Summer Days with the Famdamily

If there is one phrase that describes August 2015, it very well could be chaos abounds at the barracks and beyond.  With the Sheriff’s preschool closed for the whole month of August, Ace and Joker had to patch together day care options for the little lady.  Lots of days in Maine at Babs and Ah-Choo’s where little kids’ camp was priority #1, followed by Big Daddy’s ice creaming, beach timing, pirate shipping, tomatoe picking with Ah-Choo and lipsticking with Babs.  And Drakes Island beach never disappoints, especially at low tide.  August brought warmer water and lots of water time for the girls!

A week at the Cape with Ace, Auntie, Babci, G$, the Deputy and Captain of course, and the Lipski ladies.  The girls loved hanging with their cousins of all ages.  It was like three sets of twins under one roof — Ab and Nat, G$ and the Deputy, and the Captain and CK$.  Thank goodness for Babci and Cioci Julie – holding down the fort and helping so much with all the kiddos.  Highlights were a great beach day at Mayflower and a few at West Dennis, a successful meltdown free dinner out at Chapins (yeah!), playground runs, a rainy afternoon at the Cape Cod kids musuem, a visit from Dziadz, some beautiful photos, and all around QT with the cousins.  Next year, we look forward to the little ones being another year older for this trip 🙂

Then came a few days at the Lake with Captain Dziadz where MPS tennis camp on the to-do list.  Per usual, the fishies and duckies were well fed, the kyak was much enjoyed and the Deputy fell off the dock a couple times.  Good thing for a fast acting Joker …and life jackets!  The $ kids bday party was another nice day with the fam-damily at the lake — did someone bring the tank of gas for the grill?!

Next came some fun adventures with the Sheriff and AK around the big city where the Sheriff made out like a bandit and got brandy new, hot pink, big girl sneakers with real ties at Nike Town!  Thanks AK!  And she also had a blast in Sudbury with the Lipskis skateboarding, making cupcakes, and mini-golfing with ice cream — all in one day!

Meanwhile, the Deputy never disapppoints with her quick wit and silly personality, and awesome vocabulary, particularly when she replaces “my” for “I”  (“no my want to”; “because my want to”)   She also has been on the high speed potty train this month, but it’s not really going anywhere.  Her ACNS start looks like it’s going to be delayed unfortunately due to her refusal to be bribed by cookies, M&Ms, and ice cream.  Ace & Joker will try anything — she just won’t bite!  Stubborn Polack!

And the Deputy continues to be a happy happy Jack!!  The kid is just so good natured, smiling so much, loving his mommy (I hope always!), and boy, can he eat!  Breakfast the other day consisted of two eggs, a bannana, a piece of french toast, blueberries, and some sausage.  He’s 10 months!  Not walking et but close.  Looks like the Deputy is going to take the birth weight champion title of the three kiddos(8.9, 10.1, 8.10lbs), and the first walker title (14 mos., 10 mos., ___ mos.), and possibly best sleeper.  The Captain certainly is not getting the best sleeper title, but has FINALLY started sleeping through the night.  Just took one miserable night. Sorry buddy!!

In other Captain-related news, his christening was a nice hot Sunday at an air condidtioned BC law chapel with cousin CK$, with a family party back at the Lawn on A.  Blue Ribbon catering never disappoints, nor does Fr Fred!  Love that guy.  Such a nice day with all the family, as the Sheriff used to say.

The Sheriff and Joker both got new bikes in the month of August.  So sporty and a great thing for them to do together.  A healthy fall is in store for the gang of 5 with lots of sports, exercise and healthy eating– of course with a few parties thrown in there.  The summer of 2015 is officially in the books and the bags have been unpacked one last time.  What a great one it was.  We’re onto Cinncinnati.

Summer of 2015

So, I generally try to do one of these a month but the reality of our life with three kids and no sleep has set in (the Captain only sleeps for a 2-3 hours at a time…stilll..and he’s 8 months old!).  Although Ace looks like she’s aged 10 years in 10 months, it’s all good.  But June pretty much past us by in a blur as we said goodbye to Grandma and all that was at Normandy Ave.  She was so special and will be my heart forever.

