Friday, October 31, 2008

PIcture of the week

first pudding cup ever, or Reed grows a beard.

Upon seeing the Obama pin on my school bag,

a 9th grade girl said:

"But Ms. Manhart! He's going to ruin our country! He is going to make us give all of our money to people who refuse to get jobs! My dad told me! And he is friends with the people who bombed the Pentagon! My dad told me! He's going to totally ruin our country!"

(so so so many things I could have said. Instead, I stood there, clearly exasperated, in fear of losing my cool, alienating her, or insulting her father).

And then we moved on to review parts of speech. I think we actually need a lesson in finding reliable sources and determining facts.

Her mentality scares me because it reminds me that a huge portion of our population gets its "facts" from sound-bites they overhear and don't totally understand.

UGH. How many days until this election is behind us?

Halloween sneak peak

Pumpkin carving with Stephani!

A car full of monkeys (on our way this morning.)

I can't imagine seeing anything CUTER in the rear-view mirror.

Much more to come...

Muddy pants = a productive day at school

I had some explaining to do when I got to my Honors British Lit class late, out of breath, and with mud all over my jeans. Another super fun day in Outdoor Lit.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A weekend of fun

Friday night craft! Skyler and I made a family of wood fairies with all the stuff lying in our driveway.

My new favorite picture: This gives me a glimpse of Skyler as a grown-up girl.

Reed can't reach the pedals, but loves to gear up with Skyler's new stuff.

A playdate with McKayla and Kristian. First, my kids hijack their firetruck.

A series of Skyler rolling around on the grass:

Kristian poses with the leaves!

"S-M-R-T. I am so smart." -homer simpson

Why can't I get my own son to pose like this with Skyler?

The adorable upside down Kendall children!

We're sure the neighborhood tennis association would be psyched about this use of their nets!

must. do. what. the. girls. do.

Christine (my friend and very recent half marathoner) and I got to stand around while the kids played on this beautiful day and daydream about future races...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I get paid for this

Yesterday in Outdoor Literature we picked our favorite Thoreau quotes, wrote them on big poster boards, and plastered the hall with them.
Today we spent the day at a high ropes course in Newport, Maine. It was cold, but so much fun. This is one of those days these kids will remember forever, especially my student who overcame her fear of heights and completed three of the high elements.

I've done this stuff a lot, and I have to say, even my heart was pounding at the top of that 55 ft. climb to get onto the zip line platform.
(P.S. This is the longest zip line in New England: 482 ft).

Here I go:

This one is called the SLING SHOT. Super fun. This kid is being pulled up to the top, and then they let go of you... Wheeeeee.

My turn:

Some more shots of my kids in the trees.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Goat feeding at Treworgy Farm



Here's what happens...

...when your sister sings too loudly and wakes you prematurely from your Sunday nap. And then your mom has her camera in her back pocket.

Bring-your-friend Day!

Skyler's friend Alyssa brought her to gymnastics on "Bring your friend day" at Alyssa's Gymnastics School. Even better than that? Alyssa let Skyler pick out one of her "Leo-tarts" to borrow!

If I were a bird

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."
- George Eliot

Sunday's race!

Sunday morning was the UMaine Black Bear Triathlon
or as I renamed it: COLD, NUMB, MISERABLE.

That's only a little bit of an exaggeration.

Thankfully it was a pool swim and the water was nice and warm and Sam was there to count laps for me. (I was in the first heat; he was doing a relay and swam in the 3rd heat). The swim didn't feel good, and it doesn't take a lot of brainwork to determine why: I haven't been in the pool much this fall (because my husband hogs the minimal pool hours!). And I felt it.

When I got out of the pool, I pulled on a bunch of layers over my wet bathing suit and headed out the door to get on my bike. It was, in a word (or two),
34 degrees, actually. And I faced a small problem: Everything was ready for me (helmet, sunglasses) but my fleece mittens were not there. No idea where. Still never found them. I yelled to Sam: WHERE ARE MY MITTENS? He ran back into the pool and came out with his hands up... So, off I went. By mile 1 I had no feeling in my hands and I had this refrain stuck in my head:

I'm a little kitten who lost my mittens and I am going to cry.

I tried to pull my shirtsleeves over my hands which only caused the whole thing to ride up my back and it was ever so uncomfortable. It was 12 miles of cold, numb pain. Even now I can't get myself to say it wasn't so bad. It sucked.

When I got to the end of the bike (finally) I started to run with my numb stubs (hands and feet) and only after a mile of running did I start to feel like a human again. I started to warm up a bit and actually shed one layer at mile 2. I was totally shocked to realize that the running was absolutely the easiest part of this race. I was actually thankful to be running. What a strange turn of events in my life.

Meanwhile, Sam did his leg of the race (and posted the fastest swimming time) and sent his biker and then runner on their way. We all met up at the finish line.

Our friend Stephani babysat for us and did a fantastic job layering the kids into all their fleece and hats and made it to the track for the finish (with snacks and sippie cups, even!) and there they were:
Skyler with her go mommy sign:

Reed not knowing where the hell he is, but loving his snack and milk:

and me as I spotted my babies:

My time was fine, nothing to get too excited about, but I frankly didn't care either way. But when I checked the results yesterday I was psyched that I beat the local newscaster Rick Tyler. By 30 seconds.

Steph took a bunch of pictures of the kiddos before they left our house, and this is my favorite:

Monday, October 20, 2008

How will I ever choose?

Here are some more of Amanda's shots from our photo shoot a few weeks ago.

