Showing posts with label photos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photos. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Second Time Around

We're going to Vegas! SOB got a retro 1970s tuxedo, I got a dress, I have a celebrity's wife's phone number, the chapel is reserved and it's going to be epic! 

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Mother Hen

Over the weekend, I quelled my urge to have another baby by picking up eight adorable baby chicks. 

We have been planning all year to get chickens, and the stars aligned on Saturday morning. Right now they are residing in a kiddie pool in our garage, under some heat lamps, nesting comfortably in our old shredded documents. There is a coop to be built, but they won't be big enough for outdoor living for 4-5 weeks, so we have time. The county ordinance states that we can have 5 hens and no roosters, but we got unsexed chicks so I bought some extra to hedge our bets. Plus, we already have one babe who looks like he/she might not make it. The kids are standing vigil, but have already started planning where to bury him/her. (Edited to add: he/she didn't. Super sad face.

They are so cute and fluffy, it's hard not to get a little attached. Fred has even been singing them lullabies! You go ahead and try not to get a little misty watching this! 


I had to cut off the cuteness because the furnace kicked on, and since I was sitting nearby, it drowned out all of the extra cute names Fred had given the chicks.

Yes, I have to check their butts to make sure they aren't clogged up, and yes, we may have to deal with an unpleasant situation if and when some turn out to be roosters, but still? I heart them.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

OMG Fred is Three!

Just like his brother, Fred wanted his song to be Everything Is Awesome. I don't know how he'll feel about this, but at least I complied. 

Last night I was playing with Freddie on the floor in his room when he kind of tackled me. I laid there, with him laying flat on top of me, and I told him about how he grew in my belly when he was a baby. He sat up and looked at me funny. 'I didn't grow in your belly mom. I grew in your heart. And when I came out your heart was empty so it filled up with love. And bees.'  I may have died laughing. Happy birthday buddy. You'll always be my baby.

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Our Family On Ice

A few weeks ago I took Freddie to a 'mommy and me' stick time session at our rink, cementing his position as youngest first time ice skater in our family! To be fair, I may have been younger, but I don't remember. I'll be gracious and give him the title. Last year I took Maggie for the first time, Lucy started when she was three as well, and Sam went for the first time on his third birthday, but then didn't go again for over a year. Fred got on the ice a few weeks shy of his third birthday, and he cried most of the time. In his defense, later on that night he came down with a fever, so I think he was already feeling crummy. That first day he didn't manage to do much besides push a bucket a few feet around the door, and even that was done only through bribery with a twix bar. Last Friday, however, he did much better. He was feeling better, so that helped. And his pappy came along, which was very fun for him. He was still pushing a bucket, but he did several laps around the rink at a pretty good clip. In fact, he was comparing himself to Turbo the snail, and he kept saying 'left turn!' as we would round the corners. (If you haven't seen the movie Turbo than this means nothing to you, but be assured it was as cute as hell.) 

I usually make a video of Sam skating at the end of each hockey season, but he's too fast for me now. I tried at a public session back at the beginning of February, but he kept getting lost in the crowd because I couldn't keep up with him. He can really move when he wants to. His hockey skills have grown a lot this year, too, but I'm glad he has one more season as a mite because he needs to work on his listening skills. Plus he'll be a giant next season, and that might be fun for him. Back at Christmastime I got a quick video of him before he got away from me. He is in the orange coat...


Lucy has passed her first figure skating skills test with flying colors, which surprises me not at all! Back when she was skating regularly, she always seemed to pick things up a little faster than Sam. She hasn't been on the ice nearly as much last year and this year, but it only took a week or two for her to get right back into things! She has been asking for one of those sparkly, twirly figure skating costumes, but has no desire for her own skates. I told her she would be getting her own white skates first, because the pretty costume wouldn't look as nice with her brown rental skates. She was not happy with me. 

