Monday, December 22, 2008

our ice storm of 2008

Ok, well, I realize it wasn't out personal ice storm. Like many granite staters- we were hit pretty hard. Nine days without power, with the last few days topped off by three straight days of snow (why not, right?) But hey- we made the best of it, and stuck together through it. It was a wonderful opportunity to see neighbors helping neighbors. People with generators offering showers and warm meals. Cooper's school has been turned into a shelter (still many people without power) so he has an extra ten days tacked onto his school vacation (fun for the kids- not so much for mothers!) Here are some pictures. We chose not to take too many pics of the destruction, more to focus on the beauty of an ice covered landscape.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

first school picture

Ok, I know I'm the mom, so I'm terriably bias.
However- isn't this just the most handsome five year old you've ever laid eyes on?
Proud mama here

Sunday, October 26, 2008

listen to your dreams

Like, I'm talking literally, not in a "follow your dreams and be all you can be" sort of way, but when you have a good dream at night, go with it the next day.

I love, love, love to cook. I consider myself a fairly decent chef, although my boastful husband tells me I could be on Iron Chef, or Hell's Kitchen (how well would I do with all that criticism?) I pride myself in my ability to feed my family unique dishes, as well as good home cooked comfort foods. As all chefs do, I have my glitches, and dishes turn out not-so-well.

The one thing that I"ve bombed every time is omelettes. How could someone mess up an omelet, you ask? Too much cheese, too much egg (waaaay too much egg) all brown on the bottom, just generally yucky. I kept making them, however, never one to turn down a challenge. Bless my boy's hearts, the three of them kept eating my attempts, smiling their way through weeks of bad omelets. (Aaron just reminded me that sometimes, they were actually inedible. . yikes!) Somehow, they seemed to be getting worse, not better.

Last night (and this is how you know you've reached domestic goddess status) I actually dreamed of how to make a better omelet. "render more fat from the bacon." "water down the eggs with milk" "less cheese"

This morning, 7:30 sharp, I went to work on my "dream omelet" Success! Just as my nocturnal imagination had told me, the tips paid off, and I made the perfect omelet. Ok, maybe not perfect, but leaps and bounds better then dozen or so previous attempts.

Now, tonight, as I fall asleep, I'm going to start thinking of how to bring the cost of crude oil down. . .I'll let you know what I come up with!

***note. Type out the word "omelette" I got several different spelling options, that's why it's spelled differently in this post!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

what a beautiful state we live in

Fall in New Hampshire is so amazingly beautiful. I've lived here my whole life, and I still find it equally astonishing every year. We've really lucked out with the weather, so far we've had nice warm weekends to enjoy the colors. Today however, the crisp fall weather has reminded us that ol' man winter will be sneaking up on us soon enough. I guess that is what's so nice about fall, it's like natures "final hurrah" firework display before sleeping through the winter.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the garbage truck

I got this in a forward from a friend. I thought it rang true to my new outlook on life.

I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.

So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave , wish them well and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so..... 'Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

again. . .where does time go?

So, I've gotten a position at Cooper's elementary school as the after school band teacher (well, really, its group instrument instruction, but who's counting) It's only five hours a week, and I can easily fit it into my teaching at home. It's fun working with groups, and getting into band instruments again is a plus. (ok ok, it's also great money!)

It's funny working at the school I went to. Walking down the hallways I walked so many years ago, this time as the teacher instead of the student. Even more wild, is seeing teachers and administrators there that actually remember me from my HD days. When someone gives me the "Oh my god, it's Sue Maine!" I tell them it makes me feel old. Yeah yeah they say, really it makes them feel much older.

Today I had to go to the third floor (now the SAU office, it used to be the 8th grade classrooms when I was there) to fill out some paper work. On the way up, I passed Cooper walking to computer class.

I passed my son in the hallway of my old school.


Monday, September 15, 2008

once again, Cooper stands out in the crowd

Ok, really, this is more of a brag about Cooper amazing taste buds, then my food preparation skills. So, remember the phone call from Cooper's teacher about his healthy lunches? Being a true Maine woman, I have taken this compliment with great stride, and force myself to work harder and harder to make even more diverse, healthy lunches.

This is Cooper's lunch today. Humus and Tabouli on whole wheat pita bread. A hard boiled egg (which, is more often then not pickled in pickled beat juice- again, his choice!) grapes, a cheese stick, and cashews and pretzels. Then for his afternoon snack he's got an apple and a granola bar.

Really, I ask you, what five year old eats like this?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

it's officially fall

Yup, mark your calendar, it must be fall, because I'm knitting again! You know it's officially winter, when I'm knitting in front of the fire :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

my new mantra

Turning thirty for me this year was truly great. Yeah, there was plenty of build up- all the "so, are you freaking out about turning 30?" questions got to me a bit, which made the weeks leading up to my birthday a bit tense. But honestly, I'm thrilled to be thirty. I'm just where I want to be in life. I've got a wonderful husband, two happy, healthy children. I live in a beautiful home in the woods, close to all my family.

