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Archive for April, 2007

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OK… now that Benjamin has been home for 2 weeks… and we have been out and about and have had visitors stop by the house – I want to add my 10 more “silly” things that people feel they can (for some reason) pass on to my husband and I…

1.) “After 2 boys, did you want a GIRL?” (Thanks… here my beautiful son is, healthy and strong – which is all we wanted – and you’re actually asking me if I wanted him to be a girl… hmmm…)

2.) “So basically you haven’t drank for 3 years!?” (Which is hilarious b/c, well… one – I haven’t because I have been pregnant for nearly 3 years straight; but two, I wasn’t this big heavy drinker before – so when people ask me this… it’s almost in disbelief – like how did I make it THAT long!?)

3.) “Are the boys jealous yet?” (Yup… still have those relatives/friends that keep asking that… I can’t figure out if they want them to be, or if they just don’t know what else to say!)

4.) “Now when will you guys start trying again?” (Point blank, nobody’s business, right? I mean… come on, he’s 2 weeks old!)

5.) “Your other boys still have bottles even with the new baby home?” (Yes… and they are still in diapers and still can’t read yet… is that a major problem!? They are only 1 1/2 and 2 1/2. I can’t see them drinking bottles in college – well, I hope not!) 🙂

6.) “Is he sleeping through the night? Usually they say 3rd and 4th and so on babies sleep through the night early on.” (Ok, first – I am trying to always figure out who “they” are. And second, he’s a newborn – he definitely wakes up throughout the night… but we knew that going in!)

7.) “So you’re a baby machine, huh?” (This one is weird… I can’t figure this one out. I don’t think of myself as a machine. There are people who have 3, 4, 5, 6, etc…kids out there already. But… my husband and I have always dreamed of a large family, and having them close in age… but machine – I’m not sure I think of myself as that!)

8.) “Were they all planned?” (This one has to be the worst to be asked! All three of my boys were planned to a “T”… I mean, planned planned planned… but really – should anyone be asking this!?)

9.) “When will your sister have a baby?” (When she’s ready… when she’s ready.)

10.) “Ahhh… your on your way to having a real sports team.” (Which I’m sure ANY dad loves to hear… but… well, they can do what they want – right moms!?)

So there is my revised new list… and I have actually had ALL of these asked to me or told to me in the last 13 days!

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Manic Monday

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Taxes, taxes, taxes. It’s that time of year!

This Manic Monday’s word is tax.

My husband Steve is very much on top of doing our taxes.

Or, I should say, he is very much on top of having our taxes done for us!

As long as we get our taxes filed on time, that’s all that matters to me. Well, it also matters that we actually get money back instead of having to pay.

Anyway, we had our appointment with our CPA way back in February… it seemed to me like it was very far in advance, but Tax Day seems to have creeped up on us quickly, so I’m glad we got it done sooner rather than later!

That’s why our taxes is one thing that Steve doesn’t leave up to me! I’m known to be a bit of a procrastinator, so he’s smart in this regard.

Last year we used our tax return money to get replacement windows in our house.

This year the money will probably go to leveling our backyard and laying down grass (and sadly, not a Louis Vuitton purse), since we had about 20 trees cut down last October and the process wreaked havoc on our beautiful lawn!

I’m going to lobby for Uncle Sam to change his “dependent” policy soon and allow us to claim our doggies are dependents.

I mean, they are our children, after all! We buy them food, toys, beds, medication… they certainly live with us (more like run the house!) and rely on us for their support.

Changes are always being made by the IRS to keep up with the changing “traditional family.”

Come on, Uncle Sam – keep up with the times and the growing number of doggy children!

I hope everyone gets their taxes done on time and gets lots of money back!

– Jane

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Party of Five!

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Here we are, one hour into the Party of Five.

That’s us now, a party of five. 4 men and a lady.

I honestly cannot believe that Benjamin is finally here. Since August 6th I have been waiting to bring him home… anxious and excited and ready. I’ll never forget that afternoon… my husband’s family was visiting and I had such an feeling that maybe I was pregnant… and they all went out to Sam’s Club and I stayed home with William and Alexander, snuck upstairs and took a test. HEAVEN ON EARTH – 2 LINES! I couldn’t believe it, I think I looked at the test about 100 times in 2 minutes to make sure that it was actually there and I wasn’t imagining it!

