Monday, December 27, 2010

a resolution

I promise I haven't abandoned blogging. I've gotten a little tangled up in some big suck ass health issues of someone near and dear and it's been so very hard for me to muster up the energy to do more than just get through the days. I blunder along and find at the end of the day I haven't accomplished near what I want, and sometimes need, to get done. I keep jotting down thoughts and ideas I want to blog about but just can't put those into longhand. I find I'd much rather shut my brain down and watch stupid tv.
I really shouldn't let a health crisis, over which we have no control, dictate my mood and actions but the natural pessimist in me has taken over. I fight it. I can't be sad and weepy all the time because my kids, my family, need better than that. I confess I don't do a very good job though. I may be smiling and joking, but just under the surface I am scared and freaked the hell out.
I miss the joy I get out of writing. Writing on the blog has been so good for me. I find I looked more closely, listened more attentively and enjoyed more completely all the simple everyday moments when I was writing. I need to re-focus on those simple moments. Those moments are everything. They are miracles that I have to remember to appreciate and writing helped me to remember. And now, more than ever, I need to appreciate the miracle of the everyday. So, I am going to make more of an effort to do just that.

I am going to remember to marvel at the sunsets.

Take time to snuggle with puppies (and this little cutie too)

Give thanks for family that fills my house till it's bursting

And never forget to wish upon stars.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

another questionable napping situation

Why is it they choose to sleep smashed together on this teeny tiny little couch but when it's time for me to go to bed, they are sprawled all over my king size bed, leaving me hardly any room at all?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the next food network star

Katie has always loved food. She graduated from those jars of baby food very quickly because she wanted to sample what she saw on our plates. She tries most everything and eats with lip smacking delight. Lately she's gotten interested in preparing food. However, she doesn't want to just put some goldfish in a bowl or pull a piece of fruit out of the fridge. She wants to, in her words, "make up my own snack." So as much as I can, I've been letting her rummage in the cabinets and fridge and see what she comes up with. It tickles me to no end to see her smelling the spices and condiments to decide which to use in her culinary creation of the moment. One day she wanted to make me snack and she put together a yummy combination of banana, crumbled granola bar, and peanut butter. A lot of peanut butter. I have to admit, her snack was pretty tasty. She makes me some interesting trailmixes too. I love them because they're always heavy on the chocolate.

She is constantly asking to be allowed to make dinner and little by little I've taught her how to prep some foods. She is now beside me most evenings and we make dinner together. I really enjoy that time I spend with her. Like many people, she equates giving food to people with the sense that a gift of food shows how much you care. She made soup for dinner the other night and as she ladled it into our bowls she asked me if we could bring some to Mimi and Papa. Since it was already dinner time I quashed that idea, but she was not to be thwarted. She called her Mimi and told her not to make dinner for the next day because she, Katie, was going to make her some soup. She bounded out of the van after school yelling "Time to deliver the soup!" And the look of pride and joy when she handed the container of soup to her Mimi was priceless. I tell Katie that one of these days we're going to be watching her on the Food Network. And you know what, I really wouldn't be all that surprised if we do.

Toasting up a bagel for her snack.

Anyone can have cream cheese on their bagel, but that is too predictable for my little gourmet. She jazzes her's up with some Nutella.

Lots and lots of Nutella. (She did wash her hands but Crayola LIES! Washable markers are not all that washable.)

She pre-rinses the knife for me.

Everything needs a little bling. Even a bagel. Katie glammed hers up with some Christmas sprinkles.

Not so easy to eat a bagel when you're missing half your teeth.

Want to have a bite Mumma?


Teresa's way of telling me, "slow move too fast"

A much needed reminder to stop, sit for a few minutes and cuddle with the ones who matter so much. Thanks Teresa.
p.s. You knew using the pig post it was a sure fire way to get my attention, didn't you?

Monday, November 15, 2010

my room is clean (at least it is if you're a ten year old boy)

This is not the before picture. This is actually the after. I told him he needed to clean his room. Ten minutes later he announced he was done but he couldn't pick up the arena. The arena is that black square in the center of his rug.

Do you think I should get his eyes checked? Or do you think he was hoping I just wouldn't notice all the other CRAP all over the floor??!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Birthday wishes

joy, love, acceptance, friendship, kindness, curiosity, persistence, comfort, contentment, resilience, tolerance, wonder, delight,

all these and more I wish for you

Happy Birthday Sammy Kabookie!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

October review

It's been a whirlwind of a month. There was a lot we wanted to do and despite running ourselves ragged, we still didn't get to it all.

Our annual trek to Edaville's cranberry festival. I've been bringing my babies on this train since they were actual babies and it still entrances them.

Who doesn't love a ride on the Tilt-a-whirl?

