Wednesday, January 27, 2010

IPhone pictures

I'm sure all of you do it, take a million pictures on your cell phone and then never really do anything with them. I'm guilty of that as well so I decided to change that. I'm turning this post into a gallery of my IPhone picture album. Enjoy!

The very first picture I took on my phone. Dominic at Target

Picking Pumpkins!

Those baby blues!

I found my very first cache while geocaching this fall!

TJ & Sadie, cuddling
Kisses for Mommy!

One of our many bike rides down the pier

Playing in the diaper caddy!

MORE kisses for Mommy!

1st Birthday cupcake

Ravioli dinner=messy

What I do with Dominic's toys after he goes to bed-cool huh?!

Going TP'ing

Dominic and his lovely manners.

Tickled because he put a cup in a cup!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mommy "Me" Time

As you may or may not know, I stay at home with Dominic. I love love love being able to stay at home and spend time with him as he's growing up so quickly. When Dominic was an infant, he took naps which allowed me for a little time to get things done around the house, work out, or catch a few zzz's as well. Around the time Dominic turned 4 months old-he dropped napping like a bad habit! He'll fall asleep in the car but it's rare if I can transfer him from the car into the house without waking him up. Which means I get NO, zero, zilch time to myself during the day. I am very lucky to have such an amazing husband who takes Dominic after work each day and allows me to have some time alone. I take around five nights a week to head down to the gym in our development. Here I chat it up with neighbors, watch tv, read magazines and get a good work out in! :)

Here is a picture (taken from my Iphone-nice pic huh!?) of our gym. I love it! It has everything you could want/need!

Here is where you can usually find me indulging myself in magazines and catching up on old episodes of "Friends".

Thanks for taking a peep into my "Me" time! :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

MS Walk Monday

First of all I want to post a correction. Last year our team raised $1,145! As of today we have raised $125! Thank you so much to Nicole and Shannon for your generous donation. We still have to April 10, 2010 to meet our team goal of $1000 and I think we can definitely achieve it! (I'd love to SUPER surpass this!) We also gained a new team member, Morgan, who has a cousin who was recently diagnosed with MS. I truly invite ANYONE who knows someone, is living with or just wants to support the cause to join our team! The more, the merrier! :)
There are over 400,000 people currently in the US living with Multiple Sclerosis. I know with the current conditions in Haiti-it's hard to give towards any cause other than helping those fighting for their lives. Your support for our team means the world to us, and it doesn't have to come in a monetary fashion. We'd love more walkers or help spreading the word about our team!

Here is our team website where you can donate or join our team!

In MS news regarding me, not much to report. I still have blurry & spotty vision that is super sensitive to light but it's manageable. I also had a joint flare up in my elbow last week but I'm used to those pains and dealt with it. I have another appointment at the Mellen Center at the Cleveland Clinic next Tuesday. I'll find out the results of the visual evoked potential test and discuss my treatment options with my neurologist at that time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fun Family Trip

This past Saturday we decided to take a trip to the Cleveland Children's Museum. I've held off for a while because I wasn't sure if Dominic was old enough to enjoy all that the museum had to offer and at $7 a pop I didn't want to waste $21!! If you live in Northeast Ohio and have children I HIGHLY recommend taking a visit to this awesome museum! There is SO much fun stuff there. They have a giant sand room where kids can take off their shoes & socks and play in the indoor beach (we opted out of this one because it was REALLY crowded), a pretend grocery store, RTA bus, houses, a great and BIG water play area, and an infant/toddler room. Dominic of course wasted no time finding and playing with he could get his tiny hands on!

They had been building a second location about 1o minutes from our house but last weekend the building that was close to being finished...burned to the ground. :( I'm hoping that the owner plans to rebuild. Either way we are looking into getting a museum pass this year to enjoy all the other Cleveland Museums as well! :) Here is the website if you want to check it out!

Dominic playing with the cars. I actually just bought this table at Target 75% off for $24 last week!! Dominic will get it for Christmas 2010. Gotta love sales!

How cute is this little raincoat?! Lou & Dominic playing at the water table

He really enjoyed splashing around in there. It was neat to watch him figure things out! He's so smart!

Playing in the pretend house, he of course found the few trucks that were in this room!

