Girl Power


Last night after putting the girls to bed I heard Maisie crying.  When I went to check what was wrong, she was inconsolable about the fact that Juliette will be spending a week at her grandparents house (while I am in San Francisco training for my new job at

Maisie was sobbing... saying she didn't know how she would live for a week (acutally 4 days) without her sister.  She told me her heart is empty.  Juliette responded by giving Maisie her beloved "Beaky" (a stuffed toy dolphin) and climbing into bed with Maisie.  The two of them stayed in this embrace as I left the room.  So sweet and sad at the same time.

January in the Lowcountry

We are so fortunate to live in a BEAUTIFUL city.  We spent a lazy Sunday at the Pitt Street bridge... riding bikes and looking for nature (as the girls call it).  I am happiest when I am with my family.

Weekend Fun

Weekend Dance Party

This weekend I introduced the fam to the FANTASTIC groove music by Florence & the Machine.
Florence is from London... and she has a powerful voice that gets into your soul and makes you want to dance.  So dance we did.  We turned the volume up to 11 and got our boogie on.

The trick to making Juliette want to sit down and color or learn her letters and numbers is to make it fun. Coloring is hard for her... and to her it's a chore, not a joy... so how do I incorporate the much needed occupational therapy into her home life without making a huge deal about it.... I use number / color puzzles.  At first she's really into it... but as her hand, arm and brain tire of this task... she starts to get a bit frustrated... demonstrated today by the statement:

"My head is about to come off my body!"

Sunday Morning Math Lesson

Mad Math Minute

Creative Play
Strawberry the Cardinal

As my girls do what they do best together... imaginary play... I watch my feathered friends outside my dining room window.  Strawberry is one of our favorites... Maisie named him because he's plump.
Strawberry makes us happy.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Behind the Lens

Birds of a Feather

Robins on a wire

Yesterday a flock of robins landed in my yard and literally took over.  Hundreds of them perched in trees and wire all around the house.  Their chirps were so loud that my cat wanted to get outside and take a look at what all the fuss was about.  They were drinking out of our pond and pool... picking at bugs in the yard.  
I hope this means that spring is just around the corner here in my neck of the woods !!


Bodhi & Friend


Black Capped Chickadee 

Tufted Titmouse


My little bird watcher

I am obsessed with birds.  I have a dozen or so feeders around my house and I am going broke keeping them filled with seed and suet.   I can't help it.  I just love my feathered friends.   I love watching them.  I have names for them.  The cardinal couple is known as the Castanzas (after George's parents).. I gave them this moniker because their chirps sound like they are constantly bickering with one another.  I guess that's what happens when you mate for life.

We purchased a feeder that attaches to our dining room window and it wasn't long before our friends noticed.  We've counted 17 different kinds of birds so far.  Our favorites include the black capped chickadee and the tufted titmouse.

We also get the occasional squirrel who has managed to figure out how to use its acrobatic skills to hang on the feeder... but one word of warning for our squirrel friends... BEWARE of the curious cat... she will eat you !!

If you fall down... get back up again !

Finding Balance

Losing it

Getting the hang of it

Down again

and again

Woo Hoo !!

Roller Disco
Maisie and her best pals

She made it under !!

On Monday, I took the girls roller skating for the first time.  I wasn't sure how it would all play out.  Maisie typically gets quite frustrated if she is not perfect the first time she does something... so it was a complete surprise that she not only took to the skates... kept falling down.. kept getting up again... and so on and so on for the better part of two hours.  Not ONCE did she get frustrated.  She kept getting right back up on her feet to start again... and by the end of our session, she had graduated from taking baby steps on her skates, to full on skating around the rink.  What a great lesson for all of us to remember that when life knocks you down on your bottom... get back up and get rolling !!!

As for my sweet Juliette... she could not stop herself from SQUEALING with delight !!  She LOVED every minute of her experience and even took part in the limbo contest.  Everything made her smile... the disco lights, the music and all the other kids going super fast on their skates.  Every minute or so she'd let out a pure scream of delight... so happy !  

