Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Graduate

 "Mom if there is anything else to do for school, Im NOT doing it!"

This was his quote as we walked into his Nursery School graduation, and I think it pretty much sums up his first year of school. Nursery School wasn't Tyler's favorite place to go 2 mornings a week. Especially once Ella and Drew started afternoon Kindergarten - it is tough to get dressed and go when the whole house is in PJs watching morning cartoons!

But he went and the teachers reported that he enjoyed it while he was there. The playground at his school is phenomenal and the teachers caring. He loved the car corner and his face beamed with pride with the creations he brought home. Mrs. Klier says that Tyler really comes alive when the music teacher comes in!

We are proud of you Tyler T!! xoxo

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Half Full

 My glass of happy was running dangerously low after a few consecutive days of dreary, wet, cool weather. Finally, the sun reappeared. Shorts and t-shirts were laid out, water bottles filled and an itch to get out of the house was satisfied.
 A quick 5 minute drive and we found the trail head. A few steps into the walk found us bent over Vernal Pools peering at hundreds of tiny black tadpoles. Larger tadpoles were in the next pond over and Ella almost caught the grandaddy of Bull Frogs. We eventually emerged onto the North River, a salty estuary that leads to the ocean. Birds squawked over head as the kids shed their shoes and dipped their toes. Colby found rocks to throw into the water - a favorite activity of his! It was perfect. My little glass was filling up quick.
Well, almost perfect. Colby had stepped into a puddle soaking his shoes, socks and his pants. Drew wasn't quite recovered from his virus and wasn't able to make it back to the car. Tyler had on new shoes that cut blisters into each foot. So began the merry go round of alternating kids- one on my shoulders, one on my back, and one crying far behind us - the way back to the car was a little rough - it was as if my glass sprung a leak.

But by the time we snapped our seat belts, I had shaken off the frustration of the inconvenient details and the kids were already asking to return to this "best nature spot ever."

Half full again!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Whew!

I had another post already prepared and ready to go for today, but then something amazing happened, I found myself alone.

Wednesday is the busiest of days in our week. The day that has me running full speed from the moment my feet hit the floor. The day that my mind races between 2 different jobs, school, volunteering, sports classes, play dates and all the other silly things like will I ever find matching socks and do they really need to eat lunch today?!

But the kids have scattered and I found myself in the quiet still house with 10 minutes to spare.  It's funny how Im drawn to this little blog. My own little retreat.

Ahhhh.....

....and now Im off!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Inspired

Sometimes I find myself searching for inspiration, this weekend it came to me - in the form of Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Orlando. They traveled up from New Jersey to play tourist in Boston and welcomed us to join the party.

Aunt Lorraine has relied on others for help for most of her life. Uncle O has always cared for her, but a recent Parkinson's diagnosis and a quick decline has him wheel chair bound as well. I find it so hard to accept help from others, but Aunt Lorraine and Uncle O do so with grace, humility, and gratitude. But I know it isn't easy. Inspiration lesson #1.

In fact almost everything is difficult for them. Certainly it would be easier to stay home. Surely it would have been easier to skip the Freedom Trail (a walk through Boston) or the ferry to islands in the Boston Harbor. But they insist on living and to them that means being out in the world exploring, learning, and experiencing. They chose not to sit and lament on the difficulties of their travels, rather they relish even the smallest moments of pleasure. Inspiration lesson #2.

How did they manage? A former student of Uncle O's has stayed in touch with them for over 25 years. She and her family invited Uncle and Aunt L to Boston for the weekend because they imagined they would enjoy it. Four teenagers, Dee and Bruce took two cars from NJ to Boston - loading wheelchairs and canes along with their own belongings. They settled them into the hotel helping them to bed and returning in the morning to help them prepare for the day. They called the Boston Chamber of Commerce to arrange for accommodating restaurants and tourist attractions. They packed their favorite foods for lunch. They slathered on sunscreen and sought out tour guides to explain the sites. And they pushed them everywhere.

