Monday, December 30, 2013


Today we took a quick drive to take the boys skiing/snowboarding.  Gabe was really enthralled with the windmills along the mountain ridge during the drive.  Later that night he drew these.

He's a pretty cool kid.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Strep followed by another mystery illness

So all the boys tested positive for step the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Woo Hoo!  Thankfully, after a few days of antibiotics they seemed to all be feeling better.  But then this happened...

Gabe gets sent to the nurse at school on Tuesday a week later with 101 fever - while still on his meds for strep.  Then his eyes start swelling up...geez.  So back to the doctor we go.  The poor kids endures 3 more days of 101-103 fever (while on Ibuprofen, mind you) and another round of bigger, uglier, drugs.  His poor system is not handling Kindergarten well.  He has now been on antibiotics four times since school started - about 100 days ago! This is totally not cool for his little body.  And now it has been officially deemed required that we get his horribly over-sized (3+) tonsils/adenoids out so he can breathe at night.  He is not thrilled.

After two days at home with mom taking it easy and doing quiet work, he has started to perk back up.  Apparently, his hair has, too.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Let the ear infections begin...

...and Gabe wins the prize for the first ear infection of the school year.  He woke up in the middle of the night saying his ear hurt.  We got him to the doctor the next morning and he was so worn out he put himself to bed when we got home and he slept half the afternoon.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Too much sugar...too much fun...

Sometimes good days a great all the way to the very end when exhausted children fall asleep peacefully  - on the ride home, on the couch, in your lap, in their bed.  The key thing here is PEACEFULLY piece of the equation.

Then there are other days.  Days that start out good, maybe even have a good long run, but then at some point something goes terribly wrong.  Today, sadly, was one of those days.  We had a good morning, loaded up for a fun day at the park where the boys would get to go to a birthday party.  The boys were thrilled at the jungle gym at the picnic shelter, thought the birthday cake was the coolest thing EVER (it was a rocket ship, what is not to love?), and then they ate and played some more.

Doesn't sound bad, does it?  Well, what happened next looks something like this:

This is what too much sugar, too much playing, and an exhausted little boy still hyped up on sugar looks like.  It was a GREAT ride home.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Marshmallow Mustache

Reece is addicted to marshmallows....

Monday, October 14, 2013


I got these photos in an email from Doug with the subject line: "It's good to have  me as a dad..."

It has been raining for almost a week.  Everything is wet and muddy and the boys are really sick and tired of being cooped up inside.  Inside recess simply does not cut it.

Doug decided to just let the boys have fun in the massive mud puddles at school.  It was gross - and they loved it.  And yes, they roped in another kid - luckily whom we know the parents - to join them.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Catching up!

Wow, I am so behind in keeping the blog up to date!  I have not yet adjusted to life with the twins in school full time and I am really behind in everything these days.  I keep telling myself it will settle into a groove and things will be ok, but we haven't found the groove yet!

Here is a quick post about the complete cluster that drop off is in the morning at school for Doug.  The system pretty much is mediocre, but because of the complete lack of planning on the part of the folks that designed the parking and the car/bus lanes - it is a nightmare every single morning.  The kids have to be dropped off or park and walked across at least two lanes of traffic to get to the sidewalk!  Brilliant.  (Smack head.)

Because of this traffic nightmare, the school really wants kids to ride the bus - because the bus drops kids off on the sidewalk.  But here is the rub.  We live 3 minutes from the school.  3 minutes - seriously - but there are no sidewalks for half the trip. So we looked into the bus.  It is a K-12 bus. This means 5 year olds are on the bus with 17 year olds.  This is not good.  It gets better - we would be the first pick up of the morning, so my kids would be on the bus 45 minutes. And in the afternoon - we are the last drop off.  So again 45 minutes on the bust to go what is literally 3 minutes from our house by car.

So Doug fights the traffic everyday to drop them off and we pay our nanny to fight the traffic every day to pick them up. The pick up is no better.  It requires you get out of the car (with Reece in tow) go into the building, sign in with ID, go down a hall to the holding area, get the twins from the madness, then take all three back out to the car - crossing the multiple lanes of traffic.  EVERY SINGLE DAY.

