fresh air with the fam

i’m settling into a blogging pattern of house, kid, house, kid.. maybe I’ll try to stick with it?
no beach pictures this time, but an equally fun part about our house in brewster is that its right next to town hall and a big field with two baseball diamonds. dane is always asking to go play baseball. saturday was freezing, but sunday was really nice… we didn’t even need winter jackets. shakey gets free range to run around and hunt for baseballs in the brush while dane and mike play sports and run the bases.
dane looks at his feet when he runs. its really cute, but also dangerous, ha. at one point he was doing a “snow angel” in this infield gravel. gross. in the background you can see a skating rink that they build for the winter. so fun, i can’t wait for dane to try out skating. 

shakey was obsessed with getting on the ice. he circled it for like 15 mins contemplating a way to get in. sorry, shakey rink is closed. and we really can’t afford 4 skates for you…

dane is such a little athlete… he’s just like we always imagined our little boy would be. when they play football, dane is tom brady and mike is “daddy gronk”.

sure enough, shakespeare finds a stray baseball. every. time. he has some sort of radar for lost balls. and he always insists on taking them home. inside. and they are always so filthy and gross. he’s a funny pup.

the glass half full

the weekend we were in brewster discovering our flooded basement, the weather was really mild and beautiful and we stopped at our beach to play a while. just recently did i finally load all the pictures i took (beyond the wet basement rug) and realize that some are pretty awesome.
see, i was so focused on the doom and gloom that i didn’t take the time to remember the perfect afternoon and the smiles on my boys in their happy place under the glowing sun.
lesson learned.
from now on, this is what i will choose to remember about our weekends in brewster regardless of what part of the house is currently sucking our savings dry.

because I can’t come up with a non-cheesy way to say it: this is all that really matters.

any timer-cam attempt where we are all in the frame is considered a success in my book.

HAPPY 2015 FROM THE FATZ 4 (and counting)!

2014 holidays etc

just catching up over here. and so ready for post-holiday down time (and sleep!).

but first, c h r i s t m a s .
i was more excited this year than i have been in a long time.
“now!?” dane would say every time we talked about riley and avery coming over and our christmas “party” and santa coming while he slept.. (only if he was a good boy). there was so much anticipation this year, which i think is what the holidays lack when you don’t have little ones to experience the build-up and magic through.

also, santa threats. they really work. we are totally getting that elf next year.

i’ll skip over the early hours of christmas eve including when we let these two zone out in front of a christmas thomas show so they would stop fighting over this balloon (which dane would still not release for fear riley would get his hands on it… a fate worse than death…) (2015=sharing lessons) ).
at least he’s a hugger. riley clearly not feeling it.
later, my brother todd’s family arrived from california and the 3 cousins had their annual reunion. so special.
we bribed them with cookies to cooperate for some of these pictures. is that wrong?
who wants a cookie???

clam chowder and reubens is our xmas eve dinner tradition.

shakey’s christmas presents. every year.

and every year we sit these two down together with the night before christmas book. how precious are they? the little pottery barn kids jammies – worth every penny.

finally, it was here. christmas morning. they somberly walked down the stairs not knowing what to expect… riley was up really early & we had to make liz stall so they could come down together.

i think dane honestly would have been happy with just the little toys in his stalking.
i set up his new trains & tracks in the other room & we told them the elves were playing with them last night… they loved it.

and mike put two presents in the front yard & told them they “fell off santa’s sleigh”… they went nuts. this age is so fun.

christmas was really awesome. its pretty exhausting hosting, but i wouldn’t want it any other way.

then there is b r e w s t e r…
we had a guy renting it for about a month and a half. he left mid december and we went to check on the house.
not good:
there was a dehumidifier malfunction in the basement.. it was basically pumping all the water from the air onto the floor. soaking wet, ruined carpet. we tried to fix it and dry everything up, but it was too far gone. the pad was soaked and we didn’t want to risk any mold.

so we ripped up the carpet and are now faced with a major decision of what to do for flooring down here. more carpet? tile? paint and big area rugs? i wasn’t in the mood to think about this around the holidays. i mean, i usually am and to be honest, now that i’ve had some time to research, i’m sort of obsessed with a particular option that i will share later. of course its on the more expensive end of the spectrum, so i need to let it marinate.

the joys of multi home ownership.

in effort to not end the post with with damp basements and water buckets… here is the buffet with my new chairs and pillows. its coming along! i need to make the cushions and add a couple more pillows but its definitely progress.

mv for riley’s big day

alternative title: 20 pics of cute kids.

friday was pj day at school…

then we woke up the next morning in mv for cousin riley’s birthday party!

the 3 year-old!

