Saturday, May 26, 2012

When Big Man's away...

The kids will PLAY!  Had a blast in the pool today!  Just got a ton of new floats.  Dani was partial to the Lightning McQueen car.
This was Tommy's first time in the pool.  He's a total water baby.  He spent hours in my arms, splashing and kicking and shrieking with joy.

Tori couldn't decide which ride she liked best so she kept two near her at all times!
And after Tommy went to bed, we tried out the cake pop maker!  The kids were thrilled.  (Honestly, mommy, not so much.  It was a fo-shizzle-load of work and mess for cake pops that weren't as good as the ones at Starbucks.) Dani and Tori had a blast from the first minute, licking the beaters after I made the mix, attempting to sprinkle the pops, and then eating them.

Dani was so proud of our work.  We went out on the deck to eat them.  Dani powered hers down; Tori (less of a sweet tooth) spent about 10 minutes on one of them, and then opted for the plain (unfrosted) ones. 

Being home with these kids all day gives me a profound respect for the work Big Man does every day.  It's 9:15pm and I haven't even taken a shower.  These little kiddos kicked my butt!

Hey good lookin', whatcha got cookin'?

There are lots of nights that I have to prepare dinner, but I can't really trust the kids to be alone in the living room while I'm doing it.

So on those nights we break the "no kitchen" rule.  Dani and Tori set up shop on the floor and "cook" while I'm cooking.

Even Tommy's getting in on the game--he sits in a high chair and chomps on whatever he can get his hands on.
The girls are happily my taste-testers, making sure noodles are cooked, just making "cheep cheep" little birdie noises so I will feed them bites as I prepare dinner.  It's adorable.

Silly Dani quote of the day, "I'm doing my favorite thing, mommy, driving you crazy."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bouncing back.

After a brutal few weeks of work, I needed a weekend like this one.  Nothing but sun, and fun, and family.  We swam, we played in the sprinklers, and just enjoyed every minute of the weekend.
Dani and Tori bounced at Spring Fling in downtown Amsterdam.  They saw their first carnies, too.

Then we went to a rockin' party at a friend's.  It was a beautiful night to be outside; they had a reggae band which had the girls moving and grooving.  I totally didn't want to leave--but it was kiddie bedtime!  I tried hard to get pics with all the kids, but it was a fail.

It was impossible to get all three to even look at the camera together, much less smile!

They spent
 the night
 (seltzer) with
 lemon through
cocktail straws.

Once again, Dani and Tori ended the night rocking in the hammock.

Then (almost) everyone slept all night long.  Tori had a bad dream and made a brief 2am detour into our bed.  She woke up yelping, and when I walked into her room, she practically sprung out of the crib and into my arms.  So I brought her into our bed, and she was still and quiet for a few minutes--lying in wait--because as soon as I fell back to sleep she started bouncing on the bed!  Big Man intervened and put her back to bed, and all was quiet again.

Today was a day of, as Dani would say, big pool, little pool and the sprinkler.  It was in the 80s and we were outside nearly all day--it was lovely.

At breakfast this morning, Dani had a page from a kid's magazine that had a connect the dots puzzle.  I helped her with the writing, and then she kept drawing.  The picture was a turtle standing on a bit of land in the water.  She decided that we should draw ourselves in as pirates, and that the paper was the treasure map, and that it showed where the buried treasure was.  When I asked her what the treasure was, she told me it was a secret.  When I asked her again she told me the treasure was "gold and sporks".  Thinking I heard her wrong, I asked her what a spork was, to which she answered, "it's half a spoon and half a fork and that's why we call it a spork".  And apparently, in this house, sporks are treasure!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Girls' Night Out.

We had a special outing this week.  Big Man was going to receive an award from his police department for exceptional merit.  The girls and I got dressed up (little Tommy stayed home with a sitter) and headed to Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady for the big event--which would run well into bedtime.  Tori was very excited!
 We were able to snap a quick pic before Big Man was shuffled away.

Dani and Tori anxiously waited.  We sat as high up as we could, so we'd have a row to ourselves.  I brought drinks and snacks and toys.  As soon as the ceremony started, the questions started.  "Where's my daddy?  I don't see him.  Is he down there?"  A number of people were honored that evening, and the girls were thrilled to clap for everyone, in between the running in our row and playing.

They got to see their Daddy, in dress uniform, receive an award which to them was "for putting the bad guys in jail".

I got to see my husband, the playful and nurturing daddy by day, who never talks too much about work, but who I always knew was excellent at his craft, set yet another wonderful example for our children.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sisters picnic.

It's finally feeling like summer!  We're opening the pool.  Dani and Tori enjoyed a fruity lunch plate on the deck this afternoon.
They've been as thick as thieves lately.  It is so neat to watch them just become friends.  Like any siblings, there's still a ton of rivalry.  Once I do something with one, the other is always headed my way saying "my turn". 
But these two have what I remember having with my brother, Todd, a built-in playmate.  And it's pretty awesome.  Someone to be silly with, to tattle on, to blame when you get caught, and to stay up past bedtime talking to.
And just someone to chill with when you need to relax.

Tommy looks at them with the biggest smiles.  I know he can't wait to join the posse.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

From the mouths of babes.

My friend Melissa came over tonight and asked Dani what she and Tori were going to be when they grew up.

Dani replied, "Tori's going to fish for fishes.  A fisherman."  Melissa then asked about Dani's future.

