about a dream: September 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

a visit to the dentist

well, it had been almost 5 years since nick or i went to the dentist, and nina has never been, so all 4 of us shipped off for a visit on monday. nina's beautiful, perfect teeth are officially cavity-free!! the dentist was very impressed that she brushes her own teeth and does such a wonderful job. nina was quite proud of herself.

nick and i have to wait until our x-rays come back to have a thorough exam, so we won't know our cavity status until next monday. nick feels confident that his teeth are fine, i'm not so sure... there have probably been too many nights that i was too exhausted to brush well, or too tired to floss, so i wouldn't be surprised if i have a cavity or 2. there are a few spots on my teeth that sometimes hurt, but only for a day or so and only very rarely. so, we shall see... if i have any, i will certainly blame them on motherhood.

maggie didn't get a tooth check, but dr. grosser said he'd be happy to peek in her mouth next time (she was asleep the whole visit, nick and i took turns waiting in the car with her). she only has 5 teeth and 1 molar, but dr. grosser says the longer they're safe in the gums, away from all the sugars of early childhood, the better, so no worries.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

i'm a sunday school teacher

yup, it's true. i taught my first class this morning (not first class ever, i used to teach sunday school to the little kids when i was in high school). my only students were nina and maggie, but they LOVED it. nina misses school, but still doesn't want to be away from me for very long (unless she's with grandma, in which case i get in trouble for coming to get her. the other day she glared at me when i came over to my mom's house to get her and said, "you destroyed my alone time with grandma!" slowly she warmed up to me, but then about an hour later i dashed off to finish staining the dresser. she was a bit sad to see me go, and i thought maybe she was feeling bad about being mean to me when i came. so i said to her "do you want to apologize for saying i destroyed your alone time with grandma?" and she nodded her head and said, "i'm sorry you destroyed my alone time with grandma." aww... except i'm not really sure if she said what she meant to say, or if her apology came out wrong. i assume that it came out wrong.)

well, sunday school. the perfect compromise for nina is to have school with me as the teacher. so we have our own little classroom, with very little chairs around a very low table, and lots and lots of art supplies. today i read a kiddy version of genesis while the girls drew pictures about the story. and then i drew the earth on the blackboard, and clouds, the sun, the moon, and some animals, all the while recapping the story. nick was my classroom helper. :-)

there is another preschool-aged girl that goes to church and she will be in our class too. she just wasn't there today.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

another busy week

and another retrospective fill-in. did i write about my mastitis? i think i did. well, i'm pretty much totally better but i think still a bit tired, as i haven't had the energy for doing much in the evening besides getting the kids in bed and then vegging in front of the TV (and then re-settling maggie at least once). and then eating!

regardless, we have had a very busy week. on wednesday i took the girls to ocean point to throw rocks in the water. maggie can do that for hours. it was a nice warm (hot! mid 70s!) day, and we felt like taking a little trip. besides, nina and maggie LOVE thrill hill. nina asks to go over it all the time.

well, we got to ocean point and there was a fog bank! brr!! good thing i had thrown jackets in the car just in case. we spent about half an hour throwing rocks and looking a the surf (there were some nice 1-2 foot waves), and then we went to visit grandma at the ebb tide. we were planning to meet nick and dad there for dinner, so we went to the library for a while to kill time.

on thursday, we went to the farmers' market in the morning, part of our usual weekly routine. usually we go to the playground after that, but we ran into nora and her family and they asked if we wanted to go apple picking with them in damariscotta in the afternoon. we did, nina loves to do things with nora, so we skipped the playground and went home to get ready for some picking.

the orchard was a really small one on biscay road (just 2 or 3 miles past tempcontrol's office), and the girls had a fun time. the trees were small and the apples were very close to the ground, so picking was super easy for the kids. they filled up their bags in just a few minutes, then all sat on the ground eating apples (nora is one of 5, plus my 2, made a total of 7 little kids! quite the group we had!)

so, we're all eating lots of apples and drinking lots of cider these days!

