Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow Day!

It was predicted that we would receive anywhere from 9"-14" of snow on Friday and it was scheduled to begin anytime after 9AM. But other than the grey skies above the only other sign of things to come was the fact that school was canceled and not a single flurry had touched the ground.
The start time was continuously being pushed back on all the radio stations and I began to wonder if the day off from school would end up being a waste. We bided our time by playing and waiting patiently for the much anticipated storm.
The kids have had a bad case of cabin/holiday fever for about a week, month, ok since at least Halloween, so I immediately wracked my brain for things to do that would occupy them during what could be a long, torturous day. We ran out to the post office so that I could buy stamps to send Christmas cards to all you lovely people in the hopes that you might actually receive them PRIOR to Christmas. After that we ran over to the grocery store and picked up some items in order to begin baking cookies. After all, if there was no snow, cookies could always be counted on as an instant "pick-me-up".

And after much waiting, the snow finally began to fall...and fall...and it accumulated quickly. The boys were napping when it began so I took the opportunity to shovel the driveway in the hopes that when Bill arrived home he would be able to make it up to the garage without having to park on the street in order to clear it himself. I made two passes on it and yet when he arrived shortly thereafter he still had to clear it again before making his way to the top.

Around 4pm we bundled up the kids and went outside to play. This is the first year that Robert was old enough to play in it so of course I snapped a couple of "first time" pictures.

We also threw an impromptu snow/cookie making/reason to drink some wine party with the neighbors which turned into a sleepover for Megan and their oldest daughter. The kids had a great time and even though we had rather slow start it turned out to be one of those memorable snow days that will always stick in our minds.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Welcome to my world of moderation

Well, I knew it could happen. In fact, I've read on other blogs when an entry or photo of another parent's child has been violated either via comments, stolen or modified photos, etc. But I guess in my own naivety, I thought that my blog wouldn't or couldn't be affected by this. Unfortunately, the sick world that we all live in has hit this little blog and rocked my tiny corner of the world.

It's certainly a heavy and sick feeling to read that someone has taken an innocent photo and entry and turned it into something it isn't. Their own sick imagination creating more of an image than is there to begin with. The hardest part as a parent is dealing with that initial shock. The second hardest is forcing yourself to fight back in the most passive way possible. Definitely not what my instincts were telling me I should be doing.

So after immediately turning on the "moderate comments" feature, I took a deep breath before making another move. Unfortunately more comments were received, each more offensive than the last, and so Bill and I discussed the best possible way to move forward.

  1. Go completely aggressive and password protect the entire blog.
  2. Remove the mentioned entry in it's entirety.
  3. Remove the mentioned photo.

Instead of jumping the gun on this one, I've decided to work my way backwards through the list above. So for now, all that you will notice is that your comments will not be published immediately as they were in the past. Instead I can now choose whether to publish, moderate or reject your comments as they come in.

But if that freaky ass pedophile is still out there waiting for another entry to violate and chooses to continue stalking my blog, that password protection isn't so far up the list that we can't jump ahead to option #1.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Scary, wild and crazy

The title pretty much sums up what has been going on around here for the past week. The scary part comes from the numerous diggers that Robert has been taking. The other evening he overestimated the distance between himself and the pillows that he was dive bombing and slammed head first into the head board. Enter immediate goose egg, some crying and later only a small bruise to account for it. Last evening, he decided to crawl up onto the dining room chair and while standing backwards it toppled over. As I came running from the other room I found him clinging to the rungs and kneeling on the back of it, screaming of course. I immediately began checking for pinched fingers or a bloody mouth (which seems to be the norm for him) only to discover the other side of his head growing an enormous and rather purple egg on it. An ice pack on it seemed to calm him considerably and although the blood came to the surface the skin never broke so all that he's been left with is a nasty brush burn looking spot on his noggin.

Regarding the wild...it's always kind of wild around here with the three kids but particularly so in the past few weeks. Chalk it up to holiday chaos, being cooped up indoors now that it's colder outside or all of the above, I'm really not sure. But we've also found out that Matt has been acting up in school. I think his teacher was in a rather crabby mood when she unloaded on me the other morning but regardless, he's been spoken to about this issue almost on a daily basis now. I just don't want him turning into the class pain-in-the-ass, if you know what I mean.

