Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Silent Night

Merry Christmas from Reilly, Dawn and Alex.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Look what I discovered today!!

I'm am so excited.... I just discovered that you can hear Alex flute performance online!!!! (She is the "trilly" one.)
Also Caroline's drumming.... Here are all the selections.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Celia update

Gabby, Mom and I went up to see Celia and Peach today. Celia looked good- very alert and looking around at us. I got to hold her for a long time- even while 2 different nurses came in to examine her. She's so sweet and snuggly! Elizabeth said that they are 99% sure that her "episodes" (not breathing) are caused by reflux and they have put her on 2 different medicines to help with that. If she doesn't have another episode they may send her home tomorrow. Her due date was this coming Thursday, so it would be fitting for her to come home then!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Say goodbye to the dancer....

Well, I'm glad you all got a chance to see Ethan dance at least once, because today he quit. It has been getting difficult the last few classes to get him there, but I made him promise to stick with it until the winter recital was over with....
He got a little teary when he was telling Mrs. Sciarratta that he was all done, but she said, "I'll still be your friend, and maybe you can try again next year." We'll see. Now he wants to try karate... yeah.

Run Run Rudolph

Watch Gabby RUN!!

Candy Cane Dance

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Feeling Crafty...

Look what I whipped up while Cate was napping yesterday.... No, they are not little gnome hats, although Dawn would like that (she likes gnomes)...

they are candy cones. I saw the idea here and thought they were really cute. Of course mine did not turn out as cute, but o-well. I am the Class Mom for Ethan's class, so I am going to fill them with candy and little treats and pass them out to his classmates.All I have to buy is more candy, everything else I had on had. The green sparkly felt was left over from Hudson's elf costume.
Warning: I have been feeling quite crafty lately, so you all should beware this gift giving season!

And on a more serious note.... say a prayer for baby Celia. She is up at Strong Hospital after she stopped breathing yesterday. Thankfully she was at the doctor's office for an appointment when the incident occurred, so she has been under professional supervision the entire time. She is having all sorts of tests done to see what caused this. I can only imagine what Elizabeth and Marc are going through to see their sweet tiny baby being poked and prodded.
Here is Celia with her great Aunt Karen and next to her Great Grandma at Mum's 95th birthday party.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Happy Birthday Mum!

Mum is 95 today! Happy Birthday!
And happy birthday to you too Grandpa Donald... we all miss you very much. You would have been very proud of your granddaughter and great granddaughter last night.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

5th Grade Concert

Alex had her 5th grade chorus and band concert this evening. They had a "trial run" this morning, and bussed all the kids from the elementary school up to the high school "performing arts center" to see it. Mom and Justin (and Gabby!) went to the morning show because they couldn't make the evening event. When I picked Gabby up from Mom's house afterward (I had a dance meeting to go to) she told me how good it was, and that Alex's duet was great. Her what??? She had a duet? OK, so now I ma feeling like the crappiest Mom on the planet. I knew that Mr. G had given her and another flutist some "special music", but I thought it was just for lessons or for fun.. I had no idea she was doing a duet. Then I thought- gosh- maybe she told me and I was like, "Uh huh" without really listening. I felt really bad. SO I go tonight and watch her and be awed and amazed and blown over. It was really good. We get home and I asked her about the duet and she says, "Mom, I wanted to keep it a secret so you'd be so surprised!" Well, I was....

(It was actually a trio because Mr. G played guitar)

Playing in the band...

Here is Alex in the chorus...

Caroline was part of a special group- five kids played a holiday song. It reminded me of a jazz gig... sorry Caroline, I couldn't avoid the microphone across your face! What talented kids we have!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Hanukkah

Ethan expressed an interest in celebrating Hanukkah (Alex did the same thing when she was little too). So, due to the fact that Hanukkah starts tonight and we were short a menorah, we improvised with birthday candles and an egg carton. We lit one candle, Alex and Hudson said a little prayer about thankfullness, we shared some chocolate cake and enjoyed being together.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Welcome Baby Celia!

Peachy and Marc welcomed Celia Louise last night around 8:30pm. We were able to sneak in today for a really quick peek at her. She's all warm and fuzzy and sweet. We were ushered out because it time to nurse.
Happy birthday to Dominick! Ethan didn't want to get out of bed this morning because it is Dom's birthday so he didn't think he had to go to Dom's a dead president or something! Actually he thought he was going to Dominick's party today.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Halloween In Pictures...

