Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday fever!

We have been nuts lately! So nuts that I haven't even taken the holiday pictures off the camera yet! I assure you I will, and when I do they will be here. We had a great holiday, as usual. My dad was up here, and that's always a blast. Then Al's mom and aunt came up and we had a great time! I think the highlight gift this year was the large gymnastics mat that Al's mom and aunt gave to the three kids. They can now dance like crazy, as well as practice forward rolls, head stands, and cartwheels; all in the comfort of their own home. I guess we'll see in short term whether or not that was a good idea! Although, I have to say, it is really really cool to see how good they are getting at these things! We also now have Dance Dance revolution for the Wii. When I can, I will upload some video of us all dancing! It's a blast!

Siobhan purchased a new potty chair, so we have begun that phenomenon as well. Connor took two painful years to potty train, and Aisling potty trained herself before she was even 2. Let's see who Siobhan takes after! She also said her first sentence today: "No nap. Play". Uh huh. I can see we're going to be in trouble!

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe new year!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My latest time waster....

I've recently discovered Window's Movie Maker. While it is full of bugs (and I mean full) the idea of video scrapbooking was too tempting to pass up! I love this idea. Music and photos... two of my favorite things combined! Here's a little preview of what I've done. expect more! (especially if I can work out the bugs...)

Saturday, November 7, 2009


We have been so utterly busy lately, I don't even think I can describe it. First there was the entire two weeks where everyone but me and Wyatt got sick. The kids missed three consecutive days of school each, and would have missed more but Thursday and Friday there was no school. Then we went to Massachusetts to attend the wedding of my oldest friend in the world, Kristen. That was a magical experience! Then we hosted a UNICEF fundraising Halloween party for many of our friends. That was insane! Finally, things have been extremely crazy at work, and I've been bringing work home almost every night. So, all of those things combine leave little time for blogging.

Today we went to get our H1N1 vaccines. We were heading to a VNA clinic that ran from 9-3. We got there at around 9:45 and found a line of about 1,000 people. We were pretty near the end. The bad news was that we were outside for about 3 1/2 hours. The good news was that all four of the children were extremely well behaved, as was the general public. We ended up chatting with the people around us, and bonded in that way you do when you're stuck with people in uncomfortable situations! We all had assumed we would be waiting inside, and didn't plan for the weather (or the standing). I neglected to bring the Ergo or a stroller, and ended up holding the baby for four hours! It was very cold and windy, and got a little challenging. At one point, about 45 minutes or so from the end a random good Samaritan came by with a bag full of blankets purchased at a nearby dollar store. We ended up getting one for the kids to wrap up in. This man was just so nice, and actually felt badly saying "I wish I could have bought 100". I'd say he had purchased at least 10 (at $5.00 each). There were also a few people who had opened their cars for children to warm up. We didn't need that though. We only had one breakdown. In hindsight we realized the kids were starving. When the kids actually went in for their vaccines Connor said "It is really 1:05?" Al and I were assuming that the clock just hadn't been changed, but no, it was really 1:05! Poor kids had no lunch. Well, it all worked out fine, and the kids are now (halfway) vaccinated.

I'll leave you with a quick scrapbook from Halloween.

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook: Haloween 2009
Create your own scrapbook - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Monday, October 12, 2009

role playing...

My kids have great imaginations, you may have noticed, and love to pretend all the time. One thing they love to pretend is school. Tonight, they wanted to pretend school during dinner time. This is how that conversaiton went:

kids: "Let's play school! Mommy, you can be Miss Aranjo and Daddy you can be Mr. Phillips. Then we have to raise our hands when we want something, and we have to eat politely".

me: "Why don't we just play polite family dinner?"

kids: "no way!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Alone with my children tonight.

