Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kaiden's First day of School

Kaiden's first day of school was today. Wow. I didn't think I would cry but I did and more than just a couple of tears. Ian was so sensitive by responding..."don't even think about having another baby. Only 3 more years and the other one will be in school... wooo hooo!" His joking did follow with a nice warm hug, so I guess I should add that for the record. It is hard to let your first child on the bus. 5 years old. Wow. I can so easily close my eyes and picture the two of us sleeping together in the recliner when he was just weeks old. I can feel his soft skin and he is nestled in my neck. I can feel those warm arms around my neck. I can see and hear him laughing at himself when I would plop him in front of the mirror.... peak-a-boo.... followed by more laughter and those big big smiles. I can hear his new words saying "love ew mumma". I remember those first steps. I can see him learning to run in the grass in the front yard. I can hear him saying to me now, "I love you more than all the stars". I can do all this by just closing my eyes. It is so fresh, so recent, as it was the chapter we just finished. As my mother always says as one chapter closes on your life, another one is right there in front of you to have all of these new and wonderful memories. But today I don't want to move on to another chapter. I loved the one I was in. But I did fight the urge to hold onto him and not let him on the bus. It was a good thing that it all happended so fast. No time for me to hold down his wings. Here's the bus, hug, kiss, "don't forget to say his to the bus driver", and off he went. The big wonderful boy that he is, is growing. And his mumma is sad, happy and proud today.

The conversation:
"Hey buddy, I am going to want to take a few photos of you before you head to school"
"oh man... just not to many ok?"

Bus Number 16

Monday, August 25, 2008

Stay-cation = Good Times

What a weekend! We left our home, bound for home, at about 9am on Saturday. Yes, that’s right, bound for home. we had our first stay-cation. We were going to go camping this weekend up north but just decided to stay put and camp right here in our backyard. This was definitely a great weekend for us. It reminded me of the importance of turning off the TV (and computer!), not doing housework, and spending time, quality time, with my kids. I don’t know about anyone else but I have a hard time focusing on playing. I can sit and do a craft for sometime or weed the garden while they ride their bikes around me but pretending that I am a race car, or a doctor, or a superhero for more than 8 minutes is hard for me. So this weekend really gave us that time to be fully engaged.

So our weekend was packed full of activities. The weekend activities included crafts (making necklaces, mostly), tie dying t-shirts, chalk drawing on the drive way, body tattoos, jumping in the kiddy pool and sprinkler, playing at the local playground, setting up the tent (a favorite), testing the tent out by wrestling and playing “camel saves the day” (more on that later), hiking up the brook, eating our meals outside, having a family ice cream social, starting a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and tenting out, oh… I am just exhausted thinking about all that we have done! Not mention, Ian and I did slip away for an anniversary dinner on Saturday night followed by some mini golf at Chuckster’s in Chichester while our sitter played with the boys in the tent and put them to bed inside the house (or as Kaiden has been calling it this weekend, our really big camper).

Our Bee Hole Brook walk was just awesome. We walked upstream in the brook for about a quarter to half mile. It felt like longer than that! Lots of little tiny rapids, some deep pools that came up to Kael's waist and lots of very careful steps.

I do have to elaborate a bit on “camel saves the day", as it was a learning experience for me. This is a game Kaiden made up. First the man in the desert (Kaiden) collapses and falls on to the mattress in the tent (yes, we have nice cushy foam mattresses in the tent… and yes, we still consider it camping), the man is dead, then the doctor (Kael) gets on his camel (that’s me) and rides to the man’s aid (although he is already dead so I am not sure what a doctor on a camel can do about it at this point). We finally get there but the doctor croaks getting off the camel. Not sure if it was too hot out or if it was hereditary but then the camel does surgery (tickling) on both the man and the doctor. The camel, as I quickly learned, has a magical hump that saves dead guys but only after they have had surgery. It is all so obvious after you understand the magic hidden in the hump!

We went through the weekend with pretty much a TV-free weekend. I *had* to watch a little tube to catch the Biden announcement and hype. I am sad Obama did not select Hillary but I do like Biden too…. that is a whole other post! See how TV can get you distracted and off topic!

