Sunday, December 4, 2011

signs of Santa

We mosied on down the road to one of the local cranberry farms the other day in search of our Christmas tree. This particular cranberry grower made the decision to grow Christmas trees on the uplands. It's a wonderful place to go choose your Christmas tree. We always forget to go early in the season and tag one so the trees we end up with shall I put it?...character. The kids wander around the bog roads and in and among the rows of trees until the perfect one is finally found. Apparently Santa himself also comes to this very farm to choose his Christmas tree too. My kids know this for a fact.

While walking down the bog road, what to our wondering eyes should appear? But the imprint of one of Santa's reindeer!

The kids spied this deer print and quickly came to the conclusion that it was not just any ordinary deer print but it was a reindeer print. And it was not just any ordinary reindeer print but it was one of Santa's reindeer's prints. The magic of the season infuses everything and it makes this Mumma's heart so happy that the magic is still there for all three of my kiddos. Makes it all the more magic for me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

look what was on sale in aisle five

Charlotte is still in her feisty kitten stage. I keep telling myself that but I'm beginning to suspect feisty may just be her temperament. God help me. There is not anything she won't climb on top of, into, or underneath. She even manages to wriggle under the living room rug. Which I swear she does to egg the dogs on. They are utterly perplexed as to what is moving beneath the rug and go bananas trying to get at her.

Speaking of the dogs....I swear, not one word of a lie, as soon as I started taking pictures of Charlotte in the shopping, Mudge came over and plopped right down behind the bags and looked straight at my camera. Heaven forbid, Charlotte gets all the limelight. geeeze! They are worse than the kids.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

all must obey the whims of the Princess

Princess Charlote has her own little snug stuffed kitty cat bed. But our little Princess does not want snug and little. Oh no...she wants grand and plush. What's a petit kitty to do?

Why, it's not a problem at all for this delicate flower. Just pester the dogs right out of their padded and polar fleeced crate. They can have the kitty bed if they want.

Mudge wants you all to know that he was NOT bossed around by a two pound cat, he CHOSE to leave the spacious crate and curl up in? on? her bed. Really, he did. Really.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

now that's plum tuckered out

The poor wee munchkin barely has enough in her after a very long day of school to have a snack before literally falling asleep on the spot.

Not to worry, as soon as I finished snapping this Kodak moment, I moved her to a much more comfortable spot to nap in.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

routine check up

The other day I took Teresa and Katie in for their annual check ups. My kids love going to see their doctor. He always takes time to talk with them and he appreciates them as individuals. While we were waiting in the exam room Katie was drawing and coloring a picture for her doctor. Now that she's in school, EVERYTHING is about writing. She kills more trees than a lumberjack with all the writing she's been doing. Anyways, she drew a sweet picture of herself in one of those paper dresses for the doctor and then she wanted to write "thank you." She starts sounding out the words. However, what with all those missing teeth, Katie's "thank" sounds more like "fank" and of course SHE knows best and won't listen to any guidance from me so she makes a great big "F" at the top of her paper. Then, because she is only in kindergarten, she skips over the whole rest of the word and moves on to the next word. You. So right next to her great big "F" she makes a great big "U." Of course I couldn't help but chuckle. "F-U" Bwahahahahahaha!!!
The doctor finally came in and both girls went through their exams. They chatted about school and activities. Then the doctor told them they'd both be getting flu shots and Katie also needed her chicken pox booster. Cue the frowns. And when Kate got her shots, the screaming commenced. It was not pretty. And she was furious. However she calmed down quickly and they got dressed so we could leave. That was when Katie discovered she had forgotten to give the doctor the picture she made him. Luckily he was not with another patient, and Katie proudly handed him the picture. I've got to give him credit. He laughed and thanked her for the picture. To me he added, "She really wasn't happy about those shots, huh?" I'm so glad he has a sense of humor.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

sports nut

Sam has become a sports fanatic in the last several months. It was like someone flicked a switch and the kid cannot get enough sports. He hated that the baseball playoff games went on past his bedtime and he made Joe promise to leave him a note letting him know who won their respective games. Every night Sam asks Joe, "who's on tonight?" He doesn't care if it's baseball, football, hockey, or basketball. Any game is fair game. He even sets the dvr to record games he is unable to watch due to unfair bedtimes and school. And he will pester Joe ad nauseam with sports related questions. "Who played in the Superbowl in 1993?" "Who won the most World Series?" "Which team is the oldest of all the sports?" "What is this team's or that team's win/loss record? and what was it last year?" The questions go on and on and on and on. I know Joe always hoped his kids would share his love of sports. Sam surpasses even Joe in his desire to know everything about sports. I look forward to taking him to Cooperstown someday soon.

