Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

10:20 and the party is over....

House got cleaned.....sort of....closets are full of junk.

I didn't cook. Instead we ordered Mexican from Baja Fresh...every enjoyed and there are leftovers for tomorrow.

2007 is almost over. Hard to believe. I will be 34 in three months and 6 days.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I'm cooked

A few weeks ago at a Christmas party I invited everyone over for New Years Eve. I started thinking about it this afternoon. You know, the cleaning, shopping and cooking...a lot to do before Tuesday.

My phone just rang. "What can we bring tomorrow night?" Tomorrow? Are you kidding me? I didn't let on that I was planning on company Tuesday....I also told them not to worry, I'm all set.

I already hate tomorrow.

Blogging in 07

I stole this idea to post the first line from the first post of each month from Steph at Adventures in Babywearing...thought it was a great way to wrap up my first year of blogging.

"Lately I've been thinking a lot about how fast time is passing."

"I really shouldn't be complaining."

"One of my favorite things about Sam at this age is how literal he is."

"Yesterday was my birthday...I'm 33."

"Sam's never had hair this short, not even when he was born!"

"It ain't what it used to be...none of it, shopping, my body, what I can afford...."

"Sam, Grace and I went to CT last Friday for a weekend of parties."

"Brad and I have not spent the night alone since Sam was about fifteen months old."

"My sister in law Cathy and her almost five year old twin boys, Benjamin and Steven, were visiting this week."

"57:09 That's how long it took me to run 5.2 miles this morning."

"Have you ever removed a tick from your childs head?"

"I've been a Freecycler for over a year now"

Saturday, December 29, 2007

She screams....

Gracie turned 14 months on Christmas day. As this blog is also her baby book I am taking the time to document her sweet behavior at this darling stage. She screams. All morning. All afternoon. All evening. She then sleeps for twelve hours and wakes up and does it again. I don't remember Sam doing this, but perhaps it's part of my DMT....

The scream is so shrill that it makes your ears ring and you can hear it in your head long after she is quietly sleeping. She's not sick and I am certain that she is not in any pain. It's not that kind of scream. It's a bossy, bitchy and very calculated "I want what I want!" kind of scream.

She screams when Sam comes near her and when he walks away. She screams when she wants to play with something that Sam is playing with and in the rare instance that he gives it to her, she screams some more when he starts playing with something else . She screams when she wants something to eat and then when she is done. She screams. All. Day. Long.

It's so bad that I have pretty much decided that I am done having babies. I'm ready to call the urologist. I'm ready to stick her in daycare and return to the glamorous and very high paying profession of social work....I'm ready to bag groceries at Trader Joe's....I'm ready to run away.

Any suggestions? Please don't tell me to try baby sign language....the girl's not playing, she basically gives me the finger.

Friday, December 28, 2007

We took a train ride to Boston...

and saw Finding Nemo on ice with our friends Jack and Ben (and their parents). Guess which one Sam was most excited about? Yup, the train ride was the highlight of our day.

I know these are blown...he was so excited when we got to the train station, he was actually shaking! I grabbed the camera and started shooting without paying any attention to the settings...fixed them the best I could in PS....

On the train...Do you suppose I could pay someone to ride the train with him all day long?
Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for keping Grace!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"She looks like Auntie Shell!" Said Sam, after Grace rubbed chicken noodle soup in her hair. We think he was refering to Michelle's dreads....
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Creepy or Cute?

Here is my latest attempt at being crafty and first ever attempt to sew. I made these for Sam and Grace's stockings. Thought they would be cute peeking out the tops. I've been admiring similar ones on Etsy but didn't want to pay $25 each for them. I bought about $4 worth the fabric and viola!

I put button eyes on first, but they looked scary, like alien ghost dolls. I attempted stitching (embroidering?) them on. Still not quite how I pictured...what do you think?
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Potty Training....part 7

As you know, getting my three year old to poop on the potty has been an ongoing saga at our house. If you have nothing better to do, you can read about my efforts and our progress, or lack of it here, here, here, here, here and here.