We enjoyed the comfort of our own beds Saturday night, but spent Sunday night in the tent. The kids loved that. Monday morning we woke up from the tent and packed up (“grabbed my pillow”) and headed for home to end our Stay-cation. Kael and I left the house at 7am… to go back to the grind. Our very private site came with water and electricity, we didn’t get charged much, we didn’t have to fill up the car once, the neighbors were quiet, no barking dogs, and we added lots of great memories. And just like regular vacations, we came home to a messy house, we are tired from all the fun, and we are somewhat looking forward to the routine once again.

Good times. Really good times!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Liquid Planet Water Park

Kaiden did it! It took sometime and some adjusting the rewards chart but he made it before the summer was over!

Back in late June Kaiden and I made a rewards chart for him. If he could sleep in his own bed the whole night (had to be daylight before he snuck in with us) then he would get a sticker. He quickly made it to his first reward, Wall-E. Ian took both the boys to teh theater and they enjoyed it very much. But the bonus round took a little longer… and as the summer nears an end, he just finished putting the last sticker on his rewards chart. Water park here we come!

So the following day we headed to Liquid Planet. Thankfully it was nice out!

We had a great time. I think this park is a little pricey for its size but it was great for little kids (say 9 and under). There were only 2 water slides and 1 small pool. But in the end this was actually a good thing for us because we spent the whole time in the kids area, which is the main focus of the park and there weren’t many older kids there (which until I have older kids, is a good thing. And if I can add one complaint (ok two)… the snacks available were disappointing. Just junk food (chips, ice cream, etc) and you are not allowed to take in your own food AND it’s mostly a little kids park so they should at least have some kid snacks (fruit, crackers, raisins, etc.) They did have healthy subs and salads for lunch items but no good snacks. I think I’ll sneak in some rice cakes next time! ).

And my last complaint is that they have this yellow bump disc like thing with water squirting out and many of the toddlers love this because they can walk on it… but it is slippery and Kael fell and bumped his head. Hard. As I am standing and rocking Kael back and forth trying to calm his screams and tears down, this guy comes over to me and tells me that he has seen 4 kids today fall and hit their heads on that yellow-disc-bump-thing (ok, so he didn’t exactly call it that). It’s slippery and apparently dangerous. Then later in the day Kaiden was playing on it and I told him to be careful and a woman told me that her son and another kid fell on it and bumped their heads! So I would stay, away from that area. It is by the swings and its about 8” high by 5’ diameter, yellow, with water squirting out. And yes, I will be writing a letter. Other than those complaints, I thought the park was great and can’t wait to go again next year. I am so easy to please.

And stay tune for the results of our Stay-cation this weekend! Tenting, marshmallow roasting, ice cream social, hiking, all at the Clark Zoo this weekend! Kaiden is so excited about it. It will be a big challenge for me to be at home without doing housework!

The only exception will be… the lawn needs to be mowed but we will do that before we leave for our Stay-cation.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Project Update and Hair Cut

Project update:
Quilting… still picking out colors! No progress. Actually, we have been so busy with Kaiden’s room that there has been no left over time for quilting. But soon.

Kaiden’s room looks great! So far we have it cleaned out, painted blue, and vacuumed. I am allergic to dust so any intense cleaning bothers my eyes for days. Still itching and rubbing. If only I cleaned regularly! Not going to happen.

The blue is striking. I enjoy looking at it. But no sign of superman yet. I did buy some wall stickers on ebay so we will see how it looks in a few days. Meanwhile, we need to put Kaiden’s bed back together.
It broke several months ago from perhaps some play by the zoo members, instigated by the daddy. I am not sure they are fessing up to the whole story, but basically the bed collapsed and almost killed our cat Trapper who was sleeping underneath. “We were just sitting here reading books, honest!”…. hummm….