And now he’s here… home with the boys! So yes, we’re now a party of five. 3 boys. All about a year apart from each other… well, William and Alexander are 12 months apart and Benjamin is 18 months younger than Alexander. But the funny thing is… for 6 months out of each year… the boys will all be one year apart from each other – like right now. William is 2, Alexander is 1 and Benjamin is a week old!

It absolutely just kills me though when people see us or call us to congratulate us and they say the – well – silliest things to us. Honestly… I don’t know how to respond… but here are my top 5 comments:

1.) “So… you’re done now, right!?” (Actually we’d like more!)
2.) (When I respond to the above with a “No”… it is usually backed up with this comment) “Well, I hope you and Matt are going to wait awhile!”
3.) “You must not be getting ANY sleep… you guys look exhausted”. (Gee… thanks, I feel great.)
4.) “Are the boys jealous of their new brother? They must be, huh?” (As much as nobody seems to believe us, the boys absolutely LOVE Benjamin…)
5.) “Ohh… your boys are going to fight like crazy when they get older… be prepared!” (This one has to be my all-time favorite. Almost assuming that there is NO WAY brothers can be best friends!)

So basically… in a nut shell… those are some of the comments we’ve gotten from people. Fortunately Matt and I have a good sense of humor and can laugh it off!

But we are SO HAPPY to be home. Home with our 3 beautiful boys. Loving the fact that even though it’s a bit noisy at times… and there are dirty diapers in the trash… and laundry piled up… and dishes in the sink… we know that everything will get done – but that the most important thing is that everyone is home together – and I can roll around and run after my boys without a belly!

So yes… the party of 5 is home. And it’s been GREAT!

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Reading my Mom’s latest post, Lessons In Daughters and Broken Hearts (from a Mom who has been there), certainly brought back some memories for me!

My Mom definitely practices what she preaches. She has always given her four children fair, honest, wise advice whenever we have faced a challenge.

This is why I place such a high value on her opinion and her respect.

Everyone is going to experience a broken heart at some point in their lives. I have definitely had my fair share, whether it was being broken up with by a boyfriend or betrayed by a friend.

I am sure that my Mom wanted to take on my pain each and every time my heart was broken. Since she couldn’t physically do that, however, she had to rely on being there for me with open arms and compassion.

Her “Lessons In Daughters and Broken Hearts” post was absolutely spot-on… she never told me, “There are plenty other fish in the sea,” or any variation of that useless “wisdom” that does nothing to ease a broken heart.

Instead, she hugged me, let me cry, and taught me a lesson in broken hearts that has never failed to prove true:

“Each day you’ll wake up feeling less and less heartbroken. Each day you’ll think about (insert name of person who broke my heart here!) less and less. Then one day you’ll stop and realize that you haven’t thought about (that person) at all. And you’ll see that each day gets easier and easier to move on and forget about (the heartbreaker).”

I challenge you to find an instance where this doesn’t prove true!

I can only hope that when my children have broken hearts someday, I will be able to help them in the way my Mom always helped me.

And if I can’t, I’m sending them to Grandma!

– Jane

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This is the second installment of my 10 QUICK RULES FOR RAISING DAUGHTERS WHO WANT YOU IN THEIR LIVES AS KIDS, TEENAGERS and ADULTS. I began with Rule #1: Never criticize “the boyfriend.”

Due to popular demand, I am continuing the series… here is the next rule.

Rule #2: NEVER DIMINISH A BROKEN HEART (and never, ever say, “There are plenty of fish in the sea,” or anything like it)

This rule is necessary to heed even early on in the life of mother-to-daughter because broken hearts start early on.

Yes, as early as kindergarten, when some pretend-friend invites every girl in the class but your daughter to her birthday party.

Now, why is this?

Perhaps your daughter reads better. Swings higher. Or shows some competitive edge that the mother of the pretend-friend perceives? The question remains forever rhetorical because there is no real answer.

But the broken heart is. Real, that is. And it is the type of thing that lasts seemingly forever.

