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Saturday, December 22, 2012


Inspired by our recent completion of Jane O'Connor's book Nancy Clancy Super Sleuth, John and I set up a mystery for the kids to solve. Camryn's doll, Jovi went missing. With notepads in hand, our little sleuths searched the house for clues. Among other clues, they found a missing shoe, stumbled into a tea party with an empty seat and followed a trail of chocolate chips to find Jovi eating them behind our Christmas tree!! They enjoyed it so much they wanted to set up a mystery for us to solve. So we were banished to the basement while they arranged the clues. Big mistake!! The first clue that caught my eye was a trail of glitter that spanned two rooms!! I tried to stay on task until we solved the case. But rest assured the kids next case is going to be a lot tougher. The case of the missing glitter!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Random act of kindness

It's amazing how when something bad happens (i.e a hurricane) it brings a community together and brings out the best in people. Tonight I was the recipient of a random act of kindness and I just had to share it. I took the kids to a local restaurant to escape another pasta dinner in our dark, cold and "power less" home. A balloon lady was going to the tables to entertain the kids. I quietly asked the table beside us if the balloons were free and they informed me that tips were appreciated. I turned back to the kids and let them know we would be passing on the balloons because I didn't have any cash and it was rude not to give her something in exchange for her ballooning talents. Well the guy must have heard me because he handed my kids each a dollar and told them to enjoy their balloons. The kids immediately thanked them and I followed, thankful and a little embarrassed. We exchanged hurricane stories and power statuses and returned to our dinners. The act of kindess could have stopped there and I would have been touched. But it didn't! The next time the waitress came to the table I asked that I pay for one of their drinks. They later got up to leave and I thanked them again and wished them well. They were a young couple with two kids just like me. And for some reason tonight, they chose to do something nice for my young family. When I got my bill they had put $20 toward it. Why, I don't know, other than they wanted to do something nice, that made them feel good. I was so taken aback and touched, I struggled not to tear up in front of the waitress. It is so refreshing to stumble upon these kind of people. Gives me faith that there still are selfless, kind-hearted people in the world. And I fully intend to pay it forward!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Flashback Friday

Seven years ago was probably the craziest day of my life! The day my world changed forever. The day I became a mom!

My due date was 10 days away and I was feeling great. That is until my water broke in a transmission shop in front of 6 men, who were convinced I had just peed myself! Still feeling fine, I went home to call my husband and my doctor. Since I wasn't feeling any contractions, I stayed at home and John stayed at work. So I did what any girl would do, I called for reinforcements!

My girlfriends tried every trick in the book to get things going. We went for a bumpy car ride, took my dog for a long hike and ate chinese food. They packed my bag for the hospital, complete with baby's first outfit and focal point picture for me. When I started to look uncomfortable they called for my husband to come home. Upon his arrival, I headed to the shower to relieve some back pain. And in the shower is almost where I had the baby. When the chinese food came up, I knew I was in transition and John started to panic. He wanted to get to the hospital but I was slowly making my way down the stairs backward, having a contraction on every single one. We luckily made it to the hospital and within an hour our beauitful baby boy was born!

He stole my heart from the minute I laid eyes on him. He has been a ball of energy ever since. A happy-go-lucky kid, wise beyond his years. His infectious laughter is the best medicine. I have no doubt his spunk and sense of adventure will remain!

At 1:44 am Dylan will be seven! For seven years, I've had best role of my life and a pretty amazing kid to thank for it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back to reality

The relaxing, blissful days of summer are over. Reality hit hard yesterday with alarm clocks, school lunches and work clothes.
Gone are the days of hanging around in our pajamas all morning just to throw on our bathing suits and some sunscreen. Mindless grazing in the refrigerator and endless reasons to go out for ice cream are no longer. Bedtime is now a set time rather than determined by big yawns and droopy eyes.
Honestly, I think the kids were ready for routine to kick back in. Boredom was settling in which is usually accompanied by fighting. They were looking forward to seeing their friends and all the excitement that comes with a new school year.
After school they now appreciate their play time together and have resumed their summertime Quidditch tournament on the trampoline. Fingers crossed that attitudes remain positive and willingness to go to school stays strong...at least for few weeks.
I'm sure once the routine gets old we will be longing for our carefree summer days but for now the school year is in full swing!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bigger is always better

Camryn helped herself to some yogurt this morning while I was in the shower!
Apparently the provided container was not to her likely so she transferred it into another yogurt container!

