Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I just can't explain the feeling I get in the pit of my stomach when a child's teacher comes up to me as I'm chatting to other parents and says "Can I talk to you for a moment?"

The past couple of weeks this has happened to me twice. It's never really a good thing.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Karate Schedule

Our karate schedule has changed.

The dojo is moving, and they recently lowered the minimum student age to increase enrollment. What that means is that they are moving students from the younger class to the older class a bit earlier than they have been.

Nathan has recently been moved from his class to the bigger class, which Nick is in.

This means I have half as many classes to sit through. Nate joins Nick in class on Wednesdays, we now only have one class on Friday and Saturday mornings, and we don't have any karate classes on Tuesday at all.

Of course I scheduled my CSA pickup on Tuesday at the place next door, so I need to show up anyway. But truthfully, it makes things a lot easier. There seems to be so much more time.

The boys miss the coffee shop, though. It's such a sweet place, with tons of coffee beans in bins, and comfy sofa chairs. They have internet access. The boys used to hang out during each other's classes and sip hot chocolate as they played their DS. Not just my kids, but tons of boys waiting during younger / older sibling's classes. We'd hang out, migrate over to the dojo to swap kids, and reappear with another bunch of small people in gi's.

With the karate class moving, we won't have the coffee shop anymore. It's probably a good thing, because the coffee can be expensive (I would buy myself a cup for each class, not to mention the hot chocolates) But I'll miss it. I may schedule time to myself there during the week. I need to pick up the dry cleaning and the farm stuff anyway, right?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Not Running

I haven't been running for over a month.

I haven't been running for over a month and it's making me miserable.

Let's forget, for just a moment, that the scale is creeping upward and my pants are getting a little tight. I certainly haven't become obese overnight.

But I feel so.... not good.

I still wake up early in the morning. Instead of running I have been doing yoga. Yoga is good for you, no matter what the crazy New York Times readers think. Yes, you can hurt yourself. You can also hurt yourself walking or running or chewing your food if you get too enthusiastic and stop paying attention. Yoga is supposed to center you and clam you and be good for your body.

But it doesn't make me sweat. Not usually, anyway. I'm not saying it's not good. It's easier than when I started, certainly, but it's not the same.

And I feel it.

I'm grumpier. I feel more... portly. I eat more junk food, even though I promise myself I won't. Or maybe it's just that we have more chocolate sitting around these days?

At any rate, I feel unwell. I've had to ask myself what I would do if this became a permanent situation instead of the temporary one I've been assuming it to be. The truth is, I really don't know, but I suppose I should figure that out and then try to integrate an alternative into my routine. An alternative that isn't yoga but something that really makes me sweat and give me a good workout but leaves my ankle alone.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pirate Karate Guy

Andy likes to dress up. I'll turn around and he'll be wearing something like this.

"I'm a karate Pirate!" he'll say.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


For Christmas, Nathan asked for Zombie Brains.

He didn't get them.

But he did get them for his birthday.

What are Zombie Brains? Well, apparently someone, somewhere, caught on to the fact that boys are really really gross, and like to gross people out. I have no idea why this is, but it's true of a lot of little boys. They burp and fart and then laugh. They make poop jokes, fart jokes, and they aren't funny. They're gross.

Well, Zombie brains go that step further. This is what it looks like.

And you add a couple of powders and some water and create gross things - brains, blood, barf (not kidding, it has a barf mix) and then.... YOU EAT IT! Seriously, it's one of the grossest things we own.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


"Can't you see how busy I am?"

Monday, January 23, 2012


As some of you might know, I do my best do be ecologically aware.

NO! Don't Stop Reading! I promise not to get preachy!

Anyway, I started this blog in the hopes that I would stay motivated, and I made a few changes. Not many, but a few.

Like reusing things. Things we usually consider disposable. I started making an effort to throw fewer things away.

SO I started saving everything, thinking I could find a use for it later.

In a perfect world, I could find a use for these things. But turning old coloring books into wrapping paper takes time, and when I put off wrapping things to the last minute, I simply don't have the time. I usually grab a gift bag and shove the gift in there, which isn't the same thing. Even though I do re-use the gift bags.

Still, I kept saving everything. I save old clothing to sew with. I save ribbons and bubble wrap and especially brown boxes. It turns out there's a fine line between being green and becoming a hoarder. I'm not emotionally attached to any of this stuff, but I don't want to waste it.