Turn around and today is July and now the Captain has a tooth, loves to eat shoes, crawl, hates bumps in the road, can pull himself up, loves to eat eat eat and talk talk talk.  But he doesn’t sleep.  Did I mention that?  But he is soooo darn happy and smiley, it’s hard to not have a melted heart around him.  He loves snuggles and laughs so much at his silly sisters.  They love to help with him — the Deputy especially loves eating his food, while telling Ace she is helping feed him.  She’s a good little negotiator even at 2.  She also is the funniest 2 year old around and is working on  her “I”s and “my”s – some favorite phraases right now are —  “yes my do” “my do it” “no can r’member.”

The gang is settled into life at the Newton barracks, making some progress in the decorating department, slowly but surely.  Ace and Joker sure do love entertaining and having cookouts and people over, even if the play room gets trashed beyond belief.  We just hosted the Teams Sherry for a nice little Friday evening the other day and lots of cousin play.

The Sheriff and Deputy are loving ice cream at Wally’s and Ace and Joker couldn’t be happier with the location of their home – walkable to everything imaginable, close to Boston and work, a great mailman, a pack of wild turkeys, and nice neighbors so far!

The summer of 2015 is in full swing and the girls are having a blast with Babci and Dziadz on their Thursday adventures — they’ve hit the Roger Williams Zoo, the Boston Children’s Musuem and Davis Farmland already (with Team Sherry).  Not sure who’s more pooped at the end of the day — the girls or B&D??!!

Right now, we are enjoying our annual trip to #5 at Drakes Island.  Such a special and beautiful place, and so fun to watch the Sheriff go to little kids camp this year and enjoy the beach so much.  The Deputy is loving the driveway play and tooling around on her trike.  She walks around like she pretty much owns the island!  We look forward to doing this every year!

Babs and Ah Choo are showing their grandkids a great time, as always, and the kids love playing with Cousins E and O.  The German flag is flying at #2 in our of the German statesman, Onkle K, in attendance this week.  Ah Choo even made a guest appearance this AM at #5 to make the girls pancakes.  So sweet.  Love hanging with Aunt M and AK, and Ace and Joker even had a great date night at the Tides Beach Club last night – such a treat for them!  The Permaguttos show up for the 4th! What a great week!!


Saying Goodbye to Grandma

Family and friends, thank you for gathering here today to celebrate the life, the long, happy, full life, of my dear grandmother, Wanda Katherine Baron. This past week, I thought a lot about my Grandma and what I wanted to say about her, how I wanted to say it.  I remember standing up here a little over a year ago and sharing with many of you memories of my grandfather and how close Stephanie, Michael, Kevin and I were to our grandparents.  As I tried to put this speech together and as we shared our favorite Grandma memories these past few days, I decided, instead of talking about her today, I would talk to her. So here is a letter to Grandma, with love, from your grandchildren:

Dear Grandma,

Let me start by saying that you were the perfect grandmother to us.  You gave us so many memories, traditions, laughs and stories, it’s hard to know where to begin.  I hope you know how much gratitude we have and how lucky we feel for having you in our lives for almost 40 years.

Usually your day started at some insane hour like 4:30 or 5am – you could never sleep in.  Before Grandpa, the sleepy head in the house, awoke, you already would have baked two pies and some rice krispie treats, done the wash, ironed Kaz’s shirts and packed the picnic basket for the afternoon’s cookout at the lake. You were one of the most active and energetic people we ever knew – only sitting still long enough to knit your gorgeous blankets.

The blankets.  Thank you for your beautiful handmade blankets.  We all have them, treasure them and use them all the time.  We will forever think of you when we snuggle up on our couches with grandma’s blanket.  And thank you for having the foresight to make each of your unborn great grandchildren a baby blanket years before they came along.   You tucked them away in the attic and made sure we got them when our children arrived.  That was such a special gift and so amazing that you thought to do that.  Of course, you only accounted for 8 (not 9) great grandchildren, but that’s OK.  Baby Jack has the really big one that used to be on your couch.  I hope that’s OK.

