Wednesday  -- January 23rd

Pretty quiet weekend.

Maddie and I had a great visit Saturday afternoon from Nancy Serafini, and her daughter in law, Daniele. It was so nice to see Nancy and to meet Daniele. It was a short visit, which was interrupted by the discovery of two ticks on the dog! William was petting her and discovered them! Daniele was nice enough to yank them off for me! I, myself, thought we should probably euthanise her...ok, maybe not, but it was just a thought. I didn't want to suffer, I mean I didn't want her to suffer any longer...Anyway, thank you Nancy and Daniele for making the trip out to the house and we hope to see you soon!

Ernie and I got to get out for dinner Sat. night. It's always so nice to eat in peace, sitting down, not standing, or running back and forth to the table!

Gave all the boys a haircut, including Ernie, on Sunday. They all look so handsome!

Of course, like everyone else, we had the Patriots game on all afternoon Sunday, followed by the Giants game. It was a good game! Ernie made a little bonfire in the backyard for the kids before the game started (even though it was maybe only 10 degrees out!). As they were standing outside, several fighter jets flew back and forth overhead, getting ready to fly over the stadium at the opening ceremony. They are so beautfiul to watch in flight. For those of you who don't know, we are the next town over from Gillette Stadium, home of the NE Patriots. Very exciting that we won and may be going to the Super Bowl!

Monday was a nice day off. Beth Hill came over with coffees (just like she did all the time at the hospital) and donuts. We caught up at the house for a bit and then she and I took Maddie out clothes shopping. Clothes shopping is NOT Maddie's favorite thing to do,so we didn't get much. Just a shirt and sweatsuit. We had fun getting an ice cream at Friendly's too!

Excited about Michael's band concert tomorrow night. They're always such a good show!

Friday night is Bingo night at the school. Michael and I will be going. The two of us went last year and had so much fun. Michael even won one round! Maybe we'll get lucky again this year!

We're expecting a visit from Ernie's sister, Nan, from Michigan, this Friday. She is up North, visiting the brothers, but coming down Friday to stay with us until Tuesday. We're looking forward to her visit!

Thomas and I just made two banana breads! He loves helping out. When we were done he said, "See I'm a good helper." I said, "Yes, I know you are." Then he said, "Now you don't have to return me to the Baby Store!" Isn't that funny?! I always tease him when he's cranky or fresh, that I'm going to find my receipt and return him to the Baby Store!

Anyway, enjoy the rest of the week.

Tuesday  -- January 15th

We had a nice weekend. We decided to take the kids away for Thomas' birthday. He picked the Cape Codder in Hyannis. It has such a fun indoor wave pool and the kids always love going there. We didn't see Josh Peck this time, but it was fun just the same! We swam, roasted marshmallows in the fire pit, and played in the arcade. Lots of fun.

Thomas turned 4 yesterday! He was SOOOO excited! He just kept bursting out loud all day, "Can you believe I'm 4?!!" The kids had a snow day, so it made his birthday even more fun. We lost power first thing in the morning, just as I was about to make coffee! So, I had to haul the generator out and set it up, while Ernie coached me over the phone. This way, we atleast had water, heat, tv, and a few working outlets. Most importantly, I got my coffee! We kept a fire going in the fireplace all day, so it was cozy.

I took the kids to the big McDonald's Play Place for lunch, just to get out, and we met my sister and her kids there. It was fun.

After dinner (Thomas requested lobster for his birthday meal, but of course, that wasn't happening!) we had a Thomas The Tank cake, which Thomas proudly showed everyone, and of course, just about every gift he received was a Thomas the Tank item - his favorite! He knows every train, their story, the whole nine yards! Jeanne came with kids for cake. Maddie set up the table so that there was a train track around the cake and the gifts, with the trains circling. It was so cute! Next she set up a pin the nose on the clown game. She really knows how to throw a party! This will be the last year I'll be able to get away with not having a party with his friends, so we enjoyed it!

Hope you all stayed warm, dry, and safe in the snow storm.

Monday  -- January 7th

I'm sorry it has been so long since posting. The days have just been flying by. I don't even know where to begin. A lot of catching up to do, so here we go..

