Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Can you keep a secret?

Over at New England Mama's, we've been blabbing our secrets all week, and the fun continues this week as well.

As we enter our second week of Secret Spaces/Hidden Gems, we are inviting you to share your ideas with the readers of New England Mamas. If you have a secret space, hidden gem, private nook or undiscovered spot located anywhere in New England, write up something before the end of July and send it to Fairly Odd Mother at She'll post it later this week, and will link the post back to your blog (although you do not have to be a blogger to play along). She'll also enter your name to win the 2008 Fun Pass we are giving away.

So what are you waiting for?

It's time to spill the beans!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Random Bits

Dear Coopertone,

Your spray on sunblock sucks. Specifically, this one. This is the second time I’ve used it and someone ended up with a splotched sunburn. You know, where there was coverage in little droplets, despite a very generous spray and respray. And the second bottle I have? It won’t spray. I don’t know if it’s got a blockage or something, but it’s never been used and is broke, so I had to chuck it. I think I’ll go back to my Hawaiian Tropic sunblock. We’ve never gotten burned by them.

Sincerely, Whirlwind


Dear Swim Instructor,

I get you wanting to move Meenie back a level – she barely passed last year by the skin of her teeth. But Einey? I don’t get it. You said so yourself, she has the form, just not the strength. However, she can swim the distance needed to pass into the level she should be in. To drop her down a level (where there are 5 other kids) so she can gain some “strength” doesn’t jive. She’s not going to gain strength sitting on the beach while taking turns knowing what she already knows how to do. It would be much better IMO, to let her be in the level she should be at (after all, she did pass and spent two weeks working on that level last summer) which only has one other child in it. Sure, her strokes are a bit better, but that’s what you are there to teach her. Right? She’s a 40 pound (soaking wet) six year old, what do you expect? She’s obviously super strong, but she’s pretty damn good for her age. We'll be talking more in the morning.

Sincerely, Whirlwind


Dear Town Rec. Department,

We’re through. I hate your inconsistencies. I hate your overpriced activities. I hate that I just wasted $50 for you to teach my kid what she already knows.

Sincerely, Whirlwind


Dear Facebook,

WTF’s up with Scraboulous? I was in the middle of a game and you yanked it. WTF?

Sincerely, Whirlwind


Dear Husband’s Employer,

You have personnel issues. You seriously need to hire more people. Calling people in on their vacation to cover other people's vacation is not cool. Telling Husband you may or may not need him to cover a certain Sunday in August (but you’ll let him know, sometime) is not cool. We’re having a party that day. A back to school party. So Husband’s not coming in. He’s busy. Oh and that Tuesday? He’s already committed to cooking at the meet and great the teacher’s event at the school. Oh and P.S. he’s on vacation, or didn’t you look at that?

Sincerely, Whirlwind


Dear Second Grade Teacher,

Could you please send out the supply list? There is 29 days left to school starts and all the stores have already had there bargains on the supplies. I’d like to know a little bit in advance what I need to buy. I’ve already got kindergarten covered, and from what I remember of preschool last year, there are only 2-3 things on that list – all that I can pick up at the last moment. But seriously, please send the darn list. Thank you!

Sincerely, Whirlwind


Dear Soccer President,

If you are going to put me on the ad of who to call for more soccer information, please let me know the registration dates. I keep telling everyone this Thursday and Saturday are the last sign up dates, yet I just saw an ad saying Saturday was the last date. As far as I can see, this Thursday is still a Thursday in July so someone should be there, right? Right? If not, there will be a lot of people calling to ask WTF you are, since I told them to go Thursday night. Oh and when I email asking, it would be nice of you to email me back.

Sincerely, Whirlwind


Dear Husband’s Friend,

No Husband cannot come out and play everyday he has off. And yes, while I don’t mind you coming over here for hours on end, just remember, Husband has responsibilities. We love you and all…

Sincerely, Whirlwind


Dear Blogger,

WTF's up with the formatting? I don't need all the extra spaces between paragraph's.

Sincerely, Whirlwind

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This is going to be a random collection of short posts, as there really hasn't been much happening around here this week.

