Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rolling in the Deep

You know this song by Adele?  I LOVE it.  I LOVE her. 

You must listen to PS 22 do their version of this song.  They are awesome at everything they do and everytime I see them sing it makes me wish I was back in the classroom.

If you haven't heard of PS 22, set aside a few hours and look them up on YouTube.  You'll enjoy every second. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This day

One year ago today I got to hug and kiss and tell Aunt Debbie how much I loved her and how much she meant to me.  I think of that moment often and how it was the most difficult thing I've ever done but how incredibly lucky I am to have been able to do that.  She died 3 weeks later and as terrible as that was, I cherish this day, June 28th.  It made that awful day just a wee bit easier.  Nothing was left unsaid on my part.  When the time comes that's all you can hope for.  Right?

Aunt Debbie.  Miss her everyday.


Rewards help, please!

I need help.  Suggestions.  Ideas.  What do you reward your kids with?  I'm looking for things that are free and that are not foody/snacky things.  When it comes to things that cost or that contain calories, I'm flush with ideas.  It's the other things I have a hard time coming up with.  Please, share your goods.

In the mornings I've started having the kids not only get Lauren out of her crib for me, but someone also gets her a sippy of milk for me.  And if I stay in bed that much longer, someone also gets her a cup of Cheerios or something like that, too.  Lazy much?  Anyway, to reward this behavior that I value so much, I stopped with the gum or the pennies.  Instead I came up with this and it's genius because they LOVE it:  They get to drive.  All the way down our cul-de-sac!  At some point during the day whomever steps up and happily volunteers to help Lauren in the morning gets to sit on my lap and drive up and down the cul-de-sac.  Isn't that clever of me?  I thought so!  It costs nothing and is calorie free, but it's all I've got.  I need more ideas.  Thank you!

The helper of the day!!

I'm sorry

I'm sorry for the following things:

  • that my kids play in the backyard at 8:00am on summer days because I'm already tired of listening to them argue so I shoo them outside.  I know my neighbors must hate me but if they were in my house on a normal morning they would totally get why I do it.
  • that I don't do a better job of trying to stretch our dollars.  This is something I need to work on.
  • I started picking up before the cleaning lady comes because now I feel like I have to continue doing that and I hate it, kind of defeats the purpose of her coming in the first place.
  • that I complain about that at all because I'd give up Chris before I'd give up the cleaning lady
  • one of my best friends and I had a divorce of sorts a few years ago because she's missed out on my kids' lives and I know they would have loved her.
  • I go to Starbucks daily.  It hurts the waistline (it's under there somewhere) and the wallet but I can't stop.  ADDICT.
  • I don't do a better job of teaching the kids how to deal with each other when they argue but I'm usually kinda tired so I just let them figure it out.  Need an example?  Click here.
  • that I don't go to the gym everyday.
  • for all the people who will be at the water parks during the summer because I WILL be that mom in a bathing suit playing with my kids even though I'm well aware that no one wants to see that
  • for Chris because I am such a horrible cook and he deserves better than my ghetto meals
  • that I blog everyday and your facebook page is always telling you to check in and read it!  What?  You don't get my fb alerts?  Click here.  All the cool kids are doing it.
  • the kids are growing up so fast
  • I use the tv to entertain the kids as often as I do
What is something you are sorry for?  Wanna share? 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Put it away

I spent the first 20 seconds of this video thinking, "OMG, stupid parents.  No wonder kids are such woosies these days."  Then it was an instant, "Holy shit." 

I don't text when I drive but I do use my phone.  I still swear that nothing is as distracting as 3 kids fighting while I'm driving but since that's not something I can really control, no matter how much I tell myself I can, I need to work on the one thing I can control.  My phone.

Have you seen him? I miss him.


He's super cute, super sensitive, and he loves his mommy.  Have you seen him?  The other little boy that lives her now is still super cute but he's loud and obnoxious, he's learned to swallow air and burp like a drunken truck driver, and he's sassy and sarcastic.  The reward for finding the old William is yet to be determined but it probably will contain chocolate bits and a lot of calories.  Please.  I'm desperate.  I miss him terribly.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Break = More love

This is not just a pedicure.  This is an hour and a half of alone time today.  Thanks to our fab sitter Natalia, I was able with very short notice to get away late this afternoon for a pedicure.  I mean an hour and a half of alone time.

It's just what I needed because when I came home I was all, "Let's go have a picnic at the park for dinner!  Let's go play!  Let's have fun before bedtime!" and if I hadn't had a break today I would have been all, "Go outside and play, you're too loud!  Leave her alone, I don't want to hear it!  Jesus, how much longer 'til bedtime?"   

