Thursday, July 30, 2009


They have never been bitten near the eye before and now BOTH of them have swollen eyes. Maddie got her bite yesterday and this morning woke up looking like a prize fighter.
I have a call into the doctor and am waiting to hear back. Do they even have benadryl for 2 year olds? Does it make them sleepy?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mosquito bites

Are my kids the only ones who react horribly to mosquito bites? Even with repellent they still get bit and the bites swell up like nothing I've ever seen. Yesterday Jackson got a bite on his eyebrow and it looked fine most of the afternoon but this morning when he got up his eye is swollen half way shut. Sometimes they blister and the area around it gets red and hot. Neither have ever had any red rings or fevers. So are they the only ones?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Nahant beach

We were actually able to go to the beach two weeks in a row! Of course this past week we weren't able to go on Tuesday but our rain date of Wednesday worked out great. It wasn't sunny at all but that makes it more comfortable anyway. My friend Danika was meeting a friend at Nahant beach that day so I joined them.



There was much fighting over beach toys. But then I taught the boys that you could bury each other in the sand. That was fun.
S was doing something I'm not sure what with the straw but I'm sure it was a very critical step in the burying process.


Brothers J and M.

Even Jackson loved to be buried.

Shortly after that they turned on me and buried me! Once we were sufficiently covered in sand from head to toe we all went down to the water to rinse off which we did but it was all for naught when we ended up having a mud fight and by we I mean all 5 kids and me. The moms were just laughing at me. I was running around like a maniac through the water and in the sand. The next day my calf and ankle muscles were completely locked up and hurt so bad!! I should have known better.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


This is how I found Jackson in the morning a few days ago. This explains how things from the shelves were strewn about the floor. He gets out, throws everything, then gets back in the crib so when I go in he looks innocent. But I caught him in the act! See? Bugger.

Bath time this morning


Another photo from Kristen's photo session last night.

I'm an auntie again!!!!!!!!!

Kristen's c-section was scheduled for this morning so I went up to Gloucester to visit them last night and to take some last minute pictures of her pregnant belly. She hasn't seen them yet and I'm not sure what she wants me to share or not share. However I had to show this one. We just did a real quick casual shoot in her living room so M&J were in and out of the room. You know this picture isn't posed because the odds of getting her to do this on command are slim to none. Too cute!

This morning I took M&J to meet their second cousin in 6 days. OH! her name is Alyssa LeAnn and she was 7 lb 3 oz. The surgery was going well until about a minute before it was all over she suddenly felt a sharp pain so they knocked her out. Everyone is doing well now. Raffe was so excited to see his new sister. He kept taking pictures with his camera and showing everyone.

Alert after her very first and successful feeding.

Overheard on the monitor

As they are waking up...

J: mommy seeping
M: no daddy seeping
J: no mommy seeping
progressively louder
M: no mommy seeping
this continues for quite some time

M: dachan lay down. one, two, fee, fi. go to bed
J: No! mommy seeping

J: to madison I presume: get down! bu boy (good boy)

M: you alright dachan? got a boo boo? you ok?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

28 Months

Dear Madison,

This past month you've been a little difficult to please. You've been more whiney and clingy than usual and oh so demanding. The first thing you ask for when you get up in the morning is milk but the word takes about 4 seconds from start to finish and the pitch starts out low, goes high, and back to low. I make you say "milk please" before I will get it for you. I guess someday you'll understand. You're also very clingy and need to be with mommy or daddy if we're at a party or something. You get very upset when one of us walks away even if you're with Grandma or Nanny.
Your singing has gone to a whole new level. You sing Tora Lora (sp?), the ABC song, twinkle twinkle, itsy bitsy spider and when I say you sing them I mean you say the words to the best of your ability from beginning to end. You sing when we put you down for a nap or bed, in the car, or playing by yourself. If we come in the room or look at you, you immediately stop.
You are speaking in full complete sentences. You know all of your colors and most letters. You've known these things for quite a few months now I just kept forgetting to write it down.
Bossing Jackson around has become a new hobby. We'll hear you say "No no Dachan", or "get down Dachan", "don't do dat Dachan. K?"
One day I said I wanted to hold you like a baby. You let me do it and now you ask for it, "Hold you like a baby!" I love how you say you instead of me. "Mama tickle you", "Mama hold you".
Your cousin Sophia was born on your 28 month birthday. It's been less than a week but so far you're not thrilled with her. You talk about her a lot and like to see pictures but when we're with her you don't want anything to do with her. You don't seem to get upset when I hold her but Daddy took you to see her the other day and you got really upset when he held her.
Things that make you happy: being tickled if you're in the mood, running, splashing in water.
Things that make you sad: diaper changes, being tickled if you're not in the mood, being in a "strange" place if mommy or daddy aren't holding you.
You have one freckle right at the base of your neck on the front.

Dear Jackson,

You are such a bugger. I am constantly saying that to you because you are always getting yourself into trouble. You just can't help yourself. You do NOT listen to us when we tell you you shouldn't be doing something. We've been so consistent with giving you time outs when you don't listen but you're just not catching on.
You're talking a lot more. You're mostly saying two word phrases but have been known to throw in some three word phrases. As we're driving in the car you label everything you see.
Even though you can be such a bugger you are such a sweet boy. I still can't get over how much I love you. One night you woke up in the middle of the night so Daddy brought you into our bed to sleep with us. I was facing away from you (because if I face you I can't fall asleep because I can't help but marvel at you) and you rolled over and put your arm over me. I was a mess. I just started bawling. It was the sweetest thing ever. You love to feed me food and you share things with your sister so well (for the most part).
We were having a hard time keeping you in your crib. A few times I found you on top of your bureau throwing the things on the shelves on the floor. We figured out that if there was any furniture right next to your crib that you could easily get out. So we moved the crib away from everything and you haven't gotten out since. That is such a relief because I am NOT ready for beds.
Things that make you happy: The kitty, riding the trike down the hill/walkway, being chased, being tickled, Jackie.
Things that make you sad: diaper changes, getting a boo boo, leaving a fun place
I found a second freckle on you. It's on your back. I won't mention where the first one is ;-)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sophia's first photo shoot

I posted the session on my photography blog.

