Monday, August 31, 2009

The First day of school!

All three girls started school at the same Elementary school today. Here is our day in pictures!

The NFL Preseason Game

Trent and I had the opportunity to hire a babysitter for 10 hours so that we could go to the NY Jets vs. the NY Giants preseason football game. We were excited to check it out as neither of us had ever been to an NFL game of any kind. We packed lightly -- something we are not used to as we are usually hauling kids and all their stuff. We each took a backpack with 1 book to read on the train and our rain gear (rain coat, rain pants, and rain boots). It had been raining all day and the forecast was for 50% rain through the whole game. Once we got there, we found out you cannot take backpacks into the stadium. (Now, you can take any other kind of bag . . . they did not seem to care about the size) We saw some people take their backpacks, empty them and stuff them into a purse and then they could get in. The one lady at the check point even suggested we could hide our backpack somewhere outside.

Now, does that sound like a good idea to you? Couldn't that create a bomb scare? Lets have all the fans just drop their bags in random places????

We were glad that my cousin Jessica had driven to the game as she kindly put our bags in her car. Plus it was fun to watch her get the "royal" treatment. She was on the inside of the park and we were on the outside and she explained that she needed to take our bags into the park (which we could not do) and go put them in her car. They gladly let her take the bags in and even provided a golf cart to race her quickly to her car and back!

Sherwood Island State Park

The day was stunning. The water was cool yet refreshing.

But the beach was rocky. And somewhere under the water those rocks were razor sharp and I got 3 or 4 gashes that were each an inch long. They hurt. A lot.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Things that go together

In Shrek--the musical there is a whole song devoted to things that go together. It is one of my kids' favorites

You and me, we belong together.
Like butter and grits
Like, kibbles and bits!
Like, yin and yang,
Sturm and Drang,
Like Eng and Chang attached at the hip, but not an old lady hip that might break.
I'm gonna be on you like a fat kid on cake!

Like Cupid and Psyche,
like pop rocks and Mikey,
we’ll stick together like that Velcro stuff, I’m the fuzzy side; you’ll be the spiky.
Ooh! Like little kids and pajamas with those funny things at the bottom, you know, feeties.
Like donuts and… oh, what goes with donuts?

Donuts and . . . diabetes~!

So let me add my own thing that goes together


English Tea and India Day

Last week, we decided to have an English Tea. We invited some friends and set the table with China. The kids had lemon zinger herbal tea, cute little shortbread cookies, and yummy lemon mousse with cream and a freshly picked raspberry on top (I would post that recipe, but one of the other kids moms made it). It was delicious. The kids were so cute. They spent an hour at the table adding more and more sugar to the tart lemon tea (and still none of them really liked it). They also spoke only in a british accent. It was priceless to eavesdrop.

Once the tea was over, we decided to watch Pride and Prejudice (the short Kiera Knightly version). They all loved it. We had such a good time.

So, this week we had India day. We dressed the kids in homemade Saris, learned about India, put Bindi's on their foreheads and ordered take out from a local Indian restaurant. Then we watched Bride and Prejudice a bolliwood version of pride and prejudice that is very entertaining. The kids loved seeing all the bright colors and dancing.

Madelyn turned 5

Almost 2 weeks ago, Madelyn turned five years old. She is such a sweet girl. She is excited to start Kindergarten and go to school with her big sisters. She wanted a Hello Kitty party. We invited all her friends and hoped for good weather. But like most days here this summer . . . we got a lot of rain. So we had a big indoor party.

One of our birthday traditions is that after our kids open their presents, we set them aside and don't play with them or unpackage them until that evening. Then we put all the other kids to bed and just the birthday girl stays up late and gets to play with her new toys all by herself (or with Mom and Dad). It is really fun to do. I tell them they can stay up on their birthday as late as they want. If they make it to midnight, I inform them that it is now no longer their birthday and that they stayed up as late as they could on "their birthday" and then they go to bed. Madelyn made it to midnight. She honestly did not even seem tired, but as soon as her head hit the pillow, she was asleep.

Enjoy the pictures of her day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Why is it?

that alarms can never malfunction at . . . say 2:00 on a Wednesday afternoon?

