Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

The kids woke us at 7AM on Christmas morning with crazy excitement, "SANTA CAME!  SANTA CAME!"  It was awesome seeing Currier get Wii and the games he wanted and Rya get a cool vintage kitchen set and all the accessories.  Santa did good this year.  Best Christmas yet!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Festival of Lights

This holiday season has been crazy busy but we still managed to squeeze in the annual tradition of seeing the Holiday Festival of Lights on James Island.  As we were rushing there to get in the gate before it closed, we got a lovely speeding ticket for $85.  Merry Friggin Christmas! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wishing You a Merry Christmas...

Froehliche Weinachten, Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad, Kala Christouyenna and Mele Kalikimaka from our family to yours! 

Gingerbread Nightmare

Last Saturday night we hosted a sleepover for a small army of kids and I had the brilliant idea of keeping them busy by building gingerbread houses.  It was an absolute nightmare trying to get six gingerbread houses to keep from collapsing while the icing dried.  And trying to teach patience to six kids all cracked out on sugar was impossible.  Everyone cried at some point in the evening including me!  Merry Christmas. 

Preschool Holiday Show

Last week Rya's preschool class entertained us with a holiday show.  They sang Dreidel, Feliz Navidad and Jingle Bells.  For the first two songs she couldn't see us out in the sea of parents and siblings and she looked so sad.  When she finally caught a glimpse of us her eyes lit up and my heart grew two sizes too big! 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Daniel Island Flag Football

Currier started his 3rd season of Flag Football with the Daniel Island YMCA.  It's impressive how much he "gets it" this year.  He's not just goofing around.  He's pulling flags with a vengeance and scoring touchdowns like he owns the field. 

Kindergarten Gingerbread

Last week I volunteered at Currier's Kindergarten to help the kids make gingerbread houses.  This is where I discovered that eating a Skittle and an M&M at the same time tastes just like a Tootsie Roll.  It's true—all you really need to know you learn in Kindergarten. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree

The annual "Get over there and pretend you're hanging an ornament on the Christmas tree and I'll take your picture.  No, make it look realistic like you're actually hanging it not just touching it!  No, touch the hook part not the actual ornament!  That's not the hook part!  Just touch the... oh, forget it and just smile!" 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Visiting Santa

We took the kids to see Santa last week.  Rya asked for "housekeeping" and Santa said, "What?  Ice skates? You want ice skates?"  Currier asked for Wii and Santa asked, "What kind of games do you want to go with the Wii?"  Currier replied, "Lego Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean!"  Santa said, "Those are Legos to build not video games to play.  What kind of Wii games do you want?"  Currier had to explain to Santa that Lego has Wii games and he was quite shocked that Santa didn't know that!  Way to go Santa!     

Friday, December 16, 2011

Opening Doors for Prizes

This is the first year that we did advent calendars.  We usually just do the paper chain for our Christmas countdown but this year we decided to add to the excitement of Santa's ETA.  If you ask Currier what he's been up to lately he'll say, "Opening doors for prizes!"    

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Favorites—Dunkin Donuts Christmas Ornament 2011

I've been collecting Dunkin Donuts Christmas ornaments for years and this year is by far my favorite.  Be sure to run out and get one before I buy them all up!  Happy Friday!   

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Split Lip

Rya took a face plant yesterday and split her lip.  Just like all wounds above the neck, it bled and bled and bled.  This was one of those wounds that probably could have used a stitch or two but we opted for vitimin E and butterfly bandaids.  Let's hope we made the right decision. 

Letters to the Bearded Fat Man

The kids drafted their wish lists for Santa and mailed them to the North Pole.  Currier wants Wii, Wii games, Legos and chocolate covered cherries.  Rya wants "housekeeping" (a kitchen set), Tinkerbell Barbie, books and chocolate covered cherries.  Santa might have to put in some overtime to pull this off!

Black Friday Crafts

The kids and I went to Michael's craft store on Black Friday and overflowed the cart with lots of Christmas crafts to keep us busy over the next couple of weeks.  Every window in our house is adorned with Christmas cheer.  We love love love this time of the year!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Favorites—Santa's Key

Currier has been losing sleep over the fact that we don't have a chimney and fireplace for Santa to enter our house on Christmas Eve.  I found the solution at Wonder Works of Charleston.  This is a magic key that we leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve so he may enter our home in a more dignified way.  Problem solved!  Happy Friday.  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

I suppose its become a tradition in our house to celebrate Thanksgiving the night before...

