Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hayley Katherine-7 years

Hayley's birth was not at all what I had prepared for or expected. I guess seeing so many birth scenes on tv and movies, I expected screaming and craziness and commotion. The actual birth was calm and quiet. One minute I was watching One Life to Live and wishing that I had thought to brush my hair, and the next moment the doctor said I was at 10 cm and left the room to bring in the nurse. I just looked at Andy and said "This is it?" and he nodded and came to stand next to me. A few pushes and Hayley was here. There was some screaming (her, not me), and laughter (mine, not hers) and tears (both of ours) and they brought her over to me. She looked so familiar, she looked exactly how I'd pictured her. I held her for a few minutes and realized that Andy was hovering over us, waiting for his turn so I handed her over to him. I would have held on longer if I had realized that he had no intention of giving her back anytime soon.
We spent 2 days in the hospital, Hayley slept most of the time. I tried nursing, we dressed and changed her and stared at her. I should have told the nurses not to bother leaving the plastic bassinet because I don't think she was ever in it. Andy stayed awake the entire time and she slept on his chest (he did occasionally give me a chance to hold her, mostly when she seemed hungry).
She was such a good baby, she slept through the night at 2 months and smiled and laughed so much more than she cried. I remember so many details of that first year. I remember Andy discovering that if you tapped gently on her upper lip when she was just a week or so old, she would "smile". I remember bathing her on the floor of her bedroom, how Andy and I would do that together every night and then I would read her "Guess how much I love you" and sing James Taylor songs until she was tired.
I remember when she was 8 months old and she would pull up on boxes and make speeches, just babbling and gesturing wildly and pounding on the box for emphasis.
I remember her first day of preschool, when she was 2 and a half. We were so worried that she would be scared or lonely but when we went to pick her up, she ran to her new teacher, gave her a high five and said "Give me a hug!" and we knew she would be just fine.
I remember her seeing Ace for the first time, wearing her "I'm a Big Sister" crown. She just marched right into the hospital room and put out her arms to hold him. She told us that he was her brother and she was going to take care of him.
I remember all her birthdays, surrounded by people that love her. I think her favorite so far was the Tumblebus coming to our house when she turned 5.
I remember dropping her off at school on the first day of Kindergarten. I remember pulling out of the drop off lane thinking "Well, that was easier than I thought" and then pulling in the driveway and breaking down into tears, wondering how 5 years could go so quickly.
And last year, I remember her walking down the aisle at Katherine's wedding, with her flower basket. And staying up as late as anyone, dancing the night away.
She has provided us with so many moments, big and small.
She is smart and funny and she knows how to be a good friend to everyone. She feels things very deeply and spends so much time thinking of other people. She is talented in so many ways and even when she isn't so good at something, it doesn't stop her from trying and doing her best. I'm so proud of her, and so blessed to have her in my life and call her my daughter.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lucy Claire-6 months

"I've got an angel
She doesn't wear any wings
She wears a heart that can melt my own
She wears a smile that can make me wanna sing
She gives me presents
With her presence alone
She gives me everything I could wish for
She gives me kisses on the lips just for coming home
She could make angels
I've seen it with my own eyes
You gotta be careful when you've got good love
Cause the angels will just keep on multiplying
But you're so busy changing the world
Just one smile and you can change all of mine
We share the same soul"

-Jack Johnson "Angel"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Operation Lose the Baby Weight- First day (and perhaps last)

Beach season is right around the corner. Yesterday I was going through our bathing suits and deciding what needs replacing. Ace's 24 month Nemo suit that the has worn since 2006? Replace. Julia can probably still squeeze into the 18 month suit that she wore late last summer and I can pass down the swim diaper to Lucy. Hayley has a brand spanking new suit from G-ma so she is all set. Andy has been known to turn any item of clothing into an impromptu bathing suit so he is on his own. So, who's left. Oh yeah, me. Well, I have my maternity suit that I have worn for the past 4 summers (even though I was only pregnant through 2 of them) so that should work, right? Well, when I tried it on and still looked 5 months pregnant I thought maybe now was the time to kick my exercise regimen up to the next level. Meaning, actually do the exercise rather than sit in my chair and talk about it. So yesterday I took a long walk. I took my favorite exercise partner, Buddy (who is my favorite because he is approximately 83 years old in people years and his tummy has been known to drag along the floor at times) and we walked all the way to Main Street and back. On the way home, I found 20 dollars in the middle of the road. Encouraged by this cosmic reward for my efforts, I tried the 30 day Shred w/ Jillian Michaels from my DVR because I've heard it is awesome. Apparently, in fitness circles, "awesome" means brutally painful and exhausting. I made it 15 minutes. Julia completed the entire workout and then demanded a trip to Dunkin Donuts and asked me if I needed help (I was lying on the floor panting at this point).
I'll keep you updated on my progress. If you don't hear from me, I may still be lying on the floor and need some assistance. Seriously, because Julia needs a ride to Dunkin Donuts.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My First Car

