Thursday, July 31, 2008

Who Me?

I got nominated for two awards last week!!! A Pink Rose from Mandy at They Call Me Bobby and a Brillante Weblog Premio from Nic at My Family and Other Animals. They had such sweet things to say about me and I am really touched! Thanks girls! I have finally caught up with my posts from vacation and such, so can now spend some time giving out awards too! (It only took me two weeks!)
So, here is the deal-
I will start with the Brillante Weblog Premio Awards!

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate at least seven other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

Nic - I return the nomination to her. I love reading her blog. She has two beautiful girls. And I will quote her because I love how she says it - her older daughter was "science over nature" and her younger daughter was their surprise and a triumph of "nature over science." I think that is so great! She writes very well and I can really relate to her ups and downs with the kids - and husband!

Jen - I love this blog! Jen is a wonderful writer and always makes me laugh! She is nearing the end of her first trimester after a bout with infertility. She is due the end of February - Brian's birthday is the 22nd. (Yikes he will be 8!) I like how she uses pictures to enhance her posts. How can you not laugh at a hamster with a huge carrot in its jowls? Jen has such a way with words; I read on and on and stay way up past my bed time! She also contributes to Redbook's Infertility Diaries.

Mel - I love Mrs. Stirrup Queen's blog. I found it about a year ago and am still a faithful reader. Not only does she link the whole infertility and loss community together, but she does it as a Mom of twins and a contributor to other blogs as well! I really think if we lived closer that I would be great friends with Mel, well that is if she would have me! I love the way she thinks and the way she expresses herself. She is a wonderful human being. She is constantly finding ways to help and ways to make this world a better place! And never wants a thing in return! That is my kind of girl!

SAHW - This blogger is still deep in the infertility trenches and starting a round with Clomid soon. She recently got a negative pregnancy test. Reading this blog really takes me back to the year after we got married that I spent trying to get pregnant. I wouldn't know SAHW if I feel on top of her. Yet, I know her feeling. I know her fears. I know her concerns. I know her pain. I will be rooting her on for a BFP (big fat positive)! She also is a faithful commenter on my blog - thanks!

AprilMay - AprilMay has three boys like I do, but hers are a bit older. Her kids are funny and her reactions to them even funnier! I love the way she writes and know I can always get there and enjoy a good laugh. She is int he US now but lived in South Korea for a short time. I am interested in learning about the country and culture from her when we get closer to travel time. I am sure she will have some great tips and advice!

Calliope - Calli is such a great blogger. She is witty and interesting and has a great heart. She is realistic and hopeful all at the same time - I can really relate to this! Her blog makes me stop and think, I just love for my mind to be challenged! She is newly pregnant from an FET (frozen embryo transfer) and has had great blood work and a promising ultra sound. I love her Saturday Scategories!

Spongemom Sweatpants - Well, the title of this blog alone made me laugh before I had read one sentence. This mom blogger has three kids ages 5 and under. Her kids are hilarious and I can really relate to the mischief that they create for themselves. She does a great job of recording all the great moments and I know she will have some great ammunition to share with first dates some day! I love this blog because she lets it all out and tells it like it is. Life with three young kids is not always pretty and it is great that she is not afraid to write about everything - not just the pretty, sugar coated stuff!
Now the Pink Rose Awards!

1. On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: Pink Rose Awards. You will find the story behind the Pink Rose Award and other graphics to choose from there.
2. Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs (if they have one), and explain why you have chosen them.
3. Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.
4. If you are selected, pass it on by giving the Pink Rose Award to others.
5. If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.
6. You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else.

Mandy - Mandy and I have been talking via the internet for about three years, I think it was sometime in 2005 when I first posted, because I remember when she got pregnant with Jackson. We met on Baby Center and now a group of us has a private board. Mandy is funny and really makes me laugh. Sometimes the things she does and the things she says really make me smile. She genuinely cares about others - even those she doesn't know. She was the first friend to call and congratulate me when I got pregnant with Justin!

