about a dream: May 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

blowing out her candles

my friend betsy (anthony's mom) took this photo of maggie blowing out her candles. isn't it great?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

a great party!

tired though, as are the girls after a big day of bouncing, so just some quick pictures (more are on facebook).

Friday, May 28, 2010

my baby turns 2 tomorrow!

i can't believe it. 2! i feel like i'm ready for her to turn 1, but 2? my how time flies. she's excited for her party and for the bounce house! i'll have lots of pictures tomorrow, i'm guessing the girls will be exhausted after a day of bouncing and in bed fairly early, so hopefully i'll even be able to download them in the evening. i promise i'll do my best!

so here's a cute little story: yesterday, i took the girls to the library to return some overdue books, and there was a shirtless young man on the lawn. "is he naked?" maggie asked loudly. i told her no, just not wearing a shirt, but that people sometimes call that half-naked. "what's he doing?" she asked. i said it looked like he was stretching. he was right on the side of the path, so as we approached, maggie called out "what are you doing?" "what am i doing?" he repeated. "i don't know!" said maggie. (haha! people must be so confusing sometimes to kids!). then he explained that he had gone for a run. it was so cute though!

and now an awwww story: i was in the kitchen while maggie and nina were in the living room, looking out the window above the couch, and i overheard nina say to maggie "i just love you so much! you're the cutest little baby in the world and that's why i love you so much!" then she gave her a big hug and kiss. isn't that the sweetest thing?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the tooth! the missing tooth is coming!

i have to say, i really thought it was just not there. but that missing right lateral incisor of dear maggie's has just begun to cut through the gum. it started in kansas city (perhaps that's part of why she was extra monstrous there). now you can't see the tooth yet, just where the gum has opened up a sliver, but that's the way it is with these baby teeth. i'm going to miss that darling little gap, but i'm happy for her, it's better if it's there.

maggie also had her 2 year well baby (child?!) checkup yesterday, and all is well. 35 inches tall, 28.5 lbs, and 19 inch head, all perfectly in proportion (height 88th percentile, weight and head 75th). just one shot, the chicken pox one. i had thought we'd done it, but then i remembered that we didn't, just forgot. oh well, she's ship-shape now.

nina also got 2 shots. there are 4 total she needs for school, so we decided to do 2 yesterday and 2 at her 5 year check-up. she was so brave! we had talked about it, and practiced holding her arm limp and still and looking away, and she was amazing! the first one didn't hurt her at all, but the second one stung as it went in, and she said ouch but it was over fast and she didn't even come close to crying. whew! she's not crazy about the idea of getting more, she wants me to find out whether there'll be stinging shots next time, and i said i would. afterwards we went to orne's candy store and the girls picked out a treat for each shot. maggie chose jelly beans, nina jelly beans and those candy raspberries and blackberries.

nina was also dr. feder's little helper; she held the stethoscope while he listened to maggie's breathing, and he let her look in my ears after he looked in maggie's. she was really excited about that. so cute!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

some of our kansas city pictures

we had such a great time in kansas city! we didn't get home until 1 am last night (this morning, technically). the travels home were not too bad--our plane took a while to get off the runway in KC, but we made up most of the time in the air, so our layover at laguradia was almost as long as it was supposed to be. there were some late stragglers onto the portland flight too, so that one waited at the gate a while too. lots of sitting in a plane on the ground, but maggie slept and nina was happily coloring, so all was good in my world. sure, the circulation to my legs was compromised by the 30 lbs of maggie on my lap (sorry, 28.5 as per her 2 year old well-child checkup this morning), and sure, i couldn't get up to go to the bathroom (i find myself especially thankful for my c-sections in times like this), but it's ok. a sleeping maggie is worth quite a lot of discomfort.

i'm only going on about the flights because i can't remember what i've already written about KC, and i don't want to repeat myself. so maybe i'll go read that other KC entry and fill in missing details. otherwise, i'll let our photos speak for themselves. i love the one of wyatt's big smile. and the girls had SUCH a blast on the drums, they can't wait to play again (could you imagine have 2 drummer kids? oh my!)

