Still Catching Up...

I wish I could devote more time to blogging these days, but the best I can do is to post when I can.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Funny Business

The Tumbleweed has had a couple of funny comments lately that I want to remember...

1. Riding along in the car is a good time to random questions, and this was a good one...

"Mommy, when people were invented, how did the first baby go to a doctor?"

I guess the egg comes before the chicken in her world. My answer, "I don't know honey, Mommy wasn't there."


2. Since the Eagle is away, we have been relaying stories to him over the video chat. After our trip to the dentist, the Tumbleweed had this to say...

"Daddy, the dentist used gum on my teeth"

What she meant was that she had bubble gum flavored tooth paste. I am sure dentists aroud the world are cringing at the thought of using gum to clean teeth.


3. We spent a day at Davis Farmland. While we were there, the Tumbleweed had the opportunity to milk a goat. That evening at bedtime, she said...

"Mommy, how does the goat get all that milk in his belly?"

Well, for starters, the goat was a girl....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Best Present?

Save your money ... just buy a card!

The Dandelion had his second birthday party this weekend and the surprise hit of the party was a card! OK - it was an expensive Hallmark singing card, but he loves it. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, he picked it out about a month ago and it kept him busy for about 20 minutes in the store. It has Lightning McQueen on the cover and he doesn't really care what it plays, but is fascinated by the fact that it plays music when you open it.

Two year olds are so funny!

I guess it is time to clean out the baby toys & make room for more Lightning McQueen, Thomas the Tank Engine & Handy Manny Tools...

How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Week 1

And so it begins.... we are now officially on Summer Vacation. I am going to attempt to keep track of the things we did this summer with a weekly update post. Here is the first one...

Week of June 20, 2009

Theme of the Week: Surviving a rainy week without school & our "regularly scheduled activities"!

Saturday: Mike raced in the Patriot Half-Iron Triathlon and finished in under 5 hours! The kids & were able to watch a little from the bike course and then find seats for the finish.

Sunday: We spent Father's Day visiting with Papa who had just returned from his trip to Kuwait.

Monday: Little Reader's "Harold & the Purple Crayon" Playgroup

Tuesday: I changed my name. Yes, it took 5 years for me to actually make it to the SSA office and make my married name official. oops. Now I can renew my driver's license. Phew.

Wednesday: In honor of the Dandelion turning 2, we had a Pancake Picnic with our MOMS Club friends.

Thursday: After 4 days of rain, the weather was finally decent, so it was off to meet friends at the park. Later we opened up the water table for the first time this year.

Friday: Grandma & Grandpa were in town & took the Tumbleweed for a day at Mystic Seaport. The Dandelion and I went to storytime at Purgatory Chasm, and then did the grocery shopping. Later in the day, the Eagle returned from is business trip and my sister arrived for the weekend.

... bring on the weekend!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Amateur Gardener - 1, Lily Beetles - 0

As you can see, I have my first lily blooming, and several more are ready to bloom this week I think. For the time being, I have conquered the lily beetles.

Now if I could only conquer the slugs... my strawberry count is up to 6 harvested (there should be at least 4 more by the end of the weekend). Slugs have gotten another 6, and the lovely rain has rotted 3 or 4 more. I suppose that is six more than I have grown before.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mr. Sandman

Today was the Danilion's first time in a sandbox. He loved it. At first he drove a few trucks around, but then he found a shovel. That shovel kept him busy for at least a half an hour. What did he do with the shovel? He dumped sand ["duht"] on his head. That's right, on his head.

For a half an hour he stood in the sandbox, bent over and dug up some sand, lifted the shovel over his head, let the sand pour all over his head, giggled, shook his head from side to side, smiled with glee and repeated it all over again. Everyone around got a huge kick out of it, mostly out of the fact that he was loving it so much. Or possibly because I was letting him do it.

Okay - so it was messy, but I did get to sit down at the playground for 30 minutes! And all that sand did make him sleepy when we left...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ringing off the hook

I don't recall the last time our phone rang so many times in one day. Who were they all calling for... a little guy who turned two today and doesn't really know how to talk on the phone. He did his best with "Hi"s and "Bye"s, and was thrilled to be handed the phone so many times - including once during a diaper change, once while he was covered in frosting eating a cupcake and once while he was getting his bedtime story read to him.

Happy Birthday Little Buddy!

The Dandilion at 2...

