Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Being the costume freak that he is, today was quite a day for Camden. As you may recall, he's been building the perfect pirate costume for months, and counting the days until Halloween. Last night, we found a rack of costumes at TJ Maxx that were 75% off, so Camden added a Batman and Superman costume to his growing collection. He spend the first part of the night as a pirate, and the second half as Batman. He finally wore himself out a short time ago, and despite the loads of sugar coursing through his veins, he is sleeping soundly. I am taking advantage of this quiet time and am attempting to pack and organize, so I don't have to spend all day doing it tomorrow. So, without further ado, some Halloween photos, for your viewing pleasure:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Winding Down

Um....yeah - - that would be Griffin, climbing on furniture. He's become rather mischievous since we've been in Maine, or, I suppose I should say, MORE mischievous. He is almost walking, but I am advising him to wait until he is back in Idaho before taking his first steps, so Daddy doesn't miss it.

We spent last night with Aunt Jean and Uncle Ken in Hollis Center, and had a very nice visit. It went by too quickly though, and before we knew it, we were back in Topsham, at which point I discovered I'd left my glasses in Hollis Center. Tomorrow morning, I'm off to South Portland bright and early, to meet up with Aunt Jean and retrieve said glasses! Then, my friend Amy and her son Clayton are coming down from Belfast for a visit, which I am really looking forward to. This evening, I had the good fortune to catch up with my old friend Suzette, and we are hoping to do even more catching up before I head out of town.

Some highlights from the past few days - - Mum and I took the boys to the Childrens Museaum of Maine - - poor Camden was so beside himself, he could barely form complete sentences. He had so much fun, and especially loved the pirate ship (of course). Dad and I took the boys to Dunkin Donuts, because we don't have Dunkin Donuts in Idaho, and more importantly, every little boy needs to gorge himself on a box of munchkins. Today, on the way back from Hollis Center, we took the boys to Smiling Hill Farm. Camden particularly loved the wooden train and played on that for as long as we let him! Camden and Dad spent some time playing in the leaves and fashioning a "leaf man", and had a great time. Of course we have Halloween coming up on Wednesday, and then some last-minute running around before we head back home bright and early on Friday morning.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


There is something that is so comforting about an old friend - - the kind of friend who, although you may not see for years at a time, remains constant. Jen and I lived together for a year at the University of Maine - - I was renting an apartment with two other friends and we needed a fourth person, and that is where Jen came in. I knew of her from Gannett Hall, where I spent my freshman year, but that was about it. I vividly remember my first introduction to her, at our apartment on Crosby Street - - it was the morning after our first night at the apartment, and Jen appeared in the kitchen and proceeded to eat a very large piece of cake for breakfast. We had some good times that year, but in retrospect, I wouldn't say that we were overly close then. It seems we grew closer after college, and have remained so ever since. We have shared some unique adventures over the years - a road trip to New York City, biking on Islesboro, making a pilgrimage to the Late Show with David Letterman, & sharing the joys of the black and white cookie, to name just a few. Jen stood next to me on the day that I married Steve. It seems that she has always accepted me just as I am--good, bad, and otherwise. She is strong, she is humble, and she probably has the biggest heart of anyone I know. I treasure her, and feel blessed to call her my friend.

Yesterday, with the boys happily in the care of my parents, I drove to Jen's home, and then she and I proceeded on to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for a "girls night" out on the town. We had a beautiful room at the Hilton, sipped cocktails and ate fabulous food at The Green Monkey, and just had a chance to catch up. It is odd to think that I hadn't seen her in 2 1/2 years, because it seemed as though no time had passed at all. This morning we had breakfast at Stonewall Kitchen, and then each headed for home. We'll be getting our kids together on Thursday, and I'm so happy that I'll be seeing her again before heading back to Idaho on Friday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Scenes from Maine

Camden, visiting the cockpit, upon landing in Portland, Maine

The view from Steve's parents' deck

Steve & Camden, out on a lobster boat

Steve, Jeff, & Tony

The S'mores Fire

Nana & Griffin

The beautiful coast of Maine, Cape Elizabeth

Steve & Camden, exploring the coast

From the Davis Family Photo Shoot, this past Sunday

Monday, October 22, 2007

Time Flies...

