Sunday, October 21, 2012

Florida Trip October 2012

 Lots to do at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Decorate cupcakes, paint pottery, shop, play at the park, eat Grandma's great cooking, and read books with Grandpa.
Happy 91st  Birthday Great Grandma! What a joy to all be together! Nana spoiled Layla with all sorts of fun toys. She loved it and so did we! Had fun at the Miami Aquarium thanks to Ti-Ti Gina!

 Magic Kingdom with Mickey Mouse!

 Layla LOVES Lion King. She was completely enamored by the show at Animal Kingdom and loved our hotel room at the Lion King Art of Animation Hotel.
 We were able to be with our God-children and enjoy the magic of Disney together.
 Lion King play area at hotel.

What an amazing family vacation we had! Layla felt well so visited our family and extended family, my McKee family I love you tons so wonderful seeing you, and then headed for Disney so Layla could experience the magic. While we were disappointed we were not able to see our friends this trip, as our stay was so short, we had such a great time that next year we plan on making another trip down for Disney, family, and friends! As you can see, Layla loved the characters. She was such a ham! Characters and shows were the main attractions for Layla, but I thought I wouldn't go completely overboard and put pictures of all the characters we met. We were so lucky as the weather was gorgeous and there was no wait for the rides so we rode many of them 2x. How fun! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

On the Move- Thank God! :)

 Auntie Jennine, I love my bathing suit! I get so many compliments... apparently I'm pretty cute.
21 months
I look like Daddy! Hee hee!

Chickens! Oh my goodness! I can actually touch them.

"Hug little goat"!... Mommy, why are you cringing?

 I think I may be a farm girl!

 Mommy preferred the garden and she finally put the hand sanitizer away.
Dress-up is my new favorite thing! I did this all by myself!

Layla is doing great! Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. Layla continues to show improvement with her labs and now runs around, laughs, and plays like other children her age.  It's amazing the difference now that she is feeling well. She used to want to be held all the time and now she wants to walk, run, dance, and jump. It warms our hearts to hear the pitter patter of her little feet on the hard wood floor.

Robert is doing well in his first semester back at school. It's been an adjustment for the family, but we're on the upswing of figuring it out. With Robert in school, working full-time, and going to the gym, I, Tia Friedman, have started trying to cook. Ha ha! Yes, you heard me correctly. I'm trying! I've been somewhat successful and the little success I've had is driving me to continue. While I'm perfectly happy eating simple meals like eggs and college survival food for dinner, I've come to realize that Robert deserves good hearty meals and Layla deserves yummy food like my mom served when I was a child. As my little brother and I always say, "There's nothing like our Mom's cooking". Maybe one day, Layla will say that too. Oh boy! I better get cooking lessons!!!   

Nicole and I recently ran the relay in the Rock n' Roll 1/2 marathon. We placed 6th out of 91 in the female team division and came in 47th out of 281 teams overall with an 9:40 min/mile pace. In October, Jocelyn and Jessica are coming up and we're all going to run in the Wicked 10k race (Lindsay, you will be missed this year!).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

20 Months Old

 Love playing with Grandpa! He's so funny!
 Grandma having a tea party with the girls! They loved it!
 Layla still loves this box! It cracks me up.
 Picking blackberries at the farm. Layla learned quickly that the red ones were sour and the black ones were sweet. She loved it so much we've been twice this month.
 At the farms, we picked corn right off the stalk and ate it. It was DELICIOUS! Who would have thought you could even do that? Not us "city" folk that's for sure!
A smile so big it's contagious! Bet your smiling just lookin' at it. :)

Happy July! Grandma and Grandpa came to visit for July 4th. We had a great time!!! The granddaughters couldn't get enough of there attention and, well, I had to share. ;) There is something so special about watching your own baby laugh and play with your parents. Grandpa may have had a brace on his foot due to a foot injury but do you think that stopped him from playing on the floor with the girls? Nope! He even let them paint his toe nails. The girls really got a giggle from that one! Meanwhile Grandma sang lots of songs, played countless games, and cooked delicious food. We all loved having them here and can't wait until we're together again. 

Robert has started working on his second Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration. He'll be taking classes part-time for the next three years. On that note, we're "settling in" here in VA Beach. 