3 toddlers tearing apart the house…

the four-legged love of my life..

being spoiled by grandma…

dane’s “why don’t i get any presents” face…

smiley bday boy

cool hat.

dane having a 2 year old moment..

milk face smiles the next morning..

and just when we thought the weekend couldn’t get any better, they leaf surfed.


the end.

halloween and other mom things

some very important fall stuff:

for halloween, dane and riley (and mike) were chickens. they were painfully adorable and its hard for me to accept that we might not be able to dress them as matching farm animals for the next decade’s worth of halloweens.

they were so cute and funny and once they realized they got candy from every strangers’ house, they were so into it.

i think mike enjoyed his costume the most (the beer from all our neighbors probably helped).

i have a million pictures, but this little video should capture the essence of the night. 

rewind a week to our pumpkin carving party. we have so much fun with our neighbors!

rewind further to dane’s official half birthday. the big two point five!

 here he is (much blonder!) last year..

i can’t believe how big he is.

two and a half has been huge. dane potty trained like a champ and transitioned into his big boy bed all in a matter of weeks. i’m so proud of him. it was all so much easier than i anticipated. however, i must say that we are seeing a little bit of those terribles. he has some strong, not-always-rational opinions these days and it can really be trying. for example, a major meltdown in the car because the car carrier that drove by us only had cars on the top, not the bottom. he found this intolerable… then when we were at the pet store and i told him all the toys were only for dogs, forget it – super-sized tantrum. my sister promised the phase will pass. riley was a little saint when they visited over halloween weekend… i may have asked her if we could trade for a little while (kidding, kidding).
most of the time, he is the sweetest, cutest, most lovable thing. i am so so excited for this holiday season.


mike’s new company has their annual meeting and a fun employee outing at the castle hill inn every year – so last weekend, we spent a really special couple days in newport, ri.. dane and i drove down early saturday morning to join mike for the rest of the weekend.
it was the seafood festival at bowen’s warf that day which is quite the event… big tents with hundreds of people eating oysters and lobster rolls and day drinking. a really fun scene.

we first hit up the kids’ tent where dane painted a pumpkin masterpiece and scored a balloon.

and then, the best place on earth. the bouncy castle.

he would have spent all day in this thing. he was grinning ear to ear the whole time. and he can really hold his own with the big kids!

we did a little exploring after. SO much to do and see in newport. it was SO nice out. like 70.

obligatory pumpkin patch pictures:

when we finally headed back to the inn to check into our room for nap time, i had a major orphan annie moment. his company had us staying in the cutest little beach cottage directly on the most beautiful sandy beach. the most luxurious place i have stayed probably ever. i was instantly sad that we only had one night.

pic from their web site

i sat on our little deck eating a [really delicious] sandwich and looking at this view while dane napped like a champ in the packnplay that barely fits him anymore. it was the most relaxed i had felt in a while.

when he woke up, we went out to play on the beach where i took a million photos and seriously struggled to narrow down to the few you see below!

dane does this thing where, when i tell him to say cheese, he’ll do a big exaggerated CHEEEEESE while looking anywhere but at the camera. its makes things a little difficult.

look at these twins.

there’s the cheese again.

later that evening we went out for a little cliff walk. there were tons of surfers and really big waves! i’ve never seen surfing like this in new england, it was cool.

we had pizza and beer with his coworkers that evening then mike passed out shortly after dane (i think he had been having a little too much company sponsored fun) and i stayed up reading on the couch in front our fireplace. ahhh. can we do this again next weekend?

dane was just the funnest, happiest kid the whole time. i can’t remember what life was like before he was part of my crew. he is pure joy. the only thing that would have made the weekend any better is if shakey could have joined us. he would have loved this beach!

