I have been working hard to get myself out there. And by out there I mean submitting myself, my work, tips, articles and photos to online sites, magazines, TV shows, etc. It feels like things are beginning to pay off. About.com put me in as their lead designer in an article about small bathroom renovations. And there are a couple more things in the works with other outlets (fingers crossed). Check out my write up when you get a chance.
Ahh the joys of potty training. Or lack of. We bought a potty many months ago but I decided not to push it much. Leo is 2 months shy of 2 years old & changing poopy diapers is not my favorite thing. I have no idea why people complain about newborn diapers. That was nothing. Yes it came in a variety of strange colors but it actually did not smell all that bad. Fast forward to now when Leo is eating solid food...WHEW!
So, Leo will sit on his potty (with his diaper on) from time to time & pretend to push one out, but that's about it. Until a few nights ago when Tom & I were getting him ready for bath & bedtime. We took his diaper off & he ran around the apartment just like he does every night squealing with glee. I noticed that he stopped and kind of held his knees together so I asked him if he'd like to pee on the potty. His response, "OK". We had a very minor victory. 3 droplets trickled out into his potty. Of course Tom & I clapped & cheered & showed him his fine work. He actually did not seem all that impressed. And since then there has not been any progress. No repeat performance. Like my mom always says, "He's not going to have a plug, blankie or diapers in college so do not worry too much about those things."
I hope you are all having a great holiday weekend. Mine has been quite full so far. Saturday we took Leo to our new favorite spot Gantry Park in LIC. This is how all of NYC's waterfront should look. Every inch was well thought out & utilized. Trees, flowers, docks, hammocks, benches, all blend well with historic pieces. It's relaxing to walk along the boardwalk looking out at the Manhattan skyline. There's nice grassy areas to run or picnic & 2 playground for the kiddies.
We stopped at the Water Taxi Beach to let Leo play in the sand. We learned from our Vieques trip that he did not like the feel of it at all. So we got him a pail & shovel & set him down in it this weekend. Victory!! He eventually took his shoes off & was running & jumping in the sand.
I headed to Yankee Stadium yesterday without my boys to meet up with some former high school pals. A busload of RI Yankee fans descended upon the Bronx. It was fun to catch up & reminisce and it ended up being a fabulous game to boot. Sunday's events would not have been possible without Facebook. I know it can be a major time suck, but some good things can come from it too. I have been reunited with some long lost friends. Today we are venturing out to Coney Island for more fun in the sun.
Let us not forget the true meaning of Memorial Day which is to honor all of those brave people who have fought valiantly for our freedoms. If anyone needs to be reminded of just how much has been sacrificed for us check out HBO's miniseries The Pacific or the Academy Award winner The Hurt Locker.
Just wanted to let everyone know that we did go out & celebrate Poppa's BDay in style. A hot fudge sundae with all the trimming served in a silver dish. It was delicious! I was able to get a couple of spoonfuls while Leo gobbled away.
I heart HGTV. I can watch it for hours. I never tire of seeing the "reveal". I recently submitted something & was featured on their website. It's not my own show, but hey, it's a step in the right direction. Check out my work here.
All-Star Storage: Sportacular Closet Organization New York apartments aren't exactly known for their ample storage space, but interior decorator and professional organizer Dawn Falcone hit a homerun for this active family who needed a place to store their three active kids' sports equipment. Determined to use every inch of space, Falcone chose adjustable shelving and added a drawer unit on rollers for smaller items like gloves, wrist bands and protective padding. She finished the space with hooks for sweatshirts, tennis rackets and caps.
It's almost 6am and I've been up for hours. I was stirred awake from my lovely slumber by a not so lovely coughing, wheezy fit. Not sure what set it off. It's been weeks since I took Leo on a playdate to the home of a friend that had a cat. Thought I'd be OK but ended up sick for a week after that. Can cat still be in my system 2 week later? Dreaded CATS!!!
Since I'm up I'll tell some of my latest projects. I took a color certification class for interior designers. I still have to submit a final project before I actually become certified. I will be honest & say this class is whipping my butt! I thought it would be easy since I think I have a good eye for color & love to work with it & help clients bring it into their home. There's a whole science to color that I completely forgot about. And so many thing to remember like definitions that are always used incorrectly on all those HGTV shows. Oh and then there are the harmonies & the properties of each. I have not even begun my final project because I want to get them down pat. It's a struggle. I swear my brain is not what it used to be since having a child.
The second big thing going on is redecorating my apartment. Poor Tom is already over this. We've been here for nine years and suddenly I feel a deep rooted urge to paint walls and change things around. It's more than just an urge since it eats away at me & keeps me up at night. So we'll be working on our new kitchen floors this week. I have a feeling that painting the cabinets will soon follow. Have avoided it for years since they are not real wood & I'm a bit scared to tackle that 80's laminate.
Our fauxfinished hallway that serves as my office will get the biggest overhaul. Walls will be primed and painted. The walnut (yuck!) office armoire will go bye-bye and Tom & I are designing new custom pieces. I have actually been dreaming about the finished product and getting excited about putting everything in it's new home.
