Archives for category: family

As some may know… our six month old daughter Greta is a bit of diva when it comes to sleeping. She has demands which include having me lay with her in my arms on my left side with a bottle until she falls asleep and spills large amounts of formula all over our sheets. She then allows me to transfer her to the Fisher Price Rock n’ Play in which she sleeps for two hour intervals. The cycle repeats through out the night, unless I try to put her in the arms reach co-sleeper, in which she immediately throws her legs straight up in the air when placed on her back and wakes from a deep sleep to cry for her mother to again assume the position of falling back to sleep with her nose in my armpit.

I know it’s my own fault. And that I should have not gotten into the habit of pulling her into bed with me, letting her sleep in the rock n’ play. Blah blah blah. I followed all the rules with Nolan. He was in his crib at 2 weeks. Emmitt, was in a crib at 4 months. And here we are with Greta. She was the fussiest of babies for the first two months. I didn’t care what I had to do as long as she slept. Then I just got into the routine. And I honestly didn’t mind the snuggle time at night, because the poor girl doesn’t get enough attention during the day when I have more pressing needs like a 2 year old playing in the toilet and a 4 year old climbing up shelves.

So, I had to find a way to get her to sleep by herself in a crib (or co-sleeper with the mattress lowered like a pack n’ play). I decided I was going to sleep train her while Steve was away on business last weekend. And then I saw an article posted on facebook by a friend from high school about Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit. She raved about it and then after reading the article I thought I would give it a try. The inventor of a product was just a regular mom who was trying to improve her own child’s habits…and I love supporting the regular mom!

The suit was available at Isis for $40. And I thought, hmmmm $40 to get my kid to sleep. It’s worth it. Well, worth it if it actually works. I got her ready for a nap that afternoon by changing her diaper, putting her in a onsie and then zipping her up in the suit. She looked like the kid from a Christmas Story. (reminds me of the best description from that movie of Randy in his snowsuit “My brother looked like a tick about to pop”) I gave her a bottle. She dozed off and I gingerly put her in down in the co-sleeper, just waiting for her to flail and wake up like she always does. But. She. Didn’t. She slept for 2 hours. First time she has ever slept flat on her back. First time alone in a crib-type setting.


When it came time for bedtime she slept from 8-10 pm then woke up screaming. I knew she wasn’t hungry because she had only eaten 2 hours ago. So, I comforted her, then made her cry it out. And then she slept until 5 am! Woot. Woot. Basically tells me that she can sleep through the night if need be, since she didn’t need to eat from 8-5. (sadly, Emmitt still wakes up between 3 – 4 am every morning looking to eat… but that is another story for another day, let’s focus on the small victories with Greta).

Since then she has slept every night in her co-sleeper. She still wakes up 1,2, sometimes 3 or 4 times a night. But, she is sleeping on her own. And I have more room in bed! Yay! Now, if we can just feberize Franny, get Emmitt to sleep through the night, have Nolan sleep past 6 am… I just might get a normal nights sleep. (honestly, I don’t think my body would know what to do with a full night’s sleep. I have completely adjusted to this routine. And I don’t feel tired?)

Alright, I am exhausted. I’m going to bed : )


Imagine what some of our favorite TV shows from childhood would be like if they were set in modern times? Here is how different would things be…

The Waltons

Good Night John-Boy

It took the Walton family about an hour to say goodnight to each other at the end of each episode. In this day and age, Daddy would have invested in a good family plan and each kid would have their own iPhone. They could just send out a group text…


Punky Brewster
Back in the day Punky Brewster was considered to have pretty far out style. Her choice of attire and unique individuality wouldn’t even be considered unique these days! Punky would be “Normal Brewster”


Little House on the Prairie

First Carrie would have been wearing a helmet while playing on the hill… Preventing any brain damage that occurred in filming the opening credits.

Little House Intro

Nellie Oleson, the biggest brat in the history of television, would have been in some sort of sensitivity training by the end of season one based on the new bullying laws.

Nellie would have no basis for her snobbery, because the Oleson’s general store would have gone under as soon as the new Target went up in Walnut Grove. On the other hand, Harriet Olson would surely have her own reality TV show similar to Dance Moms or something.


What were your favorite TV shows growing up? How would they be different today?

In an effort to supplement our income and establish a revenue stream that will allow me to stay home forever with my children, I have been brainstorming some new business ideas. I know I’ll always have, but it couldn’t hurt to have some other ways to earn money.

