Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Thanks to everyone who has been asking about our house and my back...

Our house: we have only had one showing, got great feedback, and then heard nothing.
Today was the broker tour and several Realtors came to see the home and assess the asking price. Everyone gave great feedback and thought our house would sell (um, well then, let's get going!).
There is an open house on Saturday. We have no idea if anyone will come!

My back: my back has not gotten better; instead, the pain has isolated into one spot next to my spine that is painful when I cough or take a deep breath. Diagnosis? According to the chiropractor I saw yesterday, I tore the cartilage between two ribs. This will take a while to heal so no running until then. So, I will see the chiro 2 times a week for a while and ice and heat and rest (yeah right) and hope for the best. The therapy he is using on me includes 10 minutes of these vibrating sensors on my back while I lie on my stomach alone in a dark room and relax. Even if this does nothing for my back, I'm going to keep going just for the 10 minutes of silence. Total bliss.

I'll update again when/if anything changes.

Some funnies for you:
After the very traumatic shots Skyler got at the doctor, she was finally able to stop crying after several minutes and squeak out:
"It is NOT nice to stick people in their legs with sharp things!"

This morning while I was feeding Reed, Skyler said:
"Mom, could you please stop feeding Reed for a minute because I think he wants to give me some lovin'."

And, I had my first conversation with Reed this afternoon. It went like this:
Me: "Say ma ma."
Reed: "Da da."
Me. "Say ma ma."
Reed: "Da da."

Monday, November 26, 2007

A study in Skyler, and Reed with the girls

Skyler is going through a great phase right now. She is the most affectionate she has ever been in her life, and though certainly not every time, she seems to be finally getting how to be polite, using her soft voice and pleases and thankyous a lot more often. We've also been singing a lot of Christmas songs and she learns the words in a snap. These shots show the kinder-gentler Skyleroo. I hope she isn't just being good for Santa.

Reed has just about outgrown the baby bjorn. Now when I arrive at Kimmie's, he is actually hanging in the swings with the big girls. You should see the three of them loving on Reed. I'm guessing all the attention he gets poured on him all day long from these ladies is a good thing, right?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Good morning

I heard Skyler singing this song to Reed this morning:
"You are the best.
And you are the best too.
And I love you and you love me.
And we will be friends forever.
And ever and forever.
Give me a high five because
you are the best. doo doo da doo."

Cold snap

We bundled up for a hike yesterday and THEN realized it was 24 degrees. We got the most bang for our buck by keeping Skyler running the whole time to wear her out a bit. Reed just sat still and smiled with his frozen-cheeked self.

This weekend has been huge for team morale around here. We kept our days utterly plan-free and mellow, and in the evenings, I successfully chipped away at my December to-do list. I'm going back to work tomorrow totally caught up on grading, planning, Christmas shopping, and rest. Yay for long weekends.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Sam is the man

When I knew it would just be the 4 of us for Thanksgiving this year, I had a hard time getting motivated to go all out and cook the huge feast. So I was thrilled when Sam stepped up and took control. He did all the shopping and cooked the whole damn dinner all by himself. The turkey, stuffing, potatoes, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce. Kimmie baked us an apple pie, so I didn't do a thing. I mean, I stirred the gravy once because I happened to be walking by. Then after the four of us ate our beautiful meal together (Skyler telling us throughout the meal what she was thankful for) I put the kids in the tub and Sam did all the dishes and put all the leftovers away. Thanks, honey.

Turkey Trek 2007


Today was our first annual Thanksgiving morning trail run.... and it was pouring rain and 35 degrees! I was sure no one would show up, so I was impressed at the 15 troopers who still turned out despite this nastiness. After a couple miles, we were all warmed up, and it was still a lot of fun. The hot shower I just took has never felt so good!

Next year, we plan to have more people, sunny weather, hot drinks, and a real finish line for people to run across.

The organizers: Christine, me, and Susan.

Christine planned to walk the trail but it was so cold, she mostly ran the 4 miles! Watch out next year!

Thanks to Shaw's for donating the food for our runners!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We're thankful...

On this eve of Thanksgiving, I am overwhelmed with all that we have to be thankful for. I am unbelievably grateful for my dear husband and two happy, healthy kids, and for the rest of my family whom I miss way too much to get into here. I thank my stars everyday for all of my friends here in Maine and across the country. I am also thankful to have a nice home, to live in a such a beautiful place, and to not have to face any of the dangers or hardships that so many people do every day across the world. So those are the big ones. There are also all the little things we need to stop and appreciate, like the first snow (which came this week in Maine), strong coffee in the morning, and advil.