It's okay, boys.

We'll be right here waiting for you in March.

In the last 88 years, the Red Sox have won the World Series two times, 2004 and 2007, the two years I had babies. Hmmm...

Friday, October 17, 2008

quick October inventory of things

I've been in a blogging rut. Just too busy, I guess, but I do have a few things to tell you.

- Our friend Meredith is taking Skyler out on a date for her birthday present tonight, and Jason is taking Reed, so Sam and I can go out on our own HOT DATE to Home Depot to buy a new side door so we can save on heat this winter. Sexy, right?

(We are going out to eat, too.)

- Reedo: THE FUNNIEST BOY. He wakes up talking and goes to bed talking and seems to be in a desperate panicky race to tell us every word he knows, so when I take him out of his crib in the morning, he says:

and on and on and on.

- RED SOX: HELLO?!!! 7th inning in their last chance to make it to the World Series and they were losing 7 to NOTHING. (Did you hear me? 7 to ZERO).

And they won. And I am ASHAMED to tell you that I went to bed during that 7th inning thinking, oh well, at least I can start going to bed at a reasonable hour again since the season is over. What kind of Sox fan am I? You better believe I'll stay up to watch the next two games.

- I love October because Maine is at its absolute finest {sparkly, bright, golden, crisp} and before I could even get out with the camera the leaves are already past their peak. We wear hats now when we go out to play. This fall has started slipping away before I'm ready.

- UMaine Triathlon this weekend: it's a small (intimate?) race with only about 50 racers, so I won't be able to rely on the crowds or the cowbells to get me through. When I get out of the pool and onto the bike it will be in the low 40s and that will be interesting. Sam is doing the race as a relay with a colleague and a student, and they plan to crush everyone (that's Sam's way). Our dear friend Stephani will watch the kids and bring them to the finish line.

- The farm share is full of autumn things: squash and beets and rutabagas and potatoes and onions and kale. And these things make me happy.
There are only 2 more pickups for the year, and then I'll have to go back to the produce section in the grocery store. Sigh.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, 4-year-old!

After Skyler felt better, we surprised her with her NEW BIKE!

Sam and I had agreed not to get a pink frilly girl bike for several reasons, one of which is that Reed will inherit this in a few years. He came home with this super "SURGE" green and orange flame design, because he couldn't find just a plain red or green one. Luckily, she is totally into it! She'll be the toughest girl on the block.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One up, one down

Reed is feeling much better, as evidenced by the fact that he is back to getting into everything and throwing food and headbutting his sister.

Skyler has had a rough couple of days. We went to the pediatrician this morning for her lingering cold, fever, and alarming stomach and chest pains. The doctor said: "Sounds like pneumonia"

Here we go again.

We were off to the hospital for x-rays, blood work and urine work (with my mom along for moral support). Why don't they give the mommies stickers (or cocktails) when their kids have to have blood drawn?

All of the tests were inconclusive, but they were able to rule out pneumonia. We're watching her closely and trying to keep everyone on the mend.

Thanks for all the love and positive thoughts.

Reedo says...

If Reed suddenly goes missing, it's because he is so cute that I decided to eat him.

Here is a glimpse at Reed's developing (hilarious) language:

mo= more
mo dat= more of that
mo da poon= more of that spoon (which means, more of that food that I ate with a spoon)
mo nack-nack= more snack
mo gogo= more juice
sky sky tee tee= this is skyler's toothbrush!
sky sky na-night= skyler is sleeping
daddy go go bye bye= obvious!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Another day with Amanda

Look what we did on Saturday.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

We were up all night...

...and we weren't partying for Skyler's 4th Birtday.

I took Reed on his first trip to the ER at 2 am after he suffered through 4 hours of screaming and labored breathing that had us all quite distressed. He was sort of holding his breath and then taking shallow little gasps, and I just couldn't listen to it anymore. I felt sort of like a psycho mother taking him to the ER, but everyone's actions and concern there made me feel totally justified. The diagnosis is bronchitis AND tonsilitis, but not pneumonia as they first feared. They monitored him closely, took chest x-rays, gave him some nebulizer treatments, and finally sent us home at sunrise. Since then he has fluctuated between screaming, sleeping on our chests, or (if you know Reed, this will prove how lousy he feels) sitting on our laps and looking at books or just looking around the room.

"Poor little buddy." That's what Skyler keeps saying.

Skyler, the birthday girl, is currently sleeping off her own illness and a fever, and Sam is passed out on the couch nursing a terrible cold and cough.

I am feeling great! (Kidding).

3 hours of sleep. Woohoo! Reed just passed out again, so I'm off to catch up a bit. Looks like I'll be home tomorrow with some assortment of patients.

Skyler's birthday present (a new bike!) is still in the garage, unrevealed. She doesn't feel well enough yet. Hopefully she won't read this blog and spoil her present.

It's fitting, really, that I arrived at the hospital 4 years ago to deliver Skyler (almost to the hour) at the same time I did last night, and that to celebrate the birth of my first baby, I'm feeling that same bleary-eyed sleep deprivation I was then introduced to. That sentence cannot be diagramed, and I'm sorry, I'm just tired.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Norway to Italy to Home

My brother Chris is home safe! And full of amazing stories. Such an incredible feat, really. My sister and I decided we'd like to do a smaller version of such a trip when our kids are older.

Anyway, we are very relieved and proud of Chris, and we won't ask why his helmet is attached to his bike on not on his head.

PLEASE double click on the pictures to enlarge them for full effect.