Scituate Turkey Tours – So, I am going to decorate my minivan to look like a giant turkey (then the turkey’s won’t be scared when we drive right up to them and gawk at them). It’s kind of like the TMZ bus tours in Hollywood, only better. I can guarantee sitings on Lawson Rd. & the West End… but the only pit fall is that I will only have two seats available once all my children are in the van with me. I’m going to have to look into getting some sort of trailer with folding chairs duct taped to it.

Lettuce Stand – I’m seriously considering applying for a peddlers license at town hall and opening up a lettuce stand right outside Maria’s during the summer. I’ll charge $2 per handful and out-of-towners will eat it up!

Portable Man Caves – Kind of like those Bouncy Houses you rent for kids parties… these would be little trailers stocked with beer, tv’s (with the NFL Sunday ticket), video games, buffalo wings, etc. You could rent it for your husband and it would be like a little spa day for him.

iPhone Dealer – Looking into buying iPhone’s and spray painting them gold and selling them on the internet.

Fitscaping – I’m hoping to start a new fitness craze that involves training clients by means of landscaping (my yard). Fat burning activities include push mowing my lawn, hauling brush, & shoveling mulch. Clients will pay me to do my yardwork.

A Weight Watchers Program for Pets – Once you get in shape with Fitscape, you are going to want your pets to lead a healthy lifestyle too. I am currently working on a point system for pets looking to lose a few pounds. Baby carrots will definitely be zero points… so go crazy Frances.

Disposable Socks for Infants & Toddlers – They are always losing them anyways. So, why not just accept it. I’m developing a prototype using paper towels as the textile.

Finger Nail Whisperers – These would be trained finger nail technicians that travel to your house after bath time to cut your toddler’s finger nails. They would bring props to distract your flailing child. I know my kids would totally go for it if they brought an old DVD of Cars and a powerwheels with a dead battery to sit in when they clip their nails. Picture Snip Itz, but with finger nails. Oh, wait maybe I should call it Clip Itz.


I thought it would be an awesome idea to bring the kids to the Hingham playground this morning. I had it all planned out. I got everybody fed, dressed, and even packed lunches so we could eat there and then come right home for naps. All week we have been telling Nolan that he had to take a nap today (he hasn’t napped in a year) if he wanted to go the SHS Football game under the lights tonight. He agreed and was totally on board. I figured I should wear them out at the playground so he would actually be tired enough to nap. This sounds like a perfect plan, right? Well, the best laid plans of mice & men often go astray…

We got to the Hingham Playground and the entire lot was full. I had to pull around the loop and park on the dirt road behind the fire station. No big deal. Since we were going to walk a little longer than usual and there would probably be a temper tantrum by Emmitt when it was time to leave the playground, I thought it would be best to put Emmitt & Greta in the double stroller. Nolan unbuckled himself from his booster and ran up to the front seat and started pulling on the rearview mirror, to which I told him to stop. I got the 60 pound double stroller out of the trunk and buckled Emmitt into it. Then I walked around to the other side of the car to get Greta who was sleeping in her bucket seat in the back. As I was walking around I heard the door slam and Nolan was now out of the car waiting next to the stroller. I went to open Greta’s door and it was locked. Hmmmm, I must not have hit the unlock button when I got out. But, I already got one kid out of the car. Hmmm. Then I asked Nolan – “Did you lock the car?” And he replied “Yes” and my keys, along with Greta were both still inside. I grabbed my cell phone and called the police to come help me unlock the car and retrieve my 5 month old baby inside. Nolan was in a panic when he heard me on the phone with the police and was crying hysterically because he thought they were going to arrest him. Once, I explained they were going to talk to him about not playing with the lock and that they would help us get the door unlocked he calmed down.

van locked
Look at Nolan’s poor face… He is thinking “what did I just do?”

The first officer on the scene was my brother-in-law’s brother-in-law… confusing? I knew him, which made it easier. Then another officer arrived. Then the fire department. They were able to shimmy the lock and get Greta out. Yay! Now it was time to get everyone over to the playground. Just as the police & fire leave, bee’s started swarming Nolan and he got stung on the back of the head. He was crying in pain and the bee was relentless. It would not get away. I picked him up and had to run with him down the road and at one point pull the bee off his face. He had never been stung before, so I was just praying he wasn’t allergic. I kept a close eye on him and he was fine. He just insisted on keeping his hood on at the playground to protect him from any other bees that my come flying his way. I think that little sting was karma. But, I probably should have been stung too for leaving my keys in the car with my kids in there.

