Wednesday, November 26, 2008

giving thanks

Today was Connor's Thanksgiving Feast at preschool so I got to stay for about 20 minutes to hear him sing Thanksgiving songs. Before the last song, the teachers asked for volunteers to raise their hand and say something that they were thankful for. (And the teachers were sure to remind the kids that they were not allowed to say "toys" because everyone knows they're thankful for them). I really was surprised when Connor's hand went up right away...he usually doesn't speak up in a large group. The three kids before him that were called on said, "my car", "my house", "my brother". When Connor was called on, he said, "my mom and dad" and then he looked at me with a huge smile and gave me the thumbs up. It was a wonderful moment that brought tears to my eyes. I am so thankful that I am a parent. Being a mom is truly the most important and rewarding job I will ever do in my life.

Connor as a Pilgrim at school.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

connor's present for me

After Connor and I were done reading books before bed he says excitedly, "Mom, I already know what I'm going to get you for your birthday next year." So I tell him to tell me and he won't because he wants me to be surprised. We go back and forth a few times because, of course, I'm dying to know what he thinks would be a great gift for great that he's already decided that I'm getting it for my next birthday. I finally convince him that I won't remember what it is so it will still be a surprise for me. So he agrees to tell me and, all excited, he tells me that he saw a commercial for this carpet cleaner that "cleans anything" and that's what he's going to get me. He was pretty impressed with himself.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

camryn's lovey

Camryn officially has a "lovey". I first heard the word "lovey" when I saw T. Berry Brazelton on the Oprah show years and years ago. He also writes about it in his book, Touchpoints. He says that children who have a "lovey", an object that they rely on to help them calm, feel better, transition, etc., are children who are nurtured, who demonstrate inner strength and who learn the ability to self-comfort...all very important skills that they will rely on in life. I remember being attached to stuffed animals as a child and I liked the idea of a "lovey" so I purposely introduced each of my kids to one particular stuffed animal from when they were only a few weeks old and by 3-4 months, these animals officially became part of the family. Connor has a dog named "Doggie", Em has a rabbit named "Bunny" and now, because I am so creative with stuffed animal naming, Camryn has a frog named "Froggie". She gets excited when she sees Froggie and when she has him, she tries to eat him.

Camryn swinging with Froggie.
Emily trying to convince Camryn to give Froggie to her. She's saying, "Share Froggie".

Emily's hands are getting a closer to Froggie here. If Camryn could talk, I think she'd be saying, "Back off sista!"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

weird weather day

Today's weather was unusual for November. It was in the upper 60's and cloudy all day so when the sun started to set and showed itself around 4 p.m., I took the kids outside to play. Connor was jumping for joy at the opportunity to get some exercise, especially since his soccer game was canceled this morning due to rain. So, he rode his Big Wheel and I pushed Emily in her car and Camryn in her stroller. Oh, and during this whole time, we had a tornado watch in our area so Connor kept his eyes on the sky, asking me if every cloud going by was a tornado cloud.

And on an unrelated note, I'm constantly trying to get great pictures of the three of them. It's so hard because they each have to be a willing participant (although Camryn really can't go anywhere). Here's my latest attempt...

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Emily is 20 months today so I decided to let her have the blog to herself. So in honor of her milestone, here are 10 things that I love about Emily:

1. She loves Little Einsteins. She could watch it all day. At various times during the day, she says, "Conduct with me!" and when I say something we're going to do, i.e. "Let's go upstairs", "We're leaving", "Time for breakfast", etc...she says, "On a mission!"

2. I have Emily wear the footed PJ's in the winter. All I hear from the time I put them on until she goes to bed is, "Fix...fix...fix!" The feet bother her and her new thing is the zipper apparently isn't to her liking either. She recently started unzipping her PJ's while saying, "Take jacket off."

3. When I look as though I'm leaving, even if it's just to go upstairs or to the bathroom, Emily says, "Follow Mommy!" and she says it with such a sense of urgency.

4. Em's new phrase that I hear all day long is, "Watch this Mom." And she actually wants me to watch something that she is about to do.

5. When something is explained to Emily, she says, "Oh" in a way that conveys the message, "Okay, I understand now...thanks." It's like she's 25.

6. Emily likes to carry things around the house. She'll carry stuffed animals, baby dolls, Little People, magnets from the fridge, game pieces such as Candyland cards and figurines, checkers, cars, the list could go on and on. She always tries to carry more than she can actually hold, which most of the time causes a downward spiral of her dropping things, getting frustrated, trying to pick them up, dropping them again, getting more frustrated, etc., etc.

7. She will not leave the house without Bunny, Hopper and Mouse (who is really a bear).

8. Emily likes to ask and then answer her own questions. She'll say, "What was that" and then tell you what it was. So if she hears the cats running around she'll say, "What was that...Colby." "What was that" also means "Who was that" so after she sees someone she'll say, "What was that...Uncle Rich".

9. She tells herself "Good job" after she does something.

10. A new skill of hers is to ask for help. This is a great thing. Instead of going quickly into hysterics, as she often did when frustrated with something, she is now saying, "I need help". This has been on the rise recently and I love it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

dog owners for the day

Our neighbors found a stray dog today and asked us if we could keep her in our backyard. They were on their way to a soccer game and wanted somewhere to put her while they were gone. She had a collar but no tags and the police told them that since it was the weekend, animal control would not come unless she were injured. So she hung out in our backyard all day.