So that we can wake up early on Thanksgiving and run the Turkey Trot 5K downtown Charleston.  This year Currier ran it with me.  Aside from his whining through The Battery that he was "so thirsty" and the piggy back ride he begged for half of King Street, he did great and I'm very proud of him for accomplishing a 5K run at the age of five.  

Now it's time to eat some leftovers, decorate for Christmas, take a nap, eat some more leftovers, take another nap and then eat some more.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kindergarten Class 2011

Currier's Kindergarten Class 2011.  Mrs. Schuck and Ms. Wanda.

Rya's Tea Party

We celebrated Rya's 3rd birthday with an elegant tea party.  Her guests were served hot cocoa with loads of mini marshmallows and fine edibles.  While complimenting each other on fashion and jewelry, the ladies decorated foam owls with flowery and sparkly embellishments. 

While finger sandwiches were highly suggested as nibble at high tea, her majesty insisted on tacos so tacos were served by Sir Currier. 

We ended the high-class afternoon with cupcakes, more fashion compliments and gift opening.  It was a fine afternoon that left the staff exhausted but pleased to see the birthday girl so happy! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dear Three-Year-Old Rya D.,

Three years ago, I scheduled a C-section as casually as I would a pedicure. It was really that simple. I chose November 17th so you could share your birthday with your grandfathers—Papi Balent and Papa Currier. Four days before your actual due date, I checked into the East Cooper Medical Center for a 12:30PM appointment, and 33 minutes later you were born without any pain or pushing. It was really that simple. You continue to live your life as simply as you entered this world.

For most of your life I thought you were the serious one in our wacky family, but this past year you’ve pleasantly surprised me with a very dry sense of humor. One evening, I noticed your bedroom light on past 9PM and when I stormed upstairs I found you playing with your dollhouse. I demanded, “Rya, get in bed now! It’s way past your bedtime!” You placed the tiny dollhouse bed on the floor, sat on it, and as serious as cancer said, “I can’t sleep in this bed; Rya too big!” Another funny incident that sticks out in my mind deals with the disgusting fake-plastic-rabid-rat that we display at Halloween. Throughout the holiday season, you would periodically hug the repulsive thing and call it “Mama”— that's wicked funny!  Trust me, this sense of humor will carry you through the toughest times in life—I am so thankful that you have it!

You finished speech therapy this year, yet, a few months later the State of South Carolina called me saying that they wanted to test you for the “special needs” program. I’d be a liar to say that phone call didn’t bother me. One thing you can always depend on from me is honesty, Rya. I actually spent 10 minutes in the stairwell of Arcadia Publishing “pulling myself together”. You went through a series of tests and passed them all—thankfully. But, please know that if you hadn’t passed, I would have had your back. There was a Plan B. I always have a backup plan. That’s another thing you should know about me.

So back to this simple way of life—you continue to be very easy going with an occasional 3-year-old outburst. You’re easily entertained, you make me laugh unintentionally, you’re ridiculously gorgeous and, above all, you have a kind heart. A mother couldn’t ask more. You’re a dream. Don’t ever wake me up.

All my love,

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kindergarten Nursery Rhyme Show

Mrs. Schuck's Kindergarten class had a nursery rhyme show yesterday.  Aside from Currier's announcement that he needed a tissue because he had a booger, the entire performance was ridiculously adorable.  

Currier's center stage moment was "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".  Along with his buddies, Connor and Jacks, he changed the words to Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream and if you see an alligator don't forget to scream- AHHHH! 

I was very proud of my little ham!   

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Favorites—Creative Cursing

My friend Rebby gave me this book for my birthday.  It's a mix n' match profanity generator and it's hours of belly rolling laughter.  Happy Friday Slut Donkeys!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day of the Dead

Today is il Giorno dei Morti, Day of the Dead—an Italian celebration of remembering our loved ones who have died.  Since Currier is Sicilian born, we’ve adopted this tradition in our home.  This morning Currier and Rya woke to presents “brought” to them from the dead.  I’m sure most people think this is morbid but I think it’s a sweet way to open a conversation with my children about death and give them the opportunity to honor and cherish our loved ones who have passed on.  

Buon Compleanno A Te

Last night we threw Bruco a surprise party for his 8th birthday.  He was genuinely surprised.  I honestly think he had no idea that it was his birthday and the T-bone steak that I was cooking was actually for him!  Bruco may be the world's worst dog, but he's our dog and we love him and his quirky ways!   

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cinderella and General Grievous

Cinderella and General Grievous hit the hood hard last night. The princess and villain hoarded as much candy as their dainty and greedy little hands could carry.