I've taken on a new "mantra" of sorts. I've decided I'm going to choose to let things roll off my back, let go of the bad and embrace the good. I think that most all of the good things that happen to a person, are a result of choosing to be happy. You cannot control what happens to you, only your response. Holding on to grievances, and negative thoughts just waste energy. I'm spending far, less energy being happy, then being angry, regretful and bitter. Actually, choosing to be happy recharges my energy.

So here it is, my motto:

Being happy is a life choice, not a side effect.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

the first call from Cooper's teacher

Last night, the phone rang around 8:30. Aaron brought me the phone, and looking at the caller ID, my heart skipped a beat. It was Cooper's Kindergarten teacher, this can't be good. I tentatively answered the phone, and heard:

"Hi Suzanne, it's Mrs. Wheeler. . .No, nothing is wrong with Cooper"

Apparently, she knows what goes through a parents head when the teacher calls them at home. She was calling to comment on Cooper's lunches (I pack him a lunch every day) Her exact word were:

"Cooper's lunches are inspirational, if a five year old can eat a hummus and tabouli sandwich, so can I"

I generally let Cooper pick out his lunch, as he has very healthy taste :) He likes raw veggies and hummus, cheese, some kind of sandwich, and a granola bar. His teacher even told me that Cooper said he can't have chocolate milk because the sugar makes him crazy.

good boy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

finally, we're good luck for the sox!

I've only been to three Red Sox games at Fenway Park, and until last night, I've been horrible luck, and they've lost. Last night, we kicked some Baltimore butt, and won 14-2!! We had amazing seats, and stayed the night in Boston- a little late birthday getaway for me. I thought I'd post about it, and include the view from our amazing seats, and a picture of Aaron and I , as I can't remember the last time we took a picture of us together (you know, without a kid / dog / garden / house in the picture also)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

where did five years go?

I know it's cliche, but I just can't believe how fast the years go by. Two days ago, we celebrated Cooper's fifth birthday, and this morning, I left him in his kindergarten classroom for the very first time. I just can't possibly imagine him without his mother from 8:30-3, Monday through Friday.

(oh my, here I go again- eyes swelling up a bit)

He marched into his room, standing straight and tall. Aaron, Babi, Tagg and I all saw him off, and we were all quite proud of him. As all the parents started leaving, Cooper gave me that look. . .that "Mom, it's time for you to leave, or I might start to miss you" look. So off we all left him to his own space, with his own teacher, in his own classroom.

Ok, well, I did peek in at him through the window when we got outside- but just for a minuet :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

RIP Poco and Diablo

Well, we sort of knew this would happen, but it still stings. Poco and Diablo, our cats of ten years now, have been gone for a few weeks. With the coyotes and fischers around here, it is safe to assume they are not just taking a walk about.

They both spent their first, oh, six or so years as life as indoor cats, but ALWAYS yearned for being outside. Finally, we decided that they would be happier having a shorter life, if it meant being able to go outside when they wanted to. They survived the next few years in Contoocook, despite the VERY busy road we lived on.

Then we moved here, and were warned by everyone that outdoor cats don't have a long life expectancy around here. Still, the cats LOVE being outside (and, as a side note, Diablo was one heck of a mouser!) In and out during the day, we tried our best to make sure they were in before bed, to avoid the things that go bump in the night.

One day, a few weeks ago, Aaron mentioned that he hadn't seen Diablo for a few days. Another few days later, Poco went missing- I am completly positive he went looking for his brother.

I hope we made the right decision allowing them to go out when they wanted to, I just couldn't bear to force them to stay inside. They loved laying in the warm grass, chasing bugs around, and even tormenting the occasional song bird (I told them I didn't like that!)

Aaron and I got our two little kittens in our first apartment, they were our first living beings we were responsible for. I'd like to think we gave them a good decade. RIP kitties :(

Thursday, August 14, 2008

ah ha, here come the mosquitoes

I knew this mosquito free summer wouldn't last! Thanks to all the rain we've been getting lately, we've got a whole batch of ity bity baby bloodsuckers.

Cooper and Taggart love picking blackberries. They'll spend an hour in the bushes, only to pick an handful of berries (and, as a side note, bring them all in for their mama) Being deep into the berries puts them at the edge of the woods- prime mosquito country. So my little berry picking troupers come in for rest time, both covered in bites.

Tagg is scratching everything like crazy, saying over and over again:

"Mommy, dragonflies bit me!"

Picturing him squashing pretty little dragonflies, I was sure to correct him that it was mosquitoes biting him. To which he replied:

"OOOOHHHH, taquitos bit me!"

Close enough buddy.

Monday, August 4, 2008

my gingerbread house is done

Finally, the house is painted! For those that didn't see pictures, the house was dark brown, with teal trim (yup, that is what I said. Teal trim) Finally, we've finished painting it! Sorry the picture stinks, I'm using my camera phone for everything now as we save up for a new camera. When we bought the house in Contoocook, seven years ago, we painted every single wall and ceiling before moving in. Then, after the fire, we RE painted almost every single wall and ceiling. Before moving last year, we painted the outside to freshen it up for sale. Then came this house, inside and outside more and more painting.

