Thursday, March 31, 2011


Today while the Wee One napped, the Big Boy and I had a playdate with one of our most favorite friends.

So cute, and with the sweetest personality.

He had a little bit of work to do when he first arrived.

He bills by the hour, though.

Once the work day was complete, the boys got down to the serious business of playing near-but-not-quite-with each other.

A house full of toys and here we are with the kitchen utensils again.

Then, finally, after about ninety minutes of ignoring each other - there was a little bit of love.

Even the Big Boy can't resist this guy's charm.

I love this boy and I'm blessed to be counted among his many friends, if you'd care to support his family as they walk for the March of Dimes this year please click here.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must clean up the post-playdate-chaos.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Whatcha Reading: 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs

206 Bones
Just finished a great book: 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs. I'm so excited to have stumbled onto this book because it's a series! Hooray! Apparently there are 11 other books starring the intrepid forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperence Brennan. Now you guys know I love me some homicidal maniacs, but 206 Bones adds a new angle to the classic homicide detective drama. I am truly a science geek at heart and I thought all the anthropology stuff was fascinating - there may have been a visit to a scanning electron microscope in this book - be still my geeky little heart. I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the series.   

What are you reading lately? I'm always up for recommendations. Go ahead, spill. Come on, I admitted my love of the embarrassing teenage vampires series.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Since the abolition of naptime, it has been increasingly challenging to scrape together a few minutes for blogging.

I've tried tubby time,  painting time, and tv time - all with a modicum of success. Today I'm trying up-before-the-sun and I make no guarantees that this post will be any good. More. Coffee. Please.

My poor three-year-old has recently developed a few irrational fears. I realize this is age-appropriate developmental stuff, but that doesn't make it any less sad (alright, fine - and funny, too). He's afraid of:
1) Garages
2) Elevators
3) Glow-worms
4) Dogs
5) Swiper the fox (Dora)
6) Mr. Lobard (Handy Manny)
7) Socks with designs

Armed for self-defense.

The poor kid, periodically during the day I catch him backing up slowly from something that is scaring him saying quietly, yet firmly, "Glow-worm is not gonna hurt you. Glow-worm is only a toy."

He watches his favorite shows from the doorway of the living room so he can duck out when the "scary" characters appear.

And, as I mentioned yesterday, he never goes anywhere without his hockey stick.

Awaiting an impromptu game of hockey?
Or keeping a wary eye out for rogue glow-worms?

I try to be comforting and reassuring - I know that the glorious development of imagination comes with the price tag of some new fears.

For now I'll hide glow-worm, and put away his socks-with-cars-on-them and try to make the world a little safer for my brave little soldier.

I remember being afraid of the dark as a kid - how about you? Anyone remember their childhood phobias? Anyone else's children afraid of anything? Do tell.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Paint fumes

Hey Gang, how was your weekend?

Ours was spent painting and kid-wrangling with some absolutely great friends.

We went for this really great sky-blue color (my apologies to all of you who voted yellow) and it came out great - really perfect.

Just needs clouds.

As usual, we learned some important lessons which I am happy to share with you, beloved friends:

1) In order to calculate the number of trips you will be making to Home Depot in order to finish a home-related project follow this simple formula:
(# of rooms involved) + (# of children you have) + (# of HD employees you query regarding how much paint to buy) - (how many friends you can bribe into helping) = total HD trips

2) Ceiling paint has an uncanny knack of falling directly into your eyes while being applied to the ceiling. Invest in protective eyewear.

3) Drop cloths are overrated - that glob of paint falling from your roller will undoubtedly fall on the single square inch of un-drop-cloth-covered floor, no matter how painstakingly you drop-clothed the rest of the floor.

And there you have it.

In other news, despite the unseasonably cold weather, we went for a walk.

Of course, we took the hockey stick - you never
know when you might need it.

And, I was given the coolest gift EVER. After reading my recent book post where I confessed a love for some admittedly juvenile literature  a new friend came to my rescue and gave me ...

Embarrassing book camouflage!