This year we were bought what a local parent's paper wrote about Roger Williams Zoo's Spooktacular. Excited to stroll through the zoo and view the thousands of pumpkins we were in for a rude awakening. We stood in line, quite literally, from the moment we got there until we drove out of the park. Nearly three hours of standing in a line. It was exhausting. This picture was taken after being in line for about an hour. Notice the sign? And Teresa's face? Her disgust at her cousins touching the trashcan is priceless.

One of the very cool Peanuts pumpkins.

We had a much better time at a Halloween carnival we attended at the Heritage Gardens. There were games and prizes.

Crafts were crafted with great care.

There were rides on the carousel. And of course, one must sing when riding on the carousel.

There were spectacular spooky ghost eye trees.

My niece plays in the marching band at UMASS and we cheered her on at the Colonial Clash football game. The kids first experience with tailgating and big time football games. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves. What's not to love...cousins, junk food, playing football in a parking lot, more junkfood, staying up late, and some really really cool music.

It wouldn't be Halloween without some pumpkin decorating, now would it? Sadly we never got around to actually carving our pumpkins. On a Wednesday evening Sam and Teresa informed me they needed to bring decorated pumpkins to school for a pumpkin parade. When? Why the very next morning, of course! We went with the faux pumpkins and used what we had on hand. Not too shabby considering.

I figured this was probably going to be it for pumpkin related decorating in our house this year so got Kate one to decorate as well.

My little poet described her finished pumpkin as "a girl looking through a stained glass window at the falling leaves."

The month ended with a bang of costumes and trick or treating. Teresa is still very much in Superheroine mode and created a batgirl costume. My kids insist on getting into their roles for these cracks me up.

I think Sam's days of dressing up as something fun and interesting are behind him. He embraced the macabre spirit of Halloween and went as the grim reaper.

Katie did her best to be a bad witch but her toothless little grin and occasional thumb sucking turned her into a very cute little witch indeed.

We thought maybe once November rolled around we'd get a chance to catch our breath. Here's hoping we do.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

light saber of a pumpkin

She was very excited to show off this project she made in Preschool and explained in detail every stage in the "light saber of a pumpkin."

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

cranberry juicing

It's that time of year again. The time of year when the bogs are flooded and berries are churned to the surface and they bob in blue black water as they're herded into the waiting trucks. I can't help myself. Even though I have witnessed the harvest time upon time upon time, I am drawn to it like Odysseus to a Siren. I was feeling a little blue when "our" bogs were being harvested because it was raining. I couldn't take the kids out in the rain and I was missing it. It really sent me into a little sulk. But then, the clouds lifted for a bit and the rains stopped and I bundled up the kids, leashed the dogs and off we went.

The kids seem as fascinated by the harvest as I am. The big machines, the bright bobbing berries in the pond of water that didn't even exist the day before, the water spraying everywhere from the truck, the incredible noisiness of the trucks and conveyors, the people waist deep in water and berries, all combine to make it an irresistible multi-sensory experience. After getting our fill, and needing to thaw out, we head back to the house.

The kids had picked up wayward berries on our little field trip and their coat pockets were full of them. I explained how each was filled with a pocket of air and demonstrated that stepping on one produced a delightful "POP!" My little group of scientists conducted the same experiment and sacrificed nearly every one of their berries to the quest for higher knowlegde...and really fun popping noises. Katie held on to her very last berry though. I asked her what her plans for it were and she replied, "I'm going to make cranberry juice."

She set to work as soon as we got back home. Katie dragged a stool over to the counter, got out the juicer (the old fashioned kind) and began juicing. It was hard work.

She had made big promises to her friends that she was making them juice and they were eagerly watching her progress. Talk about pressure.

At this point she realized her little red berry was all squeezed out.

She pulled the glass over and poured out the fruits of her labor. As the one solitary little drop of juice dribbled into the glass Kate remarked, "Mumma, I think we're going to need a LOT more berries."

Rather than pick up the berries we needed for this endeavor from the roadside, I purchased a few bags from a local farmstand and consulted google for a recipe and we were good to go. The kids measured out the berries, washed them and dumped them back into a pot.

After adding some water, we put the pot on the stove to boil.

Twenty minutes later out berries had all popped and the water had turned a bright crimson. Time to bust out the strainer.

Once the juice was strained, sugar was added and it went back to the stove to simmer some more. A half an hour later, we deemed it done and poured it into a pitcher and into the fridge it went. The kids were giddy with excitement that soon, very soon, they'd be drinking cranberry juice made with their own two hands.

Bottoms up!

I can't always take an idea one of the kids have and go with it. Some are just impossible (planting an entire banana, you know, so a banana tree will grow), some are just impractical (let's see how long it will take us to walk to Mimi's house), and sometimes we're just too busy (Sam attempting to eat his alphabits alphabetically before school in the morning...taking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too long buddy). But as time and climate and practicality allows, we follow these whims and wonders of our kids through to the sweet end. And when they yield fruits such as the smile below, it is all worth it.