Friday, December 4, 2009

Amusing conversations

If you really listen to your children talk, you can hear some pretty funny conversations.

kyle: (to me)" Do you know *anna smtih* ?"
me: "No - is she in your class?"
Kyle: "yes and she" (try to hear this said in a very annoyed/embarrassed/whiny-head shaking voice) "she said she has a crush on me...."
Me: "oh yeah? did she tell you that? - what did you say to her?"
Kyle - "I couldn't say anything - she ran away"

Kyle: (after my reaction wasn't one of disgust) " I know - all the girls think I'm handsome"
Me: "Smart Girls! - don't let them get you into trouble in school." (he doesn't need help in that dept)


Last night as the kids were raising h . e . double hockey sticks in the living room - running and wrestling.....My dainty / girlie Vivian turned to her brother real serious, put her legs into a steady stance, motioned real slow with her finger and said BRING IT!!!!

I could have peed my pants laughing

This Morning Kerrigan was listening to Kyle (the expert on everything ) tell her and show her on a 5 dollar bill that the man on it is Abraham Lincoln......He was a president....."and did you know? - he is on the Penny too!
Oh my gosh - you would have thought kyle just told her the most interesting thing in the world - her reaction was so cute......
Kerrigan: " oh WOW! I love it Kyle! COOL!

(was she just amusing him? how could a 2 year old think that was interesting? )

I love to listen to them interact with each other when they are not poking/hitting/pinching/teasing and trying to get the other one in trouble.........Doesn't happen all that often. I'm soaking it up.

* name changed to protect the innocent*

Friday, November 20, 2009

E is for Effort....

I had made a list of my concerns.

I was pumped and prepared.

I was "going it alone" without hubby - cause I was going to "handle it".

I was off to kyle's.............da da dunnnn........PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE!

Kyle comes home from school every day ."How was school today buddy?" - "Good" he says. Then sometimes he elaborates if he has a complaint. Some of his complaints are that this kid said this, or everyone distracts me in class so I couldn't finish my work. He even told me that one of his teacher yells at him if he doesn't use his reading "strategies" correctly. When it comes to homework time, Kyle tries everything he can think of to stall, or get out of it, but eventually finishes 4-6 workbook pages a night and then we read a story. Truth is, I hate it just as much as he does.

So I had it in my head moments before this parent teacher conference, that I was going to question a few of her teaching methods.....I was going to give her a little insight on what makes kyle tick....I was going to suggest that Kyle be given some special time for show and tell or something...anything that would make him look forward to going to school once in a while.

but about 30 seconds into the conference, right after our his main teacher, plus the extra teacher in the room that helps the reading groups, plus kyle's extra extra reading help teacher that he has to go to 3 times a week... I would have rather been having a root canal.

This is my third Parent teacher conference since his school carear started. At his Kindergarten conference, I was expecting to hear about some behavior issues. That wasn't the case. His biggest issue in Kindergarten was the teacher. She couldn't make up her mind weather she wanted him to color in the lines, which he started to do, or hurry up and get it done because there was a time limit! I was so happy when Kindergarten was over. First grade was a breeze, he loved his teacher, she thought he was such a pleasure, reveled in his imagination and his love for nature and science. Apparently every year is going to be different!....... I need a crystal ball - cause I was caught off guard this year- let me tell ya!

it's amazing the way we feel about our children. No matter how frustrating Kyle can be at home on a daily basis, or how infuriated I get when he doesn't listen,... I love him. I love him so much. As a mother, you can overlook these things and see the best in your children. not to say that I don't recognize that issues need to be taken care of and he needs to be taught lessons, but for me to know these things and have these thoughts in my head are one thing - to hear his teacher spout off her disappointments in my son and that her concerns for his reading level are dangerously high because he refuses to put forth effort....that they are just at a loss as to how to get through to kyle....That they weren't going to let him sit there and think his cuteness was going to cut it in her classroom!
well this kind of talk makes a mama bear want to protect her baby!

