Maine 2014 – First Days

So…this summer after school got out we moved to Tampa, Florida.

Then we drove to Virginia and spent a week there.

Then we drove to Ocean City, MD and spent a week there.

Then we drove back to Tampa.

Then we flew to Maine.  And this post is a little bit about Maine.

One of the great things about our new city is that there is a direct flight from here to Bangor, Maine, and it is not at 6am!  And it is a great deal.  The drawback was a 40lb weight limit on our suitcase and they (Allegiant Airline) charge for carry-on bags that fit in the overhead.  My suitcase weighed in at 40.9…if it hits 41, they charge you extra.  (I knew the weight was close to 40 and I had some things I could have thrown in my “personal item” to avoid the over weight fee.)

Three hours of iPad and kindle time and we were in Maine by supper time.  Mum picked us up at the airport and we stopped in Brewer and dined with a great view of the Penobscot River.


Casey couldn’t wait to show Grammie all of her gymnastics moves and soon enough she had hopped the railing to flip around in the grass.  Jack joined her and then they started playing like kids who were cooped up in a plane for three hours.

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The next day we finally got to meet Miss Cora T Brown.  I am lucky to be her Auntie and Casey and Jack are excited to have a new cousin.  Casey wanted to hold her and play with her and take care of her, in her own special 6 year old way.

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Cora doesn’t like it when she is sitting still, so Casey is working on her “mom bounce” so she can hold Cora a little longer before she starts crying.

Cora came out to lunch with us and then hung out in the Wal-Mart parking lot while I purchased some “necessary” items for Casey.  About half an hour before we left Tampa, Casey told me she really wanted to learn to crochet and she wanted a crochet hook to bring to Maine.  I own one, but I had no idea where it was so it didn’t make the trip with us.  Luckily, Wal-Mart provided us with the hooks and yarn we needed and Casey learned to crochet, despite her left-handed teacher.  She even brought it to the concert in the park that evening and kept on working on her really really long chain.  One day we’ll figure out how to make the second row!

That chain came in pretty handy on our last day in Maine, as Casey insisted on wearing pants that were way too big.  We wrapped her new “belt” around her about three times and she managed to keep the pants on all day!



Olympic Commentary

Just a few questions I fielded and observations made tonight while watching the Olympics with the kids…

How do they stay on that [snowboard]?

How do they keep going?  How do they get up the hill?

What color is bronze?

Is bronze 2nd or 3rd?

Are the medals really made out of gold, silver and bronze?

Where are the people that are watching them?  Is there anybody on the hill?

Is that the winner?  What does semi-final mean?

Is this the second heat?  What does 2nd heat mean?

Where are the Americans?

Is a sentence a sentence without verbs?

Do we want the Russians to win?

This is the 2nd Olympics where I really understand what is going on.

Are all female snowboarders hot blondes? (My question)

He looks like Daddy.  (American figure skater)

Casey has moved no less than 4 times in 45 minutes…chair, couch, floor, floor on other side of room.

Do figure skaters get dizzy when they spin like that?

I can see his skin all the way to his belly.

Black is not a good winter color.  People shouldn’t wear black here.

They cry because they’re so happy they won…they just have to cry a lot.

Commercials are for selling things or what can happen or what you don’t want to happen or for movies or for crazy stuff.

I think I know why that movie is rated PG.  Because he just took that gun and zapped him.

So what did they just say?  Can you say that different?

What is the prize for the teams?

Where’s the skiing?  I really like the skiing.

How long is the longest song in the world?

Spider Night

Casey was supposed to be in the bath and Jack was drying off after his (too) quick shower.  Pat and I were trying to have one of those things called an uninterrupted conversation in the kitchen.  Jack came in to the kitchen jabbering about a spider.  Casey was yelling from the bathroom that she KNEW it was a spider because it had 8 legs and she had just learned all about that in school.

Is it in the bathtub with you Casey?  No, then take your bath.  Jack, go get your clothes on.  I told them spiders eat other bugs and to leave it alone.  I don’t normally let spiders live in my house so that they’ll eat other bugs, but I thought it would get the kids to move on.

Jack did not get his clothes on but went to investigate the spider.  He came back and told me that it is having babies.  I didn’t believe this because I’ve watched Charlotte’s Web and I know that spiders put all their eggs in a sack until they’re ready to come out (hatch?).  I wondered what would make him say she was having babies…did he see a sack somewhere?

The adult conversation was going no where.  Casey was still only halfway into the bathtub.  Finally I decided to kill the spider.  I told the kids they were wimps and went off with some paper towels to get the big bad spider.  I believe Pat mocked my non-chalant attitude.

Oooh…yes, that is a very big spider in the bathroom.  Oh, and there are tiny little spiders all over the bathroom floor aka babies.  The kids informed me that mama spider was under Casey’s bath towel that didn’t quite get hung on the hook like it should.  I pick up the towel and shake several more babies out of the towel onto the floor and squish them.  Casey was very concerned that I might make her use that towel after her bath.  Not a chance…straight to the washing machine with it to drown any baby spiders that might have hung on.

