Saturday, April 28, 2007

Photo Hunt Saturday - Rare

This week's theme is rare. Last summer, Meenie contracted a rare illness- encephalitis. Although it was a very scary ordeal, we are glad and thankful that she has recovered with no lasting effects.

What the doctor's believe happened was that she got the encephalitis as a rare side effect from a normal childhood illness - Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (which she had at the time). We took her into the doctors because she was having tremors in her sleep and she was starting to have alot of motor problems. She was having problems walking unassisted, would scream at loud noises and was having twitches in her face. After a few tests (lumbar puncture and CAT scan) she was transfered to the local Children's Hospital. Here she underwent more test (EKG, MRI, Blood Work) and was put on IV medications. After a few days, she recovered enough to be sent home but still had to recieve physical and occupational therapy until she regained all her muscle control.

She still talks about her trip to the doctor's and even role plays it with her toys. But thankfully, she is back to her normal self!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Big Sis!


Today my big sis turns 30. So in some ways, I'd like to make fun of how old she is now. But then I am reminded that I am only a few short years away from that mark. Growing up, I always thought that 30 was old, like end of life old. Now that I am inching closer to it, I realize 30 is still rather young. People are living longer. And to me, my life still has plenty of time to start. Afterall, I don't have a career, other than motherhood, which I fully embrace.


Growing up, my sister was my best friend and worst enemy. I remember spending time with her. I also remember many times where she ditched me as I was a pesky little sister. We shared a few secrets growing up, got into a yelling match in the middle of the school cafeteria, and went out to breakfast way to often when we were supposed to be in school. I think the administrators felt bad for me as I didn't have a choice, afterall, I had to go where my ride went. I never knew why she let me tag along with her to the beach, the amusement park, movies or the dance club. I suppose it was probably because she had to if she wanted to go. Growing up, she was my idol, I wanted to be her.


I was never as cool as she was, as much as I tried to be. But now that I'm older, I realize that that's okay. We kind of completed each other. She was one of the popular girls, I was a bookworm. She was the beauty to my geek. If it wasn't for her, I would have never chosen to go to the highschool I went to (I followed her afterall). And for that I thank her. Because if I didn't I never would have met Husband. Which was at a overnight charity event the school held (which once again, I would probably have been to afraid to do without her). If it wasn't for me, she probably wouldn't have finished high school. Her grades dramatically improved once we were in the same highschool. She actually picked up a book and realized how fun it was to read. Now I am constantly borrowing books from her.


She was the maid of honor at my wedding, an honor I've wanted to reciprocate, but she is still searching for Mister Right. I often dreamed of our kids growing up together, but that dream has not come true either. And while my girls are not lacking for cousins, they don't have a bond with any of them. But Aunty has proven that she can at least spoil them rotten.



Our lives are still very different and for some reason, I feel like I have gotten the easier life. She has worked her butt off since graduating high school and lives not to far away in a townhouse with a roommate. I on the other hand, married my high school sweetheart and finished college. A little while later, the girls came along. I have never held a full time job outside of motherhood because I have never needed to. I remember her telling me she would like to have a child by the time she was 30. Then she would say she wasn't cut out to be a mother. But I know that she would be a great mother, despite her inability to be alone with a child and not freak out.


Despite our differences, she has always been there for me. She's planned countless showers for me, helped me move twice (remember the time you, Pat and I moved into my house while Husband was working?) and even picked up Husband from work when I was too sick to. And she's never complained once (well not much at least). She drove the distance to come visit Meenie when she was in the hospital, even though she didn't need to (she even volunteered to cut her vacation short to come home sooner despite the fact that there was nothing she could have done).

aug. 13 charlotte and auntie annette (ccmc)

And although I don't see her as much as I would like to, she is still my best friend.

dec. 17 - heather, annette, margaret

Happy Birthday Big Sis!


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Found a Peanut....

"Found a peanut
Found a peanut
Found a peanut just now
Just now I found a peanut
Found a peanut just now."

Yesterday, I packed some trail mix for Einey's soccer game. It was Honey Nut Cheerios, peanuts, sunflower seeds and smarties. On the way home, Einey and moe were eating it (Meenie was with Mema and Pepa at her soccer game) when I hear...

Moe: "It's stuck"
Me: "What's stuck?"
Moe: "My nose"
Me: "What is stuck in your nose?"
Moe: "My peanut. In my nose"
Me: "Tell me you didn't just put a peanut in your nose"
Moe: "yup. Is stuck".

