Category Archives: Babies

A Recent Conversation With Mama Moo Moo

The other day I stopped by to chat with Mama Moo Moo DSC_0061It can take awhile to catch Mama’s attention with all that grass out there. But Baby sees me.DSC_0077Yes, Mama Moo Moo. Come on over here. I want to talk to you.

Wait a second, Baby says. Where are you taking Mama Moo Moo and my milk supply?

DSC_0080Mama decides she’ll come over for a chat. Baby doesn’t move.DSC_0083We discuss weekend plans, the coming snow, and since it’s rather obvious – that very full udder.DSC_0075Mama Moo Moo and I would sit down with a hot cup of tea, but you know, this fence isn’t something her or I want to attempt to climb over.DSC_0090We go back to discussing her milk supply. “Girl, I’m just so full of milk! I jingle jangle all over the place!”DSC_0123 Which prompts Baby to high-tail it over here. Milk? Milk? Are they talking milk?

DSC_0095 Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmmm. Mama Moo Moo’s milk sure is good.DSC_0092 I know.

DSC_0096 Why she’s looking at me, Mama?

DSC_0098I gotta go, Mama says. We’ve got to get this nursing thing done cause he’s just gonna want eat in an hour again!DSC_0104 Mmmmmm. Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Milk, glorious milk.

DSC_0114 I try to be sneaky and go to the other side but I can’t get any closer or it distracts Baby and makes Mama mad.DSC_0113 Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Milk.

DSC_0120 Excuse me? She’s there again. Watching me.

Okay, okay. I say good-bye for the day, tell Mama we’ll catch up again soon.DSC_0110 Mama trots off when Baby’s done. Sometimes a mom just needs a little alone time.

moomoo Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Graaaaassssss.

grass So much glorious grass! Gotta eat it up before it snows. Like, tomorrow.

photoIsn’t she a beautiful Mama? And can you see? I caught her mid-sentence!


Catching a Falling Star

Some people have to work so much harder to get their baby.

There are empty nurseries and years of childless Christmases.

And some get pregnant completely by accident.  Stomp, stomp!  Not fair!
Heartbreak is sometimes the beginning of destiny.

Last week a young, teenage girl held her child close to her heart, then gave her to another mother.  My brother, Eric, and his wife, Cassie, became parents for the first time.
Good thing Eric’s other antics were kept so secret – whew!  Close call. 
But now there seems double the love:  A birth mother.  A new mother.  A new father.  Over the moon.

And while it is doubtful I will ever meet that young girl (who happens to look like Cassie and who I feel I already know), I love her forever for her gift, for giving us Scout Olivia.

Meet Scout.  Yes!  That’s her name!  It was obviously meant to be since Gregor would never let me use that name and I thought he was just being mean, but no, the name was just meant for this baby! Named after one of our most favorite literary heroines of all time, she’s meant for great things.  Can’t you just tell with those alert ears and thoughtful tilt of the head and intense pacifier concentration?

Catch a Falling Star – From Trafalgars Square on Etsy

And this is why I love blogging: Sharing news that changes your family forever.  Okay, I’ll be honest, I just wanted another baby picture on my blog.

Sometimes stars fall and only seem to land in other people’s hands.  But sometimes a star falls just for you, and you reach out your hands and catch it.


Memorial Day Weekend, Memorable

A busy, musical week led us into Memorial Day weekend.

Cope had her last band concert. Sadly, she is giving up the bass clarinet after this year.  The story of band is a tremendous “battle of wills” story I cannot share at this time, but never fear, it will circle back to the blog someday.

