Monday, July 26, 2010

Beach Day!

What do you get when you cross three moms, nine kids, and the beach? A great day! Atticus and Norah will be attending the same school as the W kids and they were in total awe of how cool the big kids are and how well they can swim. Unfortunately, we didn't think to get out our cameras until some little people were begging for naps, but rest assured that a wonderful time was had by all.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Norah insisted that everyone else clear out of the gazebo so she could dance.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


  • Atticus's vocabulary is ever-expanding. Upon being placed in a new bed last week, he exclaimed, "Mama, this bed is horrible!"
  • He's also trying to do his part to ensure that truth and justice dominate the household. Today brought the following declaration: "Norah is being naughty. She pinched Atticus. Norah, you go in time out!"
  • Tonight I reminded Norah again that we don't hit people or animals and she replied, "But Mama, you hitted the bugs." It's true that I was swatting biting flies today on our walk. I didn't think she noticed and I never would have imagined that she would make the connection.
  • Norah screamed and kicked when we tried to get her to try on two different outfits yesterday. However, when she saw a third outfit, she whipped off her old dressed, helped my mom and me get her into the new outfit, and then demanded to keep the new outfit on. I'm going to be in trouble during her adolescence.
  • We went to the annual chicken barbecue at the Putnam fire station. Atticus fell asleep on the way there and kept requesting that we return him to the car so he could finish his nap.
  • My parents have cable at Camp and I may be addicted to the Food Network now. It's almost enough to convince me that we should switch to cable for our internet.

Friday, July 16, 2010

En Route

Plugging her ears to avoid Atticus's screaming. We waited an hour in line for the ferry back to NY from VT. We had a nice day, however. We went blueberry and raspberry picking in Vermont and then it started raining so we spent the afternoon wandering around Middlebury.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Disco Diva

The kids and I are visiting Kim and Dan in New Hampshire right now. We were just supposed to stay last night, but we're having so much fun that we are staying another day. Today, Kim, her sister-in-law, and I took our four kids to Boston Children's Museum. It was awesome and I really wish we had something like it closer to us at home. Favorite activities included washing babies in soapy water, disco dancing, playing in the huge sand and water tables, and a contruction exhibit. A good time was had by all.

Paul is now in Nelspruit, South Africa. He says all of the travelers are going through a bit of culture shock being back in a westernized country after being in Uganda.

Future Blue Woman

The museum had an exhibit dedicated to the Blue Man Group. Norah enjoyed playing the pipes.

Bathing Babies II

Boston Children's Museum

Bathing Babies

Monday, July 12, 2010

Paul Is Fine

There were bombings in Kampala yesterday that killed at least 64 people, including an American who was working for Invisible Children. Paul has been in touch and wasn't anywhere near the attack. They are currently in Kampala, but he says they're being taken care of and feel safe. I'll let you know when I have more information. They leave for South Africa tomorrow.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

After another crappy night of sleep last night, the kids and I were rather exhausted and grumpy today.

We went on a family boat ride down the lake and Atticus and Norah tried swimming off the boat for the first time near Pell's Point. They were fearless and enjoyed themselves immensely. They then immediately fell asleep on top of me on the boat ride home. At one point, we hit some huge waves that washed over the boat, dousing all of us quite thoroughly. Both kids just rolled over and fell back asleep. Changing bedrooms and not having a door to shut or bed big enough to share with Mama keeps them from sleeping and makes our lives hell, but soaking them with water isn't a problem. Go figure.

This afternoon when they were supposed to be napping, I was spying on the kids. They were both standing up in Norah's port-a-crib and had pulled everything off the dresser into her bed and opened it. There was one big box that they couldn't figure out, however, and I overheard Atticus say, "Stay here Norah. I going to go get the scissors." Just what we need... Tonight, they were back in their normal bedroom, and Norah fell right to sleep. Atticus didn't fuss or monkey around too much (thank heavens!), but at one point he was making noise and when I went up, he had found a wrench and was walking around trying to "fix" things.