I first thought that I could combat her accusations of Kyle's laziness with my thoughts on how her classroom is run. I voiced my concerns about distractions and boring lessons and ......then it became no use. She described Kyles typical day, how much effort they put into trying to teach Kyle, and how much extra time they have put in one on one with him hoping that something will finally click, but that he has exhausted them. ...... I didn't have a leg to stand on. the behavior she described, is the same behavior that drives me nuts at home too... I had to put aside the feelings I had of defense. I had to sit and listen to 3, not just one , 3 teachers tell me that my son puts forth no effort at all when it comes to reading. He will simply not complete assignments or tests if he feels it is too much writing. He "pretends" he doesn't know the answers in hopes that he won't have to try. She even had charts to prove his "NON-progress".
It was really hard to listen to

So as we continued to discuss his problems, she assured me that she does not believe Kyle has a learning disability. She is sure he is smart enough to achieve the reading level he needs to strive towards. but she had the nerve to try and pin his absences (aka a Disney vacation) on me as contributing to his delay. I didn't let her get away with that. I agreed that we needed to have a discussion with Kyle. To come to an understanding that this attitude toward school was not going to make reading just go away, and we were going to set goals.

I think I heard some positive remarks come out of those women.....they were few and far between, but they did mention that he has a science vocabulary of no one they have ever heard at his age. they were very impressed with his use of the words translucent and transparent during a few science has always been his interest, and therefore is definitely his strong subject......but to explain the 51% average he has in science right now? - he wouldn't complete the unit test because he had to read it and answer the questions with sentences..........UUUUUGGGGHHHH! I took the teacher's e-mail addresses and assured them that I would be in contact with them soon- I wanted to be more informed of Kyles progress so that come spring, I am not in the dark on weather my child will be moving on to 3rd grade, or if he has been sitting in class doing nothing for 9 months.

I barely left that classroom before I was in tears.......I cried the whole 6 miles home. I don't know if I was feeling that kyle's behavior is somehow a reflection of our parenting...I think that was part of why I was upset. But mostly I was worried that Kyle was so far below his grade level for reading that it was going to take a miracle for him to catch up. On top of that - I was just plain frustrated! - I couldn't go home like that. I couldn't let him see me crying about it. I had to pull myself together - so I stopped at my mom's.

I walked in her house and burst out crying again - I said "it is so hard to hear such negative comments about your kids". Of course my mom made me feel a little better about it as she reminded me of a few parent teacher conferences she attended on my behalf where she was informed that I spent too much time in the class bathroom checking my hair and playing with my earrings and talking too much. a few report cards were brought home with comments like "does not work to full potential". She assured me that "this too shall pass". Kyle is just seeing how far he can play the teachers. - well I pulled myself together and then headed home to have a talk with my little wise @$$. He was going to realize that I now know what has been going on....and his teacher and I have now opened the lines of communication.

I couldn't believe that I had to explain the importance of school....again!....but I did. He looked ashamed when I told him of what I had learned. I assured him that both his teachers and I KNOW that he is definitely smart enough to learn to read.....and that it was time to show them just how smart. We came up with some goals for him to reach. First goal being, to work hard enough at his reading to get out of ONE of the extra help classes. The next goal will to be out of all the extra help.
I have to tell you I am not above bribery. I told him that if he meets his goals, he could earn something special. But I also told him that he didn't show improvement, he would be losing privileges. ie: his DSi, his turn at spending the night at Meme's and the T.V. and those times will be made up with more time reading at home

I am happy (yet still shaking my head) to report that in the last 2 days of school, Kyle says his teachers told him he was "on fire" in reading class.....and his extra help teacher told him he might not have to come to her anymore very soon................don't worry, I will be e-mailing to confirm these reports. and if they are true, I may strangle him for putting on such a silly ACT at school. doesn't he know you are supposed to ACT smarter? - not dumber than you are? Yes ladies and gentlemen....our children are our pride and joy. no matter what.

Friday, November 13, 2009

They can't be fooled.

