Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day after Christmas: Disney On Ice


Usually, the day after Christmas is spent in our pjs eating leftovers surrounded by the "Christmas Mess".

We did that for the most part.  Only, this year, we actually got dressed and left the house at 5:30PM.  Why would we do such a thing?  Well, thanks to In the Trenches of Mommyhood, we had free tickets!

This was our second (I think) time watching a Disney On Ice show.  Both kids loved it.  Sean got a bit antsy during the second half but, considering it was past bedtime at that point, he was well behaved.

I took some pictures during the first half but decided to put the camera away and just enjoy the second half.  Here are some of the shots I captured.

If you have a chance to see the show I would definitely recommend going.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Things heard at our house during Christmas

Sean:  Look what I found!!

Meghan:  I think this box is shaped like a Zhu Zhu pet!

Sean:  Mommy, I can have more presents?

Meghan:  Let me find the box shaped like the rolling ball.

Sean:  I'm taking off my pants.

Meghan:  ACK! The Zhu Zhu pet is stuck in my hair!

Meghan:  This is the best Christmas EVER!

The day after Christmas.....

Meghan:  Oh no!  I forgot and did something I was not supposed to do! (as Zhu Zhu pet is hanging out of her head)

Meghan:  This is the boring-est  day EVER!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!! Please hold.

We will resume our regularly scheduled blog after I recover from opening those stupid packages toys.  Until then, here is a festive song for your enjoyment.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I've been trying to catch Sean's wiggling on video.  He always stops and just stares at the camera.  I was finally able to catch a little wiggle the other day.

Wiggle from Dorene on Vimeo.

I'm gonna keep trying for the ultimate wiggle video.  Because, seriously, those moves belong on camera.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Visit With Santa

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Holidays!!

If you would like to share your card, you can join the "Great Bloggy Holiday Card Exchange" by clicking the button below.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Ok. This? Made me laugh.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Crazy Shopping Day


I detest crowds.  I never leave the house to go shopping on Black Friday.  I will, however, shop online.  Usually while still in my pjs.  Really, is there any better way?

One of the places I’ll always check out is Amazon.  Check it out for yourselves.



Note: If you wish to visit Amazon through the link above and spend hundreds of dollars that would be fine by me as I would get maybe a whole dollar for referring you.  If you’d rather just go straight to the site, I won’t hold it against you.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving


This Thanksgiving, cherish the time spent with your family as a reminder of why you moved very far away from your family


This year we will be eating two Thanksgiving dinners.  Next week I will be visiting the gym as many times as possible.  We will be on the beach in two months.  Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday – Ga Ga, Oh La La – Love it

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

(Not A) Swim Fan


The kids are in swim lessons at the Y for the first time.  I really wanted to get them in lessons before our vacation this winter.  Mainly for Sean because he hated the big pool this past summer. 

Sean is doing great.  He loves it.  Meghan?  Not so much.

Meghan spends the entire 30 minutes crying, moaning, complaining and screaming that she is going to “sink”.  It’s excruciating.  She is always clinging to the instructor.  I feel like I should apologize to the instructor and the other parents.  It sucks.  At first I thought it was just part of the whole recent crying problem but that went away and this did not.

I will say that last week was not as bad as the previous two.  The regular instructor was back and she does a better job getting Meghan to calm down and do everything she is supposed to do.  The girl filling in for her the past 2 weeks looked like she just wanted to lesson to end. 

We are going to miss the lesson this week.  Here’s hoping that next week is better.  Otherwise I may start hiding during the lesson.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I may have gotten a bit too excited. But it was pretty cool.


Is there some sort of toy shortage this year?  Because, honestly, everything I intend on buying is impossible to find.  I even left the comfort of my own home to go and browse the toy aisles hoping to find things that are unavailable on the internet (or have seriously inflated prices).  Between the H1N1 shots and these ridiculous toys I am a bit tired of spending my days searching.

