Friday, November 14, 2014

Catching Up

So I'm sitting here staring at this page and wondering what to write. One of those times I don't even know where to start. I know that I need a vat of coffee this morning. I'm in catch up mode again and I don't love that.

This week however, has been pretty exciting.

The twins commercial came out - which you can see on actual TV if you live in Massachusetts or Connecticut. If you don't, you can catch it online or watch it here. (I may have watched it like a million times now.)

The Big Guy started cooking lessons this week. A few months ago he started watching the Food Network - like really watching and loving it. He saw some kids competing and decided on the spot that that was what he wanted to do. He wanted to learn to cook (and eventually be on one of those shows). But it's the learning to cook that is most important and he started asking me for lessons.

I have wanted him to have his own thing for so long - apart from his brothers. It's hard when you have 3 kids separated by one school year. They are always going to end up with not only most of the same friends, but into the same activities. I am so happy for him that he found something he really wants. All the months he spent waiting for his braces to come off his front teeth so he could start auditioning like his brothers for movies and more? No longer important to him right now.

If something comes up, he might still want to give it a try - but overall he doesn't want to pursue acting like his brothers. And that is totally OK with me. I couldn't be more proud that he made that decision on his own.

He started cooking lessons this week with my friend Jason and he can't wait to go back again for more! (Future blog post to come about the lessons!)

Yesterday we took a last minute family trip of sorts to New York. The twins had an audition on Long Island. We don't yet know the outcome, but will hopefully hear something soon. It was a long and exhausting day but I wouldn't change a thing. (Except maybe how much I end up packing for auditions ... so many bags.)

Driving home last night with the boys all asleep in the back of the car? I couldn't get a good photo of all three of the boys because the Big Guy was leaning the opposite way - but I love turning around to check on everyone and seeing moments like this.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Everyday Heroes and Disney's Planes Fire and Rescue #FireandRescue

This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Disney Planes Fire & Rescue blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Have you had a chance to see Disney Planes Fire & Rescue? My boys LOVED the movie and we have been eagerly awaiting the DVD release for Blu-ray and Digital HD  - which just so happens to be Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 4th)!

For the last few weeks, I have been part of an Instagram campaign through Social Moms and Disney Planes Fire & Rescue showcasing how kids can be everyday heroes. I have loved being a part of it ... taking time to realize all the little things the boys do each day that I might sometimes overlook. Moments like one of the boys helping his brother with his homework. Or walking into the laundry room to find my oldest trying to do his own laundry for me (even though he had never done it before).

Through the Instagram campaign, I was chosen to write a post about how my boys are my Everyday Heroes. While all 3 of them are my heroes for sure, today I am writing about my 8 year old. My oldest. He was born with cerebral palsy. We didn't know it at the time. We didn't get the actual diagnosis until he was about 19 months old - just one month after his younger twin brothers were born. It had come as a shock to my husband and I. In the beginning it was like he was ahead to hit all the milestones ... until he suddenly wasn't. We were sent for a consult thinking he might need a corrective shoe to help him walk unassisted, only to be met by an amazing doctor who was able to recognize it for what it was.

In the beginning I worried about everything for him. But it didn't last long. My baby didn't know he was any different than anyone else back then and while it might have taken him a little extra time to do something, he did it. And he crushed it time and time again. There was nothing he couldn't do.

Around the time he hit first grade, that is when things got tough again. It isn't easy when you have two little brothers just a year younger than you, starting to do everything you can do and more. It was incredibly frustrating for him. When he fell behind in swim lessons, had trouble ice skating ... when he saw them do anything faster or better? That was it. He was done trying.

His cerebral palsy had once been just something he had that was no big deal. His muscles just need a little help. Suddenly he was letting it define him. I can't do it because I have cerebral palsy he would say. As his mom, it broke my heart. He even started feeling like he didn't want anyone to know - once going so far as to deny he had it when a friend asked.

Why am I writing this if that is how he feels. Well, when trying to decide what I would write about, I actually asked him. I told him I wouldn't do it if he didn't want me to write about it. I could write about something else. I told him he was my everyday hero because he doesn't let anything stop him and he beamed and told me that it would be OK for me to write this post.  You see, the last year we had something of an amazing turn around.

He's had his ups and downs and his moments of frustration, but my baby worked so hard. For several months he was so active in wrestling and some other sports that it actually replaced his weekly physical and occupational therapy. He was told he didn't have to come back for awhile and we would see how he did! He got the hang of swim and worked so hard he is just 2 levels away from making swim team now - which is his new goal. He is no longer wrestling, but  towards the end of the season? He earned a medal wrestling kids who were mostly older and more experienced than he was.

His neurologist sometimes calls him her miracle child when she sees him. It always makes me teary. He's her only patient with cerebral palsy who can do ... all of this. Every day he keeps going. Through all the things that frustrate him. Schoolwork taking longer. Sometimes having to find another way to make something work. But he does it. He is my Everyday Hero for sure and the fact that he allowed me to write this post makes it even more true.

I loved watching Disney's Planes Fire & Rescue with my boys for so many reasons. World famous air racer Dusty finds out that he may never race again. He has a disability in a way. His gear box is broken which could cause him to crash and the very one he needs is no longer made. Realizing he can no longer race, he has to shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting.

Dusty steps up to help a friend who is hurt by a mistake he made - joining forces with a team of veteran firefighters to save historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. Dusty has some mis-steps along the way. He has to learn that it's not just about what one person can do.

The movie is not only really humorous at times, but it sends such great messages. Everyone has to work together - everyone - from the ones in the air to the ones on the ground - to get the job done. No matter how big or small your role is, you are needed. You can make a difference. Along the way Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero.