I never heard their teenagers complain or grumble that we were moving too slowly. They never rolled their eyes or disappeared for awhile. Rather they jumped at the chance to have a turn pushing or made an effort to point out an interesting site. Several times that day I stopped to observe them in action, saying a silent prayer that my children would display such empathy, respect, and selflessness in 15 years. Inspiration lesson #3.

Thank you for an awesome weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Adventuring

We went looking for an adventure one Thursday and we found it North of Boston on these giant slides.
 It was quite exciting and even I couldn't resist multiple trips down the super slides. Unfortunately the park was significantly colder than the rest of the world and all of the clothes scrounged from the floor of the car couldn't help us. We retreated to the Boston Museum of Science and continued the adventure there. A return trip is in the works :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Just Another Day

**
I don't know what the bunny told him, but apparently it wasn't what Colby wanted to hear. 

What's Going On...

**Drew is still sick. We went to another doctor, threw out the Mono diagnosis and started some antibiotics. It is torture watching this poor guy be so uncomfortable. 

**Ella has been marching off to school without Drew. The first day she protested, but has been fine ever since. A little surprising, in a good way :) 

**Colby gets mad. Really mad. Today it was because I put his pants on. He yells, screams, lays on the floor and kicks his feet. It is cute and annoying at the same time. 

**Tyler is reaping the benefits of having a sick brother - popsicles, hot cocoa with whipped cream, ice cream and lots of tv. 

**Im hating leaving for work. At the same time Im relieved that I have my Mike and my parents taking superb care of Drew and keeping the other kids busy. 

Summer? Are you out there?! 


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Down and Out

Did you ever hear the story about when Drew ruptured his ear drum? Gunk poured out of his ear and pooled on his shoulder while he watched TV. He never said anything. When I called the doctor in a panic, the pediatrician asked if he was screaming. He said it was one of the most painful things to endure.

Drew is a soldier.

So, it is even more heartbreaking when he is sick. It looks like he has Mono right now. He can barely talk his tonsils are so big, raw and nasty. But when I ask him if his throat hurts he croaks back, "Not really." We are all left helpless as there is really nothing to do but wait for it to pass. Hopefully soon.

I can't wait to have my buddy boy back.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Momfluences


Momfluences::

:: A little Nana Vera mothering goes a long way. I grab an extra sweatshirt, hold their hands a little tighter, and attempt to fill their little bellies with wholesome food just like her.

:: I let go a little. I sit back and bask in their energy, curiosity and craziness just like Nana Ruth. She is so good at marveling at the wonder that is kids.

:: I balance on the edge of proper discipline and good ol fashioned fun, like my mother. I turn up the radio and point out every single sunset, just like she did.  I have also been practicing her whisper that means more business than a yell.

:: I pull out the stops, like my mother in law. We go out to eat, pick out a toy and dress to the nines, just like she did with her children. Indulging is fun and feels good!

:: And then I do it my way, too. I try to trust my heart and do what feels right. I read, listen and talk about what might be best.

:: And when all else fails, I laugh. Because sometimes the picture of our shoes is almost as cute as our smiles!

Happy Mother's Day to all my favorite mothers! xoxo


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Play Ball

 It's soccer time, again. Apparently our town plays both Fall and Spring soccer...uhm, ok, I guess we are in :) Despite the above picture, Mike isn't a coach, but he plays the role of "Typical Sideline Parent" extremely well. I shouldn't poke fun, I can't control myself either. After yelling, "Get him! Get Him! GET HIM!" repeatedly one game, Mike kindly suggested that I substitute "the ball" for "HIM!" They are after all, 6 years old.
Ella is a little more aggressive this time around. I love how cute and little she looks on the field. I also love the way she kicks the ball like someone 3X her size. Her quote of the year, "I like the friends part of soccer a lot, and the playing part of soccer a little." Spoken well by the daughter of the "best hair braider" of the Halifax Soccer League circa 1985.