The thing about brown boxes is... well, they take up space. They take up a lot of space, and every time anything is delivered, it comes in a new brown box. Which takes up even more space. Brown boxes are not really useful to wrap things in - items are usually already in boxes or the wrong size. And when it comes right down to it. I usually only send one or two packages a year.

After Christmas the guest room as a complete mess. I finally went in and started throwing things away.

Here is the recycling pile I had piled in the hallway.
This is almost all cardboard boxes. I have no idea how it all fit in one closet. It's gone now, off to the recycling. I'm very happy at the room I now have in that closet!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Anne-E / Rainforest Cafe

Today is my sister Anne-E's birthday. Happy Birthday, Anne-E! I love you lots!

Today is also the day of Nathan's Birthday Party. He said he wanted to go bowling. I called the bowling alley to schedule the party. He asked me how many people and gave me a time. And that was it. "We'll see you 10 minutes before the party" the guy said. They are supposed to be taking care of the pizza, the bowling, the cake, and the balloons. I am terrified that we'll show up and no one will be ready. It will be us and the 20 kids who have RSVPed.

On his real birthday MLK day, we went to the Rainforest Cafe. If you have never been to one of these places, you are missing out. Kind of. It's overstimulating in every possible way. Everything is green and leafy and busy to look at. Wait staff walk around talking into headphones. There is a very loud waterfall and very loud jungle background noise. There are robot animals scattered around the place that move every so often. Every half-hour there is a thunder storm, which is useful for telling just how long it is taking them to bring you your food, and each time it happens half a dozen toddlers begin screaming in terror.

The boys love it.

There is also a gift shop, and the boys love the gift shop. In fact, I told Nathan that I would buy him something from the gift shop as a gift. I also let Andy and Nick buy something with their own money.

The best part was dessert. Because it was his birthday, we got the chocolate volcano. It's foun large slices of brownie surrounding scoops of vanilla ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate and caramel sauce. It looks for all the world like a volcano. The waitstaff all started clapping and snaking around the place until they reached out table and sang a non-copyrighted version of a Happy Birthday tune to Nathan.

I have never seen him look so absolutely terrified.

But as soon as they left it was just him and the volcano. We all helped him eat it. This is the best picture I could get - one of the strands of volcano explosion is in his face. But he's happy!

I hope Anne-E's birthday is just as happy!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Planning Planning

One of my favorite things to do is plan vacations.

I currently have a couple of vacations in the works. One that I have nothing at all to do with, but I'm just going. This is a boat trip I'm taking with my parents in February. I have already started packing. Not kidding. Stop laughing.

I'm also planning a visit to Disney World, and I'm forcing some poor, unsuspecting people to come with me. They are all going to have a great time! This isn't until October. I'm making a dining game-plan.

Then there's Summer Vacation. We aren't going anywhere this year, but that means we get to think about all the little things we can do around here. We can take a side trip to NY. We can go to Storyland! We can go visit the mountains, or take day trips to the beach....

This is why it always seems like we have no time. Because by the time we get to any block of time, I've over scheduled us. Ugh.

But still, I love doing this!

Friday, January 20, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, Nathan came home with Bananas.

Bananas is the class mascot. He's a stuffed monkey.

Bananas goes home with a different child every week or so. He has a journal, and whoever he goes home with (or that person's parent) gets to write about bananas's visit. People use photos, pictures, all sorts of things.

Nathan managed to bring home bananas, but forgot the journal, so the first weekend was journal-less. Then I had a busy few days. But Wednesday afternoon I finally taped a few pictured into the book and wrote a nice little summary of the fun Nate had with bananas.

And then there was no school on Thursday.

And then there was no school for Nathan on Friday because of the 90 minute delay.

And then there was the weekend.

And then there was a holiday Monday.

And then there was no school for Nathan on Tuesday because of a SECOND 90 minute delay.

Bananas has spent a lot of time in our home. Most of that time he's been squashed inside Nathan's backpack...

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Nick was invited to a birthday party at a movie theatre. The movie was Tintin.

I decided to take the other two boys to the movie, also.

I read a few of the Tintin comics when I was a kid. In french, of course. I never quite got into it. Still, it was a bit of a nostalgic thing for me, so I went in without high expectations.

I loved the movie.

Maybe this makes me sound old, but I was very impressed with the animation. It's so hard to me to come to terms with the fact that animated film has come so far. I was blown away. Really.
The movie is an action / adventure film. It's a mystery. No wonder I didn't like it when I was a kid. I was much more a comedy gal. Or at least a female sidekick I could empathize with.

