Sunday, May 31, 2009

Comeback Kings (a.k.a. Cardiac Kids)

It seems that Jack and Ben's baseball team just loves to come from behind. On Saturday they had a game against a tough team. In the first inning our three batters struck out and then our opponent racked up 8 runs against two of our pitchers! The chins were dropping and the boys seemed deflated.

Jack went in and pitched the next 5 innings. He and his teammates held the other team from scoring any more runs for the rest of the game. And....the bats heated up and the boys whittled away at the deficit and actually came up with 9 runs to take the lead.

The other team had last ups in the sixth. The first two batters were put out - one more to go. Our knees were shaking as their best player came up to bat. Jack walked him. My stomach was in knots. The next batter came up and hit an absolute bomb to center field. Ugh....I thought that was it. Until our centerfielder Harry fielded the ball like a champ and relayed it right to the second baseman who threw it to the third baseman who tagged out the runner. Game over.

We were stunned that they pulled off the win. The boys played great and it was a true team effort all around. And of course the coaches were beaming that their relay drills paid off!

A couple of the favs from the game:

Jack and the centerfielder celebrating with a chest bump!

Keepin' It Real

This weekend it dawned on me that I have some real power over my childrens' memories. Admittedly, I am just not good at taking video. I know I am going to regret this, as videos are a lot more fun to watch than pictures are to look at. You can hear the voices, see the expressions, see what little bodies looked like when they run around. Luckily, I have always been good at taking well as printing and filing the pictures in albums for my kids. So they are going to have MANY photos to show their future spouses, children and grandchildren. you think Luke will feel pretty good about himself if he looks back and sees the following pictures of himself playing T-ball???

Getting down on the grounder....using two hands...

Throwing his whole body into a slide at third....

Making contact with the ball....without a T even!!

Now if I only printed these pictures, Luke would feel pretty good about himself when he's older. Although he may get frustrated with his own kids and not quite understand why the heck they can't be ready, why they are more interested in the dirt then the ball being hit to them, and why they can't stop hanging and climbing on the %$#&%* fence...

Video cameras aren't likely to miss this kind of behavior....

Ahh heck...I've just got to keep it real.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I wonder if there are any parents out there who wouldn't agree that when kids are abnormally quiet, there is usually something bad happening. Our kids haven't gotten into any major troubles, but there have been a couple the time that we found Jack and Ben in the basement writing all over each other with permanent Sharpie markers. It's bound to happen. I'll just hope that Chica isn't the first and only one of our kids to give themselves a "haircut".

The other day Chica was outside on the front porch being quiet. Even though she was only a few feet behind me through the wall, I wasn't really paying close attention as I undoubtedly was tapping away on the computer. So when I went to check on her I was surprised to find that she was being super helpful and putting some "scrunscreen" on herself.

Luckily I caught on before she touched her eyes. But not quickly enough to avoid her dumping almost the whole bottle out on my bench cushion and the cement porch floor.

Oh well.....could have been worse I suppose.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Way Back Summertime

I stumbled across this old photo in my bedside table recently. I must have been around seven. My sister and I are in the matching suits at the back of the bike. The driver of the bike is my childhood neighbor, Van, who was a great man. The other two in the picture were the grandson and granddaughter of another neighbor of ours (Kay) who lived directly across the street from us. The kids were from Michigan and used to come visit their Grandma during the summers. They were great play-friends for us. I remember lots of swimming, playing and horsing around in Kay's basement. I remember lots of good laughs with these two.

I recently connected with Kay's granddaughter on Facebook. And her grandson I have been exchanging Christmas cards with the last few years.

Good 'ole summertime memories!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Brain-numbing Fun

It was one of the most glorious Memorial Day weekends on record for me. Just great weather. We weren't committed to one sports practice or game the entire weekend. It was nice to just relax, grill, work in the yard, etc. Right after the boys got off the bus Friday Jack begged for us to take the cover off the pool. We eventually got it off with the help of a neighbor. The pool looked pretty good....a little dirt but no algae. We had a little scare getting the filter started the next morning but that eventually worked and the pool was good and ready for swimming within hours. It was a chilly 66 degrees but by the end of the weekend it had warmed up a few degrees. But that didn't stop the crazies from getting in.....

Just the beginning of what I hope to be a bunch of swimming in that pool!! Bring on the warm days and nights or you'll never see me in there!

And this is just a picture of some of my beautiful Japanese Irises in front of the house. Hoping they'll stick around for a while.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lucky Girl

Girly-girl or Tom-boy? Chica insisted on wearing her cleats to the boys' game last night. I couldn't resist documenting this look....the knees patched up with band-aids and the oversized cleats with pink socks.

Obviously, she is heavily influenced by all things 'boy' in our house. But I think she would be a little tomboyish regardless. Afterall, her X chromosome came from this.....

(Let the picture above count for my delinquent Wayback Wednesday post.)

But this girl, this Chica, brings two year-old attitude to a whole new level. I just love her confidence. This trait, she did not acquire from me. It took me until my twenties to get a little confidence.

Her confidence marched her right over to the bench last night. The boys were doting on her and she was loving it. They wanted her to be their mascot. I knew she shouldn't be on the bench. Only players and coaches are allowed. So when I called her name and waved her over, she shook her head and then gave me this look....

I smiled to myself at her confidence and let her stay for a few more minutes. Long enough to capture this shot.

Lucky, lucky girl.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend Favs

The camera is getting lots of loving these days. There were two games on Sunday and here are my favorite shots.

Luke's T-ball.......he appears quite focused and dare I say 'skilled' in this picture....

Although there was really more of this action....

The big boys ended in a tie after a very exciting and close game. Shown here is Ben throwing to first.