Ok, it's done. There is officially nothing else to paint! Hooray!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

way to go tagg!

Yesterday I washed my last load of diapers. Yup, that's right, Tagg is potty trained. The most amazing thing, is that he did it mostly on his own. I pushed Cooper before he was really ready, so I was determined to not make the same mistake again. This time around, it was the child teaching himself, I'm so proud!

No more diapers, wow. It's a liberating thought! Almost five years of diapering (several months of two in diapers at a time) I'm all done with that stage. YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

cabin fever. . .in july?

Oh man, I'm having flashbacks from February! We've been forced inside so much from all this awful rain, it feels like winter all over again. Today, the weather got so severe that trees were knocked over, cars flipped up, and houses were destroyed in the state. Aaron had to come home early, as the seacoast was just too unsafe.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

wow, I guess he really loves school!

At the end of preschool, I decided to sign Cooper up for Mrs. Porter's summer program, which consists of three mornings a week, for four weeks. I knew this was a good decision when Cooper woke up the second day of school vacation, and informed me that he was "soooo bored."

Monday night, when I tucked Cooper into bed, I reminded him that in the morning, he'll be going to Mrs. Porter's. He was SO excited! 5am Tuesday morning, and Cooper comes limping into my room. Apparently, he had twisted his ankle a bit jumping off the diving board (which really deserves it's own post- Cooper is a swimming fool!) and by morning it was very sore, and just a bit swollen.

So I tuck him in bed next to me, and like I knew he would, he fell right asleep. When we all woke to start our day an hour or so later, he had forgotten about the ankle until he stepped out of bed. Poor little guy, he couldn't put hardly any pressure on it, and limped around the room. However- over and over again, he told me that he was "ok" while holding the wall while he walked, and hopping on his good foot.

Now everyone knows that Cooper can be, um, a bit on the dramatic side. He tends to make a HUGE deal out of seemingly little things. As I watch Cooper hobble around downstairs, literally biting his lip through the pain, I just can't believe how much of a trooper he is being. Admittedly, I was wondering if he had some arterial motives for such total compliance.

I get him set up on the couch, foot elevated, with an ice pack. I really felt bad for him, it's always awful for me to see one of my children in pain. I keep telling him over and over again how well he is taking this. Finally, he asks me:

"Mom, you aren't going to make me stay home from school, are you?"

He was petrified that I was going to keep him from going to Mrs. Porter's. :) I realized that the day will come that Cooper will use any excuse to get out of going to school, but for now I'm milking his love for school for all it's worth.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

well, shows what a country girl *I* am!

Several nights ago, Aaron and I were outside watching the bats wiz around, when he heard coyotes attacking an animal, not all that far from the house (ok, they weren't on our land or anything. . . but close enough for me) We stood in silence for a while listening. We still have our I-can't-believe-we-really-live-out-in-the-woods moments, and this was certainly one of them.

So now, I'm just a little more cautious in making sure the cats are in at night. No problem getting Carlos in, he's too much of a mamas boy to be out after dark.

Friday morning, I drop the kids off with my mother while I teach, and walk back home. On my way back, I notice an animal walking around the road up ahead of me. As I get closer, I try and squint to see what it is. A large dog? Maybe a baby moose? (ok, wishful thinking, but I can't come to terms with NEVER seeing a moose!) The closer I get, the more I start to think about the coyotes from the other night. I convince myself that I'm looking at a very large coyote, which is certainly rabid if it's walking around the road in the daylight. A quick detour in my walk puts me right in my backyard. All day I think about my "brush with a rabid coyote"

Of course I tell my mother about seeing the beast. She can't believe I got that close to one. I reminded her that I stayed far back, so far that with the shade it was in and all, I couldn't see it all that well.

Yeah. Good call Suzanne. You know what the mystery beast turned out to be? A newborn foal that had gotten out of the fence at the horse farm across the street. I mistook a baby horse for a coyote. I guess it's a good thing that I didn't get it the other way around. . .and take my kids up the road to pet the rabid coyote.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

my camping man

Aaron makes no qualms about it- he hates camping. We camped out in Nova Scotia for our honeymoon, and on the way home he informed me that was most likely the last time we'd camp out like that. (wimp!) The kids and I are always nagging him to go camping, however, all to no avail.

A few weeks ago, Aaron's brother Pete calls to invite Aaron on a camping / canoeing trip down the Saco River. Pete, and six other guys all meet up once a year for a three day expedition into manliness. They canoe down the river all day, and set up camp alongside the river each night.

Now, for some reason that I can't understand, Aaron agrees to go on this trip. (hmm, is 36 too young for an early midlife crisis?) I can't get Aaron to camp for one night at a campground five minuets from our house, but he's going to do this mega macho man trip with seven other guys (six of which, by the way, are Eagle Scouts!)

So, off he goes Friday morning with his backpack, ready to conquer nature. I'm getting the vibe that all these super-campers are more then likely in their early 20's, and most certainly used to all this outdoor ruggedness. Aaron just might be in over his head.

