She also loves her new Sophie the Giraffe chew toy, she chews and chews and chews on it! It sqeaks so I always know when she is chewing on it. She loves shopping and running erins with me. When we are in the stores she just hangs out and looks around at all the new things to see. She LOVES talking and smiling at people in the elevator! If someone will say hi to her, she will smile at them. She likes people that have funny accents. The other day I was in the elevator with a Jewish woman who had a very thick New Jersey accent and Zoe just started laughing out loud, it was hilarious. Then the other day she did it again with another lady who was talking to me who had an accent too. She cracks me up.

She has started to laugh really hard. I take her to swing on the swings in the park and she just laughs. I sing to her and she just laughs too. I think she knows what a fool I am making of my self!We have found that when she gets super sleepy, she just giggles and giggles almost like she had a little too much of the bubbly! She loves any thing that is in reachable distance to her. She is constantly reaching for something. She is like Scott in that way, she always needs to be discovering something new. She has started to shake her head back and forth like she is saying no. But it is not no to her, we think it is a sign for Scott because he has been practicing it with her and when he is gone she will look around and do the head shake like "where is daddy?"

She has been a really good eater and sleeper, she will eat pretty much what ever I make for her. She sleeps well, she still wakes up once a night to feed but I don't mind it she goes right back to sleep. I could probably get her to sleep through the night if she had her own room. But for now I don't mind. We usually put her to bed at 6pm and she is up by 6:30 or 7am everyday. She is really happy in the morning, this is the only time Scott gets to see her. He gets up early so he can play with her before work.
Everyday I feel SO blessed to be Zoe's mom. She is truly an angel sent from God to us. Her sweet personality just lights up my days. I am so grateful that I can be home with her and see her grow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

SIDE WAY SWINGS!

video
So after I recorded this video I realized that my camera only takes video horizontally so whoops! O WELL, it was a cute video. Zoe loves the Swings in Central Park! She just laughs when she gets in them. We try to go to the swings as much as possible before the weather gets too cold. We have been enjoying the beautiful colors of Fall in Central Park.

So this week I taught Zoe how to say MA MA. I would just say MA MA to her right up by her face and she would study my mouth and look at me and put her lips together and the other day she just started saying it! It was so cute! I also got her to laugh historically today. And of course the only way she does it is when I make a complete fool out of my self. I got on all fours and pretended to be a barking and howling dog. She thought it was SO funny. Then I made my voice sound like cookie monster and she laughed and laughed again. I guess something about her mommy (who usually has a very high pitched voice) all of the sudden having this deep raspy voice is just hilarious to her. Sometimes I wonder if she understands more than I know because she laughs at me when I am clearly making a fool out of my self!
Another thing that happened today was when I was changing her diaper, I was holding her leg and all of the sudden she just starting giggling. I looked at her and was like "what" and I realized I was holding her thigh right above the knee where it tickles on most people. So I continued to tickle her and she just laughed and laughed! It was so cute.

Zoe is sitting up all by her self now. She is pretty good at it. She started doing it a couple of weeks ago but has progressively gotten better. Occasionally now she will fall forward on to her tummy or back but not too often anymore.
She is growing up SO FAST. I wish I could show her to my family more often who all live SO far away. I know they would just love her as I do. She is at a really fun age. We have SO much fun together. Scott wishes he could see her more, I feel sad he is unable to see her as much as he would like to. I am lucky though to be home with her and have a husband that supports us. I have come to the conclusion that being a mom is the coolest job! It definitely is work AT ALL HOURS DAY OR NIGHT, but it is so fun.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Just the Girls

I love this picture. It was taken a while a go but I forgot to post it. Zoe and I have created a really cute bond. It is amazing to think that she knows me and finds comfort in me. At night when I put her down to bed in her crib, she grabs for my hands and holds on really tight she doesn't want to let go. She gets sad when I leave the room and sometimes I just have to stand there to let her know I am there and then she will fall asleep. When I pick her up she holds my neck and face and gives me kisses (I think she just wants to suck on my face! Everything goes in her mouth now). Any way I would like to think she is giving me kisses. She is SO super sweet. I just adore her. Being a mom is a lot of work, and there really isn't much down time but those smiles and little moments like these make it all worth it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade outside my DOOR!


