Monday, April 29, 2013

Past month summary

I don't know where April went, but I know that I barely blogged about it (sorry, I know you were all just waiting on the edge of your seats!)  So, here is a quick recap of what's gone on with us in the past month.

After The Incident, we successfully finished up swim lessons (without further incident), and I think they were successful.  I mean, he still can't swim, but that wasn't really the objective anyway. I think he learned some good basic skills and we'll see what happens over the summer.  Our preschool director, Ms. Diana, was nice enough to come on the last day to see the kids.  It makes me so happy that she cares so much about these kids that she's willing to take time out of her own schedule to come cheer them on outside of preschool!!

Ms. Diana, Maddie, Jake, Colin, Mason

We had visitors in our street from these crazy big turkeys (there were 5 total) They provided a solid 20 minutes of entertainment for the whole family.

Gobble, gobble.  we're taking over your hood.
We started up tball again, and I will admit that the first 2 weeks were a NIGHTMARE as far as weather.  The first game was about 30 degrees, windy, and it drizzled rain.  Liam literally cried himself to sleep because he was so cold, and I don't blame him-I felt like crying!!  The next week wasn't much better (there were snow flurries) so GG was nice enough to stay home with Liam and I went to the game, bundled up like an Eskimo.  You APRIL.  But alas, this week was so much better!!!

Other than that, our weekends have just been spent outside when possible, playing and cleaning up the yard!  We're hoping to get mulch spread potentially this weekend and next, that way it will be done by mid-May to do some planting!!

this was Liam's first time behind the wheel--I love the look on Jake's face.  Classic!!

Gracie channels her inner Lion King (dog king?)

Admit it: you just started singing "naaaah, swenyahhhhh" in your head and pretended that Gracie is perched on pride rock.

No? Just me??

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I started running.  Not because someone was chasing me, not because I was frantically trying to catch a bus downtown, and not because I was trying to stop one of my children from hurting themselves or each other.  Just to run.

If you're wondering why this is significant information, you must not know me all that well. Basically, I lived by this motto:

My dislike of most physical activity, particularly running, dates back to high school.  These were some of the conversations I would have with my gym teacher:

"If I walk the mile instead of running it, will I lose points?" (when the teacher said no, I would not lose points as long as I went the whole mile, I couldn't figure out why all of the fools around me were about to get all sweaty and out of breath, when they would get the same grade regardless?)

"If my selected activities for this term are ping pong and walking the track, will I still receive an A?" (teacher said yes, I would still receive an A...I think we all know what activities I stuck with)

My personal favorite: my senior year, my gym teacher told me that he was giving me extra points in the class that day because he had never seen anyone put more effort into avoiding the ball during volleyball, and by his calculations, I probably used up more energy doing that than anyone else in the class who had actually participated.  I'm such an overachiever!!

Get the picture?

Ok, so I don't exercise.  I hate being hot.  I hate being sweaty.  I hate the fact that my lungs feel like they're going to explode when I do more than sprint for the bus.  But-I also hate the thought of having something bad happen down the road because I'm lazy.  I hate the thought of my kids visiting me in the hospital because I was lazy.  I hate the thought of not setting a good example for them about the importance of fitness because I'm lazy.

I have high blood pressure (thanks, family history!) so I'm at an even higher risk than other women to develop heart disease.  We do our best to feed our family healthy meals, but I have a sweet tooth that just won't stop.  So....for myself, and for my family, I decided to start running.

I'm doing the Couch to 5K program, which is going well so far.  I have completed 2 full weeks, going into week 3.  I've been running three times per week, for roughly 30 minutes of activity at a time (it alternates walking/running, with increased intervals each week)

I don't love it-but I don't hate it.  I don't love it-but I didn't die on the side of the road trying to do it.  So, I figure that's something for me.  Listening to music for the 30 minutes is my saving grace; Britney can get me through anything! (I'm a proud 32 year old Britney Spears lover-don't judge)

I signed up for a 5K on June 9th; I don't have full confidence that I will be able to run the entire thing by then at all, but even if I can do some, I'll consider it a win.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

High Dive

Despite our scare the other day, Jake has really been enjoying swim lessons.  Here's a video of him last night, going off the diving board for the first time!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Well, that didn't get any better.

I was a bad mom and didn't make arrangements for the kids to see the Easter Bunny, but the bunny was making an appearance at school, so I didn't feel too bad. We'll do the nice pictures first; Jake really seemed to enjoy meeting the bunny!