And the crazy...well see the above for most of it. But here is some evidence of the craziness that Robert is making us endure.



And it's the holidays so it's only going to get worse before it gets better. Right now, the crazy is spilling over to the adults too...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Recent discussions

While driving home from hockey one morning, we somehow got on the subject of "what do you want to be when you grow up". As we were discussing options with Matt such as a doctor, lawyer, fighter pilot, UFC champion, etc, Matt assured us that he knew exactly what he wanted to be.... A Zamboni driver. (I guess it could be worse.)
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As Bill was playing with Robert one day, he continuously called out for "DADDY"! Knowing how much I would love to hear this kid say Mommy, Bill tried coaxing it out of him. After numerous tries and getting blabbering from Robert, Bill finally questioned him if he knew who Mommy was. Without a beat Robert replied, "No".
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Somehow or another Megan, Matt and I were talking about becoming mommy's and daddy's someday and Megan asked me how I became one. Of course I told her that in order to be a mommy I had to take a test. If I passed it I could become a mommy. If not, I would have to be a daddy. To this day the kids remind me about how I passed the test and Daddy didn't. (They also believe that I have eyes in the back of my head. Gullible kids.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Top 10 things that I'm thankful for

  1. A happy, well-adjusted, mostly healthy (minus the recent snot infestation) family.
  2. Family coming to visit us over the holidays.
  3. Spending time with the other side of the family during the holidays.
  4. Adorable Thanksgiving crafty "things" that Matt has been bringing home from school.
  5. Kisses from Robert that appear out of the blue.
  6. The help that Megan gives me when I'm ready to tear my hair out from wrangling the littlest wild child.
  7. My loving and supportive husband.
  8. Food on the table (even if it is just hot dogs or mac-n-cheese)
  9. The opportunity to be with the kids all day, every day.
  10. The opportunity to get rid of the kids when Aunt Alicia or Grandma takes them off our hands for a break.

There are so many more things that I'm grateful for but right now, at this moment and over the past week or so, these are the things that stand out the most.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's obviously here to stay

I thought that I was past the irrational worry that comes with being a parent. The kind of worry that you know is ridiculous but with all signs pointing toward the outlandish, you just sort of give in to the craziness of your thoughts and begin to wonder if it could perhaps be true. That maybe the good luck of having three healthy kids has finally ended and this is where the bad begins. Because I couldn't actually be lucky enough to make it through raising these kids this far with only one unexpected hospital stay, right?

But the other morning when Matt told me his head was still hurting him, I realized that those irrational thoughts haven't and probably never will go away. Daddy had given him some ibuprofen the night before when he complained that his head was hurting. So when I asked him where it hurt and was able to rule out a sinus issue (I had woken with a sinus headache myself, so I thought that maybe he had the same) by where he pointed to the pain, I then took a closer look. There was a huge "egg" on his forehead above his left eye and there was no visible bruising to go along with a dinger of that size.

I asked him if he hit his head and how the bump got there but he could not recall any particular event. So I continued asking him throughout the morning and still nothing. That's when the irrational thoughts came to my head... No, I won't go into detail so let's just stick with the description of irrational. Make that extremely irrational.

By the end of the day, he finally mentioned that he hit his head on the wall when he was in the basement with Pap-Pap. And it wasn't until he came up with that story (I say story because we still don't know if it's true or not) that I stopped all the crazy worrying.

I knew that I would always be concerned about my kids even after they grow up and move out of the house but I never thought that the concern could always overlap into the crazy at any given moment! I'll be more prepared the next time.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Halloween

Halloween was spent with our neighbors where we ate, DRANK (Van Gogh Double Espresso Vodka, oh my!), and were merry (probably because of the aforementioned vodka). Of course the kids enjoyed the candy that they collected and there is so much left over that I'm already tired of looking at the bin that it's sitting in.