Lynz - Lynz is another internet friend. We started posting together on Baby Center in the early spring of 2006 when I moved to IVF. She got pregnant with twins boys and had then at about 26 weeks in December of 2006. Her blog is truly inspirational. You can feel the love for her boys just flowing outward from her blog. She is one great mama. They boys were so little when they were born, and to now see them over 18 months old is wonderful! My heart is always warmed and my face full of smiles when I read her updates!

Andrea - I have nothing but respect and admiration for Andrea. Let's just sum it up and say that she has 6 kids - all under the age of 4! Yes, I am serious! No there are not multiple sets of multiples - three are biological (a girl and twin boys) and three are adopted (biological siblings - two boys and a new baby girl!) And she seriously talks about having another baby. When you look up saint in the dictionary I would not be surprised if her picture was there! She is a great mom and does so many fabulous things with the kids. Of course with all those little ones, there are a lot of funny moments! The kids are so cute!

Michelle - I somehow found my way to Michelle's blog about a year ago. What struck a chord with me is that she has a daughter born a few days after Justin. And then with further reading I found out that her daughter was also a twin like Justin. Ruby was born at a little over 37 weeks and her twin sister, Lydia, was born still. She also has a son and another daughter too. Michelle has a lot on her plate on any given day and handles it all with such grace - and has such a great attitude to boot. She also rocks a mean Haiku and a Wii guitar!

Busted - Busted writes a great blog and has a special way of turning her thoughts and emotions into blog posts. She has been through a lot on her infertility journey. She conceived boy/girl twins and then lost them at 23 weeks to placental abruption. She had a recent post about people who originally knew she was having twins and now not knowing that she lost them. I can understand this a little - just this summer someone at the pool asked me where the other baby was when they saw Justin. I figured that over a year later that most people would know that we only have one baby with us. She has bravely boarded the trying-to-conceive-train again and has an FET (frozen embryo transfer) scheduled in mid-August. I will be thinking of her and wishing her the best along the way! Oh - and her new kitten is in the mail!

Aimee - Aimee is another Baby Center friend that I have known for over two years. We soon found out that we live within about an hour of each other and went to the same fertility center! We met for the first time when we both had appointments scheduled around the same time. She has a son a few months younger than Sean and triplets that are almost a year old! I have been to Aimee's house a few times and really wished we lived closer. After only a few meetings, some e-mails and many bulletin board posts, I can say that Aimee is a great person. She has such a gentle and kind way about her. She is friendly and giving. Her blog is titled "We Could Not Ask for More." I know she meant it from her perspective but I think it can be turned around to be from her children's perspective. I know that they could not ask for more in a Mom! I am proud to call her my friend!

Kathy V - Kathy is such a sweet girl! She is due in November after struggling with infertility and loss. She is so great about keeping up with my blog and leaves such nice comments. I understand a lot of her thoughts and worries about being pregnant after loss. She seems, to me, to have traveled through the pain like a champ and is really enjoying being pregnant. Well, everything except the 20 cup size change in her bra! Okay, an exaggeration but she makes me laugh when she talks about it! Kathy lives in a neighboring state but is still five hours or so away from me! She is also a fellow dog lover!

So, do you accept this rose, uh, or diamond?


I love the Playtex Drop-Ins Bottles. They are very convenient and actually the only nipple that Justin would accept. Believe me, I tried just about every one. Not to mention the ten Advent ones I have from Brian and Sean! I love that the bottles do not get yucky inside. A bottle found in the car or under the couch is not a loss. Simply throw away the liner. Voila!

The warning comes because you have to actually be awake enough to remember to put the liner in the bottle before you pour the milk in. So, have your caffeine first and let the kid chew on a Pop Tart for a few minutes!

(you know you are a real blogger when you think to take a picture before cleaning up the mess!)

guess I should have had coffee first!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back Up That Blog!

As many of those blogs I read do, I use this as a baby book, as a memory keeper, as a record of my thoughts and feelings. I cannot imagine what I would do if I lost everything in this blog! I have thought about printing out pages or transferring the posts to a word document. But everything seemed like it would take so long! Then I was reading through my blogs today and found information about a company that backs up your blog - for free (well, up to 50MB).