Maggie also graduated to the next level of ice skating class. She was in a tot prep class, also know as the bucket class, but in the next session she will be in the snowplow Sam class! She is very excited about the name of the class, but less excited about the lack of buckets used in said class. We also took her to the mommy and me stick time last week, and she was appropriately adorable. However, I don't think hockey is her thing. She was holding the stick upside down the whole time. 

SOB still has never gone skating. He is, and will always will be, the undisputed oldest first time skater in our family.

Some footage of Fred pushing a bucket with a little Maggie bonus!

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Thursday, February 06, 2014

My Two Sons

This is Fred crying because we took him out in the snow. As he requested. 

My boys, my lovely little fellas, have been being a humongous pain in the neck these past few weeks. I've avoided writing about because I was hoping it was a short phase brought on by the inconsistent school schedules and horrible weather we've been having. That may very well be true, but because of some damn groundhog we're looking at another six weeks of this shit, so I'm assuming the bad behavior isn't going away any time soon.

Fred. Oh my sweet little baby Fred. I was the last one to know about this shift in your behavior. You saved up all of your smiles and cuddles for your mama. Unfortunately you ran out sometime in the middle of last week, and now all I get is screaming and poking and hitting and spitting. And the whining, my god the whining. The only thing in life that you desire is a "blaster toy", which you will point at someone and scream FREEZE RAY! Thank you Star Wars and Despicable Me. Mostly, people don't like gun-type things pointed at their faces, and this particular blaster toy makes a sound that would drive even the most patient person insane. So we hide it from you. But usually you find it, and since we're smart enough to hide it up high, you just sit on the floor under said "blaster toy" and wail. "Fred, stop crying." "BUT I WANT A BLASTER TOY!" "Fred, come eat dinner." "BUT I WANT A BLASTER TOY!" "Here, have a cupcake instead." "BUT I WANT A BLASTER TOY!" If it wasn't Sam's effing blaster toy, we would have thrown it away weeks ago.

Speaking of Sam, guess who's grounded until he's 42? He's developed the attitude of a teenager, combined with the anger management issues of a DMV employee, and the impulse control of a toddler, with a touch of hormonal pregnant lady peppered in there, just for laughs. He's been alternately weepy (over NOTHING) then shove-y, then mouthy, and then punchy. Mostly with us at home, but I've seen it happen after school and at hockey. He actually got kicked out of practice on Monday (by me) for being way to rough with his team mates and giving me enough lip to last a lifetime. The hilarious thing about this is that he's practically been an angel during school, and his piano teacher sent me a long email last week about how lovely he is (and Lucy, too). I'm worried because he doesn't seem to pick up on social cues, and so he'll be goofing around with a friend, things will get a little too rough, and Sam, who is a giant among second graders, can't seem to stop himself. Even after calling his name 3 or 4 times, he doesn't stop what he's doing, and I usually have to intervene physically. If he's with his friends or team mates, it doesn't come off as malicious, just annoying. Lucy, on the other hand, he seems intent on killing.

We're going on vacation in a few weeks, and we're going to be spending a lot of quality time together, including TWO 16 hour car rides. I hope we all make it back with our sanity (and limbs) intact. 

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Santa 2013

My kids are Santa pros. Gotta love em! Here are some, but not all, of the years past…





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Monday, December 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Blog, Interrupted

Business is booming, and October is looking to be the busiest month I've ever had ever, both personally and professionally. Just this past weekend I was busy with these two lovelies, plus another family.

Oh, and plus my OWN family! We went to see the giant duck that's floating down at the point. Then we picked pumpkins. That was after an hour and a half of hockey practice. At the end we visited with my sister-in-law and my cutie nephews!

The grind isn't going to let up for a few more weeks, so things might be quite quiet around here. I'll try and pop in to say hello every now and again, though, ok? Be well, internets! 

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

And Just Like That, She Was Four

Maggie turned four the other day, and boy howdy was it a big affair!