This year Megan was a Devil, Matt went as a Harley Biker and Robert was a bat. They were all excited about their costumes (except Robert who absolutely hated having the hood up on his costume and frankly could care less about dressing up..."just keep shoveling candy in my mouth!") and Halloween has quickly become one of my more favorite holidays. It's less expensive than Christmas and yet there's plenty of loot and lots of fun to have. I'm sure that will change when the kids outgrow this but for now I'm planning on enjoying this for a few more years.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The latest BUZZ



A few days ago, Bill and I were discussing Robert’s hair. The lack of “cooperation” even after it is combed due to some crazy cowlicks and how I really don’t want to take the time to comb his hair anyway when I never have to touch Matt’s. So I went ahead and gave him his first buzz cut last evening to eliminate the issues at hand.

His hair is still so baby fine and looks much lighter when the natural light hits it so he now reminds me of a baby peep with a lot of soft downy fuzz. (The pictures don’t do it justice.)

Somehow, the third time around, I am nowhere near as sentimental about the growing up process as I was with Megan and Matt. I don’t mourn the loss of my baby when he outgrows his clothes or does something so very big boy like. I love the stage that he’s growing into right now and am having a lot of fun with him these days.

His buzz cut was just one more step towards having a full grown, loud stinky boy running around the house. And I’m definitely ok with that. In fact, strangely enough, I’m looking forward to it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hockey

It's official...Matt loves being on the ice and will be playing every weekend from now until February. It's a "Learn To Play Hockey" clinic where they will be running drills the majority of the time but they will get to pass around a puck later on. Also, towards the end of the clinic, the kids will be playing in a 3 game Jamboree.

So far, Matt has been on the ice four times. Five, if you count the one time we took him to public skate two years ago. There has been some definite progress just in the past two weekends so I'm really looking forward to the comparison between now and February.




Here's Dad giving him some pointers on the ice...

He's not the smallest kid on the ice. There is one other boy that is much smaller but that little guy still hangs out down at the far end of the rink with the kids who are less sturdy on their skates and still use the walkers. Of course Matt wanted nothing to do with that so he's been with the bigger and faster kids since the first practice.

He's holding his own and seems to have finally figured out the drills that they run although he's still easily distracted by the kids skating past him or anything else that catches his eye. So although he'll never be singled out to play on the house team, it's good to see him enjoying this new experience.

Here he is with a little rock music backing him up...

video

Monday, September 22, 2008

Peanuts

Maybe someone out there can help me to answer this question. It's something that's been gnawing away at the back of my mind for a while now and I just can't quite figure it out.

At what point did my voice change?

I'm not talking about the change boys go through during puberty although I'm sure my voice dropped a little back then as well.

No, I'm talking about something no one ever taught me in health class. I'm referring to the way that whenever I speak to my two oldest children my words morph into an episode of Charlie Brown. You know the ones I'm speaking of. The ones where when any adult speaks it sounds like a muffled trombone "wah wah wah wah wah" sort of noise.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Well, should I?

Should I care that my 6 year old came home from school yesterday proclaiming that all the kids played "choke the chicken's neck" in gym class? (The game consisted of rubber chickens and ringing their necks while passing it on to the next kid in line. And no, I don't know what physical benefit they may have gotten from this activity.)

Is it wrong that I laughed like crazy and thought about how I couldn't wait for her to tell Daddy about this when he got home? Is it wrong that I'm not at all offended by this in any way?

Hey, the kids absolutely love the gym teacher there and if this is his way of having a little fun at their expense without them even knowing it, then have at it. Maybe I take no offense to this because it would appear that he has the same twisted sense of humor as we do.

But I wonder what after school conversations consisted of in the homes of the other kids in her class. I guarantee that there are some frigid individuals out there who wouldn't see the humor in it. (Probably the same parent that I observe every day speaking to their children with a very "childish" voice .) Because, GASP, this is Catholic school after all and we shouldn't be speaking of such vulgarities in the presence of children!!

Hhhhmmmm...I guess I'm not a very good Catholic then, am I? But then again, I already knew that.

Monday, September 15, 2008

He's sleeping with his hockey stick!

