Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, January 26, 2015

Stunks and Glitter Boxes

Peyton loves animals. Ask her what she wants to be when she grows up and she confidently and quickly replies "a pet walker. "

Ah, dear girl, you don't have to go to college to be a pet walker. "How about just walking your own pets?" I replied. She thought about this for a moment and then said but mom, I want a cat and you don't walk cats! She then went on to tell me that cats just need a "glitter box" to go to the bathroom in. A glitter box! She obviously meant a litter box but I like glitter box so much better!

Her love for animals doesn't discriminate either. She has 31 stuffed animals on her bed (Austen said he counted) and she dresses them all up in her doll clothes. So her dolls are all naked but her furry stuffed animals are dressed in tutus, ball gowns and sports uniforms. She loves them all even the stunk. Yes, the stunk. This is what Peyton thinks a black and white animal who sprays people is called.  Actually, I like stunk even better than skunk!

I am glad Peyton loves animals. As long as she doesn't become some crazy cat lady! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's Snow Joke

Snow. Adler loves it. Almost as much as sand. Now that I'm home during the day, Adler gets let out a lot more than she used too. I can't believe she used to hold it for as long 9.5 hours. But, she's old now and she deserves to go out a lot more often. So it's lucky that ever since I had Hailey that someone has been around during the day to let her out. Besides she has a decent size backyard so no one has to physically take her out. But, I guess she must be missing her winter walks because now she stands at the door multiple times a day begging with her eyes to go out. It's gotten a little ridiculous! Mostly because I'm tired of wiping her down every time she has to come back in. There's a lot of dog there!

She can spend up to 20 minutes in the yard and I'm always curious about what she's doing out there so I venture upstairs to Austen's room where I can better see the entire backyard. Sometimes she's frolicking in the snow digging it up with her nose and eating it while other times she's laying smack dab in the middle of the backyard looking around at all the creatures that dare brave these cold winter days. I let her stay out for as long as I think is good for her in freezing temps or until I have to pick someone up from someplace or drop someone somewhere. I worry sometimes that I will forget her out back but usually when she's had enough before I've thought to go get her, I'll see her waiting patiently by the back door. And, if I have taken longer than I should to notice she's there, she'll lay down by the back door.

I am glad she's enjoying her golden years. I'm glad I'm home for these golden years. So I'll stop complaining about wiping her paws if I can keep her here on Earth with us for another six years. Yes, please.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


At 12:43 pm, eight years ago on this day, I became a mom. So today, I celebrate my first born who has been part of our family for eight years. Somehow it seems like just yesterday that the doctor was telling me there was no way I was going to have this kid and I looked up at him and said, "I am not a wimp and this hurts so something is happening!" He gave me a shot of morphine and sent me to a room. Three hours later I was 8cm dilated with no epidural! I think I was right. Damn resident. 
Anyway, Austen changed my life. He made me a mom by name but he really taught me how to be a mom. (Actually, I'm still learning and will continue to learn until I am no longer on this Earth). So thank you and Happy Birthday Austen. May you always believe in yourself and know how much I love that you are my first born, my only son and the one that I rely on to pull it together for the other two when needed. I love that you are sensitive to other people's feelings, are addicted to sports (watching and playing - although I prefer not in the house!), enjoy reading, love building with Legos, help your sisters, think Peyton is hilarious, play lovingly with Hailey and Adler and just genuinely have a good heart. 

Happy birthday buddy.

Monday, January 05, 2015


That's what people don't tell you about Disney World. Early mornings, late nights and lots of walking. It's kind of like Europe for kids. And, of course it costs a fortune if you're going to do it right so you had better maximize your time there which means spending as much time as you can at each of the parks.

We had a four-day park hopper and I honestly can say by day four I had had enough. I actually probably had enough at day one but that was probably due to lack of sleep, early morning travel and my kids whining that they wanted to go to the pool or buy toys at the gift shops. They weren't all that interested in the rides as they were too scared of most of them. We had to force them to go on the ones we had fast passes for often tricking them into it. Peyton was so scared by Mickey's Magic show that she was shaking as she sat on my lap asking me when it was going to be over. (It was far from scary although the theater was dark and it was in 3D so things popped out at us.) I did actually get her to do It's a Small World which she loved and made us do twice. Both of them also rode the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (a family roller coaster) but that was day four and somehow they warmed up to the parks by then. Maybe it was because I worked pool time into our day.

