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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The calm after the storm

There is an eerie quietness in my house today. The kids are happily occupying themselves with their new toys. It's a miracle. The last few days have been non-stop action.

The kids got an obscene amount of gifts. Each of them only wished for one item from Santa. A Lego Ninjago DS game and a ladybug pillow pet. Both items were amongst the sea of gifts under the tree this year. Dylan has 7 new lego sets to assemble, Camryn's new doll has a bigger wardrobe then I do and we gave them a zipline for the backyard which dad needs a day off to build.

We've played all the new games (John and I are addicted to Qwirkle) , read the new books and installed batteries into everything! I should own stock in Duracell! I've been pulled into every direction: making bracelets on the new loom, finding the challenging piece in a puzzle and dodging discs being shot at me from a Nerf gun. (Thanks Dad!)

Yesterday, we picked some old toys to donate in order to make room for the new ones. This is probably my favorite part, purging out the toys that are just not played with and organizing the new ones. For one short hour, the playroom actually looks in tact.

Today, while the kids are content, I'll take down the tree and pack up the decorations. Our house will return to some level of normalcy....and tomorrow the kids will be bored!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Santa meets the Tooth Fairy

Nothing rivals the excitement of a child awaiting the arrival of Santa. That is except if you lose your first tooth on Christmas Eve!
Dylan has been wanting to lose a tooth ever since his classmates names got put up on the tooth wall in kindergarten. And it finally happened for him amongst the chaos of Christmas Eve. I'm still not convinced it was loose but he was elated!
So with sugar plums dancing in his head and his first tooth securely under his pillow, Dylan fell asleep. And shortly after, Santa met the tooth fairy!

Friday, December 23, 2011

End of the Year Catch up

I find it pathetic that it has been over almost two months since my last post. And it's not like I haven't had things to post about. So I'll cram it all into one just to catch up:

Bromley is getting bigger and into everything. Having a puppy with kids is much harder than when Callie was a pup.

In anticipation for the new Tinkerbelle Pixie Hollow Games movie, Camryn and I made a fairy house!

I'm happy to report not only does she still play with it but its still in one piece!

Fall clean up of the yard was actually enjoyable this year. Dylan was a big help and the leaf piles were fun for the kids and the dogs!

I got a job!!! I'm working as a paraprofessional at the middle school in town and I love it! Never have to worry about missing out on anything with the kids because I only work they are in school. It's the perfect balance for me.

Thanksgiving came and went because we jetted off to the Bahamas the following morning!

We had a fabulous vacation and much needed family time. It was great to be together and the resort was amazing. Lots of laughs were had and lasting memories were made!

Came home and immediately had to get into the holiday spirit. We got our tree and decorated our house the day we got back. I scrambled to fill their stocking advent calendar (Dylan already pointed out we had missed a few days while away.) I threw together a Christmas card and began the hunt for the perfect gifts at the lowest prices!

We entered the local gingerbread contest with kits we decorated in less than 30 minutes and Camryn came in second for her age group. The entries were pretty impressive and next year I plan to bring my A game.

John and I hosted our friends' annual ornament swap. Good times had by all!

My nephew was in his first live production of "It's a wonderful life." We are enjoyed seeing him in the spotlight.

We baked breads for all our teachers, made cookies for Santa and pretzelies to bring to school.

The countdown has come to an end and we are all anxiously awaiting Santa's arrival. Tonight will be spent in a wrapping marathon and tomorrow we will be tracking Santa's flight around the world.

Regardless of the chaos and exorbitant amount of money spent, I'm looking forward to some QT with the family during the holidays.

Well that about sums it up....

P.S. My New Year's resolution is to blog regularly, so stayed tuned for a detailed account of my week off with the kids!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bromley settles in

Serious snuggle buddies

Play Buddies

Not really buddiesBest buddies

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Happenings

My stealth Ninja and gracious Peacock

The trick-or-treating crew

Monster Mash at Dylan's school

Dylan takes a shot at the real angry birds

While Camryn gets all twisted up

Dylan admires his Dr. Seuss pumpkin in the Hall of Pumpkins

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

A white...Halloween???

Sounds crazy but its true. We have snow already! Not only was I not ready for winter weather yet, I was definitely unprepared for the events that occured during this storm.

Let me set the scene:
It started off like any usual Saturday. Apple pancakes for breakfast, some morning cartoons and then we were off to run errands. Off to order tile for my master bathroom, in fact, the last room to finish since the addition. But I digress. We were only on the road for about 15 minutes when the snow/slush started coming down, fast and hard. We knew of the pending storm reports so rather than get stuck in winter road conditions or worse winter road traffic conditions, we turned around. With our plans of a bon-fire and haunted house at a friends house out the window, we stopped to grab some grub and movies for a cozy night in.

We weren't home for 30 minutes when our power went out. Having lost power for 6 days during a hurricane in August, the novelty has kind of worn off. With the time of year and the weather outside, it was getting hard to see in our house already. We quickly abandoned the dinner and movie plan and were trying to brainstorm a new one.

Dylan wasn't acting quite himself so I took his temperature to reveal a fever of 102.4. So him and I went up to rest and read in bed.