 We rented a big bouncy house, complete with slide

We had a piƱata, which was totally a unicorn and totally NOT a donkey

And at the end we even went for a family swim!

The party was a huge success, by my estimation. Maybe the best kids party we've ever thrown. We had a great mix of family, old friends, and new friends. There were some folks who we missed, but after a few minutes in the bouncy house it was hard to focus on the negative.

Also, Maggie decided to stop wearing a diaper to bed now that she's four. I was happy to hear that, but not at all optimistic. She's never once woken up dry, but since it was the weekend I thought I'd indulge her. Well guess what? Three days later and she is doing spectacular! Not a single accident! However, for the first two nights she had to come and wake me up to tell me she peed and then to snuggle each time she went to the potty. Sweet, but it got old real quick. I finally convinced her that she didn't need to notify me each and every time she went potty, and last night I slept uninterrupted and she still woke up dry.

So far, four is awesome!

So without further ado, here is the annual birthday montage! 

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back To School Update: The Girls

Oh, my darling daughters. Both of you faced some serious changes in your school routines this year. Lucy changed schools, which I was very nervous about. I really felt like moving her to the public school was a good idea, and now that we have a few weeks under our collective belts I feel like we made the right decision. She loved her Montessori classroom, but struggled with the freedom of choosing her own work. This year, in a more traditional classroom setting she is doing great! Socially, things don't seem to shabby either. A little girl she knew from gymnastics was assigned to the same classroom, so luckily she didn't have to walk in on the first day not knowing anyone, and since then she had made some new friends. I was a little troubled when a birthday party at the end of the first week was kind of disastrous for Lu, but today I saw a friend call out to her and wait so that they could walk in together. My heart almost melted.

Maggie is in the same school, but we moved her from the afternoon class to the morning class, which means none of her friends from last year are with her anymore. I struggled mightily with this decision, but ultimately for the sake of family maintenance had to switch her. Freddie is now going to school in the morning, and keeping her in the afternoon would have meant a ridiculous amount of time dropping off and picking up at this particular school. Plus, the afternoon dismissal time at that school is still the same as at Sam & Lucy's school, so I would have been struggling to pick kids up at two spots across town from each other. After dealing with that last year, I felt pretty strongly that moving her to the morning class would be key element to maintaining my sanity, and in the end that would be good for her. No one wants a bat shit crazy mom, right? Luckily, because she's a little social butterfly, this hasn't impacted her too negatively. The first few days were weird for her, but now she's got a whole new posse of friends, plus we're still friends with kids from last year and see them socially, so she's got that going for her.

Extracurricularly speaking, my girls are BUSY. Lucy is taking golf lessons after school one day a week, and they both are attending a group piano class and a dance/acrobatics class. Luckily for me, since they are close enough in age, they go to the same piano and dance class, which was a huge relief for me. With Sam in hockey and piano and golf (not to mention the therapy that Sam and Lucy are still going to for now) I don't know how I'm going to manage all of this once Fred starts with sports/activities. Probably with a lot of coffee, and maybe some druge. Legal ones, of course, but I'm pretty sure drugs will be necessary.


In other unrelated news, we are having a giant birthday party for Maggie this weekend. She wanted a pinata in the shape of a unicorn, of course. I was just starting to think that I was going to have to whip out some paper mache around here, but then a trip to Target saved me. Wandering down the party aisles, Maggie should out, "THERE IT IS! MY UNICORN PINATA!!!"

