Monday, April 30, 2012


Peter returned from his camping trip with a little stowaway in his car. This little passenger got into the glove box, chewed up the registration, a few ketchup packets and generally acted like an ill-behaved house guest. He (she?) had to go.

We first tried leaving the car door open in the driveway for a few hours to see if he would be smart and escape on his own. No such luck. Tonight Peter set a few traps inside the car. The first trap was liberated of it's cheese within a few minutes so it was re-set with peanut butter. A few minutes later, dead mouse. Miss E had asked if we would save it so she could see it in the morning and since she was still awake we let her get up and see it tonight so the thing didn't have to spend the night dead in Peter's car. Ewww.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

They're Hatching!

The kids and I went out to breakfast this morning and an older couple paid for our breakfast. It was kind of awesome. I think they thought I was a single mom taking her kids out to eat (no wedding ring, no husband on Sunday morning) but I also think people assume that a lot about me. 

This afternoon we went to the school where Mr. T's teacher was hosting an open house because the chicks were hatching! So exciting. We were the first ones there and got to help her move the first chicks from the incubator into the holding pen. Mr. T explained to us all about the stages and how they were developing and why there were dice in the water bowl (to keep them from drowning) and told us which one was which of the 6 that were hatched. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Girl Scout Farm Field Trip

Does this guy not just look like every other guy you've seen working on an organic farm?

He was great the kids this morning when Miss E's girl scout group went to visit a farm. The farm was beautiful and very well cared for and at the end of the tour and lunch, they put the girls to work.  Miss E's little group got to pick up rocks and load them into the tractor. They had so much fun doing it and afterwards spent about 15 minutes picking through the rocks for bugs.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Shopping with Miss E

My mom had Mr. T over tonight for a sleep-over and Peter is fishing so Miss E and I went on a date. Shopping to be exact. She has been having a hard time finding clothes in her closet lately and she no longer reliably likes what I buy her so tonight we went shopping together and I let her pick out clothes on her own. I had the best time with her! I just love my 7 year old. She is so much fun, she can do so much and she is so interesting. What a great Friday night date.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My lady

Peter has been gone for most of this week (home for one day) and I'm not going to lie, it's Thursday night and I'm feeling the strain. It's not that the kids are hard or the house is hard to take care of it, it's being the only one here. The only one to answer about 8 million questions, run all the errands, clean the house and give individual attention to everyone who needs it. On top of that, Miss E is going through something and needs a lot MORE right now. Leaving me, at 7pm on Thursday, wishing desperately that I could just go shut off bedroom lights.

I am just tense. I can feel it in my shoulders and my back and I have to really watch myself that I don't start snapping at the kids just because I'm tired and need a break.  Miss E has been yelling at everyone all day (and yesterday and the day before that....) and I know she's going through something but I don't know what. That girl, more than anyone else in my life ever, keeps me on my toes, keeps me guessing. I was e-mailing her teacher a little about it today and after many very sweet words about how great she thinks Miss E is, she said "Miss E will continue to present challenges. My advice, try and stay ahead of her stage of development". Ha! I feel like since that girl has been born I've been trying to keep up. It's just so much harder now because there are so many more variables. I don't control every aspect of her world nor do I witness every interaction she has. Parenting has become a lot about guesswork -is she bored at home? Does she need more physical activity? Is she bored at school? Is she having a social problem at school? Has she started to feel insecure about herself and her looks? Do we need to give her more freedom at home? Is she sick? Do we need to be kinder or more direct in our interactions with her? Or is this something we just need to ride out? WHO KNOWS.

For now though, I'm going to kiss my babies, turn out their lights and enjoy some peace and quiet. Tomorrow is a new day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Errand Day

With my niece and nephew here this weekend, I didn't get much work done. So today, I told Mr. T, was going to be an errand day. And then it turned into something so much more wonderful. After dropping the kids off at school I made a meal plan, took a shower and went to the store to get Miss E some new socks (we're having a sock crisis, apparently a bandit has snuck in and absconded with all her old socks) and on the way found new plants for our porch pots. New plants! Am I the only one who gets really excited by new plants?

