Sunday, January 31, 2010


Today the girls turned 8, and somehow, I can't believe it. How the time has flown. We of course have to download the pictures and then upload them here, so don't expect any nifty images here yet. But to recap the weekend:

1. Grandma and Grandpa M. drove all the way from PA just to come for the girls' birthday.
2. Tara and Ava and Grandma and Grandpa C. were also able to come down to celebrate.
3. The kids all had fun at the Magic Castle.
4. Melina fell down a few stairs at our house but is okay.

Yes, number 4 really happened to number 4. She is fine, and has a little bruise on the lip. Thank goodness she wasn't that far up the stairs. I really am happy we didn't have to head to the ER as that would have crashed the party for sure. I told her last night at bedtime not to scare me like that again; she just looked at me and smiled. Mommyhood is sometimes just a bit too scary for me.

I forgot to mention the cakes. I made butterflies for the girls that ended up looking nice. I had taken some tips from images on the internet. Since the in-laws were here on Friday, I was able to make the cakes and frosting from scratch. They were marvelous! I can follow a recipe just fine, thank you! When we post pictures, I will be sure to post the recipes so that all can delight in their goodness. Talia said, "Mommy, that is the best chocolate cake and frosting I have ever eaten!" I said "Thank you."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Recap of Our Week (In Pictures)

It has been a fun week. I am sure Tim is sad he missed some of this.

Clearly, the first picture was taken before he left. That is the picture Melina asked to see each day so she could smooch Daddy.

Melina likes to put everything on her head. She especially likes Aaron's underwear.

Aaron and Melina like the Rubik's cube. I don't know why they decided to have the dinosaur attack it, but I figured it was worth a photo.

This one isn't obvious to you folks, but it will make Tim proud. The kids are posing by the indoor volleyball net that they erected on the rug court. They proceeded to play volleyball until I put the lid on it. While they looked like they were having fun, I did NOT want to have to pick up shards of the mirror that lives above the mantle. (Awwww, Mom!) I believe Melina was dancing in the background.

In the above photo, the girls are wearing jeans and a green butterfly shirt. It just so happens I have the exact shirt (thanks, Joan!) and jeans that are similar. They not only wanted me to wear them today, but when we went to the store, they wanted me to take my sweater off so that everyone could see that we looked alike. I was cold, so I didn't do it, but the thought was precious.

Tim is expected back tomorrow by 8 pm. Let's hope the plane arrives on time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nothing Unusual Here...

Aaron is feeling better, and the fever has not hit anyone else, yet. I do anticipate its return at some point. However, there is no reason to dwell on it.

The kids don't know this, but it is possible that two of our close friends will be moving away, and soon. I can't say too much about either situation, but I do have to say that I will miss both families, and I am pretty bummed to hear that they will be leaving. Now, these families will be headed to separate destinations, both of which are places I would visit. Therefore, count on us visiting!

We have not eaten out this week, and I am thinking that perhaps today is the day. As an aside, I haven't even used the paper plates and bowls I bought to help me save time in terms of dishes! Melina got up early and I am pretty pooped from all of this kids stuff, so I think that pizza might be in order. I don't have the energy to drag them to our favorite place, but I could possibly pick up the phone and place an order. Pizza, cut tomatoes and cucumbers doesn't sound half bad. Either that, or split pea soup for everyone!

The trip to the plumber to look at tub and tile has turned into something I never wanted to do. Too many choices! Keep the tub? Replace only with a shower? Tile? Acrylic? Grout color if you go with tile? Yikes! To be honest, our bathroom could us a bit of updating. There isn't room to make a huge change, but we need new towel bars anyway (ours are broken and not even there), and we could change up the mirror or something. We have already replaced the faucets, and I don't want to bother the vanity or countertops, but the rest of it, I just might find this a good time to add a little zing to the master bathroom. In the meantime, we cannot shower in there, so I am glad we have another bathroom available.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's Gonna Be a Long Weekend!

