Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hold On To the Magic...

Because it will be gone all too soon. Even this year, Lucia asked Meredith, "Are you Santa?" Gah. Mer managed a clever non-answer, but it was an important reminder that we don't have that many special Christmas years left. I'm not ready yet. Not by a long shot. At the risk of lapsing into sentimental schlock, I'll just say that the Mothers Goose had a great Christmas... dare I say magical (even if it did start at 5:30 in the morning).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Celebrating Me...

One of the things I love most about this blog, is the chance to look back over the years at some of the memories I'm sure I'd forget if it weren't for this digital outlet. I am also very thankful that we have mementos like this one and this one to remind me how unique and funny my kiddos are (yeah, yeah so is every child everywhere, but this is my blog so I get to claim superiority here). Luce has been enjoying an after school drama program which culminated in the performance of her favorite book (as she mentioned on her Celebrating Me worksheet), the timeless classic Dooby Dooby Moo. We also enjoyed getting in the holiday spirit by attending a performance of The Gwinch as Carmen would say... if you ask me the popcorn was the best part of the show (seriously, save your money and your ears). And of course, it wouldn't be December without our annual trip to the Pops! with the Troutmans. Now we can release the hounds of Christmas!

Friday, November 30, 2012

From Toilet Bowl to Bowling Alley...

We all had a ball! Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays well, for Mothers Goose anyway, Lucia has since declared St. Patrick's Day as her favorite (must be the Irish roots). Anyway, it is a great time to stuff your face full of yummy food, watch football, and hang with the family... what more could you ask for? This year we resurrected an old Leary Thanksgiving tradition - - the famous Toilet Bowl backyard football game. Apparently when the Learys were littles, they would vie for the honor of the Toilet Bowl trophy, which now that I think of it we'll need to fashion a replica for next year... and teach the participants how to play football. Minor details. After the "game" came the food and real football... and then the post meal coma (which thankfully was not captured on film). With the cousins in town we branched out for some 10-pin fun... and while this pic came from a New York business trip, truer words were never said. Hope you all had as much Turkey Day fun as we did. Now to gear up for the chaos that is December...

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Super Scorpion Sixth Birthday...

Yeah, I can't explain it either. My daughter is fascinated by scorpions. So much so that she wanted one on her birthday cake. Mmmmm, yummy. Well, if scorpion cake doesn't whet your appetite, perhaps you'd enjoy a tiny venomous arthropod encrusted in sugar? Yes, that is a real scorpion... why would you want to eat it, that I cannot answer... but the kids loved them (the parents, perhaps not so much). Anyway, Luce had a fantastic extended birthday month with visits from Aunties and Uncles and Nonnes and Pappas all bearing gifts of course. At one point Carmen moaned, "when is it not going to be Lucia's birthday?!?" That's the thing about having a November birthday, it kinda kicks off the holiday season... which leads me to my next post: THANKSGIVING!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Couple of Characters...

To the amazement of no one, Carmen decided on two Halloween costumes this year (same dress, different identities) and luckily Lucia had hers locked and loaded since November 1st of last year. Any one care to guess who they are?!? If you said a princess and Pocahontas you'd be WRONG! No, Carmen is clearly Mabel from Pirates of Penzance (or Ida from the eternally creepy Outside Over There book) and Luce is obviously princess Tiger Lilly from Peter Pan. Duh.
Before the nocturnal solicitation of treats could begin, mother nature had a very blustery trick to deliver in the form of Hurricane Sandy. She was rude enough to blow into town and close school for two whole days forcing mamas to resort to lots of indoor activities and creative kitchen arts. After 48 hours stuck inside, we were more than ready to head out and get some candy. Even with the hurricane, we had a great Halloween and the good news is, Carmen already has a lock on next year's costume.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lordy Lordy Guess Who's...