Anyway, I recommend this movie. It's fun. It's a bit more violent than the other movies I've taken my kids to - remember, Andy is only 4. But the boys were great. Much better behaved than some of the kids at that party.

P.S. Why did they have to change the dog's name to Snowy? Why couldn't they just call him Milou?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Almost Cleaned Up

Our home is almost all put back together fromt the mess Christmas put us in.

I still have to finish cleaning the guest room. It's my version of a presents room. During December the room because full of shipping boxes and tissue paper. There was so much stuff all over the floor that it because impossible to find any gifts I might have wrapped or left unwrapped.

Aside from that, which is a larger project, I also have to move the spinning bookshelf into the living room. We had moved it to put the Christmas tree there.

I keep thinking I've got all the ornaments and knicky knacky things put away, but then I keep finding one more thing I've forgotten.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Nathan turns 6

Happy Birthday, Dear Nathan

Please don't grown up too fast.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

His Deepest Wish....

Friday school had a 90 minute delay.

This happens when the weather makes the roads bad, but as soon as they're cleared the day will be fine.

But Nathan is in Am kindergarten, which means he's done shortly after 11am. When there is a 90 minute delay, he has no school.

And Andy goes to a preschool which people depend on as a daycare. So it is open at the regular time.

Nick cried because he had to go to school.

And Andy cried because, when it was time for him to leave, his brothers were both still at home building a lego city.

I sat with Andy and reminded him he loved school. Then I told him I was going to the grocery store that morning. "I'll get you anything you want. What do you want? Yogurt smoothy?"

"No!" Andy said.

"Do you want.... oreos?" I asked, kicking myself. Why did I say oreos. Now of COURSE he's going to say he wants oreos, and I'm going to end up eating half of them...

"No. Not oreos." Andy said, wiping tears off his face.

"OK, then what would you like me to get?"

Andy looked at me for a few moments. And then he said, "I want fish."

Oreos and smoothies, and the boy chooses fish.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Squashy shquashy

Thursday we had snow.

It wasn't a lot of snow, but it was a persistant, wet snow. So the schools in the district were all closed.

The boys played outside for an hour, which is a long time for them in snow. When they cames back in, they were soaked. Nick's coat didn't even dry out in time for school the next morning.

I took advantage of everything being closed, no library times to volunteer for, no one to pick up from school. I made butternut squash bread. I made two loaves, one plain, and one with ginger. And then I made a batched which I cooked in the donut machine. It takes ten minutes to make five donuts. And they aren't really donuts, they are just donut-shaped butternut squash breads. But the boys love them.

For the past two days I have eaten nothing but squash bread.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th.

I don't actually believe in Friday the 13th. I have the idea that we think "this is the day bad things happen." And then when the milk spills or we stub our toe, we see a non-existing correlation.

I do, however, still think Thursday the 12th is dangerous and we should all just stay in bed. Could it be coincidence that we had a snow day yesterday?

Update: this morning school had a 90 minute delay. This means no AM kindergarten, so Nate does not have school. When he learned about this, Nick started to cry. He hates school, and IT ISN'T FAIR that he has to go when Nathan does not.

Meanwhile, Andrew does have school. But the driveway is so ice Steve told me I wasn't going anywhere. Which won't keep me from trying. But happy 13th, Yo.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Give A Pig A Pancake...

For Christmas we got an ebleskiver pan.

You know Ebleskivers? The filled pancakes from Norway? They are really big right now at William Sonoma?

Anyway, we ended up with the pan and two containers of mixes. After I write this I'm going to go try and make my first batch. I hope it works, because I also have a recipe for chicken bites using the thing, and I was planning on making those for dinner in a few days.

Aside from the ebleskiver pan, one of my sons also got a donut machine. It's looks like our quesadilla maker or our waffle maker, only it's yellow and has painted sprinkles on top. And it makes itty bitty donuts. I promised Nick we could try and make some of those this afternoon, because he's waited SOOOO LOOONG!

This also reminds me, I have frozen squash and frozen squash puree which I really need to use up in soups and pumpkin breads.

This all comes at a very awkward time, as I'm not running at all, thanks to my stupid ankle.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


My ankle doesn't hurt anymore.

I've been waking up early and doing yoga - a gentle stretching workout that I don't really consider working out because I don't sweat. My heart rate increases only ever so slightly. I can re-wear my workout clothes.

I really really want to start running again. I've been moody and sluggish and off balance. I think it's because I stopped running. I haven't been able to find that same release in yoga, and I don't have very many other choices for working out.