While he seemed to enjoy the meeting, he did have his doubts.  Here is the conversation we had in the car on the way home that night:

Jake: Mommy, I have bad news to tell you.
Me: Oh no, buddy!  what is it?
Jake: The bad news is, I don't think the Easter bunny is real. (insert me fuming over the fact that I assumed some other little kid ruined it for him) He's not real because when I looked at him, I saw HUMAN eyes.

Why he used the word human instead of say, people eyes, or real eyes or something, I don't know.  But it cracked me up!  I had to scramble and piece together that whole story about how the easter bunny has special helpers this time of year because of his busy schedule, blah blah blah.  He seemed to buy it.  Although I have to say, I don't think I'd be convinced by that bunny either, it kind of looks like I let one of the kids sew a costume together.

Moving onto Liam, well....I can at least say that he's consistent.  A reminder of his Easter Bunny reaction last year:

And a very similar reaction this year....and this wasn't even ON his lap, this was from seeing the big man down the hallway!


He was fine once they got that oversized animal out of the way, and brought out the eggs filled with treats.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

That Moment.

Have you had That Moment as a parent yet?  The one where time just freezes as you watch in horror as something terrible is happening to your child?  Yeah, I had that last week.  I think I can type about it now without crying, so here we go.

To give you a backstory to the incident, we had enrolled Jake in swim lessons a few weeks ago.  He's never taken them, and we figured it was well past the time when he needed to start.  When I was younger, my brother and I took swim lessons; I'm not sure exactly how old he was, maybe 5 or so, which would have made me around 9 or 10.  We were in the same pool, but on different ends.  Nate went under the water when he was supposed to be holding onto the wall, and no one noticed.  My mom had to jump in, fully clothed, to pull him out of the water. 

When I signed Jake up for the lessons, I was already feeling a lot of anxiety, because I can clearly remember the incident with my brother.  But, I just put it out of my head and figured that was a freak accident---nothing like that would happen again. 

When we arrived to the first lesson last week, I realized that parents have to sit waaaaaaaay up in a whole separate level of bleacher seats, nowhere near where the kids are (in order to get down to the pool, you actually have to take a staircase that's located in the hallway, down 2 flights of stairs, then down the next hallway a bit to enter the pool area)  This, of course, nearly caused me to have a panic attack, thinking "OMG, what if I have to jump in??"  Again, I assured myself that I was acting crazy and paranoid for no reason.  What happened to my brother over 20 years ago was not the norm.

But then, just like a slow-motion movie, it really did happen.  Last Thursday.  I was watching him, and he was holding onto the wall, kicking his feet like he was supposed to be doing.  I was at the lesson by myself because Brian was working, and Liam dropped the pen he was using to draw so I bent over to pick it up.  I looked back into the pool and couldn't find Jake.  My heart nearly stopped, and I scanned the pool.  He wasn't out with the instructor, he wasn't on the wall.  Fortunately, he was wearing a bright orange swim shirt, which I spotted IN the water.  As in, he was UNDER the water.  Simultaneously, the mom next to me spotted him and we both stood up and started screaming to the people down below; they didn't seem to hear right away, and other parents joined in and started yelling.  Finally, a teacher spotted him after what felt like an eternity, though I know in reality, it was probably only 10 seconds or so. 

He was totally fine, she pulled him up and I immediately saw him start to cough.  He was pulled back to the wall, and was smiling and continued on with the rest of the lesson.  My first instinct was to go down, pull him out of the water, and give the program director a piece of my mind.  The director was sitting literally just FEET away from him, and didn't notice.  He didn't notice that my baby had gone under the water.  He had a line of probably 8 kids  (all ages 4 and 5) on a wall, and he wasn't paying enough attention to see that one had gone under. 

But I didn't say anything that day and I let him finish out the lesson, mainly for Jake's sake.  He clearly was not affected by the incident, and I didn't want to upset him or give him a reason to be scared.  So I walked past the director, and the teacher, and no one said a word to me.  When we got to the car, I didn't bring it up, but Jake did.  He said that he heard someone say "OK Jake, your turn to push off the wall" and so he did (they had just been practicing pushing off) but there was no one there to catch him :(  He must have heard someone else's name.  But again, he didn't seem to be too upset by it.  Brian wanted to pull him from the lessons, which I agreed was my first reaction, too but again....I didn't want to send the wrong message to Jake.  I didn't want him to be afraid of the water, or feel like he was doing something wrong by not letting him to finish the session. We agreed that I would call the athletic department of the high school that was hosting the lessons the next day, see what they had to say, and we'd go from there.