Grandma, you were so beautiful.  Looking at pictures from the olden days, it was no wonder Grandpa was captivated by you.  When you met him dancing at the Polish hall in Uxbridge, he didn’t stand a chance. You pretty much demanded that he propose and the rest is history.  For almost 70 years together, you were an amazing and supportive wife, but behind the scenes, we always knew you were the boss.

And we loved that about you.  A shrinking violet you were not.  Thank you for teaching me and Stephanie how to be strong, opinionated, maybe sometimes unapologetic, women.  You were a lady ahead of your times that’s for sure.  And if you were voting in the next election, it certainly would have been for your girl Hillary.

Not surprisingly, you worked hard your whole life both inside and outside of your home.  You were today’s version of a working mother, first in the Uxbridge mills and then as a hairdresser. Somehow, you managed it all.  You also were an entrepreneur – on Saturday mornings at like 7am, your tiny kitchen turned into a hair salon for little old ladies getting permanents, soon to be overrun by grandchildren wanting to be fed lunch or better yet, candy from the candy dish.

You lived an authentic, full, fun life.

Grandma, you took amazing care of your children Deanie and Kaz.  It was your life’s greatest work.  You always said – two kids was enough, a boy and a girl.  You showed Deanie how to be an outstanding wife to David, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend, all things she excels at today. You loyally stood by Kaz’s side and made his life easier for as long as you could, helping him around the lake house and with me and Steph, and of course always making sure your Golden Boy was well fed.

We miss your meals more than we can ever say.  What we all wouldn’t give for another Saturday lunch at Normandy Ave or Sunday picnic at the lake where Grandma’s steaks, fried potatoes, noodles with farmers cheese, and a cut upcucumber, and rye bread were served up.  Back when we were younger, we never appreciated all of the work that went into all of those meals.  You never thought of yourself as a good cook, but to us, you were the best.

You also were kind of quirky.  You never told us your age and for the longest time I never knew what year you were born.  You read trashy romance novels and had a thing for white porcelain cats.  Your love for shower caps was particularly amusing you and used them for everything – especially as a form of saran wrap to cover pies and food.  You had a peculiar affinity for flamingos and loved the color pink – which ultimately led to the bench in your back yard being painted the brightest color pink imaginable.   It was pretty awesome.  You were a speed demon behind the wheel, and I never really did feel safe while you were driving.

You could never, ever find the ice cream scooper in the silverware drawer, and boy did we ever get some good laughs over the racket you created every time you looked for it.  I can still hear you mumbling “Where is that darn thing?” over the clatter of the silverware.

You loved all of your grandkids but you cannot deny that you always were fiercely protective of Kevin.  Did you ever yell at us for allegedly excluding him from our games, or for letting the door repeatedly slam in his face!  Remember the time when we dressed him up in the Santa suit and sent him upstairs at Christmas?  Or all the times he got upset when we played Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer because he thought you were the Grandma in the song; or the time you wrapped up a huge box of toilet paper holders and tissue boxes because you thought he liked playing with those things; turns out he has more expensive taste and wasn’t a fan of the cardboard gift that kept on giving.  And of course, Stephanie was the one whom you yelled at when she got caught buying Kevin beer in high school –not Kevin for his underage party-boy shenanigans!

You and I loved to pick blueberries and did it every summer together, we shared a love of politics and being blonde, and it warmed my heart to see how well you and Drew got along.  “Call me Wanda” is what you said to him when you two first and that he did.

You and Stephanie loved sharing a good cup of hot tea, though Steph’s alwayswas more sugar, less tea; but you let her get away with it. And did you look dazzling at her wedding.  You stole the show with that silver dress we’ll never forget.

And Michael and Audry gave you your life’s greatest joys –Baron and Caroline — at a time when you could still enjoy being a great grandmother.  That was special.  And it was Michael who helped you so much at the end.  Thank you Michael — and Uncle David — for being our eyes and ears.