We sure enjoyed watching her play.  It’s a deep, beautiful instrument she plays very well.  
The day after the band concert was “Andover Idol” at the Middle School.  After last year’s debacle, the only thing I wanted her to do was get back on that stage.  You know, “get back on the horse!”  She decided the day before Idol, that she would give it a try.
She giddy-apped all the way to the top.  We’re so proud.  Don’t you hate braggy blogs? 
She eschews most pop music (yes!) and has stewed for a year on what song to choose.  Though she loves Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, she balks at the thought of singing such songs in public.  She chose “On My Own,” from Les Miserables.  Way to go, girlfriend.  Let’s que, “Hero,” by Enrique Inglesias…

And the very next day was our very first piano recital.  After I heard famed violinist Jenny Oaks Baker say, “Performing is the reward for practice,” I freaked out and decided I better reward my children by giving them opportunities to perform.  Since I teach them, I haven’t pursued this enough.  We joined a piano teacher’s group at an assisted living home.  I am now convinced we need to do more of this.  Very fun.

My Nellie-boy

The biggest highlight was having family come to town.  The reason was Brynne’s baptism (worthy of it’s own post).  My parents flew in from Arizona and Allison came with baby Sydnie from New York. Cousins arrived from Belmont and Neeham Mass.  We love them so.

Sydnie Jolene.  What a doll.  She had many admiring peeps.

She wasn’t left alone for one minute.  I’m sure she’s missing us dearly.

Allison was mean and said we couldn’t have Sydnie.  We laughed at my brother Peter’s reaction (very adoring father) if she came home without baby.  Just in case there is any doubt, we will take her.  Preferably now!  Oh…baby fever…

Aunty Allison is so adored.
Um, can you believe I didn’t get any pictures of my parents?  Tsk, tsk… My mother went crazy buying tons of plants to plant in our yard (gorgeous), weeding, and feeding baby Sydnie, pickles.  My dad planted the last garden bed with me.  Potatoes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and spinach in one bed.  I tend to overdo it.  He also bought us a roto-tiller.  Next year I’m asking for my very own beef cow.
There’s nothing better than having family around for the holidays, especially if they do work for you 🙂  It was perfect weather aside from New Hampshire’s not-so-lovely black flies.  Monday, Memorial Day, was the annual 5k Black Fly Blitz.  This girl (me) could not run due to the foot issue, but when you cannot run, you must cheer.  So I did.  But that also deserves it’s own post.
We did not go to any cemeteries this year, but next year it’s a must.  Cheers to that.


The Inventor

I’ve learned two things this week:
1)  The shamrock shake is not that gross.  It’s actually kindof…good?  We had it last night after Nelson’s 3rd place finish at his very last pine wood derby – wahoo!  The kids were thrilled with the whipped cream and cherry on top, even though they had to share.  As for me?  It just goes to show that it’s good to try new things because the husband likes it.  And vice versa, of course!  Boy I’ve got plans.
2)  The second thing I learned is actually something I already knew, but must have buried way down deep in my subconscious.  It’s this:  The infant car seat is the most awkward, uncomfortable contraption ever, to try and carry.  Totally unfair.  It’s a great invention.  It does its job.  It keeps that precious baby safe and cozy.  But.  Trying to walk with that thing either banging against your shin, calf, hips, or abs is totally horrible.  
I’ve been watching a 5-month-old for two days and I was reminded how much I hate that car seat.  I count this as a blessing.  For it has reminded me that there are some things I just don’t miss…like walking anywhere with that car seat.  And while we’re at it, I don’t miss buckling and unbuckling it either.  Although it takes only 30 seconds, the thought of buckling, unbuckling, walking into a store, putting it on the cart and making delightful baby noises to keep baby and another child entertained, then buckling it back into the car?  It makes me need a nap.  I think I’d rather not go to the store.
It reminds me of when someone would say, “Why didn’t you just run that last errand while you were already in Concord?”  Are you kidding me!  Let’s talk about that car seat!
This baby is super super easy.  She smells so good, smiles and coos.  She’s also sleeping right now, which is good since she doesn’t sleep through the night yet…we bonded as she slept on my chest last night.  A sweet experience on the the one hand, walking zombie on the other.  
Having a baby in the house reminded me why lots of kids is easier than one!  Good thing I had helpers to feed baby while I made a sandwich for breakfast, tried to squeeze in a load of laundry, load the dishwasher, and attempted to comb my hair.
I think this experience was God’s way of saying, “See?  Your life is good just the way it is.”  And so it is.  We should enjoy the stage of life we are in.  Every last moment.  And then enjoy the next one.
But don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about that car seat.  Nelson is right on it.  He’s the inventor of the family.  Since he was a little boy he always wanted to play with aluminum foil, rubber bands, paper clips…odd things.  And then he would make something.
Edison’s mother encouraged her son to fiddle.  He had a whole workshop of bits, piece, parts…junk.  I’ve decided I must be more like that.  Let him fiddle away.  
Thomas A. Edison – “To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
This is a seed catcher.  Made out of toilet paper and a skewer.  It flies through the sky catching…seeds.  Don’t ask me!

