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Showing posts from November, 2010

30th Post - Holiday Spirit

She is playing with two action figures and she pokes them into the branches in the Christmas tree. I tell her to be gentle with the tree, she says "I will be gentle". Then, I ask her what she is doing...she says they are living in the tree--playing house. I ask her if it would be a good idea to ask Santa Claus for a dollhouse. Her reaction is instantaneousness...she turns around, eyes huge and she squeals in delight at the idea. (Luckily, Santa has gotten the dollhouse for her already)

I am finally excited about the holidays. For some reason, after it became apparent that fall was falling and Halloween was around the corner, I was not looking forward to the changing seasons as I usually am. Maybe it was because summer went by so damned fast. Maybe it was because I was having such a great time.

Now, however, I am enjoying the season because I am enjoying seeing the holidays through their eyes. The older sibling helping his sister understand the concepts of Hanukkah.…

Perfect Moment Monday - Post # 29

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Please click HERE to see this week's Perfect Moments.

Moment #1: I show him the buttons and how to separate (not like we do much of that around here--the usual way for us is just throw some in). As is typical of him, he asks lots of questions (I picture his head is full of questions that he must have answered). I expect that he will be interested enough to learn how the washer and dryer works, but little else. And that is where I have underestimated him (yet again). He enthusiastically takes to laundry. He asks a fewe times this weekend if there is any laundry to be done (there always is). And he quickly gets his shoes on (laundry is downstairs in the kinda creepy basement), and rushes down there to put more laundry in. He asks a few questions more, but, so far, the laundry has come out great. (and, with some prodding, he even puts his share of laundry away!)Moment #2: This morning. I am saying good-bye on a Monday after a long weekend. This morning she came into our bed…

A Non-Traditional Tradition Day

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is our traditional day to put up the holiday decorations and the tree, etc. We even got the decorations up from the basement on Friday night so we were prepared. As we figured out last year, decorating with a Todd-lor is a bit more time consuming...so I planned that the whole day would be spent doing a little bit here and a little bit there.
BUT. I did not plan that on Friday night I would have what looked like an insect/spider bite...that would turn out to maybe/possibly be cellulitus (which I had when I was pregnant with Willow). So. Saturday morning, I got up and we could tell the red welt was spreading...at first I just tried to call into the Dr.'s office to just get a prescription for an antibiotic...so I kept things going by starting the Christmas music and getting out the Hannukah decorations (yeah, we go like that...you try finding some jumping Hannukah songs--other than Driedel, Driedel, Driedel).
Alas, they would not give me an antibiot…

Laser Tag

Went to play laser tag with Michael yesterday. It was his first time playing laser tag--I am ashamed as a geek parent to say that. Frankly, it never occurred to me that there were any laser tag places around anymore. It was really fun. We divided up...husband took the first round of games while I took Willow around the video arcade. Then, we took a break for lunch and then I went and played laser tag with my son.

We were on the red team. It's been a long time since I have played laser tag, but it was such fun, and especially fun to play it with Michael being on my team. Unfortunately I was the only mom playing (although I saw a couple dads), so I was having to be kinda unsportsman-like and shooting little kids...but I spent most of my time going over to the other team's base and shooting the heck out of it (more points that way). The technical way laser tag is done is different from when I used to do it--and I love it! The time just flew by! (Oh, the red team won--we …

Pictures from Thanksgiving

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Willow drawing a hand turkey.


Michael drawing a hand turkey.




Pie for Breakfast!




Getting ready to go to a friend's for Thanksgiving...Willow started being her whirlwind-self....

As is evidenced by this video...



Food, food and more food...






Willow made a work of art out of her food...did not eat that much of it, but she had fun with it, all right.

Happy Thanksgiving

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I am thankful for so much and for so many people. It has been a pleasure to meet so many wonderful people through the internet, and I am especially thankful that I got to meet a lot of them in person this year. I am thankful for my wonderful son, my caring and giving husband, my whirlwind of a daughter. Our wonderfully laid back cat and our hyperactive kitty.

