Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mommy School

Hugo and I have been holding Mommy School while the girls nap the past little while.  Surprisingly, he reminds me each day.  Today we sat out in the sunshine and he chose pages to cut from his Kumon book.  He is really looking forward to his new big school where Cheyenne, Jared, Kacey, and Rachel all attended.  I've realized Hugo doesn't know his address or my phone number.  Hugo does not know his birthday.  Hugo can skip and he can balance on one foot.  Hugo can write his first name, just not his last.  We have work to do.

After dinner we generally head upstairs for a quick bath before bedtime.  Hugo loves to bathe with his sisters.  Tonight I found myself wondering if a fourth could fit comfortably in the tub?  And Evie left me a present.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Storm Damage

As I raced to dress the kids and move us out the door to deliver Ira the Squirrel to his new home yesterday morning, I never took a peep out the kitchen window.  Walking towards the van Hugo and I stopped dead in our tracks at the site of a downed tree stretching across the lawn and flitting into the drive.  Hugo thought we'd never make it passed the tree with the van.  I knew it wasn't that big of a deal, plus I could have always driven around the house if the tree had really obstructed our path, which it didn't.  We were going.  I needed to get Ira out of my shirt and onto the business of shopping for school supplies!

The kids loved, loved, loved playing in and around the fallen tree.  Hugo fell once while climbing.  Gave himself a good knock on the nose.  I threatened him to not climb on top of it again.  I think I sounded pretty mean and like I meant it, cause he didn't do it again.  Maybe it was the knock on the nose which kept him from his monkey climbing ways, I dunno.  The fallen tree turned into a kid paradise of fun for our children.  We are so blessed to have had no other damage.  A tree fell, but it did not strike one of us or our vehicles or our house.  We were blessed.

Check out Beanie Girl sporting her brother's shades upside down as she sleeps.  This girl takes her shoes off the minute I turn to exit the back of the van.  Every time.  Every trip.  Kinda makes me nuts.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ira The Squirrel

This is going to sound nutty (hee, hee!), but I fell in love with this little guy.  Evie the Cat brought him into the house, dropping him at our feet.  Cesar swears up and down that she was doing a good deed and had no intentions of eating him, well, at least not until he put on a few pounds.  I'd like to believe that Evie took pity on him, thinking he needed help, but I'm not convinced.  She's murderous remember.

Cesar named him Irene after the Hurricane, but upon further inspection it was discovered that Irene was a little boy, therefore he became Ira.  He could not keep his body temperature regulated so I wrapped him in a tea towel and tucked him in my shirt, and later in the evening my robe.  I fed him milk from a medicine dropper and he wrapped a paw around there of.  He snoozed and snoozed.  His eyes were still closed and his bottom incisors had just cut so he must have been around 20 days old. 

I wasn't sure what to do with him when we went to bed.  Away from my body he quickly lost heat and curled into a tight coil.  The heating pad was missing, can't even remember the last time it was used.  I tucked him into a tiny shoe box of the girls with two tea towels and brought him under the covers between Cesar and I.  The little rascal woke me a few times by climbing out of his box.  He wanted to cuddle.  I wanted to cuddle.  But I also wanted sleep and was terrified of smooshing him!  It was a long night.

Cesar left for work admonishing me to get a heating pad and the dry puppy supplement food for Ira.  I called around to see if any friends had an old cage we could borrow to house him.  No luck.  I also called a few Veterinary offices looking for people trained in rehabilitating wild animals.  Again, no luck.  No one was answering their phones due to all the power outages from the storm.  I started to panic a little because I was beginning to love this wee creature and was afraid if he spent much more time under my care that he'd become quite the pampered squirrel and never, ever leave our house for the great outdoors.
It was warm out so I dressed in shorts and a t-shirt.  Where was Ira going to snuggle up?  I tied a ribbon around my torso at about the bra line and tucked Ira in.  He snuggled right in.

Finally I got through to a woman who is certified in wildlife rehabilitation.  I tossed the kids into the van and drove as fast as the fallen trees and branches, detours, and men with flags on the roads would allow to her house.  I leaped from the van, pulled Ira out of my shirt and handed him over.  I didn't stay long to chit chat either.

I'm now suffering squirrel withdrawal.  I miss him.  I even called this morning to check on him.  The lady spoke to me, but sounded a bit annoyed.  I bonded with a silly squirrel! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eye Of The Storm

Hurricane Irene has come and gone and thankfully, we are safe.  I purchased extra drinking water and dry food stuffs for just in case we would be without power for a time.  The grocery store was full of people but all seemed calm and patient as the aisles were crowded with carts and the shelves were emptying.  It was nice that upon check out, nearly all the lanes were open, making for a swift exit of the store.  Cesar thought I and everyone else at the market were silly.  I was happy to be safe rather than sorry later on.

We woke Sunday morning to a steady, pouring rain.  And it rained, and it rained, and it rained.  And then we all took naps, except for Hugo who opted to watch a movie on Netflix.  I slept deep and hard, hardly knowing who or where I was upon waking.  It was surprising to discover that the rain had stopped, that I could actually see some blue sky and sunlight!  We all ate and dressed and were about to jump in the van to tour the flooding when Evie the Cat brought a baby squirrel into the house.  He was alive and young, his eyes were still shut, so he was wrapped in a tea towel and rode along with us to survey the village.