Sam has his favorite teams. The Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and the Bruins are, of course number one, but he does have others that rank pretty high on the list. Wins and losses mean nothing to Sam in terms of determining who his favorites are. Nope, it's all about the mascot. Any team with an animal is a winner in Sam's book. The Rays, Diamondbacks, Tigers, Cardinals are all on the list. And then anything a little bit quirky also peaks his interest. If you know Sam at all then his favorite of favorites should be easy to figure out. None other than the Buffalo Bills!

Friday, October 7, 2011

not a good napping spot

hmmmmmm....breakfast is tasting a little...furry, this morning.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


My favorite little rocking couch, a cup of tea, some magazines, and a purring kitty curled up with me equals a beautiful zen moment for me.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

hurricane Charlotte

You wouldn't think a tiny little kitten could make all that much of a mess. Really, she barely weighs a solid pound soaking wet, how much havoc could she wreck?

I'll tell you how much...this much.

Just look. The mess starts at the floor with the blocks, shoes, and doll accessories. Then it's strewn all over the stairs until you get to the landing with blankets, stuffed animals and more shoes in piles. You'd think this was the work of the kids or even our resident dogs/Tasmanian devils. But nope, the culprit can be found perched atop the chaos all worn out from her frenzied sweep up the stairs.

And don't let that sweet face fool you. She's a master of looking sweet and innocent having learned it from Mudge, for whom the phrase "puppy dog eyes" was invented.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

waiting for Tia

Teresa does this every morning. She sets her Sweetie Pig, Pepper, and Coconut up on the windowsill so they'll be the first thing she sees when she gets off the bus in the afternoon. She may be getting all pre-teen on me, what with the attitude and the eye rolling, but things like this remind me she's still just a little girl. Which makes me very happy.

Friday, September 23, 2011

such a trooper

This blog is turning into an "all about Katie fest" lately, but she has had some big deal things going on what with starting school and all. Today Joe and I took her up to the nearby Children's Hospital for some tests. She is fine, these are tests she gets yearly to monitor the kidney reflux she has. What floors me is how matter of fact she is about the tests. She gets an ultrasound and goes straight from that to nuclear medicine for an RNC. This is a procedure that involves catheterizing her and filling her bladder with water and xraying her as she pees. It's not something most adults would go through without some complaining and maybe a few tears.

Not my girl. Katie took a deep breath and blew it out when they inserted the catheter and made one little grimace. That was it. I know I was much more of a baby about getting catheterized when I had my c-sections. The two techs doing the procedure were amazed with her composure. What bothered Kate the most was that they wanted her to pee while lying there in the xray bed. Her little bladder was so full her belly was popping out. But she kept looking at me and shaking her head no. She refused to go pee on that bed. Thankfully, they were able to move out the table and change it out to accommodate a little chair and she could sit on a potty seat and go. Throughout the entire process, Katie chatted with the techs about her American Girl dolls, the tooth fairy, her pets, and her sister and brother.

Afterwards, we walked through the halls of the hospital, Katie chattering and giggling and bouncing her balloon. I thought back to walking down those same halls with my very sick little one year old Katieboo who was so weak from fever (over 104 degrees for nearly a week) she could barely nurse. In one of our stops someone tied a balloon to her wrist and it was like a switch had been flicked. Katie was so delighted she smiled. I hadn't seen a real smile from her in days and days. She was entranced and waved her arm to make the balloon bob around her. We lived with that red sparkly star balloon for many weeks.

Balloons are almost as magical as Mommy kisses at making things all better. Just ask Katie.