And was raining.  So the adults weren't outside helping unload cars and shuffling kids across the traffic!  So Doug parked the car, walked the twins in, then stood in the rain and helped unload kids for half an hour - and Reece helped.  Reece worked for permission to jump in puddles until he was soaked.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Busy Morning

Grayson headed into school
Doug continues to drop the twins off in the morning.  Some mornings they walk in together, some they get the kiss and ride lane.  Today they walked in with Doug so he snapped a quick picture of Grayson on the way in.

When did he grow up??

Reece working hard!
After the twins are dropped off Doug and Reece have about 30 minutes they can blow before they really have to be on their way to drop Reece off at his school.  I love the fact that Doug uses this time to let him explore and do cool kid stuff.  They have been digging a retaining pond on the way out of town and we have stopped wit hall the boys to let them climb the mountains of dirt and rocks and look at all the heavy equipment.  Today they were actually working on it and Doug stopped and let Reece watch.  This, apparently inspired him to get out his own tools and help!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Super Hero

Sometimes, you just have to bust out the super hero and take care of business...
Gabe on a mission...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Boys will be Boys

It is becoming increasingly obvious that I am living in a house full of little boys - and the ring leader is the really big boy they call Daddy.

Yesterday I asked Doug to get home first so I could go to the store on the way home.  He was 'home alone' with them less than 90 minutes.  The amount of dirt and grunge that managed to adhere to these boys in that time was shocking.

Clearly, in the world of little boys more dirt = more fun.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Vine Ripe Farm CSA : Week 2

Green garlic and Olive Oil Pasta
Another green week from our CSA!  I took Gabe with me this week to pick up our share at the farm.  He thought it was very cool.  So this week our share  includes:

  • 2 bags of washed mixed lettuce
  • 1 bunch of red kale
  • 1 bunch of green garlic (a different variety than last week)
  • 1 bag of arugula
  • 1 large bunch of rainbow chard

So obviously salads will be on tap again at our house!  With the holiday weekend still up in the air I haven;t had a chance to menu plan for the upcoming week - but I know we will have salads with grilled stuff and I'll get to take salads for lunch, too.  We have figured out that one bag of the lettuce makes 4-5 large dinner sized salads.  The kids eat it, too - just in much smaller amounts.  So I know we'll have salad for dinner twice - and probably a side salad at least once.

I am thinking I'll use the arugula in a pasta with blue cheese and walnuts (obviously Gabe can't have this), most likely.

I used this recipe: Sauteed Rainbow Chard as a starting point for our chard adventure.  I changes it up a little - we did not have pine nuts, so I used toasted pecans instead.  I also started the saute with some finely diced onion and pancetta diced up really small - then followed the recipe from there.  We also decided to put the Parmesan cheese into a nice bowl of polenta instead of on top.  So we swerved the sauteed greens over top the polenta and called it dinner.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Four Eyes

I wish I had better pictures of this - but at lease I have a fuzzy picture!  We were tucking the boys into bed and Grayson asked my why I always had my glasses on.  I told him because they helped me see better.  A few minutes later he had pulled some little googly eyes off something in the room and stuck them to help face - and was giggling up a storm.  He said - look I have FOUR EYES so I can see better!!  He clearly knew this was funny.

I don't have pictures of the silliness that followed, but it involved him taking them and sticking them to me so I could see better, too.  (Laughing hysterically the entire time.)

Week One : Vine Ripe Farm CSA

As the first week of our CSA membership comes to a close and I am thinking about how excited I am about what I might get tomorrow when I pick up my Week 2 share, I realize I really should have taken pictures of what I got and what I made!  (Lesson learned, I'll be sure to do it this week.)

So, sans photos - Here is how week one 'looked'
Filling for Enchiladas
  • 1 bag of loose leaf lettuce (it made 4 big dinner salads)
  • 1 head of red leaf lettuce
  • 1 bunch of Russian kale
  • 1 large bunch of chives
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 small bunch of green garlic
  • 1 medium 'head?' of pac choi 

From this share we have enjoyed:
  • 4 large (Applebee's copycat) oriental chicken style salads (meal size) (2 dinners, and left overs the next day)
  • 3 medium lunch sized Greek salads
  • Dinner veggie and herb fritatta (Grayson's request!)
  • 2 dinners + lunch leftovers for 1 - Korean Vegetable Pancakes (packed full of chives and grilled pac choi)
  • Saute of kale, Italian sausage, and gnocchi  (we made a few small changes, but this is a great starting point recipe)(enough for dinner and left overs)
We haven't used thee green garlic yet, but I am thinking it will go on the grill this weekend along side some steaks.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Walk in the Backyard

Top of the hill
Wow - I haven't posted in a long time!  It has been a crazy spring and I havent had a moment to even begin to sit down and write.  In fact, this is going to be quick!  Just a few pictures of our stroll through the backyard at the Hupp House as slowly work at getting things under control.