And to give you a better idea if you are like me and 50MB means nothing to you - I have been blogging for almost 18 months and have 670 posts, some of which are quite lengthy. I just backed up my whole blog and used only 3.74MB. In other words, I have a whole 'lotta bloggin' to do before I run out of available space. I think there is a fee to restore, but well worth it! And I don't think it saves pictures, but they are all saved and backed up on my computer.

I went right over and signed up. Now I know I will sleep better knowing my precious words are safe and sound! Go ahead and click over!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I-600A - check!

Sent the I-600A in the mail to Newark today, return receipt, certified mail - it should arrive on Friday and the control freak that I am just loves the idea that I can track the package and see who signed for it! The I-600A was the first set of forms we had to send to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.) Along with the forms we had to send a sealed copy of our home study, a copy of our birth certificates, a copy of our marriage certificate, and a check for $830!

The I-600A is the Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition, and is filed before we are matched with a specific child to adopt. The allows the USCIS time to process the information to make sure we can provide a good home and that we are a suitable parents. After we have been matched with a child, we will file the I-600 (Petition to Classify Orphan and an Immediate Relative) on behalf of the child.

Once the forms are received and reviewed we will be given an appointment to be finger printed, again. The first one was a basic search for our home study and this time our prints will require FBI clearance. The finger print clearances are good for only fifteen months and the I-600A approval is good for 18 months. Once everything is cleared and approved we will receive form I-171H! This approval form will bring us one step closer to our baby girl!

Most people get their finger print appointments 2-3 weeks after filing the I-600A. The approval will most likely take 10-12 weeks though. But since we are still at least 7-9 months from a referral, it will be approved in plenty of time. I am hoping the appointment comes during the summer so that my Mom is home to babysit and we don't have to work out school schedules and such!

It was a really great feeling to have that in the mail today. But I was also really nervous. I mean, I looked over it more than a few times, and I had Brian look over it. But this form is so important and I am so afraid that something is wrong or incomplete and it will delay the process! I did feel this way after sending in out initial application and our home study packet too. And everything was fine! I will be so relieved when we get the call for our finger print appointment because that will mean that things are moving along! Or do we get and e-mail, I forget!

Feel free to ask any questions. I will try to answer as best I can, I am still learning about all this stuff as I go!

Justin's Fifteen Month Check-up

Justin is doing great and really healthy. Just a little on the small side. His height is about average at 30 and 3/4 inches, but his weight is only 20 lbs 6 oz! Brian and Sean were both over 22 lbs at a year! The doctor said he looks fine and she is not concerned at all. Especially since he is practically running now and a very active kid. His food choices are also not so good. Well, they are healthy - he eats mainly fruits and veggies. But these foods are not so great at adding weight to an active toddler!

And he loves to drink his milk - from a bottle. She did give me a stern talking too about him still being on the bottle. I smiled and listened to what she said. But I am a veteran Mom and she doesn't scare me. She looked younger than me in fact, and no ring, so probably not a Mom yet. Bah! My kid is underweight, barely 5th percentile. And he will only drink milk from a bottle. (I have tried a cup several times.) And he knows how to drink juice and water from a cup - and use a spoon! So, bottle it will be for now. And I am not worried. But if she asks again at 18 months and he is still on the bottle, I might have to tell a little white bottle lie. Just to avoid a confrontation and lecture. Shhhh. Don't tell!

Justin doesn't follow the usual kid food groups. He refuses pancakes and mashed potatoes. I can get mac-n-cheese in him on a good day. Noodles once in a while. Sometimes a cookie or two. He doesn't like bread or rolls or toast. And forget any kind of protein - no eggs or beans or chicken or meatballs or cheese. Sometimes he will let yogurt pass his lips!

He does love Pop Tarts - but only the brown sugar variety! He also loves chocolate chip chewy granola bars. He likes the Gerber toddler fruit snacks - and marshmallows. He loves broccoli and avocados. Corn and mangoes. Peaches, pears, apples, grapes. Blueberries and strawberries and raspberries. Cucumbers and carrots and peas. Apples and bananas and oranges. If it comes from a plant, he will eat it. The problem, beside the lack of calories, is the state of his, uh, diapers. An all fruit and veggie diet makes for some mean poops and horrible diaper rashes.