Kael is working on talking lately. He tries so hard to make his sentences complete now. Today he stepped in some peanut butter on the floor in the kitchen (I am reminded when I come home from work that I do live in a zoo, although the head animal does do a great job at taking care of the young creatures.)… so anyway, Kael steps in some pb and he looks down all curious and says “peanut butter, shoe, step in, kitchen, Kael” then he pauses and thinks for a bit then says all together “Mumma, Kael step in peanut butter in kitchen, on shoe”. Very cute. I wish I had it on video.
So speaking of growing up... it is 7pm Thursday night and we drive by Supercuts. Kael usually is in bed by 8pm. But he says he wants his hair cut so we turn in. At first he cried and so Kaiden hopped in the chair and went first. Kaiden loves to have his hair cut because he gets to talk nonstop and tell the hair dresser all about his day and his life. So Kael watches but pretty much there is no chance of getting him in that chair. Except... he eyes a jar of lollipops on the counter and asks for one... "sure buddy, when you sit in the chair, I'll give you a lollipop" Ahh... yes, the bribe. At one time in my life, I would have thought it was out of the question to bribe my child. I also thought Kaiden wouldn't have a Superman room. So he eventually sits without much of a fuss but I definitely learned something that day.... it is not wise to give a child a lollipop while they are getting their hair cut! Kael took the lollipop out of his mouth, hair stuck to it, he then tried to take the hair off with his hands, then fussed because he had hair on his hands and it wouldn't come off, then Kaiden would go and get him another lollipop just in time to distract him from thinking about the hair on his hands. This process repeated itself until 3 lollipops later we were finally finished.

So the results:


A cute handsome boy. But I do miss the curls!!!

And last night, Ian and I played coed hockey together. It is not often we play on the ice together but before kids we did it fairly often. Our sitter, Stephanie, is going to college in Florida at the end of the month so I don’t know what we will do without her!!! She is so awesome.

Hopefully I will have a room update tomorrow… it’s looking good.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


First I have to start by saying Happy 35th Birthday Ian! Ian is gone with his buds to a concert meanwhile the boys and I are having a blast with starting a new project, or two, or three.

First, I haven't quilted in probably over a year and my mom gave me her "old" sewing machine last Christmas. This sewing machine is awesome and I have been so excited to use it but time goes too fast. My friend Alaina, who I hope doesn't read my blog, had her first baby this summer. She lives in Colorado and we met up last week in New Hampshire. Her daughter Katie is so beautiful!

So project #1: Make Katie a quilt. She is so beautiful, soft, and cuddly and her mom says that she is such a great baby, so I have to go with soft girly colors... here some of the top picks...

I'd like to narrow the colors down to 6. That will be the hardest part. The quilt will be very simple. Squares but with differnt textures. So I have cotton, fleece, satin, some fluffy stuff, and flannel.

And while I am making one, I may as well make 2.

Project #2: Here are some brights that I like. No baby in mind for this one but since I quilt like a snail races, I may as well start.

Project 3: Kaiden's room. Kaiden has never really had his own room. He feels most comfortable right next to mom and dad. He loves to have a life size snuggle buddy and I love it too. So since birth, Kaiden slept with us. I didn't really begin to push the issue of sleeping by himself until he was 3 and even then I was a bit laid back about it (still am). But now that I see how Kael loves his room (always has) and how he just curls up in his own space and feels safe and warm, I wish Kaiden had his own space like that as well. We thought that eventually he would sleep with Kael and he did for a few weeks but Kaiden kept complaining about Kael keeping him awake with his breathing (he doesn't snore so I am not sure what he means by that). I thought he was just saying this so we would let him fall asleep in our room, so one night I called his bluff (or so I thought) by saying that he didn't have to sleep with Kael, rather he could go sleep in the guest room by himself. And he did. He's been there for several months now. I will always let him sneak in our room in the morning but I would like him to start falling asleep in his own room rather than ours. He pretty much makes it to 2 - 4 am now by himself. I sleep like a log so I really don't know. Ian doesn't. I have been very careful in the post to use "I" where appropriate and "we" where appropraite!

So the guest room is becoming Kaiden's room. We are redoing it from a white, boring, somewhat messy room, to a Superman room.

Superman blue walls with yellow and red accents and hopefully I can find some of those wall stickers with Superman on it. I was hoping from some non-commercialize room like a nature room, frog room, water room, etc. but he is stuck on Superman at the moment so if Superman makes him feel safe and cozy, then Superman it is!