Monday, September 19, 2011

sweet and sassy

She's sweet and sassy and all of six years old. How the heck did that happen??? I swear all I did was blink. But there you have it....she's six!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Charlotte Ginger Buttercup

My whole life long I've lived with cats. I love cats. So I knew it was only a matter of time after losing Benjamin that another feline would find it's way into our home. I didn't expect it to happen quite as quickly as it did though. About a week and a half after he disappeared, I received a freecycle posting advertising kittens. I figured it had to be fate. The kids and I went to the woman's house and came home with this little bundle of craziness. She was christened Charlotte Ginger Buttercup by the kids. They can never agree on just one name so we tend to use each of their favorite's...Katie suggested Charlotte, Teresa came up with Ginger, and Sam wanted Buttercup.

I was very worried about how to teach the dogs that this small little critter was not prey and should not be eaten. It took several days of working with the dogs before I let both dogs and kitten out together but from the looks of things, I guess I really didn't need to worry. She torments the two 100 pound behemoths. Daisy puts up with her shenanigans with less patience than Mudge. Charlotte will be wrapped around Mudge's tail, her little claws and teeth digging in, and he will just look over at me with a "please do something about this annoyance" look on his face.

The kids, the dogs, Joe, and I are all loving on this sweetie. She has helped heal the ache in our hearts from missing our Baadaabooty which endears her to us even more. ♥

Monday, September 12, 2011

the king has left the building

Sadly, His Royal Highness Sir Benjamin Baadaabooty Ben 10 is with us no more. We didn't even get the chance to say goodbye. He slipped out of the house one night, without anyone noticing and just never returned. To say our hearts are broken would be pretty darn accurate. When I finally gave up hope that he might turn up on the doorstep, I told the kids. Kate sobbed and sobbed and I cried right along with her. We loved that furry benign little despot and will miss him forever and ever.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

say what?

Does anyone else love the show "The Middle"? I love that show. It is ridiculous but oh my god it makes me laugh. Every character is hysterical and together they make me laugh so hard I have to use my inhaler. Yes, the show is that funny and if you don't think so then you are way too serious.
I have a problem though. The teenage boy character prefers to lounge about the house in his underwear. No, that's not my problem. My problem is that Sam thinks this is hysterical and worthy of imitation. I'm not a prude and honestly don't care if Sam wants to lay on the couch in his boxers, however I cannot have him wandering around the house in his skivvies when I have a houseful of daycare kiddos. EEC would look down on that sort of thing. Which is why I found myself saying the other day, "Sam, you are not allowed to walk around in just underwear when we have people over." Just another one of those things I could never have imagined I would need to say when I became a parent.

Friday, September 9, 2011

mean girls

My girls adore each other. They play together for hours and hours and leave a mess stretching from here to California to prove just how much fun they have had.

But sometimes, sometimes, they are absolutely horrid to each other. Teresa will make some snarky nasty comment about Katie's singing, drawing, dancing for no reason whatsoever. Katie will make irritating noises she knows bugs the hell out of Teresa until Teresa loses it and shoves her. They go back and forth in endless meaningless arguments until I am screaming for them to shut up. (I don't say shut up, it's not allowed, but while I may use more acceptable wording, believe you me, my tone is saying SHUT THE FUCK UP!) While this is happening I think to myself, "why? why do they do this?" "Will they always be so horrible to each other and miss out on having that sister bond?" "Will they end up scarring each other forever with the things they are saying/doing to each other?"

Once I finally take some deep breaths, I realize something. My sisters were the ones who tormented me by calling me "Dia-ree-ah" when I was small. I can't count the number of times I pulled my younger sister's hair or pinched her (sorry Carol). We made up less than flattering nicknames for each other (Carol and I) based on the shape of our heads. I got into verbal fights with my sisters that scared our friends with the nastiness. We excluded each other from clubs and games.

And yet, we still love each other beyond reason. Probably because, they are also the ones who made up gymnastics or dance routines for me so we could put on a show. They are the ones I stayed up late studying and laughing with. They are the ones who lent me their clothes. They are the ones who played animals with me until they wanted to die of boredom. They are the ones I visited at college and included me in all the cool college goings on. They are the ones I invited up to visit me when I was in college and I could share my cool college goings on.

When we get to reminiscing, we don't gloss over the times that are less than pretty. We drag those memories out and laugh over them. It is the sum of the good, the bad, and the ugly that make our bonds so strong. We learned how to get along in an imperfect world while we were learning how to get along with each other.

