Saturday, November 30, 2013

Another Year, Another Toilet Bowl...

Once again we enlisted the help of our Seattle people to help us play football, cheer on the Patriots and cook a big dead bird. It was a chilly day for the annual Toilet Bowl "game"... which if you've ever tried to play sports with 4-6 year olds you know it's really just chasing them around the yard. Luckily, we had things like fires and adult libations to keep us warm-ish. Dinner was particularly tasty this year, largely thanks to our Director of Operations, Uncle B... and also thanks to him, we now we have a brining bucket... sitting in the garage waiting for next year.

We also had another reason to "give thanks" this year when an incident after a school assembly took 10 years off our parenting lives. When leaving share day from L's school (where each student talked about his/her holiday celebrations) we were all walking in a line to the car, on the sidewalk next to the building, when we heard a massive rumble, and whoosh the entire snowy/icy contents of the school roof came crashing down on the sidewalk. It missed EVERYONE except for poor Carmen, who was caught smack dab in the middle of the avalanche. She was scared out of her wits (as were mamas and Luce) but remarkably fine. Of course that didn't stop the police/firetrucks from showing up on the scene to make sure everything was OK. Lama, lama holiday drama. And that's how we started our Christmas vacation...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Climb Every Mountain...

Ford every stream. (seriously, who says ford?!? Silly Austrians).

Anyway, here's what happened in the first half of November. We had a SEVEN year old's birthday party at a rock climbing gym. It was great... once we got past the part in the beginning where the birthday girl emptied the contents of her stomach all over Mama Mer. Uff. However, showing her true colors as my daughter, Luce rallied like Tom Brady doing a 2 minute drill in the 4th quarter and finished the party strong. Whew.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fank you Rocktober! Goodnight!

Ok, so this is what happens when you wait to take the Halloween pictures AFTER trick or treating. So I didn't get many great shots, but this one is kinda fun (with super fun friends) and this one really encapsulates how I felt this week after many late night playoff games and a WORLD SERIES VICTORY with the Sox. Good sweet Lord almighty I am tired. Also, Carmen was adorable in her class play about a pumpkin... she played a cat (of course) and owned it.  So yes, while I am not sad to see 2013 Halloween come to an end, I am wistful that this could be the last year one of our girls wears a Dorothy costume... I think we'll keep it on hand just in case.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Don't Fall On Me...

For the Mothers Goose... fall means lots of good things: football, (and this year Sox in the Series!) sweaters and of course corn mazes with the Troutmans. This was our third year braving the maze and suffice it to say it is "old hat" to these kids now. Fall also means amazingly beautiful weekends in Maine goofing around with friends and of course, getting older... but we don't really talk about that. No, I'd rather discuss the fact that the Mothers Goose exchanged matching anniversary cards. Guess that's what you get for knowing someone half of their life. Crazy, right?

Monday, September 9, 2013

September Whiplash...

Right, so school started and our kids looked like this. One was returning to a familiar pre-K classroom, and the other was venturing into THE FIRST GRADE. Her feelings on the subject were captured here. We are a few weeks in now and both seem to be loving life... but to be fair, they love life quite frequently. And why not? They have awesome parents who take them places like this and this with fun people like this. As all parents of school-aged children know, September is swirling emotional cauldron of frayed nerves and exhaustion (and that's just the moms)... luckily, the girls know when we need their support. And on the really tough September days, when we just don't think we'll make it to Friday, the Mothers Goose can pull up this blog, watch something like this, and know that we only get 'em this way for a minute... and that even these rough and rocky Septembers will be gone all too soon.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fairy Tales Can Come True...

It can happen to you...
When spend a fabulous weekend at a wedding in Lake Tahoe! 

Ok, so the verse needs work but the sentiment remains the same. The Mothers Goose wrapped up the month of August in grand style by traveling to our dear cousin Heather's wedding in Lake Tahoe, CA. And as you can see, our girls were lucky enough to be in_the_wedding... more excited flower girls have never before existed in the history of time, I promise you. Our journey there was a long one with airport layovers, shuttle delays and car rental waiting but the girls (and Nonne!) were rock stars the entire trip and upon arrival were all smiles... and with scenery like this, how could you not be? We were smart enough to arrive early in order to squeeze in some extra family time which we greatly enjoyed. Mountain top swimming, cocktails and hot tubs? YES PLEASE! 