For the past month I've been telling him that I talked to Santa and Santa told me that he was pretty sure he couldn't bring presents to a three year old who still pooped in a diaper. As soon as I said it, I felt bad. Sam looked heartbroken. "But what if I can't? I won't get any presents?" I told him that he had to try his best and he agreed.

In the mean time, I signed Sam up with our Parks and Rec Department to get a phone call from Santa. There was a spot where you could give Santa special instructions as far as a specific thing you wanted him to say. The example was, "Billy, you've been such a good big brother to Katie." Boring. I wrote, "Sam, you know that you have to start going poopy on the potty if you want me to visit your house." Yes, I am a calculated, manipulative and desperate woman.

So, today Sam is in the bathroom. He screams, "Mommy come quick!" It sounds serious so I ran. I found him standing next to the toilet wearing the poopy face. "Mommy, I need a diaper NOW!". I told him if he had to go that bad he needed to sit on the toilette and that it would probably be really easy to go. He refused. I offered a prize. He started negotiating, "What will the prize be? Can I see it while I try?" I ran down to the basement and got out a headlight that I had bought for his stocking. Sam LOVES flashlights and I was hoping that this love and the fact that he was squeezing his cheeks would get him to give it a try. It worked. He put the headlight on and asked for some privacy. Five minutes later there is an elated, "Mommy, I did it, I did poop on the potty, come see!" I ran in, jumping up and down, cheering, dancing...."Do you want to see?" Of course....he stays on the toilette, opens his legs and looks down, shining the headlight into the toilette. Yup, poop in the potty confirmed!

After dinner the phone rang. Guess who it was? SANTA!!!! I kid you not. Talk about perfect timing!
Sam's face lit up and he grinned from ear to ear. "Hi Santa, this is Sam. Guess what, I did poop on the potty! I did it and I got a headlight! Now you can come to my house!"
I almost wet my pants. What must Santa have thought? You know that nobody wanted to call our house and talk to some strange child about pooping on the potty. Imagine being the one who got stuck making the call and getting that greeting! I wish I could have heard the response.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Don't you wish you lived here?

The above photos were taken from the warmth and comfort of my dining room.
Doesn't he look like he had fun?

Christmas out Martha (kidding, totally kidding.)

My bloggin' buddy Beth told us about Boo Mama's Christmas Tour of Homes last week. It was great motivation for me to finally take the autumn wreath off of my front door and get the scarecrow out of my front yard! I wish that I had wonderful pictures of white lights hanging from the roof of our house...Last March when we finally got around to taking them down, I tried to convince Brad that we should just leave them up...what's another nine months when they've already been up for four?

So, come on in. Please take your shoes off. I usually don't care, but there is a foot of ice and snow outside and we did a lousy job shoveling....I hate stepping in puddles on the kitchen floor...wet socks are one of my least favorite things.

These pictures are completely random in terms of order...I've been blogging for almost a year and I cannot figure out how to move them around and it hurts my brain too much to try to load them so that they turn out the way I want.

Here, in my dining room, we have our Jesse Tree. I saw branches just like this for $29.95 EACH at Pottery Barn, in a vase much like this that cost $70....I loved the idea so I went home and chopped down my Rose of Sharon tree (bush?) and painted it with snow paint. The vase and pine cones came from the craft store, they were $6.00, total!

The majority of our decorations are in the living room. My Buyers Choice Carolers are on the mantle, along with out mismatched stockings and Sam's Christmas train.

After we read our story and hang an ornament on our Jesse Tree, Sam counts down the days to Christmas on our Annalee Santa.
Two of our mismatched stockings, mine and Gracie's.

