Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Thank you all so much for your comments - this is why I love blogging - putting my fears out there and receiving in return the support and wisdom of mama's near and far who've been where I'm at and lived to tell the tale.

Thank you.


Today I take the Big Boy for 1 whole hour alone at preschool. 

I drop him off and leave him there. 

Let's talk about something else, shall we? 


Last Friday, I went to go see my beloved Bo-Sox with a group of really cool women.

Fenway Pahk!

 It was a gorgeous, sunny Friday night.

There were burgers and beer, rowdy fans and tourists.

There's no place like home. 

By the end of the night, the scoreboard was not telling me anything good - so I may have snuck down to the bullpen area to sneak a few pictures.

One of the red shirts started to yell at me - so I bolted like a scared rabbit - I'm not naturally a rule breaker - but it was totally worth it.

Ladies, you may want to zoom in on this one - a fine view of  Varitek's butt and oh yeah,
that lanky young man on the left is Pap. Be still my heart. 


There, a bit of a distraction from all my preschool worrying drama. 

T-minus 3.5 hours till drop-off. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Growing Pains

Last night we went to a parent's meeting at the Big Boy's preschool. Today we bring him in for a meet and greet with his classmates and teachers.

I'm not sure if I'm quite ready for this

The preschool we have chosen is wonderful. Won.Der.Ful.

With their support and encouragement, my boy is going to blossom.

I just know it.

Then why on Earth am I nervous and weepy?

It's happening.

That "time flies" thing everyone warns you about.

"It goes by so fast." they say, and I smile politely and think:

Fast? You call this fast? I am exhausted, and irritable. That stain on my pants is boogers (not mine). Someone has a poop. Neither one has eaten a vegetable in a month, and if they push each other again, my head is going to explode.

But politely I agree and say, "I know, I can't believe how big they're getting already."

And then suddenly, in a church basement - listening to a group of amazing teachers tell me how they will work with my boy,  I feel a sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach.

Too fast.

Too fast.

It's all happening too fast.

The world, and all it's scariness, seems to be pressing down from above. And try as I might - I can't effectively shield him anymore.

He has so much to learn, and I can't learn it for him.

For the most part, I can't even be involved.

Let go. Let go. Let go.

Let go? How? That's my baby.

How to let him have experiences without me there to guide, to witness?

And so it begins.

This is his life, not mine.

Him. A separate entity from me.

Someday - sturdy, strong and free.

For now though, it begins, and he is small and fragile and new.

But I have to send him off anyway.

Let go of his hand.

The hand I've been holding his entire life.

The hand I am so accustomed to.

The hand I am so deeply responsible for.

How on Earth am I to let go of his hand?

Monday, August 29, 2011


Good morning friends.

Did we all enjoy Irene?

Our little family fared very well, with the exception of this one tree

So sad, tree.

By the time Irene got to our neighborhood, she was mostly a windy rainstorm. So I do not know why this tree keeled over.  All the other trees were swaying gently, no one seemed alarmed - then all of a sudden - Ker-Smash, this tree bites the dust. He was a sad tree, I think.


By mid afternoon my children had reached their indoor-play-tolerance-limit, and were climbing the walls.

So we headed out into the wind and drizzle.

"I wearin' my wain coawt."

Irene came and rained all over the Wee One's birthday.

My baby is two. Two.

"Whas dat?" he asks.
"Wind." I say.
"Wind! Whooooosssshhhh!"

A little windy drizzle did not stop my perpetual-joy-machine from riding his "yodacycle" to his heart's content, while his mama hid in the garage.


More on the birthday when we celebrate this weekend, I think.

I have a few things to say about my baby being two.

Hope you are all well - Happy Monday!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Moments

Friday Moments, as usual, with Soule Mama today.

If you have a moment or two to share, please leave a comment with a link!

This was a week for treats.

Rice Krispie treats:

Best eaten when gripped tightly in a baby fist.

But also  thoroughly enjoyable when consumed delicately with a fork, to avoid unsightly, sticky hands.

"Fanks, Mama."

But the biggest treat of all, was a visit from a most beloved friend and her two adorable little girls.

Oh be still my heart, whatever did I do to deserve such a blessing as these 3 girls?