Ah shit! Thankfully, I remembered a little trick that was told to me by the kind people in the ER when we brought Einey in for something lodged in her nose. If you gently cover the clear nostril, open their mouth and gently blow into it, chances are the item will come out. When I did this to Moe, she got all wide-eyed, but luckily the peanut flew out.

Einey's case wasn't so easy. She had a pice of a fake flower get stuck up there when she was about Moe's age. In the ER, she needed to be sedated to have it removed. It was very stuck. She still has that little piece of plastic in a jar and for weeks afterwards, she liked to show it to everyone!

I'm not sure what it is with my kids and shoving things up their noses, but I hope Moe learned her lesson. I know Einey did.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Photo Hunt Saturday - Steps

This week's theme is steps. AT first I thought about the pictures I had of the girls footsteps in the sand last summer, but then the sun dawned and the weather finally warmed up. That's right, spring has finally sprung for those of us in the Northeast. So much in fact, that the girls were digging out shorts today - on just day 2 of warm weather. It might have something to do with the fact that it rained the whole rest of the week, but whatever it is, we'll take it. Yesterday, I started tackling what proves to be a big time consuming project - yardwork. I had finished the road side of the house and the play yard. I raked out the flower gardens down the hill. As I sat halfway down the stone steps, I knew what I had to post.

Here is the view of the stonewalkway and steps leading up to the play yard and house. I've raked them once, but the monsoons, er recent rain washed some soil over them. I need to repair the retaining wall so it doesn't keep happening. That's Meenie in red and Moe right behind her coming down.

And this is the view to the lower back yard. Unfortunately, it's just a mass of leaves and trees and weeds. And flowers mixed in, which is what we were looking for, as I 'd like to transplant them into some beds as opposed to the middle of the yard. I hope to get this cleared this summer so we can play down here, but I doubt it will happen. You see, I can do all the yard work I want, bag it up and then that's it. The bags just sit there. Ihave asked numerous people to come and take them, and been told "yes" by numerous people, but they are still sitting there, one year later. I'm sure by now, I have enough leaf bags to surround the foundation and add an extra layer of insulation to the house!

Anyway, those are some stone steps in my yard, which I absolutely love. They add so much character to our little yard. We have one other spot with some steps as well.

While, your here, feel free to take a look around. I will be posting some pictures of some spring flowers on my 365 site as well later today. The link is on my sidebar!

And don't forget to visit the other photohunter sites. Just click here!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Rainy Day Funkids, craft

What do you do when the rain keeps coming down? You hit the dollar store and grab supplies for making your own flip flops. You turn ordinary into extra-ordinary.

Flip Flops
Fuzzy Scarves
Lei (for the flowers)
Googly Eyes
Hot Glue Gun

We turned these:

Into these:

The girls loved wearing them to the playground today and showing them off.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Kids in the Kitchen

Overheard today...

You like it Meenie?
Me like it too.

I thought the above conversation was cute. It was in reference to the sugar coated beaters they were licking. We had just finished making the cream-cheese frosting to top Husband's Carrot Cake Birthday Cake and they were enjoying the fruits of our labor.

This week we have baked the carrot cake, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate banana bread.

The girls have helped every step of the way. Einey's been cracking the eggs, they've all been pouring the ingredients into the bowl, Meenie's been in charge of the margarine and then they each get 10 stirs with the wooden spoon before passing it on to the next in line until it is all mixed.

When we did the cookies -I cheated and used a package, the rest were from scratch- Meenie surprised me by telling me we needed one butter and one egg. She "read" the back of the package all by herself.

Einey helped out by using the directory in the cookbook to find the right pages and then helping me to read the ingredients and finding them.

Moe helped by, well eating the flour. At least she didn't run around, blowing it throughout the house this time.

When we made the banana-chocolate bread, I was going to use chocolate chips. Instead I thought of the ton of Easter Candy we had sitting in the secret hiding space. I gave each child a plastic bag, some candy and a rolling pin. They enjoyed smashing and rolling their candy into little bits. We had M&M's, bunnies, Hershey Kisses and Chocolate Eggs. And once they were smashed, we added them to the bread. The result? One of the best banana breads we've ever made!