More recently, my Allison would visit you on Thursday mornings with Kaz at the nursing home.  Alli talked about Great Grandma sitting in her chair and folding the napkins.  And Caroline always made you drink your water.  I’m so glad these kids, all of your 9 great grandchildren, could make you smile these last few years. Two of them, Hannah and Charlotte, bear your beautiful middle name, Katherine.  Sorry we never listened to you and named one of the girls Wanda.

Beyond us, you so loved your Kosciak family.  You always considered yourself an Uxbridge girl and I don’t think you ever forgave Grandpa for moving you to Webster like 60 years ago, which was otherwise known as Siberia in your book.

We remember trips with you to visit Babci and Dziadzy when we were little, and now we have memories of our great grandparents, as well as stopping for pink ice cream on the way home.

The Kosciak Family Picnic and Christmas Party were, hands down, your favorite days of the year.  You always were so excited to see your extended family and loved bringing treats for all of the great nieces and nephews – earning you the title of “Candy Lady” to those who would confuse you with your look alike sisters Celia and Jenny.

And you loved your siblings so much, and in your later years, looked forward to lunches with Cioci Jenny, Cioci Celia, Uncle Eddie and Uncle Louis every Thursday.  Thank you for keeping your family close and giving us the gift of knowing our second and third cousins.  To steal Peggy’s line, enjoy that Kosciak polka party up in the sky!

The greatest family tradition of all that you gave us was learning to make pierogi.  You taught each of us in your kitchen, and our spouses even love it now too.  We will do our best to always make them together as a family, and if we can’t all be together, will fry them up ourselves with lots of butter from Atlanta to Virginia to Massachusetts.

Grandma, we could go on and on, but I will close now with one of my first Stephanie screaming in my dad’s arms because she didn’t want to leave your house.  She wanted to stay with you.  She didn’t want to go.  She knew that Grandma’s meant the candy dish (stocked with your signature smarties and twizzlers), wiffle ball in the backyard, sleep overs in slumber bags with pounds of bacon in the morning, the hole in the back yard to China, the swing set, the kiddie pool, the chairs with our names on them, countless readings of the Golden book Tommy Visits the Doctor on the kitchen floor, the dog house, and the ultimate playland that was your basement.  All of these things – orchestrated by you —  to make us happy.

Grandma, just like Stephanie so many years ago as she left Normandy Ave, we are all screaming a little bit inside right now.  We don’t want to say good bye.  You made all of our lives better and taught us so much.  We promise to keep your and Grandpa’s memory alive, to talk about you often, to take good care of Kaz and Deanie, to share your traditions and your family with our children, and of course, to always have fun.  Because if there is one thing we always had together, it was a lot of laughs and a lot of fun.  Love always, Stephanie, Stacey, Michael and Kevin.

Out of the Mouths of Babes

So, it’s been a while since I last wrote, mostly because I can’t stay up for the life of me at night.  The Captain doesn’t sleep much, eats lots, but isn’t a huge fan of more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time.  Needless to say, Ace falls asleep 2-3 nights a week with one or two of the kiddos at about 8pm, wakes at 10-11pm, sleep walks her way through cleaning up the kitchen, just in time for the Captain to eat…again.  He’s definitely going to be a big boy with a love of food — the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  A few days ago at his 6 month mark, he started to eat avacados and squash and, if he’s good, maybe this weekend, he’ll get some spinach with apples or pears.  For someone who doesn’t love love cooking, Ace does enjoy making baby food.  She leaves the bigger cooking tasks to Joker most days, who is much more talented in the kitchen than Ace and frankly enjoys it more.  Joker’s latest amazing dish is spaghetti squash  with spinnach and goat cheese.  It’s so so good and the girls like it b/c they think they are getting pasta – a rarity in the generally low carb household.

So glad spring has arrived!!  Ace and Joker were about to check themselves into a looney bin March thanks to the Sheriff and Deputy’s crazy ways, but thankfully it seems like things have mellowed out some.  Maybe it’s b/c the snow is now gone and the winter from hell is over, and we are able to run around outside and enjoy the newly uncovered yard and outside toys.  Whatever it is, Ace and Joker are happy to have their patience back and glad things seem to be normalizing (somewhat) as a family of five.

