Monday, March 9, 2009

It's the Paso Doble!

Here is Elisabeth in her Paso Doble show in front a packed audience! In case you can't tell, she's the smallest girl on the right. In case you want to see the practice:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

AJ Update

At 14 months, here are the words AJ can say:
  • dough (door--anything that opens from actual doors, to windows that open like doors, to attached lids like my make-up compact or the lid to his shape sorting toy)
  • mow (more--yay! I've been working this one for a few months. He really understood it when he was snacking on M&Ms.)
  • tow-a (for Toria)
  • ee-za (for Elisa)
  • a-bu (for Elisabeth)
  • eye-ziz (for kitties--the nicest one is Isis)
  • baba or bobble (bottle)
  • nah (for snack)
  • nana (banana)
  • abble (apple)
  • meh (mess)
  • dow (down)
  • up
  • poopoo (obvious)
  • biper (diaper)
  • bye-bye (with a wave)
  • hi
  • heddo (hello on the phone)
  • mama
  • dadda
  • too too (toot-toot to get the Wiggles on TV because the name of one of the videos is Toot Toot)
  • ba (ball)
  • buh (book--BabyBug is his favorite)
  • daw (dog)
  • bamm bamm (we found that appropriate)
  • A-juh (AJ--his own name)
  • dough-da (soda--pretty all drinks)
  • joo (juice)
  • NO!
  • eyes
  • het (head)
  • ah-ooh (monkey sound--ooh, ooh, ah, ah)
  • nigh-nigh (night-night)
Gestures: He can also make an "I want" sign. Thanks to Pepop. He'll hold out his hand and open and close it. He'll point to the TV when he wants to watch the wiggles. He has pretty much learned every Wiggle dance on all five of the videos we have. He will even start doing the dance moves for the songs before they come on just because he knows they're next. He understands about going to the potty. If anyone says they have to go to the potty, AJ goes and opens the bathroom door. He blows kisses and can actually kiss now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Random Pics from the New Camera (in other words, After Christmas)

A nice walk!
Bad diaper rash but still likes to play piano:
Elisa is the breakfast short-order cook. Here she's making Victoria breakfast.

AJ Antics

Here's AJs favorite activity (still)!

More Dance!

Here are the kids practicing for their next show. Paso doble! Here's the same song and routine after learning a bit more choreography. No babies were harmed in the making of this film. HSPCB (The Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Babies) oversaw all filming including babies. They were just really busy filming to help the baby from crying.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


I decided that New Years Day was a convenient time to declutter and partially spring clean the kitchen. It took 9 or more hours with only a couple of breaks.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday

Even though Victoria's birthday is in November, we celebrated her birthday on the first Saturday in December. Though the mall was packed, all of the kids enjoyed the Build-a-Bear party.

Bath Time

One of the benefits of being prone to severe diaper rashes is getting baths many times a day--wherever a bath happens to be handy.

Snow Day

Monday, July 14, 2008

Here We (Don't) Go 'Round the Bramble Bush

Trying to take a picture of the baby on your lap is tough! He just wanted to eat the camera. Here he is after being attacked by brambles. He's fine, but was scratched (as you can see) when the stroller rolled down a hill into the bushes. Note: make sure stroller wheels are locked before you leave the stroller! Note 2: The only reason the stroller was left was because poor Victoria fell off her bike hard and had to be checked to make sure there were no loose teeth or broken nose.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Splashing in the Tub

AJ gets to splash! As of yesterday, he also has another tooth on the top--a matched set now.

Monday, June 9, 2008

New Toy for AJ

Here's the little guy playing with another gift from Aunt Patti and Uncle Jimmy.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Baby Talk

This was actually from the beginning of May.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

First Tooth

I checked--you can't see it in the picture, but I can see it a little and feel that it just broke through. Doesn't seem to be affecting his mood though!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Visiting a Museum with a NASA Exhibit

Demonstrating Bernoulli's Principle using hairdryers.
Family Portrait
In the playscape!

Face painting

Space suit and under suit (much flatter clothes to the left).

Space food. All freeze dried.

Space potties (well, when ya gotta go...). If you were on the ISS right now you wouldn't think this picture was disgusting at all--you'd be loving it.

Space urinals (the big gold thing is the original one for men, there's a small, upside-down, clear-plastic thing next to the breifcase which is the equivilant for women).

Here's the actual NASA truck.

Before the kids went inside, they got to have their picture taken as if they were on the moon (the white suits) or Mars (the orange suit).

I recorded part of the 'moon visit.' What a commercial! NASA really produced quite an expensive commercial to try to indoctrinate kids on their supposed usefulness. You might enjoy it. When the kids are crawling all over the floor, there were interactive rock projections on the floor that would 'run away from them' when they tried to touch them.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Victoria's Math

Goofy Girls!

They'll do anything for an appreciative audience.


During our trip for a quick visit with Mom and Dad, Elisa interviewed her sister. She just updated her website to include the interview.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Visiting with My Folks

On the Saturday before Mother's Day, I got to meet Mom and Dad someplace in New Jersey. Even though it's Jersey, it takes them longer to get there than it takes me! We got to exchange Mother's Day cards (they volunteered to play mailman for me to give my cards to Mommom Loeper and Mommom McNeill), visit, Mom and Dad gave Elisa her birthday presents, and gave Victoria and Elisa some clothes. And, most importantly, I got to snap a pic of Mom with the girls! I think I chose a really bad position to take the picture. It seems that the sun was right over my shoulder. Memom let Victoria borrow her sunglasses!
It was a great day for a drive and the kids were so excited that they didn't even complain on the way. Elisa did practice being a reporter and shot a video interview with Victoria. Once she puts the videos up, I'll link to them. All they really wanted to do was leave with Memom and Pepop and say "hasta la vista!" to me.

