Monday, November 19, 2007

she already knows about sarcasm too

A couple of years ago there was book published about EQ, or emotional intelligence. Personally, I don't doubt that there is something to this--whether you call it charisma or being a natural born leader, some people just manage other people better. Gia continually surprises me with her innate ability to "read" people. She figured out at age 3 that if she complimented a cashier, she would be assured a lollipop (My, those are beee-outiful earrings you have...i'll take a grape one thanks).

I expect her to read me, we spend quite a bit of time together--I can tell when she wants something that she is searching my face for the right angle to bargain with.

One skill that amazes me is that she always tries to meet people at their own level, seriously, I have watched her (in horror) talk "down" to people. Sometimes that person is me. Often that person is Bill. I know she does this because she wants to make a connection with whoever she is talking to and make them feel comfortable.

This scaling is impressive and rare in adults, but it floors me in such a little girl.

A quick example, on past Halloweens I have carved the pumpkins into whatever she wants--Jimmy Neutron, Jack Skellington, Spongebob, and, infamously, Eduardo.

After Eduardo, I am never allowed to carve a pumpkin again. If you don't know what happened, then you must not live in Millbury because they announced it on the local TV channel (Thanks Bill). So this year, Bill did the carving--and he did awesome! What was funny was that she asked him not for Dora or Kappa Mikey, but for....

a kitty face (top one)

a bat

when I asked what this was, she said it was "a good try"

and nobody went to the ER!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

maybe I need to take jiu jitsu...or valium

What do you in November?
We love to jump in the leaves!

and get flu shots! Well, we don't love that, and I am not 100% sure that they are a good idea, but soapbox aside...

Mike has a check up tomorrow (18 months) and I am already having panic attacks. If you remember, the last time we were at the pediatrician's, we both had to go home immediately and change out clothes because they were covered in blood.

Long story short (ish), when they picked his finger to get a couple of drops of blood for a lead test he freaked out, I mean, FREAKED. He started flailing, and the nurse was holding his little finger tightly so the blood was just pouring out; but because he was flailing, it ended up on the nurse, the walls, me.

She finally got a band-aid on, which he immediately ripped off (why?!?!?) and he started screaming and failing again(think garden hose) and blood was everywhere--this time, all over him. We went through 4 band-aids this way.

I was using all of my best UFC moves to hold the little sucker down--I mean I was giving the kid a full sleeper-hold--he still slipped (naked and covered in carnage--i think the carnage made him extra slippery) out of my arms and MADE IT TO THE OPEN DOOR...he was about to run out into the waiting room and I caught him.

I can only imagine what the poor little kids in the waiting room would have thought if naked, bloody Mike had made it out there...I don't think a lollipop or free tattoo would have erased THAT particular image from their fragile little minds.

Dramatisation of Actual Events

I'm not religious, but pray for me anyway.

Monday, October 29, 2007

we are too young to subscribe to Yankee magazine...(bill)

Ahhh! New England! Yes, the winters are brutal. I agree, the spring is really just mud season. Summers are lovely (if you don't get Lyme disease). However, New England wins the playoff, national championship and World Series for best autumn hands down.

Where else can you get such beautiful sylvan scenes as this...doesn't that covered bridge scream "Sturbridge Village"?

or can almost smell the apple cider and cut hay...

and this...a small girl swilling her third latte of the day.
Ok--I know what you are thinking (well, if you are ME you are thinking--give it BACK to mommy!)...but you are probably thinking all sorts of awful things about how that caffeine is going to stunt her growth, yada yada. Well, take a look at this...

Now how would she have the energy to catch and tackle him if not for the coffee? Hmm?

I'm sure you feel silly.

(btw-bill does have a subscription to Yankee magazine. and a membership to Old Sturbridge Village. Before you ask, I have checked his wallet for an AARP card.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

pretty please?

I might be too old to ask Santa for presents, but.......

please? The green one? (I will see if I can get a side car for Gia and Mike)


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

pikachu? gesundhit.

For some reason, there is an obsession in our house with pokemon. Let me be the first to admit that I know that I am about a decade behind most of the world in this, but I also think it may be one of these eternal sort of questions: which came first, the chicken or the egg, if a tree falls in the woods, what the &!@>!? is the deal with pokemon?
Now, if you know me you know I am a fan of cartoons, comic books, graphic novels and most anime (not that weird sailor moon chick--but the other, PG-rated stuff), all that geeky stuff.
In fact, I encourage you to watch Howl's Moving Castle if you haven't seen it already (Nina, I'm looking at YOU). It's fantastic (same animator as Spirited Away, fairy-tale type story).

you would know who this is if you watched the movie....

Pokemon has LOTS of paraphernalia...
It seems like the kids that are the most interested in the cards have no idea how to figure out the "game" portion--in fact, I'm not actually sure there is a game, but otherwise aren't those points pointless?

The TV show is Unwatchable (and in our household, that is saying something -seriously, bill watches ECW--it takes A LOT to classify something as "bad TV" around here).
The stuffed animals, we have quite a few....
and while in New York this past weekend Gia picked out a new one for herself at the Nintendo store, and I picked out one for mike...

I really can't describe why I was drawn to that one (it is a flaming monkey in case you were wondering).

it's a mystery.

Monday, October 01, 2007

im on ur laptop...hacking ur blog...

Clinical notes:
The experiment is going well, I am fairly certain I have pushed the mothership to the brink of sanity. I estimate two or three weeks before complete and total breakdown. At which point, I steal her credit card and continue with my true quest, world domination (or a neverending supply of rice krispy treats-whichever).

Recap of my methods this week:

Minor stuff, I was just warming up.

Really needs no explanation (can you see the wet spot?)