"I am going to be a lady who picks flowers and likes to drink tea," said my little miss Dani.

Where can I get an application for that job?  It sounds lovely!

And then there were three.

Hey Dani and Tori, come quick!  Did you know you could actually see OUTSIDE if you stand up right here???

Tommy, of course we KNEW that!  That's mommy's car.  You're a silly baby.

Mommy has a CAR?  What's a CAR?  Can I have a CAR?
What are you two doing?  Why are you looking out the window?

Ahhh, outside.  Hey, Tori, let's ask mommy if we can go outside.
OK, Dani.
HEY--let me back in.  I was here first!!!  I wanna seeeeeeeeeeee!

Now there are three, mobile children.  Say a Novena for me.  Mommy.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


We had a little party for Tori last night.  It was really quite fun--a number of couples with kids, and babies, and amazingly there was almost no crying!  Dani and Tori managed to pose for a quick party dress picture before the festitivies began.

Tori apparently did not enjoy the sounds of a dozen or so adults and a half dozen kids singing to her, because she wailed through our rendition of "Happy Birthday".

But then there was cake.  And presents, so it was okay.
We had a face painter come, and everyone had something drawn somewhere!
And all the kids left with a drawing they posed for!
I had a great time.  It was the first meeting of three couples with kids that Big Man and I all really like, and I knew everyone would collectively hit it off!  Even the kids were all happy playing together!  Tori sure knows how to throw a birthday party!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tori turns 2!

My dear Tori, you are now two years old.  Yes, I know, I'm a few days late posting these wishes for you, but, my little snugglebug, you keep me awfully busy.

Where do I begin, my little one?  When you were born, you were the quiet baby--a teensy little cry, a little "hi, if you don't mind, could you give me a little milk".  Your daddy and I laughed at how you were so quiet.  That really didn't last too long.

You quickly turned into our little bright light.  A little ball of energy, full of smiles and giggles.  You laughed louder and harder than any baby we'd ever seen before.
You are our troublemaker.  Quick to laugh, and quick to anger, you do everything with intensity and passion.  You've mastered the adorable face that makes it hard not to giggle when we catch you doing something naughty.  And you're awfully good at making mischief.  I remember one evening, I was home alone with you and Dani, and you couldn't have been more than 10 months old, really just starting to walk.  I had to change Dani's diaper, and when I finished, I turned around and you were gone.  We looked all around the downstairs and you were nowhere to be found.  And then we heard banging coming from upstairs.  In the minute that I had my back turned, you had climbed all the stairs, and were in the bathroom, tossing your bath toys into the tub, as happy as could be.  We've always got to keep a close eye on you...because you're always finding some kind of trouble.

You even find trouble when you're sleeping.  You go to sleep each night in a sleeper, on backwards, with the feet cut off, because that is the only way to keep you from stripping down naked (and waking up cold and in wet sheets) when we put you to bed.
You are our giving child.  You follow me to the kitchen and ask for a snack, usually a "nino" (tomato).  No matter what you request, once I provide it, you ask for "one for DiDi" because you want to share with your big sister.  From the moment we brought Tommy home from the hospital, you've covered him with kisses and you are always trying to make him smile.

 Tori, my little love, you make us smile.
You leap before you look, because that's what two year olds do.  But you keep leaping, because you aren't afraid of falling, even if you fell the first time, or the second, or the tenth.  And you smile.  Always.

It's hard to keep you still for very long, because for you, there's always something to explore.  You've inherited my father's mechanical skills--you're always figuring out how to open something or take something apart.  We bought special door knob covers once you could walk just to be sure you couldn't let yourself outside--within minutes you'd managed to remove them from all the doors.

And, of course, you're adorable.  The kind of adorable that makes strangers stop us and tell you so.  And while it seems like you're so busy running and laughing that you can't possibly be learning anything, you prove you are paying attention to everything.  You can read all your letters and numbers, and recite the alphabet.  You seem to have inherited my love of singing and music, as you can sing and hum in near perfect pitch and tune.

They say the middle child never really gets enough attention.  That's not true in your case, Tori.  You command attention.  You are our dancing, singing, bouncing, streaking little monkey and we wouldn't change a thing.

You are our little bright light, Miss Tor Tor, and we simply adore you.  Happy 2nd Birthday.

Catching up with the grandparents.

A few weeks ago, we had a visit from Grandma, Grandpa and Great-Grandma.  The kids had a BLAST!
 With the exception of a harrowing moment when Grandma was outside with Dani and Tori, and Great-Grandma (who is 92) heard Tommy crying in his crib, and decided to go upstairs and get him.   This is despite the fact that she's (a) nearly blind, (b) walks with a cane, and (c) has no business climbing stairs alone, much less lifting a 25 pound baby.  She carried him halfway down, and while on the landing, realized that she couldn't carry him the rest of the way and was stuck.  She yelled out the window for my mom, and was rescued.  Great Grandma was subsequently instructed not to pick up the children.

 Grandpa actually stayed a bit longer than the Grandmas, so he had some quality time with the kiddos.
 There was much snuggle-time, long walks, back tickles and of course, OUTSIDE time!

Grandpa really enjoyed his namesake.

And he brought some jewelry for his little Dani, who was thrilled.  She looked like she had just come back from Mardi Gras!
It was, as always, a visit that was much too short!  Thank goodness for Skype!