So, yes, I have all the browser alerts working for me.  Yes, I’ve subscribed to notification emails when available.  And yes, I am using Twitter and Facebook where I can.  I was able to score one of the impossible toys using these methods (yippee!!).  But the others seemed more challenging.

There was one* in particular that was driving me crazy.  I’d get the email, I’d go online, it would be gone.  Again, same thing.  And again.  I was beginning to wonder if it was ever in stock.  I was trying to get it from the Toys R Us website.  Have you been?  Their pages load a bit funky.  The beginning of the page load displays the “Add to cart” button but once the load is complete it removes that and displays the unavailable message.  I tried to use my software troubleshooting/trouble-making knowledge to sort of trick it.  And guess what?  IT WORKED!  I managed to trigger the “Add to cart button” for a supposedly out of stock item and it did add it to my cart.  And let me complete the purchase.  WIN!!  Plus, I got a purchase confirmation email with a delivery estimate.  Fingers crossed that it actually arrives.

Unfortunately, this method hasn’t worked with some of the other items but I’ll take whatever I can get.


*Yes, I am being vague.  But my kid already is very proficient with the computer, web browser and mouse.  Once she gets that reading thing down, I’m in trouble.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It’s Buzz!


Sean has a pair of Buzz Lightyear pajamas.  He runs around the house saying “Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!”  He just about jumped out of his seat when Buzz appeared on stage at the Disney Live show.

We took the kids to the show last weekend.  I almost forgot we had tickets.  You can’t really blame me.  I think I bought them in May.  But the seats were great, 3rd row.  And the show kept the kids attention the entire time. 

Bonus?  We managed to get out of there without buying either one the $20 spinning, glowing, weapon of death. (I always seem to get bonked in the head with those things.)

Pictures?  Ok, here you go.  And considering this post is about week late I’m going to just throw them up here.  No photo tweaking involved.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - iPhone



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It wasn’t all bad, just mostly


Today was a rough day.  You know it’s gonna be bad when you cannot wait until nap time no more than 10 minutes after the first kid wakes up.  And, that first kid?  He woke up a little after 6AM.  And started whining.  The ENTIRE morning. 

It wasn’t just the whining, Sean couldn’t figure out what he wanted and neither could I.  Five minutes into every video he started crying that he wanted something different.  He was screaming “Give me my phone!” when I wouldn’t let him play anymore games on my iPhone.  He wanted to be held.  He wanted to be put down.  He wanted stickers.  No, he wanted his trains.  No, crayons.  He was hitting.  He was in time out.  He was, well, acting like an almost 3 year old.

Meghan was slightly better.  Slightly.  She refused to let Sean play with her today which didn’t help.  And she was pushing the limit all day.  What could she get away with?  How far before I snap?  I’d ask her (tell her) to do something and she would flat out say no.  They were both throwing toys everywhere.  The place looked like a shit storm rolled through (more than it usually does) and everyone refused to help clean up.  I found myself saying things like “Watching TV is a privilege, not a right”  and “Actions have consequences.”  Um, hello?  I was talking to a 5 year old and a 2 year old.  I just got wide-eyed stares if they even bothered to acknowledge that I was speaking to them.  I’m tired of using the Santa/Christmas gift threat to get anyone to do anything. It’s frustrating.  But, I know not everyday is like this.

The good?  In between the whines and tantrums Sean always is ready for a cuddle.  That helps.  And Meghan?  No tears so far this week.  Hooray for little victories. 

Now excuse me while I return to my so-desperately-needed glass of wine.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Wordless Wednesday – Hats and Helmets


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Well, this is new…


Our kids have always handled drop-offs well.  Daycare , preschool, child care at the gym, anything really.  So well, in fact, that they would try and tear themselves out of our arms to go in.  Which kinda makes you wonder.  I mean jeez kid, can you at least stop for a second to say goodbye? 