Last time I was at the Grocery store, I found a box of pierogies in the freezer section. not a big box, but I wanted to get it so the kids could try them ( cause I know I like them ). One problem.....Pierogies are like pasta "pockets" filled with mashed potatoes and cheese and such......Vivian hates potatoes. (so she says without giving them a real try).
Anyway, Last weekend it was just me and the girls. Kyle was having his overnight at meme's and Gary was working. I showed the girls the box of pierogies and explained that they were for dinner. I also "fibbed" and told Vivian they were filled with just cheese.
So I went about sauteing them in butter and veggies. When they made it to the girl's plates, Viv and Kerrigan took a BIG bite. VIVIAN looked right at me and said - "i don't like them!"
Miss Kerrigan took about 3 more bites and then also let me know she did not like them.....but she added " I taste POTATOES!" (normally Kerrigan likes potatoes, but she was following Vivian's lead of course)
So I learned I can't fool the girls into enjoying a pierogie. Next time I get them, I will try them out on Kyle. I saw a recipe for pierogies and shrimp that I think he would like. If not, More for me again!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


We are back! - I am sooo tired and sooooo busy at work - I don't have the time right now to give you the play by play.........So for now, I will just be posting our lovely pictures. believe it or not this is only a few - I took a ton! Hopefully soon I will be able to tell you some of the funny and memorable moments.

the anticipation of their first airplane ride.
everything was smooth as butter!

look at the troopers carrying their own luggage through the orlando airport
Kerrigan made herself at home on one of the bunkbeds in our Cabin.
we stayed at the Fort Wilderness Campground
First park we visited was Animal Kingdom

Safari Ride

Great Parade
The next day we were off to Magic Kingdom. Here we are on "it's a small World"
Tuesday we went to Epcot. That park turned out to be the most fun! We Loved Epcot!

Nemo was fantastic - great entertainment for Kyle

The light show around the countries at epcot was also a highlight
Meme, Gary And Viv
The princesses on their way down Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom - On our way to have Breakfast with Cinderella - in the Castle......a Definate Highlight for Kerrigan and Vivian
Dining with Sleeping Beauty
What a doll
Pony rides for the girls - Kerrigan's first

Hollywood studios was thursday's event - 90 degree day - fffeeewww
The kids really enjoyed Honey I shrunk the Kids play area
Hanging out at the Campground!
Downtown Disney with the family made of Leggos
Great Lunch - very entertaining in the T-REX Cafe Trick Or Treat
And One last Disney photo op at the Orlando Airport before we board the plain back to home sweet home!

Friday, October 23, 2009



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A dash of FATE and a sprinkle of change

A lot of you know the story of how we came to live in the house that we live in. For those of you who don't, I will try to make it brief. The house that my husband and I bought 9 years ago as newlyweds, just happens to be my Grandparents "old" house. (built by my great uncle Joe in around 1955). The house my Mother grew up in. The house that as a child, I would run up the path from my house whenever I had the chance, to visit with grampa hoddie and gramma claire. Heck I practically lived in their in-ground pool during the summers (which caused my blonde hair to turn green every year). The accessibility that I had to family on our street was one of my favorite things - and still is today. It is a perk to living on land that was once a part of the "family farm". Well, when Great Grampa Frank passed away, my grandparent's decision to sell their home and move 2 houses up to the farm house was a necessary one for them. I was about 11 or 12 years old at the time. **sniff** more pool, the path was no longer traveled, and I missed that house. I missed the bathroom mirror that opened so far you could see all around your head, I missed the memories of how cold it felt to come in from the pool into the air conditioned living room, the memories of learning to ride my bike in the driveway, and jumping all around the lawn on my pogo stick, and being paid 50 cents per bag of leaves that I could rake up. Yup - they sold the house to a family from "the city" - they were pretty nice i guess, they borrowed stuff once in a while, but sadly, I never went there again. eventually,after about 11 more years, that family fell on hard times and illness. and the house fell into Foreclosure. JUST so happens this was all falling into place the year Gary and I were getting married and wondering where we were going to call home. It started out a long and involved process of "finessing" the bank into a short sale of the property. TO US! I think the first correspondence was in February of 2000, and we finally had the closing that Fall. It was Fate! - and it was ours. to be honest, at first it didn't really feel like our's. It was in need of such fixing up, that it didn't feel like Grandmas anymore either. but as we dove into the repairs, I found myself wanting to keep the silly things that I remembered as a child the same. The bathroom mirror was still there - I painted it up pretty again and requested it be back in the bathroom. Unfortunately the pool had been destroyed, and with lack of funds to replace it, we filled in the hole - but the landscaping around it is untouched, and I have other plans for the "silly" looking circle we have in the backyard. All of these "un-changes" were reminders of my childhood. As the nine years have gone by, and our family has blossomed, Their are a lot of things I realize we need to change. But their is so much that I am glad remains the same - My kids are learning to ride their bikes in the same driveway - Kyle bounces all over the yard on his pogo stick. The path between us and my Mother's house is worn again, and the same easy access to family brings me all the comfort in the world.
The reason I got thinking about all of this and wanted to blog it, was because we Just had another major change. The yard has always been outlined with tall spruce trees. They were planted when I was just a baby - or maybe before, I'm not sure. they were great for privacy, they were great for assurance that no kids could get to the busy street. What they were not great for, was the power company. After years of the power company going by and butchering cutting them away from the power lines, they died. They were resembling skeletons of trees past.