The weather was so mild and sunny that I walked to pick Mr. T up at school. Then he and I enjoyed a slow and fun walk home and then went and had lunch together at a new fancy grocery store in our neighborhood. We went to the bike shop to get me a new helmet and to the grocery store. The entire time Mr. T chatted with me about the chicks at school (they're hatching this week!), Star Wars, his batman shoes, and the kinds of food he likes (ham and gruyere baguette anyone?).

It ended up being just the most lovely day. Sitting at lunch with him, it struck me (not for the first time) that I'm going to miss this a lot. This is my last 2 months of having a kid who's only in school half day. This summer schedules will be loose and crazy (per usual summer planning) and next year both the kids will be in school full day. Drop off at 9, pick up at 3:30. You add in homework, gymnastics and play time for them by themselves and with each other and weekdays are pretty much spent. Not too long ago it seemed like I was always going to have a kid with me at the grocery store and now, not so much. It's going by quickly so I better enjoy the heck out of every second with that kid! Fortunately, he's pretty easy to enjoy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012


This is my oldest and my sister's oldest together at the zoo. They are 4 months apart in age. Their Dad's look nothing like each other. In this picture, these kids look almost exactly like miniature versions of my sister and I. Genetics is some strong stuff.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Headache hell

I woke up this morning with the worst headache I have ever had. And I am a card-carrying long-term migraine sufferer. For me to complain about a headache, or even consider going to the doctor for a specific headache, it has to be REALLY BAD. The last 2 days, I've had terrible migraines that have been controlled with medication, but this one? I have taken ever single thing I can throw at it and still, worst pain ever. The trouble is, Peter is at work. I have 2 pick ups and drop offs today, a playdate and am supposed to pick up my niece and nephew in Albany and have 4 kids here overnight. Alone. With the worst headache I've ever had.

And there's nothing I can do. I have a dr.'s appointment this afternoon and as I was talking with Peter on the phone I told him I was worried that I would have to do an MRI or something since I will have exactly 1 hour from start of dr. appointment to picking up Miss E at playdate. His response "well, if you have to get that done I can come home". That is what needs to be happening for him to come home from work- an MRI or other serious medical test.

I'm not really complaining (except about the headache), it is what I signed up for (though I didn't really realize it at the time) and there are so many good things about his job that the downsides can be overlooked. But today? I feel scared. Really scared. How am I going to do this?

Miss E's playdate could be cancelled but then she would have to go to the Dr. with me so I would have 2 kids there, and I'm not sure that is easier than sending her to a friends house. I could call my sister and not have the cousins come for the weekend but then I am deeply disappointing four little kids and that is just not that easy to do. So I will carry on.

Update - overdose of meds finally dulled the pain (dr. was not happy about that), I  didn't hear what I wanted to hear from the Dr. and that was a little disheartening, but we got things fixed up so I could go get the kids and bring them back here. Ordered a pizza, watched a movie and sent them to bed. Tomorrow will be a better day. I know it - my four favorite kiddos are under my roof!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Boys

Watching videos together.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rock Museum Field Trip

Hello, my name is Sarah and I am not a field-trip mom. I really want to be, I've tried to be, but, I'm not.

Today was Miss E's class field trip to the Rock Museum and she begged me to go as a chaperone. Against my better judgement, I said yes. The truth is, I HATE going on field trips. The kids are always crazy, the bus rides are long and loud and by the end of it I'm the not-fun mom who is telling everyone to "quit it" and I walk away with a migraine. It's not my thing. I love volunteering in the classroom, working with kids on art projects and reading and math and I do that all the time but the field trip thing? No.

I think it comes down to the fact that (and yes, this means I would be a terrible teacher) I have gone to great lengths to teach my kids to behave at museums and such and frankly I don't want to be saddled with some kid in my group who's parents haven't done that. Now that same kid sitting down and reading with him at school for 30 minutes? Love it. Working with 2 or 3 of them on a math concept? I'd do that every day. Telling him repeatedly not to touch things he's just been told not to and stay with the group? Negative.