Sean is still that way today.  Meghan, however, has changed.  I don’t know what happened.  One day last week she started crying while we were getting ready for school.  And didn’t stop.  I had to drag her into the school while she was saying she didn’t want to go over and over again.  Her teacher had to carry her in the classroom.  Sooooo unlike her.  I asked her what was wrong.  Got nothing.  Went through a list of possibilities. No, no, no, no.  I took her temperature.  Nope, no fever.  So I thought maybe she was just having an off day.

The next day she broke down crying in the middle of dance class.  It was like someone flipped a switch.  All the girls were dancing in a circle and as Meghan came around towards the front her head was in her hands and she was crying.  And once again she was not able to tell me why.  Preschool drop-off was just as bad as the day before.  And yesterday she cried as soon as I took off her jacket at the gym’s child watch.

Not really sure what is going on.  Her teachers said she has been crying more in class.  There they are in a circle for their class meeting and in the middle of the meeting?  Tears.  But every breakdown only lasts a few minutes and then she is back to normal.  I know she is an emotional and very dramatic little girl but usually there is something that sets her off.  Even if it is something as minor as Sean messing up her puzzle.  But at least we knew why she was hysterical.  Now?  No clue.

My only guess is that she is tired.  I used to have to drag her out of bed at 9AM so we would make it to dance class on time.  But recently she has been waking not long after Sean (who wakes up too damn early).  Short trips in the car after school almost will almost always put her to sleep.  So is she exhausted?  We can’t really put her to bed any earlier.  And, other than passing out in the car, she refuses to nap.

She has preschool today and I am really hoping today goes better than the past few times.  Because leaving a screaming, crying, begging, pleading kid anywhere just sucks.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!



IMG_0788 IMG_0783 IMG_0786


Sunday, October 25, 2009

We escaped for two whole hours


Yesterday Ryan and I went out to eat at a restaurant we wanted to try.

Without kids.

To say this is rare is an understatement.

There was a nice view from our window table.



The dinner was yummy.

And I had crème brûlée for desert.

I’d go back today if I could.  If only all of the town’s the potential babysitters were not walking H1N1 time bombs.

I’m actually going to be leaving the house without kids again tomorrow night.  Shocking, I know. 


Come Party With Us!

Sounds like a blast!  Click and RSVP if you too are able to escape.

Friday, October 23, 2009

This child cracks us up on a regular basis.


Meghan’s preschool has the kids playing outside before pick up time.  So, usually, the parents retrieve their kids right at the gate of the play yard.  Meghan never comes to the gate when her name is called.  She is always not listening and in her own little world.  Most days she is crouched down staring at the grass.

I was explaining this to Ryan the other night as we all were sitting at the table.

Ryan:  Meghan, why don’t you hear the teacher call your name?  What are you doing?

Meghan: I’m looking for clovers.

Ryan:  You’re looking for clovers?

Meghan:  Yeah, I’m looking for clovers.  That’s my thing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Starting at the bottom of the to-do list.


I am sitting here writing this even though there are about 500 other things I should be doing instead.  Like laundry, or vacuuming, or, I don’t know, last night’s dishes maybe?  But right now I have a massive headache and I’d rather sit here wrapped in a blanket not moving.  So that means you get an update.  Lucky you.

Let’s see…we’ve had bizarre weather around here.  After a summer of maybe 1 month of summer-like weather, we have had a fall with early snow and freezing temperatures.  (Kinda makes you want to more here doesn’t it?)  Today might actually be warm enough to open the windows so the goal is to try and get outside at some point.

All this odd weather has left us with unused passes to zoos and farms.  I did squeeze in a trip to the zoo last week.  It was a bit chilly but that turned out to be a good thing.  I’ve never seen the animals so active.  Lions were roaring.  Tigers and leopards were pacing back and forth right in front of the fences.  Monkeys were swinging and leaping from trees.  It was great.  The kids loved it.

