Monday, August 27, 2007

A few moments

Lindsay is napping and Lauren is at soccer camp, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to catch up.

San Diego was fantastic. I don't think I've had as much fun on vacation as I had on that one. It was wonderful to have a little window into James' life, to see his apartment and meet his roommate, but mostly just to hang out was really spectacular. We went to a game at Petco Park, saw Sea World, hung out at Ocean Beach, where Ben had his first swim in the Pacific Ocean and we all rode waves together, and saw most of the San Diego Zoo. My brothers and Maria are just about the ideal vacation companions - they're all relaxed and don't stress over who gets where when. We arrived at Sea World and the Zoo pretty much when they opened, because our girls were up at 7 AM every day. They joined us around lunch time, which meant we could get all the kiddie rides out of the way, and Lindsay pretty reliably fell asleep as we were walking around.

We're going to schedule a vacation next summer, probably on the East Coast. James said he'd come to Jersey. He really hates Jersey, so he must've had a good time.

Friday, August 24, 2007

She shoots, she scores!

Lauren, Katie and Coach Spencer

Katie scores!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Random pictures

Why else would you have a camera phone except to be able to take random pictures during the day to post to your blog? Today at soccer camp, it was picture day, so all the kids got team shirts. Here's the next Mia Hamm decked out in her gear...

Lauren at soccer camp, August 2007

Then, we went to DSW to find a new pair of black shoes for the black tie wedding we have to attend on Sunday. These are bad pictures, and really, cropped knit pants don't do much for flattering black pumps much...

I went with selection 2, even though they are a little higher than I would've liked. Alec is, well, Alec-sized, so a heel this high means we are about the same height. I love the style of the open-toed t-straps...very sexy...but the rhinestones made them look gaudy, I thought. They would've been okay with a simple black dress, but mine is pretty involved, with a black tulle sequenced overlay.

I want you to know that after trying on these shoes, I spent about 15 minutes in the public restroom cleaning poop off of a toilet with bathroom tissue and a hijacked can of spray labeled disinfectant. Oh, mommyhood is glamorous.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Here I am

I keep meaning to sit down and write the story that goes along with all those pictures of my family that I shared this past week. We'll put a bookmark there and I'll get back to it.

My real life outside of blogging is pretty hectic these days. I realized now that we're 2 weeks until school starts that finding a babysitter was critical. I signed up for a service called Sitter City, which is an online database of babysitters indexed by area. You can either browse through those sitters, or post your own jobs and have the sitters send you their cover letters and resumes. My time this week has been largely consumed in sifting through electronic paperwork, and scheduling and conducting interviews. This became very critical since my mom is too sick to take care of my kids this weekend, my husband's family has a black tie wedding we're obligated to attend. Soccer camp is really the best thing Lauren's done all summer - I am thinking about signing her up for another week. It is, however, about a half hour away. The upside is it's 5 hours, so Lindsay and I have some alone time, and I have some quiet time.

I've hired a sitter for Saturday, who will be able to help me out with weekends during the school year. In addition to my regular course - this semester it's an ethics course about bio-medical issues - I'm taking a reading comprehension workshop in October. I read very fast, but often I have to read each chapter of text 3-4 times before I really understand key concepts. I'm hoping this class with help me hone my study skills so I can spend less time doing it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pictures from Petco Park

Lauren, Maria, Ben, Diane, James, Epiphany, and Lindsay

Lauren, Maria, and Ben

Lindsay and Alec

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A new adventure

At 6 AM, we will gather luggage and sleepy children and drive to Newark airport, where we will board a plane bound for San Diego. The sunny city where my baby brother lives.

James, rocking at X-Fest in May

I've never been. And worry too much tonight about screaming 15-month-olds on planes for 6 hours. I have to let it go.

I haven't taken a vacation that included my brothers since I was 15 years old. Ben and I got caught in a frenzy so many months ago when we started planning this. Airline miles. Hotel points. Our collectively absent spouses mean we get to pay down time lost on shmancy vacations. But more important, this will be the longest I've spent with both my brothers since I lived with them. Four whole days. A baseball game. The zoo. The beach. So cool.

Let me enjoy this, instead of fixating on everything that's not perfect. Relax despite the stress of getting there.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Overheard at the pool

"I think the crab is much more comfortable with his shell off..."

Yeah, if by comfortable you mean dead.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Reason number 137

To say Alec has been on a marathon of travel lately is really to underestimate the number of cities he has logged in the past few weeks. At the end of August, he will have been home less than a handful of business days. Mostly, it's that time after dinner before we get into our bedtime routine that's hard here.

