Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Plans for 2012

The calendar might not yet say summer but as far as I am concerned summer starts with Memorial Day Weekend and ends with Labor Day.  That is why Z and I spent some time last week making our Summer Dream List.  This has become a family tradition and this year Z helped with some of the writing!  The list is very similar to last years with a few new things added in.  We hope to spend a lot of time visiting Daddy in Boston for lunch or dinner, have our weekly adventures, we will have our Mothers Helper back again this year one day a week and Lil'C has a music class once a week (a class that Z and I get to participate in as well).

When I asked Z if he wanted to do any camps this summer he said, "Mommy...Summer is for Relaxing!!" I am with him on that and so we will also plan for a lot of home days where we can garden, play with water, ride our bikes, read and eat Popsicles on the deck :)  School ends on the 5th and I can't wait!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

When Life Hands you Lemons....

 This weekend was not at all what we had planned.  Every Memorial Day we head to the lake and enjoy a three day weekend of family, food and fun.  It is the kick off to the summer season and something I have done since I was a little girl.  This year Lil'C had a relapse starting Wednesday and had a high fever from Wednesday until Saturday night.  She was quite ill on Sunday as well and today was still not herself.  This left us home bound for the weekend. 
Scott and I decided to take this turn of events and make the very best of it.  We thought of it as a sign to stay home, pull close and spend some quality time together.  And that is just what we did!
 Lil'C was miserable for most of the weekend and so a day trip to the beach was out of the question.  We decided to play close to home (or at home) and ended up having a really great weekend!   Scott and Z went to the driving range and out for milkshakes, we had many big water fights in the back yard, mommy relaxed and read a WHOLE book, Lil'C played with her water table, we BBQ'd, sipped margaritas, gardened (boy did we garden!!!), Z and Scott went to play mini golf and Mimi and Grandpa came for a day of play and fun on Monday!  It was a wonderful family weekend and Lil'C was able to get the time she needed to recover.
At first we were all disappointed to miss out on all the fun at the lake but I do believe that things happen for a reason.  This weekend allowed us to relax, play, be productive and visit with Mimi and Grandpa.  It allowed us some time at home...which Scott rarely gets.  It was a great time to be together.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Making Memories....

Poor baby was still feeling sick (Strep Throat) and insisted on wearing her jammies to the Car Show
Dad performing
He spent the whole morning BOUNCING! :)
My favorite car at the show :)
making crackers with mom :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jammies, Jammies and More Jammies :)

I am so excited that Lil'C is finally back to her little happy and giggly self!!  The last week and a half was a rough one for her.  Between numerous injuries, fevers, strep throat, a tick bite, lots of tears and many temper tantrums.....she has returned to her normal self.  Daddy was alone with the kids for 5 hours on Sunday and he looked completely frazzled when I returned (and Lil'C had slept for 90minutes of that time).  The poor guy was unsure what to do with the child who was playing the part of Lil'C last week.  It is refreshing to see her smile and giggle once again!
Over the last few weeks Lil'C has decided that jammies are her clothes of choice :) On most days she wears between 3-4 pairs and prefers them to all other clothes.  If clothes are a must, she must be dressed in pink (or at least mostly pink) and it can be a bit of a struggle to get her into real clothes.  I have decided that there are some battles I do not wish to fight and unless it is inappropriate that she is in jammies, she can sport the look if she wants to (that and her two different socks).  I think I have a Punky Brewster in the making and I am happy to let her express herself in that way :)

Happy Birthday Auntie K!  We love you so much and hope you enjoy your birthday week with Uncle M and the rest of us crazies!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Great Weekend of Volunteering!

Our weekend was built around two volunteer events.  The first was Saturday, my dad organized his Rotary Club's Car Show.  I helped him with the kiddie land which we modeled after Radiator Springs from the Cars movie.  We had a bounce house at Luigi's Casa De La Tires, the concession stand was Flo's V8 Cafe, there were temporary tatoos at Ramone's, a poster contest at Lightning's Speedway and an obstacle course at Mater's Tractor Tipping.  It was so much fun to help create and run and the whole show was a huge success.  I also put together a playlist for the event, filled with fun 50's and 60's music and my dad even played for a bit.  The kids at the show told me it was the best car show they have ever been to because most car shows are just filled with exhaust...not a cool bouncy house and fun stuff to do! ;)  Dad did a great job organizing the show.
On Sunday I volunteered for the third time (second year in Boston) at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Boston.  My dear friend Rose and I did it together and this year we were assigned the job of cheering at the finish line :)  It was great (but emotional and teary at times) to see the walkers cross the line and most of our time was spent snapping pictures of them with their cameras and phones.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous and it was such a special day.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I'm Going Vegan!

