Early Birthday Gift…

My family gave me my birthday gift early!

I was pretty confident I had dropped enough hints to everyone but still wasn’t sure they’d actually get it for me.   Well, it wasn’t so much hinting as as it was letting them all know exactly what I wanted.  I even showed my husband the various places he could buy it from.   I’ve dropped hints in the past for things and ended up getting completely different gifts, so I needed to make sure everyone was really aware of what I wanted for my birthday.

Desperate times calls for desperate measures, and I had gone long enough without a working sewing machine!

My family did not disappoint.

 The kids gathered around me as I opened the box.  I tried to act as surprised as I could but 2 of my 3 children had already broken their silence after the delivery man dropped the box off.  Since the Milk Monkey has a vocabulary list of about 10 words, and sewing or machine isn’t one of them, I’m sure you can guess which two can’t keep a secret.

I hadn’t even removed it from the box before the Professor said “Now that you have a new sewing machine, you can start working on a quilt for me.”   He asked if we could go to the fabric store and choose some fabric so I could get started.  That’s what I did Saturday, only I chose the fabric without him so it could be a surprise when I finally get it finished.

Unlike some people I know, I can keep a secret!

This is what I chose…

and this is my first block layout…

I hope he loves it as much as the Princess loves her quilt!

This is my machine when it’s lit up without the extended table attachment…

Isn’t it super cool?!

I really like my new sewing machine!   It makes sewing so easy and I was able to try free motion quilting on this machine and I absolutely love how fun it is.  With a name like Confidence Quilter, it makes me feel like I know what I’m doing.

I see much quilt making in my future!

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The Tooth Fairy Returns…yet again!

The Little Professor is keeping the Tooth Fairy busy these days!

She even made a trip to the hotel last night…it’s amazing how she can find us no matter where we are.

I’m loving how cute my little guy is without all his teeth.  It’s very hard to concentrate when he’s talking to me because all I want to do is squeeze him and kiss him, especially with the little lisp he has with all the gaps.

The Little Professor is loving it because he’s filling up his piggy bank.

The Princess is beginning to catch on to the Tooth Fairy business and is vigorously wiggling her teeth to cash in herself.

I have to remind her that the teeth will fall out when they’re ready, we can’t force them.

Meanwhile her big brother has big plans for his new found wealth!

I’m secretly hoping the other top front tooth falls out soon because even though I don’t think he can actually get any cuter, I’m still going to love it!

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John Carver Inn…

October 31, 2012

We do not celebrate Halloween for many reasons.  I’m not going to get into that now.  However we aren’t oppose to fun.  In fact, fun is something we try to have a lot of in our family.  So instead of dressing up and going door to door for candy we do other fun things on this night.

This year we decided to spend the night at John Carver Inn in Plymouth.  When we told the kids they were super excited!

Since Halloween night is not a very popular hotel night, especially when it falls on a day in the middle of the week, we were able to check in super early.  That gave us a whole day of swimming in the pool.  Really, that’s what it is all about for our kids.  Not only did we get lots of time to swim but we had the pool to ourselves the whole day with our own personal life guard.

The pool at this hotel is super cool.  It has a big, winding slide that is really fast.  The kids probably went down it somewhere between 75 to 100 times, easily.

For the first half of the day we were calling it a pirates ship but then it dawned on me.  Plymouth.  Big rock in the center of the pool.  John Carver Inn.  Probably not a pirate ship but the Mayflower.  Sometimes it takes a little while, but I usually figure these things out eventually.  Usually.

After swimming for a while, a long while, we headed back to our room for lunch and a movie…Kung Fu Panda 2.  Then it was off to the pool again, this time we were there for close to 3 hours.  We had raisin fingers by the time we got out.

Now everyone is exhausted.  The kids are sound asleep, snuggled up in their comfy beds, dreaming of room service breakfast.

Today, I once again earned the title of BEST MUM EVER!

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Daddy Says… A Long Time Ago…

Big news today – Lucasfilm is being acquired by the Disney Corporation for an incredible 4.05 Billion dollars! And to top it off, they are already announcing plans for 3 more Star Wars movies!  Episode 7 is expected to be released in 2015, with Episodes 8 & 9 to follow in the coming years.  This is pretty staggering news considering George Lucas always said he would not be doing any more Star Wars films.  And as he explained today, he won’t be doing them – though of course, he will be involved and has already begun the story treatments for 7, 8 & 9.

George Lucas is passing the baton to Kathleen Kennedy, co founder of Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg and Gary Marshall and producer of several movies including E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and the Sixth Sense.

The more I think about today’s announcement, the more excited I am about the possibilities!   There are a lot of really great stories already written by some very talented individuals telling the further stories and adventures of the Skywalker family and the Jedi Order. Though, I’m sure the new President of Lucasfilm is likely to take things in her own direction – with George Lucas standing by “as her Yoda” as she quipped in an interview today.