Path to the Bee Hives
Goat's Beard
We are mostly working on cutting down dead wood, thinning the massive amount of prickly pear, and getting rid of the trash trees that have over taken what were clearly once nice flower beds and groves of trees and wild flowers.  

We are leaving most of the land "natural", so the sea of native grass is being left to seed (in the top picture.)  This has resulted in pretty patches of purple and even occasional odd flowers - like the yellow Goat's Beard, which is actually a biannual.  (Though Gabe picked it before it could seed - so we may not see it again!)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Boys in a Box

Just playing in the box...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

New Bees - hard at work!

Doug's bees arrived a few weeks ago and he got them set up in two hives behind the Hupp House.  Now he is obsessively checking them to make sure they are OK and working to their potential.  One hive seems pretty laid back, while the other is apparently a "mad hive" and really aggressive every time he goes in.  

Both hives are laying new combs and making new bees - so it looks good so far.  The brand new combs are the lightest color ones.
Bees Hard at Work!! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

There's Corn in There!

Sometimes I think we forget that our kids are still brand new in the scope of things.  Yes - I know the twins are almost 5, but really- they are still pretty much brand new.  There are a TON of every day things that are still mysterious to them.  There is still so much to be discovered.

I have recently fallen victim to looking though Pinterest for ideas for the kids and I am always seeing elaborate things that there is no way I can pull off in my current life situation. So I stepped away from the computer and decided that I needed to focus on the basics.  Cool things that are just everyday life things.

Enter - ears of corn still in the husk....

I sat the kids down at the table and handed them each an ear, and while we have had corn on the cob dozen of times, they had never seen me clean an ear of corn - so they had no idea what I had just given them!  Of course, they asked - repeatedly.  But I stuck to my guns and wouldn't tell them.  I told them they had to 'open them up' and find out.

The amount of concentration on their faces as they started peeling away the husks was amazing.  They were doing some serious exploring.

As they peeled away the layers there was lots of chatter - and when Grayson hit the silks he was very interested in the "strings" - what are they? what are they for? why are there so many?

When started to see the corn kernels there was immediate recognition and literally shouts of "It's corn!  It's corn!  Look, it's corn!!"

By the time we finished they had husked 6 ears of corn and then we put a big pot of water on the stove and we pulled up some chairs and they each carefully put their ears in to cook.  Needless to say, we had corn on the cob for dinner - along with the request that we do it again....tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Super hero!

The big hit of the Easter baskets this year was hands down the super hero capes.  Sadly, I missed the mark and only got one for Gabe (bcs he has been wearing a blanket around his neck for weeks.)  When the other boys saw it, they decided they absolutely must have them, too.  So quick to Amazon - and 48 hours later I had two more.

I found some that were 'logo free' so the kids could just be a super hero all on their own.  There has been so much cape wearing and "to the rescue!" in our house it is ridiculous.

Apparently Gabe has modeled his super hero persona to be "The Streak," as he refused to wear clothes.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

You have to drink, boy!

Sleeping while fluids go in...
Grayson has had the crud again and the poor little boy has no reserve.  He got over the sickness (the horrid "throw ups" that keep going around and around the schools), but he got terribly dehydrated in the process and we couldn't get him hydrated.

We ended up in the doctors office, where they stuck him 6 - yes 6 - times to try and get an IV in him.  After several hours and lots of bravery from him, they sent us over to the ER.  My sweet little boy even stopped at the nurses station and said "thank you" to the nurses that stuck him as we left.