If anyone dares to tell her that it's actually a donkey, I'll use the pinata stick on your head.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Back To School Update: Boy Edition

This little goofball started pre-pre-school last week. He freaking loves it, and only made a fuss when it was over. To be fair to him, the first two days were only 15 minutes long, and then the third was only 30 minutes. And he only goes on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Since it's at the same place that Maggie goes to school, we're there pretty often.  He begs to be taken to his class each and every time we drop her off or pick her up. I'm glad he likes it, but man it's a little tough literally dragging/carrying him out of the building while he cries and scream, "NO! I GO TO SCHOOL TOOOOOOOOOOO!" On second day I was in the classroom with him, and he just randomly started counting and didn't stop until he reached 23. And then he correctly identified all of the colors of the cubbies. When he saw that his cubby was yellow, he looked up at his teacher and said, clear as a bell, "I love my yellow cubby. Yellow is my favorite color you know." She looked at me with a shocked expression and I just threw my hands up and laughed. What could I say? "Here is my adorable son who apparently happens to be a genius. But be careful, because sometimes he bites." 

This one? Surprises me more each and every day. After all of our struggles last year, Sam had a really hard time mentally preparing to go back to school. He cried a lot the night before the first day, and the morning of as well. He was so convinced that his problems from last year were going to following him into the second grade. One of the school's support team teachers came to see him on the first day, and that sent him into a tailspin because he associated her with being in trouble. Luckily, his teacher picked up on this, and had a little talk with him on day two about fresh starts and getting to know one another. After that, he was like a new kid. He even told me on Friday that he likes school again. He has some really nice kids in his class, and some kids from hockey are in there, too, so his social world is expanding. And his classroom behavior has improved a lot as well. He isn't perfect, but he's trying. Last week at pickup, his teacher asked me if I got her message. My heart started pounding because my history with calls from the teacher have never been pleasant. Luckily, this was a good news situation. She just wanted to touch base with me and let me know how well things were going. I was so relieved/happy that I almost cried right there on the spot. 

How is your school year going so far? 

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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tangled Up In Indigo

My grandmother has dementia. She has had it for a while, but things have gotten worse lately. She has no recollection of my kids, even after spending the day with them. She thinks her long deceased parents are still alive, and when she is away from home for a while she starts to worry if her dad knows where she is. To make matters worse, she has breast cancer. My aunt has to take her to treatment and since she never remembers that she has cancer, it's a constant battle that no body wins.

A long time ago, when I was a little girl, my mother's grandmother had dementia. She found this poem and it brought her a lot of solace. With my other grandmother's death still fresh on my heart, I've been feeling like I need some solace as well. So I decided to do this:

It's a daily, visual reminder to try and hold onto those happy moments, with her and with everyone. To remind me to have fun with my kids. To kiss my husband goodnight each and every day. To not wait until I'm old and gray to do things I should be doing now. Like dyeing my hair purple.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunflowers and Nieces

So I would have to say that these Russian Mammoth Sunflowers really lived up to their name. My brother is 6'2" and the biggest one it definitely taller than he is. In other news...


My apologies in advance, but I might break the internet with all the photos of these little darlings that I'll be posting this week. Stay tuned!

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Suburban Peep Show

When you are a homeowner, your to-do list is always three pages long. Some items are major, like gut and remodel bathrooms and basement,  and some are relatively minor, like weed the front mulch beds. Plus, you have your standard daily tasks. Most days I usually end up vacuuming something, and unless it rains I water my garden.

It was while I was watering my garden the other day that I was all of a sudden motivated to tackle a task I've been avoiding for quite some time. We have a rather invasive outcropping of a woody-weed-like thing that I can't quite identify. It might be box elder. It might be green ash. It might be whothefuckcares. But it's been coming up around our yard all spring and summer and needed to be dealt with, finally. I have a magically powerful pair of pruning shears, so I got my work gloves, my magic shears and got down to business.

The first few were easy. They were isolated and small, and with one swift snip they were no more. A few were harder to get at, growing within a bed of flowers or shrubs. And finally, there was the Big One. We noticed this one growing all the way back in March or April, and by this point it was as tall as I was, but three times as wide. Getting at it was a little more than I had bargained for, and there were moments I thought I was going to fail. Or get some serious poison ivy. But with determination and stamina, I managed to get the effing thing cut down.

