This morning as I was getting dressed I overheard Sydney whimpering and whining, "I don't want to go outside. I don't WANT to go outside!" to which Tom answered sternly, "We are going out to build a SNOWMAN and that's THAT."
"FINE!" Sydney yelled and threw on her boots with a huff...
A half hour later, I was being paged from the deck to "COME TAKE A PICTURE!"

I'm still debating who had more fun out there.



We got over a foot of snow last night. Tom got a crash course in plowing - he was out for hours clearing the driveway, then the road, then the front walkway, then a racetrack around the house for the dogs, and then a big old snow pile for Syd to ride down... I'm pretty sure he loved every single minute of it. And this afternoon he got to pull the girls behind the four-wheeler - very, very, VERY slowly. It was definitely a site to see.


pinkie pie

'Tis the season for an all-inclusive post with photos from various events over the past few busy weeks...
We finally got a few inches of snow last week, so Tom tested out his new plow (read: overkill) and then showed Sydney how to make a snow angel. But most importantly, Syd got to try out her brand new snowsuit.
(Thanks GranGran. Syd loves it!)
Meanwhile, Trystan has learned to clap in excitement. And he is pulling himself up on everything - even taking a few wobbley steps while holding on (very tightly) to his little push-along before getting so excited that he lets go to clap for himself, when he quickly takes a nose dive. But as you can see in his photo, he's still Very proud of himself and really likes his new perspective on things.
Sydney had a Holiday Party at school this past Thursday and really enjoyed making her "gingerbread house" (aka - an empty milk carton covered with every sugary confection known to man). I'm pretty sure the ratio of candy ON the house vs IN her mouth was pretty low, but she had a great time and got a lot of envious compliments on her application of chocolate morsel shingles. It took me a while to realize she was stockpiling candy INSIDE her house to smuggle home, and by that time my efforts had moved toward fending off the Munchkins and Chocolate Cupcakes. Aah, the Holidays.
Santa brought lots of presents this morning. Sydney was ecstatic unwrapping everything for everyone, while Trystan was more interested in pulling tree branches, clapping bows, and yanking at All of Sydney new toys just as soon as she opened them. (Seriously Tryst? the pink sparkley unicorn with silver hair? Really?!)
Luckily there were MORE than enough My Little Ponies to go around... it was a Happy Holiday indeed!


Mop Dreams

Today Sydney's battling a stomach bug, so I've been mopping and disinfecting all morning. While I was down on the hardwood scrubbing (picture old PJ's and yellow rubber gloves) Sydney perked up and came to me to proclaim, "Mama - someday when I'M a Mommy, *I* want to do THAT!" Dream Big, Syd. Dream BIG!



Okay, I admit. I've been slacking. But to my defense, the past few weeks have been pretty busy around here (as I'm sure they are everywhere!). Here's a recap. We put up the Christmas lights, celebrated Hanukkah with the Cohen's, decorated our Christmas tree, ate latkes at Matty's house, ate latkes at Shelley's house, exchanged Hanukkah gifts, shopped for more gifts, sewed a few more gifts, all while Sydney demands "just ONE more candy Mama? PLEASE?!" while pointing to her beloved chocolate advent calendar.
Meanwhile, Trystan got two teeth and has learned to crawl - or at least slither. Check him out:


knock knock

The door is IN!

But notice that the first foot and a half of hardwood is OUT... Tom had to take the hardwood and the subfloor out because of water damage. Apparently the old homeowners weren't aware that an unsealed door & an absence of gutters was a bad combination. I'm trying to think of it as an opportunity to create a new tiled entryway, but Tom seems to enjoy calling it our new skylight to the basement.


good morning?

This morning I woke up to find a big gaping hole in the front of our house... let's hope tomorrow morning I can post a photo of our new and improved front door. (And let's also hope the coyote don't realize that the only thing separating them from us is a utility tarp and some staples.)


look who's sitting

That's right - Charlie Brown!

He's also starting to prop himself up on his hands and knees for a minute or two (at which time he shoots me a look that begs, "What now?!" and then topples into the inevitable faceplant)
I'm really trying to savor these last few sedentary weeks before he gains mobility and life as I know it is officially over.



peek week

Sydney had her last day of Gymnastics today, and while they typically discourage us nosy parents from staying to watch the class, today we were welcome to enjoy "peek week" and watch the kids show off what they have learned during the session. I have to admit I have, on rare occasions, secretly glanced in the window to the gym to see how my little tumbler was doing and am proud to report she tackled those lessons like a pro. Walk sideways on the balance beam and hop on one foot? No problem. Forward roll down the incline mat? Easy. Climb her feet up the wall in a reverse handstand? She did it twice and laughed.
So when I arrived at Peek Week, I grabbed a seat front and center so I could show Sydney just how proud I was. Auntie Lisa came too - we sat with babes in arms and waited with smiles and shared proud grins while Sydney's teacher called her name and asked her to take "ten jumps on the trampoline" to which Sydney replied a low, soft, "ma ma" and looked out at me unwilling to move. The teacher moved on to the rest of the kids and then asked Syd again if she wanted to take her ten jumps... a painfully slow crawl toward the trampoline ensued, then an almost non-existent bounce as she stared at me with a look of terror and confusion.
The vault? Oh yeah, that was equally as painful. Lisa kept mumbling, "Don't look at her. Look the other WAY" which suprisingly seemed to help. It was hard not to laugh. You can see she warmed up a bit with the balance beams.

Of course, the few photos I have where it looks like she may have actually participated are blurry... I think next time I'll might watch Peek Week from outside the window.


