All I Want for Christmas is a Gift…and a Sister!

  

Every once in a while I experience a poignant “Mummy moment”.  It’s never during the times you would imagine.  It usually takes place during the most mundane moments, not during the milestones and it’s rarely life changing, but it’s beautiful and profoundly moving and it is the evidence that my life truly is amazing.

I had one of those moments tonight while folding laundry on my bed.  Daddy was playing guitar while he and the kids hung out in their room.  It’s one of the things they like to do before bed.  I was listening while trying to catch up on the never ending loads of wash.  The Professor started singing the Blues and it went something like this…

Santa comes down the chimney…

He puts the gifts under the tree…

I really hope…

He has a gift for me!

I want a gift!

I want a gift!

Don’t give me no coal…

Don’t give me no food…

I don’t want no wish…

I want a gift!

The Thomas the Tank Engine “Harold” helicopter was the microphone, the Light Saber was his mic stand and he was rocking the house with his Santa Blues!  I’m sure there have been many times I’ve been prouder but I just couldn’t recall any of them as I listened to him sing.

Earlier this evening our little Princess came to us with a request.  She decided she wanted a sister.  When I broke the news to her that it probably wasn’t going to happen, she didn’t take it very well…

She started crying big, crocodile tears, she pleaded, she demanded…she pleaded again.  We tried to explain to her that even if we did have another baby, we don’t get to choose if it’s a girl or boy.  It’s not like we can just order up a little girl and give it to our Princess to be her sister.  Eventually I was able to convince her that it’s nice that we’re the girls of the family and that we are blessed to have each other.

Her response was “Well then can I sleep in your bed?”

Return of the Screech Monkey….(said in a spooky voice).

It’s a good thing this baby is so cute!

The other day I wrote about how he was climbing now rather than screeching, well I think I spoke too soon.  He screeched all day today!  Forget water boarding, if you really want to torture someone, stick my little Milk Monkey in a room with them, they’ll tell you everything you want to know!  I feel like telling you all my deep, dark secrets right now!!  

I’ve been flat out exhausted for the past couple days now.  I can barely keep my eyes open, let alone think straight.  I have a lot less patience when I’m tired, so the screeching really struck a nerve (or two or three).  I was really happy when Daddy finally got home and took over with the baby.  My heart goes out to all the single mummy’s out there who don’t get the relief at the end of the day.  I have no idea how they do it!  I’m very thankful for a husband who takes such an active role in caring for our children.

The Little Princess’s face is improving bit by bit, every day.  I noticed today that her little eyebrow on the right side, now lifts as high as the left.  It’s so nice to see her face returning to the way it’s suppose to be.  Her right eye no longer has the vacant expressionless look to it, I can see the gleam returning.  The little Princess has an excellent smile – I think the word excellent was created just to describe it – I can’t wait to see both sides of her little mouth upturned into one of them!

Tearful Goodbyes and Encouraging Smiles…

After 5 weeks of visiting, Little Miss Fancy returned home with her parents Saturday morning.  There were lots of tears after she left and the house felt a bit empty, and a lot more quiet without her.  The quietness could partly be attributed to our own 3 children being exhausted from all the excitement and sight seeing of the past week.  I myself ended up drifting off on the couch Saturday only to wake up and stumble off to bed for another couple hours.  I’ve been fighting off a cold for the past couple days and it completely wiped me out Saturday.

Today we seemed to have a little more energy and spent it swimming in Papa’s pool – the water was so crisp and refreshing.  We bbq’d some chicken sausages and I made a salad and we had dinner at Papa’s by the pool.  It was relaxing.  It’s always nice visiting with Papa (my father in law), he’s fun, kind and tells great stories!  It was definitely a great way to end the weekend.

  

While we were packing up getting ready to leave, the Milk Monkey was trying to climb out of his stroller.  We’ve been having some climbing issues with him recently.  I had forgotten what it was like to have a toddler around.  Let me tell you, I’ve had a lot of reminders lately!  He’s climbing up on things constantly and yet, he refuses to walk.  He’s climbed both living room chairs, the little children’s chairs and he’s even climbed into the storage bin under the couch – he stayed in that one for about 45 mins just hanging out.  The climbing makes it hard to get anything done when he’s awake.  We’re forever having to rescue him!  I guess it could be worse, he could still be screeching!  Thank goodness he’s stopped the screeching!