Keeping with her bigger theme she utilized an ice cream scoop rather than a spoon. Which she too, upgraded for the full effect!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Always an adventure

John woke up yesterday wanting to get away.  His suggestion: a day trip to Block Island. I was immediately on board. We checked the ferry schedule online and realized we only had an hour and half until the next one departed.  That is the same amount of time it takes us to get there so we hustled.  I threw bathing suits, towels, snacks and a few sand toys into a bag and we were off. Anticipation was high in the car as we didn't have a minute to even stop at a red light.  It came down to the wire but we were the second to last people to board the ferry and on our way!  With water surrounding me on all sides, I began to relax.

The weather was spectacular!  Brilliant blue skies, just the right amount of fluffy white clouds and a slow breeze coming off the ocean.  We staked out a spot on the beach and remained there for the majority of the day.  Camryn jumped the waves while Dylan body surfed.  We built sand castles and watched kids doing impressive tricks on their skim boards.  A highlight was definitely our frozen drinks that John and I managed to sip while watching the kids in lounge chairs!!!

We stayed until the tide washed away our sandcastles and soaked our towels.  We paid, yes paid, for a cold two minute shower that didn't even remove a fraction of the sand, changed into our dry clothes and headed to town for dinner.  We dined outside on delicious seafood and ended the day with homemade ice cream.  We headed to the ferry with full bellies and droopy eyes, as the days excitement started to take its toll.  We started to get an uneasy feeling when we realized we were the only people in line for the ferry that was supposed depart in ten minutes.  That's when John noticed the posted schedule.  Apparently, I had looked at the weekend schedule rather than the weekday one and we had missed the last ferry!

I was shocked at my careless mistake and panic started to sink in when I realized we had no where to stay.  Finding vacancy in a hotel on Block Island in August was not going to be an easy feat.  John hit the main strip walking into hotels while I called some I found on my phone.  Honestly, what did we do before I-phones? Anyway, we both came up with nothing.  It was getting darker and the kids were getting sleepier and we were running out of options.

We walked a block or so away from downtown and found a little inn.  I guilted the woman at the front desk with my sob story and half asleep son in my arms!  She squeezed us into a room and charged us a fraction of the cost.  Thankful for somewhere to sleep, I didn't hesitate.  It's funny how fast I went from frantic mom who needed to find a bed for her tired children to snobby spoiled witch who prefers 5 star resorts!  The room was the size of a closet, with one double bed and one twin bed and that's it!!  There was no AC, no TV and a shared bathroom down the hall!!!  Well with no shampoo, toothbrushes or dry towels to use, we didn't really have a reason to use the shared bathroom other than the toilet anyway.  We opened the window, turned off the lights and fell asleep.

We woke up and caught the first ferry off the island so John could make it to work on time.  We recounted our days adventures on the trip home and agreed it was fun being stranded together on an island.  And it makes for a good story too!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dinner Disaster

My fingers are flying across the keyboard pumping with adrenaline.  Recent events have caused me to take a few deep breaths and find an outlet for my rant that is about to follow.

It all started with the nice wholesome dinner I prepared for my children.  But of course, it wasn't what Camryn had hoped for.  It wasn't on the right color plate and the chocolate to milk ratio was all wrong.  That kind of whining, I can handle.  Usually I can easily distract her with our nightly high/low game.  But instead of recounting her day, which I thought was fun-filled, she decided to try to make her brother laugh.  She was making silly faces, talking jibberish and even threw in a few comments about tooting.  Strike one!

I thought I had roped it in.  Dylan was doing his best to keep a straight face sensing my impending frustration, which he probably enjoys as long as it is not aimed at him. And Camryn was quietly moving her food around her plate.  That's when I realized there was a puddle on her chair that was slowly dripping onto the floor.  With our drinks, clearly still intact on the table, I knew she had peed.  Hanging on to my last thread of sanity, I asked her why she peed on her chair and not in the potty, she of course took no responsibility for it and blamed me.  She said she didn't want to leave the table while we were eating. I called her bullshit because I often have to wrangle her back to the table several times throughout dinner.  Strike two!

When she returned newly dressed and dry, I just wanted everyone to finish as fast as possible to get this dinner over with.  But sadly, that wasn't the case. She filled her mouth with milk and rather than swallow it, she held it in and then spit it out on her plate full of food.  Sanity flew out the wind, I ripped her out of her chair and carried her kicking and screaming to her room.  During the transfer, she informed me it was again my fault because my face was funny.  Way to add insult to injury kid.  Strike three!

So she screamed and banged on the door for about thirty minutes before exhaustion took over and she is now sleeping on the floor next to her door.  I am in need of some serious ice cream therapy, but of course there is none in my freezer.  Strike four...I think I'm going to bed too!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Last week was camp week.  The most anticipated week of the summer.  Dylan has been looking forward to it since the last day of camp, last summer.