Something tells me that he'll be crawling into bed the moment he comes home Sunday afternoon. . .sometime nature conquers the man. :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

happy anniversary to us

Today marks seven years of marriage for Aaron and I :) We will be celebrating tonight with cheeseburgers and french fries with the boys. We had a lovely day at the beach yesterday. The Coldwell / Riccio family reunion is in Wells Maine every year, and we rarely miss it. It was a good time as always, fun family and good food. The weather was especially nice this year, and the kids had a blast running around on the beach. Can't wait for the reunion next year!

Monday, June 30, 2008

rock ball

So, you know how I ended my last entry going to check on the boys? It's a good thing I did. They were playing "rock ball," Which is Taggart pitching a rock to Cooper, poised with a baseball bat and ready to beam his little brother off the head with the rock.


just a little update

With summer in full swing (ok, all this rain has confused me about it actually being summer!) we've been doing so much, that blogging has falled to the side a bit, but I thought I'd pop in and give a little update.

The yard and garden are coming along amazingly well. Aaron works on the land like I've never seen him, he's SO proud of this place. Certainly on the top three reasons I'm glad he is sober is that he's taken all his former sit-around-and-drink time to work on the yard. He takes great pride in his work, and it certainly shows!

My garden is plugging along, although I'll admit I'm a bit overwhelmed with it. This garden (like the yard space) is many, many times bigger then any space I've ever had. Weeding it is a full time job, which I'm ok with- it's just taking some getting used to. However, in a few days will start harvesting summer squash and zucchini, and I'm sure that will make it all worth it.

The kids are well, although I think Cooper is already bored of summer vacation (greeeeat) and misses his friends. I've signed him up for the summer program at Mrs. Porter's (his "former" preschool) which runs for four weeks, end of July and beginning of August. So I suppose I have, what, three weeks and one day left :) He's all geared up for Kindergarten. We recently found out that he got into Mrs. Wheeler's class, which pleases me, as I was crossing my fingers that he got her.

Taggart is Taggart, happy as a lark most of the time. . .screaming like a banshee the rest of the time. He's taken to start potty training himself. I pushed Cooper when he wasn't ready, which greatly backfired on me, so I've been sure to led Tagg lead me as to when he is ready. He does wonderful when we're home, only wearing a diaper for nap and bedtime. Ahhhh, I can't even think too much about being done with diapers- it's such an exciting idea!

My teaching has slowed down, as it always does in the summer, but this time I did manage to keep five students, so at least I have a little income coming in. This week I'm applying for a job at the elementary school after school program teaching private lessons, and group music classes. This job would be so perfect for me, I'll update when I know if I got it.

Ok- the kids are playing outside, and I just realized that they are far too quite. Those that are parents can understand- I never worry when I hear laughing / fussing / shouting / whining. It's the SILENCE that makes me nervous, I better go check on them.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

being an adult is so nice

Well, Mother Nature came through for my birthday and broke the heat wave. After last nights' big storm, the humidity dropped down, and today is lovely. So today, I ring in my 30th birthday enjoying my children, a sunny day, and dinner out with my husband. Life is good :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

swingset fun

When I was a kid, swing sets were a tubular metal structure, (perfect for wasps to make nests in) with monkey bars, two swings with pinching metal chains, and a metal slide that got hot enough to cook an egg on in the heat of the day.

Well. . .not anymore. Now the fancy schmancy ones are make of cedar, with club houses, sandboxes, and every possible option under the sun. After weeks and weeks of researching "play sets" as they are appropriately called, and reading every possible review, we picked one out. My mother wanted to buy one for Tagg's birthday (yes, last month) so finally we all settled on one, and mom and I went to go pick it up.

See the picture above? Would you ever imagine that it comes C O M P L E T L Y disassembled? Like, every single piece of wood, piece of hardware, and roughly six hundred screws, nuts, washers and bolts in separate boxes and bags. The only thing even reasonably put together was the slide (which now come in molded plastic, so no more legs sticking to the metal)

So when we get a good look at the four boxes this mamoth comes in, we start making the "can you help us out" phone calls. We decided that you know you are getting older, when pizza and beer no longer "buys" your friends to help you out. We hear a lot of "no thanx, I can buy by own pizza and beer" (we also found this true when it comes to moving)

Fast foward two weeks, and somewhere around 36 man hours later, the kids have their new swing set. And really, in the end, seeing their smiling faces on the swings was all worth it* :)

*ok, to be honest, this is easier for me to say then Aaron, as he really did all the work!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

kindergarden sign up

Phew, where does time go?

This morning, after dropping the boys off, I drove over to my old Elementary school to do the unthinkable. I signed Cooper up for Kindergarten for next year.

