Archive for the ‘Family’ Category


Monday, March 21st, 2016

We made it through the winter. I wasn’t entirely sure that was going to happen. We’ve had a big change with our family dynamic. I began working fulltime. It has made things as chaotic as I thought they would be. A benefit to my new job is that it has made the bigger kids more responsible. You know, they are able to put their clothes mostly in the hamper. And, if I nag and threaten they will put their clothes away after they are washed. I did hire someone to hang out with them after school and help get them to their activities. I wasn’t ready to leave them to their own devices. Not to mention that taking care of Charlotte is a seriously exhausting job and not for the beginner.  It’s amazing how they are moving towards independence and yet they still need us around to guide them through the emotional and educational ups and downs.

Aiden just finished his peewee season of hockey. He moves into the next phase of playing hockey. The checking phase. Another phase towards growing up. I’m not worried about him getting hurt. He’s a goalie and people have been running into him since he started playing goal. He’ll be spending a lot of time practicing with teenagers. I’m sure he’ll learn a lot about hockey and about other things I don’t want to picture my boy learning about.

Madeleine has been learning a lot about tween girl dynamics. Enough said.

Charlotte doesn’t like me working at all. Apparently she is abandoned and is being raised by wolves. She makes her feelings well known.

We’re coming upon the end of 5th grade for Madeleine. She is pretty excited about being with Aiden at the middle school next year. Charlotte is getting ready for her dance recital. I’m not sure how her dances are going because she won’t share her “work” with anyone.

One day at a time.

Merrick hanging out with great grandma.

Merrick hanging out with great grandma.


Charlotte “enjoying” a Washington Capitals game.


We gave Merrick and Ovechkin doll.


Charlotte got her ears pierced!



Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

I swear every time I say I am going to write more I do the exact opposite. But lets face it, most people follow Facebook anyway. Then, I remind myself that life is flying way too fast with the kids. It’s hard to remember everything that we do and I really need to remember.

We went to Michigan for Thanksgiving because I really wanted to see my nephew. He born in August and I felt like I had already missed enough time. Aiden and Charlotte had been asking to meet him, Madeleine wasn’t thank interested.  She isn’t really a baby person. I think that can be something you are born with. I always liked babies, kids, and babysitting. Morgan however, has never been a baby person. It has an eye opener watching her with Merrick. It’s like I wasn’t looking and my sister grew up into an adult with a baby and a career. That’s what I mean by missing things and trying to remember.

Charlotte and Merrick really bonded. She laid on the floor with him talking to him and he would coo back at her. Charlotte has these funny stuffed animals called “beanie boos” that she loves. She would hold them over Merrick so he could look into the beanie boos eyes. It was weird and really funny. I think he likes the beanie boos as much as he likes my mom’s ceiling fan. Aiden spent the majority of the time in Michigan trying to drive the four wheeler and shooting the rifle. I think he considers himself an expert marksman now. If Aiden could find a way to combine Annapolis with Michigan I am fairly certain he would do that.

Madeleine was able to go shopping with Cousins Laurel and Lindsey. That’s all she needed.

We spent the last day of break in Michigan with my dad’s side of the family. Between the cousins we  have a lot of children. My grandma is  almost up to 10 great grandchildren. The girl cousins are loud and had outnumbered the boys. The boys have overtaken them and have Aiden as their leader. Things could get serious as soon as all of the boys are potty trained. I mean the younger boys need to be potty trained. I think the three old guys have it under control. I think.


I also took Aiden to ice skate at Munn ice area. It was his best day ever.

Aiden, Charlotte, and Merrick  November 2014

Aiden, Charlotte, and Merrick November 2014

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Merrick and the Beanie Boo   IMG_3632 IMG_3620 IMG_3624



March Has Issues

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

March has had some serious issues weather wise. We had two snow days this month along with several days of mild temperatures. All I want to do is get outside and work on my yard. Which is an odd thing for me to say because I usually wait for my dad to work on my yard. Not this year. This year I will tame my yard and make it my…friend.