Jack pitched 3.5 innings and did a great job. Here he is staring down the runner at first. Love this pose.

Next game Wednesday!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pinkie Tuscaderro

Anyone remember Fonzie's girlfriend Pinkie Tuscaderro? Well, I think I might have my own little Pinkie Tuscaderro. Boy is she having fun with the dirt bike. She zooms all around the yard as happy as can be. I couldn't resist another photoshoot this past weekend....

Love this one...looks like she is racing Chewie!

Big brother Jack became involved and next thing I know they are doing popwheelies. A benefit of having three older brothers....

Not a technically good photo, but I noticed how these two had the same lip-biting expression.

Even her fingernails were pink.....


Luke had a fieldtrip Friday to the city zoo. It was a beautiful day and the zoo is just the right size for 4 and 5 year-olds. We were walking through the building where there are reptiles and other small mammals and little Stewie's face was looking at us through a door that had a sign "Employee's Only". I didn't have enough time to read the decription about him so I'm not sure why he was set up in there himself with all of his toys, but he desperately wanted some attention. I almost couldn't stand it. I wanted to take him home. Three Men, A Little Chica and an Adorable Monkey. Shoot, he probably would help clean up the house better than the rest of the monkeys in my house....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Catch and Release

The morning of Mother's Day the kids were running around outside when I suddenly heard a squeal. Luke had found two toads. Since we have lived here, the kids have found plentiful snakes, but really haven't found any frogs or toads that I can remember. So Jack grabbed his gloves and brought them over to see me. The poor things, they didn't know what hit 'em.

Within moments one jumped on Jack's shoulder.

I was actually surprised they let them go as quickly as they did. Of course we did get the request to keep a tank....inside the house. Mean-Mommy on Mother's Day of course said no. But it was a nice gift for my special day having the kids all content together for that short time.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I wish...

I wish I had his composure and confidence...

...his physical strength and likability...

...his curiousity and imagination...

....her sense of fun and dimples.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"The Treatment"

On Friday I went to Luke's school for our special Mother's Day lunch. Admittedly, this is my favorite day of the year for Luke's preschool. Every year for the last 8 (?) I have been blown away at the time, effort and creativity that the teachers have put in to make us moms feel special. So this year's theme was "Dancing With the Stars". The morning started off with all the kids lining up and singing a couple of songs/reciting a poem about their special moms.

After that we watched a video of the kids performing different dances. In groups of three, the kids danced to the chicken dance, macarena, bunny hop, irish jig, the twist..... It was too cute. The kids did an amazing job. Luke's dance was the bunny hop.

THEN, all of the moms had to perform the dances with their kids. That meant me getting up and bunny hopping around for a few minutes. I tried hard to get the steps right and not step on toes.

Each of the kids brought their moms over special handmade star pins. We put them on and then were brought to our tables for lunch.

At our seats were adorable handmade place mats with the kids' actual dancing feet prints. The mats were nicely laminated and there was a cute menu and a sheet where the kids wrote special thoughts about their moms. Always cute to read those.

After sitting, Luke went to get my lunch which consisted of a turkey sandwich shaped like a star, a star-shaped jello jiggler and yummy fruit on skewers. I, with the help of both Luke and Chica, gobbled it right up. My plate was completely empty. After clearing my plate, Luke then brought me over a delicious dessert of cake/pudding/whipped cream and colorful star sprinkles on top. There wasn't too much left of that either. (I was hungry!)

Then to top it off, we were given our Mother's Day gifts. Homemade bath salts to sooth our dancing feet. Come on, have any of you ever had this kind of treatment by your preschooler???

The kids spent a lot of time making all of these great treats. And they take great pride in that! The best treament ever!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tribute to Mom

With this Sunday being Mother's Day, I'm going to combine Ten on Tuesday and Way Back Wednesday and do a tribute post to my Mom today. Last month marked the ninth anniversary of my mom's death. I can't even believe it's been that long. It doesn't seem real sometimes.... that she can be gone and that I can have four children who she never knew. I feel blessed that she was there to raise and take care of me, to be there for my graduations from high school and college and for my wedding....and to meet my first-born child. Some people don't even have that much time with their moms, and I realize this. But I do miss her desperately and sometimes when I look at my children and see the cute things they do or hear the cute things they say or see the amazing things they accomplish....I become overcome with sadness that she's not seeing it. Well...I know she's seeing it, but I selfishly would like to see her seeing it. You know?!?

Ten things about my Mom:

1. Her real name was JoAnn but everybody called her "Jaye". My friends called her Jayezee.
2. She was the oldest of 5 children...three sisters and one brother.
3. She had beautiful light blue eyes and curly hair.
4. From what I can gather, she was a Daddy's-girl. She loved her Dad so much and I could see the genuine happiness on her face when she spoke about him.
5. She was a nurse by trade...and an awesome one at that, very much respected by the docs and her peers. She had many good stories from working in the Emergency Room for many years.
6. She was a very strong and independent woman.
7. She loved sports...huge Red Sox fan and loved watching me play sports. I can remember her always showing up to my soccer games in her white nurse's uniform.
8. She loved animals, particularly dogs.
9. She went to Ireland twice. I am so happy she was able to do that.
10. She loved music....Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Barbra Streisand....many more.

Ten pictures of my mom

In the middle here with a cousin and sister.

Her First Communion. I love this picture and have it framed.

Look at the mop of hair here. No wonder she kept mine SHORT!

With her Dad pre-wedding.

With my sister and I at my First Communion.

She and I one Christmas.

At the receiving line of my wedding.

Big smiles together at my wedding.

Meeting Jack.

With Jack on the day of his Christening.

She was a wonderful, wonderful woman.