Unfortunately, to date, this school vacation has been endless days of rain. I believe it will clear up in time for their first soccer games this weekend (which come after just one day of practice). Next week is fore casted to be sunny and in the 60's. It's about time!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Photo Hunt Saturday - Hobby

This week's theme is hobby. And while I have three specific things I like to do, I find myself lacking the time to actual engage in my hobbies.

The first is scrapbooking. I have been doing this for a few years now and really enjoy it. I have books started but not quite done of the older two girls. I find when I am in the mood to work on them, I don't have the right pictures. Since we went digital, I have lacked printing the pictures. They just sit on a disk.

The second hobby is something I can only do part of the year. It's gardening. I really only started seriously working in the gardens last year. Before that, I would try but never think ahead. I would just go out and buy flats of annuals and plant them. They'd look nice for the season and then the following year, I would start over. Last year we planted veggies. They didn't take well, but we at least got our money's worth. The girls loved picking veggies from the yard (and raspberries) and eating them. This year, we are planning another veggie garden, but are going to give it proper care prior to planting. I have also invested in some perennials to keep coming back year after year. I can't wait to see our garden grow! The seedlings you see are the start of our sunflower house!

My last hobby is sewing. This is new to me and while I enjoy it, I don't have much time to do it. I have been working on summer dresses for the girls. This is the fabric I plan on using.

When we brought our house, we brought it because it has a small room off the master bedroom. This is our hobby room, although Husband's D&D stuff takes up most of the room. The following are pictures of our hobby room.

And lastly, here are some pictures of Husband's hobby. He enjoys painting miniatures.

Friday, April 13, 2007

What a day

Remember the pictures of my clean playroom? Well this is what it looked like today.

In addition, Moe decided to combine the contains of four puzzles. And three of them are Strawberry Shortcakes. So I have four hundred puzzle pieces to go through and sort.

Lastly, she tipped over a plant stand and I had this to deal with. Yup, right into the heating register. Ughh!

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Mother to child: Why don't you go ask Daddy if he can help you.

Meenie to other Mother: Hey, that's my Daddy's name too!

The two sides of Moe....

Moe can best be summed up as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She's can be the sweetest, politest little child or the devil incarnate. She's a very active, opinionated, strong-willed blue-eyed two year old. She's not afraid to ask for what she wants and doesn't take NO for an answer. If told NO and it's something she really wants she'll just get it herself. She learned at a young age how to drag chairs around to reach things up high. Her sisters come to her from help when they need to get something behind a door with a child-proof cover on it. That's not to say I let her get away with these things. If she grabs a pudding when I say no snacks, I take it away. If she climbs I make her put the chair back and she has a time-out. She also has very good manners, is not afraid to say sorry, likes to snuggle, shares and loves to laugh.

In some ways, she is wise beyond her two years. Maybe it's because she has two older sisters showing her the way. One thing I do know is she plays better with older children, that is children that are at least her age or above. We've been to numerous parties, gatherings and school functions lately. And always, a few parents remark on how well behaved she is. How great she plays with the older kids - she fits right in. They find her sweet, polite and adorable. Over the past few weekends, we went to several Easter Egg Hunts. Moe freely (and without prompting) gave away eggs to other kids who didn't have any/many.

In other ways, she can't play well with others. And by other, I mean children her own age - kids she should be playing with. She's aggressive - she pushes and pinches. She's a bully. She's made a few kids afraid to go near her.

And here is where I feel as I am between a rock and a hard place.

We belong to a few playgroups. One is basically a few moms who get together once a week (we'll call this group A). The kids play, the moms talk. We rotate bringing snacks, toys and an activity for the kids. Very laid back. The other is a international non-profit playgroup (this can be group B). There are rules and governing board (which I was on until I resigned last week). It's very structured. There are many different "groups" within the group you can attend.

Group A we've belonged to since Einey was 9 moths old and we were just meeting friends at a park. It's had some of the same members for the last 4 years - but never more than 10 moms. Many of these moms, like myself, have 3 children, some 4. We've all at some point been pregnant at the same time. We've been through it all.

Group B is larger but still has a "core" group of moms who see each other often. We've been apart of this since this group started (and longer since we were part of the group that formed this group). A lot of these moms have younger kids (and quite a few just single kids).

The above was just to give a little background - it has no influence on anyone, just to give an overview of the two groups. Both groups are formed by intelligent, wonderful women. Women I am glad to be friends with. And like our children, we are all different. It's part of what makes the groups great. We all have our own styles and thoughts.