If you were alone with my children tonight you would have:
1) Cleaned up a pile of colored sand from a broken sand bottle Aisling made yesterday; After she tried to clean it up with her toy vacuum of course.
2) Purchased $35.00 worth of food from McDonald's so you wouldn't have to cook.
3) Cleaned up a bottle of spilled milk from the newly washed floor
4) Eaten dinner with one child in a bathrobe instead of milky clothes
5) endured your foster son throwing his spoon with every other bite
6) Endured numerous thrown french fries from the baby
7) Listened to your son practice piano in the basement while barricading the doorway with your foot so your baby cannot go to the basement, while also continuing to help your foster son eat.
8) Allowed your son to try to beat level eight on Translmania.
9) Endured a temper tantrum when he couldn't beat it.
10) Listened to the baby walk around crying "no no no no" while you assisted your foster son in getting ready for bed
11) Listened to shouting and mysterious heavy banging from upstairs while you assisted your foster son in getting ready for bed.
12) Totally measured your foster son's medication wrong, and re-measured it. (While listening to the baby cry "no no no no no")
13) Arrived upstairs to find numerous children hanging out in your bathroom with suspicious amounts of toilet paper all over the floor.
14) Found your daughter sitting on the floor looking at a view finder with her toothbrush on the floor next to her because she "forgot she was supposed to be brushing her teeth".
15) Bribed the children with treats if they quietly helped each other with pajamas.
16) Been disappointed, but not surprised, when even bribery didn't work.
17) Skipped baths for everyone
18) Actually put the children to bed within 2 hours of their typical bedtime.
19) Had a blast reading favorite books before bed
20) Endured a kicking baby who eventually settled and snuggled
21) Collapsed by 9:00.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back to school!

This year brings us one sixth grader, one second grader, and one kindergartner. (Along with one toddler!) The first day of school was adventurous. Wyatt had an incident in his chair, and fell on the ground, getting road rash on his face; poor guy. So, you'll see a swollen eye in his pictures. However, he's doing much better, and sixth grade is off to a decent start. Connor had an eventful start as well. On the third day of school his class pet, a guinea pig named Zach died. The class wrote letters and helped bury little Zach. Aisling's start was a tad simpler! She is, however, exhausted to tears by the end of her first full day today.

Friday, August 28, 2009


In our last episode, I was complaining about the hose being buried. It's unburied now. It took me about 2 hours to dig up. It was about 2 feet underground; after the hole Connor had begun. Here are some pictures (please ignore the redneck child in the pictures).

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quiet children, never a good thing.

Today, after suffering through an afternoon of bickering and complaining, I banished my older children outside. (I know, terrible). They were playing with the sprinkler and seemed to be having a blast. After a while I looked outside to see that they had taken the hose out of the sprinkler and were chasing each other with it. They then started making a water slide on the swing set. I decided, against my better judgment, that it was probably fine. After all, they were happily playing and I was watching Oprah while folding laundry. (I KNOW, Oprah! When do I ever get to do that?!) Shortly after Al got home, Aisling came in and said Connor had gotten the hose stuck in a hole. I went out prepared to take the hose from a hole in the fence or something similar. Oh no. My lovely son had some how managed to get the hose stuck in at least three inches of mud. As they made a water slide it created a giant mud puddle. They then started digging in this, and the hose got stuck. Neither Al nor I could get it out. It remains stuck. I've never heard of such a thing!

The hole goes up to his elbow.
Hose stuck in the ground.
The carnage of our swingset.
The worst part of this whole thing, besides the fact that the hose is stuck, is that while hunched over and trying to pull it out, I got bitten by a few bugs (three!) I don't know what they were, but they were not nice! However, I did get to watch Oprah. It MAY have been worth it...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Techno baby...

Siobhan loves Al's Blackberry. She knows what it is and knows how to use it. Here's a video of her:

Incidentally, while she was watching this video, she was waving to herself!

Aye, you scurvy lad!

We sent Connor to pirate themed cub scout day camp this past week During this camp he did things like shoot BB guns, bows and arrows, and cross bow. He is now asking for a BB gun for Christmas. I am not so sure how I feel about this! He also helped create a skit, and did lots of crafts. He also learned phrases like "...then he screamed like a girl" in regards to a friend that saw a snake. *sigh* this is what you get with a group of seven year old boys I suppose! He had a fantastic time. I think cub scouts has been a wonderful thing for him. Here are a few pictures and videos from his last day.

His den did a skit. He was the only one in a homemade costume. He was also the loudest and clearest of the den! Good work Matey! (I guess drama camp paid off...)His camp also made a big pirate ship out of refrigerator boxes. here is is peeking out of the window. Shortly after this picture, everyone got in trouble for being in the boat when they weren't supposed to be. Oops...

