The world has come full circle. Exactly one year to the day of our big move up from CT, Connor was baptized in what will be the church community he will be a part of. When we first moved, we wanted to know where we would be settling down before his baptism and that was still such an unknown. For whatever reason it was important to me that the parish we had this sacrament would be the parish we would be a part of. We didn't know where that parish would be. When we did buy the house and settle into our new routine it was fall, it was Thanksgiving, Christmas, the kids' birthdays and WHAM, Connor was one entire year old and still had not had his dip into the baptismal font.

What to do when your baby is a walking one year old and cannot wear a traditional Christianing Gown?

Let's just pretend that I didn't wake up thinking we were going to have to call the whole thing off. I felt knots in my stomach and had to do the in through the nose out through the mouth DO NOT PUKE mental ditty.If Steve had not allowed me to sleep for another two hours I am not sure it would have happened. I drifted in and out keeping track of time by the Disney Cartoons still booming from the television. "Oh, Handy Manny, another 21 minutes gone by, it must be 8."

I hope no one else gets the bug I had, I tried to keep my distance and I washed my hands all the live long day. I wonder if we should have cancelled, if we should have done it. I just hope no one else gets sick.

Connor was racing around like a mad man before the ceremony and when the priest arrived he quieted on my lap, sat for the most part in a sort of reverent silence. He knew something important was happening. Besides briefly grabbing his newly baptized head, Connor was a champ. We're so proud of him and his godparents; Auntie k and Uncle Marc. He's so lucky to such wonderful people in his life.

I kept making excuses and feeling guilty that we had been so lax in organizing this sacrament for him, but in reality it is the perfect way to close the great year of transition. We arrived in Massachusetts last year on February 27th, the same day Connor took his baptismal dip, a metaphor for so many things in our life. Our year of change has ended and it is like a rebirth in so many ways.

day job

My day job comes complete with a speedy sleek Mini laptop. It is adorable. The battery life is unreal. It allows precisely ZERO online access to anything beyond mapping sites and our company website. I've lost touch here and it affects me deeply. Tapping these keys and hitting the post button allows me to keep simple order in my life and maintain some sense of perspective in the daily drama of our family's life. I've really been missing that.

There are big holes in this place where I have diligently chronicled the nut house since ohhh, 2006. Those big holes make me sad because I won't be able to go back and relive the things in those holes because all that sits there is the space between posts. In years I'll wonder, when did Connor get those two top teeth? It was a couple weeks ago and they have been coming in PAINFULLY slowly. His smile is forever changed and when he lays back on the ground and belly laughs at nothing more than the wonderfulness of being alive those teeth make him look at least two. The baby in him has all but vanished. All that remains of that era is a baby bottle he STILL drinks at least 3 times a day, feetie pajamas and too tight onesies. Today he wore a polo shirt with long sleeves layered under and I felt like I was in a time warp when he raced by me in the kitchen. Who was that adorable little BOY. Time is slipping out of my grasp. In that blink I swear he could have been 14 opening the fridge to do the long peer in plotting how he would eat us out of house and home in the span on one evening.

We caught Caroline pulling Connor into a corner to feed him pieces of Trader Joe's Puffins cereal. She gathers him into her arms and plants kisses on his cheeks all while he pushes away from her to reach an object that has caught his fleeting curiousity. Some nights they take baths together and I think they both prefer those nights. Tonight was one of those nights and they could not bear to be apart post bath; Connor straining against me uncharacteristically to race off naked next door to squeal happily with his equally naked sister. Post bath Connor is typically calm, Maggie Simpsoning that pacifier, closing his eyes in contentment while I gently rub his hair to a damp dry with the towel. Tonight they reminded us while we had two. Two naked bums running around the room. Two giggling happy souls. Double happiness.

My day job doesn't allow me that time during daylight to ponder this place, to spend a lunch hour tapping away, but I miss it enough to work it back in. If not for my sanity, for the future Kerri who will want to read and relive and relish these sweet simple moments of motherhood.

courtesy of Kiki and Auntie k

fun new game

We're deep into the "where's Mama's nose?" game with Connor. He grabs on. HARD. and does not let go until you exclaim OUCH in pain or until his little talons of fury (BC class of 2032 shout out!) scrape deeply into your delicate snoz skin. Tonight I stopped him and held his nose in my fingers and wouldn't you know he suddenly went "ahhhhhh" and smiled the biggest smile. Don't worry, no talons of fury involved on my part.

ears and not the mickey kind

We are currently on that same slippery slope of antibiotic poop of doom that was all too familiar when Caroline would get an ear infection requiring anything stronger than amoxicillin to clear up. Finally we find something that is the same between children! yay! =(

I brough a huge tub of triple paste to daycare this afternoon. I packed a lunch of banana (hates), applesauce (loathes), and whole grain bread (tolerable) in hopes of getting ahead of his terrible reaction, but I suspect he would prefer to starve himself than eat his lovingly and thoughfully prepared BRAT diet lunch. I have been putting acidopholous probiotic into apple juice or yogurt daily since his well visit on Monday revealed the double ear infections, but it hasn't gotten us ahead of the dreaded rash.

Funny thing about that awful double ear infection diagnosis; it occurred during the kids' well visits on Monday. I had a schedule appointment for both of them at 9:15AM. It was a risk taking both of them solo, but it was a risk I was willing to try. Once. Never again. The kids were amazing, playing together in the play area, being as patient as a four and one year old could be. Connor tried to sit on a stool and color like his big sister and I took turns hoisting them up onto my shoulder to touch the snowflakes hanging from the ceiling. They raced around the waiting room until after 10AM. I had actually and uncharacteristically arrived early at this appointment as well, hoping that an early arrival for one of the first appointment's of the day might get me in and out earlier. At 9:40 I asked what the hold up was and was met with, "do you have a scheduled appointment?" If I had not had to have Connor's ears checked I would have rescheduled, but that would have brought them far too much satisfaction because presto, they would have been ontime. Someone arrived and heard me talking on the phone about the lateness and gasped when they realized they were waiting for the same doctor. We went back and stripped the littlest patient down to his diaper at 10:05 and the doctor knocked on the door at nearly 10:30. All their patience was gone, their good moods disappeared, and they were both hungry. One missed his morning nap to sit in the doctor's office and watch his sister purposely name incorrect colors because she thought is was silly. I was flaming mad, but Connor did have a terrible double ear infection which made staying worth my time.

I had to watch my poor girl get two shots and seriously nothing can prepare you for the look of betrayal on a four year old's face when she realizes that a shot HURTS. I think it is way worse to watch an older kid get vaccinated than a baby. There is no quick pick up, no shhing, no manuever to correct that betrayal. She stood there screaming for several minutes and I felt so bad for her. I had been answering her, "why isn't someone coming yet?" questions since 10:10 with, "I don't know, but I don't know if we should come back here." She looked up at me with those tears pooling on her chin, dropping slowly to floor and told me, "I never want to come back here again."

Dropped her at school, picked up antibiotic, ibuprophen, and probiotic at CVS, dropped Connor at Kiki's. Finally started my WORK day at 12:30. 12:30.

This is WHY I never arrive anywhere early. This is WHY I hardly ever arrive on time.

Connor: 21 lbs 12 oz (up nearly 2 lbs since the post Christmas stomach bug), 30 inches
Caroline: 34 lbs, 40 inches - tall enough to ride Splash Mountain at Disney this fall.

So worth it

These are the valentines that were written by the kids and not the parents. Pretty impressive. Glad we took the time to help her write out caro on all 21 of her cards. Keeping these forever.


Let’s be honest; three was hard. Not only was there a ridiculous amount of change in Caroline’s fourth ride around the sun, but three, oh the challenges of three. Our headstrong Caroline became even more so. She grew up in so many ways. Her vocabulary skyrocketed (“also,” “disappointed,” “idea,” “guys”). She has such an understanding of the world around her (“Mommy, that is a fox.” I can see the moon, it must be getting dark soon!”) She also grew in height, shooting up like a little sapling, though that did little to help her from getting stuck in the snow yesterday. If it was up to my hips imagine how deep it was for her. I can barely remember the baby she was as I watch her “reading” a story, listen to spontaneously craft a song about whatever is going on around her, or smell that full head of boingy springy curls.
She keeps me grounded. When it’s my turn to do the daycare pick up and my patience has hit the wall, her simple presence in the car asking me to play “auntie colleen’s song” or to turn up the radio so she can bop her head calms me, brings me back to the happy reality of my real life. Let’s not pretend Caroline is always serenity inducing. She bangs around like she has eaten ½ a bag of sugar most evenings during the dreaded dinner prep, screaming for no reason, so full of energy that I often can’t hear myself think and often beg her to please.stop.please.
For all the frenetic makes me crazy behavior, the incomprehensible attitude and the ridiculous whining, Caroline makes me laugh. She makes me shake my head in disbelief with some completely random fact she suddenly knows (“when ice melts it turns into water”), she makes me laugh out loud (“when will the wind blow all the snow away?”) and she pushes my heart to the limit with her tight squeezes, her requests that I sit next to me, and her shining beautiful brown eyes.
Caroline loves all things girly; dress up (her current favorite is the slip from under my first communion dress), dancing (she goes onto the toes of her sneakers when she wants to be a ballerina), listening to music and singing along, being Mommy (“you can be sister, ok Mommy?”), pretending to be Miss Melissa from school, practicing her coloring skills on page after page of Disney Princesses, and she can still cook a mean bowl of soup in the kitchen – though lately she’s more into dinner prep chopping her Velcro veggies or making individual cupcakes with Velcro cake decorations. She loves pink, but she also loves maroon and gold and can spot a BC hat or shirt across a restaurant. She loves hockey, pretends to use the clicker to put “football on for Daddy,” and she asked us recently to teach her how to ice skate. She draws robots and monsters and dinosaurs. She loves playing with Connor’s toys; banging hammers, racing cars, and tossing balls. When she doesn’t want to share something she stuffs in under her behind and sits on it, a skill she must have perfected at school. When she wants you to play with her she will not take no for an answer thrusting whatever object she wants to SHARE WITH YOU ALREADY into your lap, into your hands, or into your face. She recently wrote her name without any adult help. She sweetly helps her brother and her affection for him grows daily. She understands more than I knew a four year old was capable. She has full conversations with me about silly things and serious things alike. God, I love her.

It would be impossible to list all the things she learned, did, and said this year. It would take several posts to share her many accomplishments. I simply could not do this year justice in that way and let’s face it, you wouldn’t have the stamina to read it all. Instead, allow me to share the shining moment of her fourth birthday party.

Each year the party guests gather around the table to sing a rousing rendition of “happy birthday.” Prior to this year she has shied from the attention, afraid or unable to blow out her own candles. I didn’t dare put a party hat on her head because at best she wouldn’t wear it, at worst she would collapse into an unhappy “everyone is looking at me and now you put a hat on my head” puddle of tears. This year, our birthday girl plopped her “birthday princess” party hat wearing self directly in front of her cake and waited patiently for the world to celebrate her birth through song. She soaked up the love and attention and I could barely believe my eyes. She smiled. She blew out all four candles spelling her shortened moniker in order, “C.A.R.O.” I am proud of her everyday, but on that day, at that moment, as I watched her blow out the candles on that mini cake, I could almost see her smiling as she blew out the candles on her next 99 birthday cakes. I saw a glimpse of the future confident, affectionate, brilliant Caroline she will become. We’re doing ok. She’s growing up and whatever four has up its sleeve, bring it.

make a wish

A funny thing happened with the candles; Caroline's "CARO" candles worked perfectly, while Connor's "CON" candles had some issues. In the end only the "N" would light. Four candles for Caroline and One for Connor. Just as it should have been...

4th and 1

This Sunday we hosted an informal tailgate themed "4th and 1" birthday party for the kids. Thanks to Kiki and Linda for some of these shots. Video forthcoming. I cannot believe my girl will be FOUR this week and that our tiny baby is ONE.