We threw some balls out there along with some food, water and a rawhide...which she immediately buried in our garden. She ran around with a soccer ball in her mouth the majority of the time. Carl and Connor went outside for a little while to play with her. Connor thought this was the coolest thing that could happen today. He spent the whole time in front of the sliding back door window giving us a play-by-play of what the dog was doing. Emily was only slightly impressed, joining Connor at the window only a few times.

Our neighbors came and got her after dinner so that she can spend the night in their home. They're going to put her in our yard again in the morning before they leave for work so that animal control can come get her and take her to the shelter. Hopefully, someone is looking for her.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

rainy day

Connor plays soccer on Saturday mornings (and Carl coaches his team). I checked the weather online and saw that the temperature was going to be decent. There was only a 30% chance of rain. So, I packed Camryn and Emily up and off we went. It started to pour about 5 minutes after we left. I could have turned around but anyone who has little ones knows how much effort it takes to get out of the house...and I was out and I was not going back. I wanted to see Connor play soccer and I thought maybe the rain would pass quickly. Two minutes later, Emily fell asleep. She ended up napping through the whole game, which was good because it poured and she definitely would have wanted out of the car regardless. Here are Em and Camryn hanging out in the minivan...

And here's Connor after his game. He was absolutely soaked...and he loved every minute of it.

Below is a picture of Grandpop Petrilli that I took from my nice, warm, dry car. He braved the pouring rain and even took some great pictures.

Connor and his team in the rain.

The other notable of the day is that Camryn is 3 months! I can't believe it. She is so pleasant all of the time and all you have to do is look at her to get her to smile. She gets really excited (she looks like she can hardly contain herself) when you talk to her. She's still getting up once in the middle of the night to eat but technically she's "sleeping through the night" because she goes to sleep around 7 p.m., wakes up to eat and then gets up at 7 a.m. There have been a few nights recently though that she has decided to stay awake after her feeding from like 4 to 6 a.m. That so doesn't work for me since Emily is up for good around 6:30 a.m. Hopefully this doesn't last too long because Emily has actually been sleeping better (I probably shouldn't have said that) so it would be nice to have everyone sleeping well at the same time!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

wednesday is the new monday

Okay so I know that last week I posted a blog called "thursday is monday" but now that Carl's days off have changed to Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday is now Monday in our family. So Carl is back to work today and our week begins. We ended our "weekend" last night by meeting Danielle, Jeff, Cambelle and Chloe for dinner at 99. All four girls were a bit, what's the word...loud I guess? Once Camryn fell asleep and the food came, we weren't drawing as much attention (I swear beforehand though that everyone was taking a peek at our table). It was great to get together though. And dinner ended nicely when Emily, out of her seat and standing next to me in the booth, decided to drop a bowl on someone in the next booth. Fun!

Now onto some highlights from the last few days...

The Presidential election. Connor has been very interested and voted with both Carl and I. He wanted to know all day yesterday who was winning and when we got home from dinner, he asked if we could check the t.v. for the results. He was pretty excited about the outcome. So with Dad's help, he put together his USA puzzle map as he watched the election coverage before bed (he took out all of the states that McCain won).

Connor wanted to play pirates tonight so I made him an eye patch and he drew the treasure map. He loved his eye patch...wouldn't take it off even after we were done searching for the treasure.

This is Camryn looking at Connor and Emily during dinner. They were both singing loudly (because there really is no other volume when it comes to their singing) so I think Camryn's face says it all...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

time change

I've never really thought about why we "spring forward" and "fall back". I haven't thought much about a lot of things that we do because we've always just done them. But when you live with a 4, almost 5-year-old, you learn that he wants to know "why" we do everything. And this has created an opportunity for me to learn some new, interesting, and sometimes useless facts. Like for example, when his preschool was closed on Columbus Day, Connor wanted to know why. I told him "because it's Columbus Day" and I said it very matter-of-fact because I grew up not going to school on Columbus Day. Did I ever spend the day wanting to know more about Christopher Columbus? No. But Connor did. When I told him that it was Columbus Day, he wanted to know every possible detail of who this person was, where he was from, what he did, etc. So he and I Googled Christopher Columbus and read all about him for about 15 minutes. Breakfast dishes went on hold and the experience was well worth the little time it took to get him the answers he wanted.

This brings me back to "falling back" as we did last night. I've never liked the time change in the Fall because we lose daylight. After I had kids, I liked it even less because I learned quickly that kids don't get the time change as infants and toddlers. So, their sleep gets messed up and that is never a good thing. But today, when Connor found out that I turned his clock back and he noticed at 4:45 p.m. that it was getting dark, he wanted to know why. So as we did on Columbus Day, we Googled "daylight savings time". All the websites were pretty detailed so I had to get to the point after skimming through paragraph after paragraph, all while he was asking, "What does it say?" and I kept saying, "Hang on, hang on...I'm looking."

If you're interested in the detailed version of why we change the clocks, visit Talk about a history lesson! I basically told him that Benjamin Franklin thought of it, that he was a man who thought of a lot of things that would help people and daylight savings time helps save money because you don't have to use as much electricity to light your home (and in Ben's day it was to save on the cost of oil lamps).

I think his questions were answered pretty quickly because he was ready to move on to a computer game in like 2 minutes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Halloween was a great day. In the morning, Connor and I made Rice Krispie Treats with candy corn in them for his school party. Then we all went to his school where they had a costume parade and sang some spooky songs. Connor stayed at school until the usual time and while he was there the girls napped. After school, Connor and I picked up a pizza and we all watched the end of the Phillies parade on t.v. while we ate and then got ready for trick-or-treating. The best part of Halloween this year was that Carl took the night off! Last year Aunt Dawn was a great substitute, but it was nice to go trick-or treating as a family this year.