Monday, August 31, 2009


Early this morning I had a lovely dream. I was shopping at the local CVS and they had Charmin toilet paper on sale, 99 cents for one of those big packages with 12 double rolls. I filled the cart and triumphantly returned home with trunk full of toilet paper. Then I woke up and realized it was all just a dream. We were still down to our last roll of toilet paper. I was very sad. Then, I was even sadder when I realized that that was the most exciting dream I had all week.
Even earlier this morning I had a nightmare. It was Christmas, which is splendid. Except the problem was, it was suddenly Christmas. We had somehow time-warped 3 months ahead, Lucy was 15 months and we had missed all the fun of Labor day, her first birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, all the things between now and then. I was very happy to wake up and find it to be August 30th.
Late last night I had a funny dream. Ace sleep-walked into my room with very floppy hair and no sense of direction. He stumbled around, ran into the dresser (not too hard, that wouldn't be funny), and finally made his way to my bed where he announced "I'm tired". Oh wait, that one wasn't a dream, that really happened.

Here, for no particular reason, is a very silly picture Ace took of Julia. I'm not sure what she is so happy about but I think she was up to something. That is usually when she has that look on her face, when she is up to some mischief.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

And now, for something much less poetic...

I'm preparing for next Sunday's Back To School Feast (idea courtesy of NieNie, Suburban Turmoil, and other fantastic bloggers)

I'm making cards for each of our school-goers and including a little poem in them.

Here they are:

Julia (entering her first year of Preschool:

You are bold and you are clever
And we will love you for ever and ever

You will go to school and see Ms. Maureen
You will do things undone and see sights unseen.
You'll have so much fun, sweet JuJu Bean.

Ace (entering last year of preschool, moving from the 2 day to the 4 day program)

Last year you were three, now you are four
You will go back to the same school, but now even more

You will see old friends like Ellie and Mandy
And make lots of new friends, cause you are as sweet as candy.

Hayley (entering 2nd Grade)

It's time to go back to school, it's already September
I know second grade will be a year to remember

You will make new friends and learn something new every day.
And you will have our love with you, all the way!

Quote of the Day

From Barack Obama's eulogy of Senator Ted Kennedy:

"We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God’s plan for us.

What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings."

Friday, August 28, 2009

I am woman hear me...curl up in a ball and whimper like a little puppy.

Andy is on his way home today after being out of town for 8 days. After a short "I am an independent woman and I'm doing it for myself" phase, I crumbled and admitted defeat. I even hid from the kids one day. They were driving me up the wall so when I heard them barreling up the stairs after playing happily without me for exactly 3 minutes and 32 seconds, I ran into my room and hid behind the bed. I would have had a moment of peace if Lucy hadn't given me away by saying "Hi! Hi Mama!" and giving away my location. That was a low point, I admit.
It hasn't been all bad. As long as I kept the kids busy, we were all happy. The tour of the fire station was the highlight of the week (perhaps the whole summer) for Ace. Fireman Frank could not have been nicer. He took an hour and a half out of his day to give us a great tour, he answered all of our questions and he gave all the kids helmets and coloring books and crayons. Ace floated out of the fire station on cloud 9. He has not taken his firefighter pants off yet.
Hayley had her last swimming lesson and was very proud to graduate from the Pollywogs with honors.
Julia enjoyed riding Ace's bike around the track at Hayley's school, she is so confident now that I can't keep up with her. At the beginning of the summer she went so slowly that I could stand in one spot for a few minutes before I had to take a step to catch up to her. Now she leaves me in the dust.
Lucy has been kind enough to save her official first steps for when Andy returns, but we've had a lot of close calls. She takes a step or two and then a stumble before she plops down and decides it is faster to crawl. If she weren't always in such a hurry, I bet she would be walking by now.
Honestly, the worst part of the week was trying to keep up with all the things that Andy does around the house that I take for granted. He does a lot of big things, like calm Ace down after he has a nightmare about lobsters, or watch Bill Dance Outdoors with Lucy at 3am when she has teething trouble. But there are also so many small things that I don't even notice. For example, our hot water heater leaks so we have to keep a pickle jar under it to catch the overflow. If we forget to empty it, we end up with a puddle of water on the basement floor. Guess who never remembers to empty it? Yep, I had to mop the floor twice while Andy was gone. I really missed him when I found a dead mole by the back door. You see, my plan of action when I find a dead rodent near my house is to go inside and alert Andy to the situation. This time I had to get out the snow shovel and move the little twerp myself. I stepped on a snake in the process. I'm still shuddering from that experience. So, Andy, come home soon, I kind of like having you around.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Oh what a night

It has been an exciting weekend around here. Lucy turned 11 months, Hayley went to a birthday party where she and Julia went down a huge water slide, Grandpa went home to NC for the start of the school year, a hurricane is nearby. But nothing, NO. THING, compares to our dinner at the 99 last night. It was a night that Ace will talk about for months. An event that, less than 24 hours later, has already been told and retold by Ace at least 30 times.
What could have been so legendary you ask? I have 2 words for you: Fireman. Frank.

We saw him leaving the restaurant just as we were going in. Ace froze in his spot and, I'm 90 percent sure, peed a little.