So for someone who never drank the Disney Kool Aid and for the record, I am still not, here's what I will say about it...I did it. Check. I won't go back. Mostly because I think my kids would have enjoyed a beach vacation over walking 30 miles in four days. Too bad for Hailey because she won't remember it but she was the one I actually got a kick out of watching enjoy it. She was scared of the characters like the princesses and the beast who approached her but she squealed with delight at the Lion King show and rides like the tea cups, It's a Small World and the Carousel. She was just such fun to watch. *(Maybe I'll go on the Disney Cruise for you, Hailey.)

When all is said and done, we did make a lot of memories including celebrating Peyton's 5th birthday there. She got all made up for her dinner with the princesses that night.

Meeting the characters - note Hailey's head whipping around so fast!

The rides - these pictures made me laugh out loud! My kids were so terrified. 

 Posing for some fun "magic shots."

Sunday, December 28, 2014


I love fall but there is something about the Christmas season that edges out fall for my favorite time of the year. Maybe it's the holiday music, the lights, the trees lightly dusted with white powder, walking in the crisp air with a hot beverage and just spending extra special time with friends and family.

This year, here are a few of my favorite moments:

Walking to our town's holiday lights festival. It might be small but there's something about the sense of community and seeing all of your neighbors that makes this event special.

Helping in Austen's classroom for his holiday party. As one of three room moms for his class, I've enjoyed spending time at his school getting to see him interact with his friends, getting to know his teachers and his classmates.

Driving around our town and the neighboring towns looking at Christmas lights with our family. Okay, so maybe about 1/4 the time the kids are interested but Tom and I love to do this.

An impromptu walk around town with some hot chocolate. Peyton already has the pose down.

Listening to Christmas music the entire season all the time. From the moment our station changes to Christmas music that's what we listen to at home and in the car. We have it on constantly. I love it.

Spending time with close friends. It's nice to have some wine or a beer and celebrate the season with some of my closest and longtime friends. Most have been around for 30 years or so now!

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with family. Beyond the presents (and my parents go all out), it's nice to spend time with those you love and catch up. We may tell the same family stories each year but there is something nice about reliving these memories with the only other people who shared these moments growing up with you.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Is Hailey Walking?

That's the question I get almost regularly now. So for the record, at almost 14 1/2 months, Hailey still is not walking. She has started to stand on her own from a sit for almost 20 seconds or so.  Not sure she'll beat Peyton starting to walk at 15 months. Austen was 13 months. Several months ago, I predicted 16 months for her so we'll see who wins. 

If she were my first, I might be worried but all of my kids walked when they were ready.  She's almost there as she's displaying all the right moves to walking.  For now though she is the fastest crawler - of my three anyway. That includes on the stairs! She's very fast going up them and scary fast going down them. In fact, she'll slide backwards on her belly almost the whole way down. And, she thinks it's fun! Maybe she will be my daredevil who doesn't bat an eye at riding roller coasters or going in Haunted Houses. One thing I know for sure, she's going to be able to hold her own. She may be the youngest of my three but she's already very vocal when one of the other two are bothering her! Case in point, I'm driving the car one day as Hailey was eating a little snack (yes, I can see her in her mirror). Peyton was sitting next to her on her way to school where they eat lunch first. All of a sudden, Hailey starts shrieking. I look in the backseat and Peyton is grinning from ear to ear and eating Hailey's goldfish. Hailey wasn't too happy about sharing her food and Peyton was only too happy to annoy her! Best of friends when they get older or worst of enemies? Not sure yet. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Peyton Ties Her Shoes

Four is the magic number. It's the age when I learned how to tie my shoes and it's the age when I taught Austen how to tie his. It is one of my earliest memories and one that involves my beloved grandmother who was visiting us in New Jersey after the birth of my little brother. No one had any time to tie my shoes for me so my grandmother calmly showed me how. Each time I teach one of my children, I fondly remember her and our time together.

So it's only fitting that Peyton too learned how to tie her shoes at age 4 (okay so she squeaked it in about a month before she turned 5 but hey, I've been busy). Like with Austen, I bought her a brand new pair of tie shoes and I told her she could not wear them to school until she learned how to tie them and do a double knot. Austen learned in about a day or so at least it felt like that - he was a quick learner. Peyton could have been a quick learner too but her stubbornness and lack of patience made it take about a week since she would only practice with me about 5 minutes each day. As soon as Hailey would go down for a nap, I would suggest practicing tying her shoes together. But, she was much more interested in getting me to play dress up with her animals or playing by herself in her room. It took a little bargaining on my end to get just five minutes with her to teach her and have her listen. Finally, we succeeded after many "I already know how to do its," when she clearly didn't. But she finally learned.  However, she won't be wearing her new shoes to school anytime soon because she was much too busy to allow time for me to teach her the double knot. I may have to save that one for when she's 5!