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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

one morning in maine...preschool style

Sandi's dad came to Ella's preschool last week to teach the kids about lobster fishing (to go along with their "Maine" theme.) As a 35 year fishing veteran, I would say he makes an excellent expert. Plus, he has this whole PBS kids show feel to him when he teaches little kids.

In short, it was adorable. And I'm not just talking about those nifty oil pants.

He brought a cooler full of salt water show and tell.

What could be more interesting than hearing about lobsters when you are four or five-years- old? Well...duh...touching them!


He had lobster, hermit crabs, jonah crabs, eel grass or picky toe crabs, spider crabs, mahogony quahogs and soft-shell clams.






He even brought these very lovely sculpin fish whose bellies fill with air when they are out of water and then they float like balloons on the surface when they return to the water. They seriously look put-out for all the hassle.










He showed the kids how to measure the lobsters and which ones they can keep and which ones they throw back. He explained how a lobster trap has rooms, a living room, a kitchen, a bedroom- and how the lobsters are "caught" in the kitchen where they eat the bait. And, yes, he even brought in bait!


He also taught them how to tell the difference between a boy and a girl. (Note Maya in the lower corner licking her lips. Our girls LOVE lobster.)

It was such a fun, proud morning for Ella to share her grandfather with her class. Every time I think we can't be more blessed than we are, I realize we are. It turns out there are even more benefits to having a lobsterman for a father-in-love beyond getting to eat so much lobster...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

the fabulous four (or fabulous 3 with one who bites)

Ange and I dyed Easter eggs with the kids today. Allow me to clarify: Ange managed the kids dipping fragile eggs into permanent dye. I took pictures.


We told Maya we were going to dip the eggs in the dye. She thought we were joking.
And so she tried to test the limit of the eggs (like everything in life right now) but throwing them into the bowls and cracking three of them,

before getting down to serious work.

There were a few tears shed by Anna (I think because of some altercation with Maya's fists or teeth),

and then she, too, got to work.
Brady and Ella did not lack for concentration. They set off like the little worker bees they are.





















Then Brady and Ella decided to put Anna down for a nap. She was displeased. And almost fell asleep.


The whole thing got me thinking about last year at this time...




And to think Ange and I still call Maya and Anna "the babies." Okay, maybe just I do. That was so smart of us to have kids the same age. (You're on your own for the next one, Mrs. Smith.)


18 month spacers

Sandi's sister, Kristi, and San and I have some sort of unspoken, unintentional pact to space our kids by a year a half. No one ever said it was a good idea to pace them this way, but has worked famously and I highly recommend it so as not to overwhelm any grandparentals, aunts, uncles or major holidays.

Here are their status updates:

McKenna doesn't so much sleep like an angel (just look under her mother's eyes) but at 8 months she looks like a sleeping angel. (It is almost impossible to believe that this super giant baby is wearing clothes our super tiny baby grew out of a few short months ago.)



Next youngest is the fire bomb of Maya. She sports these pig tails (whenever she doesn't rip them out) as a way to take on a new persona. I like to think of it as Dennis the Menace meets the Muppets.



Brevan, 6 weeks shy of his 4th birthday, has recently discovered that he is in fact Sportucus. He now makes sure to dress accordingly each and every day.



(I actually wonder if he got this idea from Maya last year...)

And it all began with Ella, the easy breezy one who broke us all in to this idea of trying our hand at the roller coaster ride called parenthood.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm just saying

It needs to be said.

Marathon training is HARD. I'm getting tired and overwhelmed.

Thank you to the 5 other women who all ran this morning in 15 degree weather. Think its time to lean on you.

Thanks San for massaging my legs today when I got back from my run. Thanks for making me coffee and carrying corn for the stove so I didn't have to and heating up the bathroom for our shower because you knew I would be so cold.

And thanks body for handling all these crazy messes my mind keeps getting us into...

haircuts and the ordinary made extraordinary

Sometimes its just an ordinary haircut.







And then sometimes something a little more happens. Like when you add a little product...
or when two sisters who could enter into competitive sibling arguing show the love.
























Monday, March 22, 2010

quips

"Good math, Ella!" I said when Ella told me that Sandi had worked the last 2 days which meant she had 3 left. "What is math?" she asked. (mother's note: really??) "Math, you know when you add and subtract numbers?" I answered, trying not to be sarcastic, a real effort. "Oh," she said. Small pause. "Well this is karate!" and she stood up from the table and did some jabs and kicks into the air.



Sandi had been checking Maya's lungs with her stethoscope during the whole RSV fiasco when Maya was wheezing and kind of panting for air. Soon Maya was on to her and began to defy all of her attempts at checking Maya's oxygen levels and lung status. She looked at Sandi with her signature scowl and said, in her now even deeper voice, "You no check my lungs."


Maya has been doing a bit more hitting, pinching, biting, and general antagonizing of her sister. We make her apologize and give Ella "love" to make it up to her which means Maya might be giving Ella "love" to make up for her "mean" 20 times a day. Yesterday Ella said, "I don't want anymore of Maya's love!" Who can blame her?


"I think Coconutty will love fall when the leaves blow around in a circle. Like a tomato!"



"Mommy, I fell down the stairs yesterday. Just like Jill in Jack and Jill."



Maya was playing peek-a-boo in the hospital cafeteria today. She would disappear behind a half way and yell "I gone!"

Maya asked where Ella was. I told her Ella was at school. "Okay!" she said and then went to the top of the stairs and yelled, "Ella Carver! You come here!!" The other day she yelled at "Coconutty Carver" to come as well. Today in the car she removed her socks, her shoes and her shoe insoles. Ella asked, "Can she do that?" and all I could think was, "Does she care?"

And Ella told me: "Coconut and I were spirit friends before we met."

Then today she informed me, during a tantrum: "I don't want to live here anymore!!"

It's a good thing them come with build in comic relief.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

if it's gonna happen to someone, it's gonna happen to Maya

We went to the dentist and got some, well, good/bad news.

Maya is missing two of her teeth. As in, they didn't come in as baby teeth and x-ray indicates that they won't come in as adult teeth either.

See? Between her two front teeth and her little fangs?

The bad news: high orthodontic bills. The good news: the less to bite you with.

pics from back when you needed a jacket on the playset...

Yesterday we were out barefoot with t-shirts for the unprecedented first day of spring in Maine (during my tenure as a Mainer anyway). It reached 67 degrees!

It was but a mere three weeks ago that winter jackets were called for. It's supposed to be beautiful again today and we are going to pack away the snow pants to celebrate!














































Watch out moles and birds and mice. Coconutty is on the prowl and no small scurrying or flying animal is out of his sights.