I told the doctor that I was glad that he was my third kid, because I think I am more relaxed about his eating than if he had been my first. She said that she was glad he was my third too. I wasn't quite sure how to respond to this. I guess she has been stuck in an exam room with a panicked first time Mom more than a few times. Not that there is anything wrong with a panicked first time Mom!

To sum it all up, Justin is doing great and will remain on the bottle until I feel he eats well enough to stop it. And I will continue to try to hide pieces of chicken in with his broccoli. Funny, I thought the broccoli would be the thing I needed to hide! Judge if you want, but you don't scare me!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Sad to say, we are a family of zombies. TV zombies that is. I guess the same zoning-out goes for video games too. I think that it is a given with most kids. I am not sure whether they really don't hear me or just pretend that they are so enthralled with the show that they don't hear me. Me thinks the second is more likely true - especially for the big thirty-something boy!

But then again I have to admit to being so into a show or movie that I forget where I am for bit. Especially in a dark theater. But unlike some others in the home, I can be watching the best show ever and I still hear my kids asking me things or a baby crying. And I don't walk through a room and stop in front of the TV, frozen in time.

I have also found myself forgetting what I was watching. I am so used to kids shows being on during the day that I usually think nothing of it. And I catch myself watching Wonder Pets or Sesame Street when all the kids have left the room. I am usually deep in thought or relishing in the quietness and find myself staring blankly at the screen. I then realize that I have been watching Linny, Tuck, and Ming Ming for five minutes. And then panic because the kiddos are way to quiet and I had better see what they are up to!

Anyone else mindlessly watch Dora or Clifford or Calliou?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Is that you Harrison?

Brian Sr., Brian, and Sean went to see an outdoor showing of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom last night. Brian had to go to the bathroom so bad and there were no facilities, or trees, anywhere around so they had to come home before it was over. So, we are in the store today looking for the original Indiana Jones movies. Brian spots it and quickly picks up the box.

He holds it tightly into his chest and we make our way to the check out. He is looking over the box carefully. When it is our turn to pay, he hands the movie to the woman behind the register. He then turns to me and asks, "Mom, how come Indiana Jones looks just like Han Solo?" The woman and I both started laughing. I explained that the same actor played both characters. I think he did understand but it was strange to him and he really had to think about it for a minute. He is getting older but his brain is sometimes still in a fantasy land where the characters in the movies are real people.

I think that Sean is still trying to wrap his head around the fact that you can be Han Solo and Indiana Jones at the same time. I bet he is trying to figure out how he can be that when he grows up!

Friday, July 25, 2008

I call ...

I have noticed lately that Sean has caught onto Brian and his friends "calling" things. You remember from when you were a kid - I call the big swing, I call the front seat (when it was legal!), I call 'not it', I call the blue plate, I call I'm on his team, I call the first popsicle. Fill in the blank with whatever you wanted at the time.

But now the kids have a new one that I never heard of before. They both say it so quickly that it all runs together. I had to get them to slow down and say each part separately. This was difficult for them - especially Sean. I am not sure he knew exactly what he was saying. He was simply repeating the sounds and syllables that he heard at the appropriate times. It goes something like this - "I call _______, permanently, no back shields, no erasers, no take backs." And apparently is is law on the playground and works.

I wish the same held true for adults. That we just had to be the first to "call" things. Man, I would be up before dawn just to get a jump on people. I cannot stop my mind from running with a huge list of things I would "call". Hmm, let's see. So, I call the following - permanently, no back shields, no erasers, no take backs.

When I was going through fertility treatments it would have been a great power to have-

I call I get pregnant this cycle!
I call no miscarriages.
I call I get a healthy baby in nine months!

Now that I am finished with treatments, I guess I will turn my list toward housekeeping -
I call no making lunches.
I call no changing dirty diapers.
I call no cleaning toilets.
I call no doing wash.
I call no unloading the dishwasher.
I call no cleaning up kids' rooms.
I call no picking up dog poop - and Sean poop - out back.

The problem here is that most of these things I can call and will have no competition since I am the only one doing them. I guess they would just never get done. Can you imagine?