I'm such a dork. Walking through the doors, I actually got a little bit nervous. It felt so strange to be the parent, not the student. (Mom says I should feel so strange about it, after all, I am almost 30, thanks Mom) When I turn in all my paperwork, the lovely secretary (whom I didn't recognize) takes Cooper's paperwork, and starts making the copies. As she is handing back his birth certificate, her face lights up. "Oh, Sue Maine, how great to see you! It is always fun to see graduated from this school coming to sign up their own children." She was so nice, I wish I could remember who she was :)

How can my baby be going to school?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

happy birthday, happy earth day

Today is Tagg's second birthday :) It's also Earth Day, which the kids and I really get into. I'm taking Tagg to buy his first big boy bike this morning, then the kids and I are going for a walk to pick up trash. Well, I suspect that Taggart will be riding his bike while Cooper and I walk :)

Tonight is a little family party at my parents, I'll be sure to post pictures.

Happy birthday, little baby.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

spring has definitly sprung!

Well, it is finally here- beautiful weather! This week has been so lovely, the kids and I have been outside ALL DAY LONG. Literally, we come inside for food and Tagg's nap, then back out till bedtime.

While I am so very thankful to finally be outside, I think we might have underestimated the amount of raking that would be needed to bring the yard up to par. I'm pretty sure the land has gone neglected for some time now, so we are dealing with years of back maintenance. I promise I'm not complaining though. . .it is still fabulous to be outside in the fresh air and working on the land.

A few days ago, my father came over to check out the clean up process (he'll say he just stopped by to pick up his dog, but really I know he wanted to see how everything is coming.) He looked at the plot that we had tilled at the end of the fall for my garden. His comment was:

" Hmm, doesn't seem so big now. Seems a shame not to have a bigger garden with all this space."

"Well Dad, it is still five times bigger then my last garden, I'm pretty happy."

"Yeah, true I guess"

I knew exactly what that meant. This afternoon, he showed up with his tractor, and started ripping up the ground around the garden, and back toward the woods to make more gardening space. (about twice as much!) Being the farmer at heart, my father knows that his apple didn't fall far from the tree. His comment to me when I came out to see him smiling ;

"You better plan on canning" :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

finally. . .green stuff!

The weather man had promised a few semi decent days this past weekend, and we had planned to spend our time outside starting spring cleanup (still mostly snow covered ground, but we figured we start on the bare patches.) Well, as it typical in New England, the weather man was wrong.

It was clammy, and a bit drizzly, but that wasn't going to stop us. We finally got the chance to have a walk around the property, starting to pick up all the junk left behind after years of yard neglect. And yes, we even got the pleasure of seeing little green things popping up everywhere. We are pretty sure it is all tiger lilies (which are not my favorite) but at least SOMETHING is growing!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

happy birthday Carlos. . no fools!

Today is our beloved Carlos's sixth birthday. For those of you whom have never met him, trust me, he is the very best dog that ever lived. He is patient and kind with the kids, who are rarely as good to him. He is loyal, playful, cuddly, gentle. We love you Carlos, (aka GaGa and Gah Bee)
The boys and I celebrated the special day by taking the birthday boy out for a long walk. It was windy, and drizzling, but at least it was 60 degrees out. Then when we got home, we made a "cake" out of dog bones, stuck a match on top (I really should have birthday candles around the house) sung him Happy Birthday, and blew out his "candle". While he enjoyed his treat, we had pie and ice cream. (the boys use any reason to celebrate with ice cream!)

It is also April Fools Day (just in case anyone had forgot) The morning started out with Cooper randomly pointing outside saying "Look at that!!" just to have me look, and say "Haha, it's nothing- April Fools! " Oh yeah, good one Cooper.

I had all intention of playing a joke on Aaron this morning. Last night, as we were heading up to bed, I went over to Aaron's tea mug- already prepped with a tea bag, and some ridiculous amount of sugar. Replace the sugar with salt. Perfect, classic gag. I was ready to go, sneaking out the big blue cylinder of salt. Then I had this picture in my head of my beloved husband waking up at 4:45 am, preparing for his LONG day of work. Schlepping downstairs for his morning tea to wake him up for said long day- I know how much the man loves his tea and news before work.

Well, I chickened out. I just couldn't bear to start his day out like that. Besides, the time I painted his fingernails red in his sleep (then hid the nail polish remover, of course) was joke enough to last many years :)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

in New Hampshire, spring means MUD

And nope- Tagg is not phased at all!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

spring is creeping in!

Yesterday, the kids and I spend a glorious HOUR outside, enjoying the sunshine. Best part- NO SNOWSUITS! While there certainly isn't any green popping up, there are plenty of bear (ok, and brown) spots appearing all over the lawn.

We had a lovely Easter. Puppy, GB and Uncle John all came up Saturday morning, and stayed until Easter afternoon. I'm sure they are all just getting over their "fix". . .I know how much they love to see the kids, but when your are little kid free most of the time, I KNOW my children are exhausting.

Aaron got to try out his birthday gift Easter morning, his 12 gauge shotgun. We took it to the town sandpit, and all squeezed off a few rounds (are shot gun shells concidered rounds? I'm so out of the loop on such things!) Our targets? Easter eggs :) how appropriate!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

where does he get these things?

