about a dream: December 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Best of of 2014--A year in review

Time for the annual best of the year round up. First, Maggie:

Me: So, dear, what was your favorite thing you did this year?
Maggie: My birthday.
Me: What was so fun about your birthday?
Maggie: Everything!
Me: Did you like playing minigolf?
Maggie: Yes. I liked the game thingies too (in the arcade).
Me: What are you excited about for next year?
Maggie: The new American Girl Doll of the year, and the SpongeBob movie, and the new season of Every Witch Way, and a lot of fun stuff that are coming up like my biiiiirthday. Agaaaain.
Me: What is something you learned this year?
Maggie: I learned that ladybugs can't only be red and black.
Me: What can they be?
Maggie: I forgot!
Me: What was your favorite song in 2014?
Maggie: Dark Horse.
Me: Do you have any fun memories of that song?
Maggie: Yes. When we danced it out!
Me: What was your favorite meal in 2014?
Maggie: Jello!
Me: What was your favorite trip of 2014?
Maggie: The American Girl Doll store. I want to go there again. I just want to get one thing
Me: What's that?
Maggie: Well, it's something for a pet. I have no idea what's in it. It's where I got the dalmatian.
Me: Anything else you want to tell me about 2014?
Maggie: The bucket challenge. Getting dumped on.
Me: What was hard for you in 2014?
Maggie: I don't think anything. Oh, I know, when I got that huge scrape on the sidewalk. You know, the one you can kind of still see. But there was an up side to that--getting a lot of treats!
Me: What's your resolution for 2015?
Maggie: Be more loving.

Me: So, dear, what was your favorite thing you did this year?
Nina: Hmm... Going to the American Girl Doll store in NY, Christmas, and when I won the poster contest.
Me: What are you excited about for next year?
Nina: January first when the new American Girl Doll comes out, January 5th because that's when the new season of Every Witch Way starts, and January 16th to go to Paddington.
Me: What is something you learned this year?
Nina: Well, I learned how to multiply big numbers.
Me: I know you learned about Queen Elizabeth.
Nina: Oh yeah, and Queen Elizabeth.
Me: What was your favorite song in 2014?
Nina: Lips are Moving.
Me: Do you have any fun memories of that song?
Nina: When I was watching the Halo Awards she sang that song, and All About That Bass.
Me: I thought for sure you would have said Happy.
Nina: Oh yeah, that is one of my favorites too. And Happy.
Me: What was your favorite meal in 2014?
Nina: Fondue.
Me: Who made the fondue?
Nina: Me. And you.
Me: What was your favorite trip of 2014?
Nina: New York and Canada.
Me: What did you like about Canada?
Nina: It was snowy and it was a new place.
Me: Anything else you want to tell me about 2014?
Nina: My American Girl Doll birthday. The spa. It was fun.
Me: What challenged you in 2014?
Nina: Moxie getting his surgery. Because it was scary. It scared me because it was on his neck and he's old, and he needed to have surgery. Oh, I thought of something else too! When I went down that really big hill and fell off my bike. It hurt and I was scared, and also I lost my tooth.
Me: What's your resolution for 2015?
Nina: To go underwater and to get more work done around the house. Or at least some.
Me: What kind of work?
Nina: Like, work for the puppies. Like, working like you do for the puppies. Like cleaning or vacuuming.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Santa came!!

Last night we set out his snacks and carrots for the "rain"deer (get it? RAIN deer? Because it's been raining nonstop?! Nina came up with that!)

The carrot placards were Nina's idea. Adorable!
You can see the names in this one
Then when we woke up, the carrots were gone, and Santa had written a note! He said thanks for the snacks and coffee we'd left him. You're welcome Santa!

Happiness and Joy!
 Nina was the first up, at just after 6. "It's so dark!" she said. "Maybe the power went off overnight and the clocks reset? Because it can't be 6 in the morning and be this dark."

Good guess, but nope! It's an hour til sunrise and a rainy, stormy day. But that didn't keep us from opening gifts. Even the boys got presents in their stockings!

Dog biscuits! Their favorites!

The insane joy of Christmas morning!

Such a great morning! The girls took nearly two hours to open all of their presents because they wanted to stop and play with everything. I love that! They didn't just tear through from one thing to the next. Such sweeties!

It was a good Christmas for all! I got a lovely pearl bracelet, a beautiful pendant, a pizza cutter, a new whisk, a coupon good for Nina to vacuum the couches for a whole week, and a Christmas ornament!

Nick got new gloves, amazing slippers that are better described as pillows for his feet, and a new phone! I am so proud of the girls for keeping that a secret for 2 weeks, they are Christmas champions!

Next we'll go to church for the community supper, then over to Mom and Dad's for more presents. Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas in Boothbay!

It's finally starting to happen!

We cut down our tree yesterday, not too shabby! This is actually the tree that was growing next to the tree we cut down last year. It's bare-ish on the other side, but that conveniently makes it easier to tuck into a corner. Perfect!

Friday after school was gingerbread house time

I mean, it's from a kit, but we put it together and decorated. It's a holly jolly weekend!

File this one under "dogs who don't realize they're too big to be lap dogs." This boy loves his sisters so much!!

Two more days of school. I'm not so excited about that, but the girls are. Fun days and a Christmas concert planned for them, I'll see if I can get my high school students to do any work. It's gonna be like pulling teeth!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas in NYC!

