Archive for April, 2008

A pirate’s life for me!

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

I ran across this cute link on someone else’s blog, and since pirates are second in popularity only to monkeys in my house (and not necessarily mutually exclusive, either!), I had to check it out.  I invite everyone else to find his/her true inner pirate as well!

My pirate name is:

Captain Bess Bonney

Even though there’s no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you’re the one in charge. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate’s life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

Follow this link to’s What’s My Pirate Name?

I can’t find any reference to “Bess Bonney” as a real or fictional female pirate, but there was an “Anne Bonny” who was a real “pirate of the Caribbean” in the 1700’s.  Perhaps I can become a Connecticut River pirate and patrol the southern border of Monkeymont!

The snow is gone!!! (mostly…)

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

At long last, the weather was nice enough for the kids to spend a bit of time outdoors.  Still soggy, but at least they could see the dried brown grass and dog poop that has accumulated over the winter.  Anna has been dying to get out and shovel with her little trowel that Grandma sent her for her birthday, so we put on her little gloves and went out to sit in the dirt.

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4-21-08-6.jpg An action shot – dirt flying everywhere!

4-21-08-4.jpg Will carrying the balls up the hill.  We’ve obviously got to work on his cardio fitness.  After about 3 trips up the steep hill in the backyard, he tried to quit chasing the ball altogether, and would just sit on his fanny in the grass.  I thought a kid with his energy level would have been able to do that all day.  Bonus – he fell asleep pretty quickly last night!

4-21-08-8.jpg “Cheese!”  His little cell phone camera gets lots of action.

4-21-08-5.jpg Porter had to do lots of rolling around – he’s missed the grass, too!

4-21-08-7.jpg Siri the wonder dog chasing the frisbee.

As they got bored, I put them to work collecting dry leaves for Mama.  Anna thinks leaves are really cool, and Will always wants to do what Anna is doing, so I got him to go to a different part of the yard and bring me leaves, too.  When we were finally ready to go inside, he was missing his cell phone from his pocket, so he had to spend a bit more time hunting that down so the dogs couldn’t eat it.

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A Kid Cuisine pizza dinner, then band rehearsal, and both kids were ready for sleep.  What a treat!  Unfortunately, Anna snuck in a nice, long nap this afternoon, so I’m afraid tonight will not be so easy. 

The baptism of a Casciari

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008


The youngest Casciari, Colin Joseph, son of Joe’s younger brother Jon and his wife Eileen, was baptised Sunday at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Cambridge, MA.  We drove down Saturday afternoon, and stayed at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Medford.  It was a refreshing treat – a nice hotel with large rooms divided into a bedroom area and a sitting area with a big sofa bed for the kids, a 42″ plasma TV, fridge and sink area, an indoor pool, and a gallery area in the lobby where you could order freshly prepared entrees 24 hours a day.  I’d never been to one of these hotels before, but I have to recommend them for all the conveniences they offer.  Not cheap, but not horrible, either.  The kids got to swim in a big pool for the first time (I think it was the first time swimming, period, for Will.)  They had inflatable swimming rings, and they both learned to kick their feet to move around a bit.  Baba couldn’t really get into the pool with his broken leg, but he didn’t think to bring his camera, either, so we have no pictures to memorialize the big event.  In any case, the pool was heated, but not really very warm, so it wasn’t too long before our temperature wimp (Will) was turning blue and shivering, so we had to get out and dry off and warm up.  After dinner, the kids did great in their sofa bed, and Baba and I got to have the lovely king-sized bed all to ourselves!  Why don’t we have one of those at home?!

Sunday morning, we raced around and got ourselves out the door just in the nick of time to get to the church for mass.  The baptism took place immediately after the service, and Colin and another little boy were both baptised.  Colin, who is now about 8 months old, was wearing a family christening gown, and the other little guy was wearing the cutest little white tuxedo.  Both kids were very well-behaved through the ceremony.  The Winter Casciari kids did OK, too, with the application of the usual prophylactic behavior-control techniques we have to use at church at home.

4-20-08-1.jpg Will and Anna leading the parade between the service and the baptism.

4-20-08-2.jpg The proud daddy and Master Colin Joseph Casciari

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4-20-08-7.jpg 4-20-08-8.jpg Kay, the godparents (Eileen’s sister and brother), Eileen, Jon, Colin and Raoul

After the ceremony, Jon and Eileen invited everyone over to their house in Arlington for a buffet lunch.  It was “Patriot’s Day” in Boston, and there are apparently lots of exciting events scheduled over the weekend.  I have no idea what “Patriot’s Day” celebrates, but there was a small-scale parade occurring just a block from Jon’s house, so after lunch, Jon, Renee, cousin Lily and her son Sal, and the kids and I trooped down to the parade route to watch.  The kids got to play a bit, watch fire trucks, see horses, etc. 

