Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Maine Event

Recipe for a Great Maine Adventure

Ingredients:
4 adults
4 children
1 minivan
2 pack 'n plays
2 sleeping bags
everything else in the house
6 days vacation
1 beautiful Maine setting

Mix together 2 adults and 4 children in a tightly packed minivan at 4am. Turn around at least once to retrieve various and sundry ingredients that have been forgotten. Then finally let the mixture "sit" (drive) for four hours. Stop for a "quick" break at 8am, but don't be surprised by your lack off recipe efficiency. You're dealing with a lot of ingredients here! Continue to sit until arriving in New York city. Add some wonderful friend ingredients to the mix. Marinate with friends for about 2 hours (while kids play, babies eat, and adults catch up--such a treat! Thanks A family!)

The A family with MG!
Taking in the city
After marinating, mix again in the minivan and plan to sit for some time. Sit, sit, sit. Meet up with a lot of other recipes who are also sitting and waiting, waiting, waiting. Forget to fire up the "burners" (or gas tank) and make a mad dash for the nearest fueling station... Sit for 13(!) more hours and finally be ready to "bake" in Maine. We made it!!! Add 2 grandparents and enjoy "baking" on the banks of Moose Pond in a beautiful log cabin.




Add throwing/skipping rocks, swimming, canoeing, motor boating, fishing, kayaking, ping-ponging, hiking, and horseback riding to the mix. Savor the hours. This is what baking is all about! Alas, you'll also add a hurt J (who fell through a hole in the wooden tent floor and scraped his leg on a rusty nail. A near miss, thank the good Lord! It could have been much worse!) And add a sickly T, who came down with a stomach illness/high fever Monday and was later diagnosed with strep throat on Tuesday! Never fun. Continue to mix so as to work these bad ingredients out... which you will by Wednesday. Don't underestimate your fortitude at this point. You CAN do it! And it is so worth it...
T, feeling better and riding like a cowboy

M, in a matching coat, riding like he's been doing it all his life!


When the baking is over, place your nearly-done recipe back in the minivan and have it sit some more... Marinate overnight with more friend ingredients along the way (Such fun M fam! Thanks for a great visit!)
Then, finish the recipe with another extended time of sitting (whew!) until you arrive at your final recipe concoction. Take a deep breath. You've done it!

Praise God for a wonderful trip!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

Head 'em up

Move 'em out...

The G's are heading to Maine! GG's old boys' camp offers a week of "family camp" in August, so we're giving it a go--3 Gasperini boys, 1 baby girl, 2 grandparents (how could we leave out our beloved Mimi/Papa duo?), and 2 crazy parents... off to camp! I'm happy to report Mimi, J, MG, and I will be staying across the lake, "roughing it" in GG's Uncle's beautiful log cabin. Ahh, the perks of being a nursing, postpartum mother! :) Meanwhile, GG, Papa, M, and T will be staying in a tent amidst camp. The boys are pumped to fall asleep to flashlight. Cute!

The contents of the van's trunk is why you haven't heard much from me this week! We've been packing since Sunday and whew! what a difference it makes when you prepare in advance. GG and I figured a day of packing per family member, so these days that meant starting on the weekend! We had 7 clothing bags total this trip (two for GG--ha! :) He insisted on bringing his camping backpack--I seriously haven't seen him this excited for something in a LONG time. He's like a little boy in a 30'something body! Maine obviously holds a special place in his heart... and he's itching to share it with his family. Too cute.
You may also notice the absence of our wonderful "Big Blue" minivan for the trip. Alas, Blue just doesn't have the "get up and go" necessary to trust for such a long trip. We had to "settle" on a silver 2010 Honda Odyssey from the rental car co. I'm in heaven!! The boys were so thrilled to play inside today upon its arrival... Who knew such fun could be had in a van on a hot summer day? Our boys always find fun. Each was climbing in his seat and would have been ready to leave then and there. We were just missing one thing: Daddy! :)
The cherry on top was our little MG sleeping 10 hours last night, leaving me with 7.5 in my personal sleep tank. Woo hoo!! What a gem that little girl is and her timing was impeccable, considering our 3am departure time tomorrow! So now we're going to screw it all up with a vacation! boo hoo! I am hoping she goes with the flow and shows us some more good shut eye... Here's to hoping!

And we're off!! The security alarm is set (for any of you up to no good!) and I can't wait to report as to our adventures. I will probably get a chance to check in at least once this week, so check back in for a status update. Prayers for an uneventful journey would be so appreciated.

God bless and bon voyage,

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Birthday Fit for a King

Today our T turns 4.
Happy Birthday T!!

This birthday has been GREATLY anticipated and now the big day is here... We've had so much fun leading up to today and now are reveling in the moment. Four!! Can't believe we've had our sweet T for four whole years... What a blessing he is to our family. Just the other night I shared those sentiments with him while tucking him into bed. His response, "Mommy, I love our family. I love you." What a sweet dear!

We love you, too, our sweet, stubborn, sensitive, wonderful T!! Four cheers for our boy who creatively paints the morning table with milk, who plays so beautifully with his big brother, complementing his tyranny with graciousness, who usually ends up half dressed by the end of the day and plays without care, who loves a good snuggle and a good adventure, who cherishes his daddy above all else... Welcome to four, big boy! Happy Birthday!

The birthday festivities began two weeks ago when we celebrated with Gramz, Pappy, and Aunt J. To be continued to Friday night when T and Daddy went to a preseason Redskins game together. GG had gotten tickets from a friend from work and knew it would be a special birthday outing for our little man. They had a great time!!
The birthday festivities continued Saturday with a trip with big brother M and Daddy to Water Country (yes, Daddy got his fill of travel this weekend! What a good guy!!) The crew had a fun afternoon and returned that evening for a Toy Story 2 pizza dinner with Papa. Meanwhile, Mom and MG went on a bunch of errands to get ready for...

