Thursday, August 28, 2008

the good, the bad, and the ugly

So...we are making progress.....the new addition went up fast....gutting the old part of the house and practically re-building is the "not so fun" part. The picture below is the side of the house....we weren't suppose to go this far but this project has taken on a life of its own....."we should do this now while the crew is here" "we should do it right" "if you want this then we have to do this"

Ta da!!!! New windows, roof lines, roof on new kitchen and garage.....and the wall they blew out today. And the new beams they need to put in to support the house the "right" way. Below was a picture taken early August....just a shell, blue tarp over old house.....
Now we have a roof, shingles, trim and siding. a few weeks ago.....
Now nice and pretty with windows and siding!So, this week has been rough....splitting headache from all the dust, the banging and saw noise that is now a few feet away inside the house, our kitchen is gone, our walls are gone, we don't have access to our downstairs bathroom and laundry room...can't seem to find the microwave....I'm a bit stressed out, frazzled....had a meltdown yesterday, blood pressure is high.This was our kitchen.....the white door goes down to the basement, the window door goes to the bathroom and laundry room and the plywood in between goes to the playroom...which is now our make shift kitchen.The bright side....cooper can sleep through anything!!! i've lost a few pounds, caroline starts school next week, the rain has stopped, the crew is still singing, now that the kitchen is gone i have one less room to clean!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

One last beach weekend at Aunt Ginny's and Uncle Bucky's house
Amazing weather, great family, beautiful beach, fresh fish for dinner.....we were spoiled for 3 days. And Caroline thinks they have the best lawn.....i agree
Catching fish

Boat rides...happy daddy

Happy Lulu
happy daddy and lulu
I think this might be my "happy place." My wish is to be dropped off here with a beach chair, book and cooler....and picked up when the tide comes in.....this is long beach in Buzzard's Bay
The kids love collecting shells and catching little fish
And I catch a moment to count my blessings.....

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Last minute trips are always lots of fun.....we decided to skip swim lessons because it was a chilly morning and hopped into a friend's car with her two girls and headed to the zoo........The kids had a great time feeding all the animals....yes, Caroline is wearing her favorite dress (yes, i do laundry every day.)

Why can't my kids just smile.....can you tell which ones are mine.......
The girls loved the kiddy train ride. Cooper yelled "mommy out" as the train went around in circles.
And then we got to feed Geoffrey the Giraffe......Cooper clung to Bethany in pure horror.....and then stayed in the stroller trying to hide from all of the bigger animals.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Construction Lessons Part 1

5 Things I've learned about construction......

1. It is very destructive at first....I didn't realize that they would destroy my whole yard...and that an addition to the back of the house would put our trees in the front yard in jeopardy.
2. Concrete is very expensive...who knew.
3. Picking out roof shingles is like picking out paint....the 2 inch sample looks nothing like the actual roof...learned this the hard way...and the roof is growing on me.
4. We have bonded with the construction crew.....they can now understand Cooper...they sing while they work.....and we miss them when they are not here.
5. The kids have a new hobby.....when the crew is done for the day, we play "who can find the most nails on the ground"...we have buckets of nails.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I can see clearly now......

So...I had a rough week....just stress from all the construction...made a phone call....and Gramma and Shener (my mom and her husband from Vermont) arrived yesterday to help. We put Rob and Shener to work on the house and Gramma and I took the kids to the 4H Fair. The weather was perfect, the kids got along, and we had a great day...... They had a tent full of games for the kids.....Cooper is holding his prizes...little plastic chickens.....and a happy little man.
While we were listening to the music Cooper reached over and grabbed Gramma's hold. In his other hand was an orange balloon dog.
My kids are addicted to tattoos.....yes, she is wearing "the dress"
The best part of the day......hanging out with Gramma.

We came home to the front of the house painted....hooray!!! And our contractor was on his way to the emergency room because he cut his hand on a saw....good lord!!!! He is OK...thank god!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

one horrible, no good, very bad day

So....yesterday stunk....the kids had their yearly doctor's appointment.....and if you have more than one child...there is a bit of juggling to do...and bribing (i'm talking donut with pink frosting bribe) Caroline was great....going to the doctors has always been fun for she sat and had a snack while the doctor checked Cooper out...and she also watched all the shots and the finger prick to test for lead. Cooper was great...didn't even fuss or cry through the whole thing. Since I thought it would be impossible to get through Caroline's turn...I brought in reinforcements....Rob's dad came to take Cooper down to the snack shop while Caroline was checked. Well.....everything went fine up till the shots of course....and Caroline was not having the took 2 nurses, 1 doctor, and one mommy to get that itty bitty finger pricked. So...we survived....we always do. The rest of the day I had two cranky kids with low fevers...for some reason any kind of immunization makes my kids feel yucky for a day. Cooper fussed so much he barely got a nap....and at bedtime i had to rock him for over an hour after a total meltdown. Caroline was so cranky and full of attitude...we completely clashed all day. With Rob at a golf tournament...I bribed myself with Chinese take-out for dinner....except the kids ate all of their dinner and then half of mine. It was an all around bad mommy day....I was not at my has been a little "darling' boy Cooper has hit his terrible twos like he has been saving it all up for the past two years....this morning he didn't want to get dressed and had the loudest screaming tantrum I have ever heard...apparently so loud the construction crew was at my back door looking in......wondering what I was doing to him...."nothing to see folks!!" just a screaming 2 year old! He wants to wear the shirt he wore yesterday and apparently slept in because we avoided the issue last night, and he is fixated on having his milk in the train cup, the one we can't find, more screaming, more looks from the construction crew....deep breathes ...........OK, i feel better, my rant is over...."nothing to see folks...the show is over."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Monkeying around......

