Friday, December 23, 2011

Well, this is awkward.

Yes, I broke up with my blog for while. I was drawn away by the flash and glamour of Facebook and Pinterest and blogging just seemed to have lost it's spark. So I left to pursue my dreams of making every nutella recipe Pinterest had to offer and reconnecting with my third grade music teacher over witty status updates and shared "likes". Since I'm the only one who reads my own babbling it didn't seem important to keep up here but I missed the old blog, and here I am, seeing the error of my ways and crawling back. I was reading through the archives to find a Christmas quote I like and found myself reading my entries from the fall/winter of 2008. Ace was in his unpredictable, tantrum-y stage, I was still counting Lucy's age in weeks, Julia was in diapers, and Hayley had just begun school. I have pictures and memories from those days but seeing in words what our days were like is something worth keeping up with. Because the time, it flies.
We are getting the house ready for my sister's visit and for our other Christmas activities. Lucy is going bonkers. Sara is her "dinosaur mommy" and all around favorite person. One of her favorite games is to have me pretend to be Sara so she can live out her dream of having Sara as a mommy. The rejection stings a little but Sara is pretty awesome so I get it.
Julia is going about twice as nuts as the other kids because she is also excited about her birthday after Christmas. Last year she called us out on the lack of presents on her birthday (we ended up giving her some of her b-day presents on Christmas because we are awful about waiting) so she only had one gift from us. This year I'm doing my shopping for her after Christmas so I'm not tempted to do the same this year.
She will be 5, which is unbelievable to me. One more semester at preschool and we will be sending her off to kindergarten. Un. Believable.
I hope everyone is feeling the peace, joy and love of the season. If you have a little bit of all of those things in your life, you can stop shopping, you have the only gifts you'll ever need.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I was worried that when we moved to a small town we would have fewer opportunities to do fun things with the kids but October has set out to prove me very wrong. Every week our calender is full of great Fall activities and each of the kids (except our poor perpetually Left Out Lucy) has a special activity just for them. I love it, Andy is exhasted, and the kids are now going to expect every month to be as jam packed as this one.
Here's a peek at what we've done and what we have planned.

Last week Julia went to a fire safety program put on by the local firefighters. It would have been perfect for Ace but his class didn't have a bus so they had to cancel their trip. That turned out okay because it was Julia's first field trip so it got to be all about her. Also, I got a glimpse into her preschool world and was happy to see that she has made a lot of sweet friends and her teachers are as awesome as I've heard they are.

Saturday we went to a birthday party at a small hands-on science museum downtown. Everyone had fun (even if Hayley refused to smile the entire time)

Sunday was military appreciation day at the zoo so we got to go for free. With a family of 6 to pay admission for, we will happily battle the crowds if it means saving all that money so we were there bright and early (which means 10:30 for us). We spent 5 hours seeing every animal, keeping all the kids happy with snacks and drinks and lifting up child after child so they could get a better view of the animals. Then we missed the last train ride of the day because we had to go get tokens and were not in line in time. That means that the previous 5 hours were instantly forgotten and all they will remember from our trip to the zoo is that we missed the train. But, I have pictures. See, they were happy, it was fun!

Hayley had a field trip today to learn about the Civil War. I'm not sure what she learned but I did hear every detail about the bus ride, the picnic lunch, and that she learned how to play MASH on the way home.

Ace is going to "sleep with the sharks" at the aquarium with his scout troop and his dad on Friday and Saturday we are packing up and heading to my hometown for the State Fair. I've been looking forward to that for the entire month so I hope the kids love it as much as I did!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lucy Claire, 3

I thought today would be hard. I thought I would feel sad and lost because my baby is not a baby anymore. She is the Big 3. The age of wonder and discovery and (let's hope) potty training. But instead of feeling sad I have worn a smile all day. Because if there is anything at all that could be better than knowing Lucy, the baby, it is knowing Lucy, the big girl. She is something to behold, let me tell you. Clever and silly. Stubborn and bold. Funny and thoughtful. Even as the youngest of four children, she finds her own way in the world. She has her own unique personality and the strongest will of any three year old I know.
She is our baby, our wild card and she is so, so loved. Today on her birthday and EVERY day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So far, so good