On the day of the "big event" the girls loved getting all dolled up (Carmen kept asking, "are my curls still there?") and I have to say, they were off the charts on the "awwwwneesss scale" (what, that's not a scientific measurement? well it should be!). The wedding itself was beyond beautiful and the happy couple set the tone for the entire weekend... family, fun and foolishness. Or maybe it should read funny foolish family? Say what you will about my clan, but whenever the extended group gathers you are guaranteed laughs (belly), drinks (copious) and happy tears (buckets). How lucky are we?

Monday, August 5, 2013

And So the Story(land) Goes...

If the end of August landed the Mothers Goose in uncharted waters (more on that later), the beginning of the month found us in familiar territory. Far north up the Granite State lies a land that caters to the whims and fantasies of the 48" and under set. It is a land of ill-mannered kids loosely parented by obese adults in tank tops. Yes it is Storyland, where the Mothers Goose and our trusted travel companions the Troutmans go to feel good about their aging appearances and parenting skills. Seriously, in that environment we are all glamorous rock stars with Super Nanny-esque talents. I AM SO JUDGEY! Somehow I managed not to dislocate my arm casting aspersions and had fun anyway... see? All kidding aside, our children really do love spending the weekend with friends and running themselves ragged. Luckily, we make them do all the work... we just tag along to document the fun. Once the last drop of mirth was squeezed out of Storyland, we trucked on over the famed Kangamangas Highway (which our girls deemed at turns "sooo beautiful" and "booorrrring") to one of New England's most storied tourist traps: Clark's Trading Post. We saw trained bears do tricks, got vertigo in a crooked house and stood outside in the rain... and still, we had fun. Oh, speaking of bears... did I mention we saw a real life wild bear during our apres-Storyland cocktails from our porch? Yep, it's true. I'd ask Kelby to share his picture with you, but turns out you can't take a picture of a black bear in the dark.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vacation July 2013: Camp Itchy Scratchy

This year we had everything going for us. Some fun pre-camp activities around Boston to take in the sights and a birthday to celebrate upon arrival at camp. We had a spacious six bedroom house on Big Sebago during an unprecedented Maine heatwave... what more could we ask for, right??! Well, for starters the absence of schistosomatidae would be one small request. What is schistosomatidae you ask? Allow me to provide you with the answer. In a word, and pardon my French, it sucked. Of course, just the 7 kiddos were affected... on the first day of camp. Yeah. That Sunday first afternoon, when one started to complain "mama I feel itchy" and then several others chimed in and then shortly thereafter all flippin hell broke loose with agonizing screaming and crying we knew we had a serious issue on our hands. Good thing we were located within a 5 minute drive to the store because several bottles of Aveeno anti-itch lotion and some Benedryl pills later, all was right-ish with the world. Ever ones to make lemonade out of lemons though, we did have a fantastic week. We rented a water trampoline (to encourage deep water activity, apparently the little parasite likes shallow water best) and some lawn-sport activities as well. Desperate times call for desperate measures people and that meant witnessing Mr. Cuba on more than one occasion... there are some things that cannot be unseen, I am truly sorry. As always, Uncle B spoiled us with an array of tasty treats and the children were spoiled by 24/7 cousin silliness and nightly movie screenings. Speaking of movies, if you're ever curious what goes on in the mind of my 4 year old daughter, she was kind enough to take this home video to show you her take on camp.  So another year of camp in the books, and it certainly was a memorable one... but hey, if you're going to spend a week itching, scratching and looking like a leper, may as well do it with family, right?!?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Happy Birthday America...

