Mar 27, 2007

April Showers...

Yesterday felt to me like the real first day of Spring. I know, I was supposed to be last week sometime but we've had a snow storm since then so obviously Mother Nature doesn't consult her calendar enough.

But YESTERDAY...yesterday made up for a multitude of horrendously cold Rhode Island days. When I woke up it was to find we'd had some rain. The ground was wet and the air smelled clean and heavy. Then the temperature proceeded to rise to a blissful 70 where it stayed almost all day...despite intermittent clouds. Not only was it warm, but things are actually starting to bloom. I saw crocus in the neighbors yard and a few tulips popping up in ours.
The boys played outside for hours and turned the bath tub black when they finally came in. THEN, they were so tired they were both in bed and asleep by 7 p.m.!!!

The biggest bonus, though, is that I was motivated to clean the house! (And that doesn't happen every day!) So today we all woke up to more sunshine and a sparkling kitchen!

Hooray for SPRING!!!

Mar 22, 2007

CraigsList and Crepes

Yesterday I picked up a table I found on CraigsList. It was a bargain at $50 despite having only 3 chairs. The best part, though, was that the nice Indian couple I bought it from included a FREE GIFT for Sammers!!! A HUGE stuffed Lion. This isn't any old lion, he is BRIGHT yellow (except where he's dirty) with a HOT PINK mane (that really sheds!!!), and a large TURQUOISE nose. I believe he falls into the Amusement-Park-Ring-Toss-Prize catagory as he seems to be filled with shredded aluminum as opposed to, say, cotton.

Now if I could only find a way to sneak "YION KING!" into the garbage without Sam noticing. I have a severe aversion to other people's dust mites and used stuffed animals in general. Gross.

On a cleaner note, last night some very generous friends threw a
double BABY shower
for me and another friend, Diane. (She is having her third a few weeks before me.) It was fun and relaxing and they served Crepes which I happen to LOVE!!!

It's nice to know Gabriel* will have a few CUTE NEW clothes and toys that haven't gone through two brothers and numerous boy cousins!!!

All in all, it was a fabulous day filled with awesome gifts!!! Now here's a little gift for you:

A simple Crepe Recipe in case you're looking for something easy and extremely unhealthy for dinner tonight!

Combine in a batter bowl in this order:
2 cups milk
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
Stir until perfectly smooth. (Some people like to do this step in the blender, but I find adding the milk to the bowl first and using a hand mixer works just fine.)
Next add:
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
Beat thoroughly. Pour about 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter into pre-heated pan. (I usually have the stove on Medium. Make sure the pan is non-stick and have "Pam" on hand if you need it.) Tilt pan so it spreads out thin and forms a circle to the edge of the pan. Cook until edges start to look rubbery. Loosen edges. Turn. It will be pretty well cooked, so it only needs to stay on the second side a little longer. I usually turn the oven on "warm" and pile them on a plate in there until we're ready to eat.
Serve with any or all of the following:
(or) Hot Fudge
Peanut Butter
Berries, Fresh or Frozen
Whipped Cream
Ice Cream
Powdered Sugar
Powdered Sugar and Lemon Juice
or anything else you can think of!!! Enjoy!!!

*I'm set on Gabriel, but PickyDad isn't so sure. We'll see what happens when we get to meet the little guy.

Mar 18, 2007

Think Green

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Pic 1: A Leprechaun visited and turned the milk and pancakes green!
Pic 2: It snowed here again so the boys spent all day outside building a sledding run and an igloo.
(See Doug's blog!)
Pic 3: My monthly belly shot wasn't supposed to include my face. I am 7 months along now. (And obviously thrilled with myself.)

Mar 17, 2007

Florida Vacation: Day 3

We left Orlando on Wednesday to head to Ang's house in Niceville. On the way we stopped at Crystal Springs State Park to look for Alligators. We're quite sure there were tons, we just couldn't see them. Next time we'll bring our own Glass-Bottom Boat.It may look like I'm not helping with the kids at all, but I really am. I'm holding Sam's hat for him. Oh, and Doug had to carry the camera... Sam really likes sun glasses. Especially if they have a little bling.

Curtis and Max are both little monkeys. When Max got down he had a huge, swollen bite on his back from some unknown insect. Whoops!

Mar 14, 2007

Florida Vacation: Day TWO

Our first full day in the Magic Kingdom. We made it to the park early to pack in as much fun as humanly possible. Of course we had to take the classic picture right inside the front entrance.

Yes. I forced my husband and sons to wear matching shirts. Sue me! They look so stinkin' cute, it's worth the mockery I can hear running through your collective minds!!!

The first ride to be a huge success with all four kids was the Indy Racers. Sammers had this look on his face the whole ride. When we got off he said

"We do dat 'gain, Momma? (He's a huge fan of "Cars" the movie.)

The crazies in the car right behind me had to promise no crashing. I didn't want to go into premature labor. (At least not at D-world.)

Joe and Curtis
That's right. They got to wear non-matching shirts. (I care not what you think...)

Ang and Claire
Claire wasn't entirely sure what to think of some of the rides, or how she felt being surrounded by so many wild boys. But I choose to believe she had fun anyway.

Three buddies: Curtis, Sammers, and Max pushed by lady with hideous belly-button. (Yes. If you zoom in you can actually see it through my clothing. SICK!)

Aarrh, Matey!!!

"Hey look! I'm dangerous too! My mom and dad finally caved and I got to pick weapons for my souvenirs!!! Now I sleep with my hook on and sword by my side! Aren't you proud Captain Hook?"
("I learned it from watching YOU Dad!!!)

The highlight of Doug's day: The Femullet*

*Spelling has been corrected.