I’ll admit taking both of them myself was a bit challenging.  Meghan walks like she is on a mission and is always waaaay ahead of me.  If I didn’t slow her down we would have made it through the zoo in about 25 minutes.  But Sean was soaking everything in.  He stayed behind me.  The challenge was keeping them close enough together so I could see both of them.  Oh, and Sean?  He wanted to get as close as possible to the animals.  That meant climbing on top of rock walls, trying to open gates or climb over fences and crawling under wooden fences.  That kid has no fear whatsoever.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday – Big Sister, Little Brother

Friday, October 09, 2009

The (Belated) Birthday Post


On October 1st, Meghan turned five.  5.  F.I.V.E. Five.

She was very much looking forward to her birthday.  Last year she was invited to many birthday parties for her friends.  They did crafts or gymnastics or lots of other things that were way more exciting than the parties with which she was familiar.  But, there was one location that stood out.  And, for almost a year now, she’s wanted her party to be at Pump It Up

This year was the first year she was going to have a “real” party.  With her friends.  And, although a bit pricey, I welcomed the idea of having 20 kids someplace other than our house.

She was very excited.  I wish I had pictures but although we were only responsible for remembering the kids, cupcakes and camera, I managed to forget the batteries.  I did, however, remember the flip and the 2 batteries required for that to operate.

Here is just a taste of the fun.


M 5th Birthday: Slide from Dorene on Vimeo.

Of course we sang Happy Birthday.


M 5th Birthday: Birthday Song from Dorene on Vimeo.

And there was cake were cupcakes.

I was not planning on making milk-free cupcakes because I figured I could just give Sean something different.  However, after learning that one of the other children also had a milk allergy I decided to look into it.

I found this bakery that makes cakes and cupcakes dairy free.

They looked great and were yummy. Meghan requested the butterflies.


IMG_0161Next up.  Thank you cards.

Happy Birthday Princess!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday – Still four


Monday, September 21, 2009

What we’ve been doing the past (um, lost count of how many) days


I’m not sure why I am finding it difficult to post recently.  Sure we’ve been busier but not THAT much busier.  I do know that there has been a serious lack of pictures recently and that is most likely contributing to the problem.  But, in an effort to catch up, here are some bullets.

  • We have used our YMCA membership.  Now I just need to keep it up.
  • I’ve scheduled Meghan’s birthday party and am collecting RSVPs.  Now I need to get my but in gear and see what to do about a dairy-free cake.  Turns out one of the party guests is also allergic so Sean will have a food buddy.
  • Fall TV has started.  I’ll be updating my list over there on the left as I watch the shows. 
  • Saturday we had a Neighborhood Block Party.  I forgot my camera.
  • We canceled our cleaning service.  I enjoyed not having to clean the bathroom but they way things were put away was really starting to bug me.  I think now that I am not working at at home more I want things the way I want them.
  • Ryan has this week off.
  • We have 728364 doctor’s appointments this week.
  • I had jury duty on Friday.  I was thisclose to getting stuck on a trial that was going to last multiple days.  Thankfully I had a valid enough reason for getting excused.  I knew those kids would be good for something one day.

I have a feeling that I’m not going to do much better with the updating this week.  Maybe next?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Preschool: Year 2, Day 1






Overwhelmed?  Possibly.  Overtired?  Probably.


IMG_0652 Overdramatic?  Definitely.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Summer is over. We are expected to go places now.


This week is the week we need to ease into our fall schedule.  Today is Meghan’s dance class, tomorrow: parent’s night at school, Thursday: mini-day at preschool.  Next week is the first (almost) full week at school for Meghan.  She will be going 4 afternoons a week this year.  I know she cannot wait to start. 

Monday is also the day I’ll need to hand out her birthday party invites.  The parents are going to love me.  “Hi! You don’t know me but here is a birthday party invite for your kid.  I’m sure our kids will know each other by October 3rd.”  Ugh.