Dinner by candlelight with kids is not so romantic and definitely a little interesting. It takes the usual spilled milks and dropped silverware to a new level. The kids did find it amusing when I opened the wrong side of the Parmesan cheese and emptied the remaining contents of the container onto my pasta though!

We retreated to the couch with every candle, lantern and glow stick we owned. Camryn, mesmerized by her ability to alter her shadow, provided much entertainment. Dylan played DJ on my i-phone while we danced around the room with glow sticks. When the battery died and our music was no longer, we recorded our own versions of the songs on Dylan's DSi. It turned out to be a great night.

That is until we moved everyone up to bed. During Dylan's transfer upstairs, he threw up all over me. I ran to get him into the bathroom but couldn't see what kind of trail I was leaving behind. Once we were all cleaned up, I was tucking him into bed when I smelled the dreaded odor of a puppy accident. Apparently, we had neglected Bromley in the fiasco and she had left us a present. The problem was, we couldn't see where it was. I froze while John stepped lightly with a flashlight around the room.

The night ended up to be a sleepless one. Dylan would call for me, I would take him to the bathroom just in case, which would in turn wake Bromley who would then cry from her crate. Once everyone was quiet and I was in those first sweet moments of slumber, the cycle would start all over again. John and I were overjoyed when we woke to the blinking neon light of our alarm clock and the sound of the furnace!

We weathered the storm and are one of the lucky ones who has now power. Camryn, Callie and Bromley embraced the snow this morning, in a little backyard romp!

Bromley's 1st snow

Today, we cranked up the heat, disregarded all TV limits and have an endless supply of soup and Gatorade. Not a bad, cozy, snow day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Vandalism continues

After Camryn scribbled all over the wall last week, she claimed she was following the routine and doing her homework after school. Well her excuse no longer applies (not that it ever did) because she has found new mediums for her artwork.

First she gave herself a full body tattoo. From the bottom of her feet, up her legs, across her arms to under her armpits. Again, I asked her why she drew on herself and she replied: "The marker was tickling me!"

A few days later "Harold and the Purple Crayon" went for a more abstract look on the side of our house!! She gave no explanation for this one but I decided to finally move our markers a few shelves higher!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meet Bromley

The newest addition to the family.

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Monday, October 17, 2011


On Friday Dylan came home with a notebook he had purchased in the prize closet at school. He was anxious to get started filling this notebook, so off to the playroom he went. Every once in awhile he would yell to me out in the kitchen:

"Mom, how do you spell "eyes"
"Mom, how do you spell "only"

I was starting to have rising suspicions regarding this notebook. But unable to keep his own secret, Dylan came running over to the sink to show me.

"This is my notebook for my best friend Leah" (This is the first time I've heard anything about a Leah)
He proudly shows me how the first page states: Leah's eyes only. So I was guessing that was all of the book my eyes were going to see. But he kept filling me in on the details.

"I'm going to draw pictures for Leah of vacations."
"Like the family vacations, we go on?"
"No, things I do with Leah. You know mom, memories!"

And the first illustration was unveiled. Two people clearly holding hands.

"Great drawing Dylan! What is it a memory of?"
"Leah and I walking. And the next one is going to be of us riding bikes. When it's all done, I'm going to show it to her."

Let's only hope Leah appreciates his sappiness as much as I do!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Today was just like any other day, our normal routine. I picked up Camryn from school, we had lunch and then off to the playroom to play. In the few minutes it took me to clean up lunch, Camryn made other plans.

I found her under the art table scribbling on the wall!! This is frustrating for two reasons. One is the obvious reason, I don't want my walls drawn on. But reason two: we have a chalkboard wall in the playroom for the kids to scribble on to their hearts content. So my question to Camryn was of course: "why did you write on the wall?"

"Because after school it's time for homework!"

Indeed, this is the new mantra since Dylan's transition to first grade! Can't fault her for sticking to the routine!!!

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Friday, September 30, 2011


John and I have...I guess you could call it...an inside joke about our DVR. Well not so much inside anymore, since I'm about to share it with all of you.

He calls me the DVR Nazi because as soon as I watch something I erase it. And if I see a show that has been there for a long period of time, I erase it, assuming whoever wanted to watch it would have done so in a timely manner. This drives him crazy because I often delete things that he hasn't seen and I have no desire to see. Furthermore, the DVR is set to delete the oldest recording when space needs to be made available so he doesn't deem it necessary to ever delete anything.

I can't help it though. It's like weeding out your closet. By deleting the shows we already watched, the list of recording is shorter and is less to scroll through. Alright, lame excuse right.

The truth is...I'm embarrassed of the shows my husband schedules to record!! It's bad enough he watched Criminal Minds, which gives me nightmares. But shows like River Monsters, Swamp People and Whale Wars...seriously?? I'm sorry but on the off chance a guest happens to scroll through our DVR, I would prefer they see Grey's Anatomy and the Amazing Race and shelter them from the cold hard evidence that my husband is indeed a hillbilly at heart!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall, Fairs and Food

Fall equals fair season here in New England. So we have spent the last few weekends driving the state to go to all the local fairs. The kids love the rides (although I can't wait for them to be big enough to ride the Zipper with me), the parents love the food (chowder bowls, loaded baked potatoes, corn dogs) and we all love the animals (surprised we made it out of there without a bunny!)