204th post!

earlier this week, when i did my posting blitz, i put up my 200th post. i dind't notice it at the time, so that's why i'm somewhat randomly celebrating my 204th post.

wow! it's been almost a year and boy has it flown by.

some of you may have noticed that i haven't put up any videos lately. our new camera doesn't take videos, so i have to use our old camera for that. it's time for a video though, so i promise to make sure one goes up some time next week. the girls are really into building cities of block towers lately, so maybe i'll be able to record some of that in action.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the last day of summer

monday was the last day of summer. mom and i celebrated by taking the girls to the beach! actually, it was just a coincidence. charlie and hattie's mom called in the morning to say they were going to hendrick's head, did we want to come. our first reaction was "isn't it cold for the beach?" but then we realized the high was forecast to be 75 and even if it wasn't, what the heck? so we went.

it really did hit 75, which is high beach weather here in maine! some of nina and maggie's other friends were there, and a great time was had by all. the girls built some sand castles, dug a pit and filled it with water, and threw rocks into the ocean. maggie sat on a rock with a pail filled with little stones and threw them into the water for half an hour. she was so happy.

we even went into the water. nina went all the way up to her thighs. i only went in up to my ankles, and once they went numb i couldn't feel a thing. it was great! :-)

it was a perfect way to spend the last day of summer though. of course, with the amazing forecast we have for the next week or so, we might end up back at the beach again!

training pants!

maggie is on the way to potty independence! we picked up some training pants for her at target and put them on her when we got home. she promptly christened them. haha!

she's doing great on the potty though. she usually pees on it about 5 times a day, and in her diaper probably 5 times. the hard thing about potty training at this age is that they go so often. but, the mix of potty and diaper and training pants works for us. basically, i have her in training pants around the house. i make sure to take her on her schedule: every half hour for the first 2 hours of the morning, hourly until nap, after nap, and then it's much less frequent, so either whenever she says poo-poo (she doesn't say pee-pee for some reason, but poo-poo means either poop or pee), or whenever i think she might be ready to go. she is in a diaper whenever we leave the house or when i'm too preoccupied to keep my mind on taking her enough.

the big breakthrough of the last week or 2 is that she will sometimes tell us when she has to go to the bathroom. i tried giving her cookies for using the potty, but she didn't want on. what kind of kid doesn't want a cookie?!

i'm hoping that she'll be out of diapers full-time by 18 mos. i'm certainly not as good about taking her as i was with nina, so we'll see if that translates to a later age. nina started telling me when she had to go potty at 16.75 months and was out of diapers by 17.5 months. so, we'll see...

apple picking!

on saturday, we went apple picking. where did we go? i don't know. lemme ask nick...

he says rocky ridge farm in bowdoin. we tried to figure out for weeks which orchard we were going to go to. the closest one? an organic one? are hayrides a must? one had a corn maze and petting zoo, is that worth an almost 2 hour drive? in the end, we went with none of this. go figure. see, i really, really wanted this colored stain for the new tv stand that i'm finishing myself, and they didn't have it at grovers, so we decided to go to home depot in topsham. we figured while we were there, we could stop by target and get training pants for maggie (update coming next!). we found an orchard only 6 miles from mt. ararat, so the decision was made!

the farm was great fun. they had wagons you could use to pull the kids and apples, the girls LOVED it. they also had a pumpkin patch and a barn swing (that's a swing in a barn, it was a hit with nina. maggie was too little).

we picked cortland and macintosh apples. there were tons of apples on the low branches, so nina had no trouble reaching them. there were even apples within maggie's reach, but she was a bit overwhelmed. she really loves apples (apple is one of her favorite words, she pronounces it "ah-poo" which is so cute), so we thought picking them would be a real hit. turns out it was a bit upsetting for her to see them on the ground, just lying there. she started to flip out about it (ah-poo! ah-poo! she said, in that increasingly frantic way of hers), but we calmed her down and then she was ok. whew, close call!

we also got a hot dog, beans, biscuit, and cole slaw for only 3.95! what a deal! actually we got 2 orders. plus 2 donuts and 2 honey straws. and 2 pumpkins. and about 15 lbs of apples and 3 gourds.

of course we have pictures that, of course, we have not yet downloaded. i was SO exhausted by the end of the day and in pain from a clogged milk duct. by 7 pm i had a fever, and i was afraid i had mastitis (an infected milk duck). i did, but now i'm better.

i'll try to put the pictures up after i finish updating on our week.

friday night: family fun night!