We were about to leave when we found the toddler playroom. Dominic climbed into this wagon and started scooting. Considering that he makes me drag him around the living for 45 minutes daily on his riding truck, I knew just what to do. He just kicked back and enjoyed the ride! This room was great-everything was soft and age appropriate!

As you can see, it was a fun filled day! Dominic didn't want to leave, and had a minor fit when we tried to get his coat on. We promised him that we'd come back soon!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Just popping in!

So I just looked and I.cannot allow myself to not post for a full week! Honestly, I feel awful. Especially knowing that this is the outlet that most of my family looks to for updates. I just have had the hardest time being motivated to sit and post. Dominic keeps me super busy during the day and after we put him to bed I am just SPENT! I am setting a goal to post every day this week. We went to the Cleveland Children's Museum today and had a blast! I'll post about that but until's a sneak peek!

Tax season is upon us so I'll have lots of time to blog while Lou does taxes! :) Hope you all had a great weekend!

Monday, January 18, 2010

MS Walk Monday

I am going to keep this post short and simple-mostly (and ironically) due to the fact that my eyes are messing up again-remaining dilated and not constricting even in bright light so the light from my laptop is really bothering me. I do, however, want to post our team's page website where you can help donate to our MS Walk team, "Daly Miracles" and/or JOIN our team and walk with us in April! :) Every little bit helps!! Thank you to our awesome team members who joined in the last couple weeks-Steve, Becky, Maggie and Nick (who are expecting their first baby GIRL in June) and we'd love to add more to our team! :)

Thanks! Here is the link-just copy & paste into your browser!!

Could you say no to this cute little guy! We turned around one night and this is what we saw! He grabbed my scarf, put it on and then added his signature 3-6 month size cowboy hat! Too cute!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Littlest American Idol!

I was hoping to capture Dominic on video today dancing to Dora, but never did I expect that along with the dancing, he'd start to SING the "Backpack" song from Dora the Explorer! He surprises me everyday, picking up new things and this video has made me smile all day! I'm pretty sure he'd move on to Hollywood with this rendition! How could Simon resist the cuteness that is Dominic!??

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wednesdays with Lou

Safety at last

Even though Dominic has been mobile for awhile the baby proofing on our main level is finally now complete. We have been using a baby gate to block Dominic off from the kitchen until I got the cabinet locks on. Well I did it Monday night and allowed Dominic to make a mess of the cupboards as I quickly put the locks on he was rapidly destroying everything he could grab. He had no interest in the cupboards I was locking because he was too busy focusing on the mess he was making. As I got down to the last two cupboards he started to realize his fun was soon over. He was trying to open the now locked cabinets and had a very confused expression. He quickly turned his attention to me as I was putting the last cabinet lock in place. He tried his best but I was able to fend him off to get it installed. After they were all locked he tried to open a couple, failed, grabbed my hand and walked me out of the kitchen as if to say, "Dad, this isn't fun anymore let's do something else."

Tax Time

With Tax season approaching I may be taking time off from Wednesdays with Lou here and there over the next several months. I have been growing a successful tax practice over the last 4 years doing returns in my spare time which is generally very late at night or here and there on the weekends. I have been very fortunate to meet new people through this avenue and continue to grow professionally and am looking forward to a grueling but rewarding several months. As always my goal for this year will be to continue to provide excellent client service, timely turn around of returns, and most importantly to sacrifice as little family time as possible and still be successful and exceed client expectations.


Let me preface this next section by saying I am not an investment advisor and by no means am giving financial advice in any way. Part of my regular job in running employee benefit plans is to monitor and administer a Pension Fund. There is no surprise by now the market was exceptionally horrendous the last half of 2008 through the first quarter of 2009. The Official duration of this downturn was 10/2007 through 03/2009 (17 months). This wasn't the longest stretch but was one of the more significant in terms of market loss (minus 57% - 3rd highest historically). As predicted when you have significant periods of market failure like we endured the market will bounce back with a bang. Although it hasn't been a full year since then the market is at 60% return which would rank 2nd for returns in a 1 year period.

