Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Off to the Beach!

I know it sounds a bit crazy to be headed to the beach in December, in NJ! But we are just going to hang out and to get away for a bit. A few friends and their kids are joining us for a few days. It is just something different to do to ring in the New Year!

Sean is the only one that had a bit of trouble adjusting to winter at the shore. He didn't quite make the connection between the cold weather and no swimming. He was looking for his bathing suit and beach toys. He was a tad upset that there was not much to do at the beach in the winter. We did bring a football and soccer ball to play with on the beach. But today it was so bitterly cold and windy that we could barely go outside.

But when his friends arrived, his mood quickly improved! Thank goodness!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Feeding Time

Our cousin M is here most days during the week with us for lunch. Justin loves to "share" from her plate and even likes to feed her. I had trouble getting a good picture, but Justin has a for in his hand and is attempting to feed M. I love that when he feeds someone that he opens his mouth in anticipation of them opening theirs!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Maze Dimples

Sean likes to draw mazes - and jelly fish and tie fighters from Star Wars. Today he was all about mazes - yellow ones. He draws all sorts of circular shapes on a paper and then asks me to complete the maze. The one today was a bit tough to decipher, so I asked him where the start was. He replied, "Uh, right there mom. There where the dimple is in the line."

What? I think that is a little above the average five year old. yes, he knows what a dimple is in some one's cheek when they smile. But I thought it was amazing that he carried it over to mean an indentation in general! What a kid!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Regular Season Game!

We got to go to Joe's last regular season game. Baltimore wins over Jacksonville!!! The score was 27-7 and Joe was 17/23 and passed for 297 yards!!! I am excited to see him throwing the ball more! Can you say Wild Card!?!?!?! Ravens are in the playoffs! And the Eagles too!!! Maybe we will have a Ravens/Eagles Superbowl!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Bottomless Pit

Otherwise known as Sean. This is what he ate today:

7:30 am - Oatmeal that must contain raisins and apple juice

10:30am - Snack at school - mini bagel with butter and grapes

11:45am - chicken noodle soup

11:55am - tortilla chips and salsa

12:01pm - apple and a roll

12:30pm - plain large bagel

1:04pm - animal crackers and water

2:09pm - applesauce and cucumbers

2:37pm - pretzel rods and PB&J

3:15pm - 2 clementines

4:00pm - chicken nuggets, broccoli and ketchup

5:30pm - chicken breast, noodles, and corn

6:00pm - more tortilla chips and salsa

6:08pm - mini marshmallows

7:23pm - banana and popcorn

8:19pm - apple and fruit cocktail

8:30pm - toothpaste and water

Can you believe the amount of food this kid eats in one day? He, by far, eats more than anyone in the house! And he is only 5! What in the world am I going to feed him in ten years - 50lb bags of oats - with raisins?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008!

We had a great Christmas! The bigger boys slept until about 7:30, Justin made it until almost 8:45. And being the mean, horrible parents that we are, we made Brian and Sean wait until Justin woke up to open their presents! We did let them go through their stockings. And eat donuts and coffee cake! Yum!

Even with waiting, they were finished opening before Justin could blink an eye. He was too busy looking at the presents they opened and then threw to the side to attack the next wrapped treasure. Ahhhh - all the time Santa spent picking out pretty paper and all those hours the poor elves spent wrapping. All of that time an effort reduced to a few trash bags in a manner of minutes. Sigh.

Then of course they assaulted him while he was trying to open his presents. They wanted to help him and a few times I had to stop them from opening presents that Justin didn't even have near him yet. Why it was so exciting for them to open Wonder Pets and Elmo toys, I will never know. I guess it was just the thrill of opening things.

