Sunday, March 31, 2013


We needed to feel the sun on our faces today, so we went to our favorite spot. We only spent 45 minutes outside, but the fresh air was wonderful.  Although we couldn't find anything green, we tried to spot as many signs of spring as we could. Aside from the melting snow and resulting puddles, we couldn't find as many signs of spring as I'd like to be enjoying these days... 

We were so eager to be outside, we splashed through as many puddles as we could. I'm normally that mom who urges (pleads) the little people to avoid all of the wet and mud; not today. Today we plashed. We stomped. Our feet were wet and happy. Ellie made out the best, since she decided to wear Benett's shoes on our walk. Smart girl.

I think our walk was a great end to a lovely day and with any luck by this time next week, we'll be able to do much more of these little excursions, and with any luck, they'll result in considerably drier socks.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Happy spring! I guess it wouldn't be spring without a tray of seedlings happily growing taller and greener in my sun room.

Every year in May I tell myself that next year I'm just going to buy plants from the nursery... I'm not going to deal with this tray of leggy plants sitting in my house for too long. But every year, in February I get this indescribably strong urge to start growing things. Green things. Things that will grow tall and become fruit in a few short months.

So, about two weeks ago, when Benett was home from daycare sick, the two of us started our tomato plants. I think he was excited as I was to smell the peat pellets. I love what their unique smell signifies more than the smell itself, while Benett just likes to smell things. He leads with his nose. It's odd.

So, spring has finally sprung. I've got my green things growing... now if we could just get it to stop snowing so it actually looks like spring outside... it feels like that might never happen.

Monday, March 18, 2013


If you're anything like me, you're sick of winter... can't take another day of it sick. I must have been daydreaming about warm weather, because we're now in the midst of a real winter storm. Several inches of snow, windy conditions, the whole shebang.

The school announced an early dismissal today, so I started listening for the bus around 2-ish. By 3:00 the bus was finally in my driveway. At 3:30 the bus was still in my driveway. Stuck. It didn't matter much that it was blocking the road... locals know that this road is notoriously never plowed and all but impassible in snowy/windy conditions like today. There was little traffic to impact.

By 3:45 a truck arrived to free the bus only to become stuck as well. If I wasn't so sick of winter, the sight might have made me laugh. Gavin was entertained. He stood watch, reporting periodically the status of those cold, snowbound men in the driveway trying to free themselves from the snowbanks that had drifted into the roadway.

Eventually, our local caretaker arrived to free the snowbound truck and plow my driveway. He makes the rounds several times on days like today... and we're so very grateful. Chocolate chip cookie grateful.

Now it's evening and the wind is still blowing. I'm trying to convince myself that this little storm isn't all that bad... after all spring is right around the corner. We can handle a few more snowy days and maybe even enjoy them, knowing that this too shall pass.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


There is no better way to see each of the little people's individual personalities than when engrossed in a project. The time spent painting this weekend was especially delightful, since everyone was happy in their task for longer than five minutes.

Until recently, Benett hasn't been especially interested in many kinds of art. But if his tongue is any indication, even he enjoyed this project. He was so proud of his picture... as finishing touches, he added a "B" for Benett and a "D" for Daddy. It was pretty great. When he's done, he's done. It's pretty easy for B to get up and walk away.

Gavin and Ellie are very different. They'll paint their respective pages until there is no white space remaining. Ellie's was an especially sloppy mess when we decided to move on to a new activity. I say "we" decided to move on... but she took some convincing. I may or may not have bribed her away from the project with a snack. 

She's finally feeling better, so a few extra calories was a win-win in this situation. Although, I'm afraid she managed to share her bug. Mom's aren't supposed to get sick, yet here I am. I only hope it passes quickly...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I was supposed to be a fantastic weekend, filled with surprises. Only part of that statement actually came true... the weekend was full of surprises, it just wasn't so fantastic.

Miss Ellie turned three on Monday. We celebrated the big occasion in a small way on Saturday. Ellie was the least interested person at the gathering. She greeted each set of grandparents with tears and a proclamation that her eye hurt. She refused to eat the beautiful cake that she wanted... The cake that when asked what she wanted, Ellie replied, "I want white frosting with red letters." I'll agree, the frosting is the most important part. Why bother worrying about what's beneath it... (It was red velvet for those inquiring minds.) But she ate exactly none of it. Not even a humored bite.

Let me pause here to say... this should have been a big flashing warning sign. A sign so big and so loud, begging us to cancel all plans and hunker down for the three-year-old wrath that was to come. A warning of epic proportions... Yet, I cancelled nothing. We did the opposite of hunkering.

What is the opposite of hunkering, you ask? It's a surprise trip to a water park. It's an overnight stay and two special guests in the form of Nana and Bapa. We've been planning it for months. Down to the casual, "Hey Ellie, why don't you open this gift..." The new swimming suit gift... followed by a spontaneous "Hey! Why don't we go swimming today?!"