Just this weekend the Professor, the Princess and I were all watching “A New Hope”.  It was the Mighty Princess’s first time seeing a full length Star Wars movie and she really loved it!  She had seen some of the Clone Wars episodes, and of course she is a Jedi Padawan herself – but this was the first time she was able to see Princess Leia in action.  After the movie ended, the two of them were off to play Star Wars up in their room and there was a lot of “You be Luke, I’ll be Leia” talk going on.  It’ll be a lot of fun to share the news with them both! The series was a big part of my childhood and I’ve been a fan ever since and I love that I get to share the experience with the kids as well!

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Hurricanes and Dishwashers…

Hurricane Sandy is in the process of hurling herself towards us.  We spent the weekend preparing for the incoming storm by doing the usual things…stocking up on water and food, taking inventory of our candles and flashlights.  Daddy even made a little space in the basement just in case of a worst case scenario.  Even still, we’re not really worried.  I’ve lived here for 8 years now and at least once a year we prepare for a storm like this and as of yet, we’ve never really had an issue.  For that I’m very thankful.  I’d rather be prepared and have nothing happen than vice versa. Besides, putting away the summer furniture, empty planters and outside toys needs to be done anyway.

In between storm preparations and emergency broadcast calls, and well, other various weekend tasks, we have decided to get a dishwasher.  It’s been almost 5 years since we moved in to this house and we haven’t had a dishwasher during that time.  Yup, that’s right, we’ve been washing by hand the whole time.  My hands have paid the price too.  I have been dealing with excruciating eczema on my hands for the past two years.  They blister and itch so bad that I have to scratch them even though the blisters burst and my fingers bleed.  Then they dry out and crack and bleed some more.  Washing dishes makes them worse and with the winter coming up we just need to finally get a dishwasher.

You would think it would be easy to just choose a dishwasher but it’s not.  I went online and did all the research.  I only looked at ones that have excellent multiple ratings and narrowed it down.  Then compared the selected ones…etc.  Eventually I found the one I really liked but noticed it said not returnable, which was a little alarming because what if it doesn’t fit?  After an email and some IM chats with Home Depot it turns out it probably wouldn’t fit.  Most built in dishwashers measure 24 inches wide and at least 34 inches high.  Our spot is 23 and 7/8 inches wide and 33 and 7/8 inches high.  Actually, I kind of lied, we do have a dishwasher, it just doesn’t work but that means a dishwasher can actually fit the space.  So I had to start my search all over again, but it’s a bit confusing because they have various height measurements for the dishwashers…there’s the cutout height, the minimum height, the maximum height and the assembled height and of course, they’re all different.

Soooo….after a weekend of research, we’re back where we started.  No dishwasher!

We will have to talk to someone after the storm.  We might not have power anyway, so at least we’re really skilled at washing dishes by hand!

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Hives, Coughs and Pneumonia…

The Milk Monkey has had a cold for the past 3 months.  He coughs all night and his nose is constantly running, he wakes up crying in the mornings and after every nap.  He had his 15 month wellness visit the other week and the doctor listened to his lungs – they were clear.  We were told to bring our little monkey back if it didn’t clear up in a couple weeks.

Last night we listened as our precious sweetheart coughed and whimpered throughout the night.  We knew something wasn’t right…it had gone on long enough, so today an appointment was made and we went to the doctors.  Our little guy has been having bouts of hives and lots of rashes for months now also.  When he cries his little face gets blotchy red and puffy and we’ve been fighting a persistent diaper rash for over a year.  I kept thinking it had something to do with allergies even though we’ve been told by the doctors before that hives aren’t necessarily an allergic reaction.  Sometimes hives are a result of a virus too.

The doctor who saw the Milk Monkey today thought that maybe it could be that his little body is producing too much histamine.  She noticed that when the Monkey laid his head on Daddy’s shirt his face became all red and irritated from the small amount of contact.  She decided he should see an Allergist to get to the bottom of all of this.  Meanwhile, she also wanted us to take the Milk Monkey to have his chest x-rayed just to rule out anything else.  It wasn’t an emergency or anything, but it had to be done before we see the Allergist.

I decided we should do it right away, just to get it done.  The hospital was on our way home and we only had two of the three kids with us so I figured it would be prudent to do it today rather than leave it to last minute.  Thank goodness Daddy agreed and we went today.  It turns out our Monkey has pneumonia starting in his left lung.  We were expecting the results of the x-ray within a day or two but instead we got a call on our way home and the nurse told us they’ve already sent a prescription for antibiotics to our pharmacy.

Tomorrow we will call the doctor to find out if the pneumonia is a result of untreated allergies or if it was unrelated.  I still want to see the Allergist to see if we can get some of the other issues cleared up too.

Tonight our little guy is in bed after his first dose of medicine and hopefully soon he’ll be feeling better.