Now I can take my juvenile literature to the gym without shame! Thank you!

Alrighty, gang - signing off for today.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Moments

Friday Moments with Soule Mama again today. Usually my Friday post is a quick and easy one to put together - my weeks are nothing if not filled with cute, humorous and/or chaotic moments, but this week - I'm feeling a little dry.

This week there have been lots of moments spent bearing witness to the storm of emotions that can rage within a three-year-old boy. There have been moments setting limits for him. There have been moments soothing him. There have been moments taking deep breaths and squeezing my eyes shut.  Sadly, those moments don't make for good photography.

So, what do I have to offer?

The snow has melted and we are back to crocus-gazing.

Don't touch. Do NOT touch. No touching!
Stop. Touching. Now.

The basement has walls again!

What do you think - light yellow? Or light blue?

Today, an infant toy was resurrected from the toy bin and utilized as a telescope.

"Dare's som-pin in dare, Mama."

What's in there, Bud?  Let me see.

"You in dare, Mama!" Wow. Did he really just outsmart me?

That's pretty much it for our week. It's been a bit of a long one, and I'm hoping next week might be a bit less tantrum-y. This has to let up eventually, yes?

I also want to say thank you for all the comments you guys have left this week. I haven't been able to respond as I normally like to - I'm devoting a lot of time and energy to the big boy, but I want you to know that I read and love each and every comment. They truly make my day - even when I don't have a spare second to say so. Thank you, Thank you - your kind, funny, thoughtful words mean the world to me, they really do.

I hope you've got a great weekend ahead of you - I think ours might be spent painting! Hooray! Umm. Did you want to come over and help?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Broken promise

Okay, I know I said yesterday I wasn't going to rant about the frustration I am feeling regarding my beloved three-year-old. Today, unfortunately, is another story.

This child is driving me absolutely nuts.

Beneath this sweet exterior, a tantrum lurks.

Today, while I tried to snap a few photos of the boys playing (relatively) nicely together:

I.e. not hitting, biting, head butting or screeching.

The big one pushed the wee one to the ground.

Dude, you took a photo while he pushed him to the ground? No! I was taking
a rapid fire sequence of photos when the pushing occurred.

No worries, the baby's fine.


But he did spend the rest of the afternoon clinging tenaciously to my pant-leg, fearful of another attack from pushy-big-brother.

There's that green hoodie again, Melissa.
I really like this green hoodie - get off me.
 This three-year-old business? Ugh. I've had about enough. Seriously.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


As I come to you today, it is once again what-used-to-be-naptime but is now, unfortunately, a period of the day where I attempt to keep a three year old occupied and simultaneously attempt to do the one hundred thousand things clanging around on my to-do list.

Tired of tubbies, today he requested paints.

I'm really feeling frustrated and grouchy today.

But rather than rant about my frustrations - I thought I'd bring you up to speed on what's new with The Wee One.

He, too,  is disgruntled about winter's sudden reappearance.

He lives exclusively on "oh-meal" (oatmeal) and "wah-dur" and I am afraid he may develop Rickets or Scurvy  but - eh - he's a second baby so I don't worry all that much.

He is very  much enjoying the work in the basement, except that whenever he hears the sound of a power-tool he cries out, "Oil Tuck!" and runs to the window to see the oil delivery truck. Then he is confused and sad.

He loves to chase his big brother around, sticking his grabby-baby-hands into whatever it is The Big Boy is playing with.

You can run, big bro, but you can't hide.

He sings quietly to himself sometimes, and it's so cute I might actually die from some sort of cuteness-aneurysm.
From the living room, where he's crashing trains into each other, I hear,
"Tin-kull. Tin-kull. Id-doo stah. Hmm Hmm wha you ahh."
"E. I. E. I. O.  Moo-moo he-yah. Moo-moo dey-yah. E. I. E. I. O"
"Baa Baa Baa sheep. Baa Baa Baa."