Dinner at the park!  What's even more awesome than just playing with them after a little break is that this dinner they thought was all about them when really it meant I didn't have to make anything or clean anything up .  And we really had fun.  Like, really had fun.  I joke a lot about getting away from them but I love them more than I can stand sometimes.  *burst!*

This home runs on...

Happy Sunday, friends.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

This 'n that

It's mornings like these that I think of the Duggar family and their crazy ass grocery list.  I just went to Costco.  Just.  And this morning I used the last of the milk and the last of the bread.  Normally I don't run out of things but this seemed to happen so quickly.  We're now going through a gallon of milk every other day and a loaf of bread just as fast.  I can imagine when they are 12, 14, and 16 what the pantry will look like.  I worry more about the energy it's going to take to keep this place stocked than I do the money.  Buy stock in Costco, people.  The Party of 5 alone could keep it afloat.


I bought this and made it last night:

I made it like a stir fry with chicken, zucchini, broccoli, red bell pepper, and snap peas and mixed it with penne pasta.  It was good!  Even the kids ate it.  The noodles, sauce, and chicken were al the same color and with the veggies I chose it looked like a Christmas dish.  I'd add more next time just for color but the flavor was very good.  Have you tried this product?


William and I were playing a guessing game while he was in the tub.  He would think of a number, give me a clue, and I would have to guess the number he was thinking of.  After 4 times in a row of missing it, he said to me, "Ummm, I don't think I want to play this game with you anymore.  See?  You need brain skills to play this game." 


I haven't been to the gym since my surgery 5 weeks ago.  I need to get on it.  I had such a good thing going and if I'm not sweating for at least an hour a day, I gain weight.  It ain't pretty and it's only gonna get worse.  Gotta get back to making it a priority.


What are your plans for the 4th of July? 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Aunt Debbie.

The Boston Blog! ~ Our trip ~

I usually try and keep my posts short-ish.  Forgive me if this gets a bit lengthy. 

Our trip back east was so great.  I can't say enough about how impressed I am with Drew.  We did absolutely everything we would have done whether she had been there or not.  She was such a trooper.  Late nights, unfamiliar meals, lots of walking, weird weather and really not a peep from her about any of it.  Such a good girl.

I'll break it down day-by-day with a picture (or two or three) and blurb about each.  We really did have many unplanned adventures, all of which definitely added to our amazing trip!


This is as we were waiting for the train to take us to the airport.  Is it morbid that I always take a picture at the beginning of a trip... just in case?  Like, in case something happens and they find my camera and my family can say, "Oh, at least we have this last picture."?  Is that weird?  And don't look past the fleece and pearls.  She rocked those pearls the whole trip and got more compliments than you can imagine.

Like she's been doing it her whole life.

Taking off for the first time


On Monday we met my cousin  Jennie at the Boston Children's Museum

We took a water taxi across the hahbah from our hotel to the city to walk around and explore.  What a fun way to get around!

I gave Drew her own camera so that she could photograph our trip.  I thought seeing the trip through her eyes would be neat, a different perspective for sure.  Well, yeah.  I got 8 pictures of the top of the building she's taking a picture of here, 13 pictures of a lobster in a store window, a sewer drain, and a lot of other things that I won't even post.  Well, maybe at the end of this blog post I'll put a few just so you can see what I mean but I couldn't use her pics for the entire blog post.  I was kind of bummed but she had a great time taking them so... whatever.

Planking at Quincy Market

At 3:00am Drew woke up screaming.  She's a tough kid so if something hurts her enough for her to scream about it, it's the real deal.  Her right ear was hurting her so badly she couldn't stand it.  For one of the first times ever I was at a complete loss of what to do.  I immediately searched on my phone for a Kaiser only to discover that Kaiser is only in a few west coast states - who knew?  Finally I just called downstairs to the front desk and asked if there was an urgent care or ER around.  My new friend Adam (at the Hyatt Harborside front desk) told me to just get up and get dressed and head downstairs and he'd have directions ready for me.  I did just that.  He not only had directions ready for me but he offered me his own personal GPS to find my way around, he made sure I had cash for the tolls, and he tore up my $68 hotel parking pass so that I could get out w/o having to pay.  The service of our hotel was phenomenal and made kind of a chaotic situation so much better.  In the pouring rain with a kid in pain I found our way to Mass General Hospital.

The pediatric ER department wasn't busy at 3:30am on a Tuesday morning and we got right in.  Turns out her tubes were in place, her right ear was a bit red, but her congestion was off the charts and causing pressure and pain, not helped by the flight.  She was started on a strong antibiotic, Sudafed, and pain drops.  We were given such great immediate care.  After an hour of chilling at Mass Gen we headed back to the hotel, in the pouring rain.  We got terribly lost, despite the GPS, and saw much more of Boston than we'd planned.  No biggie, just one more thing that wasn't planned that turned out just fine.