I've told myself that I might not have to wait until the end of January after all. The pain has gone away, and the little lump has all but disappeared. If I don't experience any pain, I can run as soon as I get the treadmill serviced (I think that might be part of the problem.)

I just really want to get back to it, and to keep myself from adding extra pounds or getting too soft before I need to wear a bathing suit in February.

The thing is, if I'm wrong, I could be setting myself up for an even longer recovery period, and an even more serious injury.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I live in New Hampshire.

This means that today, I get to Vote.

The biggest issue that I have heard my fellow New Hampshire folk discuss is this: Should I vote for a Republican candidate and try to mess with their results? Because I think they are actually all escapees from a special mental institution.

I can also vote for a democratic candidate, including endorsing my continued support for Obama, should I desire to do so.

I have never voted in a primary before. I am going to vote today, and I'm voting not for strategic purpose. I am voting for the candidate I would like to see win.

For the record, that person is not a Republican.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Feeling Unwell

Yesterday, I didn't feel well.

I woke up early, did yoga, and was fine. But when I went upstairs to start making breakfast I felt nauseous. Not really sick, not like I was actually going to be sick, but just a general, overall feeling.

This was a problem, because I was supposed to do my grocery shopping as soon as the boys were at school.

And I did. For the first time I wasn't tempted to buy every treat I passed. I didn't even want to buy the things I had to buy. I just wanted to sit and stare into space.

Which I did, after getting home and putting everything away. I crawled into bed and stayed there for three hours. It was oddly nice. Maybe I was just tired?

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Happy Birthday, Grampa!

I just realized he's not smiling in this picture. Dad, I hope you have a Very Happy Birthday! We love you.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Photo Situation

When I got home from New York, I sat down with my computer and punched out a number of posts. Enough to get me through to this morning. I had everything I needed, including beautiful photographs.

Now it's Saturday morning, and I was hoping to sit down and punch out a week's worth of posts again. I eve have a number of ideas. What I don't have, unfortunately, is photos.

See, I was so busy rushing around all week long, that I forgot to take any pictures. It's too bad, really. Pictures make the posts so much more interesting. After all, making pancakes really isn't worthy of a blog post.

Friday, January 06, 2012

O, Christmas Tree!

My parents have a fabulous Christmas tree.

Part of it is the super-high ceilings they have, which can accomodate a 12 foot tree. The other part is a quality wired fake tree with ten times more ornaments than can fit. And not just glass balls, either. These are fabulous ornaments. Here are a few of my favorites.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Be It Ever So Humble

No matter how great the trip is, it's always good to be home.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Happy New Year!

When most people do New Year's in New York, they get this:

Remember, this is twelve blocks from the dropping ball.

Thanks to Linda and my parents, when we do New Year's in New York, we get this:

Oh, yes. My family knows how to have a party.

Of course, by the time the ball actually drops, we're more like this:

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Peter Pan

One of the reasons we went to New York as early as we did before New Year's is because my mother had acquired tickets to see Peter Pan, with Cathy Rigby. I will refrain from giving my full opinion on the production. I will just say that the musical numbers and the choreography were fantastic, and the boys had a wonderful time.

They even dressed for the occasion in some of their holiday finery. Check these guys out!

Monday, January 02, 2012


It's very unlike me. I haven't posted in days, and I hardly know how to approach the subject.

You see, instead of leaping into the New Year, I kind of stumbled into it. Now that we are home, I am finding myself tired, with so much laundry to do. So many things to put away. The house is still bedecked for Christmas, and all of these decorations need to be put away. Every surface is littered with stuff, a collection of wrappers, directions, ornaments, wires, and small toys. We have more chocolate than some of the smaller states, but alas I am no longer running due to my heel, and this morning my bathroom scale said "Up 6 Pounds!" Which is alarming because I didn't think I had eaten very much in the past couple of days.

And I still haven't done my New Year's Resolutions, something I like to do as a way of setting goals for myself.

But more than that I'm feeling... well, I'm feeling very BAD. I mean, I feel mean. I'm snapping and complaining. Steve hates this blog because he says all I do is complain, and that my life sounds so drab and miserable and horrible and whaa whaa whaa. I think that #1 - he's missing the point #2 - he's taking things I say too personally except that #3 - it still hasn't gotten him to pick up his socks, has it?

In any case, I hate to think that this blog is all about complaining. It isn't supposed to be. Perhaps one of my resolutions is to make more of an effort towards a positive outlook?

This week I'll post a few pictures from our Trip to New York. I'm not telling you all about it, because a few things are better left never mentioned ever again. I'll be posting about the things too good to forget.