So, during our family "America's Funniest Home Videos" TV time before bed, Cooper said something that surprised even me (I thought I'd heard it all from him by now) There was a video of a baby making funny faces while eating a new food. Out of nowhere, Cooper said:

"Can't slap the cute off that kid!"

Ah Hahahahahahahaa!!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

snow is melting!

Finally, we are all healthy here, and able to enjoy the warmer weather. Snow is melting (and mud is being made) I'm amazed what a puddle magnet my two boys and one golden retriever are.

I reminded Aaron that March is "order baby chicken" month. I have long dreamed of having a chicken coop, and with our barn (ok, I realize that it is more of a big, glorified shed) he simply cannot say no any longer. I LOVE fresh eggs, and the kids are very excited about having more pets.

I told Cooper he will have to help name them. Somehow, knowing my boys, they will be able to tell them apart. Cooper started rambling off names:

- Uncle Brian
- Uncle Pete
-Uncle Gary
-Uncle John

Then I burst his bubble and told him that our chickens will be girl chickens (and on a personal note, I am so thrilled to finally have some other females on premises!) So, this was his compramise:

-Auntie Brian
-Auntie Pete
-Auntie Gary
-Auntie John

That is some serious love for his uncles!

Monday, March 3, 2008

enough is enough already

Ok, winter can now officially be over. This is ridiculous, we've got SO MUCH SNOW! I know all of you in New England can sympathise, so feel free to join my pitty party :)

When we first starting the process of buying this house, it was May (Mother's day, in fact) and the yard here was beautiful. We spent all summer living at our old house in Contoocook, and working on the inside of our gingerbread house. We had very little time to spend enjoying the amazing property surrounding us. When we move in, it was already November, and we started the process of buckling down for winter.

So, come on spring!

Friday, February 29, 2008

more brotherly love

As many of you know, Tagg likes to talk. . .a whole lot. He is almost constantly talking, or more like gibbering away. As many nearly-two year olds do, he already asks TONS of questions (although you don't always understand him)

Last night, as the boys were falling asleep, Tagg kept asking his brother the same question over and over again. Poor Cooper, he could not get Tagg to stop asking him this question (which was not English, that's for sure)

Tagg: "Coopa, schleshin beeka beoui?"

Cooper: "um, yes Taggart"

Tagg: "Coopa, schleshin beeka beoui?"

Cooper: "sure Tagg, yes"

Tagg: "Coopa, schleshin beeka beoui?"

Cooper: "YES Tagg, what do you want me to say?"

Tagg: "Coopa, schleshin beeka beoui?"

Cooper: "YES TAGG!"

Tagg: "Coopa, schleshin beeka beoui?"


I ran to get the video camera, just to record this conversation, it was priceless. However, as it usually happens, all the cuteness stopped the moment I hit record. Really a shame, it was so funny!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

a face only a mother could love

Not unlike so many people- we've got a pretty hardy sickness (flu?) going on in our house. Tagg and I have been sick since February 1st, with a few days off in the middle of the month (such a tease) Cooper is fine now, and of course, Aaron only gets sick for two or three days.

Sleeping has been difficult, as this cold comes with a terriably sore throat, which loves to strike at all hours of the night. Between the kids being sick, and myself, no one is sleeping much around here (ok, just a tiny bit bitter that Aaron sleeps right through all the midnight medications, and rocking back to sleep of two sick kids)

Tagg, being the everlasting trooper that he is, is taking the cold the best out of all of us, even though he is getting slammed awfully hard. A few nights ago, while the kids were sleeping upstairs (both in their beds- that is right, not pack and play- but I don't want to mention it too much and jinx it) Aaron and I were downstairs watching TV before bed, when I heard that sound I am all too familiar with. . . the sound of a barking seal in my son's big-boy-bed.

For those not familiar with that sound, it's the cough of a kid with croup. Tagg gets croup almost every time he gets a cold, so we've gotten pretty good at treating it. So off to bed I go, and prepare my room for a night filled with sick kids.

2am or so - here he comes. Little footie pajamas shuffling down the hallway, and through the bathroom, barking all the way to my side of the bed. Poor little man. His nose had been completely sealed over with boogies, and boogies have been smeared (and dried) all over his cheeks, and the side of his neck. To top it all off, he's also acquired his brother's conjunctivitis, so his left eye was completely crusted over. He was so pitiful. Talk about a face only a mother could love.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

grampa's list

This morning, my mother drove Cooper to preschool. On the way there, they were talking about Grampa (David) and the things that are important to him (it started with a conversation about cough drops, which Cooper thinks are about the best things in the world) Babi asked Cooper what he though were the things important to Grampa, this is what Cooper said:

1. You (meaning my mother)

2. His tools

3. The things he makes (currently, my father is turning wood bowls like there is no tomorrow)

4. His House

5. not to break the things he makes

6. not to loose the things he makes

The last two echo loudly of Grampa telling Cooper to be careful with his things.