- likes to sing "ADCDs" but doesn't quite have all the letters
- only eats dinner when he feels like it, but always needs a fork
- climbs ladders, and everything else
- counts to 13 - and then repeats "fur-teen" over & over
- loves "Wow, Wow, Wubbsy", "Backyardigans" and "Go Deigo Go"
- knows triangle, square, circle, star - but not colors
- can jump - finally - but doesn't jump off the side of the pool
- still loves to wear other people's shoes
- always wants to go somewhere, "Shoos on. Red-ee to go, mom-ee!"
- likes to say "go potty", but is totally clueless about what he would do with one.
- love blueberries, but won't eat a strawberry
- "sings" with the Backyardigans CD in the car, but usually only gets the last word of each line
- throws a tantrum when he doesn't get his way
- says "Cheese" for the camera, anyone's camera & unprompted
- doesn't mind having water dumped on his head and always wants to take a bath
- size 24 months/2T, but the pants/shorts are a little too big
- shoe size 6/6.5, but has been wearing the Tumbleweed's old size 7.5 sneakers for months

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Slugfest 09

Calling all slugs --- there is a big party in our backyard! I even left some beer out there for you [be careful, it might be a trap].

There are slugs & wormy things of all shapes & sizes taking over my garden. We must have the best plants in the neighborhood because every time I go out there are more slugs. This morning it was only sprinkling lightly, so I went out to check on things and found the slugs munching on my strawberries (again). I collected about 15 more slugs. Uggg slugs.

So anyway, we have picked 5 edible strawberries from our garden. The slugs have eaten 4. There are still more growing --- hopefully we get a few dry days soon. The ones that we have harvested have been pretty good sized & quite delicious.

In other garden news... the weeds have officially taken over the wildflower garden, some of my "infested" plants seem to be rebounding but none are blooming yet, and I haven't seen a lily beetle in a long time.

Did I mention that we had a hummingbird last weekend? They seem to love the columbine, that's where we saw one last year too.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Two Pies

I love that the kids are getting old enough to play together. One of my favorite things they do together started about a week ago, and involves me getting some extra sleep - whoo-hoo! Here's the formula...

1. Both kids wake up at relatively the same time (doesn't matter who is first, but it needs to be within about 5-10 minutes or before the Tumbleweed leaves her room).

2. The Tumbleweed goes into the Dandilion's room. He is still in his crib, but has already started talking (she knows not to go in if she hasn't heard him).

3. She adds enough toys & books to his crib that he can barely move. He giggles as each one gets added.

4. When she runs out of things to add to the crib, she hides under the crib and pops out saying "Surprise!" He laughs & tries to guess where she is going to pop out of the next time.

5. This can last up to 30 minutes before one of them asks for food or drink, and needs me to get it...

The Dandilion has caught on to the game, and now will also hide from her (behind one of the numerous toys he now has), and the yells "Two Pies" when he pops out. It is hysterical, and he will do it at other times too.

After the latest round, when it came time for nap we had lot of animals to clean out of the crib, so I had him help me toss them back into the toy bin. With each one he tossed out, we said "[name of toy], get out of here!" He got a huge kick out of that!

So, the "Two Pies" will be on the Tumbleweed tomorrow if he starts throwing the toys back at her...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Graduation Day

The grand finale to our crazy busy week was the Tumbleweed's preschool "graduation". This year was her first full year of preschool (last year she started in January when she was old enough). As I collected her extra clothes (in case of accidents or spills), I noticed how much smaller they were. She has really grown & changed since she started in the fall.

Unfortunately, the rain this morning meant that the graduation ceremony was in the classroom. It was quite crowded and a little more difficult to see & photograph than last year when they had it outside. The kids did a great job with their songs & poem lines (the Tumbleweed's line was "My teachers were Miss Kate and Miss Bonnie"). They had all been practicing for a while, and everything went very smoothly. Afterward the teachers gave them each a portfolio of their work from the year and a handprint pillowcase with handprints from the whole class. They had obviously put a lot of time & effort into making the day quite special.

Her preschool program was a good match for her activity level, as there was a lot of time to run & play built into their day. As expected, she enjoyed playing with anyone who would play "Chase Me". I was also impressed with how much academics she soaked up... from the order of the colors in the rainbow to the upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet to counting past 100, she really seems to retain information well. I can only hope that her love for learning continues. We are so proud of her!

She is very much looking forward to her "new school" but has already said several times that she is going to miss her teachers, friends and everything about school. It is hard for me to believe that she is moving on, we have become so used to our "school routine".

Hmmm... what ever will we do next week?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our Little Fish & Toddler Lock-up

Today was the final day of spring swimming lessons. I was very pleased with the progress both kids made this session!

