Easter 2015

April 8th, 2015

This year, Evan’s birthday and Easter were the same day. We actually did his celebrating the day/night before and did Easter stuff on Easter, so these pictures are out of order but I’m hoping to put together a real birthday post with a kid interview before I finish it. So I’m starting with Easter.

The Easter Bunny was very generous this year and shockingly well-prepared considering how early the holiday fell. She was smart enough to buy several things on clearance after Easter last year AND THEN put them in a well-marked box in the basement AND THEN remembered to go down and LOOK in the box. Besides the last-year stuff and the standard candy, Easter Bunny also brought each big kid a Lego set because a) everyone loves Legos and b) spending money on Legos seemed like a wiser choice than buying $20 worth of junk they’d forget about instantly. So far it has worked out extremely well.

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Even Lincoln got a basket of baby-appropriate stuff (book, ears, finger puppets, rubber ducky). I was also SUPER excited each kid finally has a permanent designated basket complete with their name and everything. They came from Personal Creations and were perfect for egg hunting at church and filling on Easter morning.

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This chocolate bunny seriously blew his mind. It’s the solid kind, which means he ate appoximately a whole pound of chocolate before church. #eastertraditions

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Before we went to church I dragged the children outside for an Obligatory Fancy Clothes Holiday Photo. It didn’t go super well.

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Don’t worry though, I/they made up for it later.

After church we went to Mystic Seaport to run out a little energy before our 2 pm brunch reservations. E insisted it is no long “brunch” if it is served at 2 pm but I say anything with both a carving station and a custom omlet bar counts as brunch on Easter.

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Lincoln was D O N E by the time we actually sat down to eat, but it still went fairly well. I wish he would have nursed and then slept on me so I could have sent my husband to fill my plate with ALL THE THINGS from the dessert table, but there was way too much going on for a distractable 8 month old to nurse. He did shove most of a dinner roll in his face. Caroline ate all the meat. Evan mostly ate crudités (if I call them crudités I feel less bad about the cost of carrot sticks). I ate more than enough stuff to make it feel worth the effort and expense. Easter brunch at a fancy place has ALWAYS been one of my favorite things and getting to do it once a year with my own family is fun. I imagine in 5 more years when everyone eats more and sits still and is as excited as I am about the crepe bar it will be an even nicer tradition.

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My Week(231) in iPhone Photos

April 6th, 2015

I have both Easter pictures and Evan’s birthday post to write, but instead of eating Easter candy I stole from the kids and sitting on the couch this morning I went for a walk. I am feeling the “summer is coming” stress and really regreting bascially everything I’ve eaten for the last 9 months, so I’m making a conscious effort to increase my activity level and decrease my candy consumption. At least I will, after all these Reeses Eggs are gone.

Sunday:

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When it comes to vintage spring dresses, she’s covered

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HEY GUYS I FOUND THE EGGS THEY’RE OVER HERE

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I sold this wrap. I’m pretty sure it was because of this picture.

Monday:

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We did this a lot this week

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No, that’s not disturbing

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This art is delicious

Tuesday:

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That’s supposed to be MY spot

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Happy to be outside

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WTF is this? It doesn’t look like nursies.

Wednesday:

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Caroline the creeper

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Every. Single. Wall.

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Sad baby needs daddy cuddles

Thursday:

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He loves the baby in the mirror

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Porch ennui

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LASHES

Friday:

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The kids have asked to have this happen again EVERY DAY since

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Neither of these children plays piano

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Sure. Go ahead and eat that cardboard. Hashtag third child.

Saturday:

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Saturday morning photo session

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Why are you letting this goat eat me?

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I’m going to steal this one.

I need a weekend to recover from our super busy weekend. I also need the weather to get above 70 degrees just for ONE DAY so I can open every window in the house. “Fresh linen” scented candles can only do so much when you haven’t had any fresh air inside in 6 months. Plus we all pretty much permanently smell like goats, so that’s not helping.

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Four Eyes

April 3rd, 2015

So Caroline is now in glasses.