School started last Thursday (for those keeping track, that is 2 days after the earthquake and 2 days before the hurricane, sheesh). I spent the week before wringing my hands and losing sleep over all the What-Ifs. What if they encounter a bully? What if they are scared? What if they miss their old school? If you've ever read Wemberly Worried, that is an accurate description of me the days before school started. The best description of Ace before school started was a friend's comment on my facebook: "Ace is all in, baby, all in!" He left the orientation giving complete strangers high fives and practically leaping into the car on the first day. Hayley was not so enthusiastic but she was happy to be going back and optimistic about making new friends. I asked them after the first day if it was a one thumb up day, a two thumb up day, or a thumbs down day and Hayley said "I wish I had three thumbs!" so I think it's safe to say they still have a positive attitude about school.
Next week Lucy and Julia start preschool and I will have 2 mornings a week all to myself. Whatever will I do with my freedom? Start a bookclub? Plant a garden? Plan and prepare elaborate meals? Watch marathons of My Redneck Wedding while eating handfuls of cereal straight out of the box? The possibilities are endless.
The girls are as ready for school as the big kids were. The day before school started we had a back to school party with cupcakes and candles and we went around the table telling what we wished most for the new school year. Lucy wished that she would "Not be mean all the time" and Julia pondered the question for a while before shrugging and saying "Just that it will be great and also awesome". My girls, they aim high.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Two weeks ago when I looked at the calender and realized that the kids would be starting school about two weeks earlier than usual, I told Andy I would not be ready when it was time for them to go back. We still had so much Summer to do. I was wrong. This past week has felt like an endless loop of whining, tantrums, complaining, and arguing. It was the first week that we weren't unpacking or traveling or babysitting and I thought I would appreciate the lull in activitiy. Again, I was wrong. With no plans, our living room quickly began to resemble the commercial for Planet of the Apes. You know, where the apes (my kids) are throwing cars and bellowing and the humans (me) are running scared.
So, yes, I am ready for school to begin. I think the big kids are too. But we also still have a lot of Summer. The brief moments when no one is losing their mind have been precious. We swim in our little backyard pool every afternoon. Lucy and Julia are getting braver and braver in the water everyday (which makes me more and more nervous). The pool is very shallow but it is wide enough that they can actually swim across it and float around. Lucy says we are mermaids together.
We also have daily concerts put on by Julia and Hayley, they dance and sing and I'm supposed to vote on who wins. They are surprised everytime by the two way tie.
Ace puts on Fire prevention presentations. He lists the important safety rules: 1. Don't swim in a storm. 2.If you want to set something on fire, call him, Firefighter Ace. 3. Don't smoke in bed. (he read this one in a children's book on fire prevention that was published in the early 70's and he wasn't quite sure how you would know if you were smoking in bed or not, we had to explain that one).

Sunday, July 24, 2011


We are beginning our fourth week in our new house in a new state and I'd say we are finally beginning to feel settled here and beginning a normal routine (well, normal for summertime, which allows for 10 pm bedtimes for the kids and popsicle lunches). I think the transition was so easy for me because NC was my home for 22 years, so coming back meant returning to the familiar. For the kids, it was a bit more of a shock. We did our best to make things as easy as possible for them and giving them what we felt was the right amount of information at the right times. They have known for months that we would be moving, they came with us househunting in March so they could see the area, we tried to find a lot of time to spend with thier friends in the days and weeks before we left Ma. It was hard to say goodbye to their home and they are still a little rattled by all the big changes but we have been so lucky to meet wonderful new friends already and they love the house so they have adjusted really well.
My sisters came to visit me last week and then we traveled together to my hometown for some more family time. It was so great to have all 7 cousins together and see how they all loved each other. Moving closer to family is definitely at the top of the list of the best things about moving to NC. It was the best birthday present ever!
Speaking of birthdays, I feel like I should have some reflections on turning 33. Not that it is a milestone birthday (although my dad did point out to me that I am now exactly half his age). 33 is significant for me because 23 was a very significant age for me. On my 23rd birthday my parents gave me a card that said "On your birthday if life surprises you...Let it." A few days later I found out I was expecting Hayley. Before my 24th birthday I had a new husband, and new home, and a new baby girl. 23 was a year of the sweetest surprises. So my wish for my 33rd is that life continues to surprise me, and I continue to let it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Breaking

