Thursday, February 28, 2013 post my

...weekly articles for Amy!

I feel like I haven't been very 'put together' this week.  The days haven't gone as smooth as they could have, dinners weren't planned as much as they were thrown together at the last minute, and I felt like each day I scrambling to some commitment late.

And usually its weeks like this that I feel as if I barely have a spare moment to read.

Having said that, many of the things I did read this week were worth sharing.

1.  As I have mentioned before I am a nerd with regard to linguistics.  I enjoyed this article about adverbs.  Did I really write this sentence out loud in print?

Adverbs? To use or not...

2.  I also have been known to have a somewhat warped sense of humor.  But these photos are too priceless not to share.  And the photo descriptions...speak for themselves.  Be wary of reading this document at your place of work.  You WILL laugh out loud.

Are you kidding me? These people are for real?!@?

3.  We have been attending several basketballs games of late and have come to really enjoy watching Will play.  He is a head shorter than the next-tallest kid on his team.  But the little man plays with heart, and speed, and a fair bit of skill.  This story shows that with talent and perseverance size doesn't matter.

Amazing Skills. Huge Talent. Small Kid.

4.  Finally, parenting articles always catch my eye.  This one was amazing!  I have complained all winter about how cold it is in my bedroom (63ish degrees) but I can hardly complain after reading this article about parents in Stockholm have their children regularly nap in temperatures that are sub-zero.  Really.


Happy Reading.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 enjoy a break in the weather

...before another storm hits tomorrow!

It was a balmy 37 degrees and sunny this afternoon!  This was by far the best day of weather we have had in quite some time.

Bikes, scooters, snowballs, rock collecting, a long walk around the neighborhood, and lots of time at the park.

I bundled the girls up knowing they would want to play in the very wet snow for a while.  I was so glad that I had.

They came in muddy (and super sweaty) messes!  They played for two hours outside!

And only because I had been promising Abbey an art project all day we decorated Easter Eggs when the big kids got home from school.

Yes.  I know its a bit early.  But the kids love dyeing them and we can do them again next month.

 It was a very serious process.

They even had fun with the leftover dyes when they were finished...

this yellow snow is OK
and as you can tell Isabella really enjoyed using up the leftover

egg dyes as well.

Monday, February 25, 2013 share some ordinary moments our less than ordinary life.

Kailey was returned with a clean bill of health!  Her broken arm has healed and she has been cleared for playdates.

Audrey was super excited and especially loved the little get well card that was sent with her.

Here I am about to reveal the secret to achieving super-tough-to-chew breadsticks....

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

Exhibit D:

These photos were taken over a period of 45 minutes.  That dough was kneaded, rolled, sprinkled, poked, smashed, and smoothed.  Obviously there was no 'rest' for this poor dough.

These helpers were so occupied (taking turns every five minutes with a timer) that I was able to get ready for my date on Friday night without any interruptions! 

Who tares if they are a bit chewy?

Besides, I didn't have to eat them.

Playdates were another highlight around here this week.  Even more so because I didn't have to chaperone them!

Looking out for Daddy!

The girls will often run to the window to check and see if it is him that they hear.

A nightcap...

Coffee, Bailey's & a bit o' whipped cream.  Perfect for warming up on these super freezing nights!

And finally, I'll leave you with my favorite photo taken the past few days:

My sweet, creative, ten-year-old...

with a handle-bar mustache.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 report some stats

...along with my inner conflicts keep me honest about my progress on my Lenten activity.

3 spaces tackled
1 large furniture item donated (sooo very sad to see this go)
6 bags of clothes (we might have needed)
2 bags of books (perhaps Isabella would have liked to have read at some point in her life)
1 very large bin of glassware (that I definitely liked but didn't really have the space for and never used)
2 purses (that I might have used again)

My quest to fill 40 bags in 40 days has been getting a bit of attention...mostly from my spouse.  He is all over keeping me honest.

Each morning he asks, "So what is the bag of the day?"

There has been some progress...

We can now use both of our closets downstairs.  We can easily hang our coats up (because I only have two winter coats now instead of four) and we can find our shoes (because I got rid of several pairs of summer shoes; there is still 16 inches of snow on the ground).

In the office we can find the spare sets of keys and utilize art supplies without unwanted folders and duplicate notebooks falling on our heads.

In the kitchen we can now put the spare bags of ghiradelli dark chocolate chips in the cupboard instead of in the hall closet because, I got rid of many pieces of unused (though appreciated) glassware.

Finally, from the garage (this bit-o-contentious-space still makes Mark's heart race (as in the heart attack way...not pitter-patter manner)), I found a family in need of the baby crib, mattress, and baby gate.  Oh how I hated to see these things go....


Call it baby steps if you will.

Slow.  Steady.  A little painful.  A little bit cleansing.  A little bit refreshing.  Consistent progress.

One bag (or large furniture item) per day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 go iceskating!

...We love our Presidents!

President's day this year meant four days of family time.