Steve headed back to Idaho early this morning, and so the boys and I have a little over a week and a half left of our vacation here in Maine. This past week was spent in Harpswell, at Steve's parents' house. The first part of the week, Steve did a few projects with his father and the boys and I hung around the house. Camden went for a boat ride on Grampa's boat, and then also got to go for a ride on our good friend Jim's lobster boat. I spent some time visiting with my old friend, Sara, and that was great - - I'm hoping to spend some more time with her before we head back home. The most exciting thing about our week was when our nephew, Max, was born on Friday. His parents are Steve's sister, Danielle, and her husband, Aaron. He sure is a cute little guy! On Saturday, the four of us went to Tony & Heather's house for a big get-together with a bunch of Steve's friends (and their families). We had a great time, and it was so nice to see everyone. Yesterday, we met my parents, along with my brother Kevin, his wife Rachel, and their daughter Violet at Portland Head Light to have a big family picture taken. After that, we headed over to Aunt Jean and Uncle Ken's house in Hollis, for brunch.

This post would be a whole lot more interesting, if I could attach all of the pictures that go with these events, but I can't seem to do it. You see, I am a PC girl, and my parents have an iMac. I am getting ready to beat my head against the wall in frustration, so I guess I'd better quit while I am ahead. I'm in hopes that pictures will be added, soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Long Arm of the Law...

...reaches out and slaps Steve:

Okay...not really - - he was let off with a warning. I took this picture with my cell phone, as the nice police officer was looking up Steve's spotless driving record. We were on our way out for appetizers/cocktails this evening, and Ol' Lead Foot was going 50 in a 35, probably due to the fact that we were about to experience an extremely rare child-free evening. All kidding aside, I must tell you that Steve is probably the safest and most law-abiding driver I know, so it is actually quite funny to me that he was speeding. We'll blame it on the fact that we are on vacation, driving someone else's car, yada, yada, yada.

Anyway, we had some great crab cakes, fried calamari, and split a dessert, then headed to Freeport for a little shopping at L.L. Bean. When we got back, Camden was sound asleep, but Griffin was still fussing - - the boy is having an awfully hard time adjusting to the big change in his normally very predictable little life. He'll probably pull it together just in time for us to head back to Idaho!

Monday, October 15, 2007

We Made It!

It was a late night of packing and last-minute things last night, and an early wake-up this morning, but we are here, in beautiful Harpswell, Maine! The boys were excellent on the flight -- Camden said he was "bored" at one point, but other than that, looked out the window, chattered, and listened to books on CD. Griffin slept for the most part, and was otherwise agreeable. After the layover in Chicago, I am wondering how the heck I am going to make it back to Idaho by myself - - we had to walk FOREVER between terminals. At least I have 3 weeks to fret about it...

Interestingly enough, Idaho Senator Larry Craig was on the same flight that we were on, from Boise to Chicago. He was busily working, while waiting at the gate with all of the other passengers, and everyone left him alone. I have to say, however, that I visited a few airport restrooms today, and even if a person were to have a "wide stance", as he has claimed, one would have to be doing the splits in order to touch the foot of the person in the next stall. So, while it is not my place to pass judgement, I think his story is a load of you-know-what.

We are half way through bathing the boys, and then we'll have dessert, do some more relaxing, and then we are hoping to get to bed early! Not sure if the boys will be on track with that, since their little brains are on Idaho time. We are so happy to be in Maine! Stay tuned for more adventures from the Pine Tree State!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

T-Minus Twelve Hours (or so) and Counting....

  • Bags packed (for the most part).....check
  • House vacuumed.....check
  • Story Times prepared for the next three weeks.....check
  • Riley, on his way to the doggie Bed & Breakfast....check
  • Garbage disposal clogged/sink full of floating food waste.....check

With the exception of the clogged garbage disposal, everything is running relatively smoothly, and soon we will be heading for Maine! My mind is swarming with all kinds of thoughts today...I cannot wait to meet my niece, Violet Jean, be in my parents home, see Aunt Jean & Uncle Ken, share the various wonders of Maine with Camden and Griffin, eat a lobster roll, catch up with Jen, smell a million candles at Village Candle, do some speed-walking with my mom, sniff the coastal air, have my dad fit Griffin for his first pair of shoes, eat a "real" Italian sandwich, go to Freeport, visit old haunts, see old friends & relatives...I could go on and on. Oh, how I have missed Maine, and everyone and everything there.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Preschool, Ear Tubes, & Old Friends

A strange grouping of words, but that is what we've been up to this week! First, Camden started preschool on Tuesday, and he loves it. I'm so happy that he has this opportunity to socialize (one of his favorite things to do!) and learn some new things, away from Mummy. I would say the only downfall to all of this, is that he is in the afternoon class, so from the moment he gets up in the morning, he is ready and waiting to go to school. Today, he had "Show & Tell", so I am anxious to go and pick him up at 3:00 and hear all about it.
Also on Tuesday, our friends Curt & Mary came for a visit. My mother grew up with Mary back in Maine, and they have twin daughters who are a couple of weeks younger than me, so we've known each other our whole lives.