Well for the next 30 days anyway :)  I am enrolled in Heather's (from beauty that moves) 30 Day Vegan Workshop and I am soooo excited.  My best friend Lauren (yes my pregnant best friend) will be going through this experience with me.  She participated in a similar course a few months back and so she is already an amazing resource and support for this journey. 

I have been a fan of Heather's blog for awhile now and have heard such great things about this workshop.  It is coming at a wonderful time for me, a time where I want to focus on getting more plant food into my body as well as get back into my exercise and yoga routine (the past 3 weeks have been cRAzY!!!). 
The vegan experience will be all new to me.  I gave up red meat when I was 16 and have not had much since (some accidental beef briscuit at a wedding that I was told was eggplant I have ever tasted ;)).  I became a vegetarian at age 20 but had to introduce fish back in at 21 (dr's orders)...I was an unhealthy vegetarian with a nut allergy and was severely anemic!  Chicken came back into my life when I was pregnant with Z and has been a small part of my life (2x per week??) since.  So giving up the meat in my life will not be difficult....the dairy and eggs will be the tough ones.  But it is 30 days and I am looking forward to learning some new recipes and trying this lifestyle out for a bit :)

The course is still open, you can even save $5 on the cost by visiting Renee's blog over at FIMBY and checking out the coupon code :)  Renee (another AWESOME blog) has a Vegan kitchen for her and her family.  She will be contributing to the course....I can't wait to learn from her as well.

So here we go....wish us luck!  We start MONDAY!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

When Mama (and Lil C) is Sick...

-the cherubs (and Mama) watch more tv than they should (Lil' C watched the Bachelorette with me ;))
-minimal chores get done and the clean (and dirty) laundry piles grow
-there is lots of snuggling on the couch with books, books and more books
-sandwiches are the perfect thing for dinner
-plans are cancelled and more time is spent at home
-the grass grows taller (but it is probably too wet to mow anyway)
-the To-Do List sits with very little crossed off
-school drop off and pick up seem like a monumental task and takes so much effort
and mama longs for the days when things will return to normal.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Very Special Party

This past weekend I organized a Surprise Party for a very special person in my life.  On Saturday, we celebrated my dear friend Rose for her 15 years of teaching Kindermusik in our community.  Over 100 people gathered together on Saturday afternoon to show their appreciation and love for all that she has done for our children.  Rose is not your run of the mill Kindermusik teacher.  She always goes above and beyond and gives 110% of herself into everything that she does.  Each class is taught with such energy and enthusiasm and she has amazing patience with the kids.  Her ability to bring out the best in each of her students, is amazing to watch...she truly is a natural educator. 
My children have been taking classes with her for the past 5 and 1/2 years.  In that time she has become so much more than their music teacher....she has become a very good friend and part of our family.  My children adore her and we are so blessed to have her in our lives. 

For the past 2 years I wanted to show her what a difference she has made in our community and how loved she is.  I teamed up with the music studio that she works with and her husband and we planned an amazing Surprise party for her.  I could not believe with all the children who were involved, it remained a surprise...but it did!  She was blown away by the entire affair and even left the room when we yelled "Surprise" because she thought she had walked in on someone's party and ruined the surprise :)  The kids immediately ran for her and she was surrounded by the people who love and adore her....her students!
The party was not the only surprise we had in store for her!  We had a student sing with her mother's quartet and they did a singing telegram.  We had video messages from Kindermusik International congratulating her, families that couldn't attend the party wishing her well and then a video message from her sons (who live on the West Coast) telling her how proud they were and how much they loved her!  She hasn't seen them in a year and this was the perfect Mother's Day Surprise!  Then we gave her the gifts :)  We had a poster from Kindermusik International, signed by the entire office there (including the CEO!), a gift certificate for dinner that night and a check for $1500 so that she could fly out and visit with her boys!!!!  She was blown away by this (as I said she hasn't seen them in a year) and started to cry.  The kids wanted to know why she was so sad and we told them all that she was not sad but so very happy!   The final gift was many of her former students, who now take instrument lessons, performed for her.  There were students on the piano, guitar, violin and singers.  It was such a special day!
We also put together a memory book for her.  I asked the families to each make a page (or two) for the book with pictures, drawings and memories of their time in Kindermuisk.  I added pictures that I had collected and it became a beautiful keepsake of the last 15 years.   She is an incredible person and it was an absolute honor to plan and organize such a special party for her.  Mothers Day Weekend went from being a sad time (so missing her sons and her mother who has passed on) to an absolute joyous one.  I was so happy to be a part of this incredible day!!  Love you Rose :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

I Love My Family :)

Yesterday was my kind of day!  I got to sleep in (though I did have to practically throw my husband out of the bed ;)), was greeted at 8:30 to cards and snuggles in bed, came down to a breakfast of pancakes and friend bananas (yum!), skyped with my in-laws, called my own mama on the phone (she and my sisters were at the lake), spent a lazy morning sipping coffee and watching my two children do their Swedish Chef impersonations (play food was flying EVERYWHERE), had lunch and then headed to the BEACH! 