With this Yankee candle, you can't even tell that the tree's not real! I swear nobody knows till they get really close!
Our Christmas Village, complete (as in all we have) with fire station, gas station, police car, tow truck, three cars, a fireman and two police men, one with a head and one without....can you tell that there is a little boy living at our house?
Our Nativity Set. It's usually displayed on a low table in the family room. However, Sam wouldn't leave it alone and I was afraid that he would lose something or break the shepherds crook or Joseph's it is in a much less attractive, but higher spot this year.
That's pretty much it this year. I do have a wreath on the front door, but it's 22 degrees outside and I'm not opening the front door to take a picture or going outside to take one from the front yard. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Party

Every year, our friends Tracy and Jared host a Christmas party. It used to be couples, then couples and a few kids and now, kids and a few adults. This year we were absolutely outnumbered. Kids everywhere (ranging in age from 11 to three months) and very little adult conversation. Don't get me wrong, it was still a wonderful party. I enjoyed seeing my friends, being out of my house and being served dinner and lots of wine....

As if they'd been given a signal, all of the kids started melting down at once. The party was over. Pajamas were put on and kids were loaded into minivans by parents who prayed that they would fall asleep on the ride home. I was exhausted and ready for bed myself. As I put my seat belt on, I glanced at the clock. It was 8:30. I thought it was wrong and looked at my watch. It was 8:30.

Yes, we are indeed party animals.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wash my mouth out with soap, then please get me a STRONG drink!

This has been one of the longest, hardest weeks ever. I'm starting to think that something is wrong with Grace. She screams constantly. Sam is bored and cranky. I'm tired and I have NO patience left.

I took Sam out to do errands with me this morning. We have a Christmas party tonight, and I just needed a few things to make cookies with and a bottle of wine. The entire trip should have taken twenty minutes, tops. Traffic was horrible though and by the time I had found a place to park, twenty minutes had already passed. Despite the crowded parking lot, we were in and out of the store pretty quickly. Trying to get out of the parking lot proved more challenging. Sam was in the back saying "I want to go home now." over, and over and took more than five minutes just to get into the lane that would take me to the parking lot exit. Another five minutes to get near the main road. I was about four cars away from getting to take a right on red when I noticed a desperate looking man in a SUV trying to make his way into the lane. I felt bad for him. It looked like he might have kids in the back. Were they talking his ear off of or screaming like mine often do? I let him go and then I lost it. He pulled in front of me without a wave and blocked the right on red lane. I couldn't go. I beeped at him, hoping he would back up but the guy wouldn't even look at me. I started to get mad. The light changed and we didn't move. I beeped again, he still wouldn't even look. My blood started boiling. I beeped again. Nothing. I yelled, "Ass hole!" and felt a little better, for a second, until I remembered that Sam was in the back seat.

"Mommy, why did you call that guy an ass hole?"

"Sam, mommy said a very bad word that she shouldn't have said. I'm sorry."

The light changed again and I still didn't move. I thought about getting out and banging on his window but I opted for more name calling from the safety and warmth of my car...."Douche bag!" Woops, forgot that Sam was in the worries though, he didn't learn "ass hole" and "douche bag" today.

"Mommy, that's silly. He's not a JUICE bag, he's a man!"

We finally got home, one hour and fifteen minutes after setting out...Sam ran into the living room and ratted me out. "Daddy, mommy called a man RASS hole. That's very bad, huh?"

Friday, December 14, 2007

Pirates Booty for dinner kind of day...

We got slammed last night. Snow. Lot's of it. Nine inches or so to be exact....while this isn't enough snow to make going out impossible, the 30 degree weather is enough to make you think twice about loading two kids in and out of car seats.... so for the second day, we were pretty much home bound.

My kids both woke up in bad moods. I escaped for a little while to get a much needed haircut, and when I returned to the trenches...everyone was still in a bad mood. I won't bore you with all of the details, but basically, when we sat down for dinner Grace tossed her dish on the floor and started screaming. I got up and poured her a bowl of Trader Joe's Pirates Booty and called it dinner. She sat quietly and ate every last bit.