Last weekend we took the kids on an exotic hockey themed vacation. Translation= Aiden had a hockey tournament in northern Maryland so we stayed at a Hampton Inn. In the past, I have complained about staying in hotels with obnoxious youth hockey players. I find the more judgmental I am the more life teaches me all kinds of lessons. The kids on the team had a great time and learned a huge lesson about fairness. Like life is usually not fair. They played a team that had louder parents, louder coaches and more aggressive players. The game ended with our guys getting slashed twice and checked once. It was really hard not to become angry and freak out but I did some hard core breathing exercises and calmed myself down. I reminded myself that it was youth hockey and not that big of a deal. I did make fun of one parent from the other team but he really had it coming. He named his kid Ranger and spent the entire game coaching from the bench. If I had to hear “Ranger, skate faster” one more time I was going to chuck my coffee at him. The parent. Not Ranger. I’m not even sure which one was Ranger. Anyway, they won two out of three games and ended their season with a win. I didn’t even get too mad when one of the kids on Aiden’s team got his toe stuck in an elliptical trainer. He didn’t realize it wasn’t a toy and you need shoes for it. We got his smashed toe out and he skated the next morning. If you are wondering  if the girls had fun, the answer is yes. They swam, they ate chick fil a, and they bought new shoes. Win win for all.

The standardized tests are done for the school year and now we are heading into science project season. Madeleine’s project involves crystals and Aiden is working on filtering bay water. Somehow. These projects will require a lot of coffee and mental toughness on my part. Working with Aiden on anything science requires the mental toughness.


Aiden and Adam getting ready for their game. Either that or they are stuck and can't move with all the equipment on.

Aiden and Adam getting ready for their game. Either that or they are stuck and can’t move with all the equipment on.


Celebrating a hard fought win. Poor Aiden is at the bottom of the pack protecting his head and his manhood.


Adam and Aiden the super nerds! I mean super goalies. But mostly super nerds!



Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Nana and Madeleine Skating

Our Nana can skate better than your Nana.

Sharing the new electric guitar with our grandfather. How many grandkids can say that?

Sharing the new electric guitar with our grandfather. How many grandkids can say that?

We played our new electric guitar using my uncle's amp.

We played our new electric guitar using my uncle’s amp.

Cousin love

Cousin love

More cousin trouble making

More cousin trouble making

He shot a rat.

He shot a rat.

We watched the Rose Bowl as a family.

We watched the Rose Bowl as a family.

A lot happened over the short time we were there. We saw a lot of family and did a lot of sledding. We took full advantage of Michigan weather, so much so that when we arrived in Maryland to find three inches of snow it was rather upsetting. I think the kids started screaming, “For the love of all things holy,no more snow”. Of course, that could be because it took us over 16 hours to get from Michigan to Maryland. It usually takes us between 11-12 hours but we drive with a snow storm so that slowed us down. The day after we arrived the kids had a snow day. We are also having a snow day today because it might snow. That’s right, there is no snow on the ground but there might be snow later. My kids will be going to school until July.

Snow Day

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

We have a snow day. Without a lot of snow. At first we had snow and then it rained and then it snowed again. Then our winter storm warning was called off. Now it’s wet and muddy out. We made cookies. We ate cookies. We fought over cookies. Now I’m drinking coffee trying to stay mostly sane.


Frozen Photo Shoot

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

One of my former gymnasts is a grown up now. An actual grown up who is almost done with college. Kyri is incredibly artistic so I wanted to have her take some pictures of the kids. I wanted them to be real and not matchy matchy. I admire people who match, I really do. People who can get their kids to match are usually the same people who are well organized and tidy. I’m neither, so the chances of my children having clothes that match was pretty low. Also, Aiden gets super mad when I try to dress him up in lady clothes. Lame, but really funny. Anyway, Kyri came and took pictures of my kids being themselves. We headed down to the community beach where the weather was cold and windy. I know how to pick days to make sure my kids suffer. They were very happy when the whole thing was over. And I’m happy with the results. However, the next time we do a photo shoot the big kids will probably have braces. Which is awesome because I didn’t want to save for retirement anyway.

