Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Coloring Easter Eggs

We colored Easter Eggs after dinner on Sunday...notice the spaghetti sauce still on Miss Tori's cute little face. She really liked coloring Easter eggs. Nick helped her too. She liked the blue the best and kept trying to put the eggs in it even if there was already an egg in it. It felt strange to not have Ashley here to do eggs. Ashley always loved coloring Easter eggs. We are going to bring the stuff to color some in Aruba next week with her.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Planting Palm Trees

Tori was eager to go shopping until she found out we were not going shopping to buy more big girl underpants. She obviously liked doing that and potty training is going superb. We told her we were going to the store to buy some plants...she really wasn't sure what plants were until we showed her. She wanted to buy lots of them and found the different types of plants very interesting.

Tori loved shopping for our new palm trees and planting them even better. At Home Depot she rode the flat bed the trees were on and when we got home she was very active in the planting process. Mike was so patient with her as she shovel as much dirt on the ground as she did into the pot. On a side note, Tori's outfit is another one of creations.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Choice - Buick Enclave

So I drove a few other car models and decided to get a Buick Enclave. Mike has one and we love how it drives and its a sporty looking crossover. It's funny how once you drive vehicles that are higher up like an SUV or van...its really hard to be comfortable driving a regular car.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Potty Time

Tori is finally starting to tell us she needs to use the potty. Her preschool teacher and I started putting big girl pants on her last week. She had one accident the first day and that was it. She is now telling us she has to go. Woo hoo...Can't wait to say goodbye to pull ups all together. We did notice if she had a pull up on she had some accidents, but with regular underwear...she went on the potty to go. Yeah for Tori!!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What is a Venza?

I am ready to say goodbye to my Toyota Sienna minivan...aka my luxury limo. I am test driving a Toyota Venza. It's a crossover between an SUV and a midsize car. So far I like has a very comfortable ride and sporty looking interior, but is higher up like an SUV. The best part is that they are giving me a good trade on our minivan too! So happy that Toyota's hold their value. I am debating between blizzard pearl white and metallic silver...but leaning toward the pearly white color. Hopefully I can decide by Monday when I take the demo back.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Buffalo News Article About Jay and Hilbert College

Chet Musialowski, left, and Steve Spillman are united in purpose as Jay Musialowski remains in coma.
John Hickey/Buffalo News

After car crash leaves Hilbert team leaderless, 2 are stepping up

Coach’s dad, pal fill a baseball void

Updated: March 12, 2010, 6:45 am
Published: March 12, 2010, 12:30 am

Jay Musialowski

It’s hard not to root for the Hilbert College baseball team as it opens the season Sunday without its leader.

Coach Jonathan Musialowski — Jay, as he’s known — suffered a severe head injury in a car crash almost two weeks ago, and he remains in a coma at Erie County Medical Center.

Musialowski, 28, has a long road to recovery.

But his Hilbert Hawks will push ahead with their season, which begins in Florida with eight games in six days under the guidance of Musialowski’s baseball mentor and assistant coach: his father, Chet.

In a way, it’s like having their coach on the bench with them.

“This is your team,” Chet Musialowski reminds the players. “He wants you to be as good as you can be.”

The story unfolding at this small liberal arts college in Hamburg is, on the one hand, about a team of 19 guys rallying together around tragedy. But it’s also about a father’s love for his son and the bond they share for baseball.

“No one knows how to bunt anymore,” Jay would tell his father. “I want to get the guys out bunting. What do you think?”

“He used me as a sounding board,” Chet Musialowski said as he took a break from team practice this week. “He and I would commiserate a lot.”

After playing baseball for Canisius High School, Jay Musialowski continued his career at Rochester Institute of Technology. He transferred after two years to Virginia Tech in Division I, where he pitched and played outfield.

He had stints in the minor leagues, pitching in independent leagues in Michigan and New Jersey, and was an assistant coach at Canisius High before landing a job two years ago as an assistant at Hilbert.

