Monday, July 09, 2012


June started out busy but has ended on the lazier side. (sort of...) The end of another school year and a new batch of crazy pictures came home with the kids after a day at school with a camera. I'm sure the teachers think I'm completely insane sending a camera in with the kids but it's worth it every time. They take the goofiest pictures of themselves and friends. Here are the kids favorite pictures from the last day at school. 

 Once school was out, I took the girls to the American Girl store so Cecelia could spend her birthday money. It was Isla's first trip. She was completely in love and really excited about seeing Abby (her bitty twin) in the store and all the different stuff that would go with her. Might have just damned myself with that visit...
 We have gotten some humid days here where it just barely rains and then there's a break in the sky and we've had a couple of the most amazing rainbows I've ever seen. This one showed up in the back yard. It was a full rainbow that you could see both ends of and it was so big  I couldn't really get the whole rainbow in the shot. You could also see all the colors including the difference between purple and indigo. Mark and I were like little kids standing out in the mist taking pictures.
 We finally got started on the attic! It doesn't look like much but here's 19 feet worth of knee wall. The hole closest is going to be a built in dresser for Cecelia. Her bed will be on the far side and the second hole is an access hole to the crawl space that will be in her closet. Super slow going though because we have not gotten it insulated yet so REALLY hot. Mark and I would work for 20 minutes and have to take a break because it was getting sooooo hot up there. Can't wait to insulate and get cooler! Better yet, can't wait to be done and have the girls up there and settled!
 This past weekend it was too hot to work up in the attic so we decided to help Aidan reclaim his legos. We have some cool sets from the kingdom line but they had all been broken and then 'rebuilt' into other things. Aidan really wanted to rebuild his castle and a couple of other sets. We spent a whole day separating the pieces by color. By the end of the day, my butt was completely numb from sitting on the wood floor all day. We spent the next several days searching for tiny, rare pieces to built everything but Aidan hasn't stopped playing with them yet. Gotta love legos!
 Besides playing with legos and sweating to death in the attic and reading all my books (4 down, 8 billion more to go), I have been trying to work on setting up the house. We've been slowly going through boxes and finding homes for everything in the new house. I'm not in a rush to throw things in closets or cram things in places. I'm taking my time and getting organized. After living in the rental house for 9 months, things are not organized. Plus we're figuring out the best way to fit our stuff into our new house. There are little corners now that are set up the way I want amongst all the crap in the house that has not been put away yet. Here's an example, I found these bookcases on sale and they fit perfect in this nook. I spent some time going through our books and picked my favorites to put on the shelves. I listened to one of those design shows that said to group books according to color instead of size. I love the way it turned out and the way it looks. Plus, it's nice to have access to some of my books too. The rest will have to wait for the attic to be done. The bedroom the girls are in now is going to become a den when they move up.
 And because I un-boxed some books, I had to have a place to sit and enjoy them! So this is the corner just across from the bookcases. Makes you want to sit down and hang out with a good book, doesn't it!?!
Mark is doing research all summer but the kids and I have settled into a summer routine of lazy mornings, playing, hanging out, reading and sun bathing at the beach. It's a beautiful thing. We also have several visitors this summer. We still have a couple of free weekends though if you feel the need to come relax, read a good book, have some good conversations and just enjoy life:)

Saturday, June 02, 2012


Just a fun day at the beach. We found the beach closest to our new house and went for a couple hours. 12 minutes. That's all it takes us to get to ocean water. 12 minutes. Amazing... and REALLY cold right now!
 Ladies' day out! Yaya was in town for the long weekend. We went walking in Mystic at all the little shops and found hats!
 Aidan got a new scooter a couple weeks ago when he spent the day with daddy. He loves it!
 This is the corner of our yard. We have these giant flower bushes. They are in full bloom and add so much color. I love them!
 Movie and popcorn? Isla actually fell asleep about 5 minutes into the movie but managed to still hold on to the popcorn bowl. She lasted like this all the way through the movie. So cute.
 Just a pretty picture from campus. This is just outside Mark's lab where he does all his research in tanks.
 Cecelia turned 9! Our last year before she's double digits. She's getting tall and starting to look more like a teen then toddler. Oh, God.
 Happy 34th Birthday, Baby!
 We made brownies this year. We couldn't celebrate on Mark's birthday this year because he was back in Indiana for Shawn's wedding. Unfortunately I couldn't go with so Mark got a quick weekend by himself to have a good time. That also means he didn't take a single picture with an actual camera... No, no. It's ok. I didn't really want to see any pictures from Shawn's wedding. It's not like I haven't known him for the last 13 years or anything...
May was a really good month. We made bunk beds for Aidan's bedroom. We designed the attic and are researching to make sure we do everything just right. We are settling into the new house still and getting to know our new village. Still weird to say I live in a village.Work is a little crazy for me as the year comes to an end. Mark has settled into the new routine of summer in research. The kids can taste the freedom brewing. They are struggling to hold on til the end of school, only have a week and a half to go. I'm really looking forward to this summer. With a little luck, we'll finish the attic for the ladies, hit the beach a LOT, and get lots of visitors! The Ballentine B&B is almost open!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Boston and BIG NEWS!!!