Bridal shower

My second youngest cousin Mike is getting married next month. Today was the bridal shower in Hartford. The restaurant was absolutely beautiful, the food was wonderful and the company was great as usual.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm an auntie!!!!!!!!!

Courtney had enough of being pregnant. Just shy of 38 weeks she went into labor and baby Sophia Ellen was born on July 17th weighing 6 lb 6 oz. Everyone is in love with her already and I'm so excited to finally be an auntie!
Chris and I went to see her on the 17th (friday) while Madison and Jackson were with my parents. Saturday morning we brought them to meet their first cousin. I am so excited for them to have cousins that they will be so close to.

Jackson looking on as his Papa holds another baby. Madison and Jackson were very leery of the whole situation.

Here they are both looking at her for the first time

Jackson finally decided it would be ok to give Sophia a kiss

She's so sweet!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dit dat donal fawm

Madison learned a new song last week. She had gone for a ride in the car with my mom and my father's cousin Anna (who oddly enough has boy/girl twin grandchildren two months older than M&J). I had never sung old macdonald to them before. Anna sang it a few times and Maddie caught right on.

Last week on our way home from western Mass I recorded her singing it on my cell phone. Then I recorded that with chris's point and shoot camera. Then I edited the video in imovie to add the lyrics so you would know what she was saying. :-)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Great Grandma's 90th Birthday Celebration

Last Sunday we had a surprise celebration for my Grandmother's 90th Birthday. She was really surprised since her birthday isn't until October. Also her two brothers and their families came out from California to celebrate with us. My aunts and uncles wanted to plan the party in the summer so we'd be able to have nice weather. It was a perfect day at Look Park in Florence, MA and it was the first time all 8 of my cousins and I were in the same place since I believe 1997 (someone correct me if I'm wrong).
Elena has 11 great-grandchildren (only 3 of which are girls!), 9 grandchildren, and 5 children. She has a fascinating history that I started to document here

Grandma, her brother, and oldest daughter Judy watching a photo movie I made documenting our family's history. Everyone loved it and thought it was wonderful. My dad gave a short but emotional speech before the video that left everyone in tears.


M&J enjoying the cake. It's their favorite part of any party.

Grandma's brothers

In honor of our Spanish heritage we had a pinata (even if it was lightning mcqueen). The kids were all so excited about taking a hack at it. Some kids took turns then it was Jackson's turn. He hit it once or twice then I gave the bat to Maddie so she could take a turn. Jackson went right over to where some other toys were and grabbed a lacrosse stick! He's very resourceful.

The oldest great-grandchild was the one to bring it down. It was fun to watch them all rush to it to see what was inside.

5 Children: Linda, David, Bernie, Bob, Judy

The west coast crew.

9 grandchildren: Tracy, Rick, Jen, Chirs, Mike, Alissa, Sandy, Jim, Me

11 Great-grandchildren: Jack, Hunter, Jacob, Kathryn, Emma, Tyler, Tom, Benjamin, Ben, Jackson, Madison

We had two attempts at this shot of absolutely everybody. I set the timer then ran to my spot. The first one came out the best.

But I had to share this one because on the second run back to my spot I tripped and my shoe fell off. I'm oh so graceful. You can see my shoe on the ground.

My cousin Jim and his family

Jim's sister Sandy and her family. You'd never know they wanted NOTHING to do with sitting near each other. You might have thought I asked the kids to sit in dog poop! It was so funny!

My cousin Rick and his family

My cousin Jen and her family (Hunter is Maddie's fellow red head of the family)

Aunt Judy and her "kids"

My cousin Mike and his fiance Marilyn. Their wedding is in 5 weeks! I can't get over that this was the first time I met her. She's SOOOOO nice and I'm very excited for them.

Uncle Dave and his family

Uncle Dave was kind enough to take a picture with me in it. These are my two baby cousins

Jackson loved Mike's dog Bear. I think Jackson was a little confused by the name though. Everytime I would call him Bear he would say "dog".
On a side note Jackson is in horribly unmatched clothing because half way through the trip out to Florence Jackson decided he was going to spew like the exorcist. It just kept coming out. We had to pull over on the Mass Pike, strip him down and wash him up the best we could. He had to ride the rest of the way in his diaper and with no car seat cover since that was drenched in vomit. When we got there I had to take him to the bathroom and wash his hair in the sink and rinse out the clothes and car seat cover. The only other clothes I brought for him were warm clothes in case it got cold and a bathing suit.

My dad and his uncle

Aunt Linda and her girls

4 generations

4 generations

The outlaws Mark, Paul, and Mike. Grandma's beer was just a prop.

If you're family I'm sure you'll want to see the rest of the photos. Click here to see them.


Today the kids were in our bedroom. They were pretending to sleep. I absolutely love how Jackson snores. In the beginning Maddie was bossing Jackson around.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


A couple of years ago Discovery Channel had a commercial that Chris just loved the song to. When M&J were babies they would laugh when he would play it. He recently broke it out again and they absolutely love it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Public service announcement

Hold on tight to the swing. Face plants can be hazardous to your nose.