The Tumbleweed seems to have gotten over her fear of jumping in and actually participated when the class learned kneeling dives. During her final class she was able to swim from the wall to the lane line (about 10 feet) with just a little push to get started. Her "report card" says that she needs to work on her back stroke (she doesn't like leaning back) and accepting help (she really doesn't like it when someone helps her lean back!). But even with that she was recommended for the next level, Eel.

The Dandilion also had a good last class. He has no problem getting his face wet, and even sticks his face in voluntarily to "blow bubbles" (actually drinking the pool). He loved the last class because they had the slide going into the water, which he must have done at least 10 times! He also seemed suddenly able to kick & paddle at the same time. I can tell he can't wait to be independent in the water. He is sick of having Mommy holding him, much like his sister at the same age.

I think the funniest moment of all was the Dandilion playing in the locker while I helped the Tumbleweed in the bathroom. It is the perfect size for him...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gym Show #3

Today was the Dandilion's day. After watching all of the Tumbleweed's activities, he finally got to be the star. Although there was a bit of chasing & wrangling involved, I consider his Nursery Gym show a success. He did at least one turn on every station, he didn't have a complete meltdown (there were a few small ones), and he stood on the line before & after.

Standing still during the introduction (total shocker! I couldn't believe I was able to get far enough away to take a picture!)

Swinging on the Rings:

He added pommels & parallel bars to his show...


"One, Two, Three, Bow"


In the car on the way home, he kept saying to the Tumbleweed, "My Medal". He likes wearing it too --- a few times he has called it a "nek-wiss" (necklace).

Another "Proud Mommy" day.

Marathon Day: Gym Show #2, Soccer Finale & more

Today was the first of this week's crazy days. Things started out somewhat slow...we had a recipe swap playgroup in the morning, lunch at home and the Dandilion took his nap. While he napped I took care of finishing the gift for the Tumbleweed's gymnastics instructor.

At 1:30, the plan went into action...

First up was our first CSA pickup... we got a bright, colorful basketful, with a pint of strawberries, a head of lettuce, a handful of snap peas & a bunch of Easter Egg radish. Yummmm.

Then it was off to try to get seats for the Tumbleweed's gymnastics show. Since her class was in the afternoon, the gym was quite crowded and despite our early arrival, we still didn't get great seats. I can't say if there really was a "good seat" because it seemed like there was always some equipment, other kids or parents blocking me from getting a good picture. But, even though I don't have a lot of great pictures to prove it, the Tumbleweed put on a great show!

She particularly enjoyed watching the team girls who demonstrated during the show. Afterward she said, "I want to be 10. Because then I can do my routines all by myself" (Several of the girls were announced as being 10). Needless to say, she is very excited about starting Level 1 this summer.

We had about 1 hour from the end of the gym show until the start of the Tumbleweed's final "Maroon Team" soccer game. After grabbing some Sammies at Quizno's (one of the more popular fast food choices in our family), we headed to the soccer field.

The Tumbleweed played a great game! And my concern that she would be too tired to play was unfounded as she seemed faster than ever! She had two goals, bringing her season total to 6. I think she was almost a little sad to get her medal after the game because it meant the season was over. She has already asked when it starts again - I guess we better plan to sign her up again :)

It was a long & crazy day, but a good day :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Curious Case of Pushing Buttons

Verizon FIOS: Day 1

Yesterday, we had Verizon FIOS installed. The installation finished around 5:30 and I went out to dinner, so I really didn't spend much time playing with our new remote. I am still fumbling to find the right channels and our universal remote is still not set up. But despite that, I managed to find the Disney Channel so I could take a shower this morning.

When I returned to the family room after getting the Tumbleweed & myself dressed for the day, the Dandilion was sitting on the couch with the new remote, looking wide-eyed at the TV as a big WB logo came on the screen. Definitely not the Little Einsteins... uh-oh. I hit the back arrow to be face with the choice "stop live television". I selected it and up popped the window showing what I had stopped. The Dandilion had ordered a $4.99 On Demand Movie - "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".

I guess we will be watching that tonight. And making sure we put the remote up high from now on or we are going to have an astronomical Verizon bill!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A little competitive?

The Tumbleweed has been really getting into soccer this spring. She is MUCH improved since she first played in the fall. Our U6 "Maroon Team" this season has been a good mix of older kids (5 going on 6) and younger kids (3.5-4) and everything in between. The Tumbleweed has really been able to see how the older boys play, and has become much more aggressive after practicing with them.

At this weekend's game, she was quite evenly matched with a girl on the other team --- who also happened to have the same name (until now, we've never met another kid her age with her name). Talk about confusing, when you are in a league where the coaches are on the field giving directions having both coaches yelling the same name and giving the opposite directions is a bit confusing! At the beginning of the game, the Tumbleweed even turned to look at the other girl's mom on the sidelines to try to figure out why someone she didn't know was saying her name. Fortunately both girls adjusted and there were no major "wrong way" incidents - at least not involving them...