My friend is such a soul-sister that I didn't even clean up before they arrived. She loves me, even if the house is filthy.

Absolutely beautiful, no?

I will freely admit that I stole that baby and gave her so many kisses. I smelled her head. I perched her on my hip and soaked up that sensation of baby weight. I love her already, and I am just starting to get to know her.

Check out the stream of drool on my hand below her chin.
I love her anyway. 

Now her sister on the other hand, she has stolen not only my heart, but also the hearts of my two boys.

Oh she is sweetness embodied.

Just like her mama.

This little angel brought even my shy Big Boy out of his shell - she is irresistible.

"What's your name?" I caught him asking her.
She answered and they shared bubbles.
I nearly cried. 

Sorry, lots of words with my moments this week.

Soule Mama, I fail you once again.

Have a great weekend gang.

I'm going to see the SOX at Fenway tonight - Boo-Yah!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

I wouldn't do that if I were you

Although I am a nurse, I am not generally a fan of the emergency room.

I'm a labor room nurse, so a laboring woman does not scare me - but outside of that general arena, my nursing skill often fails me, and I'm just a mom.

That being said, I am the mom of two boys. 

Boys who love to run, jump, climb and explore the world by doing and trying. 

I try to let them.

I bite my tongue.

I know that bumps and bruises and even stitches and broken bones are not fatal.

Yesterday, I took this series of photos - and in my humble opinion, this sequence captures my experience as the mother of a boy.

I apologize in advance for the less-than-perfect photo quality.


Big Boy's brain: Oh look, the trunk of the car is open. I wonder if I can climb up there?

Yup! I sure can!
Now that I'm up here what shall I do?

Jump down of course! 



Dude! That was awesome! I wonder what else I can jump off of?


Mama's brain: 
Oh dear, what are you doing?
Don't climb up there.
Ack! Don't jump!
Now where are you going?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


My two beloved cherubs have developed a new, aggravating set of behaviors.


"I had it first!"
"No! Gimme dat!"
Usually pushing or hitting ensues and then of course,
"Maaaaaammmaaaaa! Waaaaaah!"

This scene repeats itself several hundred times a day.

Here we see the hogging that immediately precedes the pushing and crying:

As if there isn't 4 feet of keyboard available,
he's gotta control every last key. 

When faced with a parenting challenge I run to other mamas and the library.

I pinged all my favorite mama friends, and left the library with no less than 5 books on siblings.

The general consensus of my research:

Ignore them as much as you can stand, unless there is a threat of actual, physical harm.

I have to admit, I like this idea.

There's a rather convincing body of psychological and developmental research supporting the "let them work it out themselves" mentality, and working with it a little in our house has already decreased my stress level.

The fighting is still there, but I feel more in control.

So let me throw it out to you - beloved readers (Hi Mom!) How do/did you manage sibling squabbling?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ready or Not

The Big Boy starts preschool next week.

Now I know, in the grand scheme of life, this is not as monumental is going off to sleep-away camp, college, or brain surgery (sorry about that Mom & Dad), but I am still feeling a crazy mix of emotions.

I haven't talked with the Big Boy about it very much - I know this will only make him dig his heels in, but I have bought him his backpack and told him, "This is for you to take when you start school next week.".

Next week?

The school requested a 4x6 photo of his smiling face and this made me feel a queasy sensation in my belly - this photo will help them remember who my Big Boy is, because they don't know him yet.

Come with me on a side-track - we'll get back to preschool in a moment...

When our little bird family was in the fort, I was just as entranced by the Mama Bird as I was by the babies.

Sweet photo editing, I know. 

Whenever I would get anywhere near the fort the Mama and Daddy birds would start chirping away, swoop down from wherever they had previously been perched and try like crazy to draw my attention from the babies.

I feel a crazily powerful need to perch in the trees outside the Big Boy's new school and swoop in whenever I sense discord.
No stealing toys!
No pushing!
Sit down!
No seriously - sit down! It's circle time! 
I love you. I haven't abandoned you, I'll be back to pick you up in 3 hours. 
You're going to love it here. 
It's so good for you, and for me. 

I can't caption this photo because just looking at
it within the context of this post is making me teary. 

