Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's Been Awhile....

Hey down there, miss me? I know, it's been awhile since I've been down to visit. Please don't be mad. It's just , well, I've never really enjoyed our time spent together. Don't look at me like that. Yeah I know. Well I've got some news, I'll be down to visit more often now. Yeah you see, Einey has these nice dress shirts. And well, you know, the wrinkles don't come out themselves. And thats where you come in.

I've never been the best ironer. In fact I hate it. H - A - T - E. Hate. It. Maybe it's because I've never really learned the proper way to iron. I sort of BS my way through it. And really, there are just some wrinkles I can't get out. Plus I seem to add some. I only use it if I have to. Days when we have somewhere important to be. Days where we need to wear something besides t-shirts and jeans.

Now that daughter has to wear a uniform, I'm going to have to get better acquainted with my iron. It's a good thing she wears a jumper over most of the shirt so you can't really see if I miss a spot. And the arms. Oh the arms. How do I fit the teenie- tiny arms over the big end of the iron board? I tried tonight, I really did. And I think I did alright. But I didn't touch the sleeves. They are puffy sleeves and well, have lots of pleats. And they're small. Oh so small.

Maybe in the next 8-12 years I'll finally come to master it. Or I'll get smart and find all wrinkle free gear.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Back to School

I can hardly believe it's time to go back to school already. Last June, I dreaded summer break. It seemed like whenever the three of them were home at the same time, they were always arguing. So I dreaded the almost three months of them being together every day. But I was wrong. They played well together all summer long. Sure, they had their moments, but they were few and far between.

Today we ran around doing some last minute things - haircuts, new soccer cleats (because I naively assumed that their feet wouldn't grow a shoe size and a half over the summer), and grabbing some lunch money for the week.

Yesterday we threw a end of summer - back to school BBQ with a few friends from school. It was nice. Everyone brought a dish, the kids played and the parents talked. I think it was the first time Husband actually got to sit down with other parents. We littered the back yard with school supplies and sent the kids on a scavenger hunt - which they loved! The weather cooperated. We were so worried with the reports of rain and thunderstorms, but in the end, aside fro ma few sprinkles right at the beginning, it was gorgeous. We couldn't have asked for a better day!

We are still waiting on two more things before I can declare us ready for school.

We need the backpack from L.L Bean to arrive for Meenie. Note the time next to the delivery date? I hope not!

We are still waiting on the short sleeve shirts for the formal uniform. The one's I ordered back in March. Only to pull out of the closet last week and realize that the collar is wrong. A call to customer service and not only did they allow me to return them for a full refund, they would send me the news one's right away. But then. They only had L and XL. For Einey - my XS first grader. And of course, this was the ONE time I didn't have a list of items I needed to order from ON. But wait, I can pick them up at a store near by. Oh wait, the closest store that has them in stock is Billerica? Um where is that? Luck was in my favor though as I was able to call the store and not only did they have the four shirts I needed in the color and size I needed, but they let me place my order over the phone. Hopefully I'll be lucky and will receive my order before school starts. If not, she can always wear the "summer" uniform. There is always that option.

I love the fact that they will being wearing uniforms (well the oldest one at least) as it means I don't have to spend hours with them deciding what to wear. They have a choice - navy shorts and a white polo (pants for winter) or a jumper and button down shirt and then gym uniform on Wednesdays.

As for the kids, are they ready? Meenie can't wait. It will be her first foray away from us for any amount of time. She's very excited and hates that she has to wait an extra week. Einey on the other hand is not as excited. She welcomed kindergarten last year with open arms. This year, she is afraid of work. She's afraid that first grade will be all work and no play.

We have one more full day home together before Einey starts school on Wednesday. Meenie starts the following Wednesday for three consecutive 1/2 days. So it will just be Moe and I. Uncharted territory. And I look forward to spending some quality time with her.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Playgrounds, Picnics and Rabid Raccoons.....

Which of these doesn't belong?

Today we met some friends at a local playground for a back-to-school lunch. We met so the kids could play with their friends before going back to school next week. To get "in the mood" for school, I packed a brown bag lunch for all the kids there and we had a picnic.

The kids were playing, the moms were talking, it was all good.