Aaron came home from school yesterday looking wiped out. That means one thing for him -- he is probably sick. Sure enough, after lunch, he took a nap. That is a second sign that things are not going well. Part-way into his nap, I realized he had a fever. Fevers and vomiting go hand in hand for Aaron, so I gave him some ibuprofen and hoped for the best. I don't know if his vomiting episode from the other day is connected with this fever, but I am guessing even if no one else vomits, someone will get a fever. Needless to say, everyone except me is still in their pajamas at 1:33 pm on a Saturday. We really have nowhere to go, so being sick this weekend is probably the better pick than any other. And if we don't make it to mass, well, I hope God will understand.

So I started cranking the girls' expanders yesterday. I turned them 5 times within the span of an hour. They took the cranking really well, and seem to be doing okay. This morning, I turned the expander 3 more times; this evening I will do the same. Both Zoe and Talia said to me, after I had turned the respective expander, "I don't see my mouth getting any bigger!" I am guessing they thought it would be an instantaneous change inside their mouths.

Because Aaron hasn't been feeling well, I don't have anything witty from him over the last couple of days. Melina has been coming along well with her words. She yells at Shadow just the other kids do, clearly saying his name (well, it might not be that clear, but it sounds like Sha-ow, which is pretty obvious, I think). She just learned where her elbows are, and also shakes her finger (as if to say No-no) when the song "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" plays on the CD player.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Updates for Tim

Some random things Tim should know:

1. We watched The Tale of Despereaux last night. It was a definite change from the book. I liked the book better. I really enjoyed reading the book aloud to the kids, and I especially loved when they said, "Read more, read more!" That aspect was missing from the movie. The kids, however, enjoyed both.

2. So far, no one else has thrown up, but I am not going to rejoice until Tim gets back.

3. This morning, I showed Melina a picture of her with Daddy on the digital camera. She grabbed the camera, yelled 'Dada' and smooched the picture.

4. The dogs' ears are bothering him. He is shaking his head all the time and scratching at them. I know we took him in for this last year, but I am not dragging in to the vet an 80 pound dog when I have to take kids, too. Therefore, I got out the old ointment and I am using it. Vet, I am not. But desperate times call for desperate measures (I think I use that too often!).

5. I did not post about this, but the girls did get their palate expanders in the other day. They aren't that uncomfortable right now, because I have not cranked the expander to start the actual expansion. That starts this afternoon. Right after school. Five cranks for each kid, 10 minutes apart. Then, I crank 3 times in the morning and 3 times in the afternoon for the next week. OH JOY! The menu for this evening includes bean soup, bananas, well-cooked peas, and chocolate pudding. I can't imagine why I would serve that, can you?

6. Melina and I are headed out to look at tile and tub for the tile and tub that need to be replaced in the master bathroom. I'd like to say I am thrilled to be doing this, but to be honest, I don't think we can go wrong. The tub and tile both are hidden by the shower curtain. As long as I don't choose something really awful, I think we will be fine.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nighttime Nuisances

The four-legged animals really miss Tim when he is away. The cats yowl and the dog mopes; Shadow has been following me around just about every minute of the day. Since I usually go to bed earlier than Tim (who doesn't?), I have been letting the dog go out and do his business a bit earlier than his usual time.

So, this morning, at 1:46 am, the dog needed to go out. Melina was sleeping across me, so the both of us crept quietly down the stairs and let the dog out. I really don't like being woken up by any animal, and to have to come downstairs is considered, by me, to be a nuisance.

Well, that isn't even the half of it. I think I was just about falling asleep again when my eyes popped open, and then I heard a cough. What came next is NOT what I wanted to hear. Two little feet ran down the hallway, and Talia stuck her head in the door: "Mom, dude just spit up!"

Thanks. I know not to shoot the messenger, but I was about ready to do just that. I crept out of bed (thank goodness Melina was snuggled up to a pillow) and headed down the hall. On the bed, there was a pile of foodstuffs, and unlike what Tim would do, I will not go into how it looked or smelled. However, since Tim is usually the cleanup guy when GI problems arise (thanks, Tim!), I was really out of practice.