our first harvest

here it is, the first products of our garden. it's spinach. i only picked it because the spinach is starting to bolt (in the days of yore, i would have made that word a link to the definition of bolting. now, i'm just going to tell you that bolting, according to ed smith, my garden guru, is when the plant puts up a flowering stem. apparently it means the plant has decided it's not able to grow much more, so it's time to put its resources into flowering and seeding.) which is to say, my spinach is stressed. i don't know why... too warm? not enough sun? too much water? not enough water? poor soil? we'll never know. but, since ed says to pick the spinach when it starts to bolt because it will soon taste too strong, i did. and there it is.

nina liked it anyway, she can't wait for more. and there's still more in the garden that doesn't seem to be bolting yet, so maybe there will be a big spinach dinner one day in our future after all. i'll not hold my breath.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

kansas city OOHH oh kaaaansas cityeeee

we're having a wonderful time in KC! wyatt is adorable, so happy and giggly! the girls love him. nina more than maggie really, but maggie likes him too. just not when i'm holding him. woo hoo! boy does she get mad, good thing we're not planning on more kids. i sat him up on the floor yesterday when he was done with his tummy time, right in front of me. but maggie thought he was on my lap and she got mad! she said 'no mama! grandma can have wyatt!' then today when i picked him up she cried and hit me. she's a little spitfire.

the trip over went really well. we woke up at 3 am (seemed like it was going to be a good idea when we booked the tickets, and actually was easier than i thought it would be, since i have no trouble falling asleep at 8:00 pm anyway). the flights were uneventful, and we landed at 10:30 am! so getting up really early paid off, we got an entire day here on friday.

then yesterday we went to a neighborhood dog show, a nearby park, and then drew all over vanessa's sidewalk and front porch with chalk. boy was it hot though! mid-80s, that's a lot for us mainers.

nick and i had to spend our anniversary apart tho. :-( but it was no worse than having to spend a weekend apart from my garden. haha!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

kindergarten open house was this morning!

whew, it feels good to be caught up on the blogging! since we're leaving early early friday morning for kansas city, i have a feeling we're going to have another long blogging break followed by a flurry of catch-up posts, but i'll do my best. having nick home will be inspirational, i'll feel the need to blog to keep him posted. or maybe we'll talk on the phone, we'll see. :-P

anyway, kindergarten open house. it was today from 10:40 to 11:15, and took place in the kindergarten classrooms (which were huge). basically, it was just a chance for the kids to meet the teachers (even though mrs. nash is retiring this year and will be replaced by mrs. mueller from the 1st grade) and see the classrooms. the classrooms are huge! nina mostly played with the kitchen, dollhouse, and magnetic dress-up dolls (like wooden paper dolls). maggie stayed at the healthy kids playgroup with grandma, making soft pretzels, and was totally fine while we were gone. it's really nice that she's out of that can't-be-apart-from-me phase, she totally understands where i am while i'm gone and that i'll be back soon. yay! anniversary dinner in a few weeks will be so nice now that i know she won't cry!

what a lovely weekend, part 4

the bronx zoo

on monday, our final day, we went to the bronx zoo with the mascia girls. what a great zoo. we started at the bison, and worked our way to the madagascar exhibit, where we saw lemurs, fish, alligators, and cockroaches. oh and the red tomato frogs. the cockroaches were behind glass in this fake tree (so it was kind of darkish in there), and i took maggie in to see them and she got really scared! poor kid! i rushed her out, but when she was telling mom and dad about it that night, she put her hands on her face and said "i saw the bugs and i got scared!" it was too cute.

the girls really liked the sea lions too, we were there at feeding time. nina says her favorite thing was the peacock who opened his feathers and the lions, because they were growling. see, one of the females had caught a duck, and she was taunting another female with it, and the male lion was trying to maintain order, so there was a LOT of growling going on. it was cool but scary! the girls loved it though.