  • Four days of sitting by the fire, and reading.
  • Four days of cozying up inside while the wind whipped 30mph and the temperatures dropped below zero.
  • Four days of listening to DS games chime and ding and to the theme song of Team Umizoomi.
  • Four days of kids chasing each other tirelessly around and around and around the living room.

Can you believe we only left the house twice to break away from this bliss?

Once to eat at Panera (Mark's favorite place for breakfast).

And once to go ice skating.

For some reason this was top on Isabella's list of things to do this week (their week of winter break)!

Will was too quick to get many photos of!

Abbey skated mostly without the bar this afternoon and was so proud of herself!

Audrey was happiest when we were pushing her around!

As you can tell ice-skating was a huge hit for our family!

Happy Skaters!
Happy President's Day.

Monday, February 18, 2013 post my articles of interest

...for this week.

1.  I love book stores.  When my children were smaller and we lived in towns with a brick-and-mortar book store, we would go there for the morning.  I would grab a coffee, they would sit and play with the train table, and I would read to them.  We have spent many hours in bookstores.

You can imagine I was particularly sad to learn that Borders was closing its doors as we were moving here to Watertown.  No store has replaced it yet.  So I have learned to make sure to stop at Barnes and Nobles whenever we head to the mall in Syracuse for my bookstore fix.  You can imagine my sadness at this press:

Not B&N too!

2.  On a more serious note, the news of the pope retiring has been featured on all of the major networks.  There are articles, and tweets, face book posts, and blogger comments to delve into.  There is certainly no shortage of opinions on the subject.  I found this one pretty fascinating though:

A Woman as Pope?

3.  Now lets talk about working out...

I run nearly every weekday morning on my treadmill.  I try to get to the gym twice a week to lift weights.  And on the weekends I try to get in at least one workout.  This could have been my favorite article of the week!  I think I am sleeping in tomorrow....

Perhaps I work out too often.

4.  Finally, this article had me laughing out loud.  Tears were rolling down my cheeks.  However, you will only appreciate the article if:

  • you are not offended by offensive language
  • you are familiar with the children's cartoon Max and Ruby
  • your children curiously enough love this show (as mine do)

Happy Reading.

Saturday, February 16, 2013 rest and recover from the ball

...that we attended last night

Audrey and Abbey were particularly excited that Mark and I were going to a real ball!  They were sure there was going to be crowns, jewels and dancing.  (And maybe even evil step-sisters?)

Audrey asked, "Mommy are you going to get married again at the ball?"

Then she decided that she needed to teach me how to dance and showed me some of her trademark moves.

Alas, she would be sad if she found out that I didn't try out her moves.  She would be even more sad to know that we didn't even dance at the ball.

Before I share the few photos I took, I need to mention that Heather, our incredibly-sweet-we-are-so-sad-she-is-leaving-nanny, truly made our evening possible.

Both Abbey and Audrey have Influenza B and were running temps of 101 and she still agreed to come and babysit for us.

She also agreed to ferry Mark and I both to-and-from the ball so that we might indulge in a glass of wine (or two or three or...).

AND she also offered to do my hair for the ball.  She did an amazing job.  I felt like such a princess!

Mark and the gentlemen in his shop.

I may have been heard to refer to an evening like this as 'mandatory fun'.  

However, I would be remiss if I didn't comment on how fun it is to dress up, to enjoy an evening with adults, and to witness the impressive pomp-and-circumstance of a military ball.

And besides, who doesn't love a man-in-uniform?

There is certainly one in particular who makes my heart go pitter-patter and I'll attend any ceremony that allows me to be at side.

My prince and I...

Thursday, February 14, 2013 celebrate Valentine's Day

...with all my sweetie's.

"Valentine's Day is a very special day."
                                   -Audrey Crow

To many Valentine's Day is just another day.  That is true. 

But to me (and obviously Audrey) is also a day that provides an opportunity to show love, appreciation, and adoration AND to share extra squeezes, hugs, and kisses (and gifts) with our loved ones.

My parents always made the day very special.  They made sure we knew that my brother and I were their Valentine's.  

And the day is surely special around here!

Mark bought me a really beautiful necklace with each of the kids' names inscribed, I bought Mark a new vest, and the kids...

Well they were valentined!

The grandparents' valentines
Will read Abbey her cards
As a family we had breakfast for dinner (woot! woot! a favorite here) and treats after basketball.

our valentines
This year's treats were simple: A box of chocolates, a flower to plant, and a small gift for each of them.

They were thrilled!

All except for Abbey:  Who was slightly horrified these chocolates have 'yuck' inside them.

I even captured this Kodak moment.

creamy caramel exploded from the chocolate in the Whitman sampler
She doesn't want to try another one.

We are blaming her poor taste buds on the current bout of Influenza B that she is battling (now day four).  Perhaps this weekend, when she is recovered, her sense of taste will return.

My hips and derriere sure hope so; they can't handle a whole box of chocolates!

Happy Valentine's my five sweethearts.