We also just joined the local YMCA.  I wanted to get the kids swimming lessons and, remembering last winter, I wanted a place where we could go to just get out of the house.  We haven’t actually used the membership yet.  We just registered on Saturday and there were a few things we needed before we went.  Locks for locker for instance.  Oh, and I needed a pair of sneakers that had laces.  And was not slip on.  I got both of them yesterday and I am going to try my bestest to go there tomorrow morning.  I’ll let you know how that goes.



Sorry, had to do it.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Have I got a diet for you


Sean had his checkup with the Growth and Nutrition Clinic last week.  I sort of new that he was not going to astound them with a tremendous weight gain.  He had a stomach virus the week before so he probably lost some ground there.  However, I was hopeful that he had gained enough to consider his graduation.


He weighed 24.4 lbs.  Last time we went he weighed…(checking blog archives)…crap, can’t find it, but he did weigh 23.2 lbs at his 2 yr checkup.  That was in March.  So not great.

I think they have run out of idea on how to get him to gain more weight with just regular food in his diet.  How does one gain weight with no dairy anyway?  Everything he eats is soy or tofu based.  He has the occasional chicken nugget but it’s tough getting him to eat much else.  I try to load him up with pasta, bananas, bread, anything he will eat, and all loaded with dairy-free margarine. It hasn't helped.

The plan now is to add extra calories to his soy milk with a few scoops of Doucal.  We head back again in October. 



Tuesday, September 01, 2009

This is why we have 2 TiVos



It’s that time of year again.  The time when we make sure we have everything scheduled properly on the TiVos so we do not miss the fall premieres (sad, I know).  A few show we used to watch ended last year so that knocks a few off the list.  We have not yet decided if we want to watch anything new this season.  I suppose it may depend on any possible TiVo conflicts.

We NEVER watch primetime shows when they are aired.  Everything gets recorded on the TiVo.  Occasionally we will start a show 30 to 45 minutes into it if we want to see the outcome before the end of the night (reality shows, for example).

I found this page which lists when everything is scheduled to start.

Here are the shows we plan to record:

  • Survivor: Samoa
  • Bones
  • The Office
  • Fringe
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Heroes
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Two and a Half Men
  • CSI: Miami
  • Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
  • CSI
  • Law and Order
  • Dollhouse
  • The Amazing Race
  • Desperate Housewives
  • Cold Case
  • Lie To Me

Wow.  That is a long list.  We should probably get out more.

Are there any new shows that are worth watching?

Monday, August 31, 2009

And now we have two chatterboxes


Sean has officially graduated from Early Intervention.  Last week he has his final group session and today was his last session with the speech therapist. 

Six month.  That’s all he needed.  He is probably going to miss his sessions and all his “friends” he got to play with every Wednesday.  But, if you spend 5 minutes with him it’s pretty obvious that he has no trouble talking anymore.  I thought Meghan talked a lot.  He’s giving her a run for her money.  Sean now has the words to yell when Meghan takes one of her toys or to tattle on her when she pushes him (I’m sure she loves that).  It’s just constant chatter around here.  Enough that it makes it difficult to hear yourself think. 

I sort of wish he was still in the program.  If only because it gave him something to do every week with other kids his age.  We now need to find something else he can do.  Meghan will be back in preschool and dance soon but poor Sean has nothing as of yet.  We probably going to join the local Y.  I’ve wanted to get both of them in swimming lessons for awhile now.  I am not looking forward to shuttling from one place to another but it’s got to be better than what I have now (kids literally bouncing off walls and furniture).

Meghan doesn’t start her first full week of school until September 14th so my plan is to figure out what we are doing for the fall while trying to squeeze as much as possible out of what summer we have left.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A merry-go-round. Sure. Why not.

We always have music on when we are in the car. I think most people do. For short trips I take daily I generally tune the radio to a local music station and then my brain sort of tunes out. Most of the time the music becomes almost a type of soundtrack in the background. I often am not really paying much attention to the song (as long as the song is not irritating).