I don’t know anyone in this video, but I was really impressed with this fife and drum band.  This was a really professional-looking group, and they sounded great.  I thought I’d share a few seconds of it.  The rest of the parade was very similar to our typical small-town Vermont event, with lots of politicians stumping for votes, scout troops, and that sort of thing.

4-20-08-9.jpg 4-20-08-10.jpg Anna practicing her throwing technique

4-20-08-12.jpg Cousin Sal, and Will throwing at something…?

4-20-08-13.jpg See?  Renee’s smile can be captured, as long as you sneak up on her!

4-20-08-11.jpg Cousin Lily and Jon share a laugh

4-20-08-14.jpg 4-20-08-15.jpg Will enjoying the events

These photos were taken a few minutes before he took a swan dive off the short retaining wall we were sitting on.  He had been running up the two steps and jumping off the retaining wall the entire time, and I had been telling him to cut it out constantly.  “OK, Mama!” he says over and over again.  Not two seconds after the last warning, I notice he’s laying on the sidewalk at my feet, with his little face all screwed up.  I made him get up and sit down on the wall.  After a few seconds, the tears started in earnest, and I noticed he had a big lump starting on his forehead.  So, that was the end of the parade for Will and Mama.  We had to go back and look for ice.  Fortunately he had Grammy and Nono to hold the ice on his head and keep him from eating it, because it obviously wasn’t hurting much by that time.  I did my best to practice my Love and Logic techniques, being sympathetic, and letting the consequences of his actions do the teaching.  I don’t know how successful I am at it, but I’m trying.

Naturally, Anna got to stay at the parade with Auntie Renee, and in the process she got an Italian ice to eat, and … drum roll, please … She got to hug Elmo!  Can you believe it?!  Elmo was at the parade!  Apparently, the first time he came by, he was mobbed by toddler girls, and Anna couldn’t get close enough.  Fortunately, he came back by, so Anna and Renee rushed up to be first in line, and Anna got a hug!  She was so excited!  She was really surprised that Elmo was so big (adult human-sized, I imagine) and couldn’t get over that.  I’m sorry to have missed that part.  I would really like to have seen her with Elmo.

We left soon after for the long trip back to Vermont, and arrived home before dark Sunday evening.  So, a successful outing overall!

Finally, a short video of the actual baptism:

A new state

Thursday, April 17th, 2008


Cartoon Cottage


Anyone who knows Miss Anna knows that she is in a “monkey” phase – she’s a monkey, mama’s a monkey, sometimes she’s a superhero monkey, and so on. 

Tonight, we were driving home from some errands, and as we drove over the Connecticut River and crossed the state line, I said, “Anna, we just drove into Vermont.  That’s your home state!”

“No, mama,” she said, “I’m from Monkeymont!”

Creative kid!

The rest of the birthday pics

Saturday, April 12th, 2008

OK, so I didn’t get back to the post last Sunday, and I’m now ignoring a big pile of patient charts, but I’m going to get the rest of these photos up before some new big event happens.  Rather, I should say some happy event worth blogging about.  We’ve had a variety of issues this spring, ranging from Joe’s broken leg to staffing issues at work, from toddlers’ backsliding behavior issues to a horrible tax snafu that may cause us to send said toddlers out to sit on the curb with their sunglasses, white-tipped canes and tin cups.

Anyway, enough of that.  Here are the pics:

4-6-08-20.jpg  Oh, my goodness!  The Wiggles sent me a birthday card! 

4-6-08-25.jpg  Mama keeps making me read these cards!

4-6-08-26.jpg  Aaaack!  More stuff to read!

4-6-08-27.jpg  Seriously?!!!  Underwear?!!!!   I thought I was too young to get underwear for my birthday! At least it has Elmo on it.

 4-6-08-13.jpg 4-6-08-14.jpg Auntie ‘Nee brought me some beads to string and a doll to dress.  Guess she’s going to be in charge of teaching me the “domestic arts!”  (If this doesn’t induce Renee to submit a comment, I don’t know what will!)

It was a bit of a hard lesson for Will to learn that he cannot always be the center of attention.  When it’s someone else’s birthday, you have to take a back seat.  Fortunately, Mama had gotten him a little robot to enjoy, and Grandpa sent him a little Tonka truck, trailer and tractor to play with.  But it was still painful for him to not grab Anna’s presents and try to weasel his way in between Anna and Auntie ‘Nee when they were studying a gift.  He probably doesn’t remember his own birthday; it was a confusing time, following so closely on the heels of Christmas.  Perhaps next year he will have a bit more comprehension.