the polar bear and giraffes were also big hits.

we left straight from the zoo, which was great because we were already about a half an hour north of astoria, and the kids were tuckered out, so the fell asleep and slept for 1.5 and 2.15 hours (maggie slept longer). our trip home was a piece of cake! we stopped for dinner and 2 other quick bathroom breaks (the downside of potty training early is that more potty stops are required during car trips), but we were still home by 9:30 (we left the zoo at 2). amazing!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

what a lovely weekend, part 3

family sunday

sunday morning, we went to the bel aire diner for breakfast. mmm, i'd missed it! yummy as usual, and we were there early enough to miss the morning rush (because new yorkers don't really do anything before noon on a sunday). afterwards we went to the playground (again!), and played with some of the same group from the day before.

next, we went to howard beach to see the family there. thomas and april and peter, henry, marilyn and the girls, and maria and her boys were all there. the kids played outside because it was such a nice day, and we all had dinner.

oh here's a cute little story: i was nursing maggie on the couch in grandma and grandpa's TV room, and she elbowed me with her sharp little elbow while she was getting up. i said to nick "ouch, she got me right in the kidney. i think she ruptured it, i'm gonna have to go to the hospital here," just joking around (even though she really did get me right in the kidney and it really did hurt!), and maggie started crying! "are you hurt?" she said. and i quickly reassured her that i was just kidding. "you're just kidding?" she said. "you don't have to go to the hospital??" i felt so bad! she's becoming a very sensitive kid!

what a lovely weekend, part 2

saturday: the day of the playground.
our first stop was the playground at queensview (colloquially, the turtle playground, because of the turtle sculpture there). the girls played there before lunch for an hour or hour and a half, then headed inside for some quiet and lunch.

at 2, we were at our old north queensview playground (the seal playground, because of the seal water fountain, which wasn't on yet because they don't turn it on until memorial weekend). much of our old crew was there, and it was fun to see everyone. nina, maggie, and the rest of the kids picked up playing with each other like we'd never left, and everything went very well. it was so nice to see how all of the kids have grown and changed.

that night, everyone except maggie was asleep by 8. little darling margarete, who had napped, was up til almost 10. not fair!

what a lovely weekend: part 1

we had a great trip down to NY. we got on the road bright and early (7:30? something like that). we stopped at dunkin donuts and got sandwiches, coffee, and donuts for everyone. then we put on a movie (monsters inc) for the girls. we used the new laptop, it fit perfectly on top of a pile of stuff between the two carseats, right up against the backs of our seats.

that got us into MA without so much as a peep from the backseat. easy driving! maggie was beginning to get impatient with the carseat maybe 15 minutes or a half an hour from erik and isabelle's (she was getting tired), but we managed to keep her happy until we got there. i think chester was happier than ever to see the girls!! too cute. we had lunch and looked at erik and isabelle's pictures of their trip. looks like it was amazing!

at naptime, we got back on the road. both girls fell asleep, and we made it to CT before anyone stirred. then, they watched a bug's life. before we knew it, we were in NYC (we did hit some rush hour traffic, but only on our short stretch of the hutch. not too bad).

i think we got in to the mascia's at about 6:30, and the girls had a great time playing until bed. a successful trip down!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

just a quick garden update, then i'm really done for the night

we had a cold snap! all of our warm, sunny, fantastic weather came to an abrupt halt. it went below freezing for 2 nights! once only to 31, but once to 29. i had to cover everything--the strawberries with a sheet, propped above the delicate plants by sticks i'd shoved into the ground, same for the peas, the tomatoes under a box with a thick old mattress cover above that, and the pumpkin and okra seedlings/baby plants under plastic buckets. only the okra succumbed to the cold. though it's still possible the tomatoes have been damaged--they don't even like temps below 45, so i feel like it's still a waiting game with them. and it's still going below 45 at night, so every night they're going back under the box with the mattress cover on top. time will tell... man, the life of a farmer is rough!

