September 29, 2010

eric carle.

Don't you love Eric Carle?  There are only a certain number of years that children enjoy that level of simplicity (until they become parents and discover it all over again!)  And it's a precious time.  When I look at the cover of The Very Hungry Caterpillar I think about holding baby boys in our recliner and reading and pointing out all the different foods and colors.  I remember watching (I mean, the boys *ahem* watched) a Mr. Rogers episode where he toured Mr. Carle's studio and learned how he creates his collages.  Just beautiful.  I follow Eric Carle's blog here.  Once he posted this picture of his "work" shoes.  Today he wrote the sweetest little post.  I love the photos; his huge grin with fork and knife in hand.  Maybe it's his way of saying "Slow down, people!  Enjoy life!" with out being so tacky as to actually say it.  Like I did.  Because I'm not an artist.

September 28, 2010


George couldn't whisper if his life depended on it.  He really doesn't mean to be devious when he speaks loudly in inapproriate situations, he just can't help it.  He's an Acklin!  Those folks are so LOUD!  (Love you all!)  So church sometimes makes me nervous.  I have the evil stink eye look nailed down, but sometimes I just can't catch him in time. 

Two things last weekend.  First, the loud outburst that went something like, "MOM, THE BASKET ALREADY WENT BY AND YOU DIDN'T PUT THE MONEY IN!"  (For the record - of course I did!)  I whispered to him to knock the volume down about ten decibels and that yes, I did put money in.  His response was something like, "BUT MOM, I DIDN'T SEE YOU PUT IT IN!"  Dear Lord.  Help me.  I am weak.

Then towards the end of Mass he stares at me for a minute, and says yells, "MOM, WHY ARE YOU WEARING THAT ROBE TO CHURCH?"  That robe?  My comfy Ann Taylor cardigan?  Crap, does it look like a robe!?  So I whisper, "George this is a sweater, not a robe.  Please be quiet."  Crap, does this really look like a robe?!  He painfully and with great strain whispered back, "But mom, it looks like you're wearing a robe."  Thanks, George.  I guess the bright side is knowing that I can now meander my way through life with the honest (and loud) opinions of my sons.  Yeah, it sort of does look like a robe, doesn't it?

September 27, 2010

through a mom's eyes.

The boys are 4 and 5 years old, but this is what I see when I drop them off at school.  Although I think I've already forgotten how hard it is with babies in the house.  Funny how it works that way isn't it?

more on the soldier.

So when I picked up Teddy from preschool the other day the first thing he tells me is that a classmate of his does not believe that he's a soldier.  Here's how the conversation went from there:

Me:  Oh, he doesn't understand that you like to pretend you're a soldier?

Ted (voice raised):  No, Mom!  I AM a soldier and he doesn't believe me!

Me:  I'm sorry; you're right.  Well, maybe (I am) he is just confused about that.

Ted:  He just doesn't believe me.

Me:  When you grow up are you going to be a soldier?

Ted (the voice again):  Ahhh . . . MOM!  I AM a soldier now!

Me:  I know; you're right, you're right.  When you grow up do you still want to be one?

Ted:  Yes.  I want to wear camo and let people take their picture with me.

Me:  Will you let me take my picture with you?  Wait, don't answer that.  Just tell me about school.

September 21, 2010

the late afternoon crash.

It's 4:37 p.m. on a Tuesday.  Homework is done and I'm starting to get dinner ready.  I realize it's getting quiet and I look up to see two small boys watching their toons with eyelids the weight of bricks.  It's the same thing every day - "Boys!  Stay awake in there!  Sit up!"  All it takes is for one of them to sneak in a 5 minute power nap and it's a loooong night.  I have a feeling I'm not the only mama with this routine!

September 13, 2010

hide and seek.

Bath, books and bed - our nightly routine.  This little scene was after the bath when I stepped away to hunt something down - pajamas, Aquafor, toothbrushes?  When I returned to the bathroom there were no small boys to be found.  I called their names, listened, nothing.  I called again and then heard giggling from the hall closet.  And there they were . . .

September 12, 2010

give 'em an inch, they take a mile.

The instructions were for the boys to slip off their sandals and dip the tips of their toes into the pool.  Leave it to these two goobers to jump in fully clothed as soon as I turned my back.  And at all places but their dad's law firm's summer party.  Like I always say, we really don't get out much.

September 9, 2010

first days of school.

George's first day of kindergarten
One last look at our boy before Kevin and I were off!
Picking him up after his first day.
Too cool to pose for pictures in front of his friends.  Ha, ha.
A couple days later Teddy had his first day.
The big brother was a big encouragement.
The boys and Kevin walking into the school building.
Kevin giving Teddy one last pep talk before going inside.
Inside we go!
Situating Teddy at a table with a few of his new classmates.
One last peek at the little guy before we left. 
 Thankfully I was distracted enough to not cry my eyes out at this point.
At the end his first morning at school and he was all smiles.
Teddy was excited to have his very own school folder just like his brother.
First week down and we all survived!

September 7, 2010

September 6, 2010

a "dam" astonishing visit.

Papa, George and Teddy
Johnstown, PA Flood Museum

Here are a few pictures of a recent visit to Johnstown, Pennylvania, site of the May 31, 1889 flood that killed 2,200 residents.  A controversal moment in history as the tragedy was the result of a poorly maintained dam owned by the exclusive and secretive South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club.  We visited a museum in Johnstown where we saw a film which was introduced by the granddaughter of two of the flood's survivors.  She said her grandparents were supposed to be married that day, and of course had to put off the wedding.  The flood destroyed the entire town which had been built around a large scale steel mill - the Cambria Iron and Steel Company.  We also stopped by the site of the dam, and checked out the town of St. Michael which was established after the flood on the property once owned by Pittsburgh's wealthy elite for their private weekend retreats.  Several of the homes are still standing, as well as a club house, all now under the care of the National Park Service.  Clark Griswald Dad couldn't say enough times how damn interesting it was to see sites after reading so much about it.  Dad . . . always the inappropriate jokester.
Dad walking on one end of what remains of the South Fork Dam.
The valley on right was at one time known as Lake Conemaugh.
Looking across to the opposite side of the dam.  National Park Service buildings on top of the hill.