We hopped into the car. We drove a couple of hours and made it to the water park... this behemoth of a place with something for anyone and then some. The boys ran with delight into the water just as fast as their legs would take them. Ellie cowered and whimpered and asked to be held.

We coaxed and cajoled and finally got her to slip down a slide and float on a lazy river. Both of which she did less because she wanted to and more because Monte and I must have looked/sounded so pathetic.

I'll spare you the details, but let me say that it wasn't long before things got dicey. Ellie's fever kicked in and her tummy was so grumbly and growly that she didn't want to eat or drink anything. She fell into a fitful sleep that night and the next day was worse.

Fast forward to the trip home and a visit to the Emergency Room with a little girl screaming in pain; two parents holding on with frayed nerves and hoping that there was nothing seriously wrong. Several hours later, we were sent home with a little girl who was no longer screaming, but instead drunk from the medication used to sedate her for the testing. Little birthday girls get royal treatment at the ER. I wish I didn't have to know that.

Now, two days later, Ellie was back into her routine; kicking and screaming the whole way. (Literally.) She's getting better. She'll be fine. I'm not sure I can say the same for Monte and me; sleep deprived and still frayed we've decided that if we ever go back to the water park we won't leave anything to chance. That in and of itself is a huge statement... you see, two days ago we vowed never to return to a water park. Ever.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


The little people learned a new game tonight. This game is called 'Shuffle Across the Room and Shock Your Sibling.' I have to admit, it's a fun game to watch... not so much fun to unwillingly participate in, when the game takes a turn to 'Shock Your Mom.'

So, they spent a good portion of the evening running across the house, from one side to the other the little people were in a constant state of blur... giggling as they ran. Some of the sparks were quite bright and we considered turning out the lights to take full advantage of the show... but just about that time, Miss Ellie decided she didn't like to be on the receiving end of a sneak attack, so the game ended.

Call me a party-pooper, but as much fun as we had, I think I'll put an end to the game and turn on the humidifier. The boys will be a little disappointed, until they discover a new way to entertain themselves. I can't wait to see what that will be... with any luck it won't involve electricity.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


As a kid, I recall snow days as being these magical, illusive days where we had the opportunity to play outside for as long as we'd like.

More accurately, my brother and I could play outside for as long as we could stand our cold toes... everyone knows that moon boots were nothing if not leaky. In my kid memory, that first wet sensation of water seeping through my socks came sooner than I'd like... yet I'd tough it out until my socks were soaked through and I could feel the wrinkles in my icy-cold feet.

I also recall these huge drifts to the south of our house. When it was really cold, the drifts would get hard enough for us to carve out forts. We'd make several of these little dens and try (never with much success) to connect them with tunnels. We'd play in them for hours, in my kid memory.

Today, Gavin had a snow day. Although he was just as excited about his free day as I remember being... But he wasn't interested in going outside to play; not in the least... and his boots even repel water... no, he was more interested in obliging Dad in the bare minimum chore requirements in order to watch a movie and then play Wii for a while. (He'll do just about anything to look at a screen, but the privilege is something he must earn.)

Maybe I would have been the same as Gavin, had my growing up years been inundated with technology... Maybe I would have rather been tucked under a warm blanket watching a movie, like him. Maybe I would have tried to solve another level in a video game. I'm not sure... but that doesn't matter, as long as Gavin's kid memory recalls fondly those childhood snow days.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I'm not sure why we don't do it more often, but today we took the little people bowling. Gavin was in his glory. He is such an easy-going and selfless child; the kind of person who can make fun out of most situations. But the smile on his face today spoke of true happiness. Joy. Brought about by a simple bowling game.

The only sign of disappointment was when the attendant told Gavin that he didn't have to wear the bowling shoes... he could go in his stocking feet, just like Benett and Elle. But wearing the silly shoes is all a part of the experience. So we asked for a small pair of the silly shoes anyway and after being laced up, Gavin took several minutes to find a ball that was just right.

Gavin was determined to bowl in a regular lane, no bumpers for him. Although it took a few turns to get the hang of things, he really did a good job, mastering that lefty throw of his and even getting some nice spin on the ball. It was fun to watch his determination, but more fun to see that smile radiating from his face.

Benett and Ellie had fun too. They both wanted to roll the ball themselves, and although took plenty of time in each of their respective turns (I had no idea a bowling ball could roll so... very... slowly...) they cheered at their successes. Their excitement after each turn was contagious. Although Ellie didn't always seem to be so pleased with her results, and after one particularly poor roll (by her assessment) she said, "Oh, crap." I was mortified. I don't think we use that word around our house... but I'm on high alert nonetheless. Ugh.

As a kid, I recall bowling being one of those grown-up activities... and a rare occasion family activity. That's 30 years ago, and I have to say the alley we went to today was a throw back to those years past. From the equipment to the advertising, it all might very well be exactly the same. It made for an interesting feeling of being in a life-sized time capsule.

Although I'm not 100% sure we scored the game correctly, we still had a good time. And language aside, I think we'll make a plan to sport the silly shoes more often.