This year has been stessful, and we are still in the midst of some major anxiety and stress in our lives...but for today, I am happy for who I am and where I am and for those around me too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Personal History

Last night I was getting ready to go to bed, when I started to rummage around in books. We have a bedstand that has doors that open upon hidden book shelfs. And I was putting some away into the books on my husband's side of the bed, fixing the books up when I found it. The Lincoln plaque. I thought I had lost it.

The Lincoln plaque is a small brown hanging plaque that has Lincoln's Gettysburg address written on it. I always had it hanging in my room somewhere when I was young. I am not particularly sure where it came from...I suspect that it was my Grammies or my father's from when he was a kid. But I have always had it. Specifically, I have always had it hanging in my bedroom. I liked reading those passionate words, it always gave me chills and made me humble. And I brought it with me to my new home and hung it up in our bedroom.

And then...well, then the age of it caught up with it. It is warped (possibly by being hung up in my bedroom when I was 16--living in…

Thanksgiving Away

We moved 800 miles away from our families, so Thanksgiving was a particularly hard holiday to be on our own (like, truly on our own).

The first couple of Thanksgivings were pitiful. We were a young couple, just starting out, homesick, trying to mesh two different family traditions together. We tried to be like our parents. We tried to cook a turkey (disaster), we made too much food and sat in our little apartment. It was not awful...it just did not feel like Thanksgiving.

And then we met Liz and Jesse. They were a bit older than us. An established couple who lived nearby. And the next Thanksgiving...they invited us over. Jesse was a wonderful cook. He was born near Roswell, New Mexico. She was from Texas. The traditional turkey and stuffing we were used to gave way to a spicy difference. It was the first time I had jalapeno corn bread (YUM!). They made us feel at home and we were comfortable and happy. We were over to their house for a few more Thanksgivings and then they had their daug…

Perfect Moment Monday

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Please click HERE to see this week's Perfect Moments.


Moment #1: His assignment is kinda vague. Write down a quote from someone that has inspired you, and then explain why and how it inspires you. Pretty complex stuff for an 11 year old. Especially one that, while there are times he does get philosophical, most times is interested in Mad Magazine, Star Wars and SuperHero Squad. I try not to lead him--this has to come from his own experience. I tell him that he should think of a famous person that he is interested in. I mention Gandhi (he doesn't know who he is, I explain a little of the history of Gandhi, etc. and realize we are getting off track). I then think about that biography project he had last year on Albert Einstein. He was really excited about him and talked a lot about him for weeks afterwards...even said that he wants to be a scientist when he grows up. I mention this to him. And he comes up with a quote on his own. And it fits my son very well. I don…

The Extras

Now that I am re-watching some of my very favorite television shows in the morning while I exercise, I finally have the time at last to see a lot of those DVD extras that I skimmed over when we first got the DVDs.

You know how it is—you finally get the DVDs of your favorite show, you re-watch it and maybe go through some of the extras—maybe the “making of” featurette. But you never really get to ALL the stuff.

Unless you are me and you want to make the experience last and keep your interest while trying to get yourself up early in the mornings to work out.

Before my recent kick of re-watching (mostly sci-fi) television shows, I would watch movies, etc. Its far more interesting, actually to re-watch the shows. Seeing relationships develop, remembering when which character did what.

But the commentaries and extras have been the surprise to me. Most have been stimulating and add something to the series as a whole.

The Doctor Who had the Dr. Who Confidentials and David Tennant's vi…

Report Card Time...

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Michael got his report card on Friday. Modestly he mentioned that his conduct rating was not totally the way he wanted (he has had behavior issues at school). But I cannot see anything wrong with this report card.

To see those A's and A+'s and know how hard he has to work everyday to keep himself focused and on task. To see him struggling to get that homework done. And to see that...just makes my heart burst.


Click on image to enlarge.