The pics I'm sharing are of the dam and beach front on the Esopus, which opens right into the Hudson River.    Debris of all sorts was in the water and it was moving very fast.  As we drove down to the waterfront worried faces were abundant, I began to regret our decision to view these strangers, our village neighbors, hardship.  Cars were everywhere.  We were caught up in a viewing spectacle parade.

Driving towards the Big Deep we decided to turn around and head home.  The sky looked wrong and soon, tiny rain drops covered the windshield.  As we gathered all our chicks indoors the wind came up again.  I'd thought we were home free of the storm, but was wrong.  This bottom part of the storm held high winds which made our power flicker and cable go out.  I had a pork loin in the oven and had all my finger and toes crossed that the power would hold till it's baking was finished.  I watched out the kitchen windows as our cedars bent eastward in the wind.  I was too afraid to look at the pines.

Dinner completed it's cooking and was devoured by the five of us.  No baths tonight, just pajamas and shooshas for the girls.  Cesar read and snuggled with Hugo while I cleaned up the dining room and kitchen.  After watching a Chinese movie together we climbed into bed (with Ira the Squirrel) and hoped for the best for our trees.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

We went swimming at the pool for the last time this season.  So sad.  Summer is way too short!  Hugo really was a fish this summer.  It has been great fun watching his progress in the water.  I'm thinking for next summer to sign up for back to back half hour lessons.  Maybe even a brief stint of swimming lessons at the Y this winter for a refresher.  Maybe even a trip to sunny southern Spain where I've heard that a certain family we know well has obtained a house with a pool and guest quarters a block up from the beach.  I hope the sheets will be settled and clean possibly sometime this coming January/February??!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hugo's Swim Trunks

We just got home from the Big Deep and Hugo peeled these swim trunks off his body for the last time.  I've been thinking all summer how I need to blog about them.  I still blink in amazement at the tag which is labeled 12-18 Months.  Yes, my 5 year old has been wearing 12-18 month swim shorts!  Skinny Minny Hugo looks great in them.  He does own other, more appropriately sized swim trunks, but I find that both of us keep reaching for these Old Navy trunks.  They fit his non-existent waist just right and I like that they hit high up on the thigh like the Op shorts of my olden beach days gone by.  So why give them up?  Once they are wet he can no longer pull them up on his own.  Trips back from the bathroom show off his white hiney as he runs to me so that I may help hike them up! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Green Beans for Dinner

Hugo helped me pick green beans tonight.  He has loved giving me reports on our little garden.  He turns over the leaves and looks for cucumbers and daily tracts the size of our one watermelon and two cabbages.  Hopefully next year we'll find a sunnier patch to plant in and he'll still be anxious to help.

A Video

Play from Alissa Baptista on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sunshiny Day

Wonderful day at Belleayre Beach again!  Everyone played great.  So great that I asked my girlfriends if they were up for repeating the day tomorrow.  These last days of summer are always so choice and perfect.  Really makes me wish summer would never end and that's so silly since fall is my favorite season of them all.  Honestly, I like them all, but there is something extra special regarding autumn.  But, but right now I am enjoying SUMMER!  Every last, warm, sand filled drop of it!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

After Bedtime...

I put the kids down for the night pretty early.  Always have.  The girls have been bathed, pajamaed, shoo sha's inserted, blankies found, tossed into cribs and I'm backing out the door while blowing good night kisses at 7:01 PM, most evenings.  Hugo normally follows a similar routine, minus the inserting of a shoo sha and a crib, by 7:20ish.  It is very nice.  It keeps me sane.  But.  But sometimes I feel like a prisoner in my own home because I'm free, but not really.  Sometimes I walk about the yard all by myself.  Sometimes I clean up the kitchen.  Tonight, the dinner mess won.

As I cleared our plates from the dinner table, I spied four young deer out the dining room windows.  They were milling about on the lower drive and looked a bit lost and not sure who was in charge.  I ran for the staircase and hissed in my best whisper/holler for Hugo to quickly come downstairs.  I think he thought he was in trouble.  I had him pull on his boots and we scooted our rears outside to try our best to sneak up on them.  We could clearly see that two of the deer sported small antlers.  It wasn't long before we were spotted and they began to bolt in our direction.  The two pics here were the best I got with my phone while giggling with Hugo who clung beside me.  We both watched the empty space where we had just seen the last of their hind quarters disappear from for a few beats before we held hands and charged down the hill to follow them.  They were no where to be seen.  We knew it before we reached the bottom of the hill, and rounded the brick staircase, that we wouldn't see them again.  We just had to try.  It was a lot of fun!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Belleayre Beach

With the van loaded with kids, towels, food, and sand toys we drove west and up into the Catskills to Belleayre Beach.  It was a beautiful day and the kids had a great time!  We initially plunked our belongings down on the sand just below the grass, but we lived at the waters edge the entire afternoon.  Not too many more of these heavenly days left this summer, so we plan on making the most of them!