In a rare, once in a lifetime event... I am dedicating this blog post to ME. Why? Because I'm 40 years old, and I CAN. Although, to be fair, I should really dedicate this post to my wonder woman super spouse Meredith because she put together a whopper of a birthday celebration for me. It involved gathering a gaggle of my bestest girls and heading to NYC for two days of Broadway and booze. It was  48 hours of laughing, crying (Once was very moving!), drinking, dancing, eating, did I mention drinking? I could not think of a better way to kick-start my mid-life crisis. Also HUGE thanks to Nonne, who came to babysit the kiddos for the weekend and apparently figured out how to use the Mac. Sure, some other fun things happened this month, but nothing will top NYC... I think anyway, some of the details are kinda fuzzy.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Three Little Maids From School...

You guys, where did September go?!?! Oh I know, it stayed the same but I traveled to Orlando and Seattle back to back in the middle of it. That's explains it. Ok, so I'm WAY behind with the blogging and the cute picturing but to recap the month: school is going great for all the kiddos, both establishments are exceeding our parental expectations and we're thrilled. Lucia loves making new friends and continues her rapid advancement towards sassy teen status and Carmen regularly exclaims, "Mama I wuv pwee-K" ... so we couldn't be happier. In between airports we managed to squeeze in a birthday party, a pedicure with Mama Mer and a trip to see The Mikado. Whew, no wonder we look like this at the end of the day.

Big First Day At the K

Ok, so Mamas have been dreading this day... the day we send our first baby off to Kindergarten. I was seriously considering medicating for the occasion because I thought I would be a soggy puddle of emotion. But you know what? None of us cried! Not even me! Lucia did great and has really been looking forward to starting school "like a big kid."  A few weeks into school and she is regularly declaring "Kindergarten is GREAT!" which is the best we could have hoped for... and I am certain her independent spirit will continue to bloom and grow (bloom and grow forevvvverrr). Never one to be left in the dust, Carmen also started a new pre-K program so we got her suited up as well. She had a successful first day and so far so good (knock on wood). And if this whole school thing doesn't work out, she also has this talent as back up.

Friday, August 31, 2012

This is What 48 Hours in Storyland Will Get You...

The next Toddlers In Tiaras contestant...

And a Jellicle Cat.

Aside from the promise of creepy face paint, the girls were so excited to spend the weekend in Storyland with their BFFs. When we arrived on Friday night, it was raining so hard we feared the weekend would be a total washout, but luckily the rain clouds held off on Saturday (and kept the crowds away too) but that didn't stop us from getting soaked. We had so much fun running around from ride to ride - Cinderella's swan boat, Alice in Wonderland's teacups, the German teacups (I think it was called the Cuckoo Clockenspeil), the Polar Coaster, the antique cars, and of course, Pharaoh's splash battle ride. Uncle Kelby was a sport to take the kids on that ride... and as we were trash talking before the ride (I was on the sidelines armed with my own water gun), the phrase, "You're going down!" was shouted to which Lucia quickly responded, "Oh yeah? Well you're going UP!" Well played kid.

In between getting our stomachs turned inside out and soaked to the bone, the children enjoyed speaking with the natives-- like the oddly similar old woman in a shoe and Mother Goose. Carmen was very excited to meet the real Mother Goose and afterward she told me, "Mama! I petted the goose... but not the mother." Good call on that one Carmen. 

Another great August weekend in the books, now to make way for September... eeeek!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gimme a C, a Bouncy C...

And that stands for CAMP! Which works on so many levels, especially when describing this crew. Ok, so camp... where to begin. How about by welcoming our newest lil camper Simon into our ranks and yes, he really is that happy all_the_time. Simon wasn't the only one who was all smiles all week... and joining the fun were new additions Uncle Sean and Jackson, who quickly learned all of the important  camp rules. As in all camp years, there was much high-flying frivolity, fantastic flavors and fervent frolicking. And this year brought us closer to nature with snake sitings, grasshopper and frog catching, and dead crayfish fishing (ew). As Lucia would say, "it's just nature Mama." Yes, well kindly keep your nature over there. Thanks. Another great year in the books, another year of us trying desperately to get a perfect shot of the kids in their camp shirts. Ah well, there's always next year.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

We Are On the Verge of Something Big...