Well done, Michael, well done!

Busy, Frantic Day - Updated

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Today (Thursday)has been an especially frantic day. It started off with the thought of being a little bit of a hassle, but not too frantic (for me, anyways).

Kif had his neutering done on Wednesday.


Ana sent this picture of a "happy, healthy, neutered kitty" last night.

She lives about an hour away from us, so it was decided that since she had a medical conference on Thursday in Boston, she and I would meet about 15 mins. away from my home (as I live about 20 mins. away from Boston). I hesitated, as I had a doctor's appointment that morning, but as she said it would be around 6 a.m., I knew I would have plenty of time. Until she overslept. So, we did the Kif Exchange, but at 8 a.m. which meant I went right from dropping him off at home to my doctor's appointment (routine check up, a-okay!).

Then it was onto work (after a quick stop off to get breakfast, later than usual). At work I got texted by my daycare provider. My daughter fell at the Children's museum, …

Playing with Toddler

Scenes from last evening:

She climbs upon my shoulder and wants me to walk her around being "Tall"

Willow crawls upon the floor with me, approaching me, panting and barking. The little dog comes up to me and licks my face. And then she leaves and comes back and makes a small noise that takes me a while to realize--she is roaring and she is a fierce (?) lion. Then a pig, a cat...and another unrecognizable noise--oh, she's a turkey!

I check on how Michael is doing with his homework in his room. She follows. And discovers some of his toys. Specifically, a Spider-Man doll. She plays with it and she trys to find the little Spider-Man doll that she had in her toys--its the Baby Spider-Man.

Then, we sing "Happy Birthday" to someone (I don't know who) and eat "cake" made of building blocks.

Finally, after running around in the kitchen to no music...time for books.

And bed.

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on b…

Hey, it Took me Until the 17th Post...

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to have nothing really much to say.**

So, I guess I will just do a status report for this week:

--Kif has been transported over to our friend Ana's house, since she lives closer to the animal shelter that is going to do his neutering today. The exchange was made at a sort of undisclosed location (an Indian restaurant half way between our houses) and this morning I got a great text from Ana saying that he was doing fine and that she feed him a little more food just before midnight (no food before the operation this morning)

--Had good Indian food and went shopping with Ana (feel a LITTLE guilty about that cuz poor Kif was sitting in his carrier in my car the whole time)

--Michael finished the newest installment of Wimpy Kid within 2 days time. (picture of him getting the book on Saturday)




--Willow is on a milk strike. Doesn't like milk anymore...unless its chocolate milk! (Well, at least it gets her to drink it!) Luckily, she loves cheese still, so she gets her dairy in...

--Her…

Perfect Moment Monday

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Yay! Perfect Moment Mondays are back!!



Please click HERE to see this week's Perfect Moments.

Morning Interruption:

Trying to get some extra sleep on the weekend. Sleepy Sunday it is not. Lying on my bed, I hear commotion downstairs, but I turn over--and my face touches the cat's face. Our fat lazy companion cat wants to snuggle. I let her sleep on husband's side and I turn over. Then onto my stomach. Just as I drift off...I hear russling behind me. And she is there, asking if she could have a juice box. And would I look at her finger, cuz there might be a boo-boo there. She has snuck away from dad. I kiss the boo-boo, tell her yes she can have the juice box (more because she will then go DOWNSTAIRS--usually I try for alternatives--or at least a "please"). I roll over onto my stomach again. And as I drift off to sleep again...he comes in. He has finished a reading assignment and has to have a parent sign off on it. And dad's handwritting is awful.…

Pancakes!

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Saturday morning, and I had a request from Willow to make pancakes. I actually haven't made pancakes in a while--we have been on a waffle kick for a while...so, I thought it would be fun to use my ole' pancake molds...

As usual lately, Willow likes to "help" me cook...she helped me mix the batter and then watched while I made two pancakes.
The molds are a heart and a bear.