Just when she starts using that name that Daddy tells her not to call me, it's time to switch tactics and quietly play on the floor for 45 minutes (just to really freak her out).

Perhaps the most cruel, no reality tv for two days (note: no one can prove that I broke the TV, but apparently the nice lady on the panasonic customer service line said that rapidly turning it on and off over and over again will burn the bulb out--uh, duh!)
By Saturday, she was reduced to brushing the girl's hair and calling her "mommy's sweet angel", and mumuring that she was always such a good baby.

Definitely time for phase two!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fall Routine

We are still feeling the changes that school has brought to our weekly routines. Until now, Bill has been the only one to really have a "9-5-Mon-thru-Fri" sort of life. I commute into the office odd days, and working from home doesn't really give the same sort of schedule from week to week.

This resulted in a free-wheeling week for the kiddos. Some days we could take off and play at a friends house and days when I had conference calls meant a playdate at Nonni's office. Gia's first question every morning was "What are we doing today?", to which I would respond with the day's gameplan.

Things are different now--not bad, just very structured. As a result, even our weekends have become more structured. Saturday mornings start with soccer games.


...and Sundays are for play. This week it was Hyland Apple Farm (oh, they have a brewery too--hmm, should I mention that is was Bill that suggested this place? coincidence?)

Trainrides for Gia

And for Mike...

but WHO are YOU? hmm....who knew Emus were so captivating?

you can tell how much fun it was by how dirty your feet get.

Oh my. These kids have clearly reached their fun quota.

Happy Fall!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fall fun...but no goats :(

Wheee! I love fall...county fairs, craft fairs, renaissance fairs (ok, not so much renaissance fairs-but really, there's nothing wrong with dressing up like you're a "maiden"--I mean, I guess everyone has to have a hobby, but I digress...)

Our annual trip to the Woodstock Fair was fantastic...and we brought friends with us!

I know that I am getting older because carnival rides hold NO appeal anymore. Worse, Gia thinks they are great, so I spend the entire time she rides looking at the stray screws and bolts on the ground under the ride.

Oh, that looks safe....can you see them in there? What is that squeaking sound?

Now, face painting is an activity I can get behind--totally safe (unless you have an allergic reaction).

And snacks!! know my stance on snacks...can you see Mike's little hand pushing Gia out of way so he could get the cotton candy? While I certainly don't endorse that sort of behavior, I don't think there is any doubt he has my genes.

Good friends, good fun and good was a great day!

Even if there were no goats...(really! there were cows, chickens, ducks, BIG bunnies, sheep wearing coats (below)--even an alpaca, but no goats--sorry Mike!)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Variations on a theme

If a little of something is good, then a lot of it must be better--and by that logic, being inundated with it should be nirvana. Good examples of this concept are seen with hot new "flavors" that come out each year. I think this explains why we have Chipolte flavored doritos and pomegrate jello. While these flavors start out novel, there is definitely a point of over-saturation. For example, take the mojito. Now, I love mojitos--but I am starting to see more and more mojito-flavored things:

BAD Mojito-theme

GOOD Mojito-theme

Really, this is just an excuse to show off the Mojito Cupcakes I made last weekend. The recipe came from this cupcake blog--read it, love it, bake it (then give some to me).

((as a public service, I should warn you--I've heard the Smirnoff beverage has actually caused vomiting in a number of consumers. Well, at least one that I know of.))


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Best Weekend Eva!

Last weekend the whole clan packed up for the wedding of our very best friends. We were so happy to be invited, and thrilled that we all could experience this special day together (i.e., that gia and psycho-baby were invited to what is usually a big-person event).

The wedding was perfection--the bride and groom were simply gorgeous, the flower girl and ring bearer were sweet beyond words, and it was honestly one of the most lovely events I have had the pleasure of attending.

All I can say is thank goodness Papa was on Michael-watch the entire weekend.

Without his efforts who knows what devastation that baby would have caused. As it was, the only rukus (sp?) that he caused was on the dance floor--I kid you not, the rugrat can bust a move.

Though after 8 or 10 shirley temples, all the kids were pretty much ripping it up on the dance floor.

Before they collapsed.

To complete the perfect weekend, we got to spend some quality beach time with our friends waaay out by P-town. I have never had so much fun on a beach (umm, post-children anyway). We caught fish, cooked hotdogs and didn't do too much else--which was fine by me!

Thank you to all our friends for a wonderful weekend!!

Yay! (sniff) it's the first day of kindergarten!

Yesterday was the start of a HUGE change in our lives--first day of kindergarten for Gia!

Did you know that to go to kindergarten, you need to have a humongous backpack?

So, I was fine until she got on the bus--when the doors shut. I cried. Then I called my friend Beth, and we both cried. Then, later, I called my friend Tam, and I cried some more. (I think that Beth later called Tam and they both cried). Many kleenexes later, Bill met Gia when she arrived home. He asked her if she liked school. After some thought, she said, I "whatever is more than love" school. :) I guess I can't ask for much more than that!

(p.s., she also said her favorite part was buying her own lunch!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

bad blogger!

We have been sooo lax about posting this last month. Frankly, it's summer, it has been hot, and there was lots of ice cream we had to eat.
Anyway--here are some August highlights:

Gianna and Bill at the St. Joseph Festival in the North End.

Mike and some goats

Gianna at her first soccer practice (She is in all pink--how CUTE are those shingards?'s all about the outfit)

Mike and some more goats (different goats, different day)

Gianna doing karate at Old Sturbridge Village (FYI--when you are 5, it is totally appropriate to bust out your killer moves anywhere you feel like it--even in the face of glaring anachronisms)

Mike and...actually those are sheep. Nonetheless, we are worried about his obsession with farm animals.

Lots more stuff happened...stay tuned!