And that would be Luce's fifth, yes FIFTH, lost tooth. But don't take our word for it, why not hear it from the horse's mouth (so to speak)? While surely this was the most momentous event for the family, there were other things to do besides marvel at our gap-toothed child... like go to princess birthday parties (Carmen decided she wanted to be a Nebraska Husker princess), have coffee dates with Mama Fran and of course, go to the zoo.  It has been a fantastic summer so far, and you haven't even seen the pictures from camp yet! The author of this blog is currently editing those for public consumption... stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stars, Stripes and Sisters Forever...

This is a shot of Lucia consoling Carmen after a little dust up (Carmen accidentally head butted my chin) and as I was off icing my face, Luce was trying to calm a crying Carmen. Mama Mer was of course, standing by with her iPhone to catch the love. I was fine by the way, thanks for asking. 

Ok, so our fourth of July was spent much like the rest of our summer - - at the beach, up in Maine.  We had some great company and played until we were pooped. Then it was back to Nonne and Papas for some sparkler action. And if sparklers wasn't enough fun to knock the girls' socks off, a trip to Funtown with the cousins certainly did. Oh, and what's a holiday without a trip to the ER for Carmen? Luckily, she handled it like a champ once the medicine kicked in. 

Let's see... what else did we do this month to beat the heat? Oh right, we allowed mental patients from the local hospital the opportunity to come hose down the kids. We're nice like that. 

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Friendly Reminder....

That our friends rock. To wit:

-We got to celebrate Maia and Amanda's nuptials BBQ style. Our favorite kind of celebration.

- Steph brought over a snake caught by her cat. The girls were out of their minds excited. Fortunately, I was not home. Gross.

-Next to Auntie Cathy, our birthday cakes look like masterpieces. 

And if perchance we don't have friends around to entertain us, there's always funny cat videos. 

Sorry for the short post, but I have to pack for the beach. Again. No complaints over here :-)

Monday, June 25, 2012

I Am a Promise. I Am a Possibility...

The post I have been dreading. The end of pre-K, have to deal with the fact that my oldest is getting older and therefore I am getting older too post. *Heavy sigh*

Luckily, my great big bundle of poten-tial-ity put on a heck of year end show and the jittery camera work was NOT AT ALL due to the fact that I was trying not to sob openly. Nope, I think there was a passing earthquake or something. We were so, so lucky to have a great year at a great school that Luce truly loved. She even ended the year on a high note by "winning" the coveted pre-K family book. And by "winning" I mean I dropped $30 on raffle tickets to help fund wells in Africa. That's what Lucia is taking about when she says charity water in the clip.... kids today with their raised consciousnesses. Honestly. So there was all of that... and meanwhile, Carmen was around too, being neglected of course.   Sorry Carmen, I'll put $30 toward your therapy sessions ASAP.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wait, Was that May that Just Flew Past Us?!?

Wow, I am so far behind! Gah! Ok, May brought us back up to Maine for Papa's birthday and more cousin fun. The weather was fantastic so we had time to stop and smell the flowers, make a fairy house, and of course, spend some time at the beach. All the activity was exhausting, but luckily moms got to have a night out with their own entertainment. The end of May also brought a flurry of school related activities like art shows and performances. I'll try and upload a video of Luce up on stage, looking adorable in a self-designed doggie hat and singing her heart out. I know it's only pre-school... but I can't imagine 18 more years of this stuff. I either need to have my tear ducts removed or buy stock in Kleenex... or both.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Scoot Over Spring, Here Comes Summer!