These are views right out of my apartment building of the parade.

LAST YEAR's Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade From our FRONT ROOM WINDOWS!!


These pictures were taken from my apartment windows that face Broadway during the Macey's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Pretty AMAZING RIGHT!!! The parade is in only a couple of weeks!

Halloween Slide Show!!

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat!

We were a family of Pirates for Halloween! Scott was a good sport, the costume ideas were mine, and I basically made him dress up. He was quite the celebrity on the street though, everyone was just staring at him, one guy even asked to get his picture with him! We had a fun low key Halloween. We hit our church Halloween party first which was a quick stop, after realizing that we were basically the only ones dressed up, then we rocked 69th street where we saw Luke Skywalker and Darth Vator duke it out with their light savors while repelling off the side of a large town home! Yeah, pretty amazing! For all of those who didn't know, 69th street is completely blocked off and all the town homes are decorated with AMAZING decorations. The street is filled with tons of Halloween trick-or-treators! So very crowded, but super fun and festive.

Roof Deck photo op!


Central Park!


Yo Ho Yo Ho A PIRATE'S LIFE FOR ME!



HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

EXTRA EXTRA, GET YOUR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS!!


Zoe and I had our one day of NEW YORK FAME with our picture taken and printed in the Daily News on Sunday Oct. 24th! We were out in Central Park at the pumpkin festival and the photographer came up to me and my pretty little pirate and started shooting. The title of the picture was " Walk the Park, not the PLANK" The bottom of the picture says, " MaryLynn Thomas holds 6 month Zoe, who donned a pirate outfit for yesterday's annual pumpkin festival in Central Park." The picture if you can tell, is actually an entire half a page!

I actually forgot all about the photographer until my door man told me that following Monday that he saw Zoe and I in the paper! So of course I ran to every news stand I could find to try to get a copy. I found myself on a wild goose chase to find yesterday's Daily News, which is apparently really hard in a city that lives a mile a minute! Needless to say I found a copy and bought it after begging the store owner to sell his only Sunday paper to me and not the guy who had just called on the phone asking him to hold it for him. ( He actually called the guy and told him the story and the guy who wanted the paper conceded).

I guess whether we like it or not, we are officially real New Yorkers! Not only are we stopped by tourists on the street and asked directions in a city that can be an absolute maze for new comers, but we are photographed and printed in New York's Daily News!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Pajamas!!

So we got Zoe some Halloween pajamas, she has been wearing them all October. Scott originally thought she should be a skeleton for Halloween, but I insisted that she be something more feminine so she was a pirate! Ya, so much for feminine! Anyway her bedroom attire has been very festive to say the least! Oh and, I added the bow to make her a pretty little skeleton!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Silly Goose!

So Zoe is hilarious now! She is all about her new found voice, lots of ah ah ah's and ewwww's and hooo's! She is SO much fun! She giggles when I tickle her tummy and toes. She loves to grab my face and go in for a huge sloppy open mouth kiss! She really just likes to suck on everything! We love having her around, I have to say she is pretty pleasant.

So I have to come up with a costume for Zoe, Scott and I. I have some ideas but would love some more. If anyone has some good ones, let me know! I only have a week AHHH!

WHOO! LEAVES!


Some more pictures I took of Zoe in Central Park!

Pretty Little Angel

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just us!

So I was taking pictures of Zoe in Central Park and I guess I looked like I did not know what I was doing because two different people came and asked me if I wanted them to take our picture! One of the people ended up being a photographer!! Yeah I know, he probably felt bad for me, down in the dirt and all trying to get a good shot! Anyway, so he took our picture, I wish I had on a better outfit! He actually took some really good ones of Zoe, which I will post later.