I ushered the girls into Aaron's room, made a bed on the floor of Aaron's room for Aaron himself, checked the kids to be sure no changes of clothes were needed, and got Aaron a bowl. I neglected to have the kid brush his teeth, but I did ask if he was okay. He actually seemed fine.

I then went to tackle the girls' room. All the stuffed animals were unscathed and went in their bins. I stripped the bed and lysoled the mattress. I even managed to put the laundry in the machine, all before 3 am! I contemplated staying awake, but thought better of it.

I am hoping that no one else has any trouble before Tim comes home. It dawned on me that Aaron had eaten a huge amount of pepperoni at dinnertime, and perhaps the grease was the problem. Let's imagine that is the case. If not, you'll hear about it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Carry-on or Carrion?

Tim left on Monday and since he departed via airplane, you can imagine why the word 'carry-on' was in my head.

So, this was my conversation with the little red-head yesterday:

Aaron: I love carry-on!
Me (dumbfounded): What?!?
Aaron: I love carry-on!
Me: Do you know what it is?
Aaron: Carry-on is sausage. [I finally get what he means.] Carry-on is dead meat and dead meat is sausage.

Gotta thank Dinosaur Train for that new word. There is no way the word 'carrion' was in my vocabulary at age 5. Who says television is all bad, right?

Melina checked out at her 18 month appointment today. The one thing I told the doctor (and something I never thought I would utter about one of our kids) is that Melina loves meat. I guess she'll love carry-on!

Just so Tim has all the stats, here they are:
Height: 31 inches, 30th percentile (I don't think the girls were ever above the 10th)
Weight: 22 pounds, 7 ounces; 25th percentile (Here, the girls hover between 3-5%)
Head Circumference: 47 centimeters; 75th percentile

Monday, January 11, 2010

Alone Again!

That title might not be quite accurate. We have 4 children, 2 cats, and a dog, so I guess I am not really alone again. But I am the only adult home for at least 8 days, so I do feel somewhat alone. As I did the last time, I will try to update the blog with interesting tidbits so that Tim doesn't feel so disconnected from us.

The interesting tidbit for today is already known by Tim, but I thought the other faithful readers might find it funny.

Aaron has sitting issues: he doesn't like to sit still, even when eating. Dinner is the worst...getting him to stay in his chair is really quite difficult. However, other mealtimes can be just as bad. The other morning I let Aaron eat his breakfast at the little table in the living room, because the living room is warmer.

Me: Aaron, if you get up off of that chair one more time, I'll...(I can't remember what the threat was, either time-out, lose breakfast, who knows.)
Aaron: Okay.

A few minutes later, I see him 10 feet away, grabbing a marker, but STILL in the chair. He looked at me, smiled, and hopped back (chair and all) to the table. Obviously, I need to choose my words more carefully next time!

FYI to Tim: Melina has her 18 month well-check tomorrow (can you believe that!?!) and the girls get their palate expanders on Wednesday.

Monday, January 4, 2010

More Little Melina

Aunt Tara used her real camera this time (a Nikon D90, because that's what it said in the image file's metadata) to capture an unbelievably cute photo of the unbelievably cute Melina. For you geeks interested in the rest of the metadata, here it is:
Image Type: jpeg (The JPEG image format)
Width: 4288 pixels
Height: 2848 pixels
Camera Model: NIKON D90
Date Taken: 2009:12:24 10:04:41
Exposure Time: 1/60 sec.
ISO Speed Rating: 200
Flash Fired: Flash fired, auto mode, return light detected.
Metering Mode: Pattern
Exposure Program: Not defined
Focal Length: 34.0 mm
Software: Ver.1.00
For everyone else, here's Melina-bug, scaled to a more web-reasonable 1355x900 pixels (thank you, GNU Image Manipulation Program).

I wish to make something clear: the PJ's are red and gray --- not scarlet and gray. They say "Fire Chief" or something similar, and are completely unrelated to anything Buckeye.