Cute singer though he is, this Wee One is also troublesome. This morning, for example, I discovered the cuffs of his pants were soaking wet. Oh dear, I thought, where is the puddle? It was in the bathroom, where he had overturned the kitty's waterbowl and stomped around for while. Sigh.

His favorite word is "No" which makes for fun conversations,
"You want your water, Bud?"

Well there you have it - the inside scoop on our eighteen month old.
"Say Bye-Bye, Bud."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Today I learned a few things, and I am always happy to pass along that hard-earned mama-knowledge.

When your three year old is doing that finicky eater thing, and you are beginning to wonder what are the symptoms of malnourishment? Bake a loaf of bread. The whole wheat will ease your mama worries and the yummy oatmeal-molasses goodness, topped with a bit of butter will ensure he or she eats every crust-surgically-removed-bite.

Well played, mama. Well played.

When your eighteen-month-old isn't having much success entertaining himself, provide more toys. Lots and lots and lots of toys.

Can you spot the baby in this photo?

Spring in New Hampshire - she is a fickle beast. Don't count your crocuses before they're hatched? No. Don't put all your crocuses in one basket? No. Eh - whatever. It's freakin' snowing again.

Touché, winter. Touché.

And finally, if you've cooked fish for dinner - clean out the pan you used, add a few inches of water, 10-20 whole cloves, and a splash of acid (lemon juice or white vinegar). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer until the water has mostly evaporated. This will remove the fish scent from your house and from the pan.

Well there you go, dear friends. A few lessons from me to you. You can expect an invoice in the mail.

Monday, March 21, 2011


When I sat down to write this post, I thought I would regale you with tantrum-tales from our weekend. Our beloved three year old is very, very, three. It ain't pretty.

It is as if some sort of invasion of the body snatchers thing has occurred to my previously sweet little guy.


But when I sat down and looked at my pictures from this sun-shiny almost-warm weekend - they weren't ugly-red-faced-tantrum photos, they were remarkably lovely photos.

The first flowers are pushing their way up.

Look at his face. Delighted by crocuses.

There were the melt-a-mama's-heart moments where father and son played catch. Forging a bond I can't even begin to understand, but am so lucky and grateful to witness.

So sweet it hurts.
Then I was given a few child-free hours to visit a most beloved friend who is surviving those last torturous weeks of pregnancy. Despite her discomfort, she is stunningly beautiful - glowing.

We exchanged much-belated Christmas gifts - and her gift of an air hockey table for the boys resulted in yet another beautiful moment:

Not hitting each other!

So I sit here, humbled by this remarkably clear insight: the ugly times, the painful times, the times marred by stretchmarks and tantrums, when we grow in a way we don't think we can possibly survive - these times are so beautiful, if you only stop to look.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Moments

Friday Moments with SouleMama again today.  If you have a moment or two to share, please leave a comment with a link.

This week we had some sunshine and above-freezing temps.

Don't jump the gun there, chief.

And you know it was a good spring-time playdate when the kids come home with muddy shoes and pants soaked to the knees.

Hooray for puddles!

In other news, I may have eaten too many girl scout cookies.

I don't know why you would suggest I  have eaten my weight in thin mints.

This week at swimming lessons there was slightly more cooperation. Okay, fine. There was almost no cooperation, but what he lacks in listening skills, he makes up for in golden-retriever-esque enthusiasm.

It's hard to wait.

Sláinte! My friends, you know we boiled us up some corned beef.

Here's to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.
A pretty girl and an honest one.
A cold beer - and another one!

Did the leprechauns visit your kids this week? Do tell.

Thanks for stopping by guys - I hope you've got a great weekend ahead of you.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Right now

As usual inspired by SouleMama and several other great bloggers...

Right now I am...

Typing in the bathroom once again.

No nap for me!

Thrilled that a beloved friend gets to go home after a hospital stay.

Watching the boys navigate the remaining snow banks and mud-paths to explore regions of the yard that have been unreachable for months.

Getting used to the sounds of hammers and saws.

And the scents of sawdust and spackle.