Mother's Day Fun

Last night we moved the 5 month-old little guy into his crib. He's been too big for the bassinet for a few months now, I was just putting off the inevitable. Last night was the final straw when his foot actually got caught in a handle opening of the fabric. That meant moving the nursing chair and myself into the baby's room. Of course any transition for babies comes with a penalty, so he was up twice as often and had that much of a harder time getting to sleep.

In the morning, Aaron and the girls were nice enough to let me sleep late, though and I got to sleep until 8 AM. I could have slept later if Victoria didn't have a crazy-loud meltdown. I was presented with hand-made mother's day cards from both girls. No present because I'm a waffler and can't figure out what I want (or at least what I want that I'm also willing and able to pay for). After that, I enjoyed some pancakes for breakfast (hubby's Sunday morning breakfast) which I didn't even cook. We then loaded the kids, ourselves, some hammers, a crow bar, a nail claw, and a metal bar into the car for a ride around town.

some hammers, a crow bar, a nail claw, and a metal bar???

Yep! I recently found out that there's a place RIGHT NEAR US that has an old garnet mine. It's called Green's Garnet Mine in Southbury, CT. These aren't gem quality minerals, but when you have two kids who like to collect rocks, that hardly matters. We spent an hour getting lost (though we found a really old cemetary from the 1700s) and then found the place! It's someone's house.

You pay $3 per car (by putting the money under the front mat). We were quite stumped. Here we were at some stranger's house, walking in their driveway and yard not quite knowing what to do. Soon a cute, furry dog greets us a trots off down a path to the left of the garage. What else could we do but follow him. Lo and behold--the clever pooch led us to the exact spot.We didn't know what to expect. It was called a mine and I didn't know if there would be anything obvious or not. It turns out that it was just a sharp valley in the hill. There were a few other rock hunters chipping away. They had quite an impressive haul--though it turns out we did quite well ourselves. In many places the rock was chipped away leaving exposed garnets. The garnets were obvious where they were imbedded in the rock. We found a number that were a quarter-inch and half-inch in diameter. Hubby found some that were three-quarters of an inch. They were obvious by their color and their shape. We spent a couple of hours pounding and digging. Of course I forgot my camera, but here are some of the best samples.

After a hard day with hammers and crow bars, we headed out to the local Friendly's for dinner. By then we were quite ready for a rest.

Happy Mother's Day!

Let the fun commence!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Almost 5 Months!

Can you believe the little cutie is almost 5 months old now? Here's a new video of him in his exersaucer.


Elisa had her 9th birthday party over the weekend. It was a mystery party arranged and hosted by Aaron. The kids were characters who had to investigate their parents' possible involvement in a train robbery. They each had an heirloom that could give them a clue whether their parents were guilty. After going over the heirlooms, they then had clues to decipher to find out more about the crime. Some of the clues were letter substitutions, riddles, pictographs, words encoded from a book, anagrams, and word scrambles. Once the clues were solved, they gave the characters some place to search for their final clue. All of the kids were given a map of the town (different rooms in the house were the trading post, desert, saloon, train station, mining shaft, mayor's house, telegraph office) and then had to go find their clues. After these last clues were uncovered, Aaron led the kids through opening each one individually and discussing what they might mean for the guilt or innocence of some of the ancestors. Here are just SOME of the props that Aaron created in order to set the mood and lead the kids to determine the solution: There was an obituary, two love letters, an initialed wallet, a hat with an inscription, an article about the robbery, a photograph, a map, a map overlay (the 'x' was on a transparency that could lead to three different locations--the kids had to investigate them all to find the treasure), an invisible mark on a gold nugget (a rock painted with gold paint), a stamp with a note from the owner of the treasure, an article about a morse code contest, a doctor's notebook, the sheriff's notebook...AND MORE! It was really amazing how well the kids figured things out--even coming up with some scenarios we hadn't at all considered. They really had their thinking caps on. Aaron stayed 'in character' for the party and the kids really got a kick out of his accent and story. The kids got so excited at this point that we sometimes had a hard time getting them to settle down and open the next clue. Most importantly, Elisa had a great time and all of the kids really seemed to enjoy themselves. This was really great because we had quite a disparate group of kids: a friend from pre-school, a friend from Massachussetts (how awesome that she made the trip), friends from her old school, and friends made from our homeschool astronomy course. They all played together.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ballroom Dance Show

Elisa and her new partner got to perform with some other couples in a local dance show. They did the same show twice. She's the littlest one wearing a black and white dress. The crowd starts clapping during the swing and they had the loudest applause of all of the dancers. Here are both shows (because I just love watching her dance): Here's the first show, using the same routine. She's worked really hard on her keeping her hands up and remembering to smile.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Grammy Visit

We had a lovely time with Aaron's mom, Vivian, this weekend. Here is Grammy with the newest (but not last!) grandkid:

AJ's First Food

Goody for me--AJ loves cereal!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Scholastic Warehouse Sales

Scholastic is a publisher and distributor of childrens books. When you see a book fair, it's generally put on by Scholastic. Homeschooling families can qualify to go to their warehouse sales where all of the books are 1/2 off! One is coming May 10th through 23rd, 2008. Check here for your state.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bath Time

Nothing cuter than the baby playing in the tub.

AJ in the Exersaucer

Aunt Patti and Uncle Jimmy passed along this great exersaucer! The baby is having a great time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Old Children's Albums in MP3s

This website has copies of some old albums for kids. They have all of the princess stories and other really famous tales, plus some educational. From my friend, Lynne.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Red in the Morning

This was a sunrise one day in February. It reminded Aaron of the old saying
Red in the morning, Sailor take warning. Red at night, Sailor's delight.
That was red and this was the weather we got later!

Score one for folk lore.