As is evident in these photos, the Tumbleweed has inherited her parents' competitive genes and takes the game very seriously.

By U6 standards, this was a very good match-up and actually more physical than most. It has been great to watch her improve this season. She really seems to love soccer, and especially scoring goals :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ack! and Eww!

It has been rainy for several days, so this evening was the first chance I had to get outside and check on my garden. My garden has problems ---- first it was lily beetles, then the hail storm damage, and now many of my plants are dying or deformed from unknown sources. In the spring I was so optimistic about how beautiful my garden would be at this point, but now I almost dread going out to see what new ailment has descended upon my flowers.

So after all of this rain --- regular watering is good for plants --- I was hopeful. I noticed some good things first:

1. I don't see any lily beetles or their larva on the lilies. Lily buds are getting bigger.

2. One of the tiger lily plants (all of them sustained heavy hail damage to the leaves) has 5-6 bud stems.

3. There are multiple strawberries growing, one is starting to turn red.

4. My lupine is blooming! [I bought a plant about a month & a half ago, after failing to grow them from seeds the past two years --- they were the only plant that was eaten by a pest those years!]

After my initial enjoyment came "Ack! There's a slug!" Sure enough there was a slug munching away on my wilted-looking daisies. And after closer inspection, there were LOTS of slugs & wormy-things all over my daisies.

Thinking quickly, I grabbed a bowl of water and my garden gloves and headed out to start picking them off. After touching the first one (with my gloves of course), I couldn't help but think, "Eew! Slugs are really gross." In the end, I think I got at least 20 suckers off my four daisy plants. I hope that helps. I also set several "slug traps" (a jar with 1 T. cornmeal in it laying on it's side) for any that I might have missed.

Grrr... why must my garden have issues?!?

Quotable Kids

A few notable quotes from the past few days...

The Tumbleweed:
~ "Mommy, I am so exasperated!" [In the car on the way home from school when I had told her that she could not have snacks before lunch. Yet another Pinky Dinky Doo word]

~ "My brother will be 2 this month. On June 24th" [Talking to Miss Jen, the gymnastics teacher and two days later to Miss Patti, the dance teacher. She had not been told recently what his birthday was, so the fact that she remembered shocked me.]

~ "Mommy, don't go this way! They moved dance, remember?" [Driving past the Millbury Post Office approaching the traffic light. I had mentioned to her a few weeks back that her new dance class would be in a the new location - couldn't believe that she remembered where the old one was and that we were about to pass it]

The Dandilion:
~ "I awk in cuddle, pweees?" ["I walk in puddle, please" - he really wanted to step in the puddle, so I let him. He barely splashed :)]

~ "Ahhhh. Wook Ow! (covers eyes) I ca wook." ["Ahhh. Look out! I can't look." So funny. We were sitting in a parked car. Don't know where he learned it, but he has been saying it all day since then.]

~ "Aht hows bootifuh" ["That house is beautiful" he was copying what the Tumbleweed had just said about a house we drove past, but his attempt at "beautiful" impressed me. And then he said it a bunch more times while pointing out the window.]

~ "Book. Papair. sickars." [Pointing at the things in the scrapbook store. He sure knows his way around!]

...that's all I can think of right now. Kids sure do say the darndest things!

Also worth noting, the Dandilion has made a lot of progress in the "hand holding" department. He seems to understand now that if he wants to be allowed to walk he has to hold my hand. We have successfully walked in & out of stores holding hands and today he went to get the mail with me and never once tried to get me to let go. He does have his moments, but he has made great strides recently. Phew.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gym Show #1

Next up on the end of the school year calendar was the Tumbleweed's Preschool Gymnastics Show, and of course it fell on an already busy day...

The morning started with the Dandilion's gymnastics class' final show rehearsal (ie - Mommy chasing him all over the gym & trying to get him to follow the class). While he didn't really do everything, he did demonstrate some strength (on a station he wasn't supposed to be on).

After his class, we staked out a good seat (as if there really is one). Much of her show was too far to get good pictures, but Miss Ashley did help me get a few when they were on beam.

At the end, the class was given medals. I was a bit sad that she didn't call it a "Medal Winner" this year, but she still seems totally thrilled to receive it and then to take her bow - which thankfully she didn't wipe out the kid next to her with the "dramatic bow" that she had been practicing.