The athletic department assured me that nothing like this had ever happened before, and that there needed to be someone on the side of that pool whose only responsibility was to watch the kids on the wall, and that it shouldn't be the director (who is in charge of the whole pool, and ends up talking to parents, etc...)  They assured me someone would be there that night.  And there was.

We went back last night, and they had someone there on the side again.  I feel that we made the right decision by letting him continue, but that does not stop me from practically not breathing the entire time he's in the water, I'm concentrating so hard on making sure I can keep track of him.  It's still bugging me that the director hasn't approached me about what happened, but whatever.  At this point, I'm just grateful that he's fine, he's not traumatized (though clearly, I'm traumatized from the event, but better me than him) and that I saw him in the water.  All that I keep thinking about is, what if I had looked away longer than I did?  What if he wasn't wearing that bright orange swim shirt and didn't spot him so quickly?? 

Ok, enough with that stuff---again, I'm grateful that he's fine and not afraid.  Only 3 more lessons. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Book Reviews: Starstruck (Lauren Conrad) and Distant Shores (Kristin Hannah)

I feel like I've been in a reading slump lately.  I read (and reviewed) The Baker's Daughter, which was really, really good.  Then I moved on to Starstruck by Lauren Conrad (better known as LC from The Hills); which was a nice, fluffy read (exactly what I needed after reading a book about the Holocaust).  If you get irritated with books that are mindless drivel, this probably isn't the book for you.  But if, like me, you need a break every once in awhile, and enjoy a book that you don't have to think about while reading, you'd like it!

 I had been on the waiting list at the library for a Kristin Hannah book called Distant Shores.  It came in, and I was excited because I've read a few of her books before and enjoyed them all (particulary Firefly Lane), but this one is just not doing it for me.  I'm halfway through and decided to quit reading it this morning...and it takes a lot for me to quit a book, especially halfway through!  It was just....depressing.  There is simply no other word for it.  And I realize the irony of saying that I loved a book about the Holocaust, but then complaining about the next book being too depressing to read.  But there are simply no redeeming qualities to this book; it's just depressing, and the main character is whiny, and her husband is a complete tool who I want to slap through the pages.  Done.

So, I'm moving on!  I just started Jennifer Weiner's Then Came You, so we'll see how that goes! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mug Shot


I will excuse this mug shot, as you are less than 2 years old.  But it had better be your ONLY mug shot in life, are we clear??

Picture courtesy of an art project at school.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Recap

We started our Easter celebration the weekend before with some egg dyeing, which the kids really enjoyed.  (note to self--buy 2 dozen eggs next year.  It kept them quiet and entertained!)

I gave myself a pat on the back because, unlike last year, I remembered to hard boil the eggs this year.  Yeah, that really happened last year.  Let's not talk about it.

Some of the finished products, ta-da!

My family was up in the holiday-rotation schedule (we alternate Easter & Thanksgiving with both sides of our family), so we headed down to WashPA on Saturday.  The sun came out briefly that day, long enough to get the kids out for a bit.  The cabin fever and depressing weather are starting to get to all of us, so we'll take what we can get.

The Easter bunny was good to the kids this year, they had some fun stuff in their baskets and lots of eggs to find!

You can't see very well, but they each got a Buzz Lightyear umbrella (I found them at Giant Eagle months ago for .50.  No joke, 50 cents!  Nevermind the fact that Liam is probably a danger to himself with an umbrella, but I'll save it for him), a new color wonder marker book, a car, and matching Jake & the Neverland Pirates tshirts.  I forgot to get a picture of it, but they also got this playground accessories kit, ordered from  They are going to love being able to play pirate ship in their swingset!

Note: not my kid

Egg hunt time!

um...I was told there would be candy involved in this holiday??

Gracie sat around, being bitter that there was not an egg hunt that involved treats.

"20 eggs and they couldn't put a single dog treat in one of them??  Not even ONE?"

 These boys were very lucky; they had received baskets earlier in the week from Nana & PopPop, then even more on Easter from GG & Pappy, AND Uncle Nate and Aunt Katie!!  Thank you for all of the fun stuff :)

As always, I insisted on shoving everyone onto one couch and messing with the timer on the camera multiple times until we got a decent shot.  Our family had a great Easter, we hope you did, too!!

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