I had hoped that last week would be the last of the sickies for awhile. Einey's fever broke and she did not end up with Hand Foot and Mouth. But then Meenie started in with something. She was cold (during the heat wave) huddled under blankets. Then hot. She had a headache and dizziness. Then vomiting. This occurred (with and without the vomit) for about five days. She's wake up fine, but by 4pm, she's be feeling ill. I took her to the doctors yesterday and the preliminary diagnosis is Lyme Disease (I pulled a tick off her the end of June). We are waiting on the blood tests results. She's already started the amoxicillian, so I'm hoping she feels better soon.

Whenever I pull a deer tick off of the girls, I draw a picture around it in bright color sharpie. This helps me to see where the spot is and watch for a rash (which she didn't get). And the kids like it as well.


Husband goes back to work today, so it's going to be strange not having him around. He's been on vacation since July fourth. We've gotten quite a bit done, but didn't get to visit as many places as we wanted to. Still it was fun. The girls had fun, I relaxed. All was good. Three weeks until his next (and last for the year :( ) two week vacation.


So far, I've accomplished making a few items for school. I've completed a dress and two skirts for Moe and a skirt for Meenie. Einey has her uniforms from last year still, so apart from a few odd pieces, I'm all set for her. I set out making the girls clothes because they like wearing skirts and dresses. However, many that I've found, just aren't long enough. So, I've fixed that.


We are starting to get veggies and fruit from our garden. And it's been such a change from last year. Last year, the minute Moe say anything grow (tiny green tomatoes, bite size peppers) she picked them. This year, we've gotten three large red tomatoes, there are peppers growing quite big (and haven't been picked) and she's letting the fruits ripen. She's finally learned to wait. We didn't get as many raspberries this year as we did last year, but we got enough. The only thing Moe has been hogging is the blueberries. We've finally told her to leave some for everyone else.


Husband and I had a kid free few hours the other night. We went shopping and not only did I get to look at stuff, I actually brought myself some stuff. And then we had some wicked good Mexican food. We'd had wanted to stop and try a certain restaurant for awhile but just never had time. It was excellent. Husband is already talking about the next time we go.


I've started to plan our annual back to school bash. Not sure what activities I'm going to do this year. Last years school supply scavenger hunt was a hit, but we invited more friends (some kids for everyone to play with) this year. I'm open to ideas.


A few days of our vacation found us traipsing around cemeteries. We were following some letterboxing clues and the kids didn't want to hike. They wanted to visit cemeteries. They LOVE doing this and always ask when we drive by cemeteries if we can stop and look around. One of the great things about living in New England is to old headstones you can find. The oldest we've found on our visits are from mid 1700's (I know, not old by most standards, but older than our nation as it is).


I've posted one of our secret spaces over here today. Stop by and see where it is. If your looking for other secret spaces in New England, be sure to read some of the old posts and check back everyday until the end of the month. We're all posting our secret spaces in New England and there are prizes!


And I'll leave you with the number one reason that you'll be safe swimming with us.

Moe: "Mommy, I have to pee. Really, really bad."
Me: Looks to dingy port a potty that I know she'll turn and run from the minute we walk to it "Just go in the water"
Moe: Horrified "Nooooooooooo. The water will turn all yellow. Eww. Yuck -eee"

In the end, we walked to the port a potty, which she turned and ran from. Only to walk back up 5 minutes later when she really, really had to go. Only for her to try and run from. Only I had to hold her over the pot.

The next swim day - she tried the same thing with Husband, almost the exact conversation. He tried to take her up there, she came running back down and headed straight for........................

................... the water snake slithering by. I jumped up, calling her name and grabbing her arm. All the while telling Meenie who was in the water on the other side of the snake to STAY WHERE SHE WAS. I wasn't trying to cause a panic, I just wanted the girls to stay away as it made it's way from one side of the lake to the other. But then one of the lifeguards came running. And Husband was trying to help it continue it's journey. I think the lifeguard was trying to show-off. He grabbed it and threw it on the sand and then started throwing stuff (cinder blocks) at it. Not cool. It would have been fine once it made it to the reeds on the other side. Einey looked up from her sand castle to say "It's just a snake".

Oh, and then I had to walk back up and hold her over the potty. I wish she'd just pee in the lake.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Looking to the future...