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I’ve had a few friends ask how we knew she needed them so I thought I might share here, in case anyone else is wondering. Caroline attends the public pre-K program in town. It’s really nice that they offer an early learning program but I suspect the purpose of the school has just as much to do with catching kids who need services as it does with giving kids a head start with their letters and numbers. The school is a great way to reach families who might otherwise get lost or not know they’re eligible for assistance. One of the things the school did this year was a vision screening for Caroline. In the fall she tested at 20/40 and then last month she tested at 20/50, so the nurse sent home a note suggesting we have her checked her checked by a real doctor.

I called our insurance to ask if they had suggestions and they gave me a short list of local offices. None of the options specialized in pediatrics so I just crossed my fingers and hoped we got someone nice. The receptionist asked if Caroline knew her letters and I said “Yyyyyyy…….eeeeeessssssss?? Probably? Maybe?” because I realized I wasn’t as sure as I thought. She suggested they use a tumbling E test instead of letters, in case she had failed based just on her knowledge of the alphabet instead of her sight.

The tumbling E – just turning a big wooden capital E to match the one on the screen – worked pretty well. She seemed to understand how it worked and I felt like it was a much better option than asking her letters.

The BAD parts of the test were that it was long. Way too long for a 4 year old. The way the chart was set up she was actually looking at it in a reflection, so the doctor could look at it on the wall behind her. But Caroline is a smart girl. She saw the chart was behind her and just kept turning around to read the E’s because THAT chart was way easier to read. The doctor was sometimes too busy looking at her notes to notice Caroline had turned so I was really doubtful of some of the answers. Then they did an up-close tiny-E reading chart but the way the doctor pointed at the lines was confusing. Caroline is 4. She’s a really vocal, smart, funny 4…but she’s still 4. If you’re pointing at a line with your nail but your fingertip is pointing at a different line maybe she isn’t sure which line to read and just says “No I can’t read it”.

The exam did include the “look through these lenses and tell me which one is clearer” part that I HATE at eye exams. It really stresses me out, but it was one of the parts that I felt really helped Caroline understand why glasses were important. They also had her look into a machine that measured the shape of her eyes and dilated them to get some more tests. Overall it was an hour plus for the exam before we got the verdict.

Caroline is both near-sighted and far-sighted, plus she has astigmatism in her left eye. Again, she’s ONLY 4 so there’s some doubt about her exact prescription right now and how it might change in the next few months and years. For now she’s in regular glasses, not bifocals. Even though I wasn’t 100% confident in her tests it was clear Caroline wasn’t seeing as well as an average person so I’m glad we’re addressing this now instead of waiting several years only to find out at 10 she’s never been able to read the board in class. We’re going back in 3 months for another evaluation, where she’ll know what to expect and won’t get so annoyed at the testing. I just really want her to be able to see.

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The optician in the office helped Caroline try on EVERY PAIR of kid-sized glasses they offer and she only managed to find one pair she liked. They cost $140, and that was after I asked them to put in the most basic lenses because a) she will probably break them and b) we’ll probably be getting different ones in 3 months. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few days asking her where her glasses are, worrying about her glasses and freaking out that her glasses might be lost. Again, SHE’S ONLY FOUR. I need to just recognize that she will probably lose at least one pair of glasses before she learns to take care of them.

After MUCH internet shopping while Caroline sat next to me saying “Those are NOT my style”, we ordered some cheap extra glasses from one of the internet retailers (I’m not linking/plugging anyone until they get here – the reviews online are either REALLY GOOD or REALLY BAD). As long as they show up I’ll be pretty happy since they cost $19 each and she is fighting me a little on wearing her current frames all the time. We’re starting with for school, for books and for TV and working up to all the time. Obviously they don’t help SO MUCH that she put them on and said “Mommy, I can see everything now! The sky is blue! There are words in these books!” Which is good! I am glad she wasn’t blind! But also maybe that would be easier than worrying the glasses are making it worse! I wish eye stuff was an easy diagnosis you can just do with a machine instead of still counting on self-reporting. Four year olds are unreliable.

The good news is it’s 2015 and glasses are cool. She thinks they make her look smart and I totally agree.

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My Week(230) in iPhone Photos

March 29th, 2015

It snowed again yesterday. They had to move the Easter Egg hunt at church inside because of snow. I can’t.