They were pretty ugly. So we contacted the power company last year and asked if they would just cut them down next time. They agreed that the next time they were scheduled to cut on our street, that they would take care of whatever would fit in the chipper. That time was today! major major change to our yard. - Although I think it is a good one - my mind is reeling about how I am going to utilize the front yard now - what landscaping I will dedicate next summer to. It is very exciting. Don't worry - I took pictures (for you Janie!) as you can see, there is still a lot of cleanup to do on our part. I will update you in the spring.

now if I could only talk the power company into putting the lines under ground so they weren't so .......... power liney looking!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mini Them's...........Long story short

I had Monday and Tuesday off! - by Wednesday, I was ready to go back to work (I know - I feel like such an ungrateful mother sometimes) BUT - I had spent most of those 2 days trying to clean the house! I had high expectations, I even washed the living room curtains! but as the day went on, I felt like I was spinning my wheels. By Tuesday, I was just plain angry about it. It didn't look any cleaner, (or less cluttered) than it had on Sunday!!!! and to top it all off - I could tell the Kids were feeling a little attention deprived because they were being just plain NAUGHTY! - so I decided to drop what we were doing and head out into the awesome, fresh, clean, autumn air and frolic and play a little.......

We did THIS:

But the house is still a mess.......

Friday, October 9, 2009

Counting Down....

  • 4 hours until I am on a long weekend
  • 8 hours until an out of town relative who we have never met comes to stay at my mom's for a week!
  • 8 hours 30 minutes until that said relative will think my kids are crazy, and we will need to head home.
  • 1 day until one of the kids asks to go to a toy store for some "junk"
  • 2 days until our Sunday Morning coffee ritual at the farm - I look forward to it so much. This Sunday will include the out of town relatives.
  • 3 days 'til I have to really buckle down and get things packed and organized for Disney
  • 6 days until payday - oh gosh , stretching 'til then SUCKS
  • 14 days until we will be staying up all night long because we are too excited to sleep - leaving for Disney in the morning!
  • 15 days until the 9 of us will board that plane to Disney in disbelief that the day has finally arrived!
  • 22 days until Halloween - where we will be trick or treating AT Disney!
  • 23 days until the Disney Vacation of a lifetime is over and we are heading back home.
  • 23 days 6 hours 'til we collapse from exhaustion and have to think about getting up for work in the morning.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A little late to blog about it

So here are the pictures of the kids on their first days of school....... Kyle (reluctantly) has entered 2nd grade

Vivian is in her Second year of preschool - she will be five in January which makes her one of the older kids in her class. She loves school and can't wait to go - She of course wanted her hair straight for the first day....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Potty Trained "CHECK!"

One of the things on our "to do" list before Disney vacation, was to hopefully have Kerrigan Potty trained. some said "why bother, it will probably be easier if she wasn't. no running to find a bathroom." Well, in case you don't know Vivian and Kyle - we are running to find a bathroom ANYWAY. I am so sick of buying Diapers. We have been buying them non-stop for 7 1/2 years now. we would get one out of diapers just in time to have another one and start all over again, just littler sizes. I'm not saying we are totally out of the Diaper market, we still need to buy a package now and again for bedtime......ssshhh.... I don't buy those expensive pull ups or Goodnights. I buy the plain old store brand in a size 5 - the jumbo pack.......and I put that size 5 on both Kerrigan and Vivian at bed time. they fit Kerrigan just right, with a little room left. Vivian - not so much - you have to position the tabs just right to get them to stay put, but she only has an accident once in a while (usually the nights I don't get a chance to get one on her). She deals with the tight pants and doesn't complain. so we are good.