Quiet has never been so nutritious!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"Mommy, I don't feel good."

These were the words uttered by my three year old as he walked into the room holding a glow in the dark bracelet (one of those plastic things that you crack in half and they glow for a while...) that he had chewed the top off of and apparently eaten.

The wonderful man at Poison Control informed me that it probably burns, A LOT, and might even make him throw up, but it won't kill him...phew. I'm off to see if his mouth glows in the dark.

Monday, December 10, 2007

To read...or watch tv?

Last week Sam's teacher told me that she is really amazed by his "reading". Her exact words were, "It's remarkable. Way ahead of anyone in the class or what I've seen for someone his age." Wish I could take credit, but the truth is, it's all that early morning TV watching he does while Brad and I are still in bed...Yes, WordWorld and Super WHY are responsible for any early signs of genius that we may be seeing....Of course, I didn't tell the teacher, I just nodded in agreement and pretended that we read lots...and watch a little PBS Kids.

I'm not a total slacker. I have been noticing that Sam is very interested in letters and their sounds. He walks around the house sounding out words and if he can't figure it out, he'll ask what letter it starts with. "Church" really got him the other day. He spent five minutes saying, "" and finally, "I don't know what sound that is." Guess it's time to work on phonics...

Anyway....I didn't intend to write a bragging type of post about this (or I would have written it last week after the teacher spoke to me)...I mostly just wanted to record this little gem...

"Mommy, P says puh, puh, puh like in poopy. Hey there's two P's in poopy! Mommy, penis starts with P too!"

"Yes Sam, poopy and penis do start with P. Speaking of poopy, when are you going to do it on the potty? Which by the way, also starts with P"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

M&M Annual Christmas Party

Sam's finger is in his nose for EVERY group shot...
We didn't think to take a picture till half the kids had left....notice Sam checking out his "findings"
Twins, Liam and Patrick. Their mom Kit is AMAZING!

Audrey & big sister Rachel After Sam was born, I went to a Mommy Group at the Birth Center where he was born a few times. I didn't really click with any of the women (Women who chose to have their babies someplace other than a hospital, with a midwife and without drugs tend to be a tad crunchier than I...). I stopped going and just went at the new mommy thing on my own.

I can remember taking Sam to the mall that winter and seeing a large group of women with babies about the same age all having lunch together at the food court. My eyes filled with tears and I felt incredibly jealous of them. Although I had a lot of friends with children, I was the last in my group to have a baby and their kids were older than Sam...I thought that when I became a stay home mom I would see lots of them, but I didn't. Their kids had different schedules, different friends, different abilities. I felt so alone.

One of those mommies approached me. She recognised me from the gym and I had gone to college with her husband. She told me that these women all attended a Mommy Support Group at the hospital and she invited me to come. I wanted to hug her. I remember how anxious I was for the day of the meeting to arrive, I wanted to make friends so badly!

That group has been a life saver, I honestly can't imagine what my life would be like today if I hadn't met them! Some of the women have become very close friends, others I only see once in a while. For the last three years we have had a Birthday Party for all of our kids and we have a Christmas Party. It's fun to see how much everyone has grown...siblings have joined our group and more are on the way...I hope that this tradition continues in the years to come.

Gracie and I

I'm sure that we're no different than most families...I'm always the one behind the camera and as a result, there are very few pictures or videos of me with my children. Yesterday at our annual M&M Christmas Party, I joked that if something happened to me, other than prenatal portraits and the pictures from when she was born, Grace would have no pictures to remember me by. My friend Sharon grabbed my camera and took some great shots of the two of us.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

"It's not fair!"