He recently made a shoe he could actually wear, out of duct tape.  He was going for Star Wars boots.  If you’re ever wondering what to get Nelson, think duct tape.  He just loves, loves, loves, that stuff.
Often, I don’t even ask him what he’s doing.  This was one of those times.  My special craft glue and dirt.  He was making some sort of really hard ball.  Probably to chuck at his sisters.  Or a Harry Potter snitch.  I’m not sure. Even though it ruined the plate and got dirt and glue all over the kitchen floor and counters (before he was banished outside), I didn’t yell at him.
Because he’s on his way to a big invention…starting with that car seat that is so horribly awkward to carry.  My back is still hurting.  Won’t we all be so grateful?  Yes, Mamas, I got your back.

You Give Me Fever

Oh man, I’m missing this girl…
Six week old Sydnie Jolene.

I miss her mom too 🙂  Sydnie is such a good baby, not that there’s “bad” babies, but this one is sweet as pie.  She usually sleeps through the night and only cries when the big bad nose suctioner comes after her.

There is something wonderful about having a newborn in the house.  I love how holding a new baby makes you sit down, slow down, and just be.  I  need to do that more with all of my children.

Allison didn’t want her picture taken but she looked beautiful and is glowing with happiness.  Here we have “baby in a bag” – love those cozy fleece outfits – and Paige pouting.  “I want to be a baby,” she said. We tried to convince that she really had a better life but perhaps our fawning over the wee one made her pause.  

Paige was the lucky one.  She got to stay home all day and be with Sydnie.

Nellie loved baby too
Grandma loved baby.  oh that sweet outfit.
Yes, having this baby here was enough to give me fever. 
Love you, sweet Sydnie!  Come back soon, please.



This year we had some mighty fine and large pumpkins from our very own garden!  Then a neighbor came by and gave us three more.  No trips to the pumpkin patch this year.  We had a fun family home evening digging out pumpkin guts.  
I have dramatic children, no?

Brynne played a witch at school for her class play.  I began to video tape it per her request and I got message, tape ended.  Can you believe I’m still recording on tapes?  I need to get with it.  We’ve got loads of video to convert over.  Sorry B.  But what a cute witch!  It was funny to watch who was so shy and quiet and who didn’t mind an audience.  This one is definitely on the shy side when it comes to public performance.

Oh. Oh. Oh.  You’re about to get a baby fever post.  Because we’ve all got it.  Bad.  Real bad.  Allison and her baby Sydnie are visiting from New York City.  Sydnie is such a doll.  She’s got perfect disposition and the cutest little body.  Everyone wants to hold her.

Her mother dressed baby up as “Old Man Syd.”  We laughed and laughed.  I’m sorry, Sydnie!

This is the first year I’ve done anything with food for Halloween.  Puffed pastry on top of a casserole.  I snuck in sweet potato and parsnips and didn’t tell the kids until after they ate it (insert wicked laugh here.)  They said, That’s what that gross taste was.  Sure.

Jello brain compliments of Grandma Heather.

If there is anyone you want to visit you for Halloween, it’s these two.  Even though Allison is only 5 1/2 weeks out from a C-section, and has not completely healed yet, she still came with a costume!  She’s a Wall Street protester.  And then there’s my mother, master of the witch costume.