Kerrigan is now 2 years, and 3 months old - She is potty trained. phewwwww...another fairly easy one. Our daycare provider is thrilled, she says she still has 4 year old boys crapping their pants!

Vivian and kerrigan were both easily trained - Vivian practically trained herself. Kerrigan was real good for a while back in April - she spent all day on the potty cause she loved to, then she gave up - we didn't push it again until summer - she got undies for her birthday, and was so excited, so Gary (the one home with her most of the time) started making sure he reminded her to go potty. And the results are in - she is officially daytime potty trained.

I don't believe there is some magical formula to potty training kids - other than to relax about it. We tried the small child's potty with Kyle, and a video, stickers and lollipops for using the potty, and books about pottying, and drove ourselves nuts when he would ask for underwear, and then 2 minutes later end up peeing them. - lots of laundry.

So with the girls, we found that they enjoyed using the BIG potty, we didn't bribe them with candy, or stickers. It was just a matter of fact event - which if successful, ended with a short "potty dance" and a high five! and then encouraged them to go brag about it around the house " I went potty!"

Disney is 30 days away - I am relieved I only have to pack about 10 diapers, not 35 - and I plan on stopping at the potties throughout the parks as I come to them and making all 3 of them use it before moving on........if one of them says "I have to go pee".....guess what - they are all going to try.

Next on the list --------PACKING!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shelber - Man!

I'd like to take this time to introduce you to our new addition. ( I know, I say that a lot on my blog - seems like every other month, I am introducing you to or mourning our latest pet).
This is SHELBY. - aka Shelber Man. He is a 3 year old Yorkie. The kids became very fond of niece Reagan's little pint sized yorkie, and I happened to hear of a woman who was giving away her 2 yorkies "to a good home."So I decided to surprise the kids. Like I said, she was giving away 2. - Gary and I agreed that we would offer to take 1. and only 1. if she didn't have the heart to separate them, then the kids were none the wiser. The lady's reasoning for finding them a new home was to find a family who would have time for them. She works outrageous hours at her job, and was feeling quite sad that the dogs were couped up in their cages for the entire day. It was a hard decision for her - believe me - I witnessed her crying as I "removed" the dog from her house.

Shelby is used to adults. Quiet. other small dogs. Quiet. Adults.......I think he was in shock for the first couple of days in this madhouse. - First thing he did was show sandler who was boss. If sandler came within 5 feet of him, or even looked at him, Shelby was right up in his face growling (which I assume means back off big dog, or else) Poor sandler was practically cowering in the corner. I am pleased to report that his aggressiveness toward sandler has subsided, and they can coexist in the same room now. Actually shelby prefers to go to the bathroom outside as long as Sandler accompanies him now.

It is definitely different having a lap dog around. Sandler has been unable to fit on our laps for about -forever- So it is kinda nice to have a little dog who can't wait for you to sit down, so he can curl up on your lap. Shelby has taken a liking to Kyle the most out of the kids. I guess he can sense the animal lover in him. He tolerates Vivian - he has to....She takes him in her bedroom and closes the door so he cannot escape her. He runs from Kerrigan like she is some horrible Giant disgusting creature here to snatch him away to eat him.....(that's how i interpret the look on his face). But she eventually catches him, and he gives in, lets her carry him around like an old teddy bear in one arm. biding his time until he gets the chance to scurry away.

aaahhhh fun times.

So I had made an appointment to bring shelby to the groomer. He was to get an all over cut, bath, nails clipped, and ears cleaned. Gary seemed a little shocked when I told him it would cost $30. He said " we don't even pay for ourselves to get haircuts"! He is right, and with Disney only being about a month away, it seemed like wasteful spending, so I decided to try a hand at dog grooming. YUP - I think I can add this to my list of talents...... I have no Idea if I did it right, but he seemed to enjoy the experience, and he feels softer, and looks so darn cute with his little mustache. I think he looks more manly - the name shelby, and that long hair he had, just wasn't convincing.

I enjoy ShelberMan!


DANCING WITH THE STARS - Season 9 starts tonight!