Imaginary Zoo

Last week we were invited to Maisie's school to look at the imaginary zoo her class made.  Maisie's exhibit was all about the rain forest.  Each child had to make a habitat.  Maisie used her pet shop toys and was quite proud of her accomplishment.  So are we !!



Parenthood is FUN.... and it's also funny.  I love the little sayings that come out of the girls' mouths.
Juliette says "Nilk" instead of milk.  She also says "What's that this is for?" The fact that there's an extra word in the sentence is so endearing to me.  Maisie used to say, "Smease me" for Excuse me.  She still says"Dad, can I tell you a question."  These little nuances in language make me smile.  But last night I had a LAUGH OUT LOUD moment when I heard the girls playing their guitars.  One of the instruments is programed to sing Pat Bentar's "Hit me with your best shot"... but my girls think she's singing:


It doesn't get any funnier than hearing two little girls singing about butt shines at the top of their lungs.
Man-o-man... do I love my children !!!!!!!!


January's article on

Kitty Christmas Clutter

Laundry, dishes, bills, toys, shoes, books, cable news, loud commercials, screaming children, cell phones, computers. Oh My!

The endless supply of clutter that litters our lives and minds surrounds us everyday. If we’re not careful, we can drown in this cesspool of STUFF.

Webster’s Dictionary describes clutter this way:

[kluht-er] –verb (used with object)
1. to fill or litter with things in a disorderly manner.

There it is. We are littered with things in a disorderly manner. So, I guess if we keep our house clean and tidy we’ll feel okay. In my world, it doesn’t work that way. I can clean until the cows come home. Every dish can be in its place, every shoe in a closet, every child nestled, sleeping peacefully in her bed. Yet there is still clutter. Why?

Often it’s not about the physical things that surround us. It’s because we as parents don’t turn down the volume in our own heads and give ourselves time to relax. There is ALWAYS a project to do. Rake the yard, paint the trim on the house, fix a broken washing machine, go to yet another birthday party. The clutter of our lives seems endless.

So how do we break free? To borrow a phrase from a popular advertising campaign from the 80’s: Just say no. Does it really matter if the yard is littered with leaves or that you haven’t gone to the hardware store yet to buy paint for your home improvement? What matters right now is time. Time to spend with your family, and most importantly, time to spend on yourself. As parents (and especially moms) we put ourselves on the back burner to make sure everyone else’s needs are met.

Sometimes we just have to break the cycle. Like author Elizabeth Gilbert did. In her novel Eat, Pray, Loveshe writes, “If you're brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

I’m not suggesting we pack our bags and leave the family for a far off land. But what we can do is free ourselves from the clutter that holds us back in our own lives. Get rid of the excess. Donate old books to the library, clothes to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Give unused household items to Habitat for Humanity and baby items to the Florence Crittenton House. Charity begins at home, so why not begin your new year by doing a clutter cleanse and donating to your favorite cause? When your work is done, sit back, relax and give yourself a much needed break from mess that muddles your mind. You’ll have more energy and time to do the things you love for yourself and for others.


Welcome 2011
Day 1 of 2011
The Fam on Folly
Macho Beach Nose Rider's in Training
Drummer Boy
Uncle Matt
Polar Bear Plunge

What a way to welcome in the New Year... my brother dressed up as a chicken with a mustache and plunged into the Atlantic.  He (and all the people dressed in yellow) are part of a surf group called the Macho Beach Nose Riders... Maisie and Juliette are clearly in training !  We went out to support his crazy group.  Maisie was the only one brave enough to dip her toes into the water.

Kevin got into the act by playing a drum before, during and after the plunge... I took the photos of all the crazies running toward the water.  A good time was had by all.

Kevin captured our entire holiday with a stop still animation movie... click here for the link... and enjoy !

I am excited and optimistic about what 2011 will bring to my family.  Happy New Year !!