I can not believe it is Spring Break already. It doesn't feel too Spring- like when we have only had a handful of days where the sun was shining and the temp was over 50 degrees. Also, the first three months of the year have gone so quickly. The move is coming up on us so quickly too, I am so excited and nervous and stressed and happy and sad all at once. In short, I'm an over-emotional mess. I cried watching Oprah which is not unusual for me except this time the show had not even started, it was just a promo with Paul Simon singing. Darn you, Paul Simon, going and making me feel things! (I don't know what movie that came from, if you recognize it, tell me because it's going to bug me until I remember)
Ace and Hayley had playdates today. I'm so glad my kids are well behaved at other people's homes. It makes me forgive them for behaving like wild monkeys here at home. It also means they get invited back for more playdates so I can enjoy more afternoons of relative peace (Hayley and Ace spend a lot of vacation time fighting because they are not used to so much uninterrupted sibling bonding). I went to pick Ace up this afternoon and the mother of his friend told me that he was quite the ladies man. She said she put on a tv show for them and Ace said "Let's sit together on the couch and watch Scooby-Do, it'll be like a date" and then put his arm around his friend. I'm impressed with his bold moves but did clarify that parentally surpervised cartoon watching would be all the dating he can do for the next 10 years. He accepted my terms.
We have a few more plans for the week, including skating, having friends over, a movie, and some library activities. I like having time to just be together but an entire week is exhausting and hard to fill. Sometimes all this "together" time makes me feel like I am actually spending less time than usual interacting with my kids. I'm used to our routine which has kind of built in individual time with each of them. Lucy and I have 3 mornings while everyone else is at school, Julia has afternoons while Lucy is resting (naps are a thing of the past around here). Hayley has homework time and Ace has afterschool while the girls are playing together. And then by the weekend they have all missed each other so they play well and we usually have plans that keep us busy. But over this long stretch there is either so much to do that we are rushing around or we are bored and cranky and I send them off to the playroom so they aren't driving me crazy. So, I'm guessing by next Monday I'll be more than ready to get back into our groove and send them back to school! Until then, I guess I will enjoy watching Transformers every day at 7am with Ace!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In a nutshell...