At group A, Moe is great. She gets along with most kids (older, younger and the same age as her). Occasionally, she'll do a little pushing or try to take a toy away from someone. Occasionally she'll be the one pushed. Always, its a time-out or re-direction after the victim is finished crying and the "sorry's" said. The children smile and go one their way, continuing their playing. The mothers go back to talking. We've all had a child who has been the victim or the bully. At one point, when Einey was 3, there was a child who was a biter. And Einey seemed to always be the one bitten. We never held it against this child, we understood that that is a completely normal phase. In fact, this child is one of Einey's good friends still. It happens, its a normal phase and children eventually outgrow it.

At group B, Moe is a terror. She goes out of her way to push and pinch a few kids. Re-direction and time-outs don't stop. She gets down and does it again. "Sorry's" don't seem good enough. Someone gets frustrated and anger bubbles up. Again, she's two and it is a completely normal phase for her to be going through. While normal, it's not acceptable. And it also feels like some people just don't understand that two-year-olds push. It's part of their development, and while unacceptable, it's a phase that eventually gets outgrown. It just takes time and patience. I cannot just tell her she needs to stop and expect her never to do it again. While a nice thought, it's unrealistic. And at this point, I cannot control when/if she pushes. I can only take steps to discipline her and hope she outgrows it soon.

Because of this, I have resigned from my positions and backed off. And I feel bad. I hate that Moe is a bully. I feel bad for the kids she pushes around. I hate her being punished (although it has to be done). We were told we could still go to events, but it would be "two strikes and your out" - meaning two incidents and we'd have t o leave. This is completely fair and I understand. But at the same time, I can't do it. I know she'll continue this behavior. I know we'd be leaving many playgroups. And for that I just can't do. I do feel it's appropriate to punish her. But I can't bring myself to punish her sister(s). I know it would cause hurt feeling and resentment from them when we had to leave. I know they would be upset with leaving their friends, after all they look forward to it. So essentially, like a wounded child, I took my "toys and left the playground".

Maybe I'm over-thinking this, but it's something that has been on my mind for awhile. Are they over-scheduled or under-scheduled? I try to think of myself as a fairly relaxed parent. I let my daughters play with "male oriented" toys. I encourage dramatic play, make believe, art and sports. I let them play with swords (or rather light sabers) as long as they don't get out of control. Pool noodles are for, yup, bopping each other. They can run barefoot through the grass. They are allowed to jump in mud puddles. They believe in fairies and spend hours during the summer building fairy houses (and love to see that the fairies visit when they see the fairy dust (glitter) sprinkled around the house. Einey plays D&D. Video games are not forbidden. Books are highly encouraged and we make frequent trips to the library. We've taken lessons (swim, music, dance, creative music, soccer) and gone to story hour. We regularly visit zoos, parks, and science centers. I've even been known to let them have candy for breakfast. I let them watch TV. They are happy, so that should be all that counts, right?

So here's my question. How do you deal with an aggressive child? How do you deal with your child being a victim? What would you do? Any advice or comments would be welcome!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy

We had a great Easter weekend. We braved the cold on Saturday to go to Grandma's for an Easter Egg Hunt with their two cousins. After indulging in too much candy, we headed to a friend's birthday party to see a magician. The girls (and all the kids there) were in awe of the magic tricks.

Easter morning, the girls woke up and I could hear the squeals of delight coming from downstairs as they saw the basket the Easter Bunny came and filled for them. "Mommy, the Easter Bunny brought me a new bathing suit". "Mommy, he brought the Barbie I wanted. The one from the store". "Mommy, look"! After having a box of jelly beans for breakfast, the girls immediately changed into their bathing suits, put on their sunglasses and grabbed their plush bunnies to play with.

Finally, they had enough and clamoured to get into their Easter dresses. We went to Mass, where Moe kept exclaiming every time the organist played "All Done". Overall, they were were very well behaved, which is why I don't mind bringing them to Mass every week. I know it's the one place they will sit relatively still and be mostly quiet for 45 minutes. Then it was home for lunch and naps.