I'm afraid I put too much batter in them this time...

So, when I flipped them over, they kinda did not keep the shape totally. Michael's heart shaped pancake fared better. I am afraid the bear one got a little more mangled.



But, in the end, the shapes are not what really counts anyways!


The next shaped pancake came out better--and I gave the dinosaur one to Willow. (The little bitty pancake by the tail is for the dinosaur to eat)



(Dad and I got regular old round-ish pancakes)

If you are interested in seeing other 30 posts in 30 days writers, please stop on by NaBloPoMo, or stop on by Suzy…

Early Present

The afterschool program that Michael attends has a little shop off their front lobby. They sell foam swords, cloaks, shirts that say "Zombie Academy", Star Wars figures, etc. (i.e. essentially a geek child's fantasy)

Every day for the past, oh, I would say 2 months, Michael has went in there to look around. For the past month he has been drooling over a General Grievous Star Wars figure.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought it for a Christmas present for him. It has been sitting in the trunk of the car, the perfect hiding place.

Friday night he was looking and playing with a General Grievous in the store. And as we sat in the car, he asked if he could go home and get his saved allowance money and then drive back so that he could purchase it himself.

I am good at surprising people, but even I know my limits.

His eyes grew big as I showed him the "body" in the trunk. I warned him that if he got it now, he would be one present shorter at Christmas/Hanukkah. His …

Purr

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I was going to read, but got caught texting. So it is close to midnight and I am texting laying sort of on the bed and sort of not. He comes and sits right on my chest. And then he nuzzles my hands and my face. I stroke his fur and rub his belly. He is annoying me, but is cute in doing so. And soon I am just fascinated at this small creature (not as small as he used to be) and how beautiful he is. I finish texting and I spend some time just looking at him and petting him. Looking into those eyes and hearing his LOUD purring. It is no wonder that they say pets can help relieve stress. I try to read a little, despite the time. He nuzzles under my chin, making it almost impossible to read. But I reposition him and the book. And I lay there at midnight, reading a book with a kitten under my chin.

The Girl

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Helping mom cook...

Willow is a Whirlwind. She is in motion as soon as she gets up in the morning. She loves jumping, running, spinning and climbing.

Things she can do astound me. She can express herself in so many ways, not only verbally, but with body language and expressions. She knows what is right and wrong (generally). She plays with dolls playing house. She pretends to be a cat (to the point of trying to have me pet her and give her cat treats). Lately, she points to me and says "You -- Willow. I'm mommy." and we role play.

She likes to go down the stairs on her bum sometimes. Or sometimes she gets to the bottom stair and jumps down. She wants to do most things herself...but yet has no real interest in potty training or getting herself dressed (undressing--no problem).

After being a child not at all into books, she has become a book devourer. She loves handing books to me one after the other. She is also a book destroyer...but we are working on that.

Wi…

Random Songs In My Head

My job is fairly quiet. Well, the office is fairly quiet. I work with three attorneys, who often are either quietly working in their offices or they are brainstorming (or BSing) in their offices with the doors closed. It is a small enough office that I cannot indulge in one of my past favorite activities--having a small radio/Ipod set up so I can hear music through the day. (Oh, I have a small set up, but I can only use it when they are not there--cuz its "too distracting")

I don't really mind too much--but it does mean that when it gets quiet--too quiet--my mind starts running through various songs in my head. And then. Then I am in trouble--cuz they won't Go.Away.

So here are some melodies going on lately in my head (and why).

Spongebob Campfire Song This is actually on my Ipod in my summer mix. I recently used Genius on some other song (from Juno Soundtrack) and this song was put into the mix. Jarringly so.

Go, Diego, Go! Obvious reasons, really. He is in o…

The Cats

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Gabrielle (named after that Xena character) has gotten a lot heavier lately. Which is interesting because if we did not intercede, I am sure she would not get food because Kif eats up every thing he sees...