Until the Parks and Rec supervisor comes walking over to us and tells us "you may want to keep the kids close to you as we've had reports of a rabid raccoon in the park". The he proceeds to walk and focus his search over where the kids were playing!. So we call the kids away from the (fenced in) pond and trees and over to the playground area. Needless to say, we didn't stay long. It was hot, we'd been there for awhile and the kids were getting a bit cranky.

As we left I noticed a few other guys join him around the pond area to look. On of them was armed with a shovel.

The scary part is, it had to have been reported while we were there. because shortly after I got there (and about 1.5 hours before he came to look) the Parks and Rec supervisor had been there mowing the fields. He left about 1/2 before he came back with the warning.

Edited to add:
What is it with nature and us today? Not only did we have the raccoon issue, but Moe got stung by a yellow jacket. Has anyone else in New England notice them come out in droves this last week? They are everywhere! Then swimming at the lake, the "friendly" neighborhood water snake decided to come swimming by, not once, but twice! The first time it headed right for the dock Moe and Meenie had just vacated!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Meet our new friend....

Last week we were offered a new pet. it's actually something we had discussed in the past and it's current owner didn't want it anymore so we said sure.

New Pet: free Glass Tank: Free
Crickets (1 dozen): $1.06

Reptile lamp: $20.00

Light, water dish, bedding, climbing rock : $75.00

Hearing Moe scream when it jumped out of the tank when we were putting it in: Priceless

So in the end, meet Minty. Err Charmeleon. He is a green anole and fairly easy to take care of. The kids like him. Husband likes him. heck even I like him. Yes I know, he looks brown. That picture was taken RIGHT after he made his made dash for freedom - off the table, along the cabinets, through Moe's flailing legs (she couldn't move fast enough away), 1/2 way up the refrigerator and into a corner. He was a little stressed after his jaunt.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Photo Hunt Saturday - Two

This week's photo hunt is brought to you by the number two. I chose this picture because I felt it best shows the innocence of a two year old. See the hand tightly gripping the stem of a rose? She had just leaned in to take a nice long sniff. She's not always gentle, but she was learning which flowers were okay for her to pick from Mema's garden. For me, I am also drawn to the two big blue eyes looking into the camera. She is the only blue-eyed child in a family of brown-eyed people. I know somewhere along the lines on both sides of the family, there had to have been blue-eyed people. Since the blue-eye gene is recessive, for two brown-eyed people to have a blue-eyed baby is one in four. You would have to hit the double recessive blue-eyed gene from both parents.

For more two's click here

If you are having problems with your phone, press 1, with your DSL press2...


our records show...

So if you didn't guess, I'm having problems with my phone.

No, I'm not ignoring your calls. The kids aren't picking up and setting the phone down. Apparently (and both Husband and i noticed this yesterday) the phone rings once and sounds like it is answered. Then the caller is greeted by static. On our end, it rings 1/2 ring then stops. Not even enough to send caller ID data so I know who is trying to call. Not enough for em to set my answering machine to immediately pick up (I tried). Not enough to go to voice mail. If for some reason, I can answer on the 1/2 ring, you can talk to me. And I can call you.

But I'm waiting on an important call. Daughter's school called yesterday and apparently the paperwork the doctor filled out showed she didn't have her Hep B shots spaced out right (and thus, cannot start school until she gets another). A quick call to the doctor showed she actually had 4 (not sure why, it wasn't in my book) and when they filled out her school paperwork, they just put the last 3 (so yes they are in fact spaced correctly but just missing the first). Anyway, I need the school to call me back so I can get the fax number so the doctor can fax the correct paperwork over. however ,they can't call me.

And I haven't heard from Meenie's soccer coach (new so don't even know who it is) so hopefully they haven't tried calling and gave up. Please call back.

So a call to the phone company and I get automated crap (I just wish to talk to a real person, thank you very much) and according to them they will do line tests and have it repaired by 6:30 tonight. I hope so!

So in the mean time, call my cell phone if you need me. Or drop me an email. Or just wait a few days. I'm still alive and not ignoring your calls. Honest!

Edit: 2:30 pm and the phone company shows up. They fixed the issue (a corroded jack in the basement) and went on their way. Note to self: Get dressed in the morning so you don't greet the repairman in boxers and a tee shirt. Note to self 2: Assume they will send out a tech to fix problem and not call.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Family Time

We spend alot of time as a family. So much that I sometimes run out of ideas of things to do.