Oh wait, what about the box from our dear friends in VA? Sure lets open that. As I am opening the box, I head Einey start crying hysterically. Apparently as I was opening the box, she was bouncing excitedly next to it and I knocked her tooth our. She was so upset, her tooth was out an we couldn't find it. I think it scared her more than anything, she had been very nervous about it coming out for the last few days. After about 15 minutes of her asking "is it bleeding still" and me reassuring her that it WAS ready to come out, if it wasn't the little bump wouldn't have knocked it out. She finally calmed down. We never did find the tooth, but she was reassured that the Tooth Fairy would know and still come.

So now lunch was way late, but they ate and slept a little. Then it was off to Mema and Pepa's for another Easter Egg Hunt and more Easter Baskets. And dinner of course! This is where they looked around and gave their "ewws and yucks". But in the end, they proved to be good little Polish kids and found out that they do in fact like Pierogi's, Sweet Bread and Easter Kielbasa from the semi-local Polish Deli. And not the frozen Pierogi's you can find in most grocery stores. Mema spends at least two days cooking them. Now to actually get Mema to pass down the secret family recipe and to teach someone how to cook them, we'd be all set. Unfortunately, they only get made for holidays.

Then it was home to wish Daddy a Happy Easter, show him the spoils and go to bed. But not before putting the tooth box under Einey's pillow with a paper tooth inside.

Them Mommy went through the Candy box, throwing away the left over Halloween and Christmas candy to make room for all of the Easter Candy.

The Tooth Fairy did come and she left Einey a gold dollar coin (very special), a paper dollar and a note all covered in fairy dust. I heard those squeals of delight at 6:30 this morning as she found the goodies nestled under her pillow.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Photo Hunt Saturday - Clean

This weeks theme is Clean. I am very late with this but had a busy weekend. Here are two photo's of our clean playroom. Usually it can be found with toys all over the floor and books falling off the shelves. The shelves are not perfectly organized, but most things are where they are supposed to be. As long as they are put away, I consider it clean!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Weekend Recap

We had a busy weekend!

Friday was a half day of school, so after picking Einey up, we decided to visit the zoo. On the way there, I started to suffer from a panic attack (I've been getting them lately - not fun!). Luckily, we were under 10 minutes away from the zoo when it happened so I was able to make it there and once we walked around for a bit, I was able to relax. It could have been much, much worse! The girls had fun, despite the fact that the zoo is undergoing massive renovations and many animals were not out/around. They loved the flamingos, one of who was standing in the water dish and walking around in circles the whole time. They also love the tamarins, especially Moe who was visited by the baby!

Saturday, we went over to a friend from Einey's class for an Easter Egg Hunt. There were plenty of activities and food and eggs. Again, I was hit with a panic attack, but this time I had my medicine with me, so I was able to take that and relax. Meenie participated in the "bunny hop" with all the big kids and even managed to beat them across the finish line. When it was time to hunt for the eggs in the 7 acre field, Meenie took off with the big kids. They went straight up the center and back on the right side. Moe and another little guy (who was almost 2) went to the left and made a killing with eggs that the big kids by passed. One of the kindergartners wen with them, but she didn't take the eggs from them. Moe was funny to watch, she shook each egg when she picked them up. Meenie only got one egg, but on the way back to the house, one of the big kids shared her eggs so Meenie had almost as many as the other kids. Then the kids rode bikes in the yard while the parents got to interact. It was nice actually being able to talk to some of the other mothers (and fathers) besides the quick - "hi, how are you" at drop off - pick up time".

Saturday night Einey and Meenie had a sleep over at Mema and Pepa's so it was just me and Moe! We had fun, just the two of us. She actually was so tired, that she snuggled up to me and fell asleep in my arms. That is one thing I miss about the girls growing older. Unfortunately, Moe came down with the cold we've all had, so it was a restless night for us.

Sunday we went to church and then an Easter Egg Hunt at Pepa's work. His company sponsor's all sorts of holiday activities for employees and their family. The girls got to meet the Easter Bunny and participated in another Egg Hunt. Another panic attack - but the medicine does help! The girls ended up with alot of eggs, but had no problem sharing with the kids who didn't get any/ or only got a few. I am so proud of them!

Anyway, that was a recap of our very busy weekend.

Soccer is supposed to start tomorrow for Meenie. Einey still doesn't have a coach, so we are waiting to hear when she will start. Moe is, much to her dismay, still to young to play. She keeps repeating "grow up bigger soccer ball". If you remember, is a big fan of Mia Hamm. She definitely has the ability to dribble the ball!