In true New England fashion, it seems as though we bypassed yet another season (winter? spring?) and are now in full on summer mode. So what if it's technically a few weeks away, that certainly won't stop these two from jumping in the ocean (in Maine no less!). Along with the warmer temperatures, May brought us the annual Ellen's House egg hunt, birthday parties and some much needed spring cleaning. We are looking forward to a wicked fun summer filled with adventures with pals both big and small. So far, we're setting the bar pretty high.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring in Full Swing...

Let's see, the last we left you we were covered in Easter egg dye, and now we've moved on to sand. The girls spent Patriot's Day soaking in the sun down at the Cape with Mama Mer (Mama Fran was at work... the Dutch are lousy Patriots). The Spring weather has been most cooperative with our love of all things playground... did someone say play?! Who would think that Gilbert and Sullivan would appeal to the 5 and 3 year old set? Well, Nonne would and thanks to her part in the wonderful production of Pirates of Penzance, our girls now walk around singing the soundtrack - - tarantara tarantara. Carmen enjoys the "Major Generwal" even though "he tells a lie" and Lucia hopes to "sing as high as Mabel" someday. A mother can dare to dream...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It's the Most Colorful Time of the Year...

Sorry for the delayed Easter post... we've been trying to remove Carmen's Blue Man Group audition body art. The girls enjoyed full immersion egg dyeing this year with their pal Alexa.... although Carmen objected to the term dyeing, "We gonna die the eggs? Noooo!" So we tried to call it coloring for her sake. Another cute Carmenism happening at the moment is her saying "Awwight" (all right). Example, "Carmen please clean up the markers" *heavy 3 year old sigh* "Awwight"... it's adorbs. After the hard work spent on the egg assembly line, we headed over to Mimi's house where you know who had paid a visit. There were treats galore and who gets to have an egg hunt in the woods?!? Oh yeah, these two princesses. Don't tell them we only had about 20 eggs, and when they weren't looking I'd just take one out of their basket and toss it over my shoulder. We could have stayed out there all_day. It's a good thing our girls can eat their weight in hard boiled eggs, they need all the protein for their Olympic training.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

She Has In Fact, Lost Her Mind...

So yes, Meredith did have a birthday, get the hair cut and said goodbye to all of her mental faculties. Such is life I guess. Good thing Auntie Alison and newest tribe member Simon came for a visit to soothe the savage beast. Mmmm, baby. Auntie Julie was also on hand to simultaneously entertain and terrify the children. Turns out, Aunties can be quite handy when they're not trying to eat the children. It was our last weekend up north, and while there was no skiing to be had, we did take advantage of the mild weather with some outdoor fun. Aunties sure picked a good weekend to be East.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One Small Piece of Pasta for Luce, One Large Step For Fran Kind...

She looks so sweet and innocent doesn't she? So I feel this blog wouldn't be complete without inclusion of the now infamous "Ditalini story." What is Ditalini you may ask? Well, it is a small cylindrical shaped pasta approximately the circumference of a 5 year old's nostril. Yeeeahhhh.

The afternoon started innocently enough, with the girls playing out on the sidewalk, drawing with chalk enjoying a picnic on the front lawn (which included some cooked pasta leftovers). When all of a sudden Luce said, "Mama... oh no... MAMA!" I looked up at her sniffing little face and she just pointed to her nose. 

Me: "What happened?!?!"

Luce: "I was just trying to be silly!"

Me: "DON'T MOVE!" 

I ran inside to retrieve the tweezers, but by the time I got back outside the pasta had traveled from the edges of the nostril, to half way on up the schnoz. Great. Lucia was starting to panic a bit (and ok, I'll admit so was I) but then I remembered reading something from our local online mom's group about this very situation. So I ask you dear reader -- do you know what to do if you need to get an object out of a nose that can't be reached with tweezers? The solution is remarkably easy, if not slightly nauseating. You simply cover the other nostril (the clear one) and blow into the person's mouth (as though you were administering CPR). Once I got a good seal, the pasta shot out like a bullet. A gross, snot covered bullet... but it was out, and we returned to playing without missing a beat. The whole thing was over in like 7 minutes, but it is a day that will live on IN INFAMY.

