Monday, May 27, 2013

ZEM, 5 years later

5 years ago today, I held my stillborn son in my arms. We never found out why Zach left us, but we loved him then and we love him still. "Happy" birthday, Zachary Evan Malahowski. Sonia, I apologize for the ridiculous number of hugs and kisses you're going to receive today.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

More pictures of the tiny dancer

Like her mommy, Sonia's not too much of a girly-girl.... but we both enjoy wearing fancy dresses every once in a while!  I love looking at these pictures of my little tap-dancing ballerina.

When we walked out of the house to take some pictures and then leave for the recital, Sonia Balogna hopped on her bike before we could stop her.  Luckily, no little girls got any grease from bike chains on any pairs of tights!

My new favorite picture of me and my daughter!

At this point in the posing, our little dancer was getting a bit silly.  At least her grandparents look fabulous!

Silly kid!

Please ignore the fact that Sonia is trying to extract my bra strap.... Ohhhhhhhh, Sonia!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dance machine

Lisle Park District dance recital 2013!  Buckle up-- it was a bumpy ride.  The dress rehearsal went swimmingly for Sonia.....

She even kept dancing after her buddy, Cameron, tripped on his WAY too long pants and spent the rest of the song in the fetal position.

We didn't get any pictures of the ballet routine, but she nailed that one, too (as much as a newly-minted four-year-old can nail a dance routine).  We also have no video because my Flip video camera decided to die right then and there.  ARGH!!!!

Then came the dance recital two days later.  We weren't allowed to take pictures and videos there (in order to sell more DVDs, of course, and supposedly our flashes would distract the dancers).  When Sonia's class came out on stage for their tap routine (to the music "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid), Sonia took one look at the packed audience (after using her hands to make little glasses to look through so she could shade her eyes from the stage lights-- HA!!) and got very still.  She stood stock still as the rest of her class danced their hearts out (even Cameron, who had his pants fixed, luckily). Near the end of the song, she started crying, but she made it through until the curtain closed.  Andrew, my parents, and I were out in the audience partially giggling and partially feeling like our hearts were breaking for our scared little girl.

I felt horrible, but unless a dancer has a tragedy, the parents are not allowed backstage.  We sat through a bunch of other classes' dances (LOVE the adult tap students!!! awesome!!!), wondering how Sonia's ballet routine would go.  When Pre-Ballet 1 & 2 took the stage once again, Sonia repeated her glasses routine, but she was smiling this time.  She did about half of the dance and seemed happy throughout the entire song ("The Work Song" from Cinderella).  Then, when all the dancers took the stage at the end of the show to do a hilarious routine to "I Like to Move It" (or whatever it's called), Sonia managed to tear her attention away from watching the older dancers (she especially liked the purple-outfitted girls, she told me later) to do a few of the moves.

So, all in all, not a disaster (no potty accidents! no screaming tantrum! no injuries!).... But Sonia definitely had a rough introduction to performing.  We'll see if she wants to continue to dance when classes start up again this fall.  I'd love it-- she seems to have a blast during the rehearsals, and she recovered from the shock of seeing so many people staring at her and did great the rest of the recital-- but I will never force her to do some organized activity that she doesn't want to do.

Oh, Sonia.  You are such a cutey.  It makes me smile and giggle to look back at these pictures.  What a cuckoo bird!!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Our Four-Year-Old Goofball

Happy birthday to our Sonia Balogna!! We love you so much!

Monday, May 6, 2013

More May flowers

With the insane amount of April showers we had, Sonia and I are making sure we enjoy every May flower we can find!  We found these gorgeous tulips in the sunken garden at the Phillips Park Zoo.

One of my favorite parts of our visit yesterday was watching the African spurred tortoise working hard in his exercise yard....  He was zooming around, not even stopping to munch any of the dandelions in the grass. Because his chosen path included a sweep of the perimeter we got to see this handsome dude up close and personal.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


This, my friends, is why I love living in Lisle, Illinois, 3 1/2 miles away from our favorite place on earth, the Morton Arboretum.