Zoe is almost 6 months! We had a fun outing today, we rode the subway down to the lower East side with some friends and went to a Doughnut Plant. It makes really really good doughnuts! They are definitely not in my diet, or not supposed to be, but I thought gosh with all the effort (packing my back pack diaper bag, getting the baby bjorn situated, getting my self and Zoe ready) I put in to getting down there I gotta have at least one. So anyway we had a lot of fun and a lot of sugar, hey when in Rome right!

Central Park!

Fun in Central Park



Fall time!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sleep at last.. MAYBE!!!

So Last night was a momentous night for me... Zoe slept from 7pm-4:30am!!! Yeah it was awesome, but of course I went to bed late and didn't sleep cause I was wondering if she was ok! Tonight, though I will sleep!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mommy life in the City

So Zoe turned 5 months yesterday and I just wanted to blog about what my life is like now that I am a mom. So here it goes... My day starts early, sometimes REALLY early but I am always greeted with a huge smile! When Zoe wakes up she just plays in her crib until one of us gets her out. She is such a sweet heart. We have started solids, it is hilarious to watch her try the new foods. I have to remember that EVERYTHING is new to her and takes some getting used to. She makes funny faces when she tries new foods and textures, it is a crack up. SO far we have tried rice cereal, avocados, butternut squash, bananas, and beans. She LOVES bananas, she gobbles them right up. I recently read an article written by a pediatrician who said to introduce your baby to as many fruits and veggies as possible with in the "window" of opportunity meaning 4-6 months. That way babies will be more likely to eat their vegetables and fruits because they have been exposed to them at an early age.
Anyway, Zoe loves her new play yard, she does her baby calls which is high pitched screeches (cute of course), in it as she shakes the rattles and animals that hang above her. She also LOVES the Johnny Jumper, (thanks Kristina) she bounces in it really well. She is almost sitting up all by herself now with an occasional tip to the left or right. She also loves my jewelry, woman after my own heart! She is a true girl. She loves my silver watch and she has recently discovered my earrings. She will watch them as I change her diaper and then grab at them when I hold her.
I have had fun going to my playgroups with my friends in my ward. They are so fun, we meet weekly at different places in the city and just hang out. It is nice to chat with other moms. I have discovered that being a mom is a hard job, by the end of the day I am super tired but, I love it and look forward to it everyday.
Just to give you all a snap shot of my day cause I always wondered what moms do during the day with ALL THAT TIME!!! HA HA HA Now I am saying where did my day go? I don't even have a second to sit down.
Wake up around 7am by noises from the other side of my room, Zoe is so chatty in the morning!
Change, dress and feed Zoe solids and then play.
Nap time for Zoe- This is my time to work out- when it is warm out I will take her for a run in the park but lately I have been doing my work out videos with my new weight set!
Wake up and go for a run if I didn't already or go to playgroup or run errands.
NAP time again- take care of things and CLEAN- wow I swear things are never stay clean!
Wake up- GO OUT, run my long errands- grocery, shopping etc. (mind you, I walk everywhere with my big stroller, but I love it and thankfully Zoe doesn't mind it either).
Come home feed Zoe solids, bath, feed and sleep meanwhile cook dinner!
WOW, sounds exciting huh. Well it actually keeps me super busy and I love it. Some days I get discouraged cause I don't get everything done or I am exhausted from getting up at night with Zoe but most days I am loving it. So there you have it a day in my life.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

4 months!

Zoe is 4 months!!! She is noticing everything. She loves making noises with her mouth and she is all smiles. Here are some things new this month that she is doing:
  • Sucks on her hands all the time
  • Makes noises, talks her own language
  • Jumps on the Johnny Jumper
  • Fights sleep- to our dismay!

Trying some solids...

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Bath time

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Jonny jumper swing...Zoe loves it!!

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