Thanksgiving, Part Deux

Monday, November 30, 2009

My Mom and Dad did their traditional post-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. Years ago, M & D relinquished the Thursday dinner, in favor of having it a day or 2 later so that everyone can come. And come we did. The total headcount was 17, and through some clever maneuvering, they got everyone in the dining room, with the exception of the 3 little kids (Rebecca, Cousin Evan, and Gregory) who were at the kids table, 5 feet away in the living room. We ate, watched the kids run around, ate, watched the kids see who could do the best gorilla walk, ate, watched the kids repeatedly hurdle Uncle Kenny's legs. You get the picture. Speaking of pictures, here's a couple:

Rebecca holds the cutest baby ever, my niece and goddaughter Nora.

Sisters and brother: Shannon, Rebecca, Gregory and Sumner

I just can't get enough of Miss Nora

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Gregory enjoys some cheese

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We had a great, low key Thanksgiving here at Casa Corbin. Greg cooked up a delicious dinner and I made my signature hot mulled cider. Rebecca said her favorite part of the day was playing with Moose (Kenny's dog) and Gregory said his favorite part was 'eating cheese with my mouth'. Tomorrow we're heading to Mom and Dad's for Thanksgiving, part deux. In the spirit of the Holiday, here's a sampling of things I'm grateful for:


Little girls

Little boys

I feel so lucky to be where I am, married to a wonderful man (and a great cook!) with such good friends and a loving family. Thank you!

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Enchanted Nature Calls

Monday, November 23, 2009

A glorious start

The kids and I took advantage of the unseasonably warm November afternoon and went for a hike around the Wachusett Meadow Bird Sanctuary. This beautiful set of trails is only a 15 minute drive from our home, and I'm sorry to say today was the first trip we made all year! We traipsed around the the trails coat free for 2.5 hours. Here's the break down of how we spent our precious November afternoon: 1 hour hiking, 1 hour trying to find a bathroom, 1/2 hour playing on rocks.

Read the rest here...

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StumbleUpon Me

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The inner web developer (a.k.a. dork) in me is showing through. I've been playing with social networking and added a link at the bottom of each post to link to the newest way to get visitors, StumbleUpon. I'm not crazy about the kludgy graphic - they had some other smaller ones I might try out. What do you think? Is anyone else using StumbleUpon?

I also added my Twitter updates to the sidebar. If you want to connect, follow me and I will do the same! Is it too cluttered or should I keep adding more social networking bling?

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Daniel Johnston Live In Boston

Friday, November 20, 2009

I love having a chance to catch up! I've been meaning to post this for a month but have had some problems getting the video onto YouTube. Problems seem to be solved, so here's the scoop. For those of you unfamiliar with Daniel Johnston, you can get an idea of his remarkable life from the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston. Greg and I were lucky enough to get tickets to see him at the Paradise Rock club in Boston back in October. If you can get past his untrained voice, you will hear some of the most heartbreakingly beautiful lyrics. We took this clip with our digital camera because it is both my kid's favorite Daniel Johnston song, and we wanted to play it for them.

We were delighted by the enthusiasm of the crowd for Daniel, and also the youth of many of the fans. During the second half of the show the opening band came out and played with him. That was kind of annoying because the drummer and guitarist played way to loud and made it difficult to hear Daniel. The saving grace? Daniel seemed to enjoy singing with them, and after the life this man has led and the toll his illness has taken on him, it was great to see him experiencing some well deserved happiness.

Here's my baby singing his favorite line from the same song:

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I'm Glad I'm Not The Only One Who Found This Funny

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Due to the horrid flu that has recently made the rounds through my house, I'm currently short on blogging material. Instead, let me share this incident which occurred a few weeks ago when leaving Rebecca's gymnastics lesson:

It actually started on the way into the lesson. We were running 1 minute late, as usual, and as we ran across the parking lot I casually pointed my key ring toward my unique, gold, 2006 Toyota Sienna and hit the lock button. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the parking lights flare, and I also barely noted to myself the little, black, plastic lock button made a weird clicking sound when I pushed it.

Fast forward an hour. Rebecca and I are back out in the parking lot, gymnastics lesson complete. We arrive at the gold Sienna, and I push the unlock button on my controller. Nothing. I try door handle. Nothing. It's locked.

'Uh oh', I think, 'Maybe I broke the controller, or the battery is dead'. Suddenly, that weird clicking sound the controller made becomes the center of my awareness. I hit the unlock button again. Nothing. I decided I better do it the old-fashioned way, and use the regular key. I stick it in the lock, and try to turn it. Nothing. I try to turn it harder. Still nothing. This is more serious than I thought.

I go around back and try the trunk door. Nothing. I try to use the key on the passenger side door. Nothing. I blindly panic and start randomly pushing buttons on the controller. Nothing. The whole time Rebecca is telling me in a loud, high pitched voice that she is cold and hungry.

