Saturday, August 29, 2009

AUGUST 17th: Air Conditioning

Aug 9, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Growing up, this was our A/C. Box fans. In the extreme heat we have been having, the box fans have been struggling to keep up. Numerous Facebook posts about melting and sweaty days of being too hot to move, and I am ready for Fall!

Friday, August 28, 2009

AUGUST 16th: Sunday Morning

Aug 16 006, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Some of us wake up a little slower than others in this family, which is why poor Liam is often relegated to lying prone next to Mommy while she shakes off the clutch of sleep. This morning, I grabbed my camera. He was trying so hard to be calm. You can see him feverishly sucking on his binky to try and lull himself back to sleep (NO, Mommy is NOT getting up before 6!).

Anyhow, what I was trying to capture, I got here. See Liam's left hand? See how he plays with his Lambie's ear? That is self soothing activity. I think it's so cute. Not only because it's darling to see him twirling that little ear just as he has since he was a few months old, but also because I, as a child, used to fold my Blankie into little triangles which I rubbed between my fingers in the same fashion.

AUGUST 15th: Such a River Person!

Aug 15, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

There is nothing more beautiful than a waterfall on a hot summer day, even if it is swarming with people like ants on a drop of lemonade. Kent Falls...the last time we visited was in the foggy cold, this time it was like another whole place. Crystal water, lush surroundings and spectacular views forever. The kids keep asking to go back. I am completely game.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

AUGUST 14th: Totot Day Two

Aug 15 005, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

And here he is a day later. Some minor aesthetic improvements on day two...he has gotten hair (which they felt he needed) and a hat (which I felt he needed to cover up the tape I used to affix his hair). He has been carted around lovingly, and not so lovingly (turns out he springs back up when you punch him down like a punching bag toy). He has lost an arm too many times to count and ended up in hospital. "Mommy, can you put Mr. Totot's arm back on." Yessssss....ugh.

As I write this blog, it's now the end of August and Mr. Totot is still with us, although permanently an amputee. He is dented and his cardboard is softening with age, but he is well loved. He stands, a statue erected to commemorate the love of a mother for her children and her willingness, on one special morning, to indulge their silly requests.

AUGUST 13th: Totot Day One

Aug 14 011, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

So, Thursday morning, six thirty am, little boy asks to make a robot. Pretty common around here to have odd requests. What was uncommon was my willingness to oblige his odd request. I immediately sprung into action, scrounging up old boxes and cartons. What you see here is Mr. Totot, just minutes after rolling off the assembly line.

AUGUST 12th: Coloring

Wed Aug 12, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Sometimes I look at this child that God gave me and I realize, that coloring just could not have been made by anyone but a greater being. It's so spectacular. She's like a little china doll. My little china doll!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Public Service Annoucement: Aldi Grocery Stores

Best deals around...if you haven't been to one, find one! I am going to list the items I got yesterday, the prices I paid and the total of the whole check...AMAZING...

Package of 30 diapers - $5.99
Package of 6 knock off Drumstick Cones - $1.99
Two bunches of bananas - $1.78
Big bag of frozen chicken breasts - $5.99
2 - 3-cup bags of shredded jack and cheddar at $1.99 ea
2 - pork breakfast sausage packs of 12 - $2.19 ea
1 Asiago shredded cheese tub $1.99
Cheddarwurst sausages - package of 6 - $1.99
Bag of baby carrots - $0.69
2 pounds of butter - $1.89 ea
4 bags of Kona coffe - $3.99 ea
1 standard cube of cream cheese - $0.99
Package of 25 corn tortillas for enchiladas - $1.19
Package of taco shells - $0.99
3 packets of taco seasoning - $0.33 ea
1 big can of pinto beans - $0.99
2 boxes of Uncle Bens rice sides - $1.69 ea
1 bag of fresh green beans (1 lb) - $1.99
1 large canister of oats - $1.79
1 pound of sliced colby cheese - $1.49
1/2 pound of sliced turkey - $2.49
1 pint of sour cream - $0.89
1 pound of bacon - $1.99
2 pasta packages (alfredo type) - $0.66 ea
2 Pasta entrees (same as above slightly bigger) - $0.79 ea
1 bottle of BBQ sauce $0.89
2 bags of white tortilla chips $0.99 ea
2 bags of frozen blueberries $2.69 ea
Package of 8 pork chops $5.33
Pound of ground turkey $2.49
mini rice cakes $1.99
Snack almonds in a bag $3.49
One sleeve of large rice cakes $1.29
One big box of italian ice squeeze pops (25) $3.99

total: under $98.00!

Monday, August 17, 2009

AUGUST 11th: Ruby the Dog

Tues Aug 11, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Sporting the summer's hottest look for beagles, Ruby is wearing a pair of Fendi glasses. Ruby stays cool by spending time at the water's edge. She's not much for getting her hair mussed up by actually swimming, but she adores the family time lakeside!