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Daddy Says… In a Pickle

The morning after the wedding, Mummy & I got up and decided to get ourselves a nice breakfast with some good coffee.  We tried the coffee provided in the hotel room, but that was terrible, so we headed downstairs to see what the hotel had for breakfast.  They had a buffet going, but it just didn’t seem like what we wanted.  Neither of us were really too hungry, and we were kind of hoping for something we could bring back up to the room.  Besides the thought of a big bin full of scrambled eggs, warmed up frozen potatoes & some limp bacon just didn’t seem too appealing.

My brother and his lovely bride had put together a little welcome basket with a few of their favorite things, as well as a list of local recommendations for those out of town guests who were going to be attending the wedding. On the list was a little Breakfast/Lunch place just down the street in Waltham called “In a Pickle“. I had heard someone mention it the night before at the reception, and they seemed to like it as well, so we decided to give it a shot.  At the very least the coffee had to be better than what was brewed upstairs!

We took the drive, found a spot to park and walked over to the place.  We could tell right away it must be good, because there were a few small groups of people outside waiting for a table! It’s just a small little place with about 8 tables and a short lunch counter.  We decided to see if we could just grab a couple of breakfast sandwiches and coffees to go.  We made our way inside, and had a look over the menu – it was pretty impressive!  There were some really good sounding meals, like the Coconut Banana French Toast, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pancakes, Loaded Belgian Waffles & all sorts of Omelets.

Since we were looking to just get a quick breakfast and head back to the hotel, we just ordered a couple of Bacon, Egg & Cheese sandwiches with a side of Homefries & a couple of Coffees.  While we waited out front for our order, my brother and his wife came walking along for breakfast as well!  We talked for a few minutes, thanked them for the recommendation, picked up our order and headed back to eat.

The breakfast was great!  The sandwiches were perfect – fresh eggs, cheese & thick crispy bacon on whole wheat bread with homefries made from real chunks of potatoes, seared on the grill with some nice seasoning. And the coffee was excellent – fresh, hot and delicious. It was exactly what we wanted. The perfect way to wrap up our overnight stay.

We’ve decided we’ll head back there another time with the kids and wait for a table.  They have all sorts of cool stuff we’d like to try, as well as things we know the kids will love. All in all “In a Pickle” is one of those hidden gems that only locals really ever seem to know about, where the people obviously enjoy making great food in a fun environment.

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The Wedding…

This weekend we had the honour of attending my brother-in-law’s wedding.

It was beautiful!  I cried.

The bride was absolutely gorgeous and elegant.

The wedding had a strong Scottish theme to it, all the men in the wedding party wore kilts.

  

The wedding took place outside and the weather was perfect.  As the couple were saying their vows, sunbeams were bursting through the brightly coloured New England foliage shining down on them.  It couldn’t have been more perfect for two of the nicest people!

One of the very unique ceremonial things they did was presenting the Bride with a Sash of the Family Tartan.

The groom draped and pinned it on her.  It represents the bride being accepted and becoming part of the grooms family.

I really thought that was a nice touch!

Of course, like at every wedding there was a little complication before the ceremony started.  In this case it was a matter of an inappropriate statue right in the center of where the ceremony was to take place.  No one wanted the statue’s naughty bits hanging over the couple’s shoulders in all the pictures.

  

Thankfully, there were some very creative, kilted groomsmen to save the day and I have to say they did a marvelous job of covering things up.

The reception was also very beautiful and a lot of fun.  The food was great (I especially enjoyed the Mudslide cupcakes!), the location had character and company was awesome!  We had a wonderful time meeting people from the bride’s life.

  

We even sat with a couple who live in the little town where we stopped to have lunch on our way home from Disney!  That was really a coincidence.

There’s just something about weddings that creates an atmosphere of romance and the effect was not lost on Daddy and I.  It was a wonderful and much needed evening out together.  To top it all off, we were able to spend the night at the hotel while Nana J watched our little clan for us.  We were able to sleep a whole night without any nighttime or morning interruptions!  Anyone with kids understands the value of that!  It was a real treat, one that we realize is so necessary to do every once in a while.  We love our children and we love spending as much time as we possibly can with them but every once in a while we need a weekend just to ourselves.  It’s too easy to get caught up in our own daily lives and sometimes we need that little break to focus on us as a couple and not just us as parents.

 

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Daddy Says… Sleepover

Once a year Nana J takes the kids for a sleepover at her place.  They always really look forward to it, and this week was their time.  Mummy and I dropped them off in the morning with a small suitcase, a couple of stuffed animals and a lot of smiles.

They spent the day going to playgrounds and having fun, then after soccer practice they apparently stayed up late watching movies!

Today they went to Imagination Island, and spent the day playing on indoor climbers and Jumpy houses.  Lastly, they went to Friendly’s restaurant and had dinner, complete with make your own sundaes and face painting!

Nana J knows how to show those kids a good time!  But I know they were happy to be home too.  The professor rushed in to give the Milk Monkey a big hug, and the Princess just wanted to spend some time with Mummy.  As much fun as they have when they are away, it’s good to know that they really love being home too.

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