My mom came over for dinner and I was so tired. The thought of making a huge dinner made my eyes even heavier. So I made an executive decision and we ordered Chinese food! Made me think of The Christmas Story! Everyone enjoyed it so much that I think we may make a tradition out of it! We cooked the ham and fixings a few days later and it was wonderful!

a rare moment -
Justin opening a present himselfSean excited about Star Wars figuresBrian loved his "game worn" Penn jerseythe boys all reading togethersocks and a jack-in-the-box
what could be better

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Our Christmas Miracle

It has been seven or eight months since Justin liked getting a bath! He wouldn't even tolerate the bath. Although he did enjoy playing in the toilet - go figure. Whenever he was put near the tub he screamed and clawed (had to make sure his nails were short) and did everything in his power to get out of the water. I am surprised the neighbors didn't report us. Can you hear it now - "Yes officer, I know how loud he was screaming and crying. Really, I was only giving him a bath."

Then we thought maybe it was the deep water and not just water. No such luck. He had the same reaction to getting held in the shower. Needless to say, the poor kid's baths have been very few and far in between. I guess if he was in school he would be the smelly kid! Poor Justin.

Not only did Justin get in the bath tonight, but he kicked and splashed. He swam on his belly. He poured water on himself and laughed when the boys dumped buckets of water on his head! He played with boats and sharks and dolphins. He put his head back in the water and laughed. He blew bubbles in the water and even drank a mouthful or two. He was so at ease and having fun!

I am so relieved!!! Brian and Sean always loved the bath. I had no idea how long his fear was going to last. I smiled and told stories about it for the first month or so. Then I got mad. After that I was worried. Would my kid be the one sitting on the side of the pool all summer? Ugh! Well, it looks like, for now, I am raising another fish and balance has been restored to the universe!

Justin splashing
Sean being silly
Brian in a waterfallDad pouring water on JustinBut, it's all good

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sean's Holiday Concert

Sean's holiday concert was really cute - he knew the words to all the songs and even did all the hand movements! I just wish I could have seen more of him. He is one of the taller kids, so was in the back row. The problem is that the kids did not keep in their lines and there always seemed to be at least one kid in front of him. I have no good pictures of the actual show - just a few of him walking out. I got a few glimpses of him on video, so hopefully we are good!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I guess since I told about Clark, I might as well tell about Fred. Fred is Justin's lookalike. He is bad and as Brian and Sean say, evil! Whenever Justin does something really mischievous or when he is really crazy, we call him Fred. We say, "Oh, No! Fred is back again" or "Fred! What have you done with our Justin!" Brian and Sean think that this is so funny! Justin has another personality even at his young age! We are probably confusing the heck out of this kid, either that or he thinks he has ten different names! He might think that Brian Sr. has more than one name too! (ha, ha, ha)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowman Brownies!

I made these brownies for Brian's class holiday party. I made brownies in a 1/2 sheet cake pan and then used snowman cookie cutters. I decorated with white icing and then added green sprinkles, raisins for eyes, a chocolate chip for a nose, and pieces of tootsie rolls for the mouth! The scarf was done with red decorator icing! The kids really enjoyed the sugary goodness!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ravens Win!!!!

Woo-hoooo! See ya Dallas! Ravens beat the Cowboys 33-24! We live in Eagles Country, so even if we didn't have a nephew on the Raven's we would still love any team that beats Dallas! I am still saying playoffs for the Ravens!!! Joe was 17/25 and passed for 149 yards with 1 touch down pass!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Gram!

Today was my Grandmom's birthday. I miss her so much. I really wish she could have been here to meet the boys. I know they would just adore her, and she them. My Gram and I got really close when I went away to college. She wrote me letters a few times a week and was really good at sending care packages with freshly baked cookies and cash!!! Actually she typed most of my letters - on a big metal typewriter. Correction tape and all. And letters with Xs through them when she ran out of correction tape. I keep the letters in a box in the back of my closet. They are one of my most prized possessions. Today, in honor of the day she was born, I thought I would share an excerpt from one of her letters. Enjoy!