As I was catching my breath, I needed to wipe the sweat from my brow. I reached down for my shirt and realized that, in my haste, I had completed this task in my bathing suit and cover up, which basically looks like a strapless black mini-dress. I was bending over and pulling at tree branches with all of my sweaty might on a very heavily trafficked road in next to nothing. So to the brave souls who traversed route 19 on Wednesday July 17, to you I say I'm sorry. Or your welcome, if that's the sort of thing you are into.


To cleanse the palate, here is an adorable photo of Fred with C-3P0, or as Fred calls him, Star Wars.

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

You Can Get Anything You Want Down At Lucy's Restaurant

My darling little Lucy, for all of her challenges, has a keen sense of commerce and a real entrepreneurial spirit. She's always begging to have a lemonade stand or bake sale, and is even savvy enough to know that she should have her sale on Sundays when the two churches across the street are filled with customers. Recently I made a big batch of strawberry jam, and took some to my aunt and grandmother's house. I usually let the kids hand deliver goodies when we take someone a little gift, and Lucy readily volunteered to distribute the jam. Later on I found out that she charged them each $1 per jar. While her cunning business sense is to be admired, she is only 5 and so she didn't realize that since I spent $20 on the ingredients to make the jam, and only made 14 jars of it, $1 per jar wouldn't net us a profit. Hopefully she'll learn about that in first grade. 

Knowing this about my Lulu, I wasn't at all surprised to learn that she's decided to open a restaurant. In our house, naturally.

This morning we went to the new supermarket down the road, and they were handing out roses. As soon as we got home she convinced the other kids to donate theirs so that she could have a nice centerpiece at the best table at her restaurant. 

All real restaurants have real flowers on the table. Just like Chick-Fil-A! And all real restaurants have menus, including Lucy's Restaurant. 

Butter Bread. (Why this item gets punctuation I do not know!)
Cheese Sandwich
Mac n' Cheese
Milk, OJ or Green Juice
And Pancakes

Pretty much the best menu ever. She made multiple copies as well, so that each person at the table could have their own. This afternoon for lunch we had quesadillas instead of cheese sandwiches, so she had to change the name to Lucy's Mexican Restaurant, but the signage stayed the same. When we had strawberries for dessert she switched it back. For dinner tonight we are having mac n' cheese. I guess tomorrow we will have butter bread and pancakes. 

Make your reservations soon, as we are filling up quickly! 

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Monday, July 08, 2013

Dog Days

Wow. I blinked and summer is half over! How did that happen? We've been alternately doing everything and nothing, and generally having fun at both. On days when we stick around at home, we usually end up in the pool. 

Retro Swim Day

It rained yesterday so no pool. Instead we took ALL FOUR kids to the movies, which was a first for us. And for Maggie and Fred, who had never before seen a movie on the big screen. They behaved quite well. Until we ran out of popcorn, that is. Luckily, we were seeing Despicable Me 2 and the theater was full of squirming, chatty kids, so Fred's screaming was probably only noticeable on one or two (dozen) occasions. 

We had a nice family picnic for the Fourth of July, and the weather cooperated! And history repeated itself yet again in that we could see fireworks from our yard. I take that as a sign that we are meant to live here, at least for a while. 

Today is my mom and dad's 35th wedding anniversary. How cool is that? I was jazzed when SOB and I hit the 10 year mark, so I can't even imagine how 35 must feel. They took a weekend trip to the Grand Canyon of PA and spent the day hiking. Also very cool. When we hit our 35 year mark, we'll be older than they are now, but I hope we can manage a brisk walk at least.

And? I just ran 3 miles and change, and I don't feel quite so murder-y! I didn't love it, but my desire to kill myself or someone else was barely noticeable. Is that what all of these runners are talking about when they mention feeling a runners high? If it is, then LAME.

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Nature Talent Fairy

Because there are days when dressing up like a fairy and eating veggies raw from the garden are just par for the course.

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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Last Day of First Grade

Posing choices made by Sam.

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