This was clearly a case where I said yes to Miss E and I shouldn't have. It was a bad judgement call on my part but I had a moment of weakness, which is how I found myself on a bus this morning with 75 riled up 1st and 2nd graders heading out for an hour long drive to a rock museum. It was not pretty. And I felt kind of bad about the entire thing later in the afternoon after my migraine meds kicked in. I really should have said no. It's not fun for Miss E to go on a trip with me when I'm not having a good time and it's not fun for me either. Not to give the impression that it was terrible, because it wasn't. It just wasn't that much fun. In hindsight, this is one I could have gracefully bowed out of pretty easily. There were 15 parents who wanted to go and only 5 spots, so someone could have easily taken my place but I didn't. Lesson learned.

Well...lesson learned on a delay schedule. Later this month I am going on a field trip with Mr. T's class simply because there weren't enough parents to go on it so as the room mom I kind of have to go. This one will be shorter and have fewer kids on it so I think it will be easier.

But from now on, I swear, I am the work in the classroom parent and PETER is the field-trip parent. Because he, for some crazy reason, prefers them to working in the classroom.

Oh the migraine was a doozy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

10 Great Things

Peacock sitting on our fence and a blurry little Miss E in the background walking home

Things that are awesome (yes, I have been using that word WAY too much lately):

1) Hearing Mr. T say "good night Miss E!" and her return with "good night Mr. T, I love you" when they don't know I'm listening.

2) Miss E walking home from the bus by herself (pictured above and yes, it is pretty much just across the street from our house but I'm still giving myself major mom-letting-go points for letting her do it.) and the peacock (on the fence) screaming at the bus as it arrives.

3) Telling Miss E that if she wins the ipad giveaway at school that no, she doesn't get to keep it for herself. (This just feels good because I always feel slightly bad about saying no to my kids but for something like this I don't feel guilty at all. I mean, come on, an ipad for an elementary school student? Last year a kindergartner won it. Crazytown.).

4) My kids lately. They have both just been in the best places. And I know, it will probably change since childhood pretty much IS change, but right now, things are just great.

5) Mr. T's class is incubating and hatching chickens and I am amazed at what a cool project this is and how much he is learning about chicken development. Go school!

6) Clean windows (well, the insides at least but I'll take it!)

7) Tax season is OVER!!!! Whoo hoo! Time to stop working so much and get back to life.

8) Buying football tickets for the fall - Mr. T gets to go to his first Duck game and I am going to my first NFL game (hopefully).

9) Miss E and I reading Harry Potter. We are on the third book and this has been so much fun so far. When I read them for the first time I was almost too old to become completely and totally immersed in the fantasy world they create, but Miss E is not. She is the perfect level right now to not only read the books but to feel them (does that make sense?). It's a pretty cool thing to watch.

10) My niece and nephew coming for the weekend. I haven't seen them in awhile and I'm so excited for a weekend of kid craziness.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday playdate

Miss E had a friend over Sunday to play and Peter and Mr. T left, leaving the house to the girls. They played outside, danced, sang, walked on stilts and generally made a ruckus. I cleaned the fridge in keeping with the house-cleaning kick I've been on lately. Later in the afternoon I took them out for frozen yogurt before taking her friend home. Aren't they cute? I think they are adorable.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The kids and I have had the best Friday / Saturday. Seriously, I used to hate it when Peter worked a  48 and now it's no big deal - most of them are pretty fun.

Today involved an impromptu trip to the playground and to Starbucks, pizza on the deck, and a dessert picnic in Miss E's room. We also got the house pretty clean and Miss E cleaned her entire room by herself! She did a great job. Tonight Mr. T wanted to have a sleepover in his room so they did. He loves having Miss E read books to him, so she did. It was just a happy wonderful day with my two favorite kiddos.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day Off

I needed a break today big time and I got one. Peter ended up working, Miss E had a lunch for parents at school at 12:15 so I just took the entire day off work ( paying job at least).

I had the morning to myself to clean house, do laundry and run some much needed errands. (not fun but oh so necessary - the house is a MESS.)

I got to eat lunch with Miss E at school.

I took Mr. T to the park.

I had my first real home-cooked dinner in a week. (Never underestimate the power of a real, complete home-cooked meal!)

I talked to my sister.

and, yes, I exited denial mode about being rear-ended yesterday and set up all the insurance things I needed to.