So, my girls may not have this sweet rainbow and unicorns existence with each other every single moment. But I'm guessing that there may be hope for them after all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

with open arms

Katie came home from her first day of school and handed this picture to me. I asked her to tell me about it. Katie looked at me as if I was just plain dumb and said, "Mumma, it's you. (duh! of course it is) I drew a picture of you waiting for me to come home so you can give me a BIG hug!" I think I melted into a literal puddle of mush on the floor after hearing that. My girl knows her Mumma, that's for sure, because as soon as I heard that bus coming down the road, I was waiting with my arms wide open so I could wrap her up and soak her in.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

award worthy

So, as much as I tried to ignore it, the FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN, just refused to not happen. My girl was giddy with excitement. I have to admit, even though I would love it if she could be my baby forever, I am so proud of this kiddo. She has grown in leaps and bounds the past year. Situations that she shied away from in the past, she is jumping into with both feet.

I crept up to her room this morning and stroked her arm to gently wake her up. When I whispered "Good Morning Kindergartner", she shrieked in excitement and literally sprang out of bed. I think she must have dressed on her way down the stairs because she arrived in the kitchen dressed and declared she was ready to go. I suggested we brush that wild mop of hair first.

Hair brushed, shoes on, backpack shouldered and she was ready to go.

I was so busy taking pictures that I held it together while she was waving goodbye. But it was a different story as I walked back to the house. In years past when we'd put the kids on the bus, Katie and I would walk back up to the house together, her little hand in mine. This morning I walked back alone. I'd be a damn liar if I told you I didn't cry. The tears weren't all sad ones though. While I am sad about not getting to spend all day with her, mostly I was brimming with pride with how she was embracing every part of this whole adventure.

She came home this afternoon, talking non-stop about a brand new friend (she's unsure of her friend's name...and that just cracks me up), playing with playdough and in housekeeping, reading stories ("kindergarten has the same books we do!!!"), learning to walk in a line, and many many more wonders. Then she very proudly pulled this out of her backpack and announced, "Mumma, I did such a good job at kindergarten, I won an award!!!"

And guess what my little deserve an award. You are Mommy's Kindergarten Rockstar.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Can you figure out what's missing?

Look closely at the box.

If you guessed the pieces of Katie's quilt you would be 100% correct! Today I sewed the last row onto the rest of the top. I pressed all the seams and then spread it out on the floor of Sam's room. It looks amazing! I am beyond excited how beautiful it turned out. I have to admit, I was skeptical of using blacks in a child's quilt but that Katie sure knows her stuff. It is stunning.

I do still need to add the borders before the top is officially finished but the tricky stuff is done. We will make a trip to the fabric store to pick out border fabrics and backing fabric so stay tuned for the last couple steps!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Irene's the talk of the town

We got side-swiped by Irene last weekend. We were some of the lucky ones who only lost power for just about 24 hours. Some of our friends and neighbors went four or more days without power. We did not get off completely unscathed. After Irene swept through we were short two very tall pine trees in our backyard, a couple sections of our fence and one of our small playstructures.

Here's a view from the deck of the mess the storm left behind.

Why, hello there, big humongous pine tree that doesn't belong in our yard, let alone through our fence.

Goodbye little green slide.

The kids were surprisingly good about the loss of power and the absence of television, video games, computer games and movies. Not to mention microwave popcorn. They entertained themselves completely the entire day we were stuck at home. So much so, I was able to read three entire books.

At one point I found all three of them in the dog crate, which they had draped with quilts to make a little cave. When asked what they were doing, I was told they were playing poor people. The crate was their cardboard box that they lived in. Sounds like a fun game. Kooky little kids. They also sat and colored for a bit. I call what they created "art therapy."

Sam drew a picture of the storm being defeated by his and the girls' stuffed animals.

Katie's picture shows the downed trees with the storm still raging overhead.

Teresa's picture depicts another dog crate activity of the kids. They crawled into their cave with flashlights and books (Sam's very extensive library of books about hurricanes) to read together.