Sunday:

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Home Depot is always a family event

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Weirdos

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TA DA!

Monday:

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Actual babywearing in action: cleaning, sorting, folding and putting away clothes to consign/donate/keep

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Snack time

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A girl of many skills

Tuesday:

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Big kid, little kid fun at the aquarium

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Eye appointment

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Anyone want to buy a really soft wrap?

Wednesday:

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Happy grocery store helper

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New Ebay score = success

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Not so into the monthday photos this time

Thursday:

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SASS

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SIT DOWN

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Another Ebay find. I might be in trouble.

Friday:

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Peeping bunnies

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Her 100% self styled Easter outfit

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I would be way better at eating healthy if they hadn’t put that 5 Guys in town

Saturday:

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BABY GOAT PILE

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Baby goat stand

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Baby who also stands, but I’m way less happy about this one

I registered the big kids for super fun Mystic Seaport summer camps this week. Which made me think “Oh yeah, summer is coming, I’ll need to do something with the kids.” But unfortunately, planning for summer did not make summer come. Remind me not to complain AT ALL about a single hot day once they FINALLY get here.

April should be better though. A little warmer. More stuff to do. Evan’s birthday (no big party, just some fun). BABY GOATS. And my own birthday, which will probably go entirely uncelebrated besides the Facebook mentions, but since I’m turning a very boring 33 that won’t bother me much. I’ll be pretty happy with a nap and some Mexican food.

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Oak Leaf Dairy Farm Visit – Baby Goat Cuddle Therapy Should Be A Thing

March 28th, 2015

A few weeks ago a friend posted a photo on Facebook of her daughter surrounded by baby goats. I clicked the picture, which was geo-tagged, which led to a place name, which I then typed into Facebook and their page popped up. (Technology, man!) It turns out the place with the baby goats is called Oak Leaf Dairy and it’s only 20 minutes from my house. So after ballet class on Saturday I forced my family into their coats and put the directions into my phone and said “WE’RE GOING TO SEE GOATS EVERYONE IN THE CAR.”

I have about a 20% success rate with Family Fun Days. 80% of the time I am slightly-to-very disappointed because the Family Fun I had pictured never materialises. The kids are hungry, the weather is bad, my husband doesn’t think “wandering” or “browsing” count as fun activities at all. The more kids we add the more often I am stressed instead of relaxed and the picture perfect day trips I image for our family ends with everyone just needing a nap and a break from each other. It’s something I struggle with a lot – I WANT to be a family that loves to do lots of things together but most of the time we do better just watching a movie. That’s not much of a photo-worthy occasion.

BUT. Sometimes. Sometimes everyone remembers that they actually like each other and we have an awesome time.

The goats were an awesome time. Oak Leaf Dairy gets an A+ for Family Fun.

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Since it was snowing/raining we didn’t get to walk around the farm for the full tour, but we spent more than an hour in the baby goat shed just cuddling and petting baby goats. You can hold the goats. You HAVE to hold the goats, because they will literally leap into your lap. They also nibble your clothes and hair and phone and shoes but they have baby goat teeth and it doesn’t hurt. There were tiny babies literally born THAT morning in a separate quiet pen but the children could climb in and out of the other stalls (if they WANTED to be covered in goats) or hang out in the main room if they wanted a little more space. There were a few other people there and they were all as overwhelmed with the adorableness as we were – one of them FaceTimed her sister to show her how much fun the kids were having playing with the goats. Even my husband, who rolls his eyes at everything, loved the baby goats. BABY GOATS ARE THE BEST.

I would like to recommend baby goat therapy be added to Ways To Avoid Hating Everything.

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After we got in our baby goat time – even Lincoln liked petting the baby goats – we stopped at the cheese room to try out some samples: aged cheddar, cheddar curds, 4 kinds of chevre, feta, and caramel sauce. They also sell soap, but we couldn’t eat that so we didn’t buy any. We DID buy an obscene amount of everything else and then stopped for bread and ice cream on the way home so we would have cheese and caramel mouth-delivery devices.

It was an excellent Family Fun Day and we are going back as soon as possible.

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