AUGUST 10th: And Now...

Mon Aug 10, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Soccer camp!

Poor thing had back-to-back camp experiences. She loved dance camp and made it all the way through to the recital. Soccer was not the same experience. Let's just focus on how it was the hottest day of the year when she started, or how camp went for three and a half grueling hours! No matter how you slice it, she didn't like it.

So, I had to think on my feet as a parent. I didn't want to sour her on the experience of soccer, or God forbid, all sports, due to one bad experience. On the flip side, I didn't want her to think she could quit everything on a whim either. So, I made up a couple of family ground rules:
1) You never can quit after day one. You have to go back and face day two to make a proper assessment.
2) When you want to quit, you have to go and tell them that you are done with the program.

We did all right and followed our own rule one, but skipped out on rule two. DU-OH!

AUGUST 9th: Music Party

Sunday Aug 9, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

When I was a little girl, I distinctly remember my parents having friends over and playing with my dad's reel-to-reel. Recording crowd sing-a-long versions of Yellow Submarine and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, these were lively groups. Our old hand-me-down organ from Grandma and Grandpa, microphones, bass, guitars, bongos, all would come to the party.

Maybe that is why I feel compelled to have music gatherings for my kids. I loved these times. I saw freedom of expression in my parents' faces. I heard love of life in the music they made. Creativity danced around the room.

AUGUST 7th: Auntie Tate and Abery

IMG00708.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

We love it when the aunties come for a visit. This week we are fortunate enough to have BOTH aunties coming. Cate's here first. Ash is coming tomorrow! Get ready for pictures of Ruby, too!

AUGUST 7th: Finally, Summer is Here

Aug 7th 096, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Look at this sky! Never you mind that the sun is setting at 8 instead of 9 now. Don't you worry your pretty little heads that the days are getting shorter. No. It will only make for crisp days of fall and apple picking in short order. But for now, summer is finally upon us. Drink it in.

AUGUST 6th: Color Fun

Aug 3 013, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

This is an art major's dream: to have a job where they get to use glue, scissors and poster board. To be able to play with color in theoretical sense. To be able to think creatively. Toys. Great industry for me.

AUGUST 5th: Evening Swimming

Aug 5 021, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

This week is annual sales meeting week. I am barely home. Up at the crack of dawn and out the door early. However, I opted out of the Wednesday dinner to spend some time with the family. The kids loved every minute of having a "happy hour" swim time. They were exhausted by the time we got them in bed, though! Nothing like water play to tucker the younguns out!

AUGUST 4th: The Other Day....I Saw a Bird...

Aug 7th 025, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

a GREAT BIG bird!! Oh my word!

There is a hawk who seems to have taken up residence in the neighbor's trees. He/she even lands on the roof at times and caws from up there like he/she owns the place! I was taking Elena to camp and Liam and Elena were standing in the driveway. Two hawks were circling above and fighting in a sort of predatory dance. I was hoping they were just fighting over territory, but it really appeared as though they were fighting over the potential giant food source that was Liam!

Friday, August 14, 2009

AUGUST 3rd: First Day of Dance Camp

Aug 3 001, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

It's a big step, the first day of camp. It's a big step, the first day of dance. So, it's a double-big step when you do both on the same day. It was quite and experience for Elena and me. I don't know how to put this exactly, but let's say the recital at the end of the week put me in touch with my uncoordinated genes. Poor little bug.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

AUGUST 2nd: Rainy Day Hike

Kent Falls, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

So, you may have heard me mention the rain? It's gotten to the point where I am tired of not doing things because the weather refuses to cooperate. So, on this Sunday, we went on a rainy day hike up Kent Falls. It turned out to be amazing! The falls were raging and the kids, once they were wet, were thrilled with the experience. Eventually, they even went in the water!

On the ride home, we passed a covered bridge and pulled off at what we thought might be a picturesque spot. It turned out to be RAGING rapids. One of the guys there, who had also pulled off to take pictures, told me a day or two earlier, he had seen kayakers riding the rapids. Apparently, they were classifying these Housatonic rapids at level five! Pretty darn cool. Can you see the rapids here?

Bulls Bridge - Gaylordsville, CT:
View from Bull's Bridge

Housatonic RAGING

Bulls Bridge - Gaylordsville, CT

The sound of the roaring river immediately transported me to being a small child in Vermont and the river right near our house swelled and roared. My mom took me down to the rivers edge in my yellow slicker. We collected smoothed river rocks. It was a bonding moment. I hope my kids remember this day and their romp in the falls as clearly as I remember that day with my mom.