Today in my classes, I asked kids to think about how lucky they are and to list all the specific little things they are thankful for. Then we plastered the English wing with our thank you posters, and I loved seeing hoards of kids gathered around them throughout the day. Here are a few of the best ones. If you haven't been around teenagers much lately, I offer you this glimpse of some of the coolest ones you'll ever meet. (can you guess which two are mine?). The last one is my favorite.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ella's perfect birthday party

It's true there is a lot to learn from our friends the Carvers. Ella's 3rd birthday party was the perfect example: 2 hours at Penobscot Valley Gymnastics. The kids were so happy jumping around in a giant padded room for an hour, and eating cake and icecream and chasing balloons around in the party room for the 2nd hour, and it ended just before anyone had a meltdown. Done and done. Skyler was totally in her element in this place. I just might need to start taking her to classes there.

figuring out how to jump on the trampoline

Skyler is tucked in with Sandi's sister Kristi as this giant raft inflated.

The next few minutes everyone was a blur running by.

Reed joining in.

mer, beckett and killian resting after the romp

Skyler is appropriately wowed by the gorgeous butterfly cake Suzanne made!

Brooke, Ella, and Skyler, ready for cake!

Is this a sign?

Yesterday afternoon, I was folding laundry in my room with Reed toddling around at my feet. Skyler was asleep on the couch (we stopped officially napping her but she usually falls asleep anyway). I decided to go call to Sam from out in the yard (raking) to see if he'd come in while I went to the gym. But his car was gone (taking leaves to the dump) so instead, I scooped up Reed and headed downstairs to switch the laundry.

And then at the top of the steps, my feet went out from under me and I landed flat on my back HARD. Reed was okay, just scared. I was totally frozen for a good 3 minutes before I tried to move. My back felt really messed up, but I managed to get Reed and myself back up the stairs where I could lie on my side until Sam came back. For a few hours, I was not sure I was okay. I could not get a deep breath because my muscles were spasming and though I could walk, I could not pick up anything, most certainly not Reed (I tried). My thoughts were going a mile a minute: back brace? missing work? long-term sub? disability? Aflac? how to care for a 9-month old without being able to lift him? After a few ibuprofen and some time on my back with the heating pad, I decided I did not need to go to the ER, and that I was mostly just sore and achey.

But while I was lying on my bed unable to help with dinner time, everything I have going on this week was running through my head. I was trying to figure out how I would come home from work on Monday with the kids to get the house ready for a 5:30 showing when Sam goes from work to swim practice to his grad class and doesn't get home until 9? I imagined showing the house to prospective buyers while I was flat on my back on the living floor and Reed and Skyler were loose about the house!

Turns out I am fully functional today, still very sore, but I can lift Reed. So, I'll make it through the week. (I need to get better before our Thanksgiving day "turkey trek," a trail run that a friend and I organized that will donate food to a local shelter) But I did have to wonder if someone was trying to tell me something. I guess I just need to slow down.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What we're up to

Sam and I each spent a day of home-readiness this week: My list was organizing closets, packing up baby clothes for passing on, packing away framed photos and anything cluttering shelves or surfaces, reorganizing and streamlining the toy areas, vacumming everywhere, even where the sun don't shine, and throwing away a bunch of useless junk! Sam painted and re-shelved our hall closet, re-caulked the edges in the bathroom, fixed the broken bathroom hooks and steam-cleaned the carpets.
And as of yesterday, the sign is up! (and now we wait... first showing is Monday)

Meanwhile, Reed and Skyler are up to their old routines. Reed empties the kitchen drawer about once an hour...

...and Skyler paints and glues and cuts and pastes and draws and works on her S shape.

This one is "a pinata with all of the candy coming out"

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

House update

Good news and bad:
We are under contract on the Elm street house (YAY!)
We have to sell our house very soon (oooooh).
Our counter offer was accepted with a "kick out" clause. This means that if they get a better offer before we sell our house, they can accept it. So, it's a gamble. We will go ahead and pay for inspection and our house will be on the market as of tomorrow. Yikes. Better go start tidying! Nothing like living on the edge up here in eastern Maine.

Of course, I am a bit nostalgic about putting this house, where I nursed my two babes, on the market. Luckily I had the forethought to snap some photos in all of our autumnal glory for our home listing. (If you are interested, please notify Pauline Rock of ERA Dawson) :).

We are quite aware that our house very well might not sell within the time frame (did I mention this ridiculous market?), but we're going to give it a shot. If you haven't already guessed, I will most certainly keep you posted.

Monday, November 12, 2007

This and that

Reed has a new gesture he does a lot: he puts both hands in the air and looks up as if he is testifying or giving thanks.

Here he is praising the Lord for whole wheat bagels.

And here is his simply irresistable pose.

We are off for Veteran's day, and we are thankful to be home.
30 degrees? no problem.

some decidedly FAILED Christmas photo attempts:
In this one, Reed has a squooshy head

And here, Reed has had enough and is crawling away.

This one is pretty cute, but Reed is a second away from whacking his head on the arm of the chair, so I see imminent danger rather than Happy Holidays.

And... time to go inside.

Sam is totally knocked out with some virus (and has been for 3 days) and I'm losing my mind just a little. I swear to you I have cleaned the kitchen 49 times. I know you know what I mean.

We are meanwhile awaiting word on our counter offer to the counter offer for the Elm Street house.