i've also been battling slugs, though for now the cold is taking care of them. they were doing a number on my spinach, so i've been saving all of my eggshells, letting them dry on the counter for about a day, and then letting the girls crush them with a rock and sprinkle them all over the garden (they LOVE this). according to the internet, the broken shells are painful for the slugs to crawl over, so they don't. seems to be working so far, though there wasn't a lot of time between eggshell application and cold snap, so we'll see if it works as a long-term solution. either way, it's good for the soil, and the girls like it, so i think we're going to keep it up.

also, the green beans are sprouting, and i'm pretty sure the potatoes are too, except i don't know what potato sprouts are supposed to look like. but there are 3 sprouts i think are good candidates for potato sprouts. hopefully more will come up, it's just now been 3 weeks since they went it, and i read that it takes 3 weeks to see sprouts. but we planted like, a dozen or so potato pieces, i sure hope we get at least a half-dozen potato plants!

kindergarten registration was yesterday!

well i'm really on a blogging roll, aren't i. maggie dearest didn't nap today, so she was out by 7:15, and nina i think has a bit of hay fever, so she went out around 7:45. finally, an early night!

so, i was going to tell you about kindergarten registration yesterday. our appointment was at 3:15, but we went to the school at about 2:30 so the kids could play at the playground before hand. remember our elementary school playground, vanessa and erik? well, it is no more! all that's there is a crummy set of swings. there's space for 4 swings on it, but only 3 are up. very ghetto. at least there's grass where there used to be wood chips under the play stuff, but jeez, what a lame playground! i hear that the PTA is trying to raise money for a new playground, i guess i'll be baking cupcakes and whatnot for that soon. well, the girls had fun swinging, so it was all good.

then we went inside and walked down the halls for a few minutes, used the bathroom (nina LOVED the old sinks. remember them? you step on the bar at the bottom and water sprays out kind of like from a shower, and it's a semi-circle trough-style, so like 10 little kids can all wash their hands at once? but they don't have to use that rough, pink, granular soap any more, they have those fancy-schmancy foam soap dispensers on the wall now. ohh la la!) also, the library is down the hall past the art room (we didn't get that far, ran out of time), and the old library is i think the reading lab. changes!

the registration itself was not really a big deal, i mostly filled out forms while mrs. tonon copied nina's immunization record, birth certificate, SS card, and a bill to show proof of residence. the girls colored happily while this was going on (maggie discussing the colors she was going to use, while i'm checking the box to indicate that yes, nina knows all of her colors. in fact, maggie knew almost all of the things they asked about--letters (upper and lower case), numbers through 10, counting to 20, i think, and shapes. she's ready for kindergarten! remember how nina's old pediatrician used to say "well, she's just ready for college!" whenever nina, at 18 months old, would answer her questions in complete sentences.)

i digress. well, that's really all there is anyway. next wednesday is an open house, where nina will get to see the kindy classrooms and meet the teachers. we can't wait! she loves the school, and keeps asking when she can go back.

kiddie cuteness (to clear out thoughts of ticks)

by the way, we sprayed extensively. me, who hates insecticides and pesticides and chemicals of that sort, has consented to--nay, DEMANDED--spraying of our brush. and anthills (more like, ant mountain ranges, but that's another post for another day. i'm bugged out).

so, for the past few days nina has been especially spirited. the other day she wasn't listening to me, and i was telling her she had to, or else i was going to scold her (she really doesn't like to be scolded. in fact, she told me that she though i didn't love her because i scolded her. way to stab your mother in the heart, nina. after all the love i've lavished upon you for 4.75 years, this is what i get. i hope you feel bad. so anyway now i don't scold her unless she doesn't respond to warnings about being scolded, which i think has only happened about 2x in the past month).