That mama spider was so big I decided that Pat could take care of her.  As he squished her more baby spiders came out.  I really thought they were supposed to be in sacs!

I’m pretty sure we got them all but I’ll be checking a few more times before I go to sleep tonight.  Casey summed it up well, “So next time we tell you there’s a spider, you just kill it…PLEASE!”

Post Script – Casey came home from school with only one of her earrings.  She was very distraught.  Cried about it every time she thought of her earrings.  We went to put new ones in tonight and I tossed the single one that had lost its mate.  I was determined to not keep random earrings around for “some day when we might find the other earring.”  I tossed it right into the garbage can with the paper towels containing all sorts of squished spider parts.

As soon as Casey got into bed tonight, she found the lost earring.  It hadn’t been lost at school.  I got to dig through the garbage can of spider parts for its mate.  New policy – we’ll be keeping lost earrings for at least one move from after the time it is lost.

Easter Blog Post Delay

Coming soon…

There is a nice Easter post coming soon.  I wrote a long post tonight and lost my internet connection in the middle of it.  When I refreshed the page, I had lost half of what I had written and I don’t have the heart to rewrite it tonight!

Snow Day, Sick Day, Cleaning Day

Whew!  It’s been a long day and somehow it was really productive and fun and a good balance of playing and accomplishing even though we made Jack’s first trip to the doctor for illness and it was a snow day.

The day started with Jack’s eyes being glued shut from some gunk and 3 inches of snow on the ground.  School was cancelled and I managed to get a doctor’s appointment at 9:20.  We left the house before we usually even leave for school and it was all relatively easy to get the kids out of the house.

Jack actually likes to go to the doctor.  I guess he thinks it’s a fun trip.  We’ve never really gone there because he was sick so he doesn’t have any bad memories.  He also thinks doctors can fix anything.  He was such a little man today.  He didn’t say a lot but he did everything they told him told him to.  He loved the blood pressure cuff…just sat there and giggled the whole time.  While he was sitting up on the table and waiting for the doctor, he said, “Remember when we pretended this was a garbage truck?  We’re not going to do that this time because we’re bigger now and we’re just going to wait for the doctor.”  For the record, I don’t remember when they pretended it was a garbage truck, but it was probably a fun game.  We were in and out of the doctor’s office with a diagnosis of conjuctivitis in both eyes and our prescription eye drops within 20 minutes.

At home, I started the de-germification.  I don’t usually worry about germs too much.  I think the more we’re exposed to the more we build up our immune systems and the less sick we actually are.  That being said, today I had to play some defense and start a counter attack on these bad-boy germs.  Every bit of linen has been washed, surfaces have been wiped, hands have been washed and washed and sanitized and washed.  Because THERE IS A BIRTHDAY PARTY IN 4 DAYS and I need the birthday girl to be healthy and not get what Jack has.  And I need the birthday girl’s mama to be healthy too.  My strategy to keep Casey from touching Jack today was to tell her that she couldn’t have her birthday party if she got sick.  It worked pretty well.

Along with the sanitizing, we made bread, we painted, we made another doll quilt (for Casey), we opened up some early Valentine’s presents (thanks Grammie & Auntie), we played Star Wars Legos and discussed Star Wars A LOT.  When I walked around the house this afternoon, I had to laugh at the disaster it was and the things I found.  It was clean, but certainly not tidy.  Toys everywhere…

Legos scattered…

Casey was dressed like this.  (She got new underwear and tried them all on at some point in the afternoon.  I don’t know why she’s only wearing one sock.  And the t-shirt is actually her painting smock that she didn’t take off after painting.  At one point she had a scarf wrapped all around her very elegantly.)

I found these two boxes in my closet…

My closet was the bedroom for the babies.  They were taking naps in there amongst the shoes.  You can even see that Jack’s baby had his bedtime story nearby.  The shoebox to the left is not actually for my shoes but is a storage unit for Jack’s baby’s blanket when he is done with it.  Originally Jack said, “Mommy, next time Grampie is here I want him to build me a shelf so that I have somewhere to put baby’s blanket.”  Then he decided the shoebox was the perfect place for it.

There were are blocks all over my bedroom floor…

Lego houses dismantled on my windowsill…

Trains on my laundry baskets (at least the baskets weren’t full of dirty clothes)…

Easels in the middle of my kitchen…

And a lot of junk on my kitchen table…

But you have to give Casey points for not listening going after what she wants…

I gave an empty tissue box to Jack (for a space station I think).  Casey wanted one too, so I told her she could have the next one, when all the tissues were gone.  Next thing I know, Jack is saying, “Yay, Casey you have one now too!” and she is holding up an empty box.  An empty box that used to be completely full, leaving the pile of tissues on a chair.