And since the day wasn't busy enough already, the Tumbleweed started her summer dance class this afternoon. She was so excited to dance again. The Dandilion, on the other hand, was not so happy about it. I'll have to come up with something other than toys, books, coloring, food & drinks to take for next week.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Dinner on the Deck

Now that the weather is warm, the Eagle has been grilling up some yummy dinners. This weekend the Tumbleweed put in a request that we eat outside... so she & Daddy washed all of the deck furniture and we had dinner outside.

The most amazing part was that the Dandilion ate dinner at the little picnic table ... not strapped into the highchair as he usually is. He did get up after about 15 minutes, but that was actually better than I expected.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My New Toy & Garden Update

In an attempt to be able to manage the yardwork while the Eagle travels for his new job, we decided to put some reward points towards a reel mower. This way, I can take care of the front lawn (the part people see) while he is away and I don't have to use the gas mower.

It arrived yesterday, so this morning he assembled it and gave it a tour of the front yard.

It was nice to be able to have the kids outside while we were mowing - and you could even talk while pushing! It was a little tough to push at times, at little hills or under bushes, but overall very doable for me.

In the back yard, I checked in on the garden and must say, I am a bit frustrated. Several of my plants have yellowing or holey leaves and the flower buds are looking a bit deformed. I am exploring several theories... 1- Hail Damage, 2- Bugs, 3- Virus. I can't decide. It seems as though the flowers at one end of the garden are worse than others. I am still hopeful that I can find a solution and they will bloom, although it already looks like some will not :(

Also disappointing is that my wildflower garden is not seeming to grow. Maybe I will try prepping the soil again and re-seeding.

On the plus side - I have been policing the Lily Beetles, and snagged some more larvae from the leaves. I haven't seen an actual beetle in about 2 weeks. Here is what the larvae looks like on the leaves.

My strawberry & tomato plants still look promising, and the blueberry bush I planted is 50/50. I also have a beautiful purple & white lupine blooming, some pretty columbine flowers & one surviving foxglove... Hopefully these will bring the hummingbirds back this year!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Donuts & Dancing

As the school year comes to a close, the next few weeks are jam packed with end of the year activities. Today kicked off the festivities at preschool...

This morning the Eagle took the Tumbleweed to school for "Donuts with Dad" day ... and early celebration of Father's Day on "Donut Day". It was very cute. The kids had made lots of little presents for the dads. The Tumbleweed was particularly excited that her Daddy was able to come to school with her, as she knows that he usually has to work while she is in school.

The day ended with her "Preschool Prom", which was a prom-themed "Parents' Night Out". Now, we didn't really have the night off because the Dandilion was not old enough to attend, but we thought it would be sad if the Tumbleweed missed the special event. They took "prom photos" when the kids arrived - and gave them to us when we picked the kids up. There was lots of food, quite a bit of dancing (to Hannah Montana) and even cake at the end. The Tumbleweed came home with a prize for winning the limbo contest... Me: "How do you win the Limbo Contest, honey?" Her: "You see how low you can go, and don't use your hands!" Then she fell asleep - as the event had us out an hour past her bedtime.

It was a cute day... and I am sure there are more to come in the next two weeks.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


As a mom, it is often necessary to get out for the evening. But as someone who does not work and who is not from the town I currently live in, finding people to "go out" with for the evening can be a challenge. That is if you aren't a member of the local MOMS Club.

I can't imagine where I would be today with out the MOMS Club...probably hidden away in a padded room somewhere banging my head against the wall wondering why my kids won't listen to me. LOL... at least now I know that no one's kids listen :)

Tonight I had a wonderful evening with friends at our end of the year banquet. There was good food, reminiscing, no children, interesting conversations, hilarious "awards", no children, fabulous slideshow, a gourmet cake (made by one our members!) and, did I mention, NO CHILDREN! A great time was had by all!

And now I'm sitting at my computer crying.

I can't exactly explain it, but as ready as I am to pass on my duties, being MOMS Club President has been very fulfilling over the past three years. I am going to miss it.

Okay, now I wish the tears would stop already!

Back to tonight.. we had lots of fun looking back at the early days of the chapter, back when we first moved here, and seeing how far we have come. We have more than quadrupled the number of members, most of us have at least doubled the number of kids we had back then, and now we are doubling the number of chapters. Without the hard work of the Executive Boards, Committee Chairs, volunteers and the members none of this would have happened. It has been really rewarding to be a part of.

I am so thankful to everyone who has made this a really positive part of my life... and that no one made me get up & cry in front of everyone tonight. That wouldn't have been much fun would it?

... BTW - I cleaned out my purse before leaving the house... just in case... and it was a good thing I did.