We played in the sand, watched the waves and kites and the kids actually went swimming!!  The Maine ocean water is probably in the 30's or 40's but the beach we were on has this large pool left behind when the tide goes out and it warms up in the sun.  All of the kids were in this pool having a BLAST (while the adults looked on in was only 70 degrees!).  Lil'C insisted on wearing her bathing suit to the beach, so she was all set and thankfully I had an extra pair of clothes for Z. 
After a nice long walk, we headed to Portsmouth for pizza at our favorite restaurant.  It was a great day and I am so blessed to have had my family to spend it with!
George's First time to the beach!

That is Z!!!
She was all the way in too!
All warm and dry!
Z wrote this for me without being prompted!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Making Memories....

This past weekend was our first weekend at the lake.  It was so nice to be back up there again and the weather was GORGEOUS.  The perfect treat after 4 days of rain.  It was a sleepless night for us all (thanks to Lil'C) but worth it in the end :)

Throwing Rocks
Her new Tinkerbell dress which she LOVES...a gift from my sister's mother in-law
playing finger puppets
more rocks ;)
Z's garden fairy that my mom got him for Easter for the lake
Fixing his fairy house from last year and adding to it
A new hammock for the fairies!!
Bird watching....always bird watching :)
First fishing of the season!
Even Lil'C got into the action...still in her jammies ;)
So much fun to fish with the boys!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

No TV Week Review

Last week was the National Screen Free Week.  I was unable to eliminate my use of the computer since I am in the middle of a big project so we decided that this year we would have a TV Free Week instead (and a half a week at that).  Our week began on Wednesday this year because the beginning of the week we were still on vacation. Wednesday morning I brought down all of our books on tape, we went to the library to load up on books and more stories on CD and had my dad over for dinner...the perfect distraction.  The kids did not miss it one bit.  Thursday they enjoyed more books on tape and then an afternoon/dinner playdate so once again TV was not missed.  Friday we were at my sister's house and my BIL did turn on the TV for his kids for 30 minutes and I was not about to make mine go sit in the other room so they did watch 30 minutes that day.  Saturday the TV was on at the lake (Kentucky Derby) but they paid it very little attention and on Sunday we gave in and let them watch it (we had a very sleepless night on Saturday at the lake...VERY SLEEPLESS!!!).

All and all I am very proud of us.  It rained for 3 of the 4 days we had no TV and we were able to entertain ourselves quite nicely.  Having all of those distractions and books on tape definitely helped.  We are not a huge TV family as it only watch 30-60 minutes a day.....but mommy is on the computer way too much.  After this big project is over, I plan to do a few Screen Free days to take a break from it for awhile.  I could definitely use a break from it!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Very Special Job....

I was given a very special job last week, a job that was an absolute honor to hold.  My best friend had me bake her gender cake for the family announcement of whether the baby she carries will be a girl or a boy.  Have you heard about gender cakes?  They are all the rage now...I first saw it awhile back on the Today Show when the oldest Duggar found out the sex of his baby.  Basically the baker (in this case me) finds out the sex of the baby and then colors the inside of the cake blue for a boy or pink for a girl.  When the couple cuts into the cake, they find out what they are having, super cute!!

My best friend Lauren did not find out the sex of her other babies but thought this would be a fun way for her kids to be invested in the upcoming pregnancy.  Not to mention a fun way for the whole family to find out together.  The ultrasound tech called me with the news on Thursday afternoon and for 24 hours I was the holder of this AMAZING information.  Lauren and her husband didn't even know...just me!!!  Such an honor.

I have to admit I was a nervous wreck baking and frosting this cake!  I had to make sure that every inch was frosted so that the color inside was not showing.  I decided to color the outside frosting lime green and added sprinkles as a distraction ;)  While frosting it, Lil'C got a peek at the color of the cake and started screaming the color over and over.  I froze in horror, Lil'C was suppose to attend the reveal!  I couldn't have her blow the surprise!!!  So luckily my sister lives in the same neighborhood as my best friend and was willing to take my kids so I could attend the party solo ;)

The kids cut the cake as parents looked on.  The reaction was FANTASTIC!  
So what are they having???

A GIRL!!!!  So happy for all of them!  This baby girl is going to be soooo LOVED.