The Little Princess is doing well.  I’ve noticed a tiny bit of improvement in her face.  Her little lips have started to slightly curl up again on the right side.  It’s a very small improvement but it’s extremely encouraging!  We went to the doctors visit this past Friday and the doctor confirmed we were given the right treatment at the hospital.  She’s getting the right antibiotics and the 3 weeks was the correct length of time.  I’ll be happy when this is all a distant memory behind us.  We will definitely be more vigilant checking for ticks!

 

The Girl With the Crooked Smile…

It’s been difficult to watch my beautiful, little girl express herself without moving one side of her face.  She’s such an animated child which only seems to emphasize the partial paralysis.   I know it’s only temporary and I keep telling myself that but it’s still hard sometimes.  I do have to say her little crooked smile is adorable!  For some reason she’s gained the funniest little giggle…it must have something to do with not being able to move one side of her mouth.  My little Princess has been a real trouper through the whole ordeal.  It hasn’t seemed to bother her at all and it’s definitely not stopped her from being her wonderfully goofy self, even when faced with some of the complications her condition has caused her.

On Monday we went into Boston.  We took the T (a train) in, which the children love to do.  As soon as we left South Station I noticed the Little Princess was having trouble with her eye on the non moving side of her face.  Tears were streaming from her eye and she kept rubbing it with her hand.  It was quite windy and I figured it was probably getting irritated from the wind and the inability to blink.  I gave her a napkin, wet down from water for her to hold.  Not only was the wind irritating but she couldn’t squint to keep the sun out, or close her eye lid when the wind blew wisps of her hair into it.   The Little Professor graciously gave his baseball cap to his sister to keep her hair away from her face and the sun shaded from her eyes.  Eventually we stumbled upon a sun glass booth in Quincy Market and bought her some sun glasses and she was good from then on.  I just wanted to scoop her up and shield her from everything but my Mighty Princess would have none of that…there was too much to do.

It’s been a busy past couple of days.  Miss Fancy’s parents, my aunt and uncle, arrived from Cincinnati to take her back home.  It’s so nice having family visit.  I don’t get to see these relatives very often, so when I do get some time with them I cherish it.  Thankfully, I get their company until Saturday and then they’ll return home, taking my sweet, little Miss Fancy with them.  I’m definitely going to miss her!!  Hopefully, she had enough fun to want to visit us again next summer!!

 

 

A Day of History…

Living in Massachusetts provides us with lots of interesting activities to do with our kids – most of them are great for learning, especially history.  Today was one of those outings.  With the Princess being sick, the Little Professor and Miss Fancy were getting cabin fever being cooped up in the house, so Nana J came over to stay with the two littles ones and I took the older two out for a tour of the John Adams homes.

The way the tour works is you take a trolley ride to the first two homes that John Adams lived in – one being the house he was born in, the other was the house he and Abigail Adams lived in for the first part of their marriage – after which, you take the trolley again to their third and last house, Peacefield.  Unfortunately, photography is not allowed in the houses so we were not able to get any pictures, which wasn’t too disappointing until we arrived at Peacefield.  The first two homes were pretty empty inside and the little furniture that did occupy the space were not original to the home and I’m pretty sure not even the time.  At Peacefield, which is the home John and Abigail lived in after the war for those who are not history buffs – or watch HBO, all the furniture is original to the various generations the Adams family lived in the home.

   

The Little Professor and Miss Fancy enjoyed the tours, though near the end their enthusiasm for history started to wane.  It is a long tour and after 2 hours they were ready for it to end.  The Professor had exhausted his questions – as well as the tour guide, I’m sure! – and we were all getting hungry.  Two and half hours later we arrived back at the Visitors Center just in time to see a celebration for the Patriot Ledgers 175th year.  They had newsboys all dressed up and a horse drawn carriage carrying a John Adams  look a like – Personally, I thought he looked more like George Bush – pulling up to the Quincy city hall, which was a fun coincidence as we had just been touring the homes.  We bought a couple newspapers for a nickel and decided it was enough history for today and went to look for lunch!