Some of our favorite things to do are spending time outdoors. Our favorite new family activity is letterboxing. I can't blog enough about letterboxing. It basically combines hiking with treasure hunting. You get clues from letterboxing.org and then try to find a box that is hidden in the woods. Inside the box is usually a log-book and a stamp. You stamp your book with their stamp and their stamp with your stamp that you carry. You should bring in a bag a logbook, clues, a stamp, stamp pad, pen trail snacks (you'll never know when you are going to be stuck in the woods for five hours), bottled water and a compass. We've been doing this since our girls were 2.5 to 5.5 years old. And amazing, while they may complain for normal everyday walking that they are too tired, they never complain about being out in the woods.

In addition to (as my pediatrician says) teaching them great lifestyle habits (as hiking is a great physical activity) they are learning all sorts of things about science. Nature wise, we have seen red-tailed hawks, frogs, toads, deer, chip monks, red squirrels, salamanders, great blue herrings, and woodchucks. The girls are learning how to read a compass, what to do if lost in the woods (we always carry a cell phone, but need to pack a whistle) - such as following a river downstream to a road/body of water, how to find adequate shelter if needed - what plants are safe to at and also which should be avoided.

But most of all, we all enjoy spending time together as a family. For more of our letterboxing stories, click the letterboxing tag at the bottom of this post.


What are your favorite family activities and how do you find the quality family time?
And if you don’t have quality family time, how do you make up for it? What challenges do you face?

Write and post today by midnight and you will automatically be entered to win a Wii game system and/or "Boggie," a new video game where you get up and move. Or as the girls say "shake your booty, shake your booty..."

This post is brought to you in conjunction with Parent Bloggers Network & EA’s Wii-Boogie, a family gaming experience. Shake it. Sing it. Create it.

One year ago...

Wow, I just realized that it was one year ago today that Meenie was admitted to the hospital. SO one year ago, I had a very sick little girl, a girl who in a days time, lost all her motor skills. Who in the 24 hours before being admitted, spiked a high fever and appeared to be seizing whenever she laid down. A girl who had been vomiting for 24 hours. A girl who was able to walk unsteadily into the doctors but within the hour we were there, was quickly losing her ability to walk. A girl who all of a sudden startled at loud noises. One year ago right about now, she was undergoing a CAT scan and Lumbar Puncture.

Over the course of four days, she was on IV fluids and antibiotics. She underwent MRI's, EEG's and numerous blood tests. She had neurologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, hospitalists, residents, med. students and a host of other doctors and nurses. So many, I couldn't keep them all straight. Through it all, she was a trooper. She never once complained. I had always wondered how they were able to treat squirmy active kids in the hospital. And then I found out. Once they are sick enough to be admitted, they usually just respond to tests and treatments (sure she kept knocking her IV out, but it's hard to keep that arm straight!).

One year ago - she couldn't walk. She couldn't raise her arm a few inches up. Her face twitched. She had a hard time sitting up. In four days - she lost all the muscles she had. It didn't take long though, with physical therapy and being home for her to regain those abilities. At first she had to crawl to get around. We had to feed her. But within days she was walking with assistance. At the end of the month, she showed so much progress, she no longer needed visits from OT and PT. By the end of summer, she still walked with a little limp, but if you didn't know her, you wouldn't have noticed it.

It's amazing what difference a year makes. She is now running, leaping, twirling and swimming. I cannot keep up with her.

And still I worry. I always stay awake when she is sick now. When she spikes a fever, I think back to then. I sit by her side and pray that she will never be that sick again. Oddly it is just her I worry about like this and I think it's because she was the only one so sick.

I worry more about bugs - ticks and mosquitoes - because they can make her this sick again (even though they were not the cause last year). I never really worried before about Lyme Disease or West Nile. We always apply insect repellent when going on hikes now. I make sure they get checked daily for ticks (and if we find any, I use a sharpie to draw a picture around the spot so I know what to keep an eye on). One thing however, I don't let my fear of these disease ridden pests hinder our time outdoors. We still enjoy hikes, swimming, playing, soccer. We are just more aware of the little things in life.