Hudson's cute pumpkin.

Alex carved hers all by herself.

Justin was pretty proud of his.

Ann Marie will probably kill me.... she was dressed as an ice cream cone for the school parade.

Ethan in his classroom.

The Headless Groom, his Dead Bride and the rest of the wedding party.

Check out Jonathan's cool drum kit!
You can barely even see Dom.... he's so dark, and William is a blur.

Gabby told me she was "ready to be pretty" this Halloween.

William let Grandma Patty take him trick-or-treating.

Cate was a "Bunny Wabbit"!

Hudson got a little carried away this Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

School Pictures

We got the kids school pictures the other day. I'm pretty pleased with them. I'm probably breaking all kinds of copy-right laws....

Monday, October 29, 2007

And the Winner Is....

The Headless Guy! aka Alex. She entered a costume contest on Saturday and won for Best Original Costume. That's her on stage holding her gift certificate to Drama Kids, her over stuffed candy bag prize, oh, and her head.

Ethan was too scared to go up on stage for the contest, although he did walk around Main Street Canandaigua and Trick-or-Treat from the participating shops. It was a nice event for the kids. (Hudson was at a birthday party, so he didn't join us. He was bummed because he thought for sure he'd win something.)Here is Headless awaiting the contest. She freaked out some kids when they poked her and she said "Hi." They thought she was a mannequin!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

She's 10!

Wow... how did that happen? I can hardly believe that I've had the pleasure of knowing her for 10 years and that I have been a parent for a decade! She's such a great kid, hardworking, smart, talented and beautiful. She has so much potential it is scary. Heidi said the nicest things about her in an email to me.... I hope she doesn't mind that I copied them here. "I was thinking about how Alex (whom i have always had a soft-spot for) was quite fiery as a toddler. Last time I saw her (at Marcy's) she was so full of poise and had such a gentle balanced disposition. Very impressive little girl. She seems so focused."

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

We met up with Grandma Chickie, Grandma Patty, Papa, Megan, Dom and Gabby at the Baughman Farm in Geneseo after Alex's soccer game on Sunday. It was neat to see some of things I painted for Debbie and Gerry's pumpkin farm again. (Debbie & Gerry haven't done the pumpkins for a long time.... so there "stuff" has found a new home at the Baughmans). The kids had fun picking out pumpkins- Hudson found a green one he was pretty proud of! We plan on carving them tomorrow night.

In a few minutes I'm expecting the kids to get off the bus... early, as it is a half day. Along with my 3 will be several of Alex's friends. She is having her slumber party tonight. I am just barely recovered from Hudson's slumber party 2 weeks ago. Who ever said that having your kids in the same month was a good idea?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ethan Likes to Keep Us Guessing....

I volunteer in Ethan's kindergarten classroom on Wednesday mornings. This morning the teacher asked me to stay and chat with her after the kids went to gym. She sat me down and explained that every child was screened at the beginning of the school year for letter recognition. At that time Ethan scored very low (20 out of 54- Why 54? Not 52? Since there are only 26 letters, even if they do both upper and lower case...I'm not sure what the 2 extras are...anyway...) His score qualified him for "services" which would mean he would be pulled from the classroom for extra help. When she told me this I felt very defeated. We had worked really hard on his letters this summer. Then, 2 weeks later his teacher screened him again. This time he scored 50 out of 54 and is now near the top of his class in this area. What gives???? His teacher thinks that it took him a few weeks to get comfortable in school and settle in. I think that the letters simply and finally "clicked" with him. Whatever the reason- he sure keeps things interesting!!


The other day I overheard Ethan talking to a little friend of his while we waited for Hudson to finish his dance class. He was telling him, "First you die. Then your skin falls off. And then you are a skeleton!" He paused and added, just for good measure, "Oh, and Jesus is the son of God." The mom of the little boy chuckled and said, "I thought this was a non-denominational dance studio."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Party Prep

I took a few pictures of the cake, etc. before the boys get here... goodness knows it won't look the same after they arrive!!