The birthday shindig Sunday! It was a very small, intimate affair (we try to only have as many kids as the year our child is turning; e.g. 4 birthday guests for the 4yo, otherwise it can get overwhelming). T chose to have the party at Burger King because of a fun play area they have... So the crew gathered there yesterday. Family friends of ours came with their two kiddos and two other boys from school rounded out the bunch. Our beloved Mimi and Papa came for the fun, of course. T had a great time, so the birthday was deemed a success!
A rare family photo!!
Nothing like BK, balloons, and smiles!

Party girls!

So today, we're breathing... and playing... and continuing to celebrate our four-year-old!
It's truly been a birthday fit for a king!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Out of this World

That's the way I feel about my boys these days. They are bustling and creative and funny, just plain funny. How I love them, precious ones!


Yesterday after seeing one of our photos ("that looks like Mars"), M decided he wanted to make a solar system, starting with the moon and progressing to Mars, Jupiter, an asteroid, Earth, and the sun. He colored all according to his perception of the planets, labeled each one, and even knew their relative size. Today he's planning to add the rest of the planets... Here's a look at how the solar system is shaping up. M hung it from our kitchen table light this morning... Magnifico! His science teacher mother is bubbling over with enthusiasm!
And here's a glimpse at what little brothers were doing meanwhile...

Oh, the joy of a tunnel.
Happy Thursday,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sleep Perchance To Dream

I'm betting on a good night tonight...

Why?
Last night our little lady (six weeks) went an 8 hour stretch followed by a 5 hour stretch! Woo hoo!!!

I'm going to try mix it up a bit tonight and do a dream feed before bed, hoping to get that 8-hour stretch while I sleep. We'll see, we'll see. I'll keep you posted.

And if it works out, you'll know... by the crazy mama who's bouncing off walls tomorrow.
Here's to hoping,

Update 8am: Well, note to self--a watched pot never boils! MG had her last feeding at 6:30pm last night. Then I did the dream feed later at 11pm and ended up putting in the binky at 2am and then waking to feed a hungry baby at 4am. Not bad, but not fantastic. Lots of moms have had luck with the dream feed, but not us. My kids never seem to do the long stretch afterward. They also are happiest with an earlier bedtime... hmm. I'll keep working on it!!!

Farewells

It was not easy for Gasperini-Ville to bid my family farewell yesterday. Tears were shed by children and adults, alike. I always try to hold it in when saying goodbye, but yesterday little J was to blame for getting the tearfest started. It was as if he had an innate sense they were leaving and began saying his sorrowful goodbyes long before...
J and Pap, an hour before the departure

By the time the gang was walking out the door, little J was a mess... and so was his mama (and aunt and Gramz!!) When one of us cries, everyone joins in. We're a compassionate bunch like that! ;)
Gasperini-Ville is a lot quieter today (hard to believe with our boisterous crew) and life continues at a more simple pace. We are surely eager for Sept./Oct. when we'll get to meet up again for fall festivities--soccer games, a family wedding, etc. Should be wonderful! Thank you to my family for a grand visit...

Here are a few more pics from our time together:
Gramz, Pappy, and the wee babe

My sis and our crew! She has twin boys in 1st grade this year so we didn't completely overwhelm her. Missed you A and A!

Sis J and MG--first recorded smile! We've been seeing them for the last week, but have never captured one... until now!
Beautiful girls!
Love to all,

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Happy Birthday Boy

Happy belated 2nd birthday to our dear J'sie!

J started the birthday right with a candle-lit donut and birthday song.
We love you, sweet J!

He had a wonderful birthday on Thursday, made even more special by the presence of BOTH sets of grandparents. Gramz and Pappy flew in from FL on Wed. and the whole crew celebrated at Red Robin Thursday evening... J opened gifts at the restaurant (much to his brothers' anticipation--isn't it great when you get new toys thanks to your bro?!) and was very brave to endure the Red Robin singing and a visit by "Red" the red robin. We were shocked when he waved at the bird and gave him a high-five, but he soon had a tearful meltdown out of fear. Afterward, we noticed his vigilance scanning the room to make sure the bird was nowhere near. Poor fella! We finished at home with a brownie birthday cake and more singing. Such fun...
My sister, Aunt J, arrived later that night to meet baby MG for the first time. Since then we've been reveling in time together... I've been reminded how much I love having my mom, dad, and sister here--so good for my soul. I really could talk to them for hours. :)

To top it all off, I did my first postpartum workout today and... it was wonderful! I did the elliptical for 30 and treadmill for 10. I will say, running after some months off is not a pretty sight. We have a ways to go, for sure, but we'll get there! I'm just glad to be "back". Thank you, Lord, for legs to walk, lungs to breathe, and a heart to keep everything running. Always grateful.

And thank you today, Lord, for our sweet 2-year-old, who delights us! J, I love your smile. I love that you're a "yes" man and so agreeable. I love your "huh" to answer "yes". I love that you love your sleep. I love that you're an adventurous eater, willing to try anything. I love that you look up to your brothers. I love that you stand up for yourself. I love that at the root of it all, you are a lover of life and the people around you. We cherish you!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our Amazon Woman

Well, folks, the stats are in...

As of one month, our "little" lady is not so little!

Weight: 11lbs. 95th%
Length: 22.5in. 90th%
Head circum.: 90th%

I just love it... She could end up the biggest of the brood! Lol
And boy are her brothers clueless as to that outcome! :)