The market today was at 10,627 and has been slowly climbing. The question is have we hit the ceiling for now or can we expect another huge drop off. Even though the stock market is unpredictable an indicator that the market has potential to grow is the amount of money sitting in cash (on the sidelines). In March 2009, the end of the downtown, cash levels were at a record high of nearly 50%. This meant people were investing in money market cash (no risk) versus equity investments (company stock). With equity prices dropping investors tried to avoid significant asset loss by investing in cash to preserve assets. Since March of 2009 the cash levels have been dropping which indicates investors are willing to take more risk and in this case the risk is reaping huge gains. Despite these huge gains there is still a significant amount of investments still in cash representing about 32%. To put that in perspective the historical cash levels are at about 16% so there is still a lot of money on the side lines. Over time that money is going to slowly creep back into the equity sector and investments will continue to boom. If you're not in the equity market you missed out on some big opportunities but it looks like there is still money to be made throughout 2010. Also, don't forget about the giant stimulus bill. There is approximately 440 billion from that bill that still needs to be absorbed into the economy.

Return of TV Shows

Just a quick note that I'm pumped for Biggest Loser and Survivor's new seasons. Also, the return of House and The Office.

Monday, January 11, 2010

MS Walk Monday & test

This morning Lou & I made another trip out to The Cleveland Clinic. I was scheduled to have some testing done. My first scheduled test was a Visual Evoked Potential test. This test was done because the neurologist saw that there was nerve damage (paleness) to my retinal nerves due to MS. The evoked potential measures how much damage has been caused to my brain or optic nerves by measuring how long it takes a stimulus to go from my eye to my occipital lobe of my brain.

The Cleveland skyline taken from the parking garage at the Cleveland Clinic

I was called back and the tech began using an adhesive to glue little probes to the top & back of my head, behind my ear and on the back of my neck. This took a loong time. Little did I know that it would take three shampoos to wash the majority of the glue & gauze out of my hair! The tech showed me a television with a blue sticker on it. He then covered one of my eyes so I could only see from one eye. So now I am sitting there feeling very silly with wires coming off my head and looking like a crazy pirate. Oh well! From then on I was told to stare and focus on the blue sticker while a bunch of blinking checkerboards flashed on the screen. This was super tough and my mind began to play tricks on me. It was hard to realize that the blue sticker was not moving all over the screen and at times I began to daydream only to "snap" back to it thinking "Oh my gosh was I even looking at the dot!" lol I had to stare in 5 minute intervals for 20 minutes. I got about a minute in between to rest my eye. The tech told me I did a great job focusing but he could tell there was a time I was kinda "not all there" hah! I'm not going to lie. This was a really challenging test-at times I felt like I was being tortured-I will for sure never look at those eye trick patterns again for fun....because that's going to bring up bad memories! haha!! I'll find out the results of the test on February 2 when I go back to the Mellen Center. I'll keep you all updated! :)

An example picture of the test. Now imagine these squares blinking, moving around and getting smaller/bigger. Oy vey!!

We have officially signed back up for the Cleveland 2010 MS Walk on April 10, 2010 at the Cleveland Browns Stadium. This year the walk gets a bit more personal for me (as if my mother having MS isn't enough) as I have been diagnosed with MS recently and have just begun my journey. If you'd like to join our team or donate go here! <--sorry I can't make it clicky..yet!

We raised over $775 last year with our team "Daly Miracles" and this year I hope to raise even more! I'd love to add more walkers to our team as well!! Thanks everyone! I now am going to let my eyes rest a bit (the screen is bothering them) and I also want to pay a little more attention to The Bachelor! haha! :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snowy days and new ideas!

Lou & I have done a better job this week posting! I'm having some eye issues right now so I've been trying to steer clear of my laptop as much as possible. The screen, flashes and movements really irritate my vision and it's hard to focus.
This week started with a Snowday and is ending with a Snowday. Northeast Ohio has had nonstop snow all week-pretty much keeping Dominic & I grounded inside the house. We did get out one afternoon to play in the snow for a couple minutes but otherwise, it's been too cold to go outside. I think we were both getting stir crazy in this house so I knew I had to change something up.

The television is on 90% of the time in our house. We aren't watching it all that time, but during the day it is definitely background noise. Dominic has certain shows that he watches like Sesame street or Dora the Explorer. For all of you who may scold me for letting an almost 14 month old watch tv...Dominic does NOT nap, does NOT let me out of his sight and I would never get a chance to eat a meal if it wasn't for Elmo & Dora! Well yesterday I decided to try something different. I turned the TV off. I grabbed a book and sat on the couch while Dominic played. He was such a different boy! He definitely seemed more engaged in his play and he didn't have his usual 2 pm hissy fit! The quiet was nice as well and although reading was a tough experience on my eyes, not having the tv on just seemed to offer a more relaxing space.