Do you know what I am looking forward to when school starts? Doing a big, full scale frontal attack on the playroom. I cannot wait to organize, clean out and toss old toys. I walk in there and see the mess - not messy per say, as the girls have been doing a helluva job keeping it picked up - if you've seen the playroom, you know what I'm saying! - but since I've taken a step back and let them clean up - things aren't always put back in their proper place . Anyway, I walk in and have to force myself not to start organizing. I've learned the hard way not to even try to attempt when they (or Husband- he seems to want to keep everything as well) are home. So I'm waiting and keeping myself busy - in the garden, making school clothes, playing with the girls - until after Labor Day when all three girls will be in school.

Until school starts - I'm not even going to bother. Heh we'll see what it looks like come the end of August....

I know Husband expects me to try and pick up some morning hours subbing while Moe is in school, but I've got my priorities. And that's tackling the playroom. And then the girls' rooms (Einey's room still has some of Moe's toys and the other room has toys that should come downstairs, etc).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Still Going....

There's five days left until Husband heads back to work. He's been on vacation since July 4th. And while I'd like to say we've done all kinds of fun things, I'd be lying.

You'd think with the sicknesses running the house, it would be the dead of winter. But it's not. And we're still sick. Einey's fever lasted for about 2 1/2 days, but never turned into Hand Foot and Mouth (thank god!), but she's been congested ever since. And then yesterday, Meenie started vomiting. Just once, yesterday and once today. But enough that we still can't say "hey, let's go to the Cape Monday". It's just not happening. I think it's heat related - we've been in a heat wave for two days. Yesterday we went to the lake for swimming and when we got home, she started to complain her tummy hurt. Then she threw up, I gave her a cool bath and we all settled down to watch Pokemon Rangers and the Temple of the Sea. She fell on the floor and I had Husband sleep downstairs with her. Then she was fine. This morning, she woke up, was fine, bouncing around acting normal. Around 2pm, I noticed her looking a little tired and by four, she was complaining her tummy hurt a little. I gave her a cool bath and she felt better. Then I dropped her (and her sisters) off at the in-laws as Husband and I were going out and they were supposed to stay the night (we were going to pick Einey back up later to come home- she didn't want to sleep over).

Husband and I had a fabulous time out. We didn't do much - did some shopping - he needed paint brushes (again) and I wanted to pick some things up at Bath and Body. We looked at school sneakers and a few other things and then headed out to dinner. We stopped at a new Mexican restaurant in the area (excellent BTW) and then headed to pick up Einey. When we got there, we found out Meenie would be coming home as well. She got sick.

That's not to say we didn't do anything this vacation. We went swimming. And out for ice cream. And to the movies. And to a concert in the park. And letterboxing. And we've gotten alot done around the house. Over all, between sicknesses, we've had fun. And we've enjoyed being together as a family. And that's all that counts in the long run.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hello, Goodbye

Yesterday, we got word that our church is closing. We don't have an end date yet, but it will be soon (the other 4 churches being closed at the same time are all slated to close their doors in September), they are waiting for our priest to retire. He celebrated his 86th (at least I believe it was 86, he's always said he's stuck at 82 - for his last few birthdays) in February.

And surprisingly, I'm saddened by the announcement. We knew our church was on the chopping block. We knew, in our hearts, due to it's size and aging priest that it would be one that would be closed. But the announcement still caught us off guard.

For those of you familiar with Catholic churches, they are not known for their warmth. There are no nursery's, no after Mass get together's in church Hall. There are no teen groups or children's groups (apart from Catechism class). But our church was different. There was a sense of community. The priest knew everyone's name, knew who was sick, knew who needed help. He really knew his parish.

Our church. It's where I made my first communion. It's where Husband made his confirmation. It's where we were married. It's where we said good-bye to Nana. And great- meme. It's where Einey was baptised. And Meenie. And Moe. It is a big part of us.

We already know where we'll end up. We will join the church affiliated with the girls school. Their school-church. It was an easy decision to make. For one, it's where they go to school - and where they will make their sacraments (although we had discussed having Einey make her first communion this coming year at our home church, but in the end, decided it would be best for her to make them with her friends). We know the priest. We know the church (we've attended Mass there throughout the school year). We have friends who go there. And we already support the church and school. And it's close to home. Much closer than our church.

Unfortunately, my in-laws will be joining a different church. Even though the school church our new church was where Husband went until middle school, where his mother and her parents before her, were raised, they will not be returning to that church. At least not now (I don't know how the church they are choosing to attend will turn out). And what does that mean? That means that for the first time ever, I'll be going it alone. Sure, I'll have Husband with me sometimes, but a majority of the time, he's working weekends. And so, I relied on my in-laws for help. For support. And to keep my three little monsters girly's in line.