My Big Boy is not the gregarious, outgoing charmer that his Wee brother is. This makes sending him off even harder.

I know he will not be the first shy kid this preschool has ever seen - but the Mama Bird in me wants to flap around him and chirp:
He really is a sweet boy!
Give him a chance!
Once he warms up, he'll charm the pants off you, I promise. 

Motherhood hurts sometimes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Peach Pie

A few years ago, I used to have a little business selling baked goods at a local farmer's market.

I made all kinds of things, but my biggest seller, by far, was my peach pie.

The farmer used to give me bushels of about-to-get-gross peaches for nothing, and I would come home and blanch, peel, and store them for pies the following week.

I always sold out of my pies immediately. It was hilarious, some folks used to call me "The Peach Pie Girl".

Anyway, long story short, I added a second child and couldn't keep up with my little homestead bakery, but every once in awhile I still get a request for a pie and boy-oh-boy does it make my day.

Last week I was asked to make a peach pie for a co-worker's birthday. What I love most is that this is the 2nd or 3rd time I've made peach pie for this occasion. (Happy Birthday Sherrie!)

So, with a happy heart, the Big Boy and I got to work.

Now, I am certainly no Soule Mama - but I sure do look the part in this picture, eh?

I love this skirt and may have sworn off shorts for life.

The Big Boy kept sneaking tastes of everything and quickly realized,
"I wike da shugah, but not da fwower."

Why two bowls? For making two pies simultaneously, of course.
Hubs would kill me if there was no pie for us.

Peach Pie is a sticky, messy business, but so worth the effort.

I like the combo of yellow and white peaches.
Yellow for sweetness and white for texture. 
Sadly, the Big Boy was a bit disgruntled when "da shugah" got all mixed up with the peaches and went into the oven.

"Can I twy some moah shugah?"
One pie went off to bring birthday happiness to a lovely lady, and the other one brought lots of happiness to this here household.

Hooray for pie!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Moments

Friday moments with Soule Mama again today.

If you have a moment or two to share, please leave a comment with a link!

This week wasn't my best week. I'm not sure why exactly my funk is lingering, but sometimes that happens to me.

So I'm trying to get lots of sleep, exercise, and comfort food.

I'm also trying to focus on the little moments of good in our crazy days. However fleeting they may be.

First and foremost, we've been soaking up summer, because it seems to be slipping away from us.

Nothing says summer like lunch on the veranda driveway.

They actually eat better when we go buffet-style.

And everything was going swimmingly until someone decided they didn't want to share the raisins.

Sneaky raisin stealer. 

And then of course the Wee one always brings a laugh to the party. Check out the Wheatie stuck to his shirt.

When he found it, it was like a cool surprise.
"Yay! A Wheatie!"
After lunch (and pretty much every day this week) there is a lot of bike riding, which always culminates in the Big Boy making his was to the "cliff" in the back of our yard and just contemplating...

Should I or should I not ride my bike over the edge?
 And one last one, just cuz I love you guys so much.

Once again, sometimes we opt for no pants.

Those are some sweet legs, bro. 

Happy Friday, guys!

Thanks, as always, for visiting.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chicken Chili

Ooh I made something really yummy for dinner last night.

Thank you to beloved cousin Kelly for sharing her secret family recipe for White Chicken Chili which I adapted for the crock pot.

White meat from a rotisserie chicken - chopped
1 onion - diced
1 green pepper - diced
1 handful of shredded carrots
1 small yellow squash - chopped
2 large cloves of garlic - minced
1 can cannelini beans, drained,
1 cup salsa (plus more, as needed)
1 tbs cumin
2 tbs chili powder
freshly ground black pepper

1-2 cups shredded cheese
small corn tortillas (for serving)

Add everything except the cheese and tortillas to the crock pot.
Cook 4h on high or 8h on low - stirring occasionally. If it seems dry, you can add more salsa.
When the veggies are cooked - shred the chicken using two forks.
Add the cheese and stir until melted.

To serve: place a small corn tortilla  in the bottom of a microwave safe bowl and heat for 10-15 seconds on high power. Plop the chili on top. Viola!

In my humble opinion - this was wicked awesome. YUM!

Ok, so it's not super attractive, but trust me - delish!