On Wednesday, Griffin had ear tubes put in. The procedure was so quick, and although he had a rough day yesterday, he is back to his usual happy self today. The best news is, he slept soundly last night - - something that he hasn't done in months. I'm hoping that it will stay that way, too!

This morning, our dear friend Debra came for a visit. Debra took care of Camden from the time he was 13 weeks old, up until she moved to Arizona when he was 2 1/2. She use to work at Little Luke's, and then Camden went to her house once a week, when I was still working, so he could have a day of one-on-one attention. She'd never met Griffin, so I'm happy that she got to see him. Camden had a great time playing with her, and she and I had the chance to catch up. Debra is just one of those people who is such a natural with kids, and they are drawn to her. I'm just so happy that we had the chance to see her today.

In my last post I mentioned Jessica Seinfeld's new cookbook - - I have yet to purchase it, but I have already tried two of the recipes from it. First, I made the brownies, which contain both pureed carrots and spinach. I know...sounds gross. I must admit, I was very skeptical. The brownie recipe states that you must wait until they are completely cooled before eating, or you will be able to taste the spinach. Ew. While they were cooling, I took a big whiff, and sure enough, I could smell cooked spinach. This morning, I cut them into squares and dusted them with powdered sugar. The verdict: they are DELICIOUS. Really. I am not kidding. And, unlike other low fat brownie recipes that I've tried, they are moist, dense, and full of chocolate flavor. I was very pleasantly surprised. What's more, I served them for dessert at lunchtime, and everyone loved them. Debra commented over and over, but I did not have the heart to tell her that they had pureed carrots and spinach in them, even when she asked how I made them! Camden gobbled his right up and promptly asked for a second one, and even little Griffin had some (and cried for more). So, it is safe to say that this recipe is a keeper. I asked Steve for his feedback, and he said they were good, but he thought they tasted like "healthy chocolate cake" rather than brownies. Steve does not mess around when it comes to brownies (he is, after all, a brownie connoisseur), so I'm pretty sure I'll need to make him a pan of Betty Crocker brownies from time to time. The other recipe I tried was the pancakes (with sweet potato puree). I myself was not crazy about these pancakes, but I will definitely be making them again. First, I think my puree was too thick, which might have affected the consistency of the pancake batter. Second, Camden LOVED them. He ate two, and then asked for a third, all the while saying, "These pancakes are YUMMY!". Tonight, I will be making the macaroni and cheese for dinner - - I'll let you know how that goes.

I also feel the need to mention that for the past three days, I have had approximately two hours TO MYSELF each day, because after I drop Camden off at school, Griffin is ready for his afternoon nap. Camden stopped napping all together around age 2 1/2, so it is has been a long, long time since I've experienced complete silence in the house. I have gotten more done in the past three days than I've accomplished in the past year, I do believe!

Time to go pick Camden up at school!

First picture: the boys and I, with our friend Curt. Second picture: Griffie, in the waiting room before getting his ear tubes. Third picture: Camden with Debra today, when we dropped him off at school.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Burning the Midnight Oil

Okay, so it isn't midnight (it is 9:36, to be exact), but everyone (except me!) is tucked into bed. I'm downstairs, getting ready for story time tomorrow. You would think that I would prepare ahead of time - - it is my intention each week to do just that, but somehow the week always escapes me and I find myself, yet again, scrambling on a Monday night. I'm finding that my story times are coming together easily now, so that must mean I've found my groove. My challenge this week will be that I need to have the story times for the 3 weeks that I will be in Maine, all prepared by Saturday. I sort of have them done in my head - - now just to get them on paper!

Earlier this evening, I did the prep work for the Winter Minestrone that I'll toss in the crock pot tomorrow morning. I've never cooked with fennel before, so I was happy to be trying something new. We have guests coming for dinner tomorrow - - some old friends from the east coast, and I am so looking forward to their arrival. I really need to be efficient in the morning (please boys, cooperate with Mummy!) because after story time, it is back home to feed the boys lunch, and then it will be time to get Camden dressed and ready for his first day of preschool. He is so excited, and I am equally excited for him. Tomorrow should be an exciting day to say the least.