It's a high action adventure story that the entire family will enjoy. I know mine did. We can't wait to pick up Disney’s “Planes Fire & Rescue” tomorrow on Digital HD (available on Blu-Ray too)! For more on Disney's Planes, you can like the Facebook page below.

You can also join us for a fun #PlanesFireandRescueSweeps Twitter party this Thursday, November 6th, from 7-8pm EST (4-5pm PST). We would love for you to participate and share your photos, etc. You’ll be entered for a chance to win great Disney prizes!
This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Disney Planes Fire & Rescue blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

                     How I'm choosing to remember today. My favorite of all the old photos.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My last baby

Here we are.

Another month has gone by without a blog post. I swear I am jumping back into this. I miss it like crazy. Writing is who I am. But as usual, life is crazy.

We are in a constant state of packing - unpacking - and packing. Settled in again, but looking ahead to the next. (More on that later.) The boys had their very first trip to Disney. And we have been on the go ever since.

Sometimes I get caught up in the chaos that is our day to day routine. A little voice this morning made me slow down. This guy came downstairs before his brothers got up to tell us his front tooth came out. Last week he lost the first front tooth and I knew it was just a matter of time. It took me a few moments ... but then it hit me. My last baby to lose his front teeth.

Again, I want time to stop.

He crawled under the covers and told me how excited he was to see the tooth fairy again. And that pretty soon he was going to be 8. I told him he still had almost a year to go and how about we just be 7 for now. Or maybe Mommy would have to find Dr. Doofenshmirtz and shrink him back to say ... age 3 or 4. He gave me the biggest smile (oh my gosh no front teeth!) and told me Mommy that's just an animated cartoon.


I need ET.

Or Dr. Doofenshmirtz's shrinkinator.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday - 1st Family Vacation

Our first vacation as a family. July 2008 in New Hampshire. The twins had just turned one, the Big Guy was two and a half. I have the Doodle Bop and Al has the Bunny Bee.
I am about to burst keeping the secret of their next vacation.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Like professionals

As usual, it's been a whirlwind around here trying to balance everything - school starting - and so much more. My heart had been feeling heavy the last few days as September 11th drew closer. We were all up early yesterday morning because the twins were scheduled to film a commercial together in Connecticut and as I got the boys ready, I told the Big Guy I didn't want him watching the news ... especially today. (How many kids do you know that sneak the news? I have one.)

The boys and I were out the door just after 6am and I found myself listening to Z100 out of NY on the way as they remembered 9/11. A town over from where the commercial was to be filmed, flags lined both sides of the street all the way down the main road and I found myself in tears as I tried to explain to the boys why the flags were there. I silently told myself I would find positive things in this day - even if we had just spent nearly 3 hours in and out of traffic driving to the set.

Believe it or not, this was the first time I was able to see the boys film anything together. When they did the movie, they were switched in and out. The Doodle Bop has done commercials since, but this was the Bunny Bee's first - and I was thrilled they got to do this together as brothers.

I love watching the boys film. I stand there in awe of that fact that they are my babies. I don't think that I could do what they can do - and yet there they are, doing it. They showed up exhausted between not sleeping well the night before and the long car ride there ... but the moment it was time for them to start filming? They were on. Smiling, laughing, following directions. Getting it done. Like professionals. Only they are 7 year old kids. They even picked up an extra scene or two, replacing a child who was having a rough time.

They got their school work done in between scenes and occupied themselves with coloring, the iPad and video games after that. It was an incredibly long day. I watched them smile, tell jokes, and after lunch have to eat more cereal and pizza for takes than I thought would fit in their stomachs. They didn't complain once in their 9 hours on set (not counting the do I have to do my homework complaint).

On the way home, we called Al and the Big Guy to chat. The Big Guy filled the twins in on his day, even asking about theirs and how they did - and told them the dog missed them and so did he. The Big Guy told me he made another new friend, and I was so excited for him. Not to mention so proud of how he spoke to his brothers.

I listened to the twins talk a bit on the way home, and I heard the Doodle Bop sleepily say "Congratulations on your first commercial by the way, you did a great job!" The Bunny Bee thanked him.

And then my heart exploded.

We were out of the house a total of 14 hours and everyone would be going to bed later than I wanted on a school night. We let them all watch a little TV together to decompress, and then it was bedtime.

I expected fights and tears this morning from over tired kids. Instead, I had semi happy guys ready for school. How they can transition like that, I don't even know.

All of that? That's my positive. Through the stress, the chaos ... those boys ... they melt my heart and I couldn't be more proud of all 3 of them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Day in the Park - A Remembrance of Jayce

A local family lost their son in a tragic accident earlier this summer. On July 3,18 month old Jayce Sherman Chattelle drowned in the family's backyard pool.

Jayce's family is trying to turn this tragic accident into something that will help others - they want to prevent another incident like this from ever happening to another family again. Drowning is sadly the leading cause of injury related death among children between the ages of 1-4. In Jayce's memory,
"A Day in the Park - A Remembrance of Jayce the Healer" will take place on September 14 in India Point Park from noon to 5pm. This fundraiser (which they hope to turn into an annual event) is to help create awareness of water safety and prevention of childhood drowning by providing:
-CPR instructions
-FREE door alarms
-FREE life jacket suits for babies and toddlers
-FREE swimming lessons to families with young children
-Pool safety tips
There will also be food, entertainment, face painting, Disney Characters, a bouncy house, photo booth, “Tony” the Dancing Cop and more.

Envious Swimming will have a booth set up at the event. The Envious Swimming program is home to over 700 active swimmers and Rhode Island’s only Make a Splash Partner. Envious offers swimming lessons for all ages - infants through adults. Everyone who attends A Day in the Park that is not currently enrolled with Envious will receive a free swim lesson. Envious will also match the amount of money raised that day for a scholarship.

Please help share and spread the word.

I hope to see you there September 14th.