Wednesday, April 30, 2008
And on to better topics - my SIL Jessica and her husband Jeff are expecting their first baby. They're due TODAY. I'm so excited to have another niece. Now I'll have two nieces and two nephews. We're anxiously awaiting news of contractions and a rushed trip to the hospital. I'm sure we're not as anxious as Jessica who has a person living inside of her, but we're excited none the less.
That's all the news I've got - I think I'm going to watch Sicko tonight which the kind foreign librarian kept calling Psycho, or maybe she meant it, I'm not sure...
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
We even made the news in Australia.
Thankfully we aren't these poor people:
and weren't shopping here yesterday afternoon:
I've been getting calls and emails from friends and family - we're okay. We're far enough away (about 20 miles) from that area that we didn't even see it. Thank you for thinking of us!
Monday, April 28, 2008
Somewhere in the Super Cool Mom part of my brain I thought it would be a great idea for Zack to have three friends sleep over. I even thought that four boys was a good number, because odd numbers leaves someone out. We decided that Matt & his friend Tom would take the boys to Laser Quest then home for dinner, make your own ice cream sundae, movie and video games, and bed. Wellll, that's not exactly what went down.
It was a hot day and as the boys showed up, they were playing outside, getting wilder and wilder. They were SUPER excited to play Laser Tag and they were using up tons of excited energy. Matt decided to call Laser Quest to determine if they were full - welllll, apparently it's better if you make reservations. Who knew? Certainly not Super Mom. It ended up that they couldn't take the group until Sunday morning. The boys were disappointed but except for Zack, were pretty good natured about it. We told them we'd have dinner and then take them to the big city park and then do Laser Quest in the morning. We sent them to the back yard to wait for hot dogs. Apparently that's when they decided to let out the frustrations. We heard Zack scream, Matt ran around from the front yard and yelled for me. I came around and I see Zack with his hand over his eye and blood POURING down his face. Matt grabbed my arm and told me to calm down, it wasn't that bad. I tend to panic when it's my own kid. Thankfully Medic Mike was at the house. I started hollering for him and Amy went out to his car to get his Medic Bag. Mike was taking a look and getting a handle on things when Nurse Jenn stopped by with her son's clothes for the night. She and Mike attended the wounded and determined that he'd need stitches. Zack was NOT pleased with this idea AT ALL.
We gathered up his buddy, Zebra, and his DS and headed over to urgent care. While we were doing that Matt got out of the boys that one of them slammed the back gate while Zack was walking through and it caught him just right. Why do boys have to do everything with force, slamming, throwing, running? Zack was in tears the whole time, he was terrified to get stitches. They took him right back and agreed that he'd need one maybe two stitches. He curled up in my lap (he's a BIG kid, this wasn't easy) and was just shaking. He had tears pouring down his cheeks and he was begging me to agree that he didn't need stitches. We finally talked him into cooperating and promised we'd tell him about each step. He was stiff as a board on the table. The first step was the numbing needle and we told him it would be a pinch and then a little sting. I was leaning over his upper torso and holding his hands in mine for him to squeeze. They stuck the needle in and the doc said, "that's the worst part". Dude totally relaxed, his whole body untensed (is that a word?) and he had this "is that it?" look on his face. He asked "is that the worst part?". The doc confirmed, Zack looked at me and said "MOM, it's not so bad, it doesn't even hurt". After that he was a super trooper and we got two stitches in there in minutes.
eyes SO red from crying
terrified and so NOT amused by my picture taking:
I made all the boys ice cream sundaes when we got home. It was almost 9:00 and they were still pretty wound up. I got them settled and in their jammies for The Goonies. Two of them fell asleep right away, Zack ended up needing extra Mom time, and B. wanted to go home. Matt and I were WIPED OUT! They all had a BLAST at Laser Quest and then we were jello for the rest of the weekend.
The most asked question of the weekend "What were you thinking?". WELL, Super Mom's don't always think things through...
Friday, April 25, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Knows her shapes:
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
During regular pregnancy testing, K.'s doctors discovered that she had ALS - leukemia and couldn't wait for chemo. Her baby girl wasn't due for another 3 months. Somehow she was able to have all of her chemotherapy done while living at the hospital while pregnant. They needed each additional week to get the baby strong enough to survive. She was a chemo super hero and we like to say that she kicked Cancer's Ass! They were able to deliver little A. a month before her due date. K. is in remission and has been home loving A. for a month. She is now facing the next step. In twelve days she will move to the Mayo Clinic where she will undergo a bone marrow transplant. She asked us, her "imaginary friends", what could she do in the next twelve days to make sure that A. knows that her mother loves her if she doesn't come home in 4 months.