Photo Hunt Saturday - Row

This week's photo hunt theme is row. Sometimes I feel like a mother duck with her little ducklings in tow. They like to walk behind me in the grocery store in a "row". In pictures, they are usually sitting in a row next to each other. The photo I am going to share is of the girls sitting in a row while taking a break during a recent letterboxing hike.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Checking today I realized I was a month late on my blogiversary. Yup, one year ago July I started this blog. Now my being late shouldn't come as a surprise. I tend more often than not to be late for most things these days. How I managed to get daughter to school every day but two last year tends to amaze me.

I didn't always be this way. Way back when I used to be a perfectionist. I ALWAYS had to be on time. The only exceptions were when driving to school with my sister as we always had to go out to breakfast. I had no choice (well except to ride the bus..) and had to face the fact that at least 2-3 days a week would require a stop for breakfast. But anything else and I would be there early. So what happened? Husband happened. Then kids.

Husband is the laid-back- I'll get there when I get there type of person. Doctor's appointments, parties, church. It doesn't matter. We all used to joke that he would be late for our wedding (He wasn't)... Then came the kids. And well hey, we ALWAYS go through a 20 minute timewarp stepping out our door. I swear we lose 20 minutes just walking from the door to the van. I don't know how. Maybe I need to check and make sure our clocks are set right... Luckily, most people understand. And I've come to realize that being a little late isn't that big of a deal most times. The world isn't going to end if I'm not there on time.

Anyway back on topic... Blogiversary...

While I haven't had much to say over the past year, I do enjoy reading everyone's blogs. And hey, some of you have come back to read mine...even better some of you keep coming back. It must be the pictures. I can say, the last year, I think I've learned to relax even more. I've learned that some things are just out of my control and I need to let them flow. I've learned how to let go. I've learned that kids will be kids and that mine ARE normal (okay maybe not). But most of all, I learned that we are all in the same boat. We don't always know where we are headed or what we are doing, but that someday, somehow, we'll survive parenthood.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Salty Water

Why do sharks only swim in salt water?
Because pepper water makes them sneeze.

This is the jokes repeated by Einey and Meenie on our drive out to the Cape the other day. Moe on the other hand kept saying "not going in the salty water, sharks". Even though we tried to reassure her that there were no sharks waiting in Boston Harbor to eat her, she was still afraid. Add that to the tiny waves that were breaking near the shore and she was a tad leery of the water. After she got used to being there though, she entered the water ever so slightly.

We took the advice of a friend and headed out to Sandwich for the day. We wanted something that wasn't "touristy", and loaded with the summer crowds. A place where we could watch the kids and not have to worry about them running into a road or losing them on the beach. We couldn't go to the beach she recommended as it was a resident only beach, so we hit one of the public beaches instead. It was a tad too rocky for my liking, but the girls had fun. We watched crabs scurrying in the salt marsh, fish swimming around and cormorants diving for food.

The kids enjoyed walking on the Sandwich Boardwalk. Einey found a plank that had her and her dads' name on it (it was one of those memorial type deals where people purchased planks). We ate at a small seafood place where the girls had a shrimp popcorn meal, grilled cheese and fish nuggets. After lunch, we went over near the Cape Cod Canal and found a letterbox while walking along the trail there. We brought clues for a few, but only sought out that one. The weather started out iffy. It was supposed to be sunny and warm. When we got out to Sandwich, if was very overcast and had started to spit. By the time we got to the beach though, the sun started breaking through the clouds and warming things up.

It was a short but sweet stay. Next year, we rent a house for the week! While the drive is only 1.5 hours, it still tends to be a long day and limits what we can visit.

Goodbye Little Friend

Last night, the girls lost a little friend. Rainbow the wonder Hamster passed on to that great rodent space in the sky.

Rainbow was given to the girls three Easters ago, making him roughly 2.5 years old. We knew his time was coming this summer, but it was still hard for the girls.

Over his time on this planet, he only bit Einey once and that was when she squeezed him. He survived the wrath of Moe until he was moved to a better spot high above. He wasn't played with alot, but he still liked to be cuddled when we took him out.

He is now buried beneath the lilac bush in the back yard. He's resting comfortably in his plastic tube (where he went when it was time) inside a sealed little box. Moe keeps asking if we are going to go out and get Rainy when he wakes up. She says "I miss Rainbow". The girls came down with us when we buried him to say goodbye. The each drew a picture and slid it inside his box. The placed flowers onto of his resting space. We found a perfect rock which we are going to clean off and paint as a reminder to our little lost friend.

Goodbye Little Friend, Goodbye....