Wednesday’s we take Sean to school. It is a relatively short trip so the radio is on. Meghan is always yapping about something (always with the chattering) but I noticed she was asking me something.

“Why are the diamonds on the ground? Why did he say they are melting? It must be hot.”

Huh? What? Oh, Matchbox 20 is on the radio. Huh. She really listens to the lyrics.

I mentioned to Ryan that night that we will need to be more careful about what we listen to because she is picking up everything.

Fast-forward to the next day. We are (always) in the car running errands. And, once again, I hear questions coming from the back seat.

Meghan: “What’s a disco stick?”

Me: (oh, crap)

Meghan: “It must be some kind of ride. Like a merry-go-round!”

Me: “Um, sure, it must be.”


So now I am creating a “preschool friendly” playlist. At least with mp3s this task is much easier than it would have been in the past. I can remember wanting to watch Flashdance sooooo bad when I was younger. My parents, obviously, had other ideas. But, they tried to censor the movie themselves so I could watch it. One night they sat there while the movie was playing on cable, recording it on the VCR, and hitting the pause button whenever they thought something objectionable was about to happen. Sure, this may not have been to difficult for skipping a scene. However, they also tried to remove the profanity. Yea, not so easy. Also? Makes the conversation a bit choppy and jokes are missing punch lines.

As I go through my road trip playlist there are some obvious songs that should be probably be removed. Examples*:

Laid - James

Wasn’t Me –Shaggy

I Wanna Sex You Up – Color Me Bad (Shut up. There is no judging here.)

Push It – Salt N Peppa

The list goes on….

And what about songs sprinkled here and there with un-kiddy-like language? Sure, anything marked “Explicit” in iTunes is easy enough to find. But, I also have many, many, many songs that came from our CD collection. Most I don’t even remember having a curse word in it until I hear it again. I can’t even remember what is wrong with some songs marked explicit. Why is Raspberry Beret marked that way? I can’t remember anything in there.

Clearly this is going to take some time. But it is worth it to not have to listen to five hours worth of Backyardigans songs.

And, just because I have this song stuck in my head, here is something for your viewing pleasure.

* I’m realizing that some people may cringe when reading the list of songs up there. All I can say is that the songs listed here in no way represent our entire mp3 collection. No really. I promise.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday – ACK! WATER!




Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yes, I sometimes crop/fix my photos

This is a photo I took on our vacation.

DSCF0134a But, that was not the original shot. I cropped out some of the frame. Why? Well here is the original:

At first glance, not so bad. But take a closer look. See that guy? The one on the left? Here, let me show you.

That guy did not need to be in my picture. And that is why I fix my photos.

But, it is fun to look in the background of your shots. You never know what you will find.

I tend to do this when Ryan is watching sports. I never pay attention to the action. I’m always looking at the people in the stands. It’s just more interesting to me.

There can be so much going on in just one picture.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Vacation 2009 – The Rides

Ahh, the rides. Last year we went after Labor Day so the only ride that was open for the kids was the carousel. This year, we made a point to take them to one of the piers and let them go on a bunch of rides.

We spent $50 (yikes) for 100 ride tickets and away we went. Both Meghan and Sean were just shy of 2 of the height requirements. Sean was not quite 36 inches so he had to miss some of the rides. And Meghan was just shy of 42 inches so she also missed a few. But, there were still plenty and we managed to go through those tickets without a problem. In fact, Meghan cried when we ran out because she didn’t go on a few of them.

I already posted my absolute favorite picture but here are some more.

There was the carousel again (of course).

DSCF0007a DSCF0011The Ferris wheel.

DSCF0084a DSCF0087a

The log flume.


I am not so sure Meghan enjoyed this one.


The fun house.


Lots of cars and buses and bugs.




And, what appeared to be a favorite, the big slide.

DSCF0078aDSCF0079a I even went down the slide.

DSCF0129a DSCF0130a

Gotta zoom in on these.



Well, at least Sean looks like he was having fun.