Halloween 2011 was deemed a success as they both passed out in candy comas with smiles (and some chocolate) on their faces.  

The Currier and Coleen Show

For the past two months Trent’s been traveling A LOT for work.  Last week he had to go down to Jacksonville, Florida so he took Rya D. with him so she could spend a week with her Mimi and Papi in The Villages—I had one less child to care for and Rya got spoiled rotten—win win!  Currier and I had a week to ourselves.  We had sleepovers in the guest room every night, watched scary movies way past our bedtime, ate junky cereal for dinner, carved pumpkins handpicked from the pumpkin patch, played video games until our eyes and hands hurt and we giggled like fools over our shared humor.  It was a great week and Currier never wanted it to end.   

Monday, October 24, 2011

Currier's First Painting

Yesterday Currier took his first acrylic on canvas painting class at Bottles and Brushes.  He painted me a rocket ship for my birthday.  

He took this very seriously!  The instructor said, "I have a feeling I'm going to be seeing a lot of this kid!"

Race For The Cure

Ella flew in from Wisconsin for the Race for the Cure.  It was a beautiful day for a run!

That evening the ESAC girls met at 17 North for dinner and drinks to celebrate Ella being in town.  It was a short and sweet visit and I felt honored to be a part of her trip back to Charleston!

I Wanna Be The Girl With The Most Cake

I had to pick up Rya from school early last week because she wasn't feeling good.  This made her feel better.

Lunch With My Favorite Kindergartner

I had lunch at Currier's school.  I smuggled in Subway and we sat at the cool kids' table!   

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Favorites- Paolo Snoring

Paolo has a deviated septum from being hit by a truck.  He's had several unsuccessful surgeries to try to correct it.  This is what we live with as a result. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Collecting BOX TOP$ for Kindergarten

Currier is collecting BOX TOP$ for his Kindergarten class this year.  If you happen to see one on your cereal or snack box please cut them out and send them to Currier. Each one is worth a dime so they can add up quickly.  Thanks in advance for participating! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Feeling Itchy

When I picked up Currier from school today he had this sticker on him.  It reads: "Children in your child's class have head lice.  Please go to and click on the clinic folder on the left for more information."  I haven't stopped itching since. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My Wacky Kids

Our days at the pool are limited now that the summer is quickly coming to an end.  The air is turning cooler and Halloween decorations are out.  Summer went by too quickly.   
I love these precious moments.

Valdez Alaska

I had the privilege of attending a conference in Alaska this past week. It was the Alaska Museums/Alaska Historical Society Joint Annual Conference in Valdez. My Publisher, Donna, and I arrived in Valdez late Tuesday night after 17 hours of traveling. We woke early Wednesday morning a bit jet lagged and disoriented (truthfully hungover!) and ventured around this foggy harbor town.

That evening we embarked on the Opening Reception Glacier Cruise with other history enthusiasts (total geeks!). The delicious catered food, open bar and views of several waterfalls thoroughly impressed us. The fact that we didn't actually see a glacier on the glacier cruise unimpressed us.

On Thursday and Friday we attended the conference at the Valdez Convention and Civic Center where we accomplished our goal of making contacts with potential authors for our local history books. 

On Friday we had a little down time before heading to the airport so we took a drive to the Worthington Glacier because we refused to leave Alaska without seeing a glacier (giant ice cube!).  We also drove by countless waterfalls along the way but much to our disappointment we had no run-ins with any wildlife such as bear, moose, baby seals, penguins or huskies.     

We also got a great view of more glaciers from the airplane. I'm not sure what was more frightening—the rickety prop airplane ride to Anchorage or the fact that we didn't go through security to board this flight but the incredible views of the snow capped mountains and glaciers outweighed the fear (the cocktail named Northern Lights didn't hurt either!).  

We had a four hour layover in Anchorage so we ventured away from the airport to a bar called Humpy's where I met an old Newburyport High School friend for a couple of drinks. Steve and I graduated together over 20 years ago and we haven't seen each other since.  He's a pilot up in Anchorage now and if it wasn't for facebook our drinks, shared laughs and sarcasm would have never occurred some 4000 miles away from our home town all these years after high school. I love how facebook makes the world smaller (YEAT!).

After our quick Anchorage outing, we headed back to mainland America feeling lucky for our Alaska experience where the air is cold and fresh, the salmon is something I will talk about for the rest of my life, and the nature is for lack of a better word "breathtaking". We arrived back in Charleston yesterday afternoon feeling thankful for the sunshine, modern conveniences of the mainland and for the lack of camouflage, flannel and facial hair.