I guess it could also work in the positive -
I call I get to read to and play with my kids every day!
I call we get a referral sooner rather than later.
I call my kids grow up to be kind, loving, compassionate adults.
I call we all live happily ever after! (whatever that is)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dog Food By Any Name

I say being a mother makes you do some things you might never otherwise even think about.

Here is the scenario:

Dog hungry and barking at you. You are out of dog food. Husband is at work. Baby is napping. (okay, technically I guess he is toddler at almost 15 months) You have to feed dog so he doesn't wake up said baby.

Here is the solution:

Pour some stale Kix cereal into the dog's bowl. He sniffs a bit and looks at you. But he then proceeds to eat. You walk away and then feel guilty for giving the dog such little nourishment. You walk over the fridge and pull out the gallon of milk. You then move dog out of the way and pour some in his bowl. You walk away with a smile.

Satisfaction for dog fed and baby still asleep - priceless!


Sometimes I wonder how in the world my mom did it. By it, I mean, being a great mom. So many things about this 'job' are the most rewarding and meaningful times in my whole life. Yet other times are so hard and trying. You would think that three kids later that I would have it all figured out. But, alas, I don't.

And that is fine. Each day brings a new stage in development and new experiences. I know that I cannot possibly be prepared for all of them or know the right way to proceed in every given situation. That is the hard part for me. There are so many unknowns and what works for one kid may not work for the next. What works in one situation may not work in another. What works one day may not work the next. What doesn't work now may work later.

And beside all the unknowns I have trouble letting go. The boys going on class trips without me is hard, but I am not allowed to go on every trip. I also get nervous when they are in another car without me. I worry when they go on a play date by themselves to a house for the first time. I worry a little bit each time the door to the school closes behind them. I worry when I tuck them in at night. And them doing things on there own is a good thing. I know they need their space and time to grow and make decisions for themselves. It just ain't easy!

When I say I worry, I mean I think about it and hope for the best. I do not go insane or cry or require therapy. Well, I did shed a few tears on the first day of school - but not enough to require a tissue! It is just so difficult to see your heart running around in three different directions at once!

I think that my Mom had it all - and in all the right amounts. She really seemed to know what she was doing at all times. I wonder if my kids feel that way about me?

Motherhood is such a balance each and every day. Heck, every second of every day! Loving them and disciplining them. Letting go of them and holding them too tight. Helping them and hindering their progress. Teaching them and learning from them. Encouraging them and warning them. Letting them fall and catching them. Observing them and interfering with them. Being a parent and being a friend.

There is a happy medium but it takes the precision of a high wire walker. Luckily on most days I remember my balance stick! On other days my kids are my safety net; luckily they love me unconditionally, just as I love them!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Book Worm

Borrowed this from They Call Me Bobby who borrowed it from a few others! It looked like so much fun to me! I guess this makes me a book worm, well I used to be one anyway. I read a good portion of these in school. No time anymore, not that I am complaining. I will gladly trade books for time with the kiddos any day!

This is a list of books that when completed supposedly makes one well read. The ones I have read are in bold, the ones I never finished are in red (gasp). I am supposed to underline my favorites but there is no underline button, so I am not going to do the code that many times! I read 60 out of 100 - not too bad. Sad to say, I have never even heard of some of these!

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (do the movies count?)
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible –I have read a good portion, but not all.
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne 41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. A Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespear
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Monday, July 21, 2008

Asian Shore Crab

Remember the crab we found on the beach last week? Turns out it is not a natural species to the area. The first one was sighted in NJ in 1988. And this was not a baby crab, as we thought because it was so small, but a full grown adult. Scientists are still deciding if they are a threat to the north eastern coastline because they eat almost everything and reproduce very quickly. They prefer rocky areas with clams, mussels and barnacles to feed on. That explains why we found it near the jetty.

I know this my be stretching it a bit. But in all my years at the Jersey Shore, I have never seen one before. And the crab being native to Asia, flourishing from Hong Kong to the northern Pacific islands by Russia, struck a cord with me. South Korea is definitely included in this area! I just think that it is neat that the summer we are waiting for a referral that I see, and catch, an Asian Shore Crab. The same kind of crab that is indicative to the area where our daughter will be from!

