Sunday, October 28, 2012

Happy Halloween!

halloween came early for us this year, because if we had waited any longer it might not come at all! hurricane sandy is coming and this is scarier than any halloween! 

we dressed the kids up and we filled their pumpkins with candy. moments later we took down all the decorations and put everything in the garage. the winds are going to be powerful and gusty, and we want to keep as much of our house in tact as we can! 

we will probably lose power for a few days. but we have a gas stove and lots of canned soups, and enough crackers, and peanut butter, bread, jelly's, chips, fruit, water, and candy to last us weeks. we have fire wood ready to go, and we are going to blow up the air mattress and have the kids camp out in the living room for the next couple of days. 

we are praying for everyone's safety. be safe, and smart.
and.... happy halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

meet piper!

maybe it was the fact that we had just watched the movie Marley and Me, maybe it was that when we left Florida i really missed Hudson, maybe it's because i can never have another baby. or maybe, it was all of the above. 

sunday morning, over coffee and breakfast we were all sitting at the table when i looked out the window and saw this precious little dog at our front door. the next 24 hrs provided no answers about her past, but provided us all the answers about her future. this little girl seems to have been dropped off in our neighborhood. after talking to the vet, we conclude that whoever owned her just couldn't keep up with her care. baby girl is 20-30 lbs under weight, severely anemic, and had some internal parasites. she was dirty and grimy, and just plain pitiful. and that was the perfect combination to capture our hearts and have decided within hours of knowing her that we would be her forever home. 

she spent the morning at our amazing vet, middle hope veterinary, whom i had had a previous relationship with when we had Hudson. this was the same vet who consoled me as i cried like a baby as they treated Hudson for lyme disease. something about dogs who are hurting. so i knew that we HAD to have them see this dog right away. they did, and they all loved her, just like we did. she captured their hearts like she did ours. we are team Piper and we want to see her get well. 

so the vet provided me with some information about her. other than the obvious, her ribs sticking out, being dirty, and NOT being microchiped, we moved ahead as i decided right then in the room that she is officially ours. she is a pit bull mix, as young as 8 months old, as old as 2 yrs. we are treating her as if she is a one year old. she is 36 lbs, but he would like to see 30 more lbs on her. she is full grown. and she is so awesome. 

she had obviously had some training, had been socialized around animals and children because she is a dream around both. she learned to sit and stay within 20 minutes of training her at the vets office. in two days i've taught her to wait for us all to get out the door, then when i say, "you're free" she will go out the door. smart pup! we are having a trainer come to our home and train us all. pits are generally the alpha dog and especially female pit bulls. it's important we teach the children to the majority of the training, just so she knows who's in charge. 

bottom line, i would have never chosen a pit bull for our family. but she chose us. and because of that i want to learn everything i can about her to advocate for this dog. we love her. we love her so much. yesterday we found ourselves at the dog bakery buying her a doggy doughnut. i mean, what? 

welcome piper, to our home. we get it right only half the time, it's loud, you will be confused as to what toys are yours and what are the kids, you will get tons of table food with two three year old around, there are days where all we do is laundry and clean toilets, but we have a lot of love. and we want to share it with you! and it might be that you sniffed your way to us, knowing that what was behind our front door,  you were searching for exactly this. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012


these two. 

what would i do without hulk impersonations at the grocery store, or pee all over the toilet from not lifting up the seat, or the stinkiest feet in the whole world, or legos snuck into bed at night time, or roaring the loudest roars when i say, "i love you", or insisting on never bathing? but seriously, what would i do without the love of my boys? the sweetness, the tenderness of needing their mama, the way they need "one more kiss" every time. the way they have to pick a sweater of mine for bedtime. the way they are always telling me i smell good, or am pretty, or beautiful, or the best mama in the whole wide world. it melts me on the spot. what would i do if i never knew that this huge part of me was just waiting to come alive? or that i was capable of not screaming at spiders but instead able to pick them up in a tissue and hold it there while we all take a long look and talk about it. or that dirt is in fact the best smell ever under my nails. or that i too am able to impersonate hulk. and spiderman, and firestar, and superman, and batman. and their favorite to call me, black widow. 
these two are buddies alright.
 but even more so,
 they are my buddies. 
dune, lars. i love you guys. ROAR!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

we got annie!