Despite the odds (sick kid, snow day, no naps) this day turned out pretty great.  Most of the toys are away, Lego land has been restored to order, Casey is fully clothed again, the babies are still napping peacefully, the tissues are so much easier to access, Jack’s eyes are better, Casey’s eyes are still good, the fourth load of laundry is drying, and there is dough just waiting to be baked for fresh bread tomorrow.  It’s time for me to go enjoy my own clean sheets I think.


Despite any posts to show any progress lately, I have done more quilt making this month than all year I think but they’re Christmas presents.  And now, I have one quilt left to make and I need to have it done this week.  But I seriously miscalculated how much fabric I have.  I thought I had 120 5″ squares.  I only have 72.  A combination of really wishful thinking and being tired I guess.  This is not enough for the lap quilt I wanted to make.    It’s a really cute baby quilt right now but I’m not giving it to a baby.  I’m thinking about adding sashing but I really don’t want to.  So, I’m disgusted and can’t make a decision and it makes me not want to do anything else either, like the 100 Christmas cards waiting to be sent out or preparing for what’s going to be a crazy week.

Facebook Status Updates

Pat had duty today.  And even though I usually talk to him at the end of duty days, my thoughts end up as facebook status entries in my head instead of things I tell my husband at the end of the day.  Mostly they don’t ever become status updates for a variety of reasons – I’m not near my phone or computer, I don’t think anyone would really care about it or it’s not really that interesting or it would have been too wordy to explain it all.  But I figured today if I put them all into a blog post, it would be little snippets of my day.  So here’s what I might have posted:

8:50am – Why does it seem like everyone is late for dropping their kids off at school and early for picking them up?  I’d rather be the opposite and get a few extra minutes.  (Although I’m usually early for both.)

10am – Casey saw a man in the commissary who looked just like Santa – he had a red jacket and red hat on with a long white beard.  When he talked to her, her mouth just dropped open in shock.  It was the best reaction.  She didn’t know Santa has a military ID.

10:30am – Quadruple whammy at the grocery store – diapers, wipes, toilet paper, and paper towels!

12:15pm – Jack said that he played knights and princesses at school today.  Then he said, “Casey you’re always a princess!”  And she said, “Uh huh.  Yes I am.”

1:30pm – I’m making homemade bread.

2pm – Jack can sometimes be way too crafty for me, as in wants to make elaborate crafts way too often.  I just gave him an egg carton and he has been cutting, taping, looking for cardboard and other crafty things while talking to himself me for half an hour trying to make a cow.  He thought the egg carton looked like it would work well for a cow’s udder.

2:30pm – Holy Chatterbox!  Jack won’t stop talking.  I’ve had to put Ruby and Max on to get a break.

3pm – Casey’s not into napping today.  Time for some Dora now.

4pm – Might as well make some gingerbread men as requested by Jack.  I warned him that they have to go in the fridge before they become “men” so hopefully there are no meltdowns.

4:45pm – Started picking up all of the random construction paper/wrapping paper around the house and decided we should make festive paper chains.  It required a lot more work for me than I thought it would but Jack thought it was awesome.  He said, “Don’t bother us Casey – we’re working on an experiment.”  We hung it from the mantle as Jack wanted.

5:30pm – My new go to meal when Pat is gone will be baked potatoes with broccoli, blue cheese and cheddar cheese.  Maybe some bacon next time, but that would add more work.  So yummy.

6pm – My new game is “How many toys can we pick up in 5 min?”  Jack thinks it fun and can’t believe we can clean most of it up in 5 min.  Of course it helps when you don’t hear the buzzer go off.

8:30pm – The bread is finally baking…2 hrs of rising turned into 4ish.

9pm – I’m baking bread and making a quilt.  Maybe later I’ll sweep my dirt floors and you can call me Laura Ingalls.

10pm – Mmmm!  Warm bread fresh from the oven.

What the Future Holds

Jack:  Mommy, Casey and I are going to get married when we get older.

Casey:  Yeah, and I’m going to be a princess when I’m married.

Jack:  Don’t you want to be a ballerina when you get older, Casey?

Casey:  Yeah, I’m going to be a ballerine

Jack:  I can be a firefighter and Casey can be a ballerina.

Casey:  I want to be a ballerine

Jack:  ah, Casey, ballerin – ah!

Casey’s New Boots

How cute is Casey in this outfit?  She had the dress on but the tights were still in the wash, trying to recover from getting trampled on during a rush to get Halloween candy.  Then I pulled out the new boots.  Daddy thought she was so cute that he took her outside to get a photo shoot.  I ran out with my camera and I think these are some of my favorite pictures of her.  Later Pat and Casey went on a date to the mall and Pat said there were some older girls in line who couldn’t get over how cute she looked and the fact that she had those cute boots on.  I might be a little proud of myself for having purchased the cute dress and boots but it’s really the model who makes them look so good.