I'll play

I got tagged by my friend Lisa to share 8 random facts about myself. I've heard of this *game* and wasn't sure it would ever come my way. In fact, I was hoping it wouldn't! I've put considerable thought into this for your reading pleasure. So here goes!

1. I was in the Coast Guard for 5 years. Yes. Me. I went to Boot Camp (which was modeled after the Marines Boot Camp) and graduated in the top of my company. I even got a "Super Boot" ribbon for it. (blush!) Boy was I motivated! I spent my first year in Rockland, Maine learning to be a boat crewman and basic seamanship, then went to Defense Information School in Ft. Meade, MD for training to be a public affairs specialist. Then I was stationed in Boston for the remaining four years. I did lots of stuff! Mostly being a liaison between the media and the Coast Guard for everyday rescues to major plane crashes and oil spills. Remember JFK Jr.'s plane crash? I was there. Egypt Air 990? I was there. 911 Ground Zero. I was there. Literally. in it. smelling the acrid twisted metal of the WTC towers after they fell to the ground. That was an experience that will stay with me forever. Anyway, if you want to see what Google pulled up on me, check this out. It's just some stuff - most newspaper archives must not go back that many years. I was amazed to find anything!

2. My celebrity list: George Clooney, Mark Wahlburg, Sebastion Junger, Wolfgang Peterson, President Clinton, President George H. Bush, President George W. Bush. These are all famous folk I have had the opportunity to meet when I was in the Coast Guard. A slew of them are from The Perfect Storm's press junket that took place in Gloucester, Mass. George Senior and I had the pleasure to shake hands aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Eagle during OpSail Maine. I met President Clinton on Martha's Vineyard when he signed a bill into legislation and it took place at a lighthouse. I met GWB in Maine after 911 when he spoke words of appreciation to the Coast Guard for their work during 911.

3. All the places I have lived:
Willingboro, NJ until I was 10
Medford Lakes, NJ until I was 19
Cape May, NJ Coast Guard Boot Camp
Rockland, Maine
Boston, Mass. Waterfront Base
Allston, Mass. My First Apartment
The North End, Boston
Ft. Meade, Maryland
Revere, Mass.
Everett, Mass.
Medford, Mass.
Perkasie, PA
Schwenksville, PA
Red Hill, PA - still here so far!

4. I took a driving course with the Massachusetts State Police for evasive driving. This is the same course they put the State Troopers through. When I was training in the Coast Guard I had to driving the Admiral around to events and they sent me to this to be able to *cope* with city driving in Boston. It was fun!

5. I hate Lima beans.

6. I haven't been out of the Eastern Time Zone. Well, maybe I was a little bit when I went to Indianapolis for my niece, Madeline's baptism. But we don't know for sure.

7. When I lived in Willingboro, my family's home was burglarized twice.

8. I used to smoke.

OK, the only other people I know who keep blogs who haven't been tagged are Bill - yes you, my brother. And Hayley. So you're it!

Just Jackson

I felt I was shorting Jackson on photos, so here's some.

Liam is 6 months old everybody! Where oh where did 6 months go? He's gone from a wee 8 pound baby to this big guy who has more than doubled his weight and is beginning to army crawl. Oi!! Look out! To celebrate his 6 months of life today, we stayed home because mom is sick. I have a summer cold. Must be that we've been indoors a lot with the air going since it's been nearly 100. Too hot!! So Jackson has been doing lots of art and tinker toying and train playing and movie watching with me on the couch. Tomorrow I may be adventurous and bring the boys to story time at Barnes and Noble. It's been a while since we've gone. Last time I lost Jackson there, as he wandered away to the Starbucks kiosk for a Latte without informing me. Uuugh, the worse 2 minutes of my life! Anyway, I must be brave and conquer my fear! Wish me luck!

Real food?

Liam has taken the big step up to eating *real* food. Well, it looks gross to me and I wouldn't really consider it real, but he's got to start with something. The first couple times I gave him the rice cereal, he gobbled it down. Then he did a 180 and gagged and grimaced when I brought to the spoon to his mouth. After trying some bananas in with the rice cereal he decided he likes it MUCH better. So enjoy some photos of Liam and his milestone.

We've been a busy family running about to various birthday parties and family gatherings. The 4th of July was spent at the Isabell's home. It wasn't a warm enough day for the pool, but that didn't stop us from thoroughly enjoying a relaxing afternoon. Now that we have little ones, we don't get to see fireworks since those happen WAAAAY past bedtime. It would have been traumatizing to Liam, anyway, who gets upset when he hears an applause at church. The only photo I got from the 4th was him sleeping on our friend Christine Friedrich's shoulder. She has a way with my children, putting them into deep states of relaxation whenever she holds them.

On Friday night we went to Olive Garden for Grace's 17th birthday. Happy Birthday Grace, now go get your driver's license so you can drive up here to babysit!

I only got a couple photos while there, and none with the celebrated Grace. Sorry! I'll get them at your party! Well these are the only photos that came out. Uncle Jon with Jackson and me with Liam.

Saturday was a long day for us. After a two-hour, napless drive down to south Jersey, we went to cousin Sarah's baby girl Lila's first birthday party. It was awesome to see the Zarrello side of the family there. Jackson loved playing with his cousin Ava. And AACK, I got not one photo. Bad mommy! Well I had to keep a sharp eye on Liam's great aunts, as one in particular, eh hem, Aunt Betty, wanted badly to give him cake since he was staring at it. Just because he likes to look at food doesn't mean he needs to eat it! He's only 6 months old! :)

Tomorrow will not be a fun day. Liam has his 6 month well check up. Four shots. Ouch.

Today was an adventurous day! We got an early start, went through the Dunkin Donuts drive thru (2 times - duh, forgot to get Jack's sprinkle donut! Can't forget that!) and headed to Kutztown for the Folk Festival. Adventures like these aren't what they used to be a year ago. Now we can't really bribe Jackson into seeing what *we* want to see. It's all about him now apparently! We spent most of the time playing the guitar and various bongos around the fair grounds. A nice Amish man repairs discarded guitars and lets kids just go to town on them. After quite some time playing, he asked for Jackson's autograph, just in case he got famous some day! We saw loads of old tractors, crafts and handiworks of the Amish, some farm animals and enjoyed Sassparilla and Birch Beer. A grand time was had by all!

Oh, and just to add, if you noticed Jackson's blue and orange - err, leggings - they're his latest must have accessory. I got them for Liam since they look cute with his cloth diapers and function as pants pretty much, but Jackson has taken a liking to them. He'll probably be mad at us when he's older... But in actuality, if you attempt to take them off him, he gets quite upset. So leg warmers it is!