Well, Maddie, Molly, and Michelle made it to the Hannah Montana concert in CT. and had a blast! It was a long car ride but well worth the trip. Maddie was able to find Tammy and her daughters and meet them personally to say thank you!! What a sweet family! We have some great pictures. Maddie had worked really hard on some posters for the show and got herself all dressed up. She sported a great cap and of course, her newly pierced ears!

School holiday break began and the kids were all so happy to be out for the week.

A few days before Christmas, I took the kids to go for our traditional ride to see the house/mansion in Millis that is lit up every year for public display. I believe it's owned by the family of a Chevrolet/GMC car business. It is truly spectacular! The property looks like a sprawling Southern estate. There is usually a line of cars waiting to drive down the long driveway to take in all the lights, decorations, music and window box scenes. It's amazing. We loved it. The only problem is that the kids fight over who gets what seat in the car, because they each believe the other has the best seat. Truth is, there is no bad seat, there is something to see out every window, but it wouldn't be the same if there wasn't fighting every year. In fact, we brought our neighbor, Stephanie, along for the ride and I've never seen her exit from my car so quickly when we got home! Maybe next year I'll throw them in all the back of Ernie's pick up truck with blankets and hot chocolate! They'll be too frozen to fight!

Christmas Eve was very nice. I took Maddie, William and Thomas to church. Ernie had taken Michael to a special mass that morning. The church was packed as always, but we managed to get a seat in the back. You know you need to get your kids to church more regularly when your little one points to the hanging cross and says, "Look! A big T!" It was funny, because Michael did the same thing at Thomas' age, only he screamed it out loud!

So, we came home from church and had planned on going out for dinner, but the kids were all tired, so instead, we stayed home and had a very fancy Christmas Eve dinner...scrambled eggs, cereal, grilled cheeses, mac and cheese. A real delightful spread!!

We put our cookies and milk for Santa out on the hearth, and sprinkled the reindeer food out on the lawn. Gotta say, that reindeer oatmeal/granola packet looked more appealing than what we had for dinner! Anyway, the kids went to bed full of hope and excitement. I put a pot of coffee on...

Christmas morning Michael got up around 4:30 and of course I made him go back to bed. He came into our room again around 5:30 and sat on the floor beside my bed, nudging me to get up the entire time. By 7am, the time we said we could go downstairs, the kids were ready to go!

We had a good time opening the gifts. Santa was very good to the kids, and of course, Santa was good to Hope too. Maddie made sure of that! Our neighbors, Stephanie and Brian, came by in the morning with a gift for the kids and then we hung out in our pj's for most of the day. The Knowles' family stopped by in the afternoon to do a gift exchange. They all looked so beautiful as they came through the front door. The only thing missing was Hugh Hefner walking in behind them!

I made sure that our neighbor, Paul Altmeyer, received the best gift ever, by asking the girls to go out onto the back porch and blow a kiss. I called Paul and told him his gift from us was outside. I could see him on the phone, looking out. Well, of course, not only did he come running out to wave, but his brother Jay, who was visiting, came running out as well! It was great! So funny to see them both jumping around, waving from their porch, as we all laughed! Truth be told though, Paul knows he has the best gift he could ever ask for - his beautiful wife Lorraine and their two beautiful daughters!!! Right Lorraine?!

I took Michael and Maddie to the Altmeyer's for dessert, and then we called it a day. It was a great, relaxing day.

Ernie had to work the day after Christmas, but took the following day off. Michelle came by and took Maddie out for their annual manicure. They always have so much fun doing that. Ernie and I went out for a quick dinner and then my sister, Jeanne, brought my Mom over to our house. She had come back from CT. with Jeanne on Christmas day, and was up to spend the week. We exchanged gifts and hung out for a nice evening.

The next morning, Ernie took off with Maddie on a road trip, to go down visit his sister Michelle and her family, down in Virgina for a few days. They had a nice time. They picked Lauren up on the way, and got to visit with his mother as well. She was in from Michigan, visiting Michelle.