I pull out my phone to call Greg. While dialing, Rebecca says 'let me try' and reaches for the keys. I absently hand them to her so she'll be occupied while I try to think of what I'm going to tell Greg. He answers his phone.

Greg: 'Hi Honey.'

Me: 'Hey, um how was your day?'

Greg: 'Fine, what's up?'

Me: 'Where are you?'

Greg: 'Passing the Big Y' (about 1 minute from home, and about 20 minutes from the gym). I notice out of the corner of my eye Rebecca doing something with the keys and the van door. I decide not to worry about it. It's not like she can break a lock that's already broken, right?

Me: 'We're at the Sterling gym. I can't get the van open.'

Greg: 'What do you mean you can't get the van open?'

Me: 'The clicker doesn't do anything when I push the buttons, I think it's broken.'

Greg: 'Did you try the key?'

Me: 'Yes, it didn't work either. It's really broken.'

Greg: 'Oh no. Do this. Go around back, and see if it works on the back door.'

As I'm getting ready to tell him I already tried that, I notice an older lady striding across parking lot yelling in my direction.

Me: 'I'll call you back'. I flip my phone shut quickly and instinctively grab my keys from Rebecca so this crazy lady doesn't see I'm letting my 6 year old attempt to manually turn my key in a non-working lock.

Lady: 'That's my car - your car is over there.' She points toward the center of the parking lot. 'It's wide open'.

Me: Laughing lamely as the light finally dawns in one blazing second. 'Oh - I can't believe I did that!'

Lady: Glares at me, both her kids are staring at us in amazement. 'This is my car.'

Me: Feeling mortified, the only thing I have to add is the inanely lame 'We have the same car.'

Lady: 'Your car is wide open. It's over there.' She's really pissed!

Me: My fight or flight instinct kicks in. While hurriedly fleeing toward my car, I mutter a lame 'Thanks.' I see my van. The automatic side door is wide open thanks to my earlier button pushing frenzy. I try to give Rebecca as short an explanation as possible about what just happened. I glance back over my shoulder - the angry lady is inspecting her lock for damage.

Rebecca and I get in our unlocked van and buckle up. I put my working key in the ignition and start her up. My phone rings - it's Greg.

Me: (Trying to sound cool). 'Hello?'

Greg: 'What happened?'

Me: 'We're in.' Maybe he won't ask for details.

Greg: 'Did you get in through the back door?'

Me: 'Um no.' There's no point in hiding the truth. 'Actually, I was trying to get into the wrong car.'

Greg: Silence.

Me: 'There was another gold Sienna parked close to us. I hung up on you because this lady was yelling at me. It was her van and she was really pissed.'

Greg: Laughing uncontrollably. 'I'm so glad I'm married to you.'

Thanks for understanding and appreciating me honey! I love you! (and I hope I didn't give you the swine flu - how are you feeling?).

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Not What I had In Mind

Friday, November 13, 2009

A week of rest and relaxation. Sounds good right? Not when it's a result of being clobbered by the flu! I'm finally (mostly) over the horrid virus that has had me down for the past week. Thank you to my marvelous husband for doing everything while I was sick. I came down with it last Friday, and Saturday was the worst day (high fever, excruciating back pain, headache not touched by Motrin or Tylenol). Greg was supposed to work, but I called him about 45 minutes into his day and asked him to come home (the first time I've done this in 14 years). He did, and I didn't get up again until yesterday. I don't know if it was H1N1 or regular flu - they are no longer testing - just assuming that if you have a fever and live in an H1N1 affected area (pretty much the whole country right now), you have H1N1. I ended up with a secondary infection in my lungs and have been on antibiotics since Monday. So there hasn't been a lot of other stuff going on in our house this week. Here's a few random pictures:

Gregory helped to clean the meringue off the Kitchen Aid beaters today. Because what's better for recovering from the flu than Lemon Meringue Pie?
Greg and Gregory spent most of Monday on leaf removal while I continued my flu holiday. Greg took this picture for me so I could see my little guy enjoying some unseasonably warm November weather.
This one is from November 1st when Rebecca (furthest to the right) and her ballet friends attended 'Tea with Clara'. This involves heading out to the Hanover Theater where the girls have cookies and 'tea' (juice), and then are read 'The Nutcracker' by Clara (the girl dancing as Clara in the ballet next month). This year the girls even got to dance to a score from the Nutcracker, lead by Clara. Rebecca loved it, although she wasn't feeling great. Turns out this was day 1 of the flu for her - hopefully we didn't infect Clara. Rebecca is feeling better now and was able to go to school this week, after having her own week off.