well anyway, it went something like this:

nina: i don't want to.
me: you have to, or else i'm going to scold you.
nina: i don't want to. why do i have to listen to you anyway.
me: you have to listen to me because i'm your mother.
nina (her beautiful, insolent little face screwed up in frustration): well, you've got a point there...

ha! and to top it off, she actually listened.

and a maggie story: she now narrates what she's doing as she plays, so eavesdropping on her while she is playing is really fun. tonight, she was playing with a stuffed alligator and snow white. "i'm hungry," she made the alligator say. "i'm going to eat snow white!" and then she stuffed her in his mouth. a violent end for our princess!

she's also really in to puzzles. she can do 12 piece jigsaw puzzles on her own. the hardest part for her is actually putting the pieces into place, her fine motor skills are great for her age, but a jigsaw puzzle is still a challenge. she can do it, but i think she gets tired. we have one 18 piece puzzle i can give her to see if she can do it, maybe i'll try that soon. she's been doing them for a while too, probably since about 20 months old. she's really mechanically inclined.

ok, i am ready, it's the story of the tick

i found one on nina. it was in that upper fold of her ear, right in the underside of the top, hiding there where i couldn't see it. but i found it AT THE DANCE RECITAL! during a costume change, i saw its creepy legs clutching her ear and i knew instantly. ick!! and it was so hard to pull it off, and i had to be quick because it was a super fast costume change (the one where she only had 2 minutes). i had to give it like, 5 good yanks. i felt SO bad for having missed it, it was pretty filled with blood. my poor baby had a tick! the guilt! i was shaking by the time i got it off. i was severely traumatized.

but it gets worse! while maggie was nursing on sunday, i saw something black in her EAR CANAL! it made me sick to my stomach to think it might be a tick, in her ear. so nick and i looked at it with a flashlight, and i had my dad look, and he got out the magnifying glass, and i called the pediatrician to ask for advice (other options for the black thing were wax or something she stuck in there. maggie does try to put things in her ears sometimes, so it was a possibility). we couldn't flush it out with an ear bulb (well actually nasal syringe, i couldn't find the ear bulb), and finally i decided that i couldn't sleep at night thinking a tick might be in my precious baby's ear canal. though if i hadn't had the experience i did with nina on saturday, i don't know that i would have been so sickened by the thought. well, if it wasn't for saturday i don't even think it would have occured to me that a tick might go for the ear canal at all. so anyway, we took her to the ER (god we need a walk-in clinic here!!), and it was wax after all. whew! even the dr wasn't sure it wasn't a tick until he had it out and squished it.

well, we learned a lesson about being VERY thorough, every night, in our tick checks. so hopefully this will never happen again!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

busy busy busy and getting busier!

when the blogging lapses like this, it's a sure bet i'm either sick or really busy. this time it's busy! nina's dance recital was this weekend (it was so much fun!), and leading up to that was a big week of practice and dress rehearsal: dance on tuesday, dance on wednesday, dress rehearsal on thursday evening, performance on friday evening, and performance on saturday afternoon. whew!

the performances were so much fun, but so much work for me! nina is in two classes and three performances. her ballet/tap class did one ballet and one tap number, and her ballet/creative movement class did a combined, double-length, ballet/creative movement number. so that meant three costumes. first was the 'somewhere over the rainbow' ballet number, so she started off in her big, fluffy white tutu with the rainbow sash. that was #3 on the program. next she was up at #6 on the program in her red costume for the classical medley ballet/creative movement number. then it was a super quick change into her jeans and t-shirt (that she decorated herself) for the tap 'i love my shirt' number, #8. that last change had to be quick, because the class lined up backstage during #7, which obviously immediately follows #6, in which nina was dancing onstage.

but man, that kid did great! she knew her routines so well! and she's so beautiful and graceful, and i'm not just saying that because i'm her mother. she really worked hard to learn all that!!

grandma and aunt maria came for saturday's performance, and after that we all went to sarah's pizza for an early mother's day lunch.

sunday we had a nice mother's day brunch at church. there was also an incident with a tick over the course of the weekend, but i am too tired to recount that tale tonight. i promise i will later though. suffice it to say for now that everyone is fine (except maybe for me, who is still possibly scarred and definitely skeeved out by my tick removing duty).