First we all had a good cry. Then we told her that this wasn't necessary, she's going to be fine. Then came some fantastic ideas. Letters, to be read on her 5th, 10th, 15th, 21st, or 30th birthdays, and when she gets married and has children. Videos of them together, laughing, playing, snuggling. Video of K. reading favorite story books to A. for her to cherish and listen to as she gets older. A box full of things that K. cherishes so that her daughter will know who she was. Gifts for future birthdays. The list was wonderful and went on and on.
This whole discussion really started to hit home for many of us. Sure I'm not facing cancer, but will my children remember me if something happens to me next week? We started to think of ways that each of us could concentrate on the most important things to our children so that they will remember us no matter when we pass. I vowed to get in front of the camera more often. You wouldn't think I was around for most events in my children's' lives. Several of us vowed to spend more time playing and making memories and less time running from here to there.
Sometimes it takes a person facing an enormous challenge to realize that we too must slow down and make the most of what we have and cherish the moments, document them so you can hold them in your palm when memories start to fade.
Yesterday was Zack's birthday. I was SO sad that I didn't get to wake him up and wish him a Happy Birthday. I got to noon and had to run over to the school anyway and decided to break him out. He thought I was nuts, but also that it was the GREATEST IDEA EVER. I hope that when Zack is older and he tries to remember his 7th Birthday, he'll remember the silly day he had when his Mom signed him out of school early.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday was a gorgeous day, Grammy took the kids to the beach since they had the day off from school. I guess there were a lot of other kids there because they made new friends and were happy as could be playing in the sand for hours. They even played a bit of tag with the waves. The water was cold, but what do kids care? What's a little hypothermia in exchange for fun? Friday night Grammy got to see Skyler's soccer practice and Coach Matt in action. We had a great time chit-chatting with parents and watching Matt make the kids do goofy things like run backwards. Have you ever watched a group of 4 and 5 year olds run backwards? If not, do it sometime just for fun. Hilarity at its finest. Zack also talked Grammy into letting him open the Birthday presents that she brought. You should have seen his face when he opened Mario Galaxy for Wii. He immediately gave Grammy a big hug and then dragged Matt into the living room and we didn't see them again the rest of the evening.
Saturday was Soccer Soccer Soccer as usual. It was such a beautiful day. We had to grease the kids up with sunblock but somehow forgot ourselves and Mom and I got burned. Amy, Mike & Nate met us at the game. Nate has already decided that he wants to be a soccer player - at least that's what he told me ;-)
One of Matt's students' parents has an Italian Restaurant in the Bronx and she had them send us an enormous amount of fresh pasta. There was ravioli, spinach linguine, and fresh Italian cookies. We made some sauce to simmer throughout the day and then the girls hit the big local Craft Fair. Amy had fun picking out a bunch of adorable things for Nate's room and Skyler enjoyed walking up and down the aisles having people tell her how pretty her dress was. Somehow I didn't manage a picture. We got home and stuffed our faces. We sang Happy Birthday to Zack and had the traditional ice cream cake. Zack didn't want to wait until Monday to open his gifts so we let him have at it. He has enough new video games to keep him busy for quite awhile, in fact we had to FORCE him to go to bed Saturday evening.
SUNDAY was an interesting day - Matt and Zack had the most fun we think. Now, most of you know that Matt is a big guy. Big guys get asked to do a lot of things; move furniture, lift heavy objects, reach objects high on shelves, etc. etc. Friday Matt was met with a new request. Would he be willing to help move some hibernating alligators to their spring location? Not one to say no to an interesting request, he said "sure". He wasn't sure what to expect. How does one prepare to wrastle an alligator? I was a bit upset that I couldn't go. I was a helpful wife and suggested he make sure his Life Insurance policy was updated and that he had his medical insurance card on him. Aren't I nice? Anyway, a friend of a friend is licensed to have an alligator rescue on his property. He takes in alligators that would otherwise be put down. Uh, I'm not entirely sure why that's a problem. They hibernate inside in little alligator swimming pools all winter and then need to be moved to their outside locations in the spring. Sounds fun huh? Here's some video and pictures.
