Monthly Archives: June 2013

a proud mom

Wow, I am one proud mom tonight. Both of my kiddos impressed me today in ways I never thought possible.

First, Samantha. The kids had a swim meet at 8am this morning. Yes, 8am. Oh, and we had a pool party last night with a new keg in our cool workshop kegerator. Sigh. Both have been doing great in the few meets we have been able to do and really like practice. The goal has been to work on endurance, and today Samantha showed she has what it takes to win. She was in the second heat of the backstroke (your heat ranking is based on your previous meet time… faster you are, earlier heat you are in). In all of her previous races, she started out super fast then got slower. Not today. In the back stroke, she started off slower (in 3rd place) but then with 15 sec left in the race she sped up and smoked the other 2 swimmers and ended up in first place! Wow. Now, I am proud of her first place win, but more so her strategy behind it. When she got out of the pool, she asked the timer in her lane what place she came in and he handed her the heat winner ribbon 🙂


For those not in the swim team loop (we are still learning) you can earn a ribbon for winning your heat, then there are also ribbons for 1st-6th place and personal best.

Now for Aidan. He has been really interested in practicing with his guitar. His instructor taught him how to play the first verse of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Yesterday he came downstairs and said he could play the entire song. I did not believe him but here it is.

He taught himself how to play the second verse from ear….which means he can truly *hear* music! His instructor will be impressed when he goes back next week and can play the entire song.

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new friend and more Thurs fun

We had a playdate with a new friend that will be going to Willow Oak in the fall. Her name is Seno and she is the daughter of the head of school. Like Samantha, she is a bit shy so her dad felt like it would be good for her to hang out with some of her new classmates to help the transition to a new school go as smoothly as possible. Both kids hung out with her all day and had a blast!


Next up, a Smooch update: She is spending more and more time inside. Today I actually left her alone in the kitchen while I folded clothes in the bedroom. Gradually she is earning more freedom inside the house. She loves to be up high, not on the floor. Sigh.


And, we officially have 3 egg layers! Buffy started laying first. Her eggs are light brown. Henny Penny was next, and her eggs are blue. Godzilla (or RG4) has laid a few dark brown eggs. Rahul thinks it is RG4, but we have no way of knowing. I am just happy with eggs!


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guitar lessons

The kids have both been asking to take guitar lessons for a while, but with our crazy after school schedule in the spring (activities Monday-Saturday, with out of town soccer games twice a month) there was just no time. I promised they could take lessons in the summer, and today was the first practice session.

They both learned how to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and had a blast.

Samantha played first on the way home and announced that she needed to write the numbers on her guitar like the instructor had on his guitar. She really is my daughter! I remember taking piano lessons and had to write the letters of the keys so that I could remember them….just needed the visual reference. Aidan on the other hand rattled off the numbers of the song from memory 3,3,10,10,12,12,10,8,8,7,7,5,5,3.

Both have been practicing like crazy since we got home from the first lesson….a good sign!

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it is official….we hope!

Check out what happened yesterday for the first time….


Yep, Smooch went to the door to go out to potty! Woo hoo!!!! It has been a LONG 4 months of house training. I know the urinary tract infection obviously played a role in the delayed house training, but I also know my Smooch (and keep hearing the voice of the dog trainer in the back of my head) and know that she is a Bull Mastiff and will do things when *she* is ready to 🙂

So far, not one accident inside and she is spending a lot of time inside not in her crate! Another positive….she is spending more time with George. Before we boarded her while we were at the beach, George would bark at her whenever she came near him. We thought George was just a grumpy old man. But the dogs at the boarding place also reacted the same way to Smooch. She has never been aggressive to another dog, but she likes to climb and sit on other dogs as a way of greeting them. Rahul calls it the Smooch hug 🙂 Most dogs do not like this, and the dogs at the boarding place let her know it was not acceptable. This is probably more of an issue because of her size. My baby is already 60lbs at 7 mos of age. More of a reason to teach her to respect her peers (big and small).

I think boarding her while at the beach was a good idea for many, many reasons. For that we will be forever grateful. Now we need to continue our work with socialization. We focused so much on socializing her with people (soccer practices and games, Girls on the Run, Weaver St brunches) but neglected to socialize her with other dogs.

I really feel like we have turned a corner with our special puppy Smooch. For her to be in the house with us feels great!

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summer expectations

I have been thinking about what the summer expectations should be for the kiddos. In general I want them to read for 30 mins and do one Kahn Academy math activity each day. For more on Kahn Academy, click here.

I also want Aidan to work on being more independent. The kid acts completely helpless sometimes. One example: at the beach he spilled his milk and when I asked him to clean it up, he actually asked where the paper towels would be. Really???

So, I worked on a checklist for him that breaks down morning and evening tasks. He will need to check off each one after he completes it. My hope is that the visual reminder will be more effective than my constant nagging and yelling.

Now Samantha is super excited about the summer expectations and even offered feedback in terms of how the charts should look. The girl is going to be a teacher for sure 🙂

Here is a breakdown of what each kiddo is expected to do:


Food and water for chickens

Help take care of Smooch

Checklist items


Feed the fish and check for chicken eggs (Samantha was too afraid to check for eggs b/c of a possible snake encounter).

Help take care of Smooch

Checklist items

Here are the charts (checklists are on the bedroom doors upstairs with dry erase markers attached)


Wish me luck with my summer expectations!

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I always regret having to leave the beach, dream of living at the beach….then we come home. Today was no different. Check out all the surprises we came home to today.


purple, pink and blue!


giant cucumber








tiny squash


bee on the bee balm 🙂

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last day at the beach :-(

It is always a little sad on the last day at the beach, but we made the best of it. Surf school ended with Aidan using a *real* full sized surf board. Samantha in a full wet suit (it was 66 degrees this am) caught more waves than ever. Rahul and I had our traditional end of surf school breakfast at Causeway Cafe. Kenny had a special treat for the surfers, but only after they had a lesson about protecting the sea turtles and helping pick up trash on the beach. Surf school, but so much more!

Just like yesterday, it was cool and cloudy in the am then sunny for the rest of the day. More time on the beach! Samantha and I went back to Motts Channel Seafood for more fresh fish. Today’s picks: swordfish and mahi mahi. The best part of this trip (other than the quick trip to the Harris Teeter for a Starbucks coffee 🙂 ) was Samantha’s take on our fish. Here was the conversation: the swordfish will probably be good, but I want the mommie mommie. Haha.

Last pics from the beach (for now):

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