So, first off, I have NO PICTURES. So sorry! I forgot the camera, but even if I hadn't, it's hard to carry around, and I haven't had time to download pictures, so they probably wouldn't be up anyway. My words will just have to do to paint pictures in your mind. Hopefully Uncle Henry and Aunt Marilyn will somehow get photos along to me one of these days, because we did get some cute ones by the fountain.

Well, the trip started off on Friday morning with me and the girls in mom and dad's car to Newburyport. Nick had opted to stay home with the dogs, which, considering how crazy crowded the city and crazy expensive and crowded the American Girl Doll store was, turned out to be an excellent idea. But more on that later.

I was still fighting off this awful, never-ending cold, too, so I was happy that I wasn't driving. I get spacey when I'm sick, and it's just not a safe way to drive. Anyway, when we got to Newburyport, we shifted people and luggage around so that the girls and I were with Erik, Isabelle, and Joey in the big 7-seater SUV they'd rented. Some among us were nervous about how this might go (Erik!), but it went great! Joey was in the middle row, and he was so happy to be able to look out on the girls. No tears! Except when he was hungry and that food didn't get in his mouth fast enough! Ha!

He also slept for all of 40 minutes, but that's ok! We hit a bit of traffic on 95 because we opted to follow the GPS (never again!), but still, not so bad.

Friday night we ate dinner at Uncle Thomas and Aunt April's, excellent. Mom and Dad had picked up Vanessa at LaGuardia, and we all had a joyful reunion. Henry and Marilyn came by with their girls too, and even Veronica was around.

Vanessa and the girls and I stayed at a hotel on Cross Bay, and Saturday morning we pretty much went straight out to the graveyard. Dad took Nina and Maggie to play at Charles Park and they saw our old house, then went to McDonald's and Great-grandma and Great-grandpa's. Burial went smoothly, lunch was delicious (I'm pretty sure they made the minestrone with a touch of escarole, amazing!), and we were back in Howard Beach before dinner.

Saturday night was more family, this time joined by Uncle Vito and his girlfriend Veronica, cousin Jenny, Great-grandma and Great-grandpa, and Aunt Maria and Uncle Charlie. Whew! Tons of people, tons of fun! Vanessa, mom and I even took the girls for a spin around Howard Beach to check out the Christmas lights. They weren't quite as over-the-top as they were in our day, but they beat anything we have in Maine by a long shot, so the girls were excited.

Sunday morning was yet more mad fun. Mom and I drove the girls to Brooklyn, parked at Peter's place,  and took the train from there into Manhattan. We got out at Times Square, walked to Rockefeller Center/St. Patrick's Cathedral, and miraculously met right up with Henry, Marilyn, and the girls.

What a zoo Fifth Avenue was! Tons and tons of people. Times Square wasn't as bad because the pedestrian zone element gives you room to spread out, but Fifth Avenue just has the narrow little sidewalks.

We did it, though. We saw St. Patrick's, which is being cleaned and looks white and lovely on the outside, the tree at Rockefeller Center, the Sacks store windows, and then the American Girl Doll store.

Wow, the American Girl Doll Store. It was a zoo, of course, but it was so cool. It kind of looked like a museum inside, with each main character doll behind glass with all of her outfits and accessories on display. There were other displays too, like all of the look-alikes and pets. My favorite was the hair salon. A dozen dolls sitting doll-sized chairs, with doll-sized plastic hair salon smocks around their necks, ladies in black aprons trimming with tiny scissors and brushing with toothbrushes. It was hilarious, absurd, and charming, all at the same time.

Then we saw the giant tree, which didn't impress the girls so much. I guess they see a lot of big trees, so that's fair.

We ate some pretzels, froze when the sun went down, and then trained back to Peter's. There was time before dinner for a soak in the hot tub, pure luxury!

In the morning we had an easy trip back to Howard Beach to pick up mom and dad, and then smooth sailing all the way home. Fun, but exhausting!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pre-Halloween fun

 Maggie came home with a partially completed Halloween drawing that she finished after school, and I must say, it's really fantastic. Look:

Note the craters in the moon, the howling wolf at the far right, the monster plants, the cracked and bleeding walls, the bats and black cats, and the ghost in the window.

She ran out of space for a cemetery off to one side, so it's on the reverse:

See the hands reaching up from the graves? 

Yesterday we were goofing around and she stuck a rubber band on her foot. "Oh no, something's wrong with my foot!" she said.

"Oh dear!" I said. "You know what happened? Toe trolls got to you! They do things like this," I started.

"Tell me more!" she replied with big wide eyes, as she slipped Nick's giant headphones over her ears.

Sassed! By a 6 year old!! I give up...

The Ebb Tide is closed

It was a sad week for us; Thursday was the Ebb Tide's last day.

They ran a bunch of specials from Monday through Thursday, so it was a busy and exciting last week. The girls took the bus there after school on either Monday or Tuesday, and all three of us went on Wednesday and stayed for about 2 hours. So much fun, so much macaroni and cheese! We were going to stay and have dinner with Nick and dad, who were due in at around 5:30, but it was just so busy we had to go!

Then on Thursday we went in for dessert and the very last close. So bittersweet! Nina was served the very last meal--chicken fingers and french fries--and Maggie had a milkshake. Erik Morrison was there, and of course Pete had come up from NY earlier in the week and was there too. I forgot our camera (grr!), but I borrowed Morrison's, so hopefully one day I'll have some pictures of us on the last day.

Then it was closing time! Maggie got sad so we scooted on out. There's a big hole in our hearts today! Hopefully someone will buy it and run it exactly as is. Fingers crossed!