"I miss Daddy," Lauren says sadly, every night he's not here.

"Daddy," echoes Lindsay emphatically.

"I miss him too," I reply.

"I miss him so much," Lauren widens her eyes for effect, "that it makes my tummy hurt."

It struck me today that reason number 137 why I love this man so much is that he's so damn funny that things he did 15 years ago make me chuckle still. The memory was from Green Bay, Alec was watching the Olympic games on the small TV that's now in our bedroom perched atop the kitchen cart, sitting on the futon that Lauren now sleeps on. Among his favorite sports was the luge, and whenever it would come on, he'd imitate it, straightening himself sideways on the couch. When I refused to ride in tandem with him, he would ride with Seamus the cat, who didn't really think this was much fun, but loves Alec too much to struggle. The last Olympics, Alec announced he was going to have a new luge partner, and Lauren would be excited about it.

I don't doubt it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's actually a pretzel

Lindsay talks about her favorite food

A moment of total spazz

Believe it or not, this isn't the first time this expression came up this week. On Tuesday, before Lindsay's bloodwork didn't happen, I'd thought I'd locked my keys in the car. My keyfob has been behaving unpredictably these days, and though I hit the button to unlock all the doors and trunk, the car responded by unlocking only the driver door and the truck. I closed the trunk, leaving my keys inside, and found it locked. A glance at the back doors revealed they were locked. I was on the phone with the locksmith when I realized the driver door wasn't locked.

Today, it is terrifically humid. I turned of my air conditioners last night and opened the windows, anticipating the cool down after the storm. The air has been on so many days now that it's stale in the house. It hasn't cooled down, and there's no breeze despite the rain.

I got out of the shower, wrapped a towel around myself and noticed the doorknob wouldn't turn. It was as though it was locked from the other side. I sighed. Who is around today who could come over and free me from the bathroom, which possibly needs its knob removed and can get in despite my house is still locked down from last night, I thought. Oh I am such an idiot, I didn't bring my cellphone in with me! Um, who the Hell brings a cellphone in the bathroom to take a shower?!

I have to somehow get Lauren upstairs from the sun porch. Then get her to find a name in the phone, click send, and communicate to some unfortunate friend of mine that I'm locked in my own bathroom. It could be an hour before she gets distracted enough from playing that she wanders up here to let me know she's hungry for breakfast, bored with Barbie, or that the light is off in the downstairs bathroom.

Just as my mind reeled into a full panic, I tried the doorknob again and it opened.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Befuddled by technology

Here's the answer to why Lindsay keeps saying, "Hello? Hello?" She thinks Alec's iPod is a cell phone. "Hello?!"

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The blood tests that weren't

Lindsay has a prescription to have some routine bloodwork done, which she received at her 9-month well visit...yes, I know I just scheduled her 15-month well visit. I've been very slow getting to it. My friend Mary's son Ernie (you remember, Ernie - he shares his beverages) also needs bloodwork done, so Mary and I thought we'd take our 4 kids...that way the older ones could play in the waiting room while we braved taking the younger ones in.

We arrived in our separate cars, with 2 kids each, to discover the lab was empty (yay!) and two very nice techs were hanging out in the lobby. Of course, they had no pediatric needles. They aren't due to get any until later in the week. They called the Quest Diagnostic Lab in Somerset, which had the right needles.

"Well, let's head over there!" Mary said enthusiastically. "Since we went to all the effort of getting out. It's only about a 5 minute drive, anyway."

After the 5 minute drive, and a wrong turn resulting in a U-turn, I met Mary coming out of the second lab. "We're not going. That room was absolutely packed."

"Ah well." I replied. "Another time."

Instead we had a nice play date at Mary's, and a very yummy pasta lunch.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Promised pictures

About a week ago, I was having some problems getting pictures off my phone, so here are some gems from the last couple of weeks...

Nicole, Paul, Lauren, and Fred build a sand castle at Pt Pleasant

Lauren's flower girl hair

Lindsay looks on at Lauren and Nicole

Saturday, August 04, 2007


"Lindsay, did you want the duck duck?"

Lindsay shakes her head. "Duckie."

"You want the duckie?"

"Duckie." She reaches with both hands.

"Here you are..."

Friday, August 03, 2007

At the grocery store

"Did you get milk?"

"Yep. Why do you ask?"

"Because it's the first item on the list," Lauren replied.

"It is?"

She gestured at the list. "See?" Sounding out slowly, "Milllk. Milk."

"Wow, good reading!"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More sisterly love

"I love you, sis."

"Lolo. " Smack.

"It's not nice to hit, Lindsay."


"Lindsay, no!"