I haven't been blogging too much lately. I'm tired. It's been a really tough couple of days here at Casa Twinkle. Grace is getting a bunch of molars and I think the front pointy ones (are those canine or incisors?). She has green goo coming out of her nose and is cranky beyond words. Sam has been waking up a lot during the night and trying to sleep in our bed. He's tired in the morning and pretty much wakes up in a bad mood. He doesn't listen. He argues with me. He puts his hands on his hips and screams, "It's not fair....NO!" with a foot stomp for added emphasis. He's got the green goo too.

I find myself yelling way more than I should. I keep blaming my kids. I mean, if they behaved I wouldn't have to yell, right? Wrong. I know deep down that it's not really about them. No matter how badly they are behaving, there's really no excuse for me having a tantrum right back. How on earth can I expect them to have self control, to not kick and scream when I act like a lunatic way too often? Did I mention that I have green goo too? Not running down my face and all over my sleeves like them...I guess if there's something to be thankful for right now it's that I have mastered blowing my nose....if only I could master my temper....

Monday, December 3, 2007

First snow...

We woke up to a sleety, snowy mess this morning. First snow of the year. Sam was thrilled. He had his snow pants and boots on by 8:30 and basically played in the rain for about an hour, while I watched from the window and talked to my sis on the phone.

I don't like winter. I don't like snow. I used to, but not anymore. Why do I live in Northern MA? Really good question.

Michael W Smith Christmas Album

A few weeks ago, Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer wrote about an opportunity to receive the new Michael W. Smith Christmas CD for FREE. Nothing against MWS, but this is probably not a CD that I ever would have gone out and purchased. I've never been a fan and if I'm honest, the only song of his that I can even name is "Go West Young Man" (and I hate it). However, being a lover of all things free and excited to discover that my blog receives enough unique hits each month to qualify, I signed up.

It came today and I played it while I cleaned my house. I was pleasantly surprised. It is indeed MWS, just as I remember him, but it's also festive and joyful and the lyrics are beautiful. No songs about sleigh bells ringing or walking in winter wonderlands (or going west:), but songs of hope and joy about the birth of The Messiah. It's beautiful, I'd like it even if I had paid for it.

If you want to hear a few of the songs, click on the little MWS thingy that is adorning the left side of my blog that I promised to put it there in exchange for the CD....


I've been a Freecycler for over a year now. It's been a great way to get rid of things that we no longer need and we've also received some really great things. Check out what I picked up yesterday, for FREE! It all looks new...If I had bought it it would have been around $250 plus shipping! Way to be green!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


It's 8:30 a.m. Grace is still asleep. I want to go and make sure that she is still breathing, but I know that this is irrational and will only wake her up. Brad took a crying Sam to school. He doesn't normally cry about going to school, but today, well today the kid is tired. You see he's been up since 5:30 a.m. He came into our room and announced that he was soaking wet. I don't have a problem with that, it's a legitimate reason to get out of bed. After I changed him he wanted to go downstairs. I said no and let him climb in bed with us. Mind you, he had already been in my bed two other times last night...needless to say, he didn't go back to sleep. He tossed and turned and pretended to snore. At 6 o'clock I brought him downstairs and gave him chocolate milk and a granola bar.

So anyways, I thought I'd use this quiet time to write Sam a letter.

Dear Sam,

I love you more than you can imagine. So many things about you are absolutely perfect. Your smile, your sense of humor, the way you sing (yell) songs. Love it. You're kind and thoughtful, smart and inquisitive and extremely strong willed. You also SUCK at sleeping, and that's what this letter is about.

I look forward to the day many years from now when you LOVE sleeping in. There's a good chance that by then, I'll be in menopause and unable to sleep myself. I can't wait to come in your room at 1:00 a.m. and cuddle up next to you. I'll snore for sure and unfortunately, two in your bed will be kind of squishy so I'll probably kick you and elbow you in the head a few times. You'll probably kick me out after about twenty minutes, but don't worry I'll be back at least one more time! You'll hear me jump out of bed and then the pitter patter of my feet as I run to your room, so you'll be prepared! Then at around 5:00 a.m. I'll come in and announce "Sam, I'm having a hot flash. Wanna come downstairs and watch a show with me?"