"It was a very special day."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 begin to celebrate


I have been thinking about what to give up for Lent for a few weeks now.  And this list is a great one to get ideas from:

Fasting ideas for Lent

Over the years I have given up lots of different things.

  • There are the standard items I could banish such as chocolate, desserts, or soda.  While I certainly love each of these, the purpose of Lent is not to try to lose weight.  
  • I could give up Facebook but I already have basically done that (my New Year's resolution) or speeding.  (This one simply isn't realistic...have you ever tried to drive on post only 10mph past every pedestrian you encounter?).  
  • I could give up TV or candy bars; but these two things are not vices of mine.  
  • I could give up biting my nails; but I have been trying to break this habit for 30 years.

I have also in years past dedicated the season of Lent to doing something.

  • I could say nightly prayers with the kids.  Night time routines aren't exactly smooth here.
  • I could set aside more time to volunteer each week of Lent (but I felt this would be more of a sacrifice on my family).
  • Last year I focused on giving at least two meaningful compliments each day to people I encountered.   (In the process of doing a task that was really hard for me, I was able to bless another person.)

I believe that giving up something for Lent is supposed to be something that is hard, cleansing, and beneficial to myself, my spiritualness, and my family.

So I have decided to do something really out of my box.  Something that is going to be painful for me.

My dear friend at West Point shared with me the idea of 40 bags in 40 days.  If you know me, than you know that I love my stuff.  And while my home is pretty tidy at first glance, if you open any closet or cupboard you will find they are stuffed...with stuff.  Stuff that I like.  Stuff that I used one time a long time ago.  Stuff that I might need sometime soon.  Stuff that requires constant reorganization.  Stuff that takes time away from my family while I reorganize it...

But for some weird reason I am attached to all of this stuff.  I can remember where I got nearly each piece of stuff in our home.  I know who gave the kids each toy, each outfit they can no longer wear, each book that they have grown too old for.'s a shocker...I am pretty sentimental.

Hard.  Cleansing.  Beneficial.

40 bags in 40 days is my dedication for Lent.

My disclaimer:  Baby steps.  Plastic grocery bags are the size I am opting for.  And can I count the big giant item I gave up a few weeks ago in my 40?  And do I get Sundays off?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 fix a terrible


There was shouting.  And tears.  And woeful pleas.  And pointing-of-fingers.

In short, number four tripped and fell while dragging pooor Kailey by the arm up to bed for the night.

But alas...this travesty is beyond my capabilities as a doctor, mom, toy-fixer-upper.

I think for now we'll have to pronounce her D.E.A.D.

I am not sure she should still be smiling.

Only the experts can resuscitate this one.

For a mere $32 plus tax and S&H.


At least her hair will look nice again when she comes back.

For a day or so.

Monday, February 11, 2013 go see Will an event he was in at school today

He must have asked me six times if I was going to be able to make it.

Of course.

This is the beginning of Catholic Schools week and their school begins with a school-wide Quiz bowl.

The students have to answer questions (grade-appropriate of course) and then the points are tallied.

Of course in my haste to leave after my last patient of the morning to get to the school in time, I forgot to grab my camera.  And was left with my phone and its grainy zoom-feature to capture these moments.

No matter.  I think I got a few good ones.

I loved how they formed a little-huddle each time to discuss their answer ...

before given it to the proctor:

And then they would wait...

until their grade was questioned again.

Second place: An ice-cream party for the third graders!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

... to post my

...articles of interest for this week 

In case you were wondering:  I read when I go to bed at night until my eyelids can no longer remain open and when I am on my treadmill.  When I find something interesting I usually send it to myself via email so I can read it again another time.  I have decided to share my favorite top three (or so) each week.

I think these article posts are quickly becoming Amy's second favorite news source...besides FB of course!


1.  I read a lot of good articles posted by moms (such as this one my friend Beth shared this week) but here is a good article from a Dad's perspective...the jist:

2.  I always love a feel good about humanity article; this one reminds me of the movie, I Am Sam.  It is very short and very sweet.

3.  And finally, I couldn't come up with a better title than the author himself:

Enjoy the light reading.

Friday, February 8, 2013

another snow day

...this one was a doozy.

So pretty outside.

And so cozy inside.

The post was closed too. 

So Daddy got a well deserved and needed snow day as well.

I am not sure who was more happy...the kids or Mark?

Thursday, February 7, 2013 watch Will play basketball his first game ever!

Will may be one of the shortest kids on the team but I would argue he has more hustle than most (a most non-biased opinion of course!).

Taking a breather...

Phew.  This was just the first half.
 Shooting free throws:

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed watching Will and his teammates play.

I was not surprised about the lack of interest from the peanut gallery:

loove Abbey's outfit.  

you can almost tell in this photo...Audrey has four shirts on.  

I think I'll bring some form of electronics to entertain them for Saturday's took me until the game was nearly over to figure out this genius trick.  

I tried to hold out...but as you can see from the photos above, the situation became dire!