We are slowly cutting up the trees and raking up the billions of small pine boughs and leaves. I hope we are able to get rid of this tree more quickly than the one that fell down this past winter. It was in our yard so long the kids actually named it. Bob. Bob the tree. Joe had just finished cutting it all up about a week before Irene. Mother Nature has a twisted sense of humor.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

what are the odds?

Hello. I don't believe I've ever introduced you to Sam's pet frog or toad or whatever it is. He got this little guy for his birthday a couple years ago. Lava is one of those indifferent pets. He doesn't snuggle or do anything cute and endearing. He's just there. It is pretty cool when he eats his worms. That's always a good party trick. For the most part though, Lava just hangs out in his little habitat, waiting for worms to drop out of the sky.

I am the one who cleans out his habitat and to do this I scoop him out and deposit him in the tub while I dump the old water and wipe out the tank. Mudge walked into the bathroom once when I was doing this and noticed the small critter cautiously hopping around the bathtub. All at once, Mudge's ears went up and he cocked his head to the side. I could practically hear him thinking, "WHAT THE HELL???" I shooed Mudge out of there ASAP but the damage was done. He knew there was another animal in that habitat and made every effort possible from that moment on to find out what it was and if it was edible.

I sometimes bring Lava's tank out of Sam's room to show off the aforementioned party trick to the childcare kids. Usually it sits on the kitchen table for the day and I return him to Sam's room at night. I did this just yesterday. Unfortunately, I forgot to make the return trip. We were in a hurry to get out of the house and run some errands and Lava, being the non-presence that he is, just got overlooked.

We came home and laden down with bags and boxes made our way into the playroom. Sam instantly let out a shriek of horror. I dropped every box and bag I had, scared out of my wits and terrified at what could possibly be making Sam sob in that way. And I saw it. The plastic habitat, that had so recently held Lava, laying on it's side in the middle of the playroom. The dogs had the good sense to look ashamed of themselves. Daisy huddled under the kitchen table and Mudge peered out from behind the chair in the living room. Teresa and Katie started to cry as they realized what had actually gone down while we were out and Sam continued to sob.

I grabbed the dogs' collars and unceremoniously dragged them through the house and out the back door. Then I sent the kids into my room so I could clean up the mess and possibly spare them the sight of poor Lava's mangled remains. I doubted I'd find a trace of him anyways but you just never know. I picked up the parts of the habitat and put it together and then used towels to clean up the nasty water on the floor and table. I concluded they must have swallowed Lava whole since I found not a sign of him.

Sam came out of my room, tears streaming down his face, to ask me if Lava made it. I wrapped my arms around my sad little boy and delivered the bad news. Sam cried for his lost little friend, his whole body shaking with his sobs. But then, wonder of wonders, Sam screams "LAVA!!!!" and I turn to see the miraculously lucky amphibian hop from beneath a bookshelf in the kitchen. He was covered in dust and cat hair but he was alive. I don't know how he did it, and Lava is not offering any details, but somehow he managed to elude the dynamic duo and survive. I really think Lava should play the lottery.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

it's that time of year again

Fifth grade...last year in Elementary school...looking like he's all grown up all of a sudden

Fourth grade...first year in the big school...nervous, excited and ready to get this show on the road already!

And off they a little teary and missing them before the bus has pulled away from the house.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

gone fishing

A net, plus a bucket, plus some bread crusts or nilla wafers or cheetos or even goldfish crackers, plus several eager fisherfolk, equals an afternoon of fun at the pond (at least it was fun for the eager fisherfolk).

Monday, August 15, 2011

she's nine

I've watched her grow...

from exquisite newborn...

to delightful baby...

to challenging toddler...

to exuberant preschooler...

to precocious little girl...

to sassy big girl...

to sweet winsome child...

And now, here she is, all of nine years old, caught in that in-between stage of a funny prickly tween.

I remember holding that exquisite newborn and trying to imagine what she'd be like in a year, or two, or ten. I'd do the same quiet nights when I'd rock her to sleep as a toddler or stroke her back as a restless preschooler. Despite having come to know that newborn and all her moods and reactions, I would always come up blank. I couldn't look into her future and see the person she'd one day be. I still can't. But I can say this. At nine she is exquisite, delightful, challenging, exuberant, precocious, sweet, sassy, prickly, and funny. She is all of these and more. Unfolding the secrets of who she is and who she will be one birthday at a time.