Ladies and Gentleman, If you need me for anything on Monday or Tuesday nights, I will be glued to the television from approx. 8:00 - 10:00.

As you may remember, We are Huge DWTS fans. Too early to tell who my favorites are going to be. Unfortunately, Just by the looks of Cheryl Burk's Partner, we will be saying farewell to her pretty early on........ My initial hope lies in this season's hunkie young man Aaron Carter - I will be anxious to see what he's got.

Other than him, I think Kathy Irland may have a shot at being popular. She's got the beauty, lets see if she's got the rhythm.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just wanted to share this

I know I haven't blogged in forever, and I feel really literally.....I feel the NEED to blog!.....I have a lot of catching up to do. A lot has been going on, so when I finally have time - or access to a faster computer that isn't at work (if I can't do it at lunch - I can't do it) - I will be able to fill you all in on Labor Day, First day of school pictures, OUR NEW DOG!, and my new attempt at exercise. (yes mr. kelley, I am still determined to lose weight before Disney.)

I know you will all be on the edges of your seats because everyone and their brother wants to hear about my

But for right now, I just wanted to share this adorable picture I took of Kerrigan at the Labor day picnic at the farm.

Makes me smile, that's for sure!:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

An End Of Summer Favorite

From the Family Garden.......

We didn't seem to have much time this year to help plant the grow the corn......but I am thankful we have the go-ahead to help pick the corn.........And EAT the corn!

Thanks Grampa Mark - the corn is sooooo Delicious!

We are Very Lucky.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Freddie update

This is Freddie when we first got him as a hatchling. I am not positive on a measurement, but I would say back then, in January, he was about 6 inches from nose to tail.

We were told when we bought him, that they learn to love their owners and become very social with them. Kyle would be able to take him out of his cage and interact, (and kyle was hoping - take him for a walk). But believe it or not, Kyle was a bit skittish after Freddie began to grow, and I think Freddie could sense that. Freddie did his own thing, entertaining us from inside his tank, and Kyle took care of his needs as a great lizard owner From the outside. Kyle figures, Freddie was pretty wiggly and we didn't need an escaped dragon on the loose in our house......that could spell disaster for sure. While visiting the pet store yesterday, we inquired to what looked to us like a bearded dragon expert (he claimed to own 3 of them) and he worked there, about the habits of our beardie. He explained to Kyle that when picking him up, he should do so making sure that his back legs are supported in his hand. This will make him feel safer and more relaxed when being handled.

As soon as we returned home, Freddie was being mauled Kyle tested out this new handling strategy........It worked! soon Freddie seemed very comfy with Kyle picking him up and soon kyle had him perched right on his shirt. I couldn't believe it!

So here is Freddie again Folks, He is about 8 months old now and I bet he has more than doubled in size. And doing very well!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Marriage Story

Once Upon A Time..... Not too long ago, ( 9 years ago today to be exact), 2 high school sweethearts said "I Do" in a small Chapel on a lake. It was here that a new chapter in their lives began.
A year and 1/2 later, they were blessed with a son. A young prince to fill their lives with joy. Wife stayed home to tend to the little prince and their castle, while husband worked outside the castle. A few more years passed and this little family grew a little bigger as they welcomed their first princess. A prince and a princess, one of each - who could ask for anything more? well, how about one more little princess? yes indeed this castle is full -of love! Wife decided that both her and husband needed to be working outside the castle in order for things to run more smoothly. And so they learned to Juggle - juggle work schedules, family time and chores. (It turns out that husband is a better castle cleaner and clothes washer than wife.) Husband and wife feel very busy, and that there lives couldn't possibly be fuller.
with each passing day, they remember to say I love you, and often reminisce about times past - before there were a prince and princesses. - it seems so long ago - yet they feel today they are having the best times of their lives. And so on nights when they have time to themselves (try to find one of those!) they sit back and relax, plan a few future alterations to the castle, and reflect on their love of each other, their children and their future together. Their pockets are pretty empty, but their hearts are RICH. they know their story is one of happily ever after.

Happy Anniversary Husband............Love, Wife


***disclaimer**** I am not responsible for feelings of sickness after reading all this mush. Obviously their life is not always roses - but for purposes of a fairytale, other emotions have been left out.