Yesterday (Sunday), I went out shopping to K-Mart early to pick up some advertised SPECIALS...are you familiar with the "Blue Light"? the store when the announcement comes over the loud speaker that an item is going to be discounted one must find they lady with the "Blue Light"...that is if it is something one picture this...I was in ladies undies when I hear that the $1.98 Halloween planter is on sale for $one I drop my panties and head for the plane dept..I buy two of those cute little plastic pumpkins with some green (live) Ivy in them and the Blue Light Lady puts blue stickers on them for one dollar...what a bargain!!! I go back to ladies is in the opposite end of the store and before I can decided if I want beige or white briefs I hear a voice saying (this is over the I am not hearing voices...yet...another year or so...maybe...) so, this voice announces that there is a very Special deal on Halloween planters for the next five minutes....fro 50 I really feel that I've been I dash back to the Blue Light Broad...and she covers up my one buck blue tag with the fifty cent blue tag and I decided to buy two more...just think of all the money I am my only problem is what do I do with four pumpkin planters???...for sure your mom will be the LUCKY one to get a Halloween Surprise!

All of the above is true...and my friend Betty and her sister Ro are the lucky recipients of an unexpected and probably unwanted gift!

See my life is not that uninteresting.

Love, Gram

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Introducing Clark....

Justin absolutely loves this pair of blue Hotwheels sunglasses! He wears them all the time and for hours on end! We lost the lenses to them and I was about to throw them away - so glad I didn't! We call him Clark when he wears them. Like Clark Kent. It is his everyday disguise so no one knows that he is really a Super Baby! I just cannot get over how cute he looks!

It's a bird, it's a plane...
laughing at his brothers love the smiles!some raspberries thrown in for fun!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jail Break!

Imagine my surprise when I saw this today! Especially since Brian and Sean never climbed out of their cribs!!! Ever. I opened Justin's door and there he was with a big smile on his sleepy face! Of course I called Brian to come watch him while I ran to get the camera!

proud escape artist
Then I put him back in the crib to see if he could repeat the escape. He did in about two seconds flat - good thing my camera has a quick shutter speed!

getting his foot up

swinging over the sidesteady, steady...ta-da!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mmmmm...Chocolate Cake!!!

As most kids do, Justin loves licking the cake beaters! I made chocolate cake - from scratch! Yum! He did make quite a mess, but nothing compared to when he actually got a piece of cake. And insisted that he eat it all by himself!!!

not too bad yet...
getting messier
green pepper and chocolate? what a face - describes him perfectlythe only thing he didn't enjoy was the clean-up!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The I 171-H

I never got a chance to upload the picture of our I-600a approval when we got the letter, so here it is now! Not as exciting as I thought it would be, but great to have none the less! I figured some of you might be a bit curious, I know I was!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tough Loss

It was a tough loss to Pittsburgh this week for the Ravens. They lost 13-9. Joe was 13/28 and passed for 115 yds; he had two interceptions. We are still thinking playoffs in this house! Go Joe!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Christmas Card!

My in-laws have a Santa suit that is used for the annual Pollyanna party. We borrowed it for a few Santa pictures and to try to get a great picture for our holiday card! Brian was okay, Sean did great, and Justin cried in most of the pictures. He has Santa-phobia, poor kid. We decided on the last one for our card!

I liked this onetried to get one with the dogI saw doggie kissing Santa Claus
Brian wanted to try on the outfitGot Chimney?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Butt Paste!

Rough day is an understatement for my day today! I was babysitting and had Sean and Justin, plus three more girls - ages 4, 2, and 2! They were into everything! And because I was so busy, I was a little careless! Let's see, first N got the top off the Triple Paste and spread it all over the carpet, furniture and other kids. She was able to get into all this mess because I was cleaning the soda off the kitchen floor that Sean had spilled. He said he thought he could do it himself.