With that said, I watched the news this morning and then turned the TV off at 8:30. Dominic & I have had fun playing and reading books together. For now this is nice, but I'm sure at some point we're both going to need a break! Here are a couple pictures I've taken lately.

Snow days=Pajama day!

Dominic LOVES his tent from Grandpa Daly. There is a crawl tube that attaches but for now he really likes to use it as his own little fort. Sometimes he takes our hands and takes us in with him.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Job Description

I received this forward from my friend (and new parent) Lavender this week. I thought it was good for a laugh! :)
Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma
Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop


Long term, team players needed, for challenging,
permanent work in an
often chaotic environment.
Candidates must possess excellent communication
and organizational skills and be willing to work
variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends
and frequent 24 hour shifts on call.
Some overnight travel required, including trips to
primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities!
Travel expenses not reimbursed.
Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life.
Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily,
until someone needs $5.
Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.
Also, must possess the physical stamina of a
pack mule
and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat
in case, this time, the screams from
the backyard are not someone just crying wolf.
Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges,
such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets
and stuck zippers.
Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and
coordinate production of multiple homework projects.
Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings
for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.
Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute,
an embarrassment the next.
Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a
half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices.
Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.
Must assume final, complete accountability for
the quality of the end product.
Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and
janitorial work throughout the facility.


Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills,
so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you


None required unfortunately.
On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


Get this! You pay them!
Offering frequent raises and bonuses.
A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because
of the assumption that college will help them
become financially independent.
When you die, you give them whatever is left.
The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that
you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension,
no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and
no stock options are offered;
this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love,
and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

3 Words Thursday

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wednesdays with Lou

Another year and another opportunity for a fresh start. There is no better time than right now to evaluate your life and create goals for the up coming year. Looking back I am happy Brooke and I posted our goals for 2009 on our blog because throughout the year I could refer to those goals for guidance. With that being said here are my 2010 goals.

1. Lose an additional 10 to 20 pounds and maintain that weight throught the year and my life.

2. Continue to send birthday cards to my 14 nieces and nephews.

3. Be there for Dominic as much as humanly possible. I loved watching him grow this first year and experience all the 1st and look forward to sharing this next year with him and Brooke.

4. Learn more about Multiple Sclerosis and work with Brooke to gain a better understanding of this disease and how we will manage it.

5. Professionally I want to continue to grow and learn and exceed expectations of my Clients and Fund Participants.

6. I'm bringing this goal back from 2009 since we failed at it last year. Brooke and I need to get out at least once a month for a date night. Dominic is older now and getting a babysitter is easier so book it Brooke, we got some dates to plan.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Brooke's 2010 Goals

This year Lou and I have both chosen to set goals for the new year. I just find the word resolution a bit harsh and goals just seems like fluffier version! In 2010 I'd like to work to become a "Better Brooke" in all aspects of my life. Physically, Mentally, Emotionally and Spiritually. I'll look back, as I did this past year to hold myself accountable. Lou will be posting his goals in his post tomorrow! So keep us accountable! :)

*I'd like to continue working out at the gym 5-6 times a week.
*I'd like to gain upper body strength by doing some sort of arm/back routine 2 times a week.
*I plan to really push myself once a week by doing a "harder" workout.
With my new diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis I know that it is super important that I maintain or gain my endurance, strength and energy.

*I'd like to read up on MS and become as educated as I can on the disease, tools of management, treatments etc.
*If I get into clinicals next fall I'd like to really work hard to do my best! I'm not sure if you get A's-but I'd really like one or two! :)

*I'd really like to get a handle on stress management-as this is also important in dealing with MS.
*I'd like to also become a more positive person and see the good in everything/everyone around me!

*I'd like to attend church as much as we can-hopefully every Sunday.
*I plan on registering for classes to complete my Holy Sacraments. I already have been baptised & married and now need to get my first communion and confirmation. This is something that I have been really wanting to do for a long time and it is important for me to complete.

I hope you all have a wonderful, healthy and blessed 2010 or Two thousand ten. <--How are all of you planning on saying it??