Me? Hmm... let's see. Layla is now a happy little toddler and I'm one happy Mommy. Our days are filled with all sorts of summer play activities. Life is great!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Time

 19 Months Old
 Picnic at the Zoo
Pretty in pink!
Even though we're not at Disney, Layla fashioned her embroidered specially designed Minnie outfit on Father's Day. Her Daddy loved it!
 In May, we celebrated Robert's 29th Birthday! ;) He looks that young doesn't he?!
 18 Months Old
We are loving the summer time! The beach and backyard water play are Layla's favorite activities right now... oh and eating!!! With the steroids Layla just loves to eat and eat and eat and now has round, full extra kissable cheeks. :)

Things here in the Friedman household are going... hopefully forward. Layla hasn't had any fevers and seems to be showing improvement with her mobility. She continues to be monitored by her specialist and while we still do not have a diagnosis, it appears they are getting closer to figuring it out. We must continue to pray that as she is weened off the medication that she is "cured"! Wouldn't that be wonderful?!

As many of you know we cancelled our summer vacation due to Layla not being well enough to make the trip without concern. We were so excited to see our family and friends and look forward to the chance to try and get together again later this year. As for now, we are keeping to ourselves as to not expose Layla to too many germs while her immune system is lowered from the medication. Fortunately it's summertime so there is plenty to do.

On a fun note, Layla has had a language explosion. We totally have conversations now. It's so fun! And like mother like daughter, if I hand my cell phone to Layla to talk to her Daddy, she'll take it and walk around just like I do while telling him real things. It's adorable!  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Robert's Grandpa

As many of you know, Robert has a great love for his grandparents. Sadly, Grandpa passed away on Saturday, May 12. I thought I'd share the eulogy that Robert wrote and presented.


Perhaps one of my favorite memories growing up was sitting out on the front porch of the Isla Verde house with Grandpa watching the stars and talking about "el luna", as he called it. He would sip on his rum and coke and I would mimic his every move with my Malta or Coco Rico which Abuela always kept readily available. I loved this memory! Well, that and him yelling "God damn it!" at us whenever we were being completely obnoxious as three boys growing up would always be.

To me, Grandpa epitomized the American spirit. In many ways he was America. He was an ideologue set in his ways and completely convinced that, should everyone think and act like him, the world would be a better place. So, he set out to do just that.

He was the type of person who naively believed nothing but the best in humanity and the deep rooted “good” in everyone and was recalcitrant to find in them any real faults or flaws. At the same time, he was wise enough to appreciate and celebrate differences in cultures and human beings.  He would work to fit himself in to the way of life of the many different cities and countries he would inhabit.

He reveled in stories of hardships, hard work, overcoming struggles, and childhood triumphs which only solidified those very values he admired and expected in others.  Perhaps  the same struggles he was forced to overcome eventually shaped him to be the intelligent, intensely hard-working, no holds barred, gruff, for the greater good, father knows best, pick yourself up by your bootstraps, man of action not words I remember him as. So entrenched, he was, in these strengths and virtues that he was unable or unwilling to accept any less than this same tenacity for those beliefs and expected even more from his own family.

His world view was progressive believing in the human spirit and its innovation. A man ahead of his time, commenting on how computers would shrink as time trudged on and would one day allow us to communicate internationally way before the presence of facebook or skype. Conversely, to interact with him was to walk into HIS world as he was stubborn to accommodate the ever the changing ideals, principles of the evolving world around him. 

He loved and lived routines and only the throes of time would be strong enough to break him out of one routine only long enough to borne out another one.  In Puerto Rico, he would barbecue on Sundays, cook the Thanksgiving turkey while Abuela made the sides. In Cocoa, he would walk to McDonald’s every morning to have his coffee. He would continue wearing his pocket protector armed with a pen and a daily planner for years after he had any real use or need of them.

As much as he loved his routines, his friends, his America, he loved his family and, of course, his wife. Ani. We should all be so lucky to have someone like Abuela to help and support our aspirations and daily lives. Grandpa had many whims and would change jobs frequently, continually aspiring to better positions and more fulfilling obligations.  Behind it all was Abuela, never really questioning him. Just had dinner ready for him when he got home and trusting that he would go at any length to ensure that his family did not fall into the same adversities he endured when he was growing up. 