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Oh, and a special note for Grandma – before you point out that Anna’s shirt is too short, and that’s precisely why you bought her 279 new shirts while she was visiting in Oklahoma – Anna chose her own shirt out of her drawer that day, and Baba thought it was all right for her to do that on her birthday.  Fortunately, it happened to be a good match for her super dressy McDonald’s gloves!

And now, a small collection of birthday videos:

And now, I’ll finish up with a photo of my silliest dog, who had a wonderful time stepping up onto the picnic table as soon as he discovered the snow on the deck had melted just the right amount.

A Doctor Monkey Baby turns 3!

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

My April Fool’s baby turned 3 this week.  Bless her little heart – her birthday fell on a day where Mama works in the morning, and Baba works in the afternoon, and I usually just hand off the torch to him on my way in, and he runs out immediately.  We made a big effort this week for Mama and Auntie Renee to come home early enough for a little lunchtime birthday party.  Of course, that was also exactly the time the refrigerator repair man showed up to work on the ice maker, so we had to have a picnic lunch on the living room floor.  We had meals from “Happy Donald’s”, which means Happy Meals from McDonald’s.  You’ll notice that Anna is wearing elbow length satin gloves and a big ring in all of her photos – her princess prize from her Happy Meal.

I believe this will always be known as the panda and monkey birthday.  Almost everything had one or the other on it.  She’s been into monkeys ever since we watched “Big Bird in China” last fall in preparation for our trip, and the Monkey King played a prominent role.   On to the pictures…

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4-6-08-3.jpg 4-6-08-2.jpg  Hooray!  It’s finally my birthday!  Anna bugged me and bugged me the day before her birthday about a birthday hat.  I hadn’t really thought of hats, but she did, so I made certain we had some.  She wore hers all day, and in fact, is still wearing one when she happens to run across one laying around the house.  Other hat shots:

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4-6-08-8.jpg A very unattractive self-portrait of the Mama in her hat.  This was the best of several attempts.  It took me awhile to figure out that I needed to look up at the camera instead of down.  I have fewer chins this way.

4-6-08-9.jpg 4-6-08-10.jpg This photo not only shows Will but also the pile ‘o presents on the table in the living room.  Yes, even the big cardboard boxes are full of presents.

The panda shots:

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4-6-08-19.jpg Our intrepid explorer uses her panda binoculars from Grandma and Grandpa.

4-6-08-23.jpg Hi-yah!!!  I want to go shovel snow with my panda shovel!  Took awhile to convince her that her little trowel would work better when the snow was gone and she could shovel in the dirt.

4-6-08-24.jpg Stylin’ in my panda glasses.  Grandma says they’re sunglasses.  We’ll see if and when we ever have any sun here whether they darken in the sunlight.

The monkey shots:

4-6-08-28.jpg The big sleeping monkey had to be escorted immediately to Anna’s room for a nap.

4-6-08-21.jpg The smaller kissing monkey had to go immediately to be with its mama.

4-6-08-22.jpg The five little monkeys had to go too.  Pretty soon there were a whole bunch of monkeys snuggled up on Anna’s bed asleep.

I have to stop here for awhile because I have to go to orchestra rehearsal.  I will try to finish up this evening, so please check back!

Shower shots

Saturday, April 5th, 2008

Not THAT kind!

My local readers know that my technician, Jen, is grossly pregnant right now, and about to pop at any moment. We just hope, for her sake, that it isn’t quadruplets! Our CPC crowd had a shower for her last week at the Oasis in Littleton, and we had a very nice time. If that little boy EVER runs out of onesies, it won’t be our fault!

Here are some photos of the happy event:
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3-28-08-4.jpg 3-28-08-6.jpg 3-28-08-5.jpg Just in case you weren’t certain how happy Becky is that SHE’S not the one having the baby!

3-28-08-7.jpg The prized Vera Bradley diaper bag from Natalie

Selfishly, I’m only posting pics of Jen with the gifts I got for her…

3-28-08-8.jpg 3-28-08-9.jpg 3-28-08-10.jpg  Jen is SO excited to receive yet another incredibly adorable little boy outfit.  I hope she enjoys it now.  Once they get out of infant sizes, there are no more cute outfits for little boys.  Even finding separates nicer than jeans is a real challenge.  After lots of searching, I now have several nice church outfits for Will, but there’s no way I can put him in a different cute little outfit every week like I do Anna.