Here's a picture of the whole camp. He's the only one in his red shirt; but he also got a blue camping shirt.
Here's a video of him getting his camp patch; his pirate name was Captain Green Beard. I also have other videos I can upload later.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I love you; I just don't want to kiss you.

Connor and Aisling talk about getting married sometimes. It's very cute. They play house a lot, and pretend to be husband and wife. After they play, Connor always reminds us that he knows they can't get married in real life, but they're just pretending. (Phew, cause we were worried about them trying to get married for real...)

Today in the van I head the following conversation:
Aisling (5) "Connor we have to kiss on the lips when we get married".
Connor (7): just looks at her.
Aisling: "Yeah, I think we have to kiss on the lips when we get married. But we can wipe it off when we're married".
Connor: "Mom, can we wipe off the kiss after we get married?"
Me: "um, yes"
Connor: "Okay"

I guess kissing is icky.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I guess it happens to everyone...

I have discussed hair cutting with my children, mainly Aisling, a number of times. Basically I've threatened them with bodily harm explained how bad their hair will look if the cut it themselves.I thought they understood, and I was safe from the horrible "emergency" hair cut. (You obviously know where this is going....)

Connor's hair has gotten quite long. And, while he often gets mistaken for a girl, we all loved it. I thought it was fitting for him and looked very unique. It was almost long enough for him to tuck behind his ears, but not quite. A few times I convinced him to have it tied back in the center of his head...

but he hated that. So, instead he had it hanging down in front of his eyes, like so:
Apparently he got sick of that because he gave himself a haircut. I guess I thought he was too old for that at age 7. Not to worry, we didn't escape that developmental milestone unscathed. He was extremely upset about it afterward, and I think embarrassed. He asked me not to show the pictures to anyone. So, I will honor that request secretly post them on this blog for you anyway; he'll never know.

Here's the self-haircut: (You can tell he'd been crying...) He didn't want his picture taken, but what's a blog-writing, scrapbook-making mama to do? Let him get away with this monumental event not photographed? *snort* I think not! A little personal trauma makes the best scrapbook pages! You can see where he chopped his bangs. While he was doing it, I remember wondering where he was, since he'd been gone (and quiet) for a while. I never learn...

Here's during the haircut:And here's the professional cut:I think it looks really great. I'll need to get some gel for him. He asked for another mowhawk, and that's not exactly what he got. I am glad though, I like this a lot better. I do have to say, I was impressed with how long he kept his hair long. That's not the "typical" style, and I love, love, love that he was confident enough to go with what he wanted, over what the typical expectation is. That takes courage!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

And this is when the children will say... my parents are such dorks.

As you will notice, I've not been updating the blog regularly. That is because I have hardly been home! We've taken in not one but two camping trips in the past month. I've also done a class, and the kids have each been in summer camp. However, the most recent highlight is this series of pictures which will undoubtedly be the point at which the children will look back and say "yes, yes, this is when I realized that my parents were total dorks. Hopefully they won't share these pictures with anyone." Never fear kind readers, of course I will be sharing them with you.

We also, of course, captured it on video:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

just another night....

This afternoon I bought Siobhan a sand and water table. The idea was that I could put it out on the back deck (where she always wants to be) and leave her for a few minutes while I load the dishwasher or something similar. Ideally, this will cut down on her escaping to the deck unknown. I brought it home and put it together. Then, because I am an idiot awesome mother I decided to set it up in the living room. I filled it with water and.... it leaked. A lot. Everywhere. Turns out I had not done things tightly enough. Why do all my issues seem to involve water?

Then, at dinner, I broke a glass. It slid right out of my hands and onto the counter. We're not sure if any of it got into Al's dinner, but he ate it anyway. Way to take one for the team, Al.

Then, after dinner, our neighbor came over for a sleep over. The kids were super excited, and ran outside to play. Before we knew it, it was well after 8:00, and the kids were exhausted. So, we began the bedtime routine. You know, the one consisting of crying, throwing pajamas, flopping down into a chair naked to cry and scream some more, and chasing your brother into his room because he won't let you join his sleep over? That one. The noise level got so loud with Aisling's tantrum bedtime routine, that our neighbor went home because he was not comfortable here. I never knew that was an option. Can I try that some day? Can I sleep somewhere else when I am not comfortable here?

Maybe tonight. Before I go to bed, I need to remember to change the sheets. My darling four year old woke up snuggling next to me while announcing "I had an accident". Yeah, in my bed.