The brightest spot in March was a wonderful visit by Aunt Mary, and Cousins E + O from Germany.  They stayed with the gang during he nanny transitions (you live and you learn!) and everyone just had a great time hanging out, playing, and catching up.  A highlight was a trip to the “Boston’s Children Museum” with dinner at Pastoral, a birthday party at a trampoline park with the Sheriff and Cousin E, and Easter in Maine.  Ace and Joker stayed at “#5”, the kiddos had a great egg hunt (times 5) at #2 compliments of Ah-choo, and the Sheriff, Deputy and Captain all looked adorbs in their blue seersucker.  Joker couldn’t stop Ace from dressing the Captain in knee socks and white boots with his shorts suit — he looked so handsome and Ace loved it.  Joker can dress the Captain for every Easter hereafter!

As spring abounds, the kids keep us laughing with the things they say and do.  The Sheriff likes to tell knock knock jokes about chickens and turkeys crossing the road (we saw a turkey in our yard the other night!).  The Sheriff also can be so so sweet when she gives you a random “Daddy I love you. ” or “Mommy, I love you.”  Usually, she’s not up to something and she’s just being the sweet Sheriff that she is, but sometimes she’s definitely buttering you up.  She knows how to play people even at such a young age.

The Deputy also has a silly knock knock joke too that she came up with all by herself “Knock knock.  Who’s there?  Cookie.  Cookie who? Cookie dog.  Big giggle.”  So cute.  The Deputy also loves to call her diapers “#5s” just like the beach house on Drakes Island, and tells Ace to “go faster” in the car.  She’s liking the potty and has made good progress on that front — minus her desire to pee in Ace’s closet after her tub which she’s done twice recently! Crazy lady!  She and the Sheriff also have a new favorite rock song they learned from Joker — Living After Midnight — but the girls call it the “Bowdoin Song” even though they don’t let Ace sing it b/c it’s “Daddy’s song.”

The Deputy now likes to sleep in the “toddler bed” as she calls it and has given up on her crib, even though Ace and Joker were not pushing her out of it.  She’s fallen out  a couple times but she has a hard head.  She has three favorite books right now — “Moon, Tree, and Numbers.”  aka, Goodnight Moon, the Giving Tree, and the Numbers Book.  She also loves singing…really loudly lately.  Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle, she’ll sing anything.  Look out The Voice.  We have one spunky toddler that’s ready for ya!!!



Snow-mageddon — the winter of 2015

Christmas came and went and we didn’t get much snow. And then it was time for Ace to go back to work at the end of January and the snow gods realized she just wasn’t quite ready for her last maternity leave to be over.  She wasn’t quite ready for afternoon snuggles to be swapped out for meetings and conference calls.  So the snow gods covered the region in snow, snow and more snow.  70 inches of snow by the end of it all.  Resulting in Ace having a bunch more days off for snuggles with her little man and story times and gym classes with her favorite girls.  Meanwhile, Joker shoveled and shoveled and shoveled and broke 3 shovels and then broke a snow plow, hurt his shoulder and shoveled some more.  And then Joker threw some of Ace’s tights on the roof to try to melt the ice dams.  It’s hardly been above 3 degrees lately so its unclear how effective the roof hoisery will be on the ice dams, but we shall see.  Thankfully, no leaks yet at the Newton Barracks, but the melting has only just begun.  The North End Barracks is another story, but thank goodness for easy-going, middle-aged male tenants who don’t lose their cool over a little rain in their room.  All in all, this past month has been crazy snowey and mad cold.  The Sheriff and Deputy haven’t had too many opportunities for snow play since they’d disappear if they tried walking in the yard…and the Sheriff is tall!  But they certainly are champs at bundling up, matching their mittens and putting on their boots.  Since it seems like the snow will be around until like early June at this point, hopefully we’ll have a few opportunties to take them sledding.  Followed, of course, by hot chocolate — a Sheriff requirement after being outside for more than say 3 minutes these days 🙂

Winter also means the Deputy turns 2 and the Sheriff turns 4.  Where has the time gone?  Party hardy folks, and that we did (once the blizzards stