Sunday, February 27, 2011


Yesterday, down in Florida Bill's Mum and Dad had to say goodbye to their dear dog Beagle. He had been ailing a while now but they had been trying everything to keep him going... but when his kidney's shut down, there was not much more for him to look forward to. This was very sad for them, and for us here in Maine. He was a crazy old dog, but very much a part of Bill and Beth. Beagle wandered into their lives as a stray at Misty Meadows. While trying to locate his home or owners Bill told me he was ignored; known as the beagle (who wouldn't leave the porch!) He had picked his place, and wouldn't leave. I suppose he knew when he had landed in the right spot, for a homeless dog could never have gotten luckier! Beagle quickly became part of the family- in fact when Wes was born I was taken to calling him "Uncle Beagle!" He was such a character- he knew he had a good life, and liked it that way! He wanted his biscuits- right on time please! He had to share Beth's morning toast crusts and went with them to Florida every year (where he would make the rounds of the neighborhood being served cookies by all this lady friends!) I know their drive back North this year will be odd without him, and we sure will miss his lumpy self! So, R.I.P dear Uncle Beagle~ may you have all the biscuits you want, and bark to your hearts content!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Diet Update

I have been slowly working my way thru the pitfalls of dieting in a household of 5 other non-dieters! It is certainly a challenge to try to cut calories when there are plenty of snack foods, dessert opportunities and activities to attend. Overall I am happy with how well I have been doing; Yesterday marked 5 weeks, and I am down 12.8lbs. I hit my first mini-goal with this weigh in- so that was nice. I am just about on schedule, my goal had been 2lbs a week. I'm not sure I will be able to maintain that level of loss for ever, but now while there is so much to go I'd like to see 8lbs a month. It is sad to think I'm down this far and you can't really even see a difference... When I think about it, its sort of overwhelming... I really do have a long way to go! I'll be excited when my clothes start to get too big, that will be my first real reward for the hard work! I have had some slip ups here and there, a splurge or two but overall I remain committed to this- even though it is difficult!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mama's boy

That's M' boy! Got the coffee cup down pat!

  • I let the 16th of the month come and go... I opted not to do a 2nd year photo shoot. But, there are a few things to note about Wes this month: He is trying really hard to communicate- "dis" and "dat" and something sort of like "yes." He is increasingly clingy; likes either Bill or I to hold him and cries when he is put down or you walk away. Until we got sick he was really enjoying story hour at the library- I ended up going down into Springvale since out local library isn't well attended for the infant hour. It's a nice group, and he has been figuring out the routine and such for the program and having fun with the other kids. I need to do more to get him with children his age, he enjoys it so much! It's also been so cold and snowy I'm starting to notice him getting stir crazy. He has started coloring/holding pens and doing some scribbling. He likes it, and ends up pretty colorful himself!
  • He had the stomach bug we all had and threw up every night for a week! I was pretty unhappy about the whole thing, and took him in to the Pedi. They were not concerned about the vomiting or diarrhea, but since he had lost 10 ounces since his 12 month appointment (just a month ago) there was some concern there. He went from eating 3 or 4 good finger food meals a day to no appetite. Suddenly he will not eat more than a bite or two of anything (even things he loved before) sometimes even refusing bottles. He has gone from easily finishing an 8oz bottle to maybe eating 4. We are going back next week for a weight check... he is on pretty much pediasure or formula until then to pack calories into him when he is willing to eat. If he hasn't gained then we will do some blood work to check for various food intolerances and possible inflammation in the stomach/bowels. I am not overly worried, except he was continued to vomit long after the rest of us are well, and he really doesn't want to eat... He is happy though; active and engaging... so I don't suspect any real issue.

Busy Girls

This weekend was a busy one... Savanna had a cheer competition and Olivia had a horse show. We had to divide and conquer to get it all done! Yesterday Wes and I and Savy went to Scarborough for her cheer competition~ They did it again...
1st place 2 weeks in a row! Yahoo! The girls did great despite their coach not being able to attend. It was such a thrill, they look so amazing- their routine is so awesome! There were some teams that were in Lewiston last weekend, and some other teams too- it was fun to see the new routines. I looks like they will be one of the teams to beat this season!
Today while Savanna had her team pictures Olivia and Bill headed down to Rhode Island for a show down there. Despite me sending them to the wrong farm, they managed alright on their own. I remember showing with my Dad and having those "stuck in the car, can't get away" conversations... so I was glad to send them on the long drive!

As usual her class is late in the day, and apparently the horses were getting tired and cranky. So, despite being over the weight limit for this little guy she pulled she rode him anyhow! She said he was quick, not a pokey pony like he looked and she enjoyed riding him.

She got 2nd place! She only needs 2 more points to qualify for regionals, so fingers crossed that she can make those at the last show! It will be exciting for her to qualify her first year!
You go Girls! We are so proud of you!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby Einstein

We don't need no stinkin' videos... we have our very own Baby Einstein! Last night we were putting the finishing touches on Savanna's Albert Einstein costume (she had to dress up as part of this month's book report) and Wes was very interested in her bushy eyebrows and mustache, so Sav made him uni-brow of his own! They were too cute~

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Savanna's grade started out the school year with some standardized testing so the start of band practice was delayed a bit. This meant they were not ready for a Holiday Concert. They had their first performance yesterday.
A lot of kids have been sick (Savy had just gone back to school after our bug) so some of the concert was cut short, but otherwise they sounded great... if you've ever been to an elementary band concert you should know what I mean :) Savanna is a first year percussionist, and has been doing really well. She is the only 1st year so she basically has weekly private lessons! She has lucked out in that way and is already caught up to the 2nd year kids!

Savanna and Kate did a duet- they picked a pretty easy song and sounded awesome. Mrs Hewitt, the band director said some nice things about how far and fast Savanna has come! She loves her "flams" (playing with both sticks just a second off of each other) and showcased them for the adoring crowd!


We had a very low key Valentine's Day this year... it was the start of a stomach bug here in the house... After the kids got home from school they opened their gifts from the Grandmas, and Mom-Mom plus the stuff we got them.

Bill got the bug first, he was suffering! Our plan had been not to spend any money on each other- just to hang out for the evening. Once it was clear that he wasn't well I tried to stay clear... I should have known it was too late! In the middle of the night Billy, Liv and Wes were all up. My gift to Daddy- I dealt with all the pukies and poopies myself and let him sleep! Happy Valentines Honey!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cheer Competition 2-13-11

Savanna had her first cheer competition today~ The Noble Youth Shining Stars did amazing. Savy and her squad rocked the arena in Lewiston today! We (S and I) were a little nervous about getting her all ready- but she looked great! Her new uniform fits so nicely, her hair piece was a perfect match to her hair color, and her bow stayed put!
Parents are banned from watching the weekly practices, so I honestly had not seen the routine all start to finish with the music. I was blown away by these girls! In fact, all (40!!) of the teams to performed today were great. I found the whole day quite interesting. If it weren't for Savanna I would never ever have any reason to be near a cheer squad. It's certainly not a sport I ever put much thought into. I would never say that I could get into it... but I got swept away today! These girls have so much spirit... and Oh My! What atheleticism!! There was no way you could be in that arena and not feel it!
I was really enjoying watching the teams go, but I was also getting nervous for Savy. I knew she was a bit worried about messing up! We shouldn't have worried! The Shining stars were the second to last to go in their age catergory and division... Not knowing too much about what the judges were looking for I didn't have much to go on. I just took my pictures, cheered like crazy and teared up when Savy had a flawless performance. I knew they looked great, the routine was awseome...

and all their hard work really paid off! The girl's WON!!! Their first competition (Sav's first ever!) and a State wide one too boot... Yipee!! Infact, Noble swept the event. We won 4 out of 5 of the catergories. The preK-3rd grade got 4th place, but everything else was won by Noble! Our coaching staff is amazing, and we have some super girls. The high school team won the over all Champions for the day, having the highest score of any team there! For a first experience it was surely one we wont forget! Savanna was a little taken aback by all the girls/parents who were crying after the awards ceremony. I had to explain that they won't win 1st place every time, and this was a pretty cool thing for the team! I was so proud; I got a little misty myself... I'm so glad she is so into this. It's very cool to be a part of something like this... lets hope next weekend's comp goes just as well!

Some things I learned as a first time Cheer Mom:
1. stand in line, even if its cold and you would rather stay in the car... you will get a better seat!
2. dont feel badly asking another Mother to do your girls' hair... its better that the curls stay put!
3. keep taking pictures even with your eyes blurry with tears- they will come out anyhow!

Kaleb's Birthday

This week it will be Kaleb's 10th birthday! One of the very first things I did with Bill and the Kids (In fact, I think it was when Em, and Mom and Dad first met them all) was go down to Melrose for Kaleb's birthday... He must have been turning 3 I think?! It was a Thomas the train themed party and I still remember how cute he was...
Fast forward to last night when Em and Kurt hosted his Army guy party! We all went over to celebrate (even though Wes had been throwing up the night before...) with them. Billy went over Friday night, and spent the night so he was able to go with a few of K's school chums to play lazer tag and run around the arcade. We arrived in time for pizza, cake and ice cream (diet wreckers!)
Em made a great cake with army vs. knights. They had a great "set up" on the cake with all of the figures mid battle! We gifted Kaleb his very own chick (which he can pick out in a few weeks- if spring ever decides to make an appearance in New England!) the will live in our flock. I hope he likes it, I know that he and Billy love playing with the chickens; now he will have one that is his own!

I'm not sure how I got these cool glowing reflections? of the flames in all of my picture of him blowing out his candles... Anyhow, we had fun, ate way too many calories and helped Kaleb usher in the double digits! Happy Birthday K!!

Twin Bears

Uncle Eddie's Mom and Dad sent along this adorable purple bear for Wes' birthday... turns out they picked out the exact same bear that Santa put in Savanna's stocking this year! So, now they have twin bears

IEA Show 2-6-11

ETA: Because I am tired of struggling to make my phone sync with the computer I found a new way to post my pictures from there... I've taken shots of the picture on the phone with my camera! Here is Olivia at the show
Last weekend Olivia had another IEA show, this time at Volo in Westford, Ma. It was a nice place; terrible parking issues with all the snow, but a well run event with lovely horses. Unfortunately Billy had borrowed my memory card and never put it back in the camera, I didn't notice until I was ready to shoot her class. Ugg. I've been waiting to see if any of the other parents sent along pictures, but no such luck. So, this is the photo-less post to remember the day!

She rode a very nice, large horse. He was a pretty handsome strawberry roan, an odd color for the big drafty type that he was which made him easy to spot. Liv enjoyed her ride, and she looked great! She did very well with him; had some lovely moments- a perfect walk/canter transition right in the center of the arena for example... and struggled here and there- a late downward from canter/walk. All in all it was a great ride and she placed 3rd! She got 4 more points, and with 2 shows left it is still possible she may qualify for regionals! I wish I had some pictures, but you'll have to take my word for it- she looked great out there!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mid Winter

One day last week I drove the kids out to the "bus stop" (the end of the driveway!) as it was very cold:
That is -8f at 6:20 when I took Olivia out. Brrrr. We are in the midst of winter for sure! It seems like the heart of the dark cold days but, we are into February already?! I'll be glad for Spring~ this winter had been a real Ol' fashioned one! We have had plenty of cold, and more than our fair share of snow! Typically we either get a cold winter, or a snowy one... but this year we are getting both!

I try to get Wes out when I can... we have had some days where it never gets out of the single digits- so on those days he is stuck inside. All the other days we go out if only for a few minutes. Sometimes I think it takes longer to get all the gear on that we actually spend outside! He loves being out there though, and even enjoys riding the snowmobile with Daddy!

Savanna and Bill have taken some longer outings on the sled, and are really enjoying it. Bill loves pulling the kids around on the toboggan behind him. I have even gone a few times to putz around the field. The other afternoon the setting sun was beautiful. With trying not to slide off and holding onto Wes I couldn't get a good picture- but it sure was pretty!

I am thankful for the new truck and it's plow. Bill has had to move a lot of snow! The kids have had 3 snow days, 2 early releases and a late start! They are all home today. School was called off yesterday afternoon for today! We got another foot or so, but I was prepared for up to 20 inches, so it doesn't seem that bad! The horses are all doing well- Squeeke did have some funny snow balls in her hooves the other afternoon, but otherwise everyone is fairing nicely. On some of the colder days I've added oats and beet pulp to their meals, and I always double the hay rations for the cold spells. It won't be too long now until the mud and black flies arrive!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Diet: week 3

The Monday after Wes' birthday I was seriously committed to cutting my calories. I have GOT to loose weight! Sadly, I've done this all before; but never-the-less I have 50 or so lbs to shed. It's been 2 full weeks and I am doing well. I lost 3.4lbs the first week, and 3.2 this past week. I am very happy with that, although I know it won't come off this fast for long! I am restricting myself to 1,200 calories a day, aiming for as many veggies as I can and tracking everything that goes into my mouth. I can eat whatever I want, as long as I stay under that mark for the day. I am using an online calorie counter, and checking in with a few ladies on the Diaper Pin... using the computer to hold myself accountable has been good for me. It's cold and snowy, and I would love to hunker down with some comfort food, but I know what I have to do! So, my goal is to be down to 150 pounds or so mid summer. Ill check in here and there, as it's going to be a long road!