Saturday, May 8, 2010

the show was fantastic!!!!!!!

wow! just, wow. she's amazing! pictures to come, hopefully this evening.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

nina's dress rehearsal was tonight

for her dance recital. wow, she was amazing!! i can't wait until tomorrow night to see her dance again. she was perfect! and she had SO much fun, she can't wait to dance again tomorrow night. and she does a LOT of dancing. her ballet/creative movement class does one double-length ballet and creative movement piece, and her ballet/tap class does separate ballet and tap performances. and she learned it all!

rehearsal didn't end until about 6:30, and by the time we picked up the pizza and got home it was almost 7 and the girls were HUNGRY. and tired. so they devoured some pizza, we read some stuart little, and they were OUT! woo hoo, hopefully they'll be tired enough that i can watch the office AND 30 rock. yee-ha!

Monday, May 3, 2010

i didn't win the election!

i don't believe it. people out there voted for someone besides me! for shame! susan norton won, she works at a bank from what i read in the register. hm! oh well, for the best really, i'm sure everyone from the school would hate me before long, and then i'd worry about them taking it out on nina and maggie. in fact, worrying about that would probably prevent me from doing what i really wanted on the board, and then i'd just get frustrated and end up yelling at people, making the situation even worse. so it goes!

however, we ran into nora and iris while voting, and all ended up at the playground, so some good came of it.

not much else happened today. it was hot and humid! 79 was the high, insane for the first week of may. summer's here!!

there's so much going on in the garden!

big weekend for the garden! i can't remember the last time i updated, so i'll just give a general status report.

currently planted in the garden are:
potato plants. 7 or 8. nothing above the soil yet, those went in a week and a half ago.
peas. we have sprouts!
green beans. went in about a week after the peas, no sprouts yet.
tomato plants. my 3 biggest went in yesterday. kind of my test plants to see if the rest are ready to go in.
pumpkin sprouts were transplanted. one is especially vigorous.
carrots have sprouted. a second row went in about 3 weeks after the first and that hadn't sprouted yet. then again, i haven't looked closely in a few days, so maybe they have.
spinach. seedlings are growing slowly. i'd like to see them grow a bit faster truthfully, but i don't know if there's anything i can do. they supposedly like it cool and grow best in temps under 70, so maybe they're just supposed to take a while.
one lonely okra seedling. it was in a glass container inside and i dropped it, so i decided to see how it did in the garden. i'm keeping it covered at night for now since it's really more of a warm-weather plant. i have 2 more okra plants that i'll put in in another month or so, when overnight temps stay above 50.

since the tomatoes also like it warmer, i'll be covering them at night too. fun fun fun in the garden!

i got 2 blueberry bushes at hannaford yesterday too, one i planted but then the black flies got to me too much. i'll plant the second one today. they're going in between the garden and the edge of the lawn.

the strawberries have also gone into ground, so the strawberry patch is up and running. unfortunately, i'm supposed to clip off almost all of the strawberry and blueberry buds this year, so encourage the plants to put their energy into growth this first season. bummer! i'll probably let just a few get ripe. then again, we seem to have a good amount of little, wild strawberries around, so maybe i'll be able to be happy with those.

finally, inside we still have the world's slowest growing pepper sprouts, finally showing minuscule pairs of true leaves but still at least a month away from being big enough to go in the garden. maybe they'll grow faster when i transplant them into bigger pots? we'll see, because i'm going to transplant them soon.
also inside are those 2 okras, the rest of the tomatos, nasturtiums, and watermelon and cantaloupe seeds, which just went in the soil and haven't sprouted yet. oh yeah and 2 small little basil sprouts. i need to put some more of that up...

so there it is! the only things that haven't been opened yet are the zucchini, cilantro, and turnips.