Isn't Cooper something? You never know what he is going to say. :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

crazy driver

First off, let me say that whomever invented the grocery carts, with the firetruck underneath for little ones to sit (surely you've all seen these "kids carts") has my utmost respect. I speak for mothers everywhere when I say that they are a real lifesaver- no one likes to drag their cranky kids around the grocery store. Heck, I wish there was a fun cart for ME to sit it, I really hate shopping for groceries.

A few days ago, Tagg and I were shopping (thanx Babi for taking Coop, it's so much easier to shop with half my kids) me steering the cart, Tagg sitting beneath, steering his fire truck. We play a game called "crazy driver." Nothing really much to it, when Tagg turns his wheel back and forth fast, I join in by driving the cart side to side, as if he's operating the whole shebang. Tagg laughs his head off, the whole time shouting CRAZY DRIVER, I get my shopping done just the same. Simple pleasure of a toddler.

On the way home from shopping the other day, I had to slam on my breaks (ok, and my horn...ok, and I screamed) to avoid getting slammed by another car. When it was all over, I had to pull over on the side of the road to compose myself. Thirty seconds or so of silence went by, before little Tagg said (in such an awe struck voice)

"Woah. Crazy Driver."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

drive by bageling. . .?

While putting around this morning, doing our Sunday morning stuff, I noticed a bag of cinnamon bagels on our deck. I brought them in and asked Aaron if they were his (it sounded even more stupid at the time, but I didn't know what else to say) to which of course he said, why would I put a bag of bagels outside? True.

This peaked my curiosity, so I called my mother, in-laws (who were just visiting) and a neighbor to double check that none of them put, or know who put, the bagels on our deck. Of course, they all the same reaction that Aaron did. . .it really was a ridiculous question.

So, apparently we've been victims of a drive by bageling. Someone has got a heck of an arm if they threw it from the road. Actually, Aaron doesn't believe it's possible for someone to have thrown said bag of bagels from the road (always suspicious, Aaron believe that someone snuck up onto our yard to litter our deck with cinnamon bagels)

Aaron just proved his theory by tossing the bagels from the deck, seeing if he can hit the road. Hmm, he can't. I guess there is someone in town, sneaking up to peoples houses, depositing full bags of bagels. Lock your doors.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

to Cooper, his father will always be an "Army Guy"

I love, love, love this drawing. This is how Cooper sees his father (notice the camouflage shirt)


the joy of freedom

We've been having problems with Cooper ending up in our bed at some point in the night. Sometimes they are nightmare, sometimes he tells us that he just likes our bed better. Either way, it is a huge disruption to my sleep, because somehow my 50lb four and a half hear old takes up considerably more space in bed then Aaron or I (and those with kids are surely nodding while they read this)

In an attempt to reclaim my side of the bed (really, don't think that Cooper sleeps next to his father) I told Cooper that he could fall asleep in my bed, and come back into bed when Aaron gets up to go to work. This seemed like a satisfactory plan to Cooper, so off to sleep he went in our bed, easily transferred when he was sound asleep.

Somewhere around 4am, I hear the tell tale sound of the little running feet of a scared Cooper, fresh from a bad dream. Still dark, as my eyes adjust to the light, the little figure struggles onto the bed. I said:

"Aww buddy, you almost made it all night."

Then, the little figure tells me:

"Mommy, esh bleikme geebee, Daddy bed."

Yes- Cooper did in fact make it through the night, it was Taggart that escaped his room, and slid in bed next to me. I clearly remember the first time that Cooper wandered into my bed, fresh into the same fire truck big-boy-bed. Such a rite of passage out of baby-hood, and into the big boy world.

Monday, February 11, 2008

they keep me on my toes, they certainly do

As I lay in bed last night, preparing to drift off, it dawned on me that it was the very first night that both the boys fell right asleep in their beds, no problem (like, we didn't have to go put Tagg back in his big-boy-bed over, and over, and over again) So- I close my eyes with a smile, marveling a little at how perseverance and patience has finally worked. I stuck with it, and it happened- big-boy-bed success!

No sooner are my chickens counted then I hear:

"No Coopie, NO!"

Tagg generally calls his brother "Coopa", but when he is feeling especially loving, or especially annoyed, he'll cal him "Coopie"

So, I charge out of bed and head towards the boys room, assuming I'll see the big brother culprit in the little fire truck bed, sticking his finger in Taggart's ear or something. What I see is that the book Taggart was "reading" before bed has fallen on top of him, and in his sleep, he is flailing underneath it, arms waving above his head in a "sissy girl fight" style- the whole time shouting NO COOPIE NO!

I ran back to my room as fast as I could, so I could burst out into laughter. So shame on me for immediately blaming Cooper. Boy, Tagg has got the little brother role down pat. He knows how to blame his brother, even in his sleep.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Oh dear- I'm knitting!

As many of you know, I cloth diaper Taggart. We do good old fashiond cloth diapers (kindly referred as, fold-em-your-damn-self diapers by my friend Andrea) pins, and wool covers. Wool makes an excellent water barrier, as the lanolin in it has waterproof and antibacterial qualities. I like buying wool pants, as it saves a step- just throw the pants over the diaper. However, these pants are very expensive.