Good-bye, sweet little white church we love. Hello big, brick school-church.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Week one (the good, the bad and the ugly)

So far, this vacation hasn't quite been what we planned. We planned on getting some work around the house done (that parts working out) and doing some daytrips (that's not working out). Today marks day 8 out of 20.

Not only did we start off with two kids vomiting, I was sick for a day and then Moe started vomiting again. Then, we got a call yesterday from summer camp, saying one of the kids there this week has hand, foot and mouth. Last night, Einey spiked a fever. So far, it's just a fever and I hope it stays that way. Now, I'd rather deal with all three kids, myself and Husband having the stomach bug then having Hand, Foot, and Mouth again. Four years ago, when I was hugely pregnant, Einey caught H, F & M at a playgroup (8 out of 10 kids there caught it and it spread like wildfire through our MOMS Club). Husband also caught it and unlike what they say about it not affecting adults as severely, he had it bad. Much worse than I've ever seen. It was gross. Then two years ago, Meenie and Moe caught it (and I think Einey as well - apparently, against the myths once you catch it, you can't catch it again - there are different strands of it, so you can catch a different strand...). All was well. Until Meenie ended up hospitalized. Yeah not fun.

So here's what we've accomplished so far:
  • Sent the kids to summer camp
  • Caught a stomach bug
  • Finished sheetrocking the hallway
  • Mudded the sheetrock (next stop - sanding - today probably)
  • Planted some flowers
  • Trimmed the bushes
  • Pulled weeds from three flower gardens (just have the raised beds left)
  • Exposed to Hand, Foot and Mouth
  • Went to see Wall-E ($10 for all five of us!)
  • Went to a kids concert (T-Bone) and had a picnic dinner
  • Went letterboxing (found one out of the three we were searching for :( )
  • Missed a wedding (see #3)
  • Played lots of Wii Sport and Wii Play (as a family)
  • Played a bunch of board games
  • Repaired a screen door to the deck (thanks Mom!)

Things we wanted to do (or have left to do):
  • Finish Pergola on deck
  • Chip/mulch pile of brush
  • Mulch gardens
  • Powerwash the house
  • blueberry picking
  • Cape Cod
  • Peabody Museam
  • Boston Museam of Science
  • Howe Caverns
  • Make window stops (to hold the windows up - stupid old windows)
  • Trim bushes back on edge of property
  • mini golf
  • bowling (and not the Wii variety)
  • Meet friends for dinner

So looks like we've gotten most of the to-do items accomplished.

The good thing is, if we don't get to do some of the things we wanted to do this vacation, we've got another two weeks in August!


A quick funny:

The other night while I was working on getting some plants into the ground and Husband was trimming the bushes (to which the neighbor told him "it's about time I see you out here working in the yard, I see your finally giving your wife a break - she's done a tremendous amount this year, heh) we told the girls to get their bathing suits on and they could use the sprinkler.

Meenie comes running up and asks :

"Can I wear my zucchini?"


"My pink polka dot zucchini?

Ahh, your bikini? If you can find it.

(They were given bikini's as hand me downs and are only allowed to wear them at home).

Saturday, July 05, 2008

It's not a party unless somebody's puking

I'd like to say that the title of this post is in regards to an adult having too many adult beverages. Or that it was someone else doing the puking. But it's not. But oh how I wish it were.

Today dawned dreary and wet. So much, that we lazed around watching movies and playing the Wii. We almost didn't go to the annual 4th of July picnic at Husband's Aunt and Uncle's house. But his parents called three times and it seemed like the rain would hold. So we got the kids moving and went. Meenie and Moe had been a tad more tired today, but they were out late the night before.

We got to the picnic and had some dinner. The kids played. The adults talked. Well I tried to, but Moe was attached to me. "I want to go home. I want to lay on a couch". And then the vomit came. All over her. All over me. All over the ground. And then the three dogs came. Thankfully they listen. I got her cleaned up and then had to pry Husband away from his conversation to bring her home. We left the two older girls with the in-laws and took Moe home (despite my MIL asking if we wanted to stay and if she wanted "sick soda" - ginger ale). Moe slept most of the way home. And then we gave her a bath and threw our yucky clothes in the washer. Then she and I snuggled up and watched twelve dancing princesses.