The cake is supposed to look like a cemetery with a fence around it. I guess it sort of does. Now all I need to do is finish the dishes, order the pizza, await the arrival of all these boys and take a Valium (HA HA!).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Hud!

I can't believe he is EIGHT!! Wow. Whenever his birthday rolls around I think of how close we were to not having him in our lives and it breaks my heart and fills me with joy at the same time- sadness because I nearly lost him because of some stupid doctor's ignorance, and joy because I trusted my gut and we have been blessed with this great kid.

Tonight Grandma Patty, the kids and I snuck in a quick dinner at Eddie O'Briens to celebrate Hudson's big day, before Alex's dance class. There were some gifts on the table from Grandma. Ethan said, "Who are those presents for?"
I sarcastically replied, "Gee- I wonder."
Ethan looked puzzled and then said, "Who's Gee?"

Hudson is having his very first sleep over party tomorrow. Six boys will be coming over for pizza, scary movies, too much orange soda and too little sleep (I'm sure). I made a cool spooky cemetery cake. I can't wait for the boys to see it. I'll take pictures tomorrow. For now I'll leave you with a picture of my handsome boy taken this summer.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

My Kids Are Really Cracking Me Up Lately

Today when the kids got home from school I asked Alex if she had any homework. She sighed and said, "Yes. A math worksheet and I need to study for a science test." Knowing that she has been studying the skeletal system, I asked, "Anatomy?" She replied, "No, I'm not mad at you. I just have some homework to do."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

He's a 'Poser....

This morning Ethan had the collar of his "handsome" shirt sticking up. I said, "Come here and let me fix your collar. You look like Elvis." When I was done, he put it back up and said, "Now I look like Franz Joseph Haydn." I'm like whaaaaat? He goes on, "Mom, he's a 'poser. He wrote The Joke." So, I have to look this up. Haydn sounds familiar to me, but I have no idea what he wrote. Sure enough he was a composer, and he did write Quartet No. 30 in E♭ Major ("The Joke"), Op. 33, No. 2. (Thank God for Wikipedia, right?) I found the music on iTunes, and Ethan was like, "Yeah, yeah Mom ...that's it!"

I told mom this story this morning and she said, "He is an idiot-savant."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Halloween....

if only it weren't 90º!!

For some reason I wasn't really interested in making costumes for the kids this year, even though it is something I usually LOVE to do. Last year's costumes were, in my opinion, so awesome, maybe I was afraid of creating anything less than stellar. So I told the kids that they had to dig through the dress up box for costumes this year. Goodness knows we have enough. Like this. Or this. Even Dominick has pilfered from our dress up box for a costume once. But then Alex and her friend Tessa came up with the idea to be a dead bride and a headless groom. And yes, Alex gets to be the headless groom. We actually found this version at the Halloween store in Canandaigua, but it is only in adult male sizes. So I am trying to make one. Eh. I'll document my progress in case anyone is interested.

So, I can't exactly make one kid a costume and tell the other two to wing it.... so I am now making in addition to a headless groom, an alien abucting a kid for Hudson and a mummy for Ethan. I thought Ethan's would be so easy. I'd just sew strips of gauzy material to white long underwear.... well, try to find long underwear when it is 90º out. No one sells it! I ended up with an off white pair from the girls department at Target. Hopefully Ethan won't realize that the little design in the material are actually hearts!

Friday, September 21, 2007


Well, Ethan was put on yellow on Friday. In his school everyone starts on green. Your first infraction or warning for the day gets you on yellow. After that if you misbehave you move to red, then to the principle's office. I'm so disappointed, and at the same time surprised it took 11 days to happen. I guess he grabbed a kid after the kid grabbed him first. Then, to make my heart ache even more, he came home with some work that wasn't done. When I asked him why it wasn't completed (they don't have homework, so it was weird for him to bring unfinished work home) he said, "That was when I was sitting at my table crying." Doesn't that just sound pathetic?

I went to meet the teacher night on Thursday. Justin had to work so I was a "single mom." Since Hudson has a teacher that Alex had for 3rd grade, and the 3rd grade and 5th grade teachers give their "presentations" at the same time, I only sat through Alex's teacher's talk. (I did go in early and speak one on one to Hudson's teacher, saw his room, read his little note to me, etc.) Fifth grade sounds fun! They will be going on some really cool field trips (seeing the RPO perform at the Eastman Theatre, walking trips to the Mount Hope Cemetery and Corn Hill area) studying architecture and then building a house..lots of fun stuff. They also have a new Smartboard in their room, as does Hudson....but Alex also gets to use the Senteo, which is like a remote that can be used with the Smartboard for quizzes, etc. It's very cool. Our kids will be so tech savvy!