*inspired by Uppercase Woman, who has a much better First Car Story on her blog today*

When I was 16 I inherited the brown Toyota Camry that had been used by both my sisters before me (I think. They may argue with this and I have a faint memory that they may have actually driven something that predated the Camry). I didn't care that it was just about the least attractive shade of brown imaginable, or that the front driver's side window only rolled up 3/4 of the way. I didn't even care that after a year of driving it I somehow managed to kill the radio. Oh no, I just velcroed a bike radio to the front dash. A stroke of brilliance! Even though the velcro wasn't strong enough to keep the radio in place when I took a sharp corner. That sucker would go flying and I often had to yell DUCK! to keep my unsuspecting passenger from getting a face full of bike radio. None of that mattered because I was 16 and that brown Camry meant no more school buses, no more NPR on the preset radio stations (when they still functioned), off campus lunches. All the things that mean freedom when you are a Junior in high school and don't have a particularly active wild streak.
I loved that car. If for nothing else but for the fact that it made my second car (a modest blue Saturn), look like luxury on wheels.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Q & A

Thanks to a great video blog from Brandi and Boys, we tried something new at dinner tonight. I wrote down some family conversation starters from different websites, cut them into strips, and the kids took turns picking one. Here are some snippets from our Dinner Table Q and A:
(Julia's answers were awesomely predictable.)

Q: What is your favorite smell?

Hayley: Horses
Ace: A pool
Julia: Doughnuts

Q. What super hero do you admire:

Ace: Batman
Hayley: The Hulk
Julia: Elmo

Q. If you could choose a super power, what would it be:

Hayley: To be invisible
Ace: To fly like the red Spiderman
Julia: Hug Elmo

Q: What is your favorite place (besides home):

Ace: Grandmas
Hayley: School
Julia: Joes

Q: (asked by Ace) "Who is your favorite friend. Maybe, Ace?"

Hayley: .....
Ace: Maybe ACE?!
Hayley: Um, well, Pa...
Ace: I know, it's ACE!

By the way, I suspect that Hayley has not ever really been close enough to a horse to smell it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Donuts and Joes

Every Thursday we get Ace and Hayley off to school and then the baby girls and I (and Andy, most days) head off to Dunkin Donuts and then Trader Joes for some goodies. Julia LOVES this routine, so much so that every Wednesday we sing this song together at bedtime:
"Donuts and Joes, Donuts and Joes
Oh how we love, Donuts and Joes.
So get in your bed and cover your toes
Cause tomorrow we'll have donuts and Joes"

And every Thursday starting around 7am, Julia starts yelling HOW BOUT DOUGHNUTS??? HOW BOUT JOES?!

The funniest thing about our routine is that from the time we get out of the car at Dunkin Donuts to the time we get back in the car after Joes, Julia is almost completely silent. She is so busy taking everything in that she barely says a word (except the occasional "How bout those?" when she points out something she wants in the store) I keep blabbering on to her wherever we are and sometimes she'll acknowledge me with a word or two, but that's about it. A few weeks ago she actually fell out of her chair while eating her doughnut because she was so busy people watching that she forgot she was sitting sideways in the chair and there was no back to lean against. She is an observer, that is for sure.

Once we walk in the house after our morning out, she starts talking about everything we saw and I realize just how much I miss by not being silent. Today she told me all about the man pushing snow off the roof, the oranges that we left in the cart (information that would have come in handy before I wondered if I was going crazy because I could not find the oranges that I swear I bought), and dozens of other things that she noticed this morning.

Hayley seems to have inherited my genes for chattiness, she likes to talk about everything. Julia, on the other hand, is Daddy's girl. They both silently soak in what is happening around them.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

They're all beautiful to me

We were kind of bored this past month and spent a lot of time snapping pictures of the kids, then we promptly called to cancel our appointment with the child model casting agent.

February Fun

I had a request for pictures so I revved up the camera to see what precious memories I captured in February and I've got to tell ya, pickins are slim. Unfortunately, we spent so much of the month with colds that in most of the pictures, the kids' faces are so snotty, I really can't post the pictures. My kids are cute as can be but really, does anyone look good with chapped lips and crusty noses? That answer is no.
But, here is a small glimpse at our month.