And Uncle Tony too, of course. July 4th always brings about much celebration... this year we decided to up the ante by attending a Sea Dogs game ON the 4th which gave our kiddos their first taste of fireworks. They were a bit loud (Luce covered her ears) but Carmen kept telling her, "It's not that loud Lucia!" and she also kept telling the fireworks how lovely they were by shouting, "YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!" repeatedly. It was adorable. The weather gave us lots of opportunities for fun in the sun and as always tasty food abounded. Speaking of fun in the sun and tasty food, I have to go pack for CAMP!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hey I Made It, I'm the World's Greatest...

Right. So here we are. One school year down and our girls made it through in one piece, their unique personalities firmly intact. June was a very busy month for these gifted performers. Luce had another star turn in her drama/art class production of Fandango Stew and Carmen was blinded by the glare of the stage lights and was a bit "sheepish" in her Driving my Tractor role. She was much more animated at the reunion of her American Girl doll (thanks again for sending Nonne!). This month also brought an Ellen's House sleepover for BOTH girls. Luce took along the iTouch to capture important memories... like this and this. Lucia also honored a special man in her life for Father's Day with this homemade card to Papa Stu. All in all, June was pretty great for the Mothers Goose clan. You know, except when I OPENLY WEPT during Luce's class performance of this R. Kelly song (I_know). I have the full version, but couldn't make it through the entire post without waterworks.

Next up, Fourth of July and CAMPAPALOOZA 2013... stay tuned!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Come what, May?!

Right, so after April came May and May, quite frankly, was a big flippin' blur. BUT I did manage to snap a few pics of our Mega Mother's Day festivities. After Mer's "Trial of the Century" wrapped up at the end of April, she high-tailed it to Chicago for some R&RT (rest and retail therapy) with her sister, which was exactly what she needed. However, she forgot that weekend fell on Mother's Day... which was too bad for her because she missed out on a rollicking good time. Auntie Mia swooped in for some make-over magic and Mimi and Nonne came down for some Mother's Day dinner and brunch goodness. Laughs were had, hair was did, and food was eaten. Pretty perfect.

And what May would be complete without a Memorial Day Trip to Pland to celebrate Papa's birthday? Oh, and Lucia dressed like a biker chick and read a book to Aunt Ashlee's hand.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

So Long April, Good Riddance...

April was not the easiest month for the Mothers Goose (and the human race in general). Mama Mer was busy preparing for trial, working 7 days a week and spending entirely too much time in central Pennsylvania... and I was, well, trying to keep my sh*t together. Then the week of the Boston Marathon happened and we were all rattled to say the least. Luckily, it was school vacation week and the kids and I were up in Maine on Marathon Monday far away from the chaos unfolding in Boston. We had plenty of fun distractions in the form of cousins, rodents, and of course great food. Then we returned mid-week and were forced to "shelter in place" on a 74 degree Friday. Oy. The next day, Luce got busy helping out where she could though not fully understanding what took place, just that "a bad man did a bad thing and hurt some people." She set up a "mini farmer's market" with entertainment, snacks and a donation basket. I swear I had nothing to do with any of this. I'm just here to document the awesomeness.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yeahhhhhh Easter!

Yes it happened, like, a month ago... but still. I have evidence that the event took place, and my children seemed to enjoy it. Speaking of pictures, I have no idea why the Google powers that be felt the need to mess up our perfectly nice Picasa web album/blog interface but they did, big time. So if you can't view the pictures anymore I think there's a "request" button you can push or something and then I magically grant you access. All 4 of you that read this blog have at one point in time expressed interest in either myself or my family so chances are, you'll be allowed behind the curtain... just ask me :-)

Speaking of magic, get a load of the inner workings of my 6 year old's brain when asked to occupy herself for a period of time. This is what she comes up with (my room may never be the same). In keeping with her creative streak, she was recently cast in the kindergarten production of Carnival of the Animals as a cuckoo bird... the directors swore there was no typecasting involved. With five, yes FIVE kindergartens at the school, this production rivaled that of Broadway's The Lion King with perhaps a little more screeching involved. Perhaps. Oh and the second child was around too and did stuff and generally looked cute. I'll get her at the next update...

Sunday, March 31, 2013

So long Loon, see you next year!