And it is funny because I don't exactly know why I took a picture of it. I guess since it isn't every day that you catch a crab in a bucket, I figured I would take a picture. Now I am so glad that I did. I will have to add it to her scrap book!

here it is again

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sean's Photo Shoot

Sean was in rare form and a camera hog today. He did pose after pose and was making all kinds of funny faces for me! It was strange because he usually gets mad when I take too many photos and tells me, "Stop picturing me Mom!" I had so much fun taking all of these pictures, and seeing the results is even better.

smiling Sean mischievous Sean
monster face Sean
hungry Sean
open wide Sean
look at me Sean
life is good Sean
Wilson-esque Seangoofy Seanare you done yet Sean

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Funny Kites, Baseball, and a Bucket

I guess Sean tried to make lemonade when all he had was lemons. It was really windy on the beach today and a lot of people were flying kites. Justin was mesmerized by them soaring through the sky. Sean decided since he didn't have a kite, he would fly boogie boards. He is so funny and has the greatest imagination! He did have a great time and probably flew his boogie boards for at least twenty minutes! (notice the white blob on the left side of the picture, that would be Justin's hat that he threw off all over the place!)

Sean flying them high!

having a great time!

While Sean was playing, Brian and Justin were playing baseball. It is amazing to me how much Justin absorbs through observation. Brian was playing with the bat and Justin just started pitching to him. It was so cute to watch them really interacting together. Brian was so patient and kind to Justin. And Justin was so proud of himself to be playing baseball! Later Justin was trying to throw the ball to himself and hit it with the bat. He even succeeded a few times.


A little while later, I looked over and found Justin with the bucket on his head! I laughed so hard! It reminded me of the little boy in the movie Parenthood that ran around the house slamming into walls with a bucket on his head! Justin sat there for the longest time with the bucket on his head. I would love to know what he was thinking under there. Maybe he was wondering why his world was blue or who turned out the lights? I had time to get the camera and take his picture, and that never happens. Usually when one of them does something that I want to take a picture of, they have finished by the time I get the camera out!

Justin how I found himbucket head

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, Thursday

What can I say, another great day on the beach! And that just means more pictures for me! Sean spent a lot of time making drip castles. I remember doing this as a kid. It was definitely a favorite thing of mine to do at the beach. If you don't have beach experience, it is basically grabbing a handful of wet sand and letting it slowly drip out. Aim the drips on top of each other and you begin to form the castle. Justin thought it was really need and Sean even tried to teach him a little!

Sean making a drip castle

trying to teach Justin
How funny was it?
great picture of Brian
sea gulls, sea gulls!
happy boys with water ice! down time in the stroller
Did I order this?
what a mug!
climbing in the chair!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A ticket to ride!

We met Z and G and their mom D, at a ride pier tonight! The kids had so much fun! Sean loved the crash-up derby cars and the motorcycles. Everyone loved the bumper cars! Brian liked the roller coaster and the 140 foot free fall. This ride reaches 50 miles per hour and has negative 3 G-forces! Yes, you read that correctly. My baby, my first born went on an adult free fall ride. And so, of course, I had to go with him! Then Z found out that Brian was going and decided he wanted to go to. I though his Mom was going to poop her pants right then and there!

I am not afraid of rides, at all, but have to say this ride was high. And it just might be because not only was I on this ride, but so was my kid - and his friend. As we went up and up, I kept thinking, this has to be it. We are so high already. But nope up it went. I went through this same conversation in my mind several times before we heard that familiar click that signaled we had reached the top. I guess I expected a bit of a pause before we dropped, but there was not one. I guess maybe that was better, to sit their waiting, if even for a second, might not have been good. Just as we seemed to go up longer than necessary, we also fall for what seemed like forever. I expected it to be over very quickly, and it wasn't. The free fall really was measured in a matter of seconds, but it felt longer to me. We came to a stop and Brian was grinning from ear to ear. That's my boy!

I actually found a video of the ride - from the perspective of being on the ride on YouTube! If you want to see how high it really is click here. I have to say the fall seems so much longer than it looks on the tape!