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An Aiden dance move.

An Aiden dance move.

This is where they were supposed to jump.

This is where they were supposed to jump.

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No one earns a turkey leg.

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Writing about Thanksgiving seems like a good idea while I wait for the dishwasher repair person. This year we went to my friend Stephanie’s house. We have been celebrating Thanksgiving together on and off for over 10 years.

This was a landmark year. We were able to watch an entire football game and eat dinner without having to deal with kid issues. Our kids are growing up and while it can be bittersweet it was really great to move to a new phase. I miss my babies and how easy it was to keep them safe. I miss knowing everyone who knows them. I miss being a part of every moment of their days. But growing up can be good too. While I am not apart of every moment of their day I do get to hear about all the ups and downs. I know their friends and I am watching them become people. I was thinking the other day that I will have to share them during the holidays when they get older. Yeah, I made myself sad.  When I get sad I think of what my dad told me when I was freaking out right before he walked me down the isle. He told me to get my shit together. So, I grabbed some coffee and got my shit together. Which when you really think about it, getting shit together is a really disgusting phrase.

ANYWAY, Thanksgiving was fun. Stephanie’s oldest son is on the spectrum. It has been a tough tough road. He made huge strides this year when he willing ate turkey and asked for more. This was unfortunate for anyone who wanted the turkey leg because Jake wanted it, to play with and to share with the dog. The turkey leg involved a huge fight between Steph and Jake.  Jake was yelling that he had earned the turkey leg.  Steph yelled back that no one earns a turkey leg. Which I thought was great because I bet back in the 1200’s people totally earned turkey legs. So to summarize: Thanksgiving was nice, I made myself sad and no one earned a turkey leg.

A failed attempt at hockey

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

I attempted to take the kids to a Navy hockey game. They were playing Michigan State’s club level team. Navy fans are very uneducated about the Big Ten. They actually had the game listed as Navy vs. Michigan. This was upsetting to myself and to Aiden. I casually mentioned the error to the ticket desk. They looked at me like I was loony. No, the loony comes later.  It was really fantastic to pay $11 for four tickets for college hockey.  I was arrogant. I assumed the night would be smooth sailing.

It immediately went down hill. Charlotte was hungry and completely acted like she never had dinner.  Since we were standing behind State’s goalie I told her to wait until play had stopped before we got food. She was hungry right then. Right then she needed to eat because I have never given her dinner and she needed dinner oh and her dinner needed to be candy. Yeah, I got it. She was hungry and she was attempting to trick me into a candy dinner. Before I could give her the business, a bunch of midshipmen came in with noise makers.  They stood next to us and began taunting the goalie. This sent Aiden into a quiet rage. I began talking him off a ledge while trying to get Charlotte to wait for a snack.I had two code red situations. I needed to stop Charlotte from acting like a punk and stop Aiden from freaking out on the Navy. I asked Aiden if he could hear me when I stand behind him and yell during games. He said he couldn’t, so I told him State’s goalie couldn’t hear the Navy punks yelling at him. Praise all that is holy the period ended and I was able to get the kids some dinner. It was just in the nick of time because we almost lost Charlotte to chocolate starvation.

OK, period two. We sat in the bleachers close to the boards so we could watch the action around the net. My other big mistake. We were right next to a group of Navy youth hockey players. Players who were yelling shit at State’s players as they came off and on the ice. Now I was pissed. First, you are wearing your team shirts which means you should behave in a semi respectful manner. Also, Youth hockey players shouldn’t give college hockey players shit about their skills.  They were punks. So I opened my mouth and told them to knock it off. Then they told me Michigan state sucked and Navy was awesome. Where were these kids raised? A barn? Entitled punks.  I loudly said to Aiden to ignore the kids because there was no way Navy could beat our Big Ten team. That got their attention. They shut up after that. Then the ref gave my kids a game puck and suddenly the Navy kids were nice and offered to take the puck off of our hands. What was with those kids?