AUGUST 1st: Day Out with Thomas

July 31, Aug 1, 2 110, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

A bit of a ridiculous expense for a twenty minute train ride at the Essex train museum, but the kids loved it and I guess that's all that really matters. It was really hot. It was crowded. We were in the first weekend of potty training. There was a shuttle bus to and from the event. Let's just say it wasn't the best day out of fun for the parents...

JULY 31st: I Wanna Know Have you Ever Seen the SUN?

IMG00694.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Have I mentioned that this summer has been annoying with its constant inclement weather? Driving to work in the driving rain has seemed to be the norm. UGH!

JULY 30th: Morning Contrasts

IMG00680.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

This is just minutes after Liam and I have both wakened up. I am calm, serene...probably the calmest I will be all day. He, well, raring to go!

JULY 29th: Self-Portrait with Sweat

Mon July 27 227, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Let's just say, with this "coldest summer on record" that I am out of practice with heat. I walk at lunchtime everyday at work. It's usually not a big deal to go for a walk on my lunch break. I eat a quick protein-filled lunch, strap on my sneaks and walk for 55 min. This was a self-portrait I felt compelled to snap on a day that was one of our first triple H days. I felt like I needed a shower right after! There are showers in our bathroom at work, too, but I just couldn't bring myself to get in. Naked at work? People coming in to wash their coffee cups? Totally didn't work for me!

JULY 28th: Happy Little Berry Pickers

Mon July 27 184, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

They just love this time of year, as do I. Below, you will see my obsession with berry picking season memorialized in many pictures. The red of the berries that are about to burst in the sun. Picking and eating them, warmed by the sun, right off the bush. Sweet. Flavorful. Nothing like the Driscolls bred to withstand conveyor belts and packaging. This ephemeral beauties last for moments in time, a blink, but we take full advantage of the spoils!

Mon July 27 179

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Mon July 27 176

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Mon July 27 220

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JULY 27th: It's Like Christmas Morning!

Mon July 27 023, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Cutest moment ever. Grammy and Boppa arrive home from Michigan vacation. They were away for ten days. They got in late. They were exhausted. I was up with my kids, downstairs and we heard footsteps upstairs. Grammy and Boppa were awake. The kids could hardly contain themselves for the excitement. Apparently, the excitement was mutual. Grammy came downstairs, unshowered (which is very out of character for her), and said, "I had to come down right now! It's like Christmas morning!"

JULY 26th: Totally Getting Into It!

Liams Bday 09 190, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Elena has turned a corner this year with the water. She loves it! She thinks she is "swimming" all the time, but really she's at that amphibious stage where she just belly crawls, alligator style along the shallow parts. Oh well! She's cute, though!

The sibling rivalry around who is the best swimmer has really kicked up hand-in-hand with this stage, unfortunately. Liam is fearless and adventuresome. He will jump into the water with his water wings on. Let's face it, she won't even wear water wings or any flotation device. She likes to be firmly planted. However, when people inevitably cheer for Liam's antics, you can hear the dissension in her voice. "I AM THE BEST SWIMMER! WAY BETTER THAN BAD LIAM!" I don't want to compare them, but it's hard when she's constantly comparing herself to him.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

JULY 25th: Happy Birthday to Liam

Liams Bday 09 039, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Hard to believe he is three. This picture says it all about little Liam. Hands over ears because the singing is a bit too loud. Towel over head to hide from everyone, embarrassed. And yet, there is a giant smile on his face as he embraces the moment in pure joy.

JULY 23rd: Wip'n'Wide

July 23, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Is there anything cuter than some of the things an almost three year old says when they can't yet say blends (such as SL)? Slip and Slide? Wip'n'Wide. Adorable!

JULY 24th: Liam's Futon Cover

July 22, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Yes, it's a duvet cover. But, for some reason, I have had a mental block against the word duvet the entire time I was buying the fabrics, planning the design and sewing the duvet. I kept, repeatedly calling it a "futon" cover. I would catch myself every time, correctly replace the word with duvet, and then say, irritated, "WHY the HECK do I keep doing that!?!?!?!"

JULY 23rd: Obstacle Coursers

July 22, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Every Wednesday night in the summer, as I leave my office building, I am greeted by teeming bike racers. Cannondale is just up the road from us and they host evening bike rides. It's fun to open the window, stick out your arm and try and make their ride a bit more challenging. ;-)

JULY 22nd: Do you See What I See?

July 21, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Can you see what's up there in this window, barely visible, eerily peering down at me, a passerby on the street? It's your run-of-the-mill Christmas angels, in July, holding candles. Pretty standard really.

JULY 21st: Rain, Rain, GO AWAY!

July 21, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

This was one of the coldest and rainiest Julys on record. It was like a checkerboard of rainy days to cloudy days, with an occasional sunny day. It felt like September. I actually didn't mind it too much after I got used to it because it makes for wonderful photo opportunities and I hate heat and humidity together. Just the humidity was preferable. Still though, ready for some fun in the sun in August!