The post-holiday part of our winter was eventful, with long stretches of nothingness in  between events. We celebrated Ace turning 6. We had his b-day dinner at Friendly's and a small party over winter break. They played kinect, played some Transformer's themed party games and made "allsparks" from construction paper and shoeboxes. It was very low key and fun, Ace is in his element with just a few friends who share his interests (toys, food, fart jokes) so he was well behaved and so were his buddies. A few weeks later we celebrated Hayley's 9th birthday early with a trip to the A. Girl doll store and a "fancy" dinner out in Boston. The night before her birthday she had a friends over for more kinect, a dance party, and a movie. Again, it was perfectly simple and fun. For anyone with more than one child, I highly recommend lowering expectations for birthday parties (actually, I recommend lowering expectations all together).  It has taken so much pressure off this year not to plan parties and the kids have enjoyed their birthdays as much as any other year. In fact, I think they may have had more fun because the day was really focused on them and they had more than one celebration.
We spent a week in NC, househunting and getting to know our soon-to-be home. It was busy and the kids were pretty bored but it was a nice break from the ordinary and got me feeling really excited about our move this summer.
So, that was the rest of our winter. I'm leaving out some very important events of course, like Lucy's continued resistance to potty training. If you ask her if she will try to use the potty she will look at you like you suggested she try snorting pepper and say "I do that later, Mommy".  Hayley has lost 2 more teeth, one while she was eating her first half rack of ribs (the girl is 40 pounds soaking wet and she ate those ribs like they were a light snack, our waitress was astounded.) Ace is into all things Transformers, he watches the DVD's on the mini tv in his room while acting out the scenes shot for shot with his toys. Ever since the week that Julia was sick and spent the day in front of the tv she has been really into cooking shows. She loves to watch Giada and the Neelys and then request whatever they are making for dinner (ironically, her favorite food is still ramen noodles).
One more thing and then I will end this rambling. As the weather has improved I've started a new routine of taking one of the kids at a time with me on my evening walk with the dogs. I used to resist taking them because it was my time to have some quiet but now I've started taking my own walk earlier in the day and I've discovered how much I enjoy the one on one time with the kids. Ace will open up and talk to me without getting silly and distracted. Hayley gets to talk without being interrupted and Julia and Lucy mostly love to ask questions and anxiously await one of the dogs' pooping. I hope they don't get tired of it because I love it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I slept way, way in this morning and woke up to Lucy picking my nose and telling me that I am her best friend. Then she listed her best friends: Daddy, JuJu, Hay-ey, Ass, Buddy, Coco, and Mama. She calculated that that equals 2 best friends. And all her best friends were coming to her party in the living room. If that isn't a good excuse to get out of bed on a Saturday morning, I just don't know what is.
I helped with the PTA Game Night at the school last night. I pulled it together in 10 days and when it was all set up and we were waiting for the kids to show up I was feeling pretty darn proud of myself and my organizational, party planning skills. Then the PTA president informed me that my fly was down. Still, the night went well and I think I did a good job, wardrobe malfunctions aside.
We get through the winter months by indulging the kids (and ourselves)  in random surprises and frequent trips to Dunkin Donuts or out to dinner or anything to break up the monotony of getting up, bundling up, defrosting our car, and heading off to the same old places. Monday we took the kids shopping and to Red Robin for dinner. After dinner Lucy hopped off her booster seat and, without prompting, went over to Andy and gave him a hug and said "That was a yummy dinner, thank you Daddy". It was simple but so sweet, and made me proud that she has such a grateful heart. She says "Thank You" at least 20 times a day and she really means it. That impresses me, as do many things about my Lucy. 
Julia was a rockstar at her 4 year check up yesterday, she is 29 lbs and on target with all her milestones. When we left she asked why the doctor called her a peanut and I said it was because she was little and cute like a peanut and she said "Oh, I thought maybe I smelled funny". I don't know why but that was the funniest moment of my entire day.
I don't know why I still can't post pictures but after the kids are in bed I'll try to post an all picture update. I have some good ones of the kids bowling and game night. Luckily, I don't have any that capture me with my fly down.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I sure am glad I didn't make a New Year's resolution to update my blog more often because I would be failing miserably. Other things I'm glad I did not resolve to do: eat less bacon, watch less television, take fewer naps. Because the first 12 days of 2011 have included a lot of bacon, television, and napping.

We also had a birthday party for Julia. Not a Party! party, because those are overwhelming for our sweet, shy princess. But we went sledding that Saturday, and then to a movie and out to dinner and she had a play date with her best friend at the end of the week. We did things that made her happy, and celebrated 4 years of having her around making us happy.

We welcomed my nephew into the world, except he was in Texas and we were welcoming him from all the way up here. I'm sad I wasn't there but all the excitement and love we were sending was enough to travel halfway across the country.

It is probably for the best that I was not there when he was born because I was a big stack of cold germs all week. That explains the excessive amount of napping and television (I have no excuse for the bacon.)

p.s- I know it is actually 16 days into January but I typed this out a few days ago but didn't post it because I wanted to add pictures. But then I tried to add pictures and Blogger was all "No. I hate you." so I just decided to go ahead and post it picture-less. In short, I am a huge blogging failure.