I love Dylan's camp.  It reminds me of the camp in the original movie "The Parent Trap", except for the all girl thing.  There are tons of outdoor activities, little wooden cabins for the overnight campers and a huge lake complete with boats and waterslides.  Every morning he gets to chose two activites for the morning sessions, then they have lunch in the mess hall and spend the afternoon swimming and boating at the lake.  He spent the week playing street hockey, tennis and dodgeball.  He enrolled in spy training, took nature walks and swam like a fish.  The highlights were the huge waterslide and of course the overnight bonfire with smores.  He was completely exhausted when I picked him up at 5:00 on Friday and we spent the entire weekend recouping.  He is already asking to go for two weeks next summer!

Camryn went to Princess Dance Camp!  Each day was dedicated to a different Disney princess.  I was so happy to see how easily she went with the instructors and willingly participated.  She learned some new dance moves, tumbled around on the mats and did some neat art projects.  She was all smiles each time I picked her up and eager to show me all she has accomplished.  However, she really wants to go to camp with her big brother next year....

So with both the kids camp, I was free for three hours every morning!!  That's when I decided my husband was going to camp too.  My bootcamp!  We spent our mornings running and biking. Our weekly total was 45 miles.  He was sore but never complained once and I was glad to have company on my workouts.  I'm happy to report it seems to have motivated him and he is out running on his own as we speak (write).

Fantastic week had by all!  But I can't believe it's already August!  I'm hoping these last precious weeks of summer go by nice and slow!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Doggy Mischief

In an effort to save the kids toys from the wrath of Bromley, I collected some dog toys from the yard and brought them inside.  I put them in a basket in the family room so she could take them and play with them at her leisure.  Although aesthetically appealing, the basket didn't turn out to be the best idea:

She's lucky she is so darn cute!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

If you give mommy pineapple juice...

I recently hosted my sister in laws baby shower.  Dylan wanted to stay so we had a talk about him being on his best behavior and ways he could help me. And he rose to the challenge!  The following dialogue is as told to me by one of the guests:

Dylan greeted them in the driveway as they were walking towards the backyard.

Dylan:  "Thank you for coming."
Guest: "Glad we could make it."
Dylan:  " We have pink lemonade and a drink with Malibu in it."
Guest:  "Do you even know what Malibu is?"
Dylan:  "Yay, I can't drink it!"

The kicker is, the punch that Dylan was referring to was a champagne punch.  All I had said to him was there was alcohol in it and the kids couldn't drink it.  So either Dylan thinks all alcohol is Malibu or he saw me add the pineapple juice.  And he knows if you give mommy pineapple juice...she's going to ask for Malibu to go with it!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Gross Invasion

The Gross family that is!  Our annual summer, week long playdate with my college bestie, her hubby and three boys was back in CT this year!  We crammed as much as we could into the little time we had together.

A day at the lake:


A day at the pool:


A day in Mystic
 Watch Hill beach

Dinner in Newport:

 Hanging out at home:


 A day at Clinton beach:



Our last night at the Fireworks:

It's like we never skipped a beat. Granted I talk to her almost daily but even the kids seem to fall into an easy old friendship. Four adults, five kids and two dogs in one house might sound like chaos but I look forward to the reunion all year long, revel in it as it's happening and miss it as soon as they are gone.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hershey Park

The only things that could rival a day of sinful delights are roller coasters and waterslides!!!

A roller coaster where you can dump water on spectators below!!!!
But those spectators are armed and ready for you!!

Snack break

So many rides and so little time. The boys went on their first big roller coaster...they liked it but didn't want to go for round two. The girls on the other hand couldn't get enough speed.  My 3 year old niece had her arms in the air the whole time!!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chocolate Heaven

You start craving it the minute you open the door and the aroma fills the air.  There is no shortage of options to indulge in. It was 2 hours of pure chocolate bliss!!!

We watched a 4D movie about the history of Hershey and took the ride/tour of the factory and saw how things were made.

The kids got to be factory workers and helped fill Hershey Kiss orders
But all this learning and working and watching chocolate made me hungry...for chocolate!!  So we ventured to the Dessert Creation Station...my official happy place.  The only rule:  you must play with your food!! We decorated cookies, covered things in chocolate and assembled our own chipwiches.  There was even edible paint to paint with on the tables!  Pretty sure the adults enjoyed it just as much as the kids!

Since we devoured our chocolate treats, we needed something to bring home.  So we whipped up some candy bars.  Our own creation, complete with custom designed packaging!

Dylan's bar getting the goods

Chocolate bath to create the top layer
  What could be better than a day filled with chocolate?!
Chocolatiers showing off their masterpieces