Mar 10, 2007

Florida Vacation: Day ONE

We're home from Florida, and I have to is now on my list of places I could possibly live long-term without dying of Seasonal Affective Disorder. So far, the "list" includes Carlsbad, CA.

(I suppose Arizona could also possibly make it on the list, but I've never spent more than three days there so I can't calculate what affect the lack of ocean might have.)

Anyway, back to the vacation. The first two nights we stayed at the awesome and very atmospheric Disney's Boardwalk Resort. My dad has a time-share there and was generous enough to let us, and our friends, use two nights each. (Waiting for the Shuttle Bus. Max kept busy by picking me flowers.)

After checking in, we went straight to the Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day. At first the boys were a little groggy and mellow due to being awake since 6 a.m., but before long, they got into the spirit of things and were excited to be there. One of our first stops was Pirates of the Carribbean. Both boys are totally obsessed with the movie even though they've only seen one five-minute segment. (Doug let them watch the 'Captain Jack vs. Will Turner' blacksmith shop sword fight.)

The ride dumps you directly into a gift shop filled to the brim with every imaginable deadly weapon and pirate accessory . Fortunately, by depriving Max of all toy weapons for most of his life, he has an aversion to violence and had no desire to participate in anything remotely pirate-ish. After making it through the gift shop, limbs tenuously still attached, we happened upon a pirate show. Max got picked out of the audience to learn a bit about being swarthy from Captain Jack Sparrow himself.

Here he is getting some pointers about how to strike, distract, ("Look! It's the Govenor's daughter!") and then run away. He had the striking part down pat.

Now he's swearing allegience to Captain Jack and being sworn into his crew. (Notice his top-button is un-done and his skivvies are hangin' out.)


The next ride Doug wanted to try was Splash Mountain. Maxer was barely tall enough and I was worried he'd be completely traumatized by the big drop at the end. Turns out, while I was waiting with Sammers and worrying, Max was having a blast and begged to go on the ride again immediately after...which they did since there was NO line that day! For more complete details, see Doug's version of events.Both Dad and Max were giddy when they met up with us at the tot play place, and Max is now a huge fan Brer Rabbit, Fox, and Bear, and the Briar Patch.

When we got home that night, my friend Angelique had arrived at the hotel with her two kids. (Her husband joined them late that night.) It's been about two years since I've seen her, so it was great to get caught up in person! She has two kids, Curtis and Claire and my boys loved them both instantly.

It was a great day, but day two was even better!!!
Stay tuned...

Mar 4, 2007

Heading Down South!

Tomorrow morning early we take off for our family vacation in Florida!!! We'll stay in Orlando for the first three days and hit Disneyworld, then head Northwest to Niceville for the rest of the week. Why Niceville? Well duh! It's NICE! (And that's where my friend Ang, who is graciously taking us in, lives. Little does she know what she's in for.) If I don't get a chance to blog while we're there, I'll definitely write a full report when I get home! In the meantime, as they say down south..."Have a MAGICAL day!"

Mar 1, 2007

I'm Only Writing This For YOU!

WARNING! I got a little carried away today and after reading this post had the thought pop into my head 'never has so much been written about so little.' Don't say I didn't warn you!

My sister-in-law recently mentioned that blogs are mostly "about being conceited". I couldn't help but feel dismayed and a little put-out! After all, the sole purpose of my blog is to serve humanity with my witty insights and well thought-out prose!

I can't really help it if my children are extremely adorable (and perfectly well-behaved) and my husband is perfect in every way and I'm a genius. Can I? I also can't be blamed if most of my blog topics revolve around "yours truly". After all, writers are supposed to 'write what they know' and I know me better than anyone!

I think this proves that my blog, at least, is published solely for the betterment of the human race and I'll leave it at that.

Now I'd like to move on to my topic for today's post: My belly-button.

I used to have THE perfect belly button. If you were to look up "perfect belly button" in the dictionary, it's likely you wouldn't find anything. But if you WERE to find something, it would be a picture of me. Baring my perfect navel.

What made it so beautiful and awe inspiring? I'll tell you. It was the perfect "inny". Gently sloping sides leading to a perfectly flat basin. Not too big, not too small. Just a perfect little bowl shape. It didn't collect lint, didn't have any unsightly nooks or crannies and never resembled anything the least bit distasteful. Like I said - perfect.

That was before. Before my first pregnancy. It was during that long-ago 9 month gestation period that something horrible happened. My belly button changed! It started to stretch out. Gone were the perfectly sloped sides! Now it had doubled in width and drastically decreased in depth! Around 8 months it appeared as though I had no belly button at all! It was practically a smooth surface and had all but ceased to exist. But that wasn't the end of its gross transformation. Occasionally, I would look down to see it POKING OUT! Yes! That's right! I started developing an "OUTY"!!!

Now, if you, Gentle Reader, happen to have the afore mentioned disfigurement, I can only say, I feel your pain and hope that a lifetime of dealing with the disgrace has hardened you a little to the cruel tricks fate plays on us. I, though, was totally unprepared for the blow to my self-esteem.

People said it would go back to normal after the baby came and I clung to that thread of hope. Alas, it's true shape never again re-appeared.

Now, years later, I'm pregnant with my third son and the continuous stretching and morphing of my midsection barely even phases me. But I admit, there are times I look at my navel with regret, NAY longing, for what once was...

But I soldier on, hopeful that one day science will provide a cure, or that the passing of time will at least dull the pain of my memories. In the mean time though, I hope my sharing of this tragedy will touch your heart and convince you that even the best of us have our Achilles Heel. May you take comfort in that fact. That's my selfless gift to you.