Grandma Witch, Bumble-Bee Princess, Kung-Fu Master, Mulan, Princess Paige borrowing Allison’s wig.  She got sick of it after five minutes so I put it on.  You would not believe the amount of compliments I got from that purple and black striped wig!  Maybe I should start wearing one.  Then I wouldn’t have to do my hair.  Dreamy.

Little Mulan
It was a cold and snowy Halloween night.  The girls went home after one street as the older ones persevered down Lawrence Street to see all their friendlies.  I love Halloween.  I love the feeling of dressing up, going out into the dark with other trick-or-treaters, laughing at each other, crunching through leaves (and snow), being scared, raiding the kid’s buckets (this year I’m digging the Almond Joy), and falling into bed content.  Hope you got scared too – Boo!

On a Monday

1.  This morning we got a phone call.  It was a beautiful fall Monday morning, but the caller said, “No school today; someone vandalized all the buses.”  So we are home and I keep thinking, Who does things like this?  It makes no sense, is so destructive, causes so much anxiety for parents trying to work or get their kids to school or rearrange childcare.  It’s such a complete disregard for someone else’s property.  Err.  It really bothers me.
The kids were happy to stay home; it’s like an unexpected summer day.  Hmmm…it’s only 7:45 a.m.  now what do we do?  I think we may go apple picking and feed the water buffalo up the road.  I’ve got to get a picture of that; it’s hilarious and a little scary!
2.  I made bagels the other day.  They were so yummy – find the recipe at or go see Sarah on Clover Lane.  She has the bread rise in the bread machine which I do not have.  Mine didn’t turn out quite as perfect; I’ll have to fiddle with recipe, but they were a big hit.  Sprinkle onion, poppy seeds, and sea salt and you’ve got an everything bagel.  I’m excited to make again soon.
3.  Did you know peanuts grow in the ground?  Come on, admit it…you didn’t know either!  Ok, maybe I was the only one who didn’t know.  As I went out to clean up our very overgrown garden I was mad our peanuts didn’t grow at all.  I dug up the plants and ta-da – there were those peanuts!

Can you just eat peanuts?  I was worried I might get poisoned.  They were a little mushy.  I put them in the oven and they were a little better.  Here’s a great way to grow protein in your garden!

4.  In other exciting garden news, we have grown our first pumpkin.  Isn’t it so cute?  Two more are growing and hopefully we’ll have some big’uns for Halloween.
5.  After we got back from vacation this summer, my garden motivation was lacking.  We lost so many tomatoes due to my neglect.  Actually, I should say the family’s neglect since this is supposed to be a family garden.  We have to do better next year.

But we did have some good cucumbers!
6.  There are FIVE days until my 1/2 marathon.  I will be running on the New Hampshire marathon course, the scene of my 1st marathon, and the course that persuaded me that I would never run a marathon again.  I’ve heard they’ve made some changes and supposedly, my 1/2 is a “net downhill.” 
I need to do some important things this week:  Get enough sleep, eat well (no cake for breakfast), run just enough, and have good mental talk.
7.  Enough sleep.  Goal accomplished last night.  I laid down with the girls at 8pm and never got up again until the alarm went off at 6:30 this morning.  Poor Gregor.  We are ships passing in the night.  However, I feel GOOD today!
8.  I really really want a PR.  Really.  Bad.  PR is run talk for “personal record.”  I can do this, right???!
9.  We loved Grandma Alice.  She passed away a week ago Sunday.  She was Grandma Heather’s mother and was just here in New Hampshire giving puppy nose kisses to Paige and burying her husband, Grandpa Dan.  The same week she died, our new niece, Sydney Jolene was born:
Ohhhh…I want her bad.  Isn’t she so sweet and perfect?  I’m so happy for Pete and Al!  I like to think that there are spirits constantly passing…some coming and some going home.  I like to imagine what they say to each other….Good job down there…Remember who you are and why you’re going…I’m so excited…Do I really have to be potty-trained?
10.  To get a laugh out of your Monday morning, check out Cass and Eric’s blog HERE.  I hope you laugh and don’t throw up 🙂
Happy Monday!