So my logical mind tells me- come on now, how hard can it be to buy the wool, and knit these pants myself?

Ah ha- NOW I know why these pants cost so much, they take F O R E V E R to knit up. Goodness, I hope Taggart doesn't grow out of his current size before I finish these babies!

So, feel free to email me if you know how to knit, and have any advice for me. As a tried and true stubborn Maine woman, I refuse to give up. But really, any advice would be appreciated. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

adventures of the big-boy-bed

So, while moving Tagg into Cooper's room (now lovingly called "the boy's" room) I striped a screw trying to put the crib back together. . .couldn't it have just gone through the door assembled? Anyhow, I decided it was an omen to take the plunge, and get the fire truck big-boy-bed out of storage. Cooper was 18 months or so when we moved him into the big-boy-bed, so I figured at Tagg's ripe old age of 21 months, that he is more then ready.

So, here we go- line up the beds, Cooper's twin bed, and Tagg's new big-boy-bed. Everyone is very excited, Cooper can't wait to share a room, and Tagg is enjoying crawling/jumping/jumping OFF his new big-boy-bed, wich he calls his "bee bouy bead" Bedtime comes, books are read together on the floor, everyone gets tucked into their respective beds. Nightlight and soft music get turned on, and both boys get kisses goodnight from Mom and Dad. Shut the door, tiptoe downstairs. Ahh.

Not four, maybe five seconds go by before little feet are dancing upstairs. We knew this would happen, the new found freedom of a great big room without bars would take some getting used to. For the next half an hour or so, Aaron and I took turns RE tucking Taggart into his big-boy-bed. The cute part? Every single time we went upstairs to put him back in his bed, we found him snuggled up at the end of Cooper's bed. :)

Finally, both boys passed out from excitement and exhaustion in their own beds. The next night, I caved, and put the pack-and-play in their room. We gave him two or three bed escapes before confining him to his make shift crib. So, we try every night putting him in his bed first, but nearly every night (and nap time) he ends up back in his pack-and-play. I figure he'll get it eventually, I shouldn't have to send him off to college with his pack-and-play :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

five month milestone

I am super proud to announce that it has been five months today of sobriety for Aaron. We are all very, very proud of him! We've been told that the first year will be the hardest, and like Aaron says, we've made it through all the holidays, and now the Super Bowl (even with the Pats loosing!)

So, keep positive vibes coming to Aaron :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

the worm adventure begins

I held off as long as I could, but the call of composting worms finally got to me :) My sister, as well as friends of our have these composting red worms, and we've always heard rave reviews. Since we had a good size box to use already, and my sister divided her worms for us, there was no start up cost (hey, can't argue with free worms, right?)

Aaron and I will have a regular outside composter once spring arrives (will it ever?) but for now, it is super easy to just take veggie scraps down into the basement everyday. We'll see- apparently in a few months, we'll have tons of "castings" (worm poop) that make beautiful compost.

Cross your fingers, I'll update how it is going!

Friday, February 1, 2008

my news man

The boys are upstairs playing in their room (I still can't get over the fact that they choose to share a room) I hear giggling, and running around, or more likely jumping off the bed. . .boys. Anyhow, I just heard Cooper shout down to me:

"MOM, afternoon Kindergarten is canceled!"

Can you believe that my kid is listening to New Hampshire Public Radio? We've got nasty weather coming this afternoon, and now, thanks to my four year old, I know that Kindergarten is closed.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Per request (thanx Chuck!) We've decided to keep a family blog- even though I resisted it for many years. I've caved! We are really enjoying living in the woods. It is so quiet and peaceful here, although we miss our friends from Contoocook dearly (ok, we have moments of wishing we actually had neighbors!) All and all though, it was a very good move for us.

I am very much so looking forward to spring (I know, thinking in advance) we moved here in November, and never really got to enjoy our beautiful land. I'm excited to getting my fingers in the dirt, plant my garden, and letting the boys play outside.

Cooper is doing wonderfully at preschool. He's dropped all the "I can'ts" and is really showing his true colors. In a month or so, I'll start the process of registering for kindergarten (ahhhhh) but for now, I'm just enjoying the three morning breaks.

Taggart really has to be the happiest child ever. He enjoys life to the fullest, we should all be so peaceful. He's been using the potty often, even though I'm not remotely pushing it, because I did that with Cooper, and it really backfired on me. I won't make that mistake again!

Aaron's doing wonderfully at his winter job, driving a propane truck (even though I REALLY hate the way he smells when he gets home, P-U!) This winter job has been a real lifesaver for us, I hope he will be able to pick it up every year. I know he's happy to be working, but I also know how much he misses his trailer dump. I keep reminding him he'll have that looong commute again, soon enough.

Lessons are going well, I've finally got the kids in a good routine while I teach- how I love my babysitter. I really enjoy teaching, I've found a great rhythm in it.

I'm attaching (ok, I'm new to this, so I am going to *try* and attach) my favorite picture ever of my boys. I love that they are both wearing tee shirts that I wore as a child. Cooper looks so much like Aaron, and Tagg looks much like his mother. :)