we had a request for Monkey Bread....again.....and ladies and gentlemen...this is the Monkey Dance.....they have so much fun coating the biscuits with cinnamon and sugar....I finally captured the fun.
the best part is all the sugar on their hands....hopefully your looking at the cute kids and not the piles of dishes everywhere.....the top cabinets have been taken down....i am slowly losing my kitchen.
And the results of all their dancing around.....

A sneak peek of what we are working on..........

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Zucchini Festival

On Saturday we headed to the Zucchini Festival in West Stockbridge. My kids won't eat zucchini.....i don't even think they know what it looks like but we had a great day listening to music, eating great food, people watching, playing games, petting zoo and the tattoo booth. Caroline's favorite part was holding this..... Lots of games......decorate the zucchini and then race it!!! yes, this is weird...but the kids loved it....and silly prizes, too.....for the fastest zucchini of course.
And our favorite children's musician....David Grover....this time he invited children up to the microphone to sing....Caroline raced over....Rob under his breath "uh oh."....she sang twinkle twinkle little star......she raced back to us with the biggest smile....i love when she is proud of herself.
And 5 minutes into the ride home....... one down......
two down....i love when they pass out in the car.....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Construction update

In 1855 builders made walls out of planks.....2 stories long, 3 inches thick and 18 inches wide.....not the standard 2by4 they use today......this is the side of the house...they have been working on for 3 full days...stripping the aluminum, taking out the windows, and reframing the walls.....this work is slow going and the crew has to be creative. After 150 years the walls are solid...can't say that for the foundation though.....notice the blue tarp rolled the end of the day that gets unrolled to protect the house from the rain (lots of crazy rain this year)...and the house becomes totally closed in...I go around and turn on every light we have.....not complaining though...we still have our kitchen. The roofers are here today....woke us all up at 6:30am...they don't mess around.....the crew has been working on trim and hopefully putting in the new windows today....Rob went to the hardware store with the kids to get a gallon of exterior paint....a trial gallon of "dolphin blue."
The widest plank we measured was 18 inches wide.....our builders are impressed...."middle of the tree wood"..... We are hoping to salvage any they rip out for either the island counter top or the side hutch counter.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Weekend picnic and Cooper's new toys

On Saturday we headed to Great Barrington to listen to David Grover.....a picnic on the lawn and listening to great music for the kids (and adults). During the summer months Mr. Grover plays at the Town Hall every Saturday....his band is so full of energy and fun.....and they engage the kids in stories, song and dance.....a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning....great family time. Below is a picture of Cooper playing with his new toys...the safety goggles crack me up!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Summer Sangria

One of my favorite summer drinks is Sangria. I first tried this when we lived in Boston...on the hot summer nights when the electricity would go out we would walk down to a little Mexican restaurant (for some reason their lights were always on, thank god)...Rob would try a new dish every time and I would be happy with a pitcher of Sangria and chips and salsa...yum. So, since our move out of the city I still crave this summer tradition. Enjoy!

Summer Sangria:

1 bottle of Chianti

1/2 cup OJ

1/4 cup sugar

slices of lemon, orange, peach, apple...whatever fruit sounds good to you.

1. mix first 3 ingredients in pitcher until sugar dissolves.

2. add fruit.

3. let stand at room temp. for 3 hours....chill in fridge.

Happy Birthday Cooper

Cooper turned 2 on Sunday....what an excited little boy! Due to the construction and the off and on rain all day...we had a small gathering of family and neighbors.....Rob served up his favorite pulled pork sandwiches...and I put together the sides....fruit platter, chips, baked beans, pickles, and tangy coleslaw.Caroline helps Daddy in the kitchen...stirring the sauce.

Cooper is ready to help Uncle Mark with all of his new power tools!

Uncle Jeff made a perfect cake....Cooper screamed in delight when he saw it!!!

We finally let him have the rest.....

I still can't believe he is 2...the time goes by so fast! Knowing that he will be our last it has been very hard to see him turn into a little boy....I feel so blessed to have this little funny boy....he makes me laugh all day....his funny way of talking....the way his legs go faster than his body when he runs....his love for all boy things,trucks and tools....his love for his sister (who constantly torments him)....his gentle touches and pucker kisses....he is drawn to water and mud.....Happy Birthday Cooper!!!