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Sunday, November 8, 2009


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The Plague Continues

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bored, slightly sick 3 year old

Yup, for 17 contiguous days now we've had at least 1 sick person in our household. And for the past 10 days I've been one of them. For the past 3 days I've had both Gregory and Rebecca home sick, and been sick myself. Yesterday I got hit with a new cold, on top of my lingering flu symptoms and today it felt like my head was about to explode. Here's a small excerpt from my day home alone with 2 sick kids, for those of you who don't have kids yet, don't.

Sorry about my whining. I don't mean that - do have kids. My kids have given me the greatest joy I've ever known. Just be prepared for the occasional day like this:

We went to see the doctor today. Turns out Rebecca has the flu (probably H1N1, but they are no longer testing for it) and a secondary sinus infection. Gregory has a cold and ear infection. The doctor does not believe that he has the flu on top of that because of his high level of energy and I second that. Can anyone think of anything worse than feeling like you were hit by a truck, and having to care for a sick 6 year old, and an energetic, bored, slightly sick 3 year old for 13 hours straight by yourself? I stopped at CVS on the way home from the doctor's office and filled prescriptions for antibiotics for both kids. Here's the sequence of events after we got home. Actions are in italics:

Me: Stumble in the door carrying prescriptions, masks from doctor's office and whining 3 year old. Drop everything and open an unhealthy can of organic Spaghetti-O's since it's past lunch time and Gregory is starving.

Rebecca (shrill whining voice from the living room): Mom, I can't get Animal Planet on the TV.

Me: Hold on, let me get lunch started.

Gregory (climbing up to kitchen table): Mommy, talk to me!

Me: Just a minute. Let me get lunch started, and I need to give you each your first dose of medicine.

Rebecca: I don't want to take my medicine.

Me: Finish dumping Spaghetti-O's in pan and run to living room to turn on Animal Planet.

Gregory: Momma, talk to me!

Me: Rebecca, you have to take your medicine.

Me: Return to kitchen and start measuring out Gregory's antibiotic.

Rebecca (shrill whining voice from the living room): I want juice!

Me: Just a minute!

Me: Finish measuring Gregory's medicine. Bring it over to him and get him to drink it. Return to counter and start measuring Rebecca's medicine.

Gregory: Mommy, I just peed in my pants.

Me: Go use the potty! (When he has accidents, it's a small amount, and means he needs to do a lot more immediately).

Gregory: Come with me. I'm scared of the door (for some inexplicable reason, he has developed an intense fear of all the doors in our house).

Me: Stop measuring Rebecca's medicine. Carry Gregory to bathroom, turn on light. Stand there while he finishes peeing. Remove his wet pants and throw them down the laundry chute. Run back to kitchen and pick up Rebecca's medicine.

Gregory: Momma, talk to me! (As he climbs back on kitchen chair, sans pants).

Me: Gregory, just a minute. Let me give your sister her medicine, and I'll get you some pants.

Rebecca: I don't want to take my medicine.

Me: Carry medicine into living room and try to get Rebecca to drink it. She pushes it away.

Rebecca: Ugh - that's going to make me throw up.

Gregory (whining voice from kitchen): Momma, Momma, MOMMA!!


Gregory: I'm hungry.

Me: Force Rebecca to drink medicine.

Rebecca: That's disgusting. I'm going to throw up.

Me: Come have some Spaghetti-O's. It will take the taste out of your mouth.

Gregory: Momma, Momma, MOMMA!!

Me: Run upstairs, grab Gregory some sweatpants. He has no clean underwear upstairs - he will have to go commando.

Gregory: I'm hungry!

Rebecca: I want juice.

Me: Run downstairs. Put sweatpants on Gregory. Wash hands.

Gregory: Momma, talk to me!

Me (while spooning Spaghetti-O's into bowl): I can't right now. Eat your Spaghetti-O's.

Gregory: They're too hot.

Unhappy sick Rebecca

I won't torture you with any more. Did I mention I had a splitting headache and stuffed head the whole time, and all I wanted was to take some decongestant and some Advil and go to sleep? Hopefully the antibiotics will help, and they will start feeling better tomorrow.

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They Should Just Paint a Big 'P' On Our Door

Monday, November 2, 2009

New paint

For plague. That's right. Rebecca, Greg, Me, Gregory, now Rebecca again. It's been a steady stream of illness here at Chez Corbin. Here's an after picture of our long overdue house painting (I can't believe I forgot to take a before picture). Luckily our door is already red so the big red 'P' won't stand out too much when they come through marking the infected houses. Please excuse the leaves. Greg actually had the lawn completely leave free last Sunday, but it is the season.

Pajama Day

Only allowed when sick

Here's some more pictures I meant to post last week, but due to my illness and new addiction to watching 'Heroes' episodes on demand from Netflix I never got my act together. Fortunately I've entered the disappointing Season 3 and am starting to get my life back. Here's Rebecca going to 'Pajama Day' at school on Friday, and Gregory laying in our bed eating 'jelly and toast' - something that is highly forbidden, except when he is sick.

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