we have started a new tradition: Friday Night Family Fun Night. open swim at the Y from 6 to 7:30. we all had a great time! can you believe nick had never been swimming at the Y pool?
nina is swimming so well! she uses either bubbles or a life jacket still, but she is fearless and has the doggy paddle down. maggie loves the water now too, that was a gradual change.

before the swim, we had pizza at the house of pizza. we happened to see nina's friend nora's dad there, picking up pizza for their family before they were going to go swimming. nina and nora get along so well, they had a great time swimming together. how nice. :-)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

rabbit stew!

don't tell nina, but i made rabbit for dinner tonight. it was good! i had gotten some at the farmers' market, i saw it on the sign and once i started thinking about it, i couldn't resist. i don't think i'd ever had rabbit before. nick can't remember having had it either (anne?)

it tasted kinda like chicken. nice and tender though. a bit of stringiness, but not tough like stringiness implies. stringy but tender like really nice stewed beef. perhaps because i did stew it, in the crock pot with some onions, celery, carrots, and parsnips. served over egg noodles.

i have been feeling in a meat rut, which is what inspired me to look at the farmer's market for something different.

i saved the liver for a recipe i found online: sautee the liver with leeks and shallots, deglaze with cognac, add cream, and use to fill a puff pastry. sounds sooooo good!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

more cuteness

first up, nina cuteness:

this was from a while back, but i forgot to write about it. we were visiting grandma brancato and mom asked nina if she wanted some cranberry juice. "no," said nina, "i react to cranberry juice."

this next one is embarrassing...

scene: me sitting on couch in family room, nina standing next to me.
nina: "firetruck starts with F. fly starts with F. and some impolite words start with F."

me: "um, yeah, that's right. we don't say impolite words, right?"

oops. i hope she didn't hear that from me. it must have been something she overheard on the mean streets of NYC.

in other news, maggie is amazing. we were playing before bed, practicing ballet together with nina (maggie was doing plies with us, it was so cute. she kept squatting down, holding her hands out in front of her belly. i will try to get it on camera). then she'd fall down once in a while. the falling down must have triggered a memory, because she fell down again and sang "all fall down!" now, the words weren't right, but she had the tune and cadence down, and i immediately knew what she was saying. so, the 3 of us girls played ring around the rosy for a while and maggie was absolutely delighted.

the most amazing part of this is that she definitely hasn't heard ring around the rosy since may at the latest. the kids used to do it at story hour in NY sometimes, but we went maybe once a month... so maye she heard it once or twice in april or may. before that, at tamar's birthday in december, but she was only 7 months old then! incredible, that she could remember something from before her first birthday. my kids are amazing!

Friday, September 11, 2009

cute things they say and do

yesterday nina and grandpa went to the ebb tide for dinner (i made beets for dinner, dad was having none of that. when nina found out he would be heading to the ebb tide instead of eating with us, she wanted to go too). they had a great time. nina even got to help grandma by handing out menus! so cute!

maggie missed her while she was gone. for a second, i thought nick and i were going to get to eat dinner alone because maggie had fallen asleep. but that lasted all of 3 minutes. oh well. so when maggie woke up she was looking for nina. "where nina?" she kept asking (can you believe she's asking questions like that?! what the heck, she's not a baby any more!). she insisted that nina was over at grandma's house and made me take her over there. finally she was satisfied that no one was home at grandma's, so we went back home and waited out front for nina and grandpa to get home. i don't know how she's going to handle nina going to school next year, oh my!

maggie has a cold today, she's been sneezing big snotty sneezes all day. today in the car nina told me that she's dopey, papa is grumpy, i'm snow white, and maggie is sneezy because she's been sneezing all day. it's true.

final bit of cuteness: nina was looking at her soup and stirring it. "look," she said to me, "you can see the molecules!"

is it friday already?

how does this happen? i thought i just updated yesterday or something, and it's been almost a week. i'm so far off pace, it's pathetic. well, on to the updates.

ballet was a hit. nina LOVED it. class is an hour long, and the kids do a mix of classic ballet steps and creative movement (running around, ballerina style). nina is such a good student--she follows directions so closely and really knows what she's doing. she's so graceful too. she's a natural!! maggie, unfortunately, wanted to be out there with the girls too. i didn't have a good plan about what i was going to do with maggie during the class, so i didn't have books or toys with me to occupy her. we ended up sitting on the side, doing what the big girls were doing. next week we'll go to the grocery store during class, but nina had asked me to stay for the first one. the other day she told me i could leave next time.