We stumbled upon a new Indian restaurant and the kids begged me to let us eat there…it didn’t take much begging to get me to agree.  The food was delicious and the service was great – they even brought the kids some Mango drinks on the house.  The kids were thrilled!  We ate until we were full, then we ate a little bit more, as we always do with Indian food, then we sat and laughed and talked about all we had seen earlier over some yummy Masala Chai tea.  It was a great day!

 

A little update on the Princess:  She is feeling much better, she’s finally up and playing and is starting to look like her usual self.  We’re so happy to see her feeling better.  Thank you to everyone who inquired about her and sent us well wishes and an extra thank you to all who were praying!  We truly appreciate it!!

You Keep Your Cell Phone Where?

This past weekend I took the girls to the American Girl store so that Little Miss Fancy could check it out.  She’s never been and as suspected she was blown away by the immensity of it.  From the moment we walked through the doors we were saturated in American Girl paraphernalia, something that is slightly overwhelming on the first visit, but in an exciting way.

The girls ran from display to display admiring the dolls with their detailed clothes and furniture, while I spent my time keeping track of thier whereabouts.   We eventually made our way upstairs to the Bistro where the girls ordered off the dessert menu while Mummy enjoyed a nice coffee.  We were shocked at the portion sizes!

Our shopping day came to a quick close as the Princess developed a sudden headache along with a fever.  I scooped my little, precious girl up and sat with her on a shaded bench while Daddy went to get the car.  I began to notice people giving me funny looks which at first I figured was just my imagination until one woman gave me a very animated, obviously disgusted look.  It made me very self consciuos and I started checking to make sure the Princess’s dress hadn’t ridden up or that my neckline hadn’t been pulled down while I was holding my little girl – we certainly didn’t want to be exposing our bits!  That’s when I realized that by trying to shield my daughters sensitive eyes from the sun to comfort her, I had put her in a “nursing” position.  Shocked, I looked up in time to witness yet another woman who was staring at me with a look of horror on her face but what really drew my attention was her cell phone sticking out from between her breasts.  Seriously, did it not fit in the big purse she was carrying?!  I couldn’t keep myself from laughing at the irony of the situation!  Sometimes I really just do not understand the world around me…it makes me feel old or maybe wiser!

The little Princess is still not feeling well.  She’s not keeping much down but we’re able to keep the fever in a comfortable range with some children’s Tylenol.   Hopefully tonight she’ll get some good rest and and be back to her usual peppy, cheerful self – and hopefully tonight I’ll get some much needed sleep.  

 

Bieber Fever

 

For the past two nights we have all gathered into the living room as a family to watch Justin Bieber’s World Tour on tv.  Believe me, that’s not something we would normally do, but our favourite little guest appears to have something called Bieber Fever.  Little Miss Fancy tried to deny it at first…but the truth came out as the show began and she started spouting off miscellaneous facts about the teen idol.  We watched in amusement while she bounced up and down on the couch with excitement, singing along and pulling out a dance move or two.  She was pretty cute through the whole thing!

Having an 11 year old girl around has been fun, helpful and at times a little perplexing.  It’s completely different than having a 5 year old girl, it’s definitely given us a valuable glance into the future.  We’ve been enjoying our time with Little Miss Fancy a whole lot and it’s amazing that 3 weeks have flown by already.  We’re definitely going to miss her when she goes home!!

Not everything has gone smoothly with the visit.  My little Princess has been dealing with the big ol’ green eyed monster.  One night as I was putting her to bed she started crying out of the blue…”Do you think she (Little Miss Fancy) is better than me?”.  I was shocked! Since that night we’ve been working on her feelings of insecurity.  The Princess is not just jealous of our new guest, she’s accused me of liking Daddy more than her too.  She’s been a lot more clingy lately and she requests to snuggle in “Mummy’s bed” every night until she falls asleep but thankfully, most of the time Princess can get past her jealousy and just enjoy her special time with her cousin.

Lights…Camera…Action!

 

A while back I wrote a post about Squishy Baff and our fun filled experience with it – you can read it here.

The kids and I tried it out one crazy night and eventually with a little help from Nana J, it lead to filming a segment on NECN’s Does it Work? with Leslie Gaydos.  This past Tuesday the kids and I reinacted our experience with Squishy Baff for the camera – we are now TV stars, or so we like to pretend.  