He wasn’t much the touchy feely guy. He didn’t really show much affection or express any emotional sentiments. Not too many warm embraces or long hugs. Not too many words or wisdom or motivational speeches. Personally, I never really noticed. I heard “I love you” when he smiled at me or patiently listened to my stories, waited till I got home so that we could eat together or said “All right, Kid” to say goodbye. I felt a kiss on my cheek when he shook my hand, held one hand up, patted my shoulder, or hugged me back when I initiated it.

So? How DO you properly eulogize a man who was so constant but such a different man to each of us? In the end, the answer is you don’t. So, here’s a medley of memories that I hope will incite many more: barbecues in Isla Verde, tennis, panaderia espana, computers, tennis, hats, Cornhuskers, Omaha, pocket protectors, pens, daily planners, hero, covered wagons, bikes, beans and ponies, turtles and injuns, US Army, glasses, cowboy movies, belt buckles, walks, kidnapee,  traveler. He was an American. Proud. Brief. Precise. Virtuous.

As I said, Grandpa wasn’t much a man of many words. And so, in his absence, I’ll be so bold and dare to make a small sentiment on his behalf.  To Susan, who comes once a year to be with Abuela and Grandpa, Thank you. To Mom, who has dedicated her life to ensure that Abuela and Grandpa have nothing but the best quality of life, on behalf of the extended family, and on behalf of Grandpa, Thank you. Thank you so much for doing such an amazing and selfless job. We should all be so lucky to have someone like you to care for us in OUR last years on this earth. There’s very little chance he said this enough, but I’m sure he would join me in saying, I love you. I love you all.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Happy Easter!
* Giggle Giggle*


Visit with Nana

Sportin' Mommy's Shades

At the zoo

It's spring time! Aren't you just lovin' the weather and all the beautiful colors?! We sure are. It's so nice to be able to play outside again. Soon it'll be beach weather! Whoo hoo! All is well here at the Friedmans. Robert is in full training mode for his competition which is May 5. We're counting down and can 't wait for it to be here. He is super thin and very cut. His self-discipline is unreal. For Easter he made cupcakes and all sorts of yummy food and wasn't even able to lick the icing off the spoon. Don't worry though folks, Layla and I are pickin' up the slack! :)

Grandma and Nana have both visited at different times over the past month. It was great seeing them and spending time with them. In just two months we'll be down in Orlando and will see them again.

Layla had her hematology appointment. The doctor didn't take blood due to her high fever earlier that morning. He is not too concerned at this point, but wants her to have blood taken in the next few weeks to test for anemia.

Me? I'm doing great! Well, I should say, when Layla is well then I'm great. And this is a great week!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

15 Months

Peek-A Boo! Auntie Jessica "Ka-Ka" my tunnel is tons of fun! Thank you!

Love my Daddy time!

I love my new kitchen from the Horns!

Mommy is teaching me all the different tools for cooking. So now when I see a microwave I say, "cook".

I love my tutu outfit from my Auntie Jennine "Nee Nee"!

The past month in the Friedman house has been interesting. Layla had bronchialitis and an ear infection which was followed by intense teething. At her 15 month check-up, we were told that her hemoglobin is low and we have been referred to a hematologist. Her appointment is in mid March. We'll keep you updated. My dear friends Jessica and Jennine came to visit and they got a good taste of dealing with a sick baby morning, noon, and night. Layla was pretty miserable since she wasn't feeling well and we REALLY hope we didn't scare them off. Jess and Jen, please come visit again soon! Layla prays for you both every night. When I ask her who else should we pray for she says, "Ka-Ka", "Nee-Nee". It's like she know how badly it went and wants another chance. ;) You've succeeded in winning my daughter's heart and of course spoiling her with books and clothes. Thank you!

Now that she is well again, we've fallen into a nice routine again... well for the most part. As soon as you say that things change right?! Ha!

On a different note, Robert is seriously thinking about going back to school. To become "what" you may ask. We'll let you know once we figure it out. :) Meanwhile, he's training for another body building competition. He has amazing self-disipline and is dropping weight like crazy. He looks fabulous already and we're still 2 months out. On the other hand, I look at a chocolate chip cookie and hear it talking to me. It just beckons me with it's sweetness. So, needless to say, although I am not pregnant this time around, I'm being one big helper and eating all the good stuff so he doesn't have to.