Last night, our Explosive Gas alarm went 85 dB blaring at 2:50 in the morning. Wow, that will really wake you up. We ran frantically through the house. We could not smell any gas. We opened all the windows (to let in the 98% humidity air into the house) and then I looked up the owners manual for the alarm on the internet.

Mainly it states, "Never ignore an alarm." Also, if it is an alarm for GAS (as opposed to CO) we should evacuate immediately and not even use the phone or any electric appliance and then call the fire department.

So, that is why I was on the computer. We just could not smell anything (and our heating oil and propane both have that dead animal smell added into them.)

Then I got to remembering chemistry (from way back in the day) that propane is denser than air. Meaning if you have a leak it will be along the floor or sinking down to the basement. Since it is our stove on the main floor that is the only propane appliance we have -- it began to seem unlikely that the propane gas could float up the stairs.

Same goes for the heating oil which was way down in the basement.

So . . . being pretty certain that we weren't about to explode, we called the fire department. I explained to them that our GAS alarm was going off -- (although now it had stopped) and that we opened the windows and never smelled anything and how it was the alarm upstairs and the propane stove was on the main floor and the heating oil in the basement. And they asked if we could smell anything. We said NO. They said, yeah, those alarms malfunction all the time. Go back to sleep.

Too bad we had just spent one adrenalin filled hour running frantically through the house with screaming children or maybe we could have gone back to sleep.

The kids were back asleep fairly quickly. Not me. Not Trent.

3:30 a.m.
3:45 a.m.
4:00 a.m.
4:15 a.m.
4:30 a.m.

at 4:35 Trent finally sounded like he was asleep.
at 4:45, I gave up. Seeing as my alarm was going off at 4:50 to go running. Trent said I woke him as I left and so he got up after that.

When I got back from running, Trent was ready to head out the door. I figured the kids would sleep in some and was hoping that after a shower I might get a little nap.

Just as Trent walked down the stairs, Adam started to cry.

I got him back to sleep and hopped in the shower. As soon as I was dressed, Madelyn came bopping in at 6:30 -- wide eyed, ready for morning.



Why me?????

On the plus side, all the kids have been really good so far this morning. Sometimes I think they can just sense that mom cannot put up with too much. Maybe they have an internal Mom explosion alarm????

Friday, August 7, 2009

Reflections on Relocating

We have lived in Connecticut for 1 year. I have been thinking about lots of things in relation to the move. Here are some of them.

1. A catalyst is a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected. Without the catalyst, the reaction would still happen, it would just take longer. Moving is a catalyst. It speeds up the doing of all the things you would eventually get around to doing . . . like organizing the junk drawer, cleaning out your closet, getting rid of stuff, actually making the trip to goodwill, having that garage sale (or tag sale as they call it here in the New England area), and more. Having now done 2 moves (from Sugarland to Katy in March 2007 and Katy to Connecticut in July 2008). I got to do a lot of the things I would have pushed to the back burner and ignored for years (possibly). And as painful as it is to have done, I am glad I did it. Now, I am more organized, more on top of the piles of stuff, and more aware about not letting those things wait. Having done 2 moves and knowing that someday again I will have to move keeps me acutely conscious of leaving too many things left undone.

2. The reality is . . . most of what matters you take with you. It is hard to leave extended family, but technology and travel really make the world seem small. That said, after a year this is what I miss most about Texas.
  • bluebell icecream (all the flavors -- especially the fruit ones and the fact that it is still a half gallon) We were surprised one day with a delivery of 4 half gallons all packed in Dry ice from the Baker's and it was such a treat.
  • The Texas flag -- you just kind of get used to Texas flags flying level with the American flag and that they are everywhere. I don't think I have seen one CT flag out flying. It is fun to have a little state pride
  • Wide open spaces and flatness -- neither exist here
  • Proximity, ease, driving, 24 hour grocery stores --with Trent on the train, there is little chance he can stop by home depot and pick up something or grab this at the store -- as the train doesn't exactly stop and wait -- when he drove to and from work he could do all sorts of things just on the way to and from work -- now those each require a special trip and did you know that nearly all the grocery stores are closed by 9 pm -- I used to do a lot of grocery shopping at HEB at 10:30 or 11:00 at night.
  • BIG stores -- like HEB, and Supertarget, and superwalmart. There is a "Super" Stop N Shop fairly close, but . . . there is not too much super about it. You don't have to be very big here to be considered SUPER