When the in-laws brought the other two girls home a bit later, we made contingency plans for them to take the girls to a cousins wedding today. A wedding the girls have been dying to go to. They said "we'll see how she's doing in the morning, she may be feeling better". Um yeah. Like I'm going to bring my sick child, even if she's feeling better in the morning, to a wedding. A wedding where the groom's brother's daughter will most likely be there. The baby, born last November at just over one pound. The baby, who was a twin, who lost her twin 19 days after they were born. The baby, who is not quite a year old. No. Out of respect for the family we will not be bringing her to the wedding. I know the 24 hour symptom free rule.

We got all of the kids situated for bed. Moe seemed to be doing better, so we put her to sleep in her bed. Meenie and Einey camped out on the floor in Einey's room. And then......

I was woken up, not even an hour after falling asleep.

"Hon, I need you to clean this up, Meenie just puked"

So yeah, Husband woke me up to clean up Meenie and the carpet she puked on. He was nice enough to grab me some cleaning supplies. As I was grumbling about not being able to get the carpet clean and him saying we could rent a steam cleaner and me saying good luck with that on a holiday weekend. He snapped "stop being so melodramatic". Me? Melodramatic. Excuse me, but I got woken up fro ma sound sleep so I could scrub puke of a freaking carpet while you stand outside the room giving comments. I think I deserve that right.

The icing on the cake? When he walked into the other bedroom to get Meenie some fresh clothes, "Um, Moe puked again too". Yup, she puked and never woke up. So once I was finished cleaning one room and one kid, I had to do it all over again.

They are both now downstairs sleeping on the "sick bed" - an old couch we cover when they are sick and let them sleep on so they don't wake others up when they are inevitably up all night.

Now if you excuse me, there's a hardwood floor that's near the girls calling my name. Where's Husband? Upstairs in our bed, sleeping comfortably.

We hope everyone else had a happy and healthy Fourth!

To Husband's defense, he does have a low tolerance to puke. If he tried to clean up, he'd puke and there would be twice as much for me to clean up.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Happy Fourth!

Wishing you all a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Before heading out to your holiday BBQ's, stop by my review blog to brush up on some warm weather tips for staying healthy and safe!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Summer Camp Blues

Today was the first day of summer camp at school. The girls aren't going full week, but rather day here and there spread over two weeks - mainly so we can get some home improvement projects finished without them underfoot.

This morning started off with a few tears - all from Moe who wanted to go as well. Last week, she happily joined her sisters for a week (9 am - noon) at Vacation Bible School. And so she thought, she'd be allowed to attend school camp as well. Unfortunately, we didn't sign her up. And so all I heard was "I want to go to camp too. I'm a big girl now".

And then of course there was Einey. I packed there lunch together in a big cooler (I had to toss one lunch box this morning as it had started to grow some mold between the end of school and now - YUCK - and I couldn't find the other one). Einey saw what I was doing and then got crestfallen. "You mean, I have to sit next to HER for lunch?" Um yeah, sitting next to your sister at a camp where there are like 20 kids is a bad thing? Deal with it.

All in all, it seems to be going well.

As to what I got accomplished today - not a whole lot of anything. Moe and I ran some errands this morning, including stopping for Moe and Mommy's Coffee Break and cleaning out the old lizards cage (which a friend wanted to borrow for her frogs). Then we filled the bird feeders and Moe watered my plants. I did get some general stuff- laundry ect. finished) but still need to clean out my van.

Tomorrow - I am going to attempt to rescreen and rehang a door off the back door so when we leave the door open all day, bugs don't come in. The Dog ran through it when she was a puppy putting a large hole in it (she's seven now). When I went to Lowe's to inquire about a replacement door track, they looked at me like I had three heads and informed me their screens were replacements for sliding doors. Already installed. With the tracks already installed. Which we have. or had. The track is no longer there - it's old possibly shody construction. I think I have the track piece in the basement, so I need to figure out how to re attach it to the frame if I want a screen door. Or ask someone who knows something about it (I don't have much faith in those who work in Big Box Stores and Dole out information). Wish me luck!

Today - to the lake after I pick the girls up from camp.

Cross Posted at New England Mamas