One of the coolest things about moving to CT is the day trips! Last week was my spring break. I made a mad dash back to IN for a cool 60 hours. If I didn't see you while I was there, I'm really sorry. I'll catch you next time. Anyway, Allison was awesome enough to drive back with me. We figured we should squeeze in a day trip while she was here. Off to Boston we headed! We made it a girls' trip with Cecelia and Isla in  tow. We walked most of the Freedom Trail. Girls were awesome at keeping up and hanging out with us. Here's some cool pictures from the day.
Grave of Boston Massacre victims
 Girls in front of Samuel Adams' grave.
 Paul Revere's grave.
 Just being cute, hanging out by Mother Goose's grave! Who knew she was real!?!
 I can't remember where this was but I thought it was cute.
 Old South Meeting House, where the revolution all began.
 This is where the Boston Massacre happened. I thought there were more killed than five people.

 Couldn't pass this one up since I grew up watching this show. Made me smile.
 This is Paul Revere's House! How awesome! We paid the extra couple of bucks to go inside and look around.
 Aidan's new haircut! He was pretty excited about it.

Now for the big news... We were running out of diapers and I refused to buy any more. Isla is officially potty trained! We have a handful of diapers floating around the house but she isn't using them. It took about two days, maybe three and she hasn't had any more accidents. She's been a real super star about it. We've convinced her that she doesn't have to use the little potty and the big potty is cool. She's not even wearing anything at night! We do have a plastic cover on the mattress to be safe but so far, so good! I'm so excited. Just think, no more buying diapers! Ever! AWESOME!!!SW

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Best
All three kids clean and dressed nice AT the SAME TIME!
This is getting harder and harder to do.
Here they are on our new front porch.

Seriously, it's like pulling teeth to get them all to smile normally all at once.

At an Easter egg hunt at Olde Mystic Village. Super cute but really busy.

Aidan and Isla playing after they hunted for eggs but before Cecelia had.

They really did have fun but apparently they can't all smile at the same time anymore.

January Birthdays ~ Isla turns 3 and Aidan turns 6!
I feel old.
Isla chose pink cupcakes instead of a cake.

Aidan requested a dinosaur cake

Singing about how much they love cake!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Victory at last!

Home with a sick Isla today. She wanted a cheese stick but normally can't get them open by herself. I just pulled a little on the sides while she was still pulling the package open to help her. It started to open and she pulled away from me to open it the rest of the way by herself. As she walked out of the kitchen away from me, I heard her do a little sing-song to herself. It went "Isla is a hero! Cause I got the cheese open!" I couldn't hear the rest but good to know my daughter is singing her own theme songs now. Awesome!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Isla, the Smartass...

So I was changing Isla's diaper the other night up in her room and here is the conversation that followed:
Isla: I'm sorry I pooped mommy.
Me: Don't be sorry you pooped honey. Everybody poops. Mommy just wants you to poop in the potty.
Isla: Oh. I will some day mommy.
Me: Really? When?? When you're 35?
Isla: No. When I'm 31.

I have the distinct feeling that I have met my match...

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The torture continues!!!!
I really do love Christmas card time. It is a pain to get all the cards printed, addressed, stamped and out. Especially with how many of you seem to move every year and I always get a couple returned to us no matter how hard I try to keep up with cousins' new locations and friends' new adventures. But I giggle to myself as I think of my children in another ten years when they are old enough to realize how many really embarrassing pictures there are of them and the vast number of people who have those pictures framed! Makes my year every time!
This year I ordered matching pjs that you iron the names on the front. Truly awful of me, I know! But come on! Look how cute they are as they stand all together in front of the tree. And honestly, how many more years do I have where they will still do this so willingly without some sort of serious bodily harm being threatened...

And the winner, hands down, is...

I know they will be so embarrassed by these through the teenage years but I think past that they will appreciate the memories and awesome shots of all of them together, year after year. I know I do, as well as the hordes of you that let me know when I have taken too long to get the card out:)
Maybe one of these years I'll make them all super ugly holiday sweaters!
Getting a NEW Tree

This year we changed it up and got a real Christmas tree. We went to a local place and let the kids go. They walked around discussing, decided they loved this one and we brought it home.

They don't look it but they were actually having a lot of fun running around picking trees and were very excited about taking this one home.

No one seemed to understand it would take a day or two for the tree to warm up and branches to settle. But eventually they did and we got to decorate!

Isla we very excited to get her picture taken... but then she disappeared. The other two stood around smiling and waiting. So good and assuming the position for me!

After a minute or two, she was back. Apparently she needed a costume change and a crown for the photo shoot!

All were excited to put up the stockings.

And a little extra lovin' for our fat Santa!

A couple nights later, there was an open house and Mystic Aquarium. We met the performers from The Nutcracker. Isla REALLY liked her outfit. She kept touching it and telling her she was Soooo Pretty. It was really cute.

We also ran into Frosty, and....

SANTA!!! The older two ran right over and started telling him what they wanted and they were so happy to see him and went on and on. Isla would have nothing to do with him and had a death grip on Mark. Some healthy fear going on...