** Edited to note... Yes, they are called Smartboards...not Whiteboards. What was I thinking? Not so smart I guess :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

One Down...

The first full week of school is over. The kids are all doing well. I'm happy to report that Ethan has "stayed on green" every day so far. He has already been allowed into the "prize box" on day 5 and is looking forward to getting 2 more star stamps in order to reach 10 total and be rewarded again. (You get a star stamp on your folder when you stay on "green" in his classroom.) Ethan is still afraid to buy anything from the lunch line. I went into school and helped him buy chocolate milk on Wednesday. I told him this morning that he could buy ice cream because it is Friday. (The only day the kids are allowed to buy ice cream at school is Friday in this house. It makes it seem more like a treat, and gives them a little something to look forward to.) He said, "Are you coming in to my lunch?" When I told him no he said very grumpily, "Well, I'm not buying anything!" Well, Ok then....

This was also our first week of dance, which is a scheduling nightmare (Ethan dances on Monday, Alex on Mon, Tues and Thurs and Hudson on Mon and Wed) but the kids love it so much and have done well so far with all the activity. I'm really proud of them. Alex also starts chorus and band next week. She'll have to ride the early (high school) bus, which arrives at about 7:20. Currently she is not even out of bed at that time. We'll see how she does. (I also had to call school and request that they change the bus route so that Alex wouldn't have to cross Rt. 64. It's just too freakin' busy and the huge trucks go about 70mph past our house.) With all of their activity, I have eased off of the chores for a while... not that they really had a lot to do anyway (feed the dog, empty the dishwasher, bring down their dirty clothes, keep their room clean were on the list) but I just don't want them getting too overwhelmed. Now I have to feed the *&?! dog.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Hudson doesn't have much to say about school. I guess he is enjoying it. He comes home, does his homework and then plays with Lego's. He seems happy enough, but he never elaborates on what his school day is like. Today I went into school to eat lunch with Ethan (he was nervous about buying milk in the lunch line, so I helped him) and I was greeted by a big hug from Hudson. His class was on their way to music and his teacher let him sneak into the cafeteria and say hi to me. Then after the class went into the music room, Mrs. Raup, Hudson's teacher came up to me. She said, "If ever you want to get rid of Hudson I'll adopt him. He's such a good boy. So creative. Always first to rise his hand with the answer. He's a real shining star in my room." I nearly started to cry. I am so proud of him!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dance Begins

The kids stared their dance classes yesterday. We have a marathon of classes on Mondays... Ethan danced from 4-5 (and Alex is a demonstrator in his class), Hudson from 5-6:30 and Alex from 6:30 to 8. Alex said that Ethan was "a little crazy in the beginning but then did good." The teacher keeps the shade shut on the window between the studio and waiting area, but I was able to peek through the crack and get a glimpse of Eefers. He looked to me like he was doing what he was supposed to be doing, and doing it well! He told his Dad that he really liked dance class. I'm really happy that he's enjoying it so far.... now I just hope he likes regular school as much. He cried this morning and told me he wasn't going. I did manage to get him on the bus tear free... we'll see what what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Through the Years

2004 Alex 6 - 2nd grade, Hudson 4 - Kindergarten

Alex 7 - 3rd grade, Hudson 5 - 1st grade

Alex 8- 4th grade, Hudson 6- 2nd grade

Alex 9 - 5th grade, Hudson 7 - 3rd grade, Ethan 5 - Kindergarten

I'll have to go through my older pictures to find Alex in Kindergarten and 1st grade.... but I thought this was a neat timeline of "First Days" and wanted to share it.

And They're Back...

Day One of school was pretty good. Alex and Hudson walked Ethan to his classroom, so that was nice. Ethan proudly showed me the stamp he received on his folder for "staying on green all day". Alex was happy to see all of her old friends during lunch and recess, and to become better acquainted with the kids in her classroom (girls she knows but was not very close to previously). Hudson didn't have much to say about his day, but he is excited about having his buddy Noah on the bus with him.