I had a follow-up with my surgeon today, and luckily I am healing up just fine. I didn't have a chance to talk to him after my surgery last week, so it was surprising to hear about the extent of the repairs that he made. The worst of the three hernias he repaired was a result of apparently not being sewn up too well after one of my c-sections. To any of you out there that might have the misguided belief that a c-section is the "easy" way to give birth, let me just tell you that you are sorely mistaken! I believed that prior to last week, but after having gone through this surgery as well, I believe it all the more. Phew! I did have a good chuckle with the PA who assisted in my surgery, because she mentioned to me that some women were quite concerned about scars, and that if I was, to rub the incision sites with oil or whatever and it should help some. I kindly informed her that after having had 2 babies, two cesareans, and now three incisions from this surgery, I was pretty sure that my stomach would never again be seeing the light of day, thank you very much.

I watched Jessica Seinfeld on Oprah today, with great interest. I had heard about her new book,
Deceptively Delicious, and now I can't wait to try some of the recipes. Camden does a good job eating his veggies, and Griffin will eat nearly anything you give him, but I'm still very familiar with the whining and complaining at dinner time. I like the fact that all of her recipes are low in fat and just healthy over all. Hopefully, I can find a copy of the book, soon!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Counting the Days...

...until we arrive in Maine! I can't believe we'll be there, a week from tomorrow! I have so much to do, and I'm wondering how I am going to get it all done! I'm afraid I was pretty useless most of this past week. Steve went back to work on Thursday, and I have to say, it is very challenging "not to lift", when you are caring for a one-year-old. Camden was a big help to me, so we managed just fine. My incisions seem to be healing, and I have a follow-up with my surgeon tomorrow so I'm in hopes he'll give me a clean bill of health.

I shipped the boys' Halloween costumes off to Topsham a couple of days ago, so that is a bunch of room freed up in my suitcase. I just can't seem to decide what types of clothes we'll need, as the weather has been unseasonably warm in Maine lately. I think the key to my packing success will be to pack light. I am the world's worst packer though (I always take way more than I need), so this should prove to be quite a challenge. My other major concern is how to amuse the boys on a cross-country flight. Camden has a cd player and some books on cd, so he should be all set. He's always been a great little traveler. Griffin, on the other hand...I have no idea what to expect from him. He's squirmy, he's silly, and yes, he's a little crazy. I suggest someone meet me at the gate in Portland with a strong cocktail.

We went to our local "Harvest Festival" yesterday, and the highlight for Camden was the model rocket ship that we saw. He hasn't talked about much else since posing for this photo. On Friday, I took Camden out to see Miss Helga, the military barber. Apparently he found her clippers extra ticklish, because he couldn't seem to stop giggling. Unfortunately, this led to some squirming, and then a slip of the clippers. Now, his hair is a bit shorter than I'd hoped, due to the line that was accidentally shaved across the back of his head!

Steve left for Fairfield early this morning, for a 30-mile mountain bike ride with a bunch of his friends. I'm guessing it has to be pretty cold up that way by now, so hopefully they won't freeze too much. The boys and I will most likely head to the library to get some work done this afternoon, and mostly try to avoid lifting!

Closing with a photo of what happens when you think it is a good idea to hold a diaper-less baby!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Think Pink!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month! I'm thrilled to see that with each passing year, there are more and more ways for people to become involved in breast cancer awareness, as well as ways to show support. One of my favorite ways is by participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure - - a wonderful 5K event that raises funds for the Komen Foundation. Click on the link and find out when the Race for the Cure will be in your area! You can simply Google "breast cancer awareness", and find pages and pages of websites, ideas, and stories to inspire you. I won't bombard you with facts about breast cancer, but I will tell you that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Yes, great strides have been made in the fight against breast cancer, but that number is staggering. If you haven't already been affected by breast cancer, it is pretty safe to say that you will be at some point in your life. So, take a moment and familiarize yourself with the Komen Foundation, and the great works they do. If you knit, consider donating a knit cap to Chemo Caps for cancer patients. If you like chocolate, go to your local store and pick up a bag of special edition "pink ribbon" candy (M&M's, Kisses, Kissables, York Peppermint Patties) and hand them out to your friends.

Oh... and if you are in Maine, and happen to see this beautiful woman, stop and give her a hug, and congratulate her on being cancer-free for SEVEN years. I love you, Mum!
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