The important thing is to be honest with your daughter. “Honey, I know that you are very hurt. And I have no idea why Lindsay would do something like that.” And you hug her and tell her, “We cannot control what other people do. We can only try to never hurt people in that way.”

Never, ever say , “There are plenty of other parties that you will be invited to,” because she doesn’t give a hoot in hell about these other parties.

She will feel helpless. Hopeless. Lost. And the week before the party, as well as the week or two after the party, will be worse for your daughter than the day of the party itself. The chatter will be interminable. “What are you getting Lindsay?” “Didn’t we have the greatest time at Lindsay’s party?”

But… and this is a really big but.. this little “Lindsay” character will become the standard for broken hearts in your daughter’s future.

When the first real boy-related broken heart happens, never, ever say, “Oh, there are plenty of fish in the sea.” She doesn’t give a rat’s ass about those fish aplenty.

Instead, you recall Lindsay.

“Honey, I know that you are very hurt. And I have no idea why (oh, I could name dozens of boys here who broke my daughters’ hearts!) would want to break up with you. But remember Lindsay back in kindergarten?”

Your daughter will cry, “What are you talking about?”

“You remember Lindsay. You didn’t get invited to her birthday party.”

To which she will sob (and probably scream), “What are you talking about?”

“I am talking about feeling helpless. And hopeless. And lost. I am talking about a broken heart.”

And depending upon how old your daughter is for her first broken heart, you may be able to add… “Remember how that little bitch made you feel? Well, it sucks really bad. And if I could have jumped in and taken your place, I would have. And I would now, too, as your heart is being broken into pieces. But you know how it feels because of that little twit. And you know that you can move through it, however long it takes, because you already have.”

Hmmmmmmm. It may not be EXACTLY the same, but it will give your daughter food for thought. Maybe an open line of communication. She will not laugh or even chuckle at this time (that won’t come for years later, like when she is reading this blog!).

But one thing is certain… your daughter will know that you are aware of her pain. You will never diminish it. You are honest.

And you will take it on.

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Benjamin Barry David McClelland has finally arrived!

Tuesday night I knew something was going on. Matt and I took the boys to the local mall for Easter Bunny photos – while in line, I began to notice some contractions. They weren’t OH MY GOD… here it is type contractions (at that point) but after we got the photos taken and were in the middle of ice cream sundaes, I knew something was up and that I should probably get my butt to the hospital!

So… Grandma and Pop-up (what my boys call my dad!) came over to watch the boys and off Matt and I went to Women & Infants in Providence, RI!

The contractions were coming pretty steady at this point… BUT, the
funny thing is… and I still DO NOT know how this happened… once we got to the hospital and they hooked me up to see my contractions and how far apart they were – they COMPLETELY SLOWED DOWN! Yes, COMPLETELY!

I went from not being able to stand… to sitting there in the hospital
watching The Food Network and wondering why I wasn’t in PAIN!!!

So the nurse came back in… noticed the contractions were going away a bit… but they still decided to admit us!!

THOSE BEAUTIFUL WORDS – “We Are Admitting YOU!”

The whole thing is a blur after that… we were brought to a Labor and Delivery Room… I was hooked up… they induced me… and I started to push around 3am… I pushed for an hour, took a break… pushed for another hour, took a break… started to push again at 6:50am… and THERE HE WAS! Our BENJAMIN!!

I have to say… there is nothing, nothing in this world more beautiful
or more amazing than gazing at your child for the very first time. That moment will forever be in my mind.

And he is now about 36 hours old… and I cannot take my eyes off of
him, he is just perfect and beautiful and absolutely everything I
dreamed he would be…

So now we are anxiously awaiting our discharge from the hospital. I’m very sore… but know that every bit of it was worth it! William and Alexander are in love with their brother and just cannot stop kissing him! William keeps asking to hold him, which is so damn cute! And Alexander keeps looking at him and says “Hi Bay-bee”… Matt and I are excited to see how this adventure will unfold – all these boys, 3 and under, finally all home together!! Ahhh… should be a lot of fun times ahead! 🙂

And yes… the answer to the million dollar question I keep getting
from everyone… I would totally do this again – in a heartbeat!!

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