It was wonderful.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Good things, bad things and keeping perspective

Today is the day that we get the van back from the body shop! Yeah! It's been there for just over three weeks. Three weeks of one car, borrowing a second, a rental and coordinating schedules.

Today is also the day that I got rear-ended in our other car (you know, the one that got a new windshield last week after a rock flew off a cement truck and cracked it again?). And then spent 6 hours pretending that it didn't happen because OH MY GOD ARE YOU KIDDING ME???  Sore neck/shoulder? More insurance crap? Another car in the same body shop? Cannot happen.

It doesn't help that I've already been starting to wallow in a pit of self-pity. I've been sick for a few weeks now and I'm still exhausted, coughing and don't feel good. Work is exhausting and stressful. Peter and I have hit a bump that I'm not sure I can get over. The cars have been a source of trouble over the past month. It all feels very dark and bleak and self-pity worthy.

The thing about that is that I really try not to be that girl. The one who is all "woe is me, my life is so crappy blah blah blah..." because really, it's not true. My life isn't crappy, it's pretty blessed actually, it's just we've had a little run of hard things happening. And even then, it hasn't been anything too horribly awful, just more annoyances. But really, when that lady rear -ended me today I VERY NEARLY jumped out of my car yelling "are you kidding me!" but I didn't because  that would have been a little (a lot) crazy. And rear-ending's happen. I'm just not sure I should be driving a car anytime soon.

On a side note, Mr. T's class is incubating and hatching chicken eggs which is AWESOME. And Miss E is  REALLY into Harry Potter and her hair. One of those is AWESOME and one not so much. I'll let you guess which is which.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our Peacock

This guy thinks he owns our yard, and on peacock land he kind of does.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Day

Peter worked today and it's the tail end of tax season so my parents weren't fully available to help out so the kids had me for Easter, in all my flu-ridden glory. I am much better but SO tired. Tired like I can't make it through the day without a nap tired.

This morning the kids woke up to clues from the Easter bunny and raced around the house solving riddles and finding their (somewhat meager) hidden baskets. They opened their presents from us and I mustered the strength to make scrambled eggs and blueberry muffins for breakfast. I had asked Peter to get a muffin mix from the store last night but unfortunately he was at our local health food store and the muffins looked, well, very healthy. All whole wheat flour with flax mixed in. And that's probably fine, but I'm not sure the kids would have looked at it like they were getting a "special" Easter breakfast. So I pulled out my easiest muffin recipe and made them from scratch.

My parents came over for an early lunch and brought their presents for the kids. They offered to take us to a restaurant but I'm not feeling up to that yet so they took the kids to our local fast food place to get lunch and brought it back to the house. Yes, we had Burgerville for our Easter lunch.  While they were gone I hid eggs in the yard and after lunch the kids hunted for them. After my parents left, I opened the back door as the day was warm and sunny, and the kids played outside while I read and dozed on the couch. (This seems neglectful but we have a fully fenced yard, a dog, I could see outside, I know Miss E would never go out of the yard nor let Mr. T do it and, since there are two of them, if someone got hurt the other could come get me).

In the late afternoon I was sitting on the couch, thinking about the box of mac and cheese I was going to make for dinner and feeling guilty about what a lame Easter this was. There were no family meals, massive egg hunts, delicious food or fancy Easter clothes. It was just me and the kids and a lazy Sunday afternoon. While I was mulling this over, Miss E looked up from what she was doing and said "this has been the best Easter ever. Thanks Mommy".  It was just the sweetest thing and no, of course it wasn't the best Easter ever, but for a 7 year old? Well, she got blueberry muffins and bunny clues and a full basket and presents to open and burgers for lunch with her Nana and Grandpa and chocolate bunnies to eat and eggs to hunt and time to play in her sunny yard with her brother. So yeah, it was pretty good. It just goes to remind me that good enough really is good enough.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter prep

Seeing as I'm still sick, we got out the Easter stuff the day before. Usually I like to milk the build up to the holiday a bit more but sometimes, that just isn't possible. Fortunately, the kids really didn't care. They were just excited to see the bin and start digging out their baskets and the easter books.

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's coming!