When it was finally time to leave the playground Emmitt cried and cried the whole way home. I got everyone settled in for naps after one episode of Paw Patrol and they surprisingly all slept at the same time. (It took Emmitt an hour to fall asleep, but I won the battle of wills because I knew he needed that nap more than anyone). Just as everyone was quiet, a knock was at the door…

It was my neighbor who noticed our dog was roaming the neighborhood. I let Frances out, but forgot to put on her wireless fence collar so she took off. My neighbor couldn’t get Frances to follow her back to our house, so I would have to go find her. I wasn’t about to wake up all three kids to hall them around the block looking for the dog. I left them inside as I walked two houses away yelling “FRANNY! DO YOU WANT YOUR DINNER?!” which she can’t resist because she is food obsessed. Thankfully, she responded and came home.

And now it is 3 o’clock on a Friday and I am counting down the minutes until Steve gets home from school so the weekend can begin! Yay. As crazy as my morning was… I am still happy to be home with these kids. There is never a dull moment.

My father passed away in June after a year and a half battle with pancreatic cancer. In the couple months since his passing, we have had to get through the “firsts.” The first third of July on Peggotty, the first trip to Haddad’s, my parents anniversary… etc. One of our favorite traditions as a family is to go to the Marshfield Fair. My dad loved the fair. He loved the food, the animals, seeing his grandkids going on the rides. It didn’t matter how much money he had to throw down, he would keep paying until you won a stuffed animal or dunked the obnoxious clown. And I knew our first trip to the fair since his death was going to be hard. I got all teary eyed as I drove by the fair grounds a few days before our family planned to attend. And I worried how hard it would be for my mum to go to the fair without him, considering all the amazing memories we have made there.

When we got to the fair we followed our routine. We have to get a bowl of French Fries and eat them on benches in front of some random stage. These are no ordinary french fries. Our family calls them “dog bowl fries” because they come in what looks like a giant dog bowl. Appetizing, I know. But, we load them up with salt and vinegar, make a well of ketchup and enjoy every last one before heading out to see the rest of the fair. Here is a picture of my dad from the fair a few years ago. He’d probably kill me for posting his picture of him with a mouth full, but it sets the scene!


Now back to last night. I am walking ahead of most of my family as we make our way to the stage area and benches. We had been at the fair no more than 5 minutes and he was all on our mind. When suddenly the song “Do You Believe in Magic?” by the Lovin’ Spoonful starts playing. And I turn around. My sisters all look at me and say “He’s here!” This song is incredibly significant for many reasons.

When I was in high school, I played AAU basketball for a team called the Bay State Magic. We were the state champions and went to the Nationals in Indianapolis. It was a huge time commitment to be on this team. We practiced 4 days a week in West Roxbury and then played tournaments all over the Northeast and beyond each weekend. And because of the commute to practice and hotel stays every weekend, my dad and I spent an insane amount of time together.

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This is me at age 15… yeah, and I definitely never said that my hobbies included computer games. They totally made that up!

Before every practice and every game, because we were the Bay State Magic, we played our theme song… which was “Do You Believe in Magic?” We must have heard that song over a 1,000 times during my AAU basketball career. It was our trademark. I think opposing teams simultaneously mocked and feared that song.

So, years later when I was planning my wedding, I had to pick out our father/daughter dance song. I wasn’t going to pick some emotional song like “Wind Beneath My Wings,” because that just wasn’t “us.” And I had the idea to surprise my dad by having our dance be to “Do You Believe in Magic?” I didn’t tell him what we were dancing to and he had to wait until the wedding. It was the perfect song for us. We spent so much time together in my high school years and that song is playing in the background of so many memories.

When it came time to dance and the first few notes played, my dad’s reaction was awesome. He leaned over and took my hand and pressed it against his forehead as he laughed. All I have is this fuzzy picture of the moment, but I loved his reaction!

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When he gained his composure we danced and smiled…

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As you can imagine, that song playing at the fair was no coincidence. It was definitely a sign from my dad. Telling us he is still here with us in spirit. He may not have been able to share a dog bowl of fries with us, but he was definitely a part of last night. And I think it was his way of saying he is glad we are keeping up the family traditions he loved so much. I have to say… I Believe in Magic!