I know Fireman Frank's wife so they stopped to say hello. She is somewhat aware of Ace's deep obsession *ahem*, I mean admiration, for her husband so she wasn't completely weirded out by our encounter. Then again, maybe she was. Here's how it happened:

Me: "Oh! Mom! Dad! This is him! This is Fireman Frank!"

Ace: (Complete Silence, huge goofy smile and googly eyes at Fireman Frank)

Grandma: Oh! We have heard SO MUCH about you.

Me: "You have no idea! Ace pretends to be you. Every day. All day. All the time. We hear about you all the time. Seriously, all the time. I mean it. All the time."

Ace: (Complete Silence, huge goofy smile and googly eyes at Fireman Frank)

Fireman Frank. "Wow."

It goes on like this for quite some time, my mom describes to F.F how Ace imitates him by lining up all his fireman gear and putting on a presentation, Ace stands there with the same googly-eyed expression, and just nods his head at every word F.F says. Fireman Frank graciously invites us to come by the fire station anytime for a tour with him and we say our goodbyes.

Looking back it is possible we looked like complete wackadoos but I also think Fireman Frank may be accustomed to hero worship from 4 year olds. I have no excuse for my own behavior, maybe they will just assume I'm a heavy drinker.

This Fireman Frank sighting and invitation to the station would be enough to make Ace happy for the entire weekend but the night was not over yet. As we walked into the restaurant, Ace was telling everyone in sight that he had a personal invitation to the fire station. One of the hostesses stopped at our table about 20 minutes later and said that there was a fire rescue truck picking up a to go order outside if we wanted to catch a look, she had mentioned to them that we had a future firefighter at the table. I took Ace outside to see and the firefighter waved him over and let him sit up in the truck. Ace was literally shaking with excitement when we got back to the table.

When I got home and everyone was settled in bed, I called Aunt Katherine. Katherine loves Ace so much and she worries that he has such high hopes that there is no way reality can live up to his expectations. I know she's right, I know there will be days that real life just isn't all he'd hope it would be. But my wish for him is that there will also be plenty of nights like last night. Nights when his hero does show up and life does feel like a dream come true.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

News from the Weird

It's almost midnight and I should be trying to get in my usual 3 hours of sleep before Lucy wakes up for our nightly 3am party. Instead I feel like I need to update because even I am sick of looking at that whiny post every day.

We had a fun time this week, a much more relaxed week than last. Maybe too relaxed. This morning I was finishing up a book and I couldn't put it down. I took it into the bathroom with me while Julia took a bath and didn't realize until too late that she was scrubbing her entire body with her toothbrush (Don't worry, we got her a new one).
Another day I forgot to feed the kids. It was 2pm and they came upstairs whining and I got all set to send them on their way when Juila, in the most pitiful voice you've ever heard said "But Mama, I so huungeee". I realized they had been up since 8am and had only had a bowl of cheerios each. I guess that may have traumatized them because the next day for breakfast they each had 3 bowls of cereal and Ace even stole some of Lucy's dry cereal and put it in his pocket, you know, just in case.

One thing I love about spending all day with all 4 kids is that there is always something funny to look back on at the end of the day. Even if I'm exhausted and feel like I spent the day with a troop of monkeys who kept demanding cheddar bunnies and popsicles, I still fall asleep with a smile on my face, thinking of something outrageous that one of them did or said that day.
Such as....
Monday we went to meet Grandma at the beach and Julia refused to swim because she didn't want to get wet. She did, however, want to take 4 trips to the outdoor shower and play in it. I asked why she didn't want to get wet in the ocean but would get wet in the shower and she said "I not getting wet! I getting keeen!" (clean).
Tuesday, we had a picnic at the park, Ace ate half a ham and cheese sandwich and then said he was done and wanted to go play. We cleaned up and headed off to the playground. At one point, Ace came down the slide and left a trail of something behind him. It was gooey and mushy and I was afraid to get near it but people were watching so I couldn't just walk away. As I wiped it with my shirt I realized it was the other half of his sandwich, that he had crammed in his back pocket.
Wednesday. Hmm, I guess Wednesday my kids acted normal. Moving right along...
Thursday Ace was Frank The Firefighter. I was alerted to this fact when he called my Dad to make plans for later in the day and said "Hi Grandpa, it's Ac..Um, it's Fireman Frank. Then he got dressed in his Fireman costume and we set off for the library. He spoke to everyone there as if he were Fireman Frank (we were lucky that Frank's wife, who is a librarian, was not working that day, that would have been awkward*) and even told Ms. Penny to call him later, his number was 911. He also gave out this number to Julia's speech therapist, Hayley's friend, and the waitress at the 99.

See, a bunch of monkeys, that's what I've got.

The weekend was long and fun, Andy was home early Thursday and we all went to Coast Guard family day Friday. I rode a horse with Julia and I think I was more nervous than she was. She just kept asking "Are we going to ride dis hos" while we were riding. Saturday we went to the pool and out for pizza. Today, Andy took the Big 2 fishing while I took the Little 2 to Grandma and Grandpas. No fish were caught but they all came home excited because they had been run off the lake by a swan. Apparently, even to Big Tough Dad Andy, swans can be very frightening.

*Yes, Fireman Frank is an actual person. He came to Ace's school one day for a lesson on Fire Safety, at which point, Ace stole his identity.