We got back to the hotel a little after 5am and since mom was still sleeping, we hung out at the restaurant downstairs and ate an early breakfast.  Drew got Fruit Loops and her own carafe of milk and according to her that was worth the ear pain.  BTW, that bowl of cereal cost $6.00.  

Mom got up and came down to join us and we sat and had breakfast #2 together.  See the view?  It was amazing and despite the $6 bowls of cereal and $12 bowls of oatmeal, we ate lots of meals here.  It was too pretty not to.  After breakfast we were off to Sudbury (where mom grew up), Wrentham (where my dad grew up), and then on to Cape Cod for 3 nights.

We met our good friend here for lunch.  This is Longfellow's Wayside Inn.  So much history here.  You can read about the Wayside Inn here if you're interested.

Mom and Drew in front of the Mary Lamb school.  Did you know it was a real place, where Mary brought her lamb to school?  And mom went to school there!  And my Great Nana taught there! I really encourage you to read about the Redstone Schoolhouse here

This is my maiden name and this street is named after my grandpa in Wrentham, MA.  He was prominent in the community for 30+ years and after his death a street in a new development was named after him.  It's not a name you often see in print and it was pretty cool.

Our Cape home away from home.  Thanks to Carlyn for always welcoming us the way she does.


We went strawberry picking - here are Carlyn and Drew climbing the hill

Drew baked for us and made these.  YUM!

We went to a favorite spot in Woods Hole

Drew and Carlyn walking up to the point.  Notice how Drew is wearing a skirt?  Mom later discovered a tick that was having dinner on Drew's leg.

Heading back home

Drew was in love with Carlyn's cats and spent much of her time finding them, petting them, talking to them, or dressing them up in pearls.

Carlyn teaching Drew calligraphy


On Thursday my cousin David, his wife Teni, Uncle Dennis, mom, Drew, and I took the ferry over to Martha's Vineyard.  It was the first non-cloudy day and it just couldn't have been more beautiful.

David, Teni, Drew, Uncle Dennis

In front of what Aunt Debbie always called the Cupcake Houses


Drew holding the sign she made for Uncle Dennis, the morning we left to go back to Boston

We headed back to Boston, checked back into our hotel again, and went to the Red Sox game.  Here, the obligatory picture on Yawkey Way with the sign that Teni made for Drew!

Getting her picture taken by the Red Sox website person with her sign.  How convenient is it that her name is Drew and the right fielder for the Red Sox is J.D. Drew?  She's always got a Red Sox shirt with her name on it.

After the game, after midnight, in the hotel lobby bathroom.  We took this to send to Chris.  After this we sat down and all 3 of us ordered dessert.  Yep, we milked vacation for all it was worth.


This was our last day in Boston.  Drew was representing the OFD as she sat quietly before our busy day began.

In the Public Garden on the swan boats.  You've read Make Way for Ducklings, right?

Under the bridge

Did I mention that we were there for the Bruins victory parade?  I could give two shits about hockey BUT it's hard to not get caught up in the excitement of it all.  Here Drew is on the shoulders of my cousin Jennie watching as the Boston Bruins players rode by on the duck boats.  It was loud with music and people and confetti was falling from the sky.  It was awesome.  And crowded.

There she is, the Stanley Cup!

An estimated 1 million people showed up for the victory parade.  You know how many bathrooms there were?  None.  NONE.  Not one port-a-potty.  After walking around for 30 minutes looking for a bathroom and becoming desperate, I used Drew as an excuse.  I told her to hold my hand, shut her mouth, and look sad.  She performed beautifully!  A woman took us up to her private condo which was extremely generous of her.  She said she has kids, she knows how it is.  I felt awful lying but not so bad as to not do it.  I was desperate. 

Drew spent much of the parade like this, sitting on the street petting her new friend.  Such an animal lover, she is.  Just like her Nana.

Our last dinner at our favorite restaurant at the hotel.


JetBlue is so awesome.  Here they took Drew into the cockpit to look around. 

After a great vacation, lots of new experiences, no bedtimes, too many desserts, an ER visit, a tick bite, and meeting lots of new friends, this girl was wiped.  We arrived home much later than expected but that's because we stopped at Macaroni Grill - just the two of us - before driving home from the airport.  We had to get in one last dessert before vacation, and desserts, were over.

Obviously lots happened that wasn't photographed but I would say for the most part these are the highlights.  I'm really excited to take her back next year and as I've promised him, bring William, too.  



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