after class i took the girls swimming at the Y. maggie is really warming up to swimming, she lasted 25 minutes in the pool, i think that's some kind of record.

on the way home, nina asked why the first ballet class was not full-length. i told her it was full-length--it was an hour, and all of her classes would be 1 hour. then she reprimanded me for getting there late and said she wanted to be there on time next time. i told her we were early for the class. she said oh. i explained that an hour can go by really fast when you're having fun. and i thought an hour might be too long for her to stay interested!

so that's the ballet update. can't wait for next tuesday!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

a maine 4th birthday party for our princess

as i've blogged about before, nina is really, really into the princess thing these days. being in austria really fed that; she got to see the winter palace, the crown jewels, a glimpse of the summer palace (schonbrunn, that's where the zoo is), and even some castle ruins (nina was not impressed. after that, she continually specified that she wanted to see a castle that was not falling down).

anyway, the princess thing was obviously the inspiration for her maine birthday cake. i got the idea for it from the disney website (they actually have a section called "parenting your princess," and of course i gave it a thorough browse). nina and maggie put the sprinkles on--nina carefully sprinkling them on, and maggie grabbing a fistful and flinging them across the table. and then screaming when i took them away.

nina insisted that the castle have flags, but truth be told, i was planning on it anyway. she also clarified that even though she was having another birthday party, she wasn't turning 5. cutie.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

back in maine!

well, we've been back for a week, but time has been scarce, what with adjusting back to eastern time, unpacking, and general life in boothbay.

i'll pick up from where i left off, or thereabouts. the flight home went very well. it was very, very long, and our discount carrier was a bit of a pain in the butt (air berlin. the biggest complaint i had was that the planes didn't pull right up to the terminal, we had to take a bus out onto the tarmac. it was just one extra step with the kids that was kind of a pain. oh well though, the kids thought it was exciting). maggie LOVES airplanes though, so being at the airport and seeing them up close was very exciting. i guess from her perspective, getting onto the airplane from the tarmac was better, because she got to see that we were actually getting onto an airplane. when you get on from the terminal through one of those corridors, you don't really get to see that you're getting on to an airplane. oh, a maggie sentence: when we were at the terminal waiting for the bus to take us to the plane, she saw the buses going by. previously, we'd gotten some food at an airport restaurant and she had been watching the planes take off and land. so at this terminal, she pointed to a bus and said, "no plane, bus." since we've been home, her 3 word phrases have really continued to take off. you have to listed carefully because her pronunciation isn't as clear as nina's was at her age, but she's saying a ton. i've officially completely lost count, but i'd guess she's at somewhere in the 150 - 200 words range.

so, the flight. looooooooooong, but good. the kids were happy, barely slept, but our fellow passangers were as bored as the kids were. when maggie would walk up and down the aisle, people would stop her to play. no one can resist the kids. nina was flirting with 2 30-year-old men seated behind us, that was nice. they were a german and an austrian, i'm glad she likes older men. after nina had been talking with them for a while, maggie popped her head up above the seat to say hi too. one of them asked "what's your name?" and maggie responded with her trademarked, frantic "NO!!" it was funny.

we landed on time, great-grandpa picked us up and took us to astoria, and we hit the playground. we stayed at the merons' house, which was a dream come true for nina, ethan, and maggie (who still thinks she's one of the big kids at the playground. she's pretty much as big as they are, so i can see why she thinks this...)

in the morning (the "morning," that would be the beginning of our day, which was 3 am. that was 9 am austria time, so it was actually a reasonable wake up time. except that we'd just come off of a 22 hour day). we had breakfast at the diner, that was a blast, and then hit the playground again. when the girls were sufficiently exhausted, we hit the road for boston. we hit a bunch of traffic on the way, but the girls slept practically the whole time. they finally woke up when we stopped because i had to go to the bathroom, but it was time anyway.

and then, we reached chester. oh, the joy on the three kids' faces. (chester being the third kid of course). craig came by for lunch on friday, then we hit the road again. the final leg was smooth as well, and before we knew it we were back home in maine. hooray!