What's cooking in your kitchen?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Hey Gang

Hooray for Wednesday, right?

Halfway to the weekend!

I'm debating trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

Not true: I'm feeling great today!

Truth: I'm still funk-y.

Dang it!

I made a variety of attempts yesterday to de-funkify myself.

Things which did not help:

  • hateful death machine  treadmill
  • stealing goldfish from the kid's snack bag
  • stealing chicken nuggets from the kid's dinner plates
  • letting the kids watch extra tv (hello, mama-guilt-fest)
  • 2 cups of coffee
Things which did help
  • chocolate
  • pilates
  • turning off the TV and laying on the floor with the Big Boy
  • 1 cup of coffee
  • beloved friends
  • amusing photos of the children
Oh, you want to see the amusing photos? 

Sure thing!

Waiting patiently for tubby time. 

The tongue. 

Happy Wednesday, gang. 

Here's hoping for a funk-free-Thursday. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


To get rid of that floating ad bar at the bottom of the page, click the "x" in the right hand corner of the ad.


Working on it.


I make no guarantees regarding this post. 

The big boy woke me up at 5:45 today. 

Now, I am not opposed to being up early, I usually try to get up by 6, I'm just opposed to being a parent before 7am. 

I rely on a little bit of solo time to think, write, get organized and consume caffeine. 

Now I am in a deep funk and there's no amount of coffee that can give me the settled feeling of 30 minutes alone. 

Now the Big Boy is watching TV and I'm sulking. 

How do you de-funk yourself when a day starts off on the wrong foot?

I got nuthin'.

Sorry guys, this takes the cake for lamest post ever. 

I'll try again tomorrow. 

Monday, August 15, 2011


It's Monday and it's dreary and rainy.


How was your weekend?

Ours was bittersweet.

Our baby birds have left the nest, and the little family I had become so attached to is gone.

I thought they might stay nearby - but they are long gone.

Here's the last picture I caught of the one of the babies, getting ready to make his exit.

Sorry for the crummy cell phone photo. Blogger fail.

If you look closely, you can see him standing on the edge of the nest. 

In other news, we took the boys to my sister's house to celebrate all three of her daughter's summer birthdays.

There was swimming and playing, family and friends, hot dogs and ice cream.

Plus an entire playroom of new and exciting toys!

Like tutu's!

Okay fine, he hated the tutu - but come on!
How could I resist?

And a piano!

I'm sure you can imagine how delightful
and melodious this situation was. 

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Moments

Friday Moments with Soule Mama again today.

If you have a moment or two to share, please leave a comment with a link.

This week has been kind of tough.

The Wee One has been, well, irritating,  frustrating, challenging. Suffering some developmental growing pains, I think. And we're all suffering with him.

So I tried to think creatively and focus on the positive.

When I wasn't grinding my teeth and swearing under my breath, that is.

Painting outside = happy toddler, and no worries about cleanup.

Major freecycle score: two shopping bags full of old doorknobs - just begging to be disassembled by destructive little children.

It would not surprise me if he built a doorknob based robot of some sort. 

This one, on the other hand, would not surprise me if he bashed his
brother on the head with the doorknob. 

And finally, how are the baby birds?

Well, if you look closely at this photo you can see a beak peaking over the top of the nest!

I can't get any closer because mama and daddy start chirping nervously. They are always  in the nearby trees.

Baby beak! 
That's it for me folks.

Thank you, as always, for visiting.

Your comments brighten a challenging week for me, and I can't thank you enough.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I am glad I am not two.

Two is a challenging age not only for the parents of the two-year-old, but also for the child.

As frustrated as I am with our beloved Wee One lately, I also often feel bad for him.

This can't be fun for him either.

Cute, but conflicted.

Conversations with the Wee One:

"What you want to eat, baby one?"
Pause while yogurt is obtained.
"Here you go Bud."
Yogurt is shoved away violently. Hysterical crying ensues.
"What is the matter, Bud? What do you want to eat?"
Hysterical crying continues.