Gabby is our older cat. Isn't it the way of things--you do not realize how old you (or your pets/kids) are until they are compared to a new addition. I think that Gabby is both pleased and irritated with the new addition. The picture above shows them at their most happy--cuddling up with each other, licking each other softly.

Unfortunately, there are also times where we hear running running, thump, thump, crash...as Kif chases Gabby around the house to tackle her. Most times she is fine with it...but there are times when we really think Gabby would like to kick Kif's ass.

Maybe things will be a bit more calm once Kif has his neutering. I hope it doesn't change his personality TOO much...but it would be nice if he was not like the second toddler in the house.

Kif is …

The Boy

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Outside of After School program, last week.*

I had to take this picture of him. Of course, it doesn't do him justice, but I was just struck at the time how he is starting to come into his own in so many things lately.

I think school has been good so far. He has had a few incidents. He is definitely having anxiety/OCD issues. But he is also getting 100%'s and A's (except for having a bad grade for the evening reading assignment--he just cannot read as many pages as needed to get a good grade on that--but he is trying and I think we have figured out how to help with that). He is enjoying the freedom the variety of classes give him. He really enjoys French and Science class. He is doing well with Band--they have a concert in about a month. Tonight he brought home a stuffed penguin pillow that he made in Sewing class...and boy was he proud of it! (woodworking class is next term)

I am proud of him and I am glad he is gaining self awareness and confidence.

*Cthulu is his fam…

Fun With Girls

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On Sunday we went to Chunky's and watched Mega-Mind with a few friends. Afterwards , the girls all hung out together, as only little girls can...





It got me to thinking about how different it is to have a little girl. I actually did not think there would be so much of a difference between having a boy and having a girl, but even at this early stage--I can tell there is a difference. And its not like I am trying to perpetuate stereotypes or anything...I was a tomboy as a child, I have given both my kids gender neutral toys and both gender equivalent toys (i.e. my son got an easy bake oven one year, my daughter gets cars and trucks, etc.). And yet...she definitely has a more feminine bent. It will be interesting to see how this evolves...and fun!

Morning Snuggles

Laying in bed, its the weekend. Long night last night (full of fun, but still long night).
It's 6 a.m. I don't have to get up! Which means that the small voice asking for "daddy" is not what I want to hear. We tell her to come on up---and into bed she comes. She is surprised that I am here "You are HERE?!" (I went out the night before, to her chagrin). She snuggles in.
And then the kitten comes up and snuggles on my right shoulder...purring, purring. His collar is gone...where did it go? Then the other cat comes in and snuggles on my feet. I try very hard not to move. Let all the small creatures settle and let me sleep. (Hubs has no issues--still sleeping)
We rest. I do not sleep, but I think how wonderful this is--how it is missing one crucial element--30 mins later that element bounces into the bed--yep, no my son has joined the crew--and now I am barely in the bed anymore. But I am complete.
(Daddy decides the group hug is over--takes everyone …

Bloggy Love

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The wonderful Mel from Stirrup Queens is in town to be the keynote speaker at the Bay State Resolve Conference.

So a few of us Boston area bloggers (I had never met any of them before in RL) went to her hotel last night and had a wonderful time at the nearly empty hotel restaurant...we spent over 3 hours laughing, talking and generally enjoying each other's company. It seems that with each and every blogger I meet, I can sense a real rapport with them from the start. It was like we were just old friends hanging out...and I LOVED it!

It was so much fun that I barely realized the time--and was sad to have to say good bye.

Thank you Mel, for giving of yourself and your time! Thank you gals, for a great and stimulating time!

Life Alphabetical

A twist on some of the alphabeticals out there...

A - The amount of apples my children eat is astounding. Apples sliced, diced, whole or in parts. Applesauce, apple juice (rarely). Apples--its for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

B - Bears are a big thing with Willow. Bears of all types, bears in books, stuffed bears, animals that look like bears (like Koalas) are BEARS! Not sure where this fascination with bears comes from, but it is almost as strong as her love of BABIES(!)