Stay tuned for the results. I hope I will be posting the results this month rather than a year from now! My projects are never as quick as I hope them to be!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Great Eight

I need to take a moment to blog about the great number 8. Today is 08-08-08 and this is a very special day for me because I love the number 8! I did keep forgetting that today was 08-08-08, so I didn't really enjoy it as much as I should have but nonetheless I do have to blog about it.

It all began 20 years ago to the day. It must have been a weekend day because at 13 years of age and I had a slumber party. Why? Can you guess???.... To celebrate 8-8-88 of course! I thought I would maybe have a party this year but I never got around to it. Maybe I should start second guessing my love for the number eight.

I have included a photo of Sharon here. Some of you Sci-fi readers need no explanation I am sure but since I don't have a wide range of sci-fi readers out there, I don't imagine, I will let you know that she is a Cylon on Battlestar Galactica. One of the greatest shows of all time! And of the 12 human cylons models that exist, she is model number.... you guessed it.... eight.

Ok, so this post is much to do about nothing but to add a recap our week at the Clark Zoo: Kaiden went to the doctors and he is back to normal. Healthy lungs. Phew! He went to Audubon camp this week. He had a blast! He absolutely loves this camp. Kael is just in the super funny stage right now. Ian came home with a hair cut today and Kael put two hands on his head and started rubbing his hair then he said "Have hair cut today?" His sentences are just so cute.

Ian's birthday is tomorrow so he heads out to New Jersey to the "Testament, Motorhead, Black Sabbath with Dio, and Judas Priest". Lots of music I know nothing about but he's a big fan. And for me, I just got back from playing ice hockey which was coed tonight. I haven't played for about 2 months and I am sooooo tired! I also bought some material today to begin a baby quilt for my friend. I will be sure to post some photos as I progress. Oh, and Kaiden had a play date with Lorelei last night. We had a little ice cream social and that was fun. And the night before we went to Celeste's house for dinner and the boys played with Leah. The boys were very good at Leah's. Both those nights were very nice!

Well, I better get this post blogged becuase I only have a few minutes left to celebrate 08-08-08.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Weekend in Maine - Liz's Bridal Shower

I just got back from a weekend in Maine with my family. Kaiden had his first sleepover at his grandparents house last Thursday. He actually wanted to go. That is a big step for him! Then the following day, Friday, Ian, Kael, Saber and I joined him. It was a nice visit. On Saturday we met some of our friends, Steve, Claudine, her parents, and Claudine's soon to be husband, Alexe. We ate at a nice sandwich shop in downtown Skowhegan called Kel-mat Cafe (no website that I know of). Never heard of the place but my sandwich was delicious and I the atmosphere is really nice. The place is in an old house, very quaint and lots of unique sandwhiches. Our favorite place back home is Big G's in Winslow. That place is untouchable for sandwhiches as far as I am concerned. Missed that this time around but it was worth it to try something different and Kel-mat didn't disappoint. Later that day we met my cousin Lori and her two girls at Ossoola Park. They have new playground equipment there and it is really nice. I do miss the snail though.

The night closed with a game night with my parents playing 3 games of Ticket to Ride. An outstanding game. It comes highly recommended by the Clark Zoo! Even Kaiden likes it. He doesn't partake in the actual game but Ian gives him some extra pieces and cards and he gets his own game going. He entertains himself amazingly well... when Kael is not around. He loves pretend play. He is a lot like Ian.

Today, Sunday, Ian visited with his dad and his grandfather while I attended my cousin Elizabeth's bridal shower. Ian and I have been married 11 years and I had 5 bridesmaids: Lori (married 5 years), Jodi (married 5 years), Arcy (married ~15 years), and Liz and Claudine. Not sure if either of them would ever get married. And now, both of them are engaged. Funny how that works! The bridal shower was nice. It is so nice to see Liz happy. The big day is August 30th and for Claudine, next August.

I am sure Liz is thinking the same thing, but it is one of those days I really miss my Aunt Sarah. It has been 7 years since she passed away from cystic fibrosis and I just want to give her a big hug. I remember her at my bridal shower. I miss her soooo much. Liz must miss her more.