As we put another ski season in the books, now is the time to reflect on all the wonders the winter brought us this year. Such as Lucia skiing down the mountain like a champ (even tackling some blue trails at the end) and Carmen refusing to use the wedge stop technique, barreling down the slopes full speed and right into the safety netting over the side of the trail. That was the last time Carmen got to ski with Mamas... right back to ski school for that kid. Luckily, Carmen excelled at some of the tamer winter sports, such as snowman building and general cuteness.

The end of the season also brought a birthday celebration for Mama Mer complete with a trip to our favorite pink diner... where Lucia proudly announced Mama's age to the waitress, who of course brought out a birthday Sunday and serenaded Mer with "Happy Birthday" along with the rest of the waitstaff. Awesome.

And last but certainly not least, the end of March brought Lucia's first starring stage role - as Peter in the production of Gumption! based on this book. She learned all of her lines and nailed the role (IMHO) and fulfilled my dream of becoming a stage mother.... see for yourself, a star is born.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Random notes from the cheap seats...

As Mer likes to say, "If it doesn't go on the blog, it is lost forever!" So with that in mind, here are some recent gems from the mouths of my family:

Carmen, "Lucia, we're probably gonna get a trophy... for being such good girls."

Carmen, "I love you mucher than pancakes."

When discussing the dangers of playing with fire, I was explaining that you never burn matches and Luce chimed in, "or chipmunks. You never burn chipmunks."

6:30am, Carmen: "Mama, I'm sorry"

Mer: "Why, honey, you just woke up?"Carmen: "I'm sorry because you smell like beer." (said with Carmen's Boston accent)Mer: "Beer? Do you mean coffee?"Carmen: "It might be coffee."

And you know how I know I'm a grown up? Because I say things like, "Luce, we never stick anything in anyone ever!" (she was trying to put a toy in her sister's bellybutton).

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sooooo this happened...

Yeah, yeah, yeah... so I missed the last half of January and all of February. In my defense, it was a short month anyway. Here's the thing, I blame Steve Jobs (RIP)... or more specifically the iPhone. Since that device came along I have gotten out of the habit of taking actual PHOTOGRAPHS with my real CAMERA and as a result we all suffer. The blog suffers, you dear patient reader suffer and lord knows I suffer (hearing it from Mer). I will try and stay more on top of things, because moments like these are too precious not share. Yes, our baby turned 4 in February and she is full_of_it. She loves to laugh, and be goofy and make up nonsensical songs... like this jaunty little ditty called "There's a Drink in My Drawer." She sings it often, with many variations and no two are ever alike. Classic.

We've spent a fair amount of time up at Loon (appropriate, no?) this winter and the weather has been most cooperative, providing ample opportunities for outdoor refrigeration when necessary. Lucia has really taken to skiing and Carmen, well, she much prefers this sport.

Along we Carmen's birthday, we also celebrated Mimi's Birthday and Dr. Martin Luther King's as well. When asked about Dr. King, Carmen will tell you, "He had a great idea! That people who like broccoli and people who don't like broccoli can still be friends." Yep, that sounds about right.  Errata, this was included in the LAST update. The editor regrets this error.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Because guess what?!?

That's Carmen's new catch phrase. She weaves it into every conversation and it is simply adorable. "Mama can I have some milk, because guess what? I am SO thirsty!" or as we heard on Christmas Day, "Mama I don't feel good, because guess what? My ears hurt!" Yep, Mama Mer brought her to the pediatrician's office on Christmas Day -- raging double ear infections, followed by a junky cough which turned out to be a lower lobe pneumonia. 2013 is really starting out with a bang for poor Carmen. Luckily, she remains one of the most cheerful kiddos on the block... and she really loves school, to wit:

Here's a history lesson as seen through the 4 yr old lens:

C: "We learned about Dr. King today."

Me: "What did you learn?"

C: "He had a great idea!"

Me: "Heh, and what idea was that?"

C: "That people who like broccoli and people who don't like broccoli can still be friends."

Yep, that pretty much sums up Martin Luther's dream in a nutshell.