The most distressing thing for me was what I discovered when I unpacked Ethan's lunch box.... he hadn't eaten his sandwich or his granola bar. "Why didn't you eat your sandwich?" I asked him. He couldn't get it out of the container- it was stuck, and he couldn't open the wrapper on his granola bar. He didn't realize that he could have asked a grown-up for help. He also didn't think that there were any garbage cans in the cafeteria, so he put his half finished juice box back into the lunch pail, getting his backpack wet.

Oh well... all in all I think it was a good day... although trying to ask Ethan about his day is like talking to a monkey.

And They're Off... (Now with Pictures!)

School started today. With equal parts relief and excitement (and a bit of sadness) I sent them off on the bus. This was Ethan's very first day- he started kindergarten, so we were all a bit anxious for him. On Sunday at church, when Cory talked about the kids going back to school Ethan said, "I'm NOT going to school!!" And yesterday afternoon when I said something about getting a good night's sleep because it was a school night, Ethan asked, "Do I have to go to school tomorrow?" When I said yes, he buried his head in my shoulder and sighed. I was pretty nervous that he would have a tantrum or start crying when the bus came... but no! He gave us the thumbs up and marched right up the steps- sandwiched between his brother and sister. Ah relief!

But to really appreciate and understand why I was a bit more anxious than I had hoped I would be you'll have to know the full story.... OK- so it's night before the first day of school. Lets get a good dinner into the kids, give the boys a nice bath, read Ethan a story, lay out their clothes, etc. etc. Well, that all went to hell! We discovered at about 6:30, right when I was putting the kettle on to make myself some tea and get dinner started, that we had run out of propane! Oh great.... so pack up the kids, some PJ's, something for dinner and go to Mom's and Dad's to use their luxurious hot water and stove top. But wait! The dryer didn't dry the clothes (no propane to heat it) so let me hang the load, with Ethan's shorts he will be wearing to school, on the line. OK good... kids cleaned and fed, got to snuggle Grandma a little, we're back home, teeth are brushed, no time for a story but that's OK. Kisses goodnight. "Alex don't stay up too late." Justin needs to get up early and I am fighting a nagging cold, which has robbed me of my voice, so we go to bed early too. 9:15 Alex comes downstairs.... Mom, the toilet is overflowing. Oh Christ!! The last time this happened (last Friday) the water leaked through the ceiling on all over my bed. We are still dealing with stinky wet plaster smell from that episode. So I run upstairs, turn off the water that feeds the toilet (I learned this from the last go-around) and try to plunge... nothing. I go downstairs, get a bucket and a plastic cup, go back upstairs and fish out (gag) the floating Alex poops (gag) take that downstairs and dump it (gag) in to the other toilet. Go back upstairs to plunge some more... still nothing. Decide to tackle it in the morning. Go to bed. Wake up. Make breakfast for the kids. Get Ethan's shorts off the line... still damp. I spend 10 minutes drying them with a hair dryer. The propane man comes! He re-lights everything after he fills the tank. He is a godsend. The kids are clean, fed, lunches packed, pictures taken, Hudson has crud on his brand new shirt.... how did that happen? The bus arrives, and they are off to school.

I go to breakfast with Mom and Dad. Decide to walk home.... and get caught in a rainstorm. Good for the cold I have, I'm sure. And all the clothes on the line are soaked..... aarrgh!

Now the silver lining of this story.... yesterday Ethan had a practice bus run and got to see his class room and meet his teacher. She read to them The Kissing Hand, about a little raccoon that is apprehensive about leaving his mom and going to school. She gives him a kiss on the hand, and whenever he feels a needs a little love from his mom he should press his hand against his cheek and think, "Mom loves you." So Mrs. Wilson, Ethan's teacher, sent home a red heart sticker for me to place on Ethan's hand so that he could look at it during the day and remember that Mom loves him. I placed the sticker on his hand this morning. He went about his business, getting his sneakers and back pack on, running outside to check to see if that car in the driveway was Dad (it was- Justin came home from work to watch the kids get on the bus). The sticker came loose. Ethan came to me holding the sticker and said, "Mom, I don't need this.... why don't you wear it today?"

Thanks Ethan... I will.