       so, i had a dream once and when i was little i dreamed big! i was going to be Annie on Broadway. i decided that at the age of six or seven and although life led me down a different path, (one with many more bumps than i had ever imagined) i never forgot that dream. it's been etched in my heart since Halloween of 1986 when my mom put that big red wig on my head and i just knew that God had somehow made a mistake and i was absolutely, definitely suppose to be a red head. i was a very dramatic little girl and had taken singing lessons since i was four years old. by the time i was a young girl i was being classically trained and touring in and outside of the country. i had other amazing vocal experiences in my life; singing at Westminster abbey, being on TV for various performances, and making children's taped and videos. but oh, how i always returned to the idea that Annie, oh Annie, that would be making it. 

      so fast forward to 2012. I'm a tired mom who just sat down for the first time that day. it's 9:00 at night and Jonathan and i are half watching chopped on the food network, when wouldn't ya know. i hear a commercial that perks me right up and it's for the new musical on Broadway: ANNIE! and what's even better? i got on the phone and ordered tickets for when my sister was going to be here!

                                          i was a giddy thing last Saturday night.

     so, my dream of actually being Annie on Broadway never panned out. but something felt extra magical about watching the show as an adult and knowing my littles were tucked safely in bed  and that my husband would be waiting at the train station later that night to pick us up, and we'd make the short drive back to our home. along the lines, the dream changed. a new dream started to occur, started taking shape, and began to make a life of it's own. 

        but Annie, you spunky little red head who i can still identify parts of myself with. you will always hold a special place in my heart. even perhaps, now in the heart of my daughter too. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

catskill mountain railroad.

on monday we drove up to the catskills and went on the catskill mountain railroad. it was such a beautiful fall day. this was dune and lars' first time on a train. dune, being the most neurotic child on the planet anyway, was a bit nervous about it. lars on the other hand was practically lulled to sleep. so many golden leaves, a sea of them, and the tiniest bits of red, and still those greens that are holding on till the first frost. afterwards we went to eat in the charming little mountain town of phoenicia. we stopped on the drive home at all the little stores that said "antiques" or "country store" on the outside of the buildings. i went home with my dream wire basket which is now sitting next to our fireplace holding bundles of twigs to be burned this fall. 

we had to say goodbye to my sister this morning. this isn't getting any easier. graycen now understands completely that her aunt dani will be back for christmas, but dune and lars, and especially lars takes it as a personal offense that danielle is somehow leaving him and won't be back. this morning while it was still dark out, lars just stood at my window in our bedroom, holding the curtain back while looking outside, saying over and over, "but i miss her mama, i will miss her." so much sadness in fact that i might have even promised to take him to go get those teenage mutant ninja turtle figurines at target he's been eyeing. they don't at all replace his aunt dani, but seemed to at least help him calm down. 

i had so much fun with my sister. we had a girl's night and went and saw Annie on broadway this past saturday night. we had the most amazing, i mean amazing dinner and i also stocked up on kitchen goodies at Sur la Table while we were in the city. the next day we took graycen out with us for lunch and walked around cold spring and went into thrift stores and cold spring apothecary. (a MUST if you live in or are visiting the hudson valley.) and might i recommend their "Hudson" perfume. we came home and made caramel apples using this recipe. we also cooked a huge meal and all shared food around the table. i think if i were to write a book at this place in my life it would have to be called, "the shared meal." there is just something about the dinner table the warms my heart, head, cheeks, and belly. i used some of the tomatoes i had canned and made pumpkin chili with it. i roasted acorn squash and carrots, and picked up the crustiest loaf of bread and we dipped it in good olive oil with fresh herbs. danielle had made a roasted chicken for the meat eaters, and corn bread, and we ate and talked, and laughed, and i thanked God for every bit and breathe and inch He's given me. 

*our family has suffered a great loss of my Uncle Phil this past week. danielle and i loved him like a father. in fact at times, he was nothing but that too us. please keep his wife and son in your prayers and that through time they begin to heal. 
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