Sat morning was fun. I took the boys and my Mom to see the Polar Express in 4D, at Jordan's Furniture in Avon. They have the MOM (motion odyssey movie) ride there. It was so cool! Felt like we were on the train, going to the North Pole!

I went out to dinner on Sat. night with my Mom, my sister , Michael, and Michael's friend, Drew. I had Michelle babysit for William and Thomas. We had such a fun night out. Michael and Drew sat at their own booth across the way from us. They had so much fun doing their own thing. Drew came back with us and spent the night. He and Michael pulled an all nighter, well atleast until 3am, despite my several attempts to get them to sleep!

My Mom stayed with the kids while I ran two doors down for a quick night cap! The McLoughlin's were having their annual Christmas party. I stayed for an hour and ran back home. It was a beautiful party.

I drove Mom to the train on Sunday. I was sad to see her go, as always, but we had a nice visit.

New Year's Eve was fun. My friend, Donna O'Brien, came over with her three kids, Michael, Tommy, and Meghan. Our kids have all known each other since birth. It was fun to get them together. They live in a different town so we don't get to get together very often. I made a pizza and we all just hung out.

Ernie and Maddie got home New Year's Eve, around 11:30pm. William and Thomas were long asleep, but I was still up with Michael, fighting the urge to fall asleep before the "exciting" ball drop. We all watched the ball drop and then we all hit the sack! Happy New Year!

We all just kind of hung out, resting New Year's day, getting geared up to go back to school. Of course, by now, everyone had gotten run down and was starting to get sick, just in time for back to school.

Thomas missed the first day back, Wed. Took him to the doctor. Turns out he had an ear infection, sinus infection, and the beginnings of pink eye. Got him on antibiotics. William missed the second day back. Took him to the doctor. While we were there, it was funny, I noticed he had on two left boots! That meant Thomas was at school with two righ feet! Anyway, he's now on antibiotics for a sinus/eye infection as well. He went to school Friday, but came home before noon, still not feeling well. Oh no, I had an appt. for my own sinuses and now that meant I would have to take both boys with me for my appt!

So, instead of having you wait in the spacious waiting room, why do they put you into that little box of a room, especially with two off the wall boys, only so you can wait some more, trapped in Hell?! Playing I Spy only goes so far when there's NOTHING to spy! OK, we read the one Dr.Seuss book in the room and now what? I'll tell ya...

"William get off that stool chair! It's not a ride (even though it has wheels) and it's for the doctor!"
"Thomas, stop touching the garbage can!! It's covered in germs! Now Purell your hands again!"
"William get off that stool! Get off! Get off! Get OFFFFF!!!!"
"Thomas get off the table before you fall off!"
"Guys, no more lollipops!"
"Stop taking those gloves! They're for the doctor!!"
"William turn the light back on! Turn it on! Turn it on! Turn it ONNNNN!"
"Don't touch the sink again!"
"William get off..."

Knock Knock...

"Oh, Dear God. The doctor's coming in. Guys, you BETTER behave!!!!" "William get OFF the stool!!

I cannot tell you how flippin' crazy that appt. was! I'm sure you get the idea... Happily, we are all now on the mend.

This weekend I took Michael, Maddie, and William ice skating. We had a great time! They all did pretty well, considering they had only been a few times before. I even got on the ice, wearing my very own skates that are atleast 30 years old. It brings back some fun memories when you slip into your old skates...

Ernie had taken Thomas for a walk with Hope, to keep him busy. No way I could've taken all four out on the ice! They had a nice time together.

Aside from their walk, Ernie and Thomas went shopping and came home with a new exercise ball. Yep, it's that time again. Time for the New Year's resolution we all make, to get healthy again. I wonder how long it will take before the kids pop this ball! Last one lasted about a month!

We go to Dana Farber this Thursday for Maddie's blood work and then we will be going for our re-scan days on Feb.4th and 5th. The three months in between sure come around quickly!

So, here we all are, trying to settle back into a routine. Still organizing the house from Christmas, trying to find room for the new stuff and get rid of the old. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday break with your family and friends!

Just for the record, I never did get my Christmas cards out. I REALLY hope to get a picture card out this week, with wishes for a healthy and happy 2008!


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