Need I say more? Matt is already obsessed and he hasn't even started playing yet. The clinic begins this Saturday and Sunday for the next two weeks and if he likes it he'll then be signed up to play until February. I'll be sure to take pictures and if I can sneak into his room at night without waking him, I'll include one with him snuggling up to his new "security blanket". What's next? Full gear and a puck under his pillow?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Just you and I buddy


The kids are officially in the swing of the school year and now it's just Robert and I together during the day. What a completely different dynamic when it's just the two of us. Sometimes he plays quietly and other times it's obvious that he is looking to be entertained. But that's what happens when you are the youngest and have only known having other siblings around to help entertain and amuse you.

The part about being with him that I love the best is when he takes a break from the toy that currently holds his attention and he toddles over, laying his head against me and then looks up with a smile on his face. He then wanders back to whatever he was doing and it's as if he just wants to remind me that he loves me.

One is such a good age. He is learning so much, growing like a weed and changing constantly. There are of course the occasional melt downs and tantrums but not like the "terrible twos". Besides, the unconditional love that he gives makes up for those times and the sense of humor that he is developing is a lot of fun too. You can see the happiness on his face when he does something unintentionally to make you laugh. Which of course prompts him to try it again.
Yep, we're in a good spot right now. Talk to me again around his birthday next June and I might be singing a different tune. But for now...all is good.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Off on a new adventure!

Last night was spent packing book bags and lunch boxes for two kids, making sure that I wasn't forgetting any last minute items for either one of them (note to self: create some sort of bulletin board in the kitchen because the fridge just isn't going to cut it now with multiple kids in school) and laying out school outfits as well. Although Megan wears a uniform to school, the pre-k students are exempt from this so I was under strict instructions from Matt not to pick out anything "dumb" for him.

Matt was his usual goofy self and didn't show any out of the norm signs of excitement or anticipation for his first day. He played around as usual, climbing the walls (literally) and fell asleep quickly when we tucked him into bed around 7:45pm.



He awoke in the morning with smiles and went through our new morning routine as though this was the same thing he did every day and still there were no signs of Matt not being himself. When we prepared to walk out the door, I of course wanted to snap a few pictures of his first day, so out onto the deck we went. A few quick shots later and we were on our way to school.


His backpack was filled with the last minute items that he would need for the year, like a blanket for rest time, his art smock, a change of clothes, folders, etc. so I was not able to fit his lunch box in the bag too. I offered to carry it for him but was quickly told, "no, it's my lunch box so I'll carry it." We walked up to the school and because they stagger the pre-k arrival time from the regular students, we kissed Megan goodbye and she took off for her day as we hung outside to wait a few minutes before we headed down to his classroom.


When it was time to head in, again he grabbed both of his bags and took off for his classroom. He's definitely a determined little boy and I held back the urge to offer help again even though it looked like he was going to topple down the stairs with his little load.

Matt is used to this routine because he has the same teacher and is in the same classroom that Megan was in two years ago. He's walked this route before and is definitely comfortable in this new big kid role.

We walked through the door to his classroom and I swallowed the huge lump in my throat as I took in all of the excited kids and apprehensive parents standing nearby. (I'm a huge sap - thanks Mom - and cry at the drop of a hat but managed to contain this one. After all, I'm not a first timer here and I still have one more to go. Save it for the really sappy moments!)

Matt found a cubby to put his things in for the day and immediately started playing. I hung out off to the side for a few minutes and then asked Matt if he wanted Robert and I to beat it. Of course he said yes, so after I kissed him goodbye, told him I'd meet him up in the lobby after school, I scooped up Robert and we headed out.

Have you noticed the new "tight lipped, closed mouth smile" kind of thing happening here...
Note to Robert: Go right on ahead and get comfortable in a classroom setting too buddy. Certainly make it easier for yourself to break away from Mommy in a few years. But I guarantee you that no matter how content you are when that time comes, I'm sure to be a babbling fool.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Their last day alone together...at least until the next school holiday!