Once we got over to the ER we sat in the waiting room for over an hour (even though the Dr called and said we had a dehydrated/lethargic child), then in a back room for another hour before being seen.  All in all it was almost 9 hours away from home all to get the poor little boy a bag of fluids.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Billy Goat (Gruff) Reece

Each of our children have such different personalities.  Reece has never been much of a 'cuddle-bug' - certainly not like Grayson!  He is however very fond of climbing.  Not climbing things - but people.  Specifically, Doug.  He likes to scamper up him when ever he gets a chance and end up on his shoulders.  Once he is as high as he can go, he usually likes to yell out "YEE HAW!!"

Monday, January 28, 2013

2 Hour Delay = Oatmeal

I know, not what you would think would make me happy about a 2 hour delay for school this morning.  But really, I have three little kids - do I EVER get to 'sleep in?'  
Not so much.

So today's 2 hour delay did not get me any more sleep.  
What it DID give me was the time needed to make a big pot of steel cut oats (none of those quick oat nasties!) on the stove AND time to sit down and eat them.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Monkey Brains and Naked Hieneys

And on another note, I am guessing my days of pictures like this are limited, so I am enjoying it while I can!
I'm I the only person that finds this box more than a little creepy?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Foot Doctor and Baltimore Discovery Museum

Today we had to take Grayson to his 6 month check up with Dr H (or as Grayson refers to him, the Foot Doctor.)  We decided it would be fun to make a day of it and take all the boys to the appointment (doesn't this sound fun?? wait for it...) and then after the appointment we could all go to the Discovery Museum on the Inner Harbor.  We have a membership to the Kids Museum closer to home, so we thought we would take advantage of the reciprocal membership program and spend the afternoon at Baltimore's museum.

We decided at his last appointment that we would have Grayson continue to wear his brace as long as the shoes still fit.  He was 'released' from wearing it - BUT he had not had the big growth spurt we saw Gabe just have over the summer (1.5 inches in under 90 days) and growth spurts are prime causes of relapses.  So while we waited, the boys donned exam gloves and played with haloed limbs:

You can't tell - but he's in there!  Three stories up!
After seeing Dr H and getting "extra credit" for continuing the brace, we loaded up and headed to the museum.  The boys had a blast.  They literally went up and down and up and down at warp speed for HOURS.  This museum was spectacular.  Grayson really liked the "water room" where everything was wet and splashing.  There were raincoats and crocs for the kids to put on and a full body dryer for when they were done!  HE also thrilled at the full size VW Bug and filling station where he could pretend to pump gas and drive.  Reece's favorite thing seemed to be the full diner scaled down for little people.  He 'took my order' and brought me food from the kitchen for almost 20 minutes before we moved on.  Gabe ran up and down and through the tunnels at break neck speed.  He also liked the room where they could pulley themselves across the river on a raft.

(there are lots more pictures, I just need to set them up in a slide show format)

As we left the museum the sun was literally setting and the boys were exhausted.  We grabbed some food on the run - which added to the fun factor for them since we never do the drive through.  I snapped a few pictures as we left town.

The kids were asleep about 30 seconds after inhaling their dinner and we enjoyed a quiet drive home.  I think next time we might try the aquarium :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pre-K Chemistry

 Now that Reece is going to the Montessori school the same days as the twins, it has gotten a bit harder to carve out time where I have ONLY the twins by themselves.  This means that some of the 'bigger kid' activities have been put on hold.  So the fact that I had just the twins for a few hours after school today meant we could pull out something fun to try!

Once again, borrowing from the Play at Home Mom site, I pulled out the baking soda and vinegar.  And to make it even more inquiry based, I colored the vinegar with food dyes so they had some primary colors to work with.  Now that we have been doing this sort of open ended play invitation for a little over a year, they boys jumped right in and started as soon as everything was out.

They got to use the medicine syringes to pull up the vinegar and then squirt it out onto dishes of baking soda. This was a great activity that held their attention for 40-50 minutes (until we ran out of baking soda and vinegar!) They were really excited to see the foaming and hear the noises it made.  Then they started mixing colors and the play took on a whole new direction.  They were eagerly seeing what colors they could make.  

When all the vinegar was used up they started stirring with spoons and were surprised to find the baking soda was gone!  When we decided it was time to clean up and start making dinner they both happily helped pick up the dishes and bring them to the counter.