Ok, enough drama. Go look at some pictures of my kids.

Wait, one more piece of drama... so Mer turned schmirtysomething this month and had a mid-life crisis. How do I know? I received a text from her with the following message, "Would you kill me if I got this haircut?" So did she get the cut? Am I writing this from jail? Stay tuned for the dramatic conclusion... 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Dwagon, A Dwagon I Swear I Saw a 3 Year Old Dwagon...

Or a 3 year old honey badger...

Or a 3 year old do dah...

Or a 3 year old ballerina with a goofy Dorothy back up dancer...

In any event, a bone fide three year old to be sure. Per Carmen's request we had a weal dwagon birthday party complete with balloons (thank goodness it is the Year of the Dragon) and another magnificent cake from Nonne - - special shout out to Auntie Cathy for the nice Photoshop work. All our friends were on hand to celebrate the big day, Carmen had a blast and didn't turn to the dark side once. She is very much into role playing with her sister and usually opts for the "side kick" or "bad guy" roll. We often hear her say, "Wucia, you be Pwincess Weia and I'll be Wuke, awight?" ... or "I am Dark Vader!" said in her most menacing tone. It is too cute. Oh, a note about the poster -- big sister helped her to decorate it, can't you tell?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Goofballs and footballs...

Ok, so it has taken me this long to recover from the terrible Super Bowl deja vu. With some distance, I may be able to discuss it in detail, but truth be told I watched more of The Rescuers with this rowdy bunch because I could just_not_take_it. Luckily, we were fortunate enough to be entertained during the debacle of a game and at least the girls had their first real sleep over, high five for that! In more cheery February news, the girls helped Mimi celebrate her birthday and guess who decorated the cake?? They somehow even managed to fit a couple of candles on there too. And a special shout out to Auntie Mia and Uncle Roman for the yummy Valentine's Day cookies... they were VERY well received.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oh the weather outside is mild...

and our girls are getting wild.
and since we've got no !#%!%^ snow,
put on a show, put on a show, put on a shoooow!

In all honesty, I have no idea what they are doing in this picture... but someone is wearing my clothes acting goofy (and this time, it ain't me). Ok, so here we are at the end of January and I can see the grass in my backyard. By this time last year our mountain luge was in full swing. This global warming is bonkers. We have been trying to make the most of it up North and and we have managed to get the girls on skis and skates and I even procured the appropriate outdoor equipment. Mama Mer took Luce snowshoeing which was lots of fun but Carmen, still prefers to eat the stuff.

In other January news, per the girls request we had a birthday party for "Dr. Luther King" as Lucia calls him complete with costumes and cake. When asked what she learned about Dr. King Lucia responds, "Well, I know he had a dream..." When played them the speech on YouTube, Carmen covered her ears and declared it "too loud" while Luce thought that the black and white video "looked boring." Nevertheless, they started a nice tradition and perhaps in a few Januarys they'll be able to appreciate more than just the cake...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Christmas 2011 Part II and 2012 Part I....

Since opening a living room full of Christmas presents was not clearly not enough fun... what better way to close out our tremendous holiday season than to pack up our bags and head out West. Naturally, we did what we do best on our visits... hit the requisite carousel, ate ourselves silly, goofed around with friends and enjoyed the beautiful Seattle weather. Oh, and of course we got to open more presents. The girls loved spending time with the cousins on the slides and on the slopes and Vv was a most gracious host sharing both her space and parents... even though her dad is kind of a turkey. All in all, a most excellent visit with a most excellent family and if you asked Carmen her assessment of the trip she would tell you, "But Vv's brother didn't come out!"... which is true, as if this writing Auntie is still very much pregnant. Come on lil guy, we're waiiiittttting!