Megan started school last Thursday but Matt doesn't officially begin until tomorrow. The school likes to stagger the start date for the pre-k students to avoid a few things. The first being the usual back to school crush of the older kids and the second is that some of the kindergarten students still experience some anxiety and they'd like to keep the pre-k kids from seeing that. By giving those kids a head start on the school year allows the pre-k kids to miss some of that chaos.

So Thursday and Friday of last week were spent with the boys here at home with me after we took Megan to school. It's definitely a different dynamic when one or more of the kids is missing from the equation and with Megan gone, it was nice to see Matt in his "take charge, older brother" role. It will be interesting to see what happens when I'm down to only one at home tomorrow...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Back to school


Megan headed off to school yesterday for her first day as a "big kid" in first grade. All summer long she had been talking about this venture into a new grade always adding that this was the year that she would have homework. As someone who did not enjoy school until my high school years I've been hoping to help my kids have a different experience than I did at that age. I don't know if it's something that I can ward off or if some kids are just bound to dislike school but if I can help it be a positive thing, I will. So I've been re-focusing her on the positives as they come along. Of those positives, she gets to sit at a real desk this year instead of sharing a table with the other kids. She also gets to walk in/out of the building on her own instead of being escorted by a teacher/helper. (It doesn't seem like much but so far these little things seem to be working.)


She was slightly disappointed the other week when she found out that she wasn't getting the teacher that she had wanted. Her main reason behind wanting that particular teacher was simply because she had spent time with her in previous years in the after school program. However, after meeting Mrs. Lupo the other day she definitely seemed more at ease with heading in for her first day.


When I tucked her into bed last night and she told me that she "couldn't wait to go to school tomorrow" and that she loves being in first grade. I guess growing up and being a big kid isn't such a bad thing after all.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A week spent in PA

We headed back to PA early Saturday morning in order to arrive by noon and not have an entire day which would feel wasted by travel. The kids were great with Robert only fussing occasionally and two stops made for potty breaks. (One being a false alarm on a dirty diaper.)

The goal of this trip was to spend some time with the family before the kids went back to school and to take care of my grandmother while my parents went out of town to TX. Luckily they were not leaving until Tuesday so we were able to visit with them before they left and I was also able to fit in some quality time at the hospital with my brother while my sister-in-law went under the knife for a neck operation.

The first day home was spent with the kids traipsing around down at the campground, in and out of the creek water and running all over the place with neither one of them wanting the day to end. So they both decided to spend the night with Uncle Dan and Aunt Dina until Matt changed his mind and made Uncle Dan take him home to Mommy. ("I'm serious," Matt told him.)

Another afternoon storm clouds began rolling in with plenty of thunder following suit. The skies opened up to a torrential downpour and the temperature had dropped 20 degrees in a matter of an hour when suddenly the pounding of rain turned to something much harder. As we looked out the window we saw a hail storm like none we've ever seen. Now I've seen larger balls of hail before but I've never seen an accumulation like the one that day. It took over two hours for the hail to melt and after it was over I took some pictures to remember the craziness.


Here is a shot of the fog rolling off of the hill as the temperatures were still in a crazy flux...

Tuesday rolled around, Mom and Dad left town and I was left with the 3 kids and Grandma, hoping and praying that we wouldn't drive her up the wall. Fortunately, Megan and Matt spent two nights with Aunt Tam, Uncle Bill and the girls so some of the chaos was alleviated. Grandma and I didn't need to worry about entertainment while they were away because Robert certainly took care of that for us. He climbed up the stairs 100 times a day (of which I brought him back down another 100 times), worked on perfecting his walking skills (ok, so he's still working on that) and kept us laughing with his own crazy personality.





Here he is devouring the can of icing that Aunt Janet left sitting out.

We ended our trip that week at a cousin's 3rd birthday party after which we began our drive back north around 7pm. As is usual, for most of the ride home I sat and thought about how much I miss being back there. Life is quieter there and of course I miss being close to my family. But as I cross the CT state line I always get a bit antsy to go back to my own home, to my own bed, to my hubby and all that has become my life over the past 9 years up here. That last hour of my drive just never seems to go by fast enough.