Then there's the living room. This one is not too drastic. A slipcover for the red velvet chair & some new pillows, accessories and artwork. I need a change. Tom thinks that doing all this work will distract me from some other "big projects" that I need to focus on for my biz. Maybe he's right to some degree but I'm feeling so confined and uninspired especially in my work space right now. I truly believe that changing even little things like the color of a room can spark so many things. So my home decorating plate is a bit full for the Spring/Summer. That's OK because the results will produce an amazing Fall/Winter.
I was inspired by some other blogging friends who wrote beautiful letters to loved ones that they lost. It's been over three years since Poppa died & I miss him so much.
There is so much that I want to say to you, but first I have to tell you that I'm so sorry. I've been reliving the last day I spent with you over & over in mind. I'm filled with such regret about it that sometimes it's overwhelming. We were alone in the living room & you looked up at me and told me you were tired. At first I did not understand what you were trying to say. I asked if you wanted to you lie down. Then you put your hand on mine & said, "Dawn, Poppa is tired." I cannot even remember what my exact response was but I know I told you to hang on.
I wish I would have said; "Poppa, I understand. You can let go. You have been fighting this disease so valiantly & you are hanging on for us but you no longer have to. We love you so much and we will all be fine. You're the strongest & greatest man I know. It's OK to go."
I also wish that I held you just a bit longer when I said goodbye. I was in denial & thought I would see you again. I was coming back the very next weekend. Tom knew that it was going to be your last time together. He later told me that you both looked at each other with that knowledge & shared a beautiful moment when you kissed goodbye. I just was not ready Poppa to lose you. Or face the inevitable & for that I apologize.
I think about you up in heaven sitting around a big table playing cards (screw your neighbor, of course) with your mom & dad, Uncle Eddie & Ralph, Auntie Camella & Uncle Frank, Lena, even cousin Al. I know you're all drinking coffee or great grandpas homemade wine, cursing like sailors & smoking cigarettes. I'm pretty sure in heaven you can have them except they do not leave your clothes or breath smelling foul or make you sick.
You are never far from our thoughts. Words cannot express how much we miss you & your wisdom. I swear that I feel your presence from time to time shining through our little Leonardo Felix. He's a wonderful boy & you would have adored him. He definitely has some of your traits. He loves life to the fullest, is a fan of traveling and going on new adventures. And he a huge foodie. All foods not just sweets. He oohs & aahs at the sight of it & has a great passion for it just like you. And he even likes some of your music. Not the slow Lawerence Welk stuff, but big band/swing.
Tom put together a video of us cooking your famous Easter frittata from years ago & we watched it on Christmas. It was so nice to see you joking, laughing & uttering your favorite phrase, "Someina bitch!." Leo is the ultimate mimic & I'm sure if you two boys hung around he'd be saying it all over NY. Watching you so full of life made me feel such gratitude. I was truly blessed to have you as my grandfather.
Thank you Poppa for being there for me now matter what & loving me unconditionally. Fathers came and went but you were a constant in my life.
Thank you for making me feel special. That was one of your true gifts. You made everyone feel that way. I'm sure if you asked all of your grandkids who was your favorite we would all respond "me".
Thank you for teaching me the value of hard work. You worked your entire life even after you retired. It kept you active and young at heart. And it taught me that things are not just going to be handed to me. If I want something I have to go out there & preserve.
Thank you for being a feminist. You probably did not think of yourself as one but you were. You always told me that women we superior creatures. You thought we were stronger & smarter & we needed to be treated as such. You told me that I could do anything a man could do including changing a tire and you went on to show me. You made me feel like I could do anything or be anything. And that if a man did not treat me well he was not worth the time of day. That saved me from lots of heartache.
Thank you for showing me that life is about exploring. You were happiest when you were traveling. And spoke fondly about trips to Italy and Hawaii. You liked meeting new people and hearing their story. You were always open to new things especially if there was a buffet involved!
Thank you for showing me the definition of real man. You worked to support your family and never complained. You could fix anything from cars to bikes to toasters. You were built like an ox but you were also man enough to cry & show affection. You kissed and hugged us even as adults. No hand shakes for the boys either. Big bear hugs & smooches. Real men show emotion. You cried when someone you loved was hurting or when you told me the story about losing your mom when you were 12yrs old. You cried when you were proud of us or when your beloved Yankees won the big game. Showing vulnerability was not a sign of weakness in your book.
The first year you passed the family celebrated your life in church with a special mass. It was fine but just did not feel right. It seemed far too serious a way to celebrate the life of a man that really liked to go out & have fun. And while you believed in God, I do not remember you being a huge church goer. So my family and I began a new tradition in honor of your birthday. It involves one of your favorite treats....ice cream.
Last year Leo was not yet one so we opted for frozen yogurt instead. This year we are going to celebrate true Poppa style with the real thing. Vanilla ice cream with chocolate fudge swirl in a waffle cone with jimmies on top. We'll tell Leo stories about his big Poppa and show him pictures. We will do this every year on April 27th, no matter where we are to celebrate you; a gentle giant with a big heart, who's spirit still lives with us today. Happy Birthday Poppa. You were & are so very loved. I hope you are up there eating a huge cannoli & washing it down with some coffee milk.