That was my night.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Such a beauty!

Aisling, as you know, is turning five (and seemingly celebrating for months). In light of that big event, I decided to let her get her ears pierced. It became a really funny conversation when I brought it up to Al. He said that he's been wanting to get them pierced for a while, but that I said no! Today was the day.

When I mentioned it to Aisling she was excited. She talked about it all morning! I picked her up after camp and we went right there. She named off every friend of hers that has pierced ears. I tried explaining to her what it would feel like, but I think all she heard was "... and then you will have earrings in your ears".

She clambered up into the big chair, and hugged the hugging teddy bear that was there. I tried to take her picture during the piercing, but she wanted me to hold her hand. The woman did the first ear. The look of pain, shock, and surprise on Aisling's face made me tear up, I kid you not. Aisling held it together and did not cry at all. (I was almost not as lucky....). She looked beautiful, and was very proud of herself!

We picked out a few pairs of earrings on our way out (including a Disney princess pair!) I am looking forward to looking at even more earrings with her!

Connor was very cute about the whole thing, and admired her ears (over and over and over and...) like a champ! Very proud older brother.
Waiting for piercing!

Post Piercing!
Beautiful earrings!
The bag says it all!

She has been very good about cleaning her ears, and instructed Al how to do it exactly. She's very diligent!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Here are some pictures of the treat Aisling and I made for Al tonight:

It's a brownie burger, cake bun, and sugar cookie fries.

We also got him a game called "Ladderball". It's a lot of fun.

Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

fancy footwork

I got an incredible pedicure tonight. I am so pleased with it. I decided to go with a bright red color, to celebrate summer. I even went with a stylist who was actually able to make a house call. The treatment I got from her was fantastic; she was such a conversationalist! I'd share her information with you, but she's pretty pricey. I will share my photos, however.

Aren't you jealous?

Monday, June 15, 2009

cats, and rabbits, and well, that's enough. (oh my)

Our cats are outdoor cats. I don't love the idea, but we bought them when they were about 2 years old, and they had already been outdoor cats. We tried to keep them inside, and they were miserable.

Anyhoo, they are outdoor cats. As such, they do outdoor things. One of these things is chase mice. Every spring/summer we get dead and half dead mice left for us in the backyard. When we're really lucky (and we've left a screen door open) Smokey will bring a mouse inside for us. Sometimes, if we're extremely lucky, the mouse will still be alive. Oh yes, those are the best. Who doesn't love chasing around a half dead mouse through your house. No lie, once the cat brought a mouse into our bedroom for us. We were chasing this mouse around at 5:00 in the morning. He's also brought us a couple of birds.

Yesterday.... he upped the ante. He brought in a dead baby rabbit. Oh yes, that was an adventure.
HOWEVER.... today he brought in a LIVE baby rabbit!!! I knew because I heard the screaming in the living room. What they say is correct; there is nothing like the screaming of a rabbit....

I've never picked up a rabbit carrying cat so quickly. Out the door that scoundrel went.

We shall be revisiting our screen door policy.....

and perhaps our outdoor cat policy......

I love Vermont.... I love Vermont.... I love Vermont.... I love Vermont.... I love Vermont.... I love Vermont.... I love Vermont.... I love Vermont.... I love Vermont.... I love Vermont....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Siobhan's birthday

Here are some pictures from Siobhan's birthday present from Uncle Kevin: Enjoy!
Incidentally, Uncle Kevin is awesome, and is the best Uncle ever. E.V.E.R.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I can hardly believe it, but Aisling is done with preschool! It seems like just yesterday she started! She's off to kindergarten in the fall. For some reason I am finding this harder to believe than when Connor started. I am not sure why. What I do know is that the kindergarten teachers will be very lucky to have her in their classroom. She is becoming such a helpful and friendly girl. She is pleasant so much of the time, and always seems willing to help out. I am so excited for her to start school, and so sad that my baby is growing up....

Here's a little video they did at graduation:

Here's a few pictures as well:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gratuitous Picture Upload

It's been a while since I gave you all some pictures, so here's a bunch:
Chatting on the phone with her peeps!
First pig tails!

Playing in the sand at the baseball game. They were filthy!!!
The star of the baseball game!

Waiting as patiently as a seven year old boy can!
My best four year old girl!