I think we had rain pretty much every day this March. Generally, I don't mind the rain. For one thing, I grew up here so it's kind of in my blood and I'm used to it. For another thing 2 of my huge pet peeves are complaining about weather and/or traffic. Because what's the point really? Although all bets are off once the weather gets above 95 or so. Then I turn into my whiniest-self. But the rain? Eh... doesn't really bother me.

But the first few days of sun in the spring? That is kind of wonderful.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

View from my Window

Being sick sucks.

Peter had to go to work today and this morning I got up to two healthy and rambunctious kids. I was out-gunned, out-manned and out-matched in every way possible. There was no hope  - I was too sick and too low energy and they were too well and too high energy. It became clear very quickly that I was not going to be the one running the house today. Fortunately, my kids are awesome. They got themselves ready for school. They both took the bus home so I didn't have to go pick them up and they played on their own. For dinner I mustered the strength to make mac and cheese. Miss E read Harry Potter to me (my voice is still out so I can only whisper) and she read books to Mr. T before bed-time. I was pretty proud of them both.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Dear Flu, I cry uncle.

When I'm lying in bed, this is the view out the window next to me. Not too shabby and I spent a lot of time staring at these trees the last few days.

Remember my last post on Sunday, when I said I was giving myself Sunday and Monday to be sick and then I was going back to work?


Well. Since then I have been basically bedridden for, oh, 3 days now. I went to the doctor yesterday, realizing as they were checking me in that I wasn't feeling very good and when the nurse took my temp - 102.5- that explained it. My lovely doctor told me I have the flu. And I freakin' feel like it. I have also pretty much completely lost my voice (to which Peter jokingly asked if we could discuss all our marriage issues today - at least I think he was joking) so all I can do is whisper to everyone.

Peter has been so wonderful handling the kids and the house and taking care of everything so that I can spend all day laying in bed or on the bottom of the tub as the shower pours over me. However, I can tell the kids are getting ready for me to get back up, as am I and (I'm sure) as is Peter.  It's terrible timing with tax season and everything and I just am so anxious to get better. I was hoping to be back at work tomorrow but since most of today has been spent in bed and taking a shower exhausted me enough that I needed a nap afterward, I don't think that's going to happen.

On the bright side, Miss E and Mr. T headed back to school today. Miss E had a great day, her teacher said that she and her best friend acted like they hadn't seen each other in years instead of the week and a half it's been and even though she missed some stuff she's fine catching up. Mr. T came home pretty exhausted, took a nap and then threw a huge fit after his nap. It's hard to tell if the fit is just normal (he actually used to do that all the time when he napped - he's not great at waking up in the middle of the day) or if he's still not feeling good.

I am ready to be done, thank you very much.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Our Peacock

Every night at about 10 minutes until full dark (picture was taken with night settings/flash) this guy jump/flies to our roof and then jump/flies into one of our trees, presumably to roost for the night. In a few months his tail feathers will start to fall out and we'll go out early in the morning to collect them from the bushes under the tree. This is one of the things I will ALWAYS remember about this house, the peacock who landed on our roof every night to sleep in our tree.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Washing (my mom's) Car

This is actually the closest I've come to being outside today - watching Peter wash my mom's car to get it ready to give back to her.

I am so sick. So far I've read 2 books, watched about 20 episodes of 30 Rock, another 20 of Inspector Gadget and spent most of my waking hours lying in bed or on the couch.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cat Patrol

Mr. T and I spent the better part of today languishing around the house nursing our fevers and coughs. Miss E is a little bit better, antibiotics are working well, and she should be back to school by Tuesday hopefully.

Our main problem today was Tangerine. While Miss E loves him to cuddle with her while she's sitting, Mr. T does not. However, once Tangerine sees a down comforter and a warm body on the couch it's like he can't help himself. He would jump up, Mr. T would cry out 'cat patrol!" to Miss E and she would stop what she was doing and come get him down. Repeat 40 times until I shut him in Miss E's bedroom where he proceeded to knock everything off her dresser and throw himself against her door. That cat has no sense at all.

I'm really really hoping that we are all over this soon. I'm giving myself today and tomorrow to get better and then I have to get back to work.