I just can't wait!
Love, Mom

In case you were concerned, it's 8:42 and Grace is SCREAMING!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Santa, please get it right!

I grew up in a home where we didn't believe in Santa. Never.

I always thought that my kids would grow up the same way. I'm not sure what happened, but we have Santa. I'm pretty sure he snuck in here without us ever inviting him or mentioning his name. Sam believes. He believes with everything in him. That being said, we haven't really talked that much about what he wants for Christmas and we certainly haven't written a letter to Santa. I did however sign up with our towns Parks and Rec department to have Santa call the house. He has been instructed to tell Sam that he cannot deliver presents to three year old who do not poop on the potty. (I swear to God, I put that on the form.)

Tonight he was looking at a toy catalogue. I noticed that he looked a little bit concerned.

"What's wrong buddy?"

"I'm really afraid mommy."

"What are you afraid of?"

"Mommy, what if Santa gets it all wrong and doesn't bring the right stuff? What if he brings things I don't want?"

Hmmmm...what if he does?

Jesse Tree

Although I grew up in a Christian home, using a "Jesse Tree" as a way to celebrate Advent is new to me. For those who are unfamiliar, it is a set of 28 ornaments that each depict a Bible story leading up to the birth of Christ. Each day, you tell the story and display the ornament. It's a wonderful way to share the true meaning of Christmas with your children while counting down the days to Christmas.

Although Advent has not started, I wanted the last ornament on our tree to go up on Christmas day, so we started yesterday. Sam loves it. This morning while eating breakfast he asked, "Mommy can you tell me about God and then we'll hang an ornament on the tree?"

The story was about Adam and Eve and the ornament depicts an apple with a serpent. Sam had lots of questions;

"Mommy, why they disobey God?"

"Did they get a spanking?"

"Why the snake talked to them?"

"Was God really mad when they were bad?"

I answered the best I could but was a little unprepared for the next set of questions.

"Mommy, where did they live?" to which I replied, "The Garden of Eden."

"Mommy, where do the Wiggles live?" and just like that, it was over and we were on to something else.

Stay knock off Pottery Barn, made by me, Jesse Tree is just waiting to be photographed...I am becoming very crafty!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Nothing like cousins!

Brad's sister Cathy and her twins Benjamin and Stephen were here from Long Island for Thanksgiving. Sam had so much fun playing with them. Once again, I find myself wishing that we had more family close by...

Breakfast of Champions

Brad and I are tired. Between our two kids, we wake up three to four times each night. So when Sam comes in at 6:15 and announces that he wants to go downstairs and watch his shows, we send him down and come back to bed. If Brad gets up, he usually just opens the safety gate and sends him down. If it's me, I go down with him and get him a drink and a yogurt or granola bar. This morning, Brad got up with him. It's always interesting to see what Sam made himself for breakfast on the mornings that Daddy sends him down. I have found bags of baby carrots on the floor, empty yogurt tubes with the ends gnawed off (because as Sam points out, "They're really hard to open.") and up to four empty juice boxes. This morning I found an open bag of tortilla chips.

I said, "Wow Sam, I see you helped yourself to some chips.....and made quite a mess."

He replied, "Sorry mommy. I tried to take care of it."

Puzzled, I looked closer. He had tried to tape the torn bag with scotch tape. Kudos to you for being able to find the tape buddy. I've been looking for it for days. Oh yeah, I'm glad you didn't think to get the salsa.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

How stinkin' cute is this?

Believe it or not, it's hard to shop for a one year old girl! She's still too young for all the girlie toys and she's actually pretty happy playing with a truck or say, an old newspaper. But can't you just picture her tooling around in this? I found it on Pedal Cars and Retro Collectibles. It's not cheap so I'm hoping I win it here!