To be honest, I was so completely nervous that I worked myself into a migraine by the end of it.  I’m not much of a camera person unless I’m the one behind it.  I’m also not one for conversation with people who I don’t know very well.  I’m so much more eloquent in my head than I am out loud.  Words tend to get lost as they make their way from my mind to my mouth and I end up saying the dumbest things, then I start to panic because I realize what I said and then a pause turns into seconds and my mind goes blank and that’s when it becomes clear that the person I’m talking with probably thinks I’m one gum short of a full pack.  Thankfully, I was met with kindness and understanding during the filming and I couldn’t have been more appreciative.

My children, on the other hand, are like little running faucets.  Words come spilling out of their mouths informing everyone around them of every thought that pops into their adorable, little heads.  Unfortunately, that sometimes means giving out information that would normally be private to our family – very embarrassing and sometimes hard to explain.  Other times, like Tuesday, it means they can thrive when they find themselves in a new situation.  They were fabulous and I was so proud of them, in fact I envied their ease as they performed in front of the camera effortlessly.  They really enjoyed every minute of it and when it was finished they chatted about it for the rest of the day, dancing around with excitement.

Little Miss Fancy also enjoyed the fun even though she was behind the scenes.  She recorded the whole event on her camera, finding tiny little spots to hang out in so she could get some great shots.  She walked away with some good pictures, she’s quite the little camera-wo-man.  I think she may have a natural talent and good career ahead of her if she ever wanted to take it in that direction.  I was very impressed.

Overall it was a great experience, something for us to talk about in the years to come.  We learned a couple things too like it takes a lot of filming (hours actually) and a lot of different shots for a two minute segment and the more light on a person the better they look on TV – oh how I wish I could have lassoed the sun and dragged it closer to me!  Oh well, I was promised I’d be edited in a way that would make me look like a genius, too bad I can’t edit live conversations like that.

 

Life’s Usual Routine…

Once again we find ourselves reluctantly returning home from an extended stay in our trailer.  Everyone’s always a little sad the fist day back but I think I take it the hardest.  I find the reality of not being able to live our dream very frustrating.  That saying “so close I can feel it” has never been more true while we’re in our trailer but when we return home it slowly slips away as the days go by and life picks up it’s usual routine.

We almost didn’t make it home today, we almost got stranded at the campsite.  The decision was made to stay the Sunday night so that we could fully enjoy father’s day – being in the trailer for special occasions is still the novelty in our household.  Since we were camping so close to home we were able to do it.  We just packed everything up Sunday night and woke up really early this morning.  Daddy popped the kids into the truck while I started closing up the slides and making sure everything was ready for the ride.  I heard the truck trying to turn over, but it just didn’t, the battery was completely dead.  Thankfully Daddy had the foresight to park the front of the truck facing the trailer’s hitch and was able to jump start the truck’s battery using the trailers battery.  He’s so smart!  We were able to make it home ok – I was secretly hoping we’d have to stay.  It turns out we needed to buy a new battery.

Our trips are never dull.

Camping was great.  Wompatuck State Park is beautiful – very much about the nature.  There were lots of things that I loved about the campground and a few things I didn’t like so very much.

Here are some of the things I liked…

The price – it’s really hard to beat $15 a night, especially for electric hook ups.

It was close to home and work.

The campsites are beautiful, quiet and private.

There wasn’t a long list of strict rules and restrictions.

The bathrooms were clean, old but clean.

It was great to be able to watch the kids play and amuse themselves with nature.

Here are some of the things I didn’t like…

The campsites were hard to back a 36 foot trailer into – we couldn’t get into the first site at all.

The electric hook ups are only 20amp.

The showers had very low water pressure and the shower heads are very low –basically only good for children with very little hair to wash.

Everyone drives really fast, even the rangers.

There are so many bugs, harmless but annoying.

There’s no park for the kids.

The good definitely outweigh the bad even if the lists are even and I can see us going back there many times, especially with the price and location.  Still, had we been full timing – our next stop would have definitely been somewhere with full hookups, a park and pool and cement pads to camp on.  Liking nature is definitely a new concept to me, one that I’m embracing, as it goes hand in hand with camping but “roughing it” has never been something I enjoy – the fully loaded trailer with two tv’s and stainless steal appliances probably gave that away already.  

I wouldn’t call Wompatuck roughing it, after all it does have electric and the comfort stations,

but there’s a whole lot of nature going on!

Taking a bath in the trailer