After that we were done with the game. Done. State wasn’t doing so great and Aiden had developed a grudge against the entire Navy. The kids and I left. I noticed a coach bus from an Owosso bus company but the kids seemed to think me asking the drive if she was from Owosso was humiliating.

We still had hope

We still had hope

Hope was lost

Hope was lost

Again, hope.

Again, hope.


This Week….

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

This week has been a rough one in our neighborhood. A neighbor and good friend lost his battle with lung cancer. My heart is broken for his wife and two young sons. His boys are 11 and 5.  Our neighborhood is small and the kids spend time playing together.  It took a long time yesterday trying to explain to Aiden what happened to his friend’s father. It was a tough one for me to talk about because I was trying to reassure Aiden that not everyone is going to get cancer and not everyone will lose their battle.  Aiden being Aiden was trying to understand why his friend’s father had to die. I didn’t have an answer. I don’t know.  I didn’t have anything else planned for last night, I knew Aiden was going to need some time with just us to think about his friend.

Last night we watched a movie and ate pizza. Friday night has become a make your own pizza night around here. I would say it was a positive family time and we all sang songs and loved each other. I would say that because it is mostly true. We did have a lovely family time until the movie was over and Charlotte wanted to do cartwheels. When she did cartwheels she kicked Madeleine in the face. So you see, it was mostly a lovely time. All things considered, that mostly lovely family time was worth everything to me. I know, down the street, there are two boys who are missing part of their family and would love to have just one more mostly lovely pizza and movie night with their father.

We will miss our friend so very very much…

The Kittens and The Snake

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

I now live with snakes. Yeah, that’s right snakes.  Two weeks ago we took a family trip to an aquatic/reptile store. Well, not the whole family. Madeleine was with her friend Lexi, who is an only child and therefore has no annoying little sister to interrupt whatever it was that they were doing. We went to the pet store to buy some fish for Aiden’s fish tank. We went for fish. That was it. All was going to according to plan and budget until Keith saw the snakes. Apparently, he has been wanting a snake. Something I had no idea of until he said, “I have always wanted a snake”. When you have lived with someone for a million years you would think the wanting of a snake would come up. He had his eye set on this Kenyan sand boa. Apparently, they aren’t dangerous and spend most of their time hiding under the sand. When he asked if he could get the snake I couldn’t say no. Why? In the years we have been together I have adopted four dogs,three cats, two guinea pigs, and two bearded dragons. It’s important to know when to keep your mouth shut and just nod. Also, I knew I could hold this against him when I needed to. Marriage is never about things being fair. We left the store with the snake. He is small and he really does nothing.

The following day we headed out on another family outing. Yeah, I know, all this togetherness was giving me a headache too. This time we went to PetCo as Aiden needed crickets for his baby bearded dragon. When we walked into the store my eyes locked onto an adoption event for kittens. I said I was never going to get another car. Then I saw a tiny orange kitten that looked like my old cat Duncan, I’m not sure what came over me but I adopted that damn cat. I’m still not sure why I was compelled to adopt a cat but I am blaming it on snake insanity. Of course while I was adopting the kitten I left Keith and Aiden unattended. Stupid stupid rookie mistake. The boys saw a corn snake and much to my dismay we now own two snakes and a kitten.  I have put a ban on anyone coming with me to PetCo from now on. I also put a ban on family outings that take place near animals.

Now that I am done explain pet nonsense I am going to run six stupid miles because I am signed up to run a half marathon. But that is a whole other story.

Mr. Badness. We also call him Sparty

Aiden with his creepy obsession.