I missed Paul's phone call today, but he left a message saying that they went on a riverboat safari. According to this website, Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt both traveled through Murchison Falls National Park, and parts of The African Queen were filmed there. Paul said that they saw more elephants, hippos, giraffes, and antelope. I wonder if he's become jaded about those animals since they saw them yesterday too.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ugh. It was not a very good night last night or at bedtime tonight. The kids had a very rough time because they had to sleep in a new bedroom and I've pretty much been at my wits end all day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I miss Paul terribly and was so happy to talk to him for seven minutes today. He is at Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda and has already seen wild elephants, giraffes, hippos, antelope, and warthogs. Tomorrow they will be going on a boat trip within the park and the next day will be devoted to looking for big game like lions while on safari. I am incredibly jealous and I really hope he's taking a lot of pictures.

P.S. I apologize to Atticus and will add some money to his therapy fund to cover the following entry. Today while he was on the potty, Atticus looked up at me and said, "Look at me Mama! I'm doing a good job on the potty. I am really listening to my vagina!"

Friday, July 9, 2010


Norah and Atticus are in bed in the next room chatting to each other about what they should do tonight (My suggestion: Go to sleep!). Atticus reminds Norah that they already went to the beach. Norah suggests getting ice cream. They begin counting and now I'm hearing their stuffed animals fly across the room and slam into the walls. Closer investigation proves that Atticus is now sharing Norah's tiny pack-n-play. At least they're having special sibling time, even if they're not sleeping.

To delay bedtime tonight, Norah kissed everyone at the house at least three times - including Uncle Eddie, Aunt Donna, Grandpa Terry, Nommie, Mama, Atticus, Gigi, and Kramer and Bailey, the two dogs. She kept breaking out of the house where she was supposed to be getting into her jammies and going to the other adults in search of immunity from bedtime.

I was out of the house having coffee with my friend Liz (a very special treat!) when Paul called today. According to my dad, the motorbike portion of the trip is over and Paul is still in one piece. For some reason, I was very concerned about the motorbikes, so this is a weight off my mind. I believe that the travelers leave tomorrow for a wildlife park. I'll post a little more about what I know then.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


It was roughly a million degrees here at the lake today and everyone felt like napping except for Atticus and Norah. I finally decided to put them in the car and drive to get ice cream. Of course, by the time we got to the Wind Chill, Atticus was sound asleep. Norah and I picnicked on a bench next to the running car so that he could keep sleeping and then he slept until we were pulling around the curve to Camp. As soon as he woke up, Norah started yelling, "Guess what Ahdy! We ate ice cream but it's all gone! You were sleeping and Mama and Norah ate all the ice cream. There's no ice cream for you!"

My mom very nicely found a popsicle in the freezer for Atticus, but then Norah had a tantrum because she wasn't given a popsicle. Apparently, it didn't seem fair to her.

I heard from Paul briefly this morning. He is still in Gulu and enjoying his experience.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Plane Trip

Atticus, Norah, and I flew to the lake this morning with my mom. The kids have been anticipating the plane trip for days and they couldn't have been better behaved on the flights. They sat and played nicely on the first flight and then slept during our connecting flight. They were pretty antsy by the time we reached the Albany airport (read: running all over the place not listening to a word I said), but I suppose that's understandable. My mom rented a black car, which Norah refers to as "Nommie's Crack Car". I think it has a nice ring to it.

It is even hotter here on Lake George than it was in the Midwest. The water is actually warm and the kids had a wonderful time swimming. Atticus started putting his head underwater last week and is now almost swimming. It's pretty awesome for someone who is self-taught and barely three-years-old.

I missed Paul's two telephone calls today by minutes. One came while we were on a plane, the other while we were in the water. I'm really, really, bummed about this. I don't know if we've ever gone three days without really talking and I'm missing him a ton.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paul asked me to post daily while he's away. He won't have much Internet time, so I'm going to try to make these blog posts a daily synopsis for him. You'll have to excuse me if our daily life isn't all that thrilling.
Today we went to visit Atticus and Norah's cousins, including new baby V. Paul has our camera, so I'm limited to pictures from my phone. Atticus and Norah were completely uninterested in V (who is teeny-tiny and darling and hardly made a peep while we were there - even when her siblings and cousins accidentally sprayed her with water), although they did make it a point to yell at cousin M when she was on my lap because I'm their mommy, NOT hers. Something tells me that when the next adoption goes through, we may have a little bit of sibling jealousy to work through.