The kids are getting into their school routines. I'm happy to report the novelty of 1st grade hasn't worn off yet, even with the extra workload. And little miss Camryn happily goes to school...no more tears...barely even a goodbye! In fact, she is asking to go on her days off!!!

John and I are bike riding together now that we have some free time without the kids. I'm wiping his butt into shape!! We even took Callie for a two hour hike the other day. Not on purpose...we actually got lost! After circling the same swamp area a few times, I'm just happy we made it out of there without West Nile Virus. The bugs were brutal!!

Although I miss the carefree summer days, its nice to have our routine in place. Fall is not so bad...I love sleeping with the windows open when it gets cool at night. I love the feel of my favorite jeans! The freezer is filling up with delicious soups. And I already started baking apple cakes and pumpkin bread. I better be careful or those favorite jeans won't fit for long!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

No Boys Allowed

Drop-off at pre-school is not getting easier with Camryn. Although she willingly gets in the car to go to school and happily recounts her days when I pick her up. The teachers tell me the crying period is shorter every time and she is beginning to participate in activities rather than watch longingly out the window for me.

So you can see why when I leave her in a full blown tantrum of hysterics, I wonder how she is holding up the entire time she is gone. WELL...apparently she is transitioning just fine. Although she has not yet given up the show she puts on for my sake, she must feel comfortable with her classmates. Today when I picked her up from the playground her teacher told me she was "growling at kids." Now anyone that knows Camryn, knows she has a death stare like no other. So hearing that she was less than thrilled to be spoken to or even looked at by a stranger didn't phase me in the least. But that was not the case.

As I located her on the playground and watched the scene unfold, I was baffled that this little girl had been a crumbling mess when I left her. In a few short hours, she had turned into the ring leader of the group. She had all the girls in the playhouse while she guarded the door and growled at any boys that wanted to come in! Her all female posse were happily obliging to all her commands and the more she scowled at the boys, the more persistent they became.

I have to admit, I was glad to see that she was having fun. But now I'm worried she the class bully and her bossy little 'tude will leave her friendless. My solution was to select one of her favorites "The Berenstein Bears No Girls Allowed" book for bedtime and remind her how sister bear felt when she was left out. A three year old should be able to make the correlation, right?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A tiger in training

Tiger Woods that is...

For Dylan's sixth birthday my golf fanatic parents bought him his own set of clubs! He was thrilled. He carefully took each club out of the bag and swung a few practice swings. He made sure to put the covers back on and place them in their respective spot in the bag. He is fascinated by the stand that pops out of the bag when you put it down and closes up when he tosses the bag over his shoulders.

Along with the gift, came a day of golf with Pop! So the gift was given on Thursday and Dylan already redeemed his round of golf on Sunday!!! My dad took him to a local 9 hole course in hopes to teach him how to play.

They had a ball! Dylan completed seven holes and carried his bag the whole way. Despite the double digit score on every hole, he thinks he is ready to golf at Pop's course.

All I know is he must have been hanging on to his new clubs for dear life because that afternoon I found a huge blister between his thumb and pointer finger. When I asked him why he didn't tell Pop it was hurting, he said: "I thought it was a sliver and didnt want him to take it out!" No pain, no gain I guess!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Astronaut Training

Dylan turned six!!! I know it's crazy, I'm hardly old enough to have a six year old. But I do...and to celebrate we had an astronaut training party at our house. This is what it entailed:

The invite

The guests got t-shirts with the Nasa logo (which I hijacked) on the front

And on the back it said: Mission Specialist with their name
The shirts were super easy and inexpensive. I grabbed a pack of Hanes undershirts and I bought printable iron-on paper for my printer. They were a huge hit!

Station 1# Astronaut Safety Test

The kids had to fill their space shuttle with the right equipment to protect their astronaut

I gave them shredded newspaper, cotton balls and bubble wrap to fill two plastic cups. We taped them together with an egg inside and dropped them off the deck to demonstrate the effects of gravity!

Station #2 Shuttle Repair

The kids had to screw nuts and bolts underwater while wearing dish washing gloves.

Station #3 Rocket Launch

Stomp Rocket

My sister (donning her official astronaut outfit from space camp) brought a water powered rocket too!
Station #4 Moon Walk

Walking around the trampoline while balancing a water balloon on a plate. Not sure it emulated walking on the moon, but what kid doesn't like bouncing on the trampoline with the added bonus of potentially getting wet??

Station #5 Moon Rock HuntA scavenger hunt for rocks that I spray painted with green glitter. They also got bags to collect them with.

The cake!!!
Dylan's two favorite ice cream flavors I froze in a bowl to shape like the moon. I scooped out the craters, covered it with fondant and used "Duff's" cake graffiti silver spray to color it!
Rainbow Jell-O was a birthday boy request

All the boys left with their shirts, moon rocks, astronaut ice cream and moon dough!