Why yes, his father is an Award Winning swimmer - how did you guess?


halloween gnomes

I just had to post these:

That makes my Official Halloween Costume Count =
3 garden gnomes + 2 hobos + 1 kitty cat + 1 Charlie Brown.

happy halloween

from our own little Charlie Brown and "Sparkly Kitty Cat"



Happy Birthday Ma!


happy one half lil' guy

Today Trystan is 28 inches tall (91st percentile).
He weighs 16.75 lbs (37th percentile).
He can roll every which way.
He can sit... mostly.
And he continues to laugh, always.



I survived the entire summer without any animals feasting on my prized vegetable garden... then last week eight white eggplants disappeared, then six bell peppers, a handful of lima beans, a lemon-sized watermelon and an entire pot of radish sprouts (pot, soil and all) - I suspected deer, a fox, maybe even a chipmunk. I started to believe Sydney was stockpiling our harvest somewhere in secret. But today I caught our culprit red-handed:


break it down

Sydney's first rock show!


from westcoast to westford

My dearest friend Sarah and her adorable one-year-old son Oscar flew in to Boston from Oregon for a family wedding and we were lucky enough to steal them for a day. Sydney showed Oscar all her toys (rather forcefully I might add) and I showed Sarah all my sewing machines. Then we went for a quick trip to Parlee Farms to see the animals, the pumpkins, and of course the award winning apple cider donuts.

Back at home we cracked open some steamed lobsters for dinner, and finally cooked up the garden-fresh butternut squash for the little guys. Everyone was happy. I only wish Sarah & Oscar could have stayed longer! To see more photos from our day, Click Here.


chunky monkey

I finally gave Trystan some "real food" tonight - steamed, smashed summer squash straight from the garden - I think it's safe to say he liked it.


full house

Look who came out to Westford today:

Great Great Aunt Rita & THE Grand Bubba! It was amazing to have so many generations together in our home. Better yet, my favorite part of the day was driving Bubba around on the 4-wheeler. I believe her exact response to my invitation for a ride was a calm "Oh Yes" followed quickly by "You all thought I came out here to visit you, but really I came out to ride THAT thing."
Yes, that's my Bubba. I'd like to think I've inherited a bit of her moxie.


first day - first to arrive.

Sydney started Preschool today, and while most of you know I am by NO means a "morning person," we managed to arrive to school an entire 35 MINUTES early! Yes, I messed up the dropoff time. Of course my first thought was, "WHAT?! I could have slept another half hour!" But luckily my morning mistake left us just enough time to stop by and say hi to Cousin Isabelle at the bus stop...

And if that's not worth waking up too early, inhaling only a third of my coffee and then rushing Sydney out the door while trying to wrestle two doberman out of the way with a 40 lb infant carrier, I don't know what is!


today's harvest

Note the toddler-sized chomp out of the zucchini.



happy birthday big brother!
...nice cowlick.


here we go again

Wednesday he sold the boat. Monday he bought this...


life's a peach.

We went peach picking today - and picked a really HOT day to go at that. I'd estimate we came home with about 6 pounds of peaches. And I'd also bet Sydney alone ate 3 pounds of peaches in the orchard... while Trystan just barely gummed one.



Trystan took a dip in the pool today...

unfortunately for him, Sydney quickly realized he made a perfect dock for her toys.


can't beat it? eat it.

I've been trying to get rid of our giant thorn bushes over by the stonewall, but no matter what I try, they just keep on growing. So today I admitted defeat and we started harvesting the blackberries. Truth be told - Sydney and I had a fun morning out there. And we didn't even put a dent into the supply! Now if I just knew someone who loves eating them... other than Rolo that is.


3 months

Okay so it's a couple weeks late, but I took Syd and Trystan to get some "3 month old" mall photos. It was a bit of a struggle to get Sydney to sit still - I swear the photographer said, "GENTLE!" a few hundred times while Sydney pretended to bite Trystan's head and then "accidentally" rolled over him during his solo-photos (note the random big-sister-toes in the back of some of his portraits). Surprisingly there were still a couple decent shots in the mix.
Click HERE to see them all.


watch out

Daddy got Syd a new toy. She calls it her "four-wheel" and likes to aim it toward Rolo.



Its a far cry from pulling the boat up on the sandbar, but somehow Sydney couldn't be happier.


beach stop

Today, Trystan's tiny toes touched the Atlantic.
(Try saying that three times fast!)


Back when I was a little girl, I remember Mom and Dad packing Matty and me into the station wagon and driving forever to get to this great big tented theater. Well, Nana took us back there today and Sydney and Trystan got to see Cinderella come to life.
But things seemed a little different to me this time around. First off the drive wasn't long at all. And once we arrived the whole place seemed a little less "magical" - the stage was a little smaller, the actors a little less polished, the costumes a little less glamourous, and I wondered if maybe things had changed since I was little, but as I was looking around trying to remember more from my many childhood trips, I caught a glimpse of Sydney, in her sparkly little Cinderella dress, watching the performance from the very edge of her seat in complete silence with her mouth wide open in amazement. And I realized nothing has changed about that theater at all. There's still plenty of magic there...


big lil t

I think he's officially graduated from the little sink.


a big little town

I just uploaded the photos from this weekend in Narberth. Here are a few of my favorites from the baby parade:

Check out the rest of the photos HERE. Isabelle won second place in "Most Patriotic" while Sydney came in third for "Curliest Hair" and our four generations of red,white+blue family came in third for "Most Interesting Family Group" - obviously it was rigged. I mean, who could possibly be more interesting than the O'Neill family?

hour 6

almost home...