Monday, August 31, 2009

15 minutes outside = 15 mosquito bites

These are Connor's legs, courtesy of the killer mosquitoes at Grandpop and MomMom's house.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

making good choices

I talk to Connor a lot about making good choices. Emily is only two, but I know that she picks up a lot of what I say to Connor because I hear her repeating me. Her language ability is also very good for her age so I keep that in mind and give her the benefit of the doubt that she will understand what I'm telling her. So here's what happened tonight.

Sometimes I have to separate Connor and Emily when I leave them alone together, even if it’s just a minute. If I don’t give them an expectation, one of them usually does something to the other one and then it goes back and forth and escalates. So tonight, when I was going to take Camryn up to bed, I had Connor sit on one couch and Emily sit on the other. They had been at each other a bit when I was getting them ready for bed so I thought ahead to what might happen when I leave the room and go upstairs for a few minutes. I quickly came up with the couch separation. I told them, “Connor you sit here…Emily you sit here. Do not move from your spot. If you move from your spot, you will lose your book for tonight. Do you understand?” They both said yes so upstairs I went.

At the top of the stairs, once I was out of sight, Connor started telling Emily to get up. That little stinker. I almost intervened. I thought about going back down a few steps to reiterate my expectations so that Emily wouldn’t make the wrong decision. I thought, she’s two years old…am I expecting too much? Can she withstand the power of her older brother’s trickery? In my hesitation I heard something…Emily’s voice. I listened. She told Connor, “No, I’m not getting up Connor”. He kept at her…kept saying, “Come on Em, get up, Mom won’t mind.” And she repeated, “No Connor.” He said, “Come on Em, why not?” And here is what my two-year-old told her older and supposedly wiser brother (verbatim), “Mom said do not move and if I move, I will lose my book for bedtime”.

You go girl! I could not have been more proud of her.

Monday, August 24, 2009

tea party

I'm into coffee, Emily's into tea. We have a tea party at least once a day. Here's a short clip of one from today. Camryn is starting to get in on the action too.

(Take note of the red socks. She would wear them everyday, whether they match or not. I try to bury them under other wash or in the back of a drawer but she seems to find them every few days.)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

big brother junkie

I can't get enough of Big Brother. For those of you living under a rock (or just not into reality t.v.) it's on every summer on CBS. I've watched it from season one when Will blazed a trail with his lies and "showmance". It's like Survivor, without the awful living conditions. I think the attraction for me is that it's like a social experiment and I love that stuff...human behavior at its best (and worst). I like to see how people act under pressure, if they're real or fake, caring or self-centered, if they're into their looks, if they're confident, intelligent, have their wits about them...or do they totally lose it at the drop of a hat. There are heads of households, nominees, vetos and evictions...and the winner gets $500,000 by way of a vote from the people who were voted out. Summer television entertainment doesn't get much better than this.

There are two downsides: (1) The viewing schedule is three nights per week. Two of the nights it's on at 8 p.m. and one night is 9 p.m. Getting the kids into bed by 8 way, not during the summer. (2) We don't have any of the perks that would allow us to watch the show on the nights that it airs or see all the extra footage, i.e. no DVR, Showtime 2 or the Live Feed. I know, I know...poor me right? Thanks goodness for 'On Demand'. But, when my aunt sent me this link to constant, real-time updates, I officially became a Big Brother junkie. People who get the live feed actually sit at their computer and type everything that is happening and being said. There seem to be a handful of them who take turns posting. A part of me is like, do they not have a life? What losers...they watch the live feed and then type it all out for people who don't have the live feed but the other part of me is like, yes...this is awesome!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

our evolution

From the first picture taken in high school to our most recent picture taken the other day...our life summed up in four pictures from a Jersey shore photo booth, 20 years in the making.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

baby bunnies

We've always had a lot of rabbits around our house. When Connor was three he started naming them. There always seem to be three visible at one time so he thinks it's the same three rabbits...David Dot, John Carter and Kelly Martin. Yes, he came up with those names completely on his own and he swears he can tell who is who. Well, apparently Kelly has been getting it on with either David or John because yesterday we found baby bunnies buried in the mulch around the playset. There are four that we can see and they are huddled together in a shallow hole underneath the glider. Their eyes aren't even opened yet.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I went into 'animal rescue' mode as soon as Carl told me that they saw them. I was a little concerned this morning when I went to check on them and they were uncovered. I was thinking...where's the mom, are they hot, are they cold, are they hungry, did she abandon them, is some bird going to eat them, do they mind the ants crawling all over them, is the sun going to cook them, would they prefer shade, is the mulch comfortable enough...and on and on and on. And anyone who knows me well knows that I went right into the house and found a wild rabbit rescue website to answer all of my questions. Apparently the mommy rabbit only visits them twice per day to nurse them, once right before dawn and then at night. She doesn't want to attract predators but she keeps an eye on them from a distance. I don't know...I think Kelly was slacking today because I didn't see her anywhere. Also, baby rabbits can die from the shock of being handled by humans...I knew not to touch them but I didn't know it could kill them! I also learned that 95% of wild rabbits die before 6 months of age...most at the hands (or claws) of predators such as hawks and cats. Well, not on my watch!

I placed the umbrella from the kids' sandtable over the spot where the bunnies are so that the crows and hawks flying above can't spot them. I kept watch all day...some hawks were circling. Connor kept telling me if the hawks were getting close. No crows though. My only worry now is the one or two stray cats around. They can squeeze through our fence. I can only hope that Kelly Martin is protecting them like any good mom would. I'll be checking on them first thing in the morning.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

happy birthday cam

On this day last year, my youngest was born. Camryn has added so much to our's beyond words. Happy Birthday baby girl!

August 7, 2008 - The day before she was born

August 8, 2008 - The day she was born
August 8, 2009 - On her first birthday

Friday, August 7, 2009


Urban that is. Thanks to my stepmom, Jane, Connor and I saw him in concert last Saturday and he was AWESOME. We already had good seats but when Keith decided to travel through the floor section towards the back and perform a few songs from a pop-up stage right in front of us, we were freaking (well, truth is I was freaking...Connor was much more composed).

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

holla to my mil

Last week we had a funeral to go to so my mother-in-law stayed with the kids. While taking care of the kids she also got all of their wash folded. Something that takes me 3 days to complete took her 3 hours. I always say I don't know how she took care of 8 kids under the age of 10...and kept the house clean and my father-in-law fed. I think she secretly wears a cape. I'm amazed when I think of what her days must have been like. And she doesn't complain...ever.