Matt had his friend's daughter take some video with our flip. They're sort of short and sweet but give you an idea of what they were doing.
The guys are huffing and puffing in this little video because she just gave them a hard time, spinning around in that harness.
Friday, April 18, 2008
After school Zack got a package in the mail. My friend Katey made the kids some tie dye shirts a few weeks ago. The sizing didn't work out on Zack's so I had to order him a new one. He was THRILLED and immediately matched it up with his tie dye soccer socks. The first shirt I ordered is the perfect size for a certain 4 year old nephew I have so I ordered my other nephew one too. Skyler got an adorable a-line shirt. Check them out:
If you dig the tie dye, check out Katey's shop here. She doesn't have much listed because she gets so many custom orders that that keeps her pretty busy. If you have a request convo her or let me know and I'll pass the info along.
Soccer practice was buckets of fun last night. They got the parents in on the action. We each teamed up with our kid and went up against another pair to see who could get a goal. I showed up to practice in flip flops so I played barefoot (does anyone remember when I broke a toe playing soccer barefoot? I didn't learn anything) but STILL me and the boy SCORED! Everyone agreed that this practice was the most fun we'd all had yet. This group of kids and their parents are amazing - we've all gotten so close over the four seasons that we've been together. I'm hoping we can keep them together as long as possible. Think "The ThunderCats" sounds like a good professional team name?
Two more things.
First - GRAMMY'S HERE GRAMMY'S HERE!
Second - stay tuned for tales of Alligator Wrangling - Virginia Style by someone we know and love. Hmmmm.... what could she possibly mean?
Mwah! Enjoy your weekend!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
That leads me into my rant. We've been here in "the South" for 4 years. Skyler has been alive for 5 years. She's becoming dangerously susceptible to the drawl and it's driving me BATTY! She's taken to drawing out her words and using "ya'll". I correct her every time but she whines "they say it in schooool". Now I can't expect much because it's preschool but COME ON PEOPLE. I grew up in New England but somehow managed to never pick up the New England accent - (pahk your cah in Havahd yahd), I'm determined that my kids aren't going to sound like southerners. No offense to southerners although it's going to come out that way - but don't you just assume that the person is just slightly less intelligent when they start "ya'lling". My personal favorite that's quite common here is the plural possessive of ya'll, which is "ya'lls's", as in "Can I take ya'lls's order?" I'm not entirely sure of the exact correct spelling of ya'lls's, but that's probably about as good as any. SO - I'm in a battle with her TEACHERS to get her to speak correctly. For some reason Zack doesn't have the same problem. I'm keeping an eye on him though. She'd better start losing that crap once she gets into Kindergarten. If I hear an actual teacher come out with that I'm going to have a fit!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Friday night was practice for Skyler. Thankfully we had fantastic weather. The kids had a blast playing soccer - Matt came up with some great games for them to play - and then they had fun playing at the playground for a little while afterwards.
The kids adore Matt but he has to get WAY down to get on their level:
She can tie her own shoe but prefers when someone else does it. Here she gets Coach Melissa to tie her shoe:
Why must boys make everything dangerous?
Zack and one of HIS teammates that has a sister on Sky's team:
A rare Zack capture:
Later we met friends for dinner. They have a son Zack's age. Our favorite pizza place didn't have a table for 8 so we let the boys sit at their own table across from us. They were giggling and being silly. There was an elderly couple sitting next to them and we kept shushing the boys thinking they were being a nuisance. Matt finally went over and spoke to the couple and apologized. They said that they were so enjoying watching the boys be boys and that we shouldn't apologize but let them be young. What a breath of fresh air that was. You don't often hear things like that. It really made us smile!
Saturday Skyler's game was first. Zack was anxious to get running around so he warmed her team up by playing 10 on 1 with them. It was cute and I got a few pictures of my two playing together:
Skyler got a great goal but this is the picture I caught:
That's her behind the other team's coach. :-(
After Sky's game we raced over to Zack's. I so enjoy watching The Thundercats play this season. They have gotten really serious and really LOVE the game.
Skyler and her little friends are the mascots. Each of them has an older sibling on Zack's team:
Later Saturday Skyler and I had a girly afternoon. We went and got our toes done. She was in HEAVEN and the place I go to only charges me $3 to do her nails. Check out my piggies:
Later we got lunch and I made the mistake of bringing Sky with me to look at shoes. She got three pair - I got one pair of flip-flops. I had to talk her out of the "sassy" gold lame ones but I think I made her happy. She was calling all the hooker shoes sassy and begging to buy them. I had to do some fancy talking. We settled for bronze sparkly flip flops made for children.