When the head coach stepped down last year, Jay was given the job. A Canisius College graduate student, he took over the team in January.

“Jay, God bless him, was so gung-ho about this,” said Hilbert Athletic Director Richard Walsh. “He was just extremely anxious to put his stamp on the program, and he had very strong convictions on how to do that. When you’re looking for a coach, that’s the kind of leadership you need.”

Jay also brought an approach to that team that baseball was meant to be fun.

“In practice, he’d work us hard on getting down to fundamentals,” said Matt Begeal, a senior pitcher and outfielder, “but toward the end of practice, we’d lighten up and have fun — get back to what baseball used to be like when you were a kid.”

For help, Jay looked to a baseball buddy, Steve Spillman, who was hired as his assistant. And, naturally, he recruited his father as a volunteer coach.

His dad played baseball in high school and college. He coached Jay since he was a boy, watched his games, offered tips on his pitching. A few years back, father and son drove to minor league tryouts across the country in hopes that Jay could latch on with a team.

“He just loves the game and wanted to make a difference in this team,” said Chet Musialowski, 68. “He wanted to feel like they were gaining something by having him as their coach.”

On Feb. 27, Jay was on his way to Hilbert for a youth baseball clinic — a team fundraiser — when he lost control of his car on a slushy Route 5.

His car spun into oncoming traffic, and a vehicle plowed into him from behind.

Jay was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent surgery to remove excess fluid and relieve the pressure on his brain.

While he has made progress, he remains in a coma. Doctors told his family he could regain consciousness within three months, but because of the severity of the brain injury, it could take much longer for him to come out of it.

The Hilbert community prays that he will.

“He’s stable, but he’s still in grave danger,” his father said. “How much will he come back? I don’t know. I hope for the best.”

It’s a harsh lesson about life for a group of students, but one that has motivated the players.

“It’s tough,” said Jacob Simonick, a pitcher and infielder from Blasdell, “but at the same time, out of all the years playing college baseball, this is the one I’m looking most forward to.”

“We play for ourselves,” said David Cunningham, a pitcher and infielder from Cheektowaga, “but we play for him now, too.”

Spillman was elevated to interim head coach, and while no one expects a complete turnaround from a team that finished at the bottom of the Division III Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, it can become a team that Jay has wanted it to be.

“Just seeing what the family is going through, what Jay is going through, you really feel a sense of duty to match that strength and courage and take it into the season,” Spillman said.

In his son’s absence, Chet Musialowski is taking on a larger role. Spillman can’t make the trip to Florida, so Jay’s dad will coach the team there. They leave for Cocoa Beach today.

“If you listen to what coach’s dad has to say, you’ll be much better for it,” Spillman said. “He’s best when he’s one-on-one with a guy. It’s fun to watch. He’s like a baseball Yoda, and I mean that in the most affectionate way possible.”

The team has been good for Chet Musialowski, an owner of a window business who raised five kids with his wife, Ralfa.

At practice this week, he was running drills and throwing batting practice and taking guys aside to give them a little advice on their game.

It has been a needed diversion from the pain he feels for his son. And the players are happy to have him.

“His dad has been great,” Begeal said. “He could be with his son, but he’s stepping in to help us out. I can’t say enough about him.

“It’s like having coach here.”

Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Game As An Eagle

Nick played his first game for Fayetteville Academy. He played short stop and first base. He was 3 for 4 with a triple and two singles and 3 RBI's. It was a great start for him at his new school. The Eagles won 7-0. Mrs. B was in town to visit and see his first game. Nick always does well when Mrs. B watches him.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stay Strong, Fight Hard Jay

This past week we went home to Buffalo to be with family...My little brother Jay had been in a bad car accident and is in critical condition in the trauma unit with a brain injury. It's so hard to watch someone you love be in this condition. It was good to be with family during the week, but it was extremely hard to leave him and know I won't see or talk to him for a while. He is in a coma, making progress, but he has a very long road ahead of him. One that we all will be with him every mile, even if some of us are at a distance. Love you Jay....thinking of you every day!