The big news at the cousins' house is that Uncle John filled the sandbox with blue and green sand. Wow, that is some messy, messy stuff. It has all the qualities of sand (gets and sticks everywhere) with the added benefit of leaving blue and green dye everywhere and being super visible. The kids, of course, thought it was amazing.

Paul's mom had minor surgery and came through it just fine.

Paul called my cellphone while we were in Sam's Club buying a new air conditioner for our bedroom. I'm sure my complaints about broiling make those in Uganda want to play me the world's tiniest violins, but it has been awfully hot here and the kids have been sleeping in bed with me the past two nights. Paul will be delighted to hear that the new unit is small enough that I was able to carry it and install it myself, it works fine, and it cost (slightly) less than one hundred dollars. Anyway, he only had a minute to talk (they're still trying to find a method of calling that doesn't cost several dollars a minute), but he's there and he's safe. He says that so far, it looks a lot like Ethiopia except that Coke has sponsored all of the village signs instead of Pepsi which is the case in Ethiopia.

They flew into Kampala and were traveling today to Gulu.

Here's a picture that the Internet says is of Gulu:
Today and tomorrow, they'll be touring the Schools for Schools program that has been set up by Invisible Children. I know that the itinerary includes traveling by motorbike (wear a helmet!) to visit the homes of scholars, meeting with cotton farmers who are part of the Conservation Cotton Initiative and meeting with a group that works in micro lending. It sounds amazing and I'm sure it will be a fabulous experience for everyone involved.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Snippets of Life

  • Paul left for Africa yesterday and I already miss him terribly. We haven't been away from each other for more than a few days at a stretch the entire time we've been married. Right now, two and a half weeks seems interminable.
  • According to his itinerary, he's on a layover at Heathrow Airport in London right now and should be arriving in Kampala, Uganda shortly after midnight our time tonight (7:45 a.m. Uganda time).
  • The fireworks last night were a huge hit. I hadn't planned on letting the kids stay up, but it was too noisy for them to ignore. They crowded around the window of our bedroom until nearly midnight (!) oohing and aahing over every single firework.
  • Atticus keeps setting the timer and telling me that when it goes off we'll fly on an airplane.
  • Atticus and Norah both get up in the morning and immediately ask, "Where's my brother/sister?"
  • We regularly find them with their arms around each other chanting "Best friends!"
  • They've eaten all the raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries off of my plants - including the berries that weren't anywhere near ripe. Seeing their joy in doing it, however, has totally made the gardening efforts worth it.
  • Norah stood next to the garden yesterday shouting, "Hurry! Grow! I want to eat you!" at the corn.
  • I routinely remind them not to poo-poo in the pool when we go. Now Atticus has started attaching this warning to every place we visit. "Remember, no pooping in the library!"
  • We've been walking past their new school every morning. A new building is being constructed and, since we've told them they won't start school until after Norah's birthday, the kids have decided that the new school is Norah's birthday present. Atticus reminds us that we can't go poo-poo in the school.
  • Our upstairs air conditioner went on the fritz yesterday, right in time for Paul to leave the country and the local temperature to reach the 90's. I'm feeling very tempted to surprise my husband with newly-installed central air when he gets home. Luckily, the kids and I will be leaving for the lake soon, so I won't have to spend too much time resisting the temptation to drain our bank account. One disadvantage of living in an old house is that installing central air would require a lot of updates in our duct work.
  • I cut Atticus's hair by myself this morning and it actually looks pretty good. The trick was remembering to run the clippers against the grain of his hair.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

At Least It's Not Sand?

After a trip to the beach yesterday, I tried taking the kids out to the yard and sprinkling them with a bit of cornstarch to remove the extra sand. Then I got distracted because Norah took a fall and scraped her face and I forgot about the box of cornstarch sitting on the back steps. Somebody found it this morning.