The boys went to open skate because Zack didn't get enough exercise in the morning. He ice skated for 2 and a half hours and then needed to go in Cameron's hot tub to relax - it's tough being almost 7.
Sunday we had brunch with Mike, Amy & Nate. We made enough food for an army and something different for everyone - it was delicious!
Friday, April 11, 2008
Because it was so beautiful outside yesterday afternoon, no one wanted to eat dinner inside before practice. We got home at 8:00 and the kids were starving. Matt was cooking hamburgers at bedtime. They probably weren't hungry for breakfast this morning. Speaking of this morning, I told Sky she could wear capris because it was going to be in the 80s. Of course she bypasses all the cute ones I set out and chooses jeans. She couldn't get by without some flare of her own though.
Check her out:
That's a paper necklace she made in school yesterday.
I'm hoping she brushed her hair before school :-)
Did you see The Office last night? OMG that show is hysterical. If you aren't watching it you need to watch the first three seasons online to catch up and then tune in on Thursday nights. Snip Snap Snip Snap Snip Snap - a delightful little tidbit from last night's episode!
Have a fantabulous weekend!&
Thursday, April 10, 2008
So I walked outside at lunchtime and my eyes couldn't adjust to the brightness. There was a huge orange ball glowing in the sky. Speaking of the sky, it had miraculously changed to a bright blue color. Amazing. Hey, you know what happens here when it's been wet for weeks and the sun suddenly comes out hot and strong? Humidity, sticky, wet humidity. It's like a sauna here right now. Joy! On the plus side, I guarantee that by tomorrow everything will be green and flowering. Pretty Spring is on its way!
Okay I'm trying out a new program that lets me change the font. Dig it? We'll see how it goes. I'm fond of different fonts, but sometimes they aren't so readable.
So remember this morning when I mentioned that Zack wanted to have a play date with Caroline this weekend? I sort of downplayed that a bit. He was actually acting as though his life just might depend on it, for sure he feels that the future health and happiness of his heart is riding on it. Well I emailed Caroline's Mom and mmmm, yeah, they're busy on Sunday. I was kind of thinking they might be, they've got family in town, but I was hoping for my son's sake that they were free. I'm dreading going home and telling him. He's SO looking forward to this. How do you keep your child from feeling that aching feeling in their chest? I'm just hoping he's gotten over it a bit today. Wish us luck with this one! Maybe I can distract him with birthday party planning?
Now that that's out - I can calmly relay the rest of our evening. My cousin Jackie invited us over for dinner since even though we live 10 minutes from each other and our kids are the same age, life is crazy and we hardly ever get to see each other. The kids were THRILLED for some playtime. They raised holy hell on the drums in their playroom! What person in their right mind has drums for their kids? Those suckers were LOUD! Jackie has a lot of patience for that stuff. Me? Not so much!
The boys were silly silly at dinner but it was nice to see them get along.
Usually they're feeling competitive and there's a lot of bickering.
Brooke is getting older and so beautiful and really can't be bothered with the boys' craziness!
Zack's other motive for wanting to see his cousins is their friend Caroline who is Zack's "Girlfriend". They see each other about once every 3 months but they're both smitten.
Zack was really disappointed when it was time to go home, he's begging for a play date without his cousin around. Apparently he sees Parker as competition. I guess it starts early with boys. So funny.
We had a nice dinner and got to catch up. If we ever see the sun again we can visit more outside and at the beach.
Oh check it out, Big Daddy had to go to work in a suit yesterday. Doesn't he look handsome?
He felt like a million bucks and was getting compliments left and right. Anytime you're feeling like shit, show up to work all dolled up. You'll feel better quickly!
That's it for today - three days of soccer begins today! Oh and I get to attend Zack's school's math work shop for parents. This is where they teach us the "new math" so we can actually help our kids with their homework. I hear they add from left to right now and multiply in diagonals or something. I don't understand what was wrong with the old math. I guess I'll find out tonight!
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Here's Skyler and her friend Elaina at Zack's game. It was very wet that day.
Zack's soccer game:
Check out Mr. Mohawk in the middle:
Throw it TO Emily not AT Emily:
Getting a goal:
They still love the parent tunnel:
Skyler's game is a laugh riot; 4 & 5 year olds are funny.