5 years

5 years of marriage makes me feel a lot of things: old, blessed, loved. old. but mostly happy and grateful and also, old.

for our 5 year wedding anniversary, mike gave me the most perfect and thoughtful gift. he transformed this very blog into two hardcover books. 80 miles to brewster volumes 1 and 2.

its the perfect gift on a number of levels. when you think about it, this little blog IS our past 5 years… a lot of the big things, some of the little things and all sorts of silly and stupid things we’ve done together since 2009. especially all the trial and error and hard work we have put into our houses over the years. from southie to brewster, to our house in the suburbs where we took a our new baby home 2.5 years ago (all with our best friend, shakespeare by our sides)… what an awesome 5 years.

it made me appreciate all the documenting i have done. it sure is difficult these days to find the time to sit and write, but its a story worth telling. it won’t be the prettiest and it definitely won’t be in full sentences, but our next 5 years, in one form or another, will be here on 80 miles to brewster!

i love my little family so much and it all started here with mike 5 years ago on the best day of my life. i’m so damn lucky.

daney dialogue II

on vacation when we were both eating popsicles: “we’re kinda like twins”

“where i be?!” (hiding his face)
“where dem are?”
“dey must be here somewhere?”…

if i take too long to get him from his crib.. “mamma, i was callin you.” (accusatory tone).

“mommy, watch this trick”.. he then does some variation of a reckless spin move, jumping onto the floor into log rolls, ending on his back.

“i have two paws.”

“there’s no mail man at nonnie’s house” randomly as we were pulling up.

“a b c d e f g h i j k el lel lele  p…”

me: dane, do you want to sit on the potty like a big boy!?
dane: “no, i’m just a baby.”

“i NEED it”…anything i won’t let him have.


me: uh oh, i think we left your floaties at the club.
dane: “that’s not good.”

me: can shakey play with us?
dane: “no”.
me: why?
dane: “he doesn’t even have any hands.”

“he will be right back”.. anytime daddy is not home.

dane: “cough cough” (unconvincing coughing noise from his car seat)
me: daney, was that cough real or fake?
dane: “fake”.

“no! i want a blue paci to match my crocs”

martha’s vineyard agricultural fair

alternative title: dane with various animals

for folks who travel to martha’s vineyard the most during the off-season, this weekend was quite the scene. there was hooting and hollering getting off the ferry, people out and about long after sun down, and traffic, lots of traffic. it was the weekend of the agricultural fair, and, as my sister put it – its a big deal.

while it wasn’t exactly beach weather, it felt very much like a mini-vacation getting on that ferry and spending the weekend with our vineyard family.

dane particularly bonded with his uncle alec this trip…

i mean, the man has a fishing boat and gives out dog rides.. how are we supposed to compete with that?

the fair is really special because it not only has rides, games, fried dough and the like, it has all sorts of cool animals, plants, music, art, contests (wood chopping, skillet tossing)…

so alpacas… where can i buy one and do they get along with bulldogs?

a sheep..

goat of some sort…

six week old baby goats (“kids” as they say in the industry). they were being fed raisins and dane said “i want to have a snack with the baby goats!” um, you’re cute. all of you.

this horse was my personal favorite. i named him guinness.

and this large horse may or may not be in my nightmares tonight..


dane requested corn on the cob at the fair for dinner. it was huge. his family from indiana would be proud.

big slide!

this ride was their favorite… various vehicles that went around in a circle. funny to see which ones they chose. dane first went with an old-fashioned cadillac. then this fire truck (and had a mini-meltdown when the ride was over).

riley rode this motorcycle. both times.

it was a really fun (& exhausting) night. the boys crashed hard and the rest of us drank a lot of wine when we got home (ok, maybe that was just me).

if only there were an “unblur” button in picasa editor!

we are so spoiled being able to hang with these guys on this awesome island. thank you vineyard family (emily, liz, riley, and alec)! xoxoxoxoxoxo


remember when my baby looked like this?
and then his rolls stretched a bit and his hair grew and then he looked like this?

well now look what has happened…

the trouble is, he won’t stop growing.

i’d like to freeze him. or time… does anyone have any suggestions?