It was a classic case of cup overflow onto the counter and floor. I have no idea why he didn't stop pouring once the cup was full. He poured enough for at least three glasses full! That reminds me of something else. Why in the world do kids drop things or spill things and then stand there and look at it??? I don't know how many times I have to yell, Pick it up!!! or Get a Towel!!! You would think by about the 890,277th time they spilled or dropped something that they would begin to get the hang of things!!!

Well, back to my here I am trying to get the paste off the kids. I figure I should clean them first or there might be more spreading to be done. Then I am on my knees with hot soapy water trying to get the sticky, oily diaper rash cream out of the carpet and furniture. And as I am scrubbing the carpet, N decides to get into the bathroom and somehow got the top off of the hand soap. And it had to to be blue hippo soap, not the clear kind! She had it all over the floor and toilet and even some out into the hall! I think soap is even harder to clean up than diaper rash cream. It just keeps getting more and more slippery when you try to wipe it up.

So, kids, bathroom, and living room clean. No wait. Scratch living room. Sean decided to have a snack while I was in the bathroom and left an open bag of tortilla chips out for the toddlers. So kind of him to share! Well, the tots decided it would be fun to play squish the chips into the carpet - and the carpet was wet from cleaning it before, so it was mushy crumbs ground into the carpet. I had to try to pick most of it out by hand since the vacuum would be no good on wet tortilla chips!

Now go back to the bathroom. This one I am glad was just spilled. N got the cleanser out of the kitchen and carried to the bathroom. She decided it would look great spilled all over the hallway! Thank goodness she did not try to eat it, or feed it to another child. I really have no idea how she got her hands on it. They are so fast - and sneaky!

Thank goodness that was the end to the madness, but it was a busy few minutes! I only got pictures of the first few events because I was scared to turn my back after that!!!

N the trouble maker
Justin trying to clean his facethe blue soap
the cleanser

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why Not Add A Candy Cane?

Okay, these pictures are really from yesterday with the syrup, but they were so cute, I decided to give them their own day! This is the candy cane that Justin got the other night from Santa on the firetruck. Unwrapped this time for his eating pleasure! He put it in his mouth very tentatively at first, but before long there was barely an inch of skin untouched by red minty-ness! He had so much fun, and part of the reason for letting him have it was a good photo-op! There were some great candy cane pictures of him last year too. Hard to tell which year he was more of a mess!

what is this thing?yep, good stuff!look ma, no hands!cheese!the end result

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa By Firetruck!

We heard Santa for blocks and blocks before he got to our street tonight! Santa, with his fireman helpers, rides around every year in the weeks before Christmas atop a decorated firetruck! Brian heard the sirens and the blaring Christmas music and ran through the house screaming that Santa was coming. Of course, Sean was in the bathtub at that time. Brian's announcement caused an all out screaming and hysterical Sean. He thought for sure that he would miss Santa - and his candy cane from the firemen.

So, I ran outside to check. Phew! Santa was actually on the block behind our house and going up the street. We had time to get Sean out of the tub and get most of his body dry before he went out in the sub-freezing temperatures! Justin was a little scared at first, he doesn't like loud noises at this time. But when he saw Santa and had a candy cane in his hand, all was good! He tried to eat it with the plastic on while saying Yum, Yum over and over.

We all waved bye to Santa and came inside. Justin was still trying to eat his candy cane. Brian started on his homework, and poor Sean was screaming again. You see, he had to get back in the tub because he got out before his hair was washed! All in day....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Syrup, the new hair gel!

Attention all waffle and pancake eaters:

Don't let that syrup left on your plate go to waste! Give yourself a new and exciting hair style - and it smells yummy too! Staying put for hours and requires multiple washings to remove once dried. Please don't try to run your fingers through you hair after applying, it may be difficult to remove your fingers after touching the new look. Pleas remove product before going to bed or pillows and blankets may stick to you all night long.

(Warning - you may be followed by bees, ants and other creepy crawlies throughout the day. And maybe a stray dog or two.)

wipe you hands on the plate and apply as so
strike a pose
looks like fun
smile for the cameraif all else fails, make a silly face