Ear piercing screech. 
I jog into the living room. 
"What is the matter, Bud?"
I frisk him - looking for injury. 
"What is it? You gotta tell me, Bud. I can't help unless you tell me."
"I dwop it! I dwop da cah! Waaaaaah!"
"You dropped your car? This car right here by your feet?"
"Yeeeaaaahhhh! Waaaaaah!"
"Umm. Okay. Did you want to pick it up?"
"Yeah." Hysterics over. 


We are sitting together, coloring with crayons. 
"Make a twuck!" he says, and hands me a yellow crayon. 
As I attempt to take the yellow crayon from his outstretched hand he yanks it away and says,
"NO! I usin' dis one!"
"Make a twuck!" he tries again, and again attempts to hand me a crayon. 
Again I reach for it. 
Again, "NO! I usin' dis one!"
I look at him.
He looks at me. 
We both look at the crayon. 
We repeat the cycle until he's ready to relinquish a crayon. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Hey Gang.

Here's some more bits of randomness that made me laugh over the past few days.

I have such a horribly black thumb, that I am frequently surprised I remember to feed and water the children.

I kill plants.

I am like the terminator of plants.

Despite my best efforts to befriend my vegetation - I kill everything.

In a hilariously ironic twist of fate, mother nature has provided us with a rapidly expanding wild blackberry population, right here in our yard. 

They are growing and spreading like crazy, and it's totally awesome. 

I get 1, he gets the rest. 

Another way in which I am a failure is my complete lack of artistic ability.

You may recall the Hannibal Lecter drawing on the kids toy-storage bin.

Anyway, sometimes my own ineptitude amuses me.

Seriously, what is up with that back wheel?
Poor, gimpy, fire truck will never make it to the fire. 

And finally, sometimes I think the children might actually be out to get me.

I had to use the flash to take the following photo because it's dark in the garage.

Dark enough that I almost didn't notice the death trap they had laid for me.

So innocent, yet so potentially fatal for mama. 

And I'm spent.

What's new with you?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Happy Tuesday Gang.

How's it going?

I have a few amusing things to share with you today.

Random bits that made me laugh.

Yesterday we walked by a bird store and saw this lovely yard ornament.

The Big Boy says (and I quote )
"Wook mama, I fink dat's a scar-wet macaw."
Scarlet Macaw. Seriously?

Many of you will be surprised to know this, but sometimes I get mad. 

These children, they are not dummies.

Irritated female + flowers = spontaneous mood change.

"Hee-yah you go, mama. For you."

Here's an interesting bit of marketing. 


And finally, here is a photo of the Wee One making off with his brother's bowling pins.

Finally, photographic evidence that the Wee One really is, well, kind of a jerk.

The Big Boy got the pins all set up, then went off to find a ball. 


I hope you are amused.

If not, go here. Hyperbole and a half.

Monday, August 8, 2011


It dawned on me this weekend that there are only three more weekends in August.


It is my humble opinion that the summer should not be moving quite so quickly.

I want more veggies-on-the-grill.

Oh, thank you, CSA. 

Forgive me for belaboring the point, but I really like veggies-on-the-grill

In the time I took me to fetch my camera, an entire pile of grilled corn became two lonely ears. 

I want iced coffee and sunscreen.

I want months of fresh berries and lazy, hot afternoons reading books in the grass.

I want an eternity of Sunday afternoon trips to the homemade ice cream stand.

I want my children to eat their meals shirtless until they figure out how to eat neatly.

Shirtless children are so much easier to clean up!


Let's brainstorm - what's on your must-do list before the end of the summer?

If I have to let it go, I'm gonna make sure we go out with a bang.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Moments

Friday Moments with Soule Mama again today.

If you have a moment or two to share, please leave a comment with a link!

Yesterday the kids were sick.

So there were a few "cleaning-the-puke-off-the-bedspread" moments

Always hose off before putting in the washer. Trust me.

I took pajama-wearing children to the farm to pick up our CSA haul. Both were disgruntled to be left in the car.

Several pounds of cucumbers + sickly children = a perfect day for pickle-making!

Worth the effort. 

Making my grandmother's pickles always makes me feel close to her, and I need a little nana-lovin' yesterday.


Luckily the bug was short-lived and everyone had perked up by the end of the day.

Tired, but smiling 

And there you have it, a day in moments.

Any good plans for the weekend?