Sean and G on the motorcycles
Sean and I on the giant slideBrian on the merry-go-roundthe AtmosFEAR rideDemolition Derbyrace carscat and mouse bumper carsmore bumper carspeddle copter ride

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Beach Day Wednesday

Another beautiful day on the beach - sunny with not a cloud in sight, a light sea breeze, and warmer water! I thought that Justin was afraid of the ocean, but he seemed okay with the water today. So, maybe he got used to huge waves chasing after him, or maybe it was the freezing water! We had friends come to visit us today - Brian's friend Z and Sean's friend G.

Their Mom, D, has become a great friend to me. I really only got close with her this year, and hardly a day goes by that we don't speak to each other - at least once, maybe ten times! We both have 'mommy brain" and often had to call back to say we forgot something. We both laugh at each other and at ourselves. It is great to find a friend that you really connect with. That shares your morals and your values. That shares views and child raising. That makes you laugh. That is a good listener. That you can vent to. That understands you.

Justin had a girlfriend on the beach today. I could tell that he really liked her. So much in fact that he tried to hit her with a shovel and feed her sea weed. That is love if I ever saw it! She kept smiling at him and making flirty faces. It was too cute!

Sean and I caught a crab by the jetty when the tide went out. He was a little scared of it. I scooped it up with a larger clam shell and dropped it into a bucket with some sand and water. We looked at it for a while and then put it back in the ocean. I was afraid that the boys would be fearful of the ocean seeing a crab come out of it, but they were okay. It was a baby crab, after all. I am not sure how they would feel about a bigger one. Good thing there are no Alaskan King Crabs around here! They did ask if there were big crabs like on The Deadliest Catch! Love that show, by the way!

yummy, sea weed!
Brian teaching Justin to skim board!
wait, Justin in the water, and no tears!
Justin's foot prints
the little crab
Sean with another jelly fish
Justin playing in the ocean again! How you doin'?
Try some sea weed!
doesn't he look smitten?Justin running in puddlessplash, splash!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Beach House Times

Brian and Sean were very sedentary after a long day on the beach. They were pretty much couch potatoes for a while. After their rest, they then proceeded to eat everything in site! I could not believe how much they ate some nights. Sean at two hamburgers and then asked for more! Both of them were constantly eating snacks - and even downing plates full of fresh veggies! That is when I knew they were really hungry!

I snuck a few photos of Sean sitting with Blankie. I never expected him to be so attached to it at almost five years old. I know sweet moments like this will soon slip away so I wanted to capture them.

Sean and Blankiesmiling with Blankie
deep in thought
A little while later, I realized that they boys needed to brush their teeth. The following picture is Brian telling me that he had already brushed them. He said it first and then I laughed at him. I got the camera and asked him again. I told him I knew he was lying and he said he wasn't and how did I know? I showed him that the proof was in the pudding or in this case in the picture. I could tell by his face that he was surprised as to his expression on the picture in the camera! I bet even OJ couldn't have escaped this proof! What do you think?

I cannot tell a lie, or can I?

There was also a lot of time spent wrestling. You should not be surprised, I have three boys. That is what they do. Eat. Sleep. Poop. Wrestle. It just comes naturally to them. We moved the new coffee table out of the way and put a mattress in the living room on the floor. The boys loved watching TV on it, and, of course, holding wrestling matches!

wrestling with Justin

Part of the reason that the mattress was in the living room is because of the set-up in one of the bedrooms. I forgot to mention that I share a room with Justin. He is in a pack-n-play and all was well the first night until he woke up at 2:00 am and started playing. He noticed me and began to grunt and yell Mom at me. I tried to hide under the blankets and keep still. To no avail. I had to get up, tuck him back in and leave the room - this was at 4:20 am. The next day I racked my brain and came up with the following room divider.

Yes, I took the mattress off and moved it to the living room. I stood the box spring up as a divider and put the pack-n-play in the center of the frame. And just to be safe I put pillows around the metal frame. I still didn't sleep quite like a baby, but the rest of the nights were much better! Maybe I should write to a parenting magazine about my idea!