C - Cats. We have two of them. One is big and a bit lazy. One is small and a bit of a rascal. For instance, the other morning he got up on the counter and was able to push and pull enough to get the dry food container to fall onto the floor, spilling all the dry cat food out, where my husband found him gorging himself.

D - Dancing. She does a LOT of this in our kitchen. Usually to They Might Be Giants or Dan Zanes. Often she drags me in, so I can go around and around and around with her, until I am DIZZY.

E - "E"…

There is always time...

Trying to get him to bed so that I can go down to get the kitchen cleaned up. It's been a long night and I just want to get that one thing done so that I can finally relax after the long day.

But. He is supposed to read at least 20 mins. a night for school. He is reading The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (I bought it for him a while ago and he picked this book above all others to read).

Now he suggests that he read it out loud to me. (I hate being read to--I really like the feel of the words drifting past my eyes, I like to be in control) I hesitate and then say I really have to get downstairs to do stuff. His expression shows his dissapointment. I instantly feel like scum and I try to take back what I said. At first he says it is okay, I should go ahead and leave.

I then sit down and tell him that I do want to hear him read this book, one of my favorites. He reads to me. He has an interesting reading voice, at first faltering over some of the bigger words, he has a small voice. But …

Leaves

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Before they even were falling she was intrigued by them. Finding the most tattered, green, dirty leaves she could find. Some brown and crinkly--great toys for the cats who then distributed parts of the favored leaves throughout the house.

Driving around New England, I see yellows and oranges and reds unfolding in front of me. It is hard to not keep driving and enjoying the view.

One of my favorite things is to shuffle my feet with a big pile of leaves in front of me. The crunching, rattling sound and the crisp smell of the leaves reminds me of a time when I was young and I walked home from school with my best friend and we would talk about things (some important and existential, some superficial and long forgotten) as we shuffled the leaves under our feet.

I bought wax paper again this year. Every year the leaves remind me of my Grammie. She and I would pick out our favorite leaves and put them between wax paper. Then she would use her iron to wax the leaves. I would gently pull the wax …

Motivation - Or How Punching Bears Inspires Me to Work Out

Every morning I get up and get on my stationary bike. And I look forward to it (GASP!) Why? Cuz I gots my secret weapon--DVDs!! My carrot in the morning is Babylon 5 and I am greatly enjoying reliving this television series (before B5, I have re-watched all the New Dr. Who's). Unfortunately, I am almost at an end of the series...I have to come up with another one...I was thinking Angel...see, it has to be something I look forward to. Something that I will be wanting to watch more of...so I will get my 40-45 mins on my bike and mini-stepper in the mornings. (Sometimes I miss it on the weekends...its that good of motivation)

As for my other motivating work out--I punch bears. Or air. I love my WiiFit, but I especially love my Gold's Gym Cardio WorkOut. One of the exercises is a Roadwork run--on a wooded path, where every so often you stop...and "cardboard" Bears pop up and you punch them. (Oh, and be careful, sometimes a person pops up--and although his expre…

30 Posts in 30 days

I have decided to do NaBloPoMo this month...which means you post each day of November.

I have thousands of stuff I have thought of to post--and not always had the time to do it. So, I hope this will get me to get some of those "only in my head" posts out there.

Of course, there is still the whole "time" issue. But we shall see. (Like, right now--I started this post and then I heard THUMPING in our downstairs bathroom...my son was jumping up and down for no apparent reason when he should be going to BED...) (Oh, and I should be using this precious time while Hubs is putting Willow down for some Wii time....um, after this post, eh?!)

So, for post number one...let's see what I can write...about....KIF, will you please stop trying to chew on my socks?!?! (with my feet still in them?!!?)

Post number one....Michael. Will.You.Please.Go.To.Bed. (Thumping has commenced upstairs in his bedroom)

(Oh, and did I mention the computer chair is in the kitchen right now so I …