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


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.