Daydreaming about paint chips, chalkboard paint, and kid friendly furniture for our playroom-paradise.

Wishing that our budget could give them the playroom of my daydreams.

Cheering the Red Sox, even though it's only spring training.

Wondering how many servings of oatmeal is too many for an 18 month old boy.  Three? Four?

Researching Irish recipes and slipping green food coloring into everything.

Watch out for Leprechauns! They're sneaky little creatures.

Looking forward to the weekend and some spring-ish weather.

Wishing you a great day - thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bang Bang Bang

So my house has become a construction zone.

In a few short hours a troupe of handy dudes stripped my musty, dusty, cat-hair-ridden basement down to cement and studs.

Is that a sledgehammer?

Suddenly, there was the smell of sawdust, the sounds of rock'n'roll from a radio, and the muted, minimalist conversation that occurs among working men.

Bare bones.

As I tiptoed down there after they'd gone home for the day, I felt like a trespasser in my own house. This is their space, now. Complete with scary tools:

This is some sort of sawing thing - quite sharp.

And I am not afraid to admit that I was delighted to find toolbelts. Real, honest-to-god toolbelts! Dirty, well-worn and full of tools!

Toolbelts fascinate me because female accessories are generally non-functional.
Whereas toolbelts make you batman.

Sure it's loud, and expensive, and there will be lots of work for us to do once my beloved contractor and his group of merry men have left us - but I love this. I love to watch how things go together. I love how we're truly making this house we bought our home. We're making our mark here, and my children will remember the nooks and crannies, textures and scents of this house the way I remember the house of my childhood.

I think we're making it great for them, and that - my friends - that's what it's all about, right?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


This post is dedicated to everyone out there whose children are struggling with a health condition.

I have several very close friends who are managing the health needs of their kids with an amazing mixture of strength, fortitude and selflessness.

I have been very lucky with my children, thus far - nothing much more serious than an ear infection and a bizarre rash or two.

Life has not asked of me what it has asked of my friends and I am terrified and humbled when I see them in action.

In my work as a nurse I watch parents tolerate the intolerable. A crying child that must be poked and prodded, again. A sleeping child who must be awakened for a procedure. A child in pain. A child struggling for breath.

It wasn't until I became a parent myself that I understood the true horror of what these parents bear. It wasn't until I knew these parents personally that I was truly awed by their strength and courage.

There are things in life that no one should have to do - and yet, some of us are singled out and must face those very realities the rest of us hope to avoid.

To my own parents - who heard the words, "brain surgery" and then had to wave cheerily as they wheeled me away.

To my dear friends - if you are wondering "Is this post about me?" Yes. It is. You know who you are.

Each of you inspires me to count my blessings. You inspire me to hold my children closer, and more gently. I am awed and humbled by your strength and courage.

And although I hope and pray to never be in your shoes - I know that if I end up wearing them, I have had remarkable role models for the courage I will need to wear them well.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Poof! Another weekend bites the dust.

Monday, again.

Not that we did anything earth-shattering. The usual: diapers, sippie cups, snacks, tantrums and stories.

But there were banana pancakes, extended periods of time spent in footie-pajamas, and long interludes of exploring the regions of the yard where the snow has melted.

We might have rocked us some serious bed-head.

As we emptied out the basement in preparation for our upcoming basement-wasteland-becomes-paradise-playroom project, toys reappeared that haven't been seen in months.

Dude, look!  Letters! Numbers! It's like freakin' Christmas!

And with the balmy above-freezing temps, you know we broke out the whiffle ball bats and day-dreamed of baseball season.

Some of us may have perused last year's Red Sox
calendar, "Dey pway-in' baseball, too!"  

My life is full of change right now: the melting snow, the longer daylight hours, the hammering and sawing about to get started in my basement - I am most definitely in a period of flux. Now you know, my boys and I, we like our routines - so the next few weeks will be challenging, despite the utter bliss that comes with a completed home project and warmer spring weather. That's always the way it is though, right? The shifting and struggling during a period of transition - always worth it in the end.

How was your weekend?