Drew, on the other hand, is all about the game. Those pencil thin legs outrun the best of them. He is into it and doing well. He always looks up to see Captain watching from the hill. 
What a difference a few months make. In the Fall, this little guy slept through most of the 2 hours we spend at the field. This time around we are struggling to keep him off the field, out of other family's snacks, and reasonably happy. 

Tyler? Where is Tyler? He wanders around the fields, in the playground, in the bushes, the parking lot, etc. But he always shows up eventually! 

Just kidding, Nana!! 

...sort of...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hippity Hop

 I hear-by declare this "Catch Up Week" on this here little blog. First up, Easter...only a month late :)
Our Easter Attendance was too low for Easter Olympics this year. I was incredibly disappointed, but the kids got over it faster than I thought they would. As a result, the day was low key and relaxing.

The Easter Egg Hunt crew hit the front lawn with the enthusiasm of a crowd twice their number! Mike hides the eggs...using the term "hide" loosely here. But doesn't he look so handsome?! None the less, he may be replaced next year...shhh.
With no cousins to be found the day ended with some screen time: Ipod, Iphone, and Kindle. Sad for me, not exactly my picture of a perfect holiday - but the kids were happy...and quiet. I spent the afternoon chatting with my mom, aunt, and two grandmas around the dining room table. Maybe the screens have a benefit after all :)



Friday, May 4, 2012

Peanut Gallery


Kids bring joy
The proof is in their faces. 
Happy Weekend :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Losing It


Good thing he is cute...

The day started out great. Mike and I have been taking turns getting up each morning with the kids. So every other morning I can lounge in bed for a minute, read, or when Im feeling motivated, exercise. I headed out for a quick jog, stretched my legs and cleared my head.

Back home I got right into the swing of things. Breakfast then showers for all four of the little cherubs. Combing hair, finding matching socks and getting my work clothes ready for the afternoon. It was only 9:25 AM so I gave myself a hearty pat on the back for getting things done. Then the phone rang.

"Hi Lauren, it's Judy. Are you coming for Supervision?"

I stood up my Supervisor, who comes in early just to meet with me. It hadn't even crossed my mind. I felt like a loser. As I put the phone down and continued berating myself, Colby walked in and flashed a winning grin along with a bright red Sharpie permanent marker....uncapped!

It was on the hardwood floors, big swirly circles of red. It was on every white panel of wall going down the hallway - his own little red gallery. It was on two rungs of the banister, 3 windows, the child seat my grandmother used as a baby and on the floors in 3 different rooms. It took me over an hour to scrub it all away.

Glancing at the clock again I realized I had 40 min to shower, make lunch, pack school bags and get E&D on the bus. Just as I stepped one foot into the shower I heard, "Mom!!! There is blood on Colby!"

It looked like he was shot in the forehead. Blood streamed down his face and covered his hands. I wiped him up, realized it wasn't that bad, and held my little guy close. He was very upset and took a long time to calm down...too long.

It wasn't quite noon and I still had to find T-Ball equipment, put out their uniforms, lay out the PJ's, get Ty to his sports class, change cars with Mike, and get to work to for the 6 appointments I had scheduled that night.

I tried to explain all of this to the cop leaning into my window on the side of the highway at 9:45 PM. A license? You really expect me to know where my wallet is?!

Im lucky that is all I lost.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pet Practice

We love animals. All of us. We are regulars at the zoo, heck we will settle for a stop at the pet store for a little pet fix. We often dream about the pets we would have (Donkey!) and plan what we will name them. But now we have something even better, a puppy cousin. Uncle Mark will occasionally drop 4 month old Gunner off for the afternoon, the night....or 5 days! Although his visits come with their own little challenges (mud, stealing from the baby, puppy bites) we love when he is here.
 He is our favorite hiking companion and he always comes back when we call him. I like when he runs up to check on the fastest kids and then circles back to check on us slowpokes. The kids love when he is in the car and insist that we drive slow on our street so they can climb in the back and ride with him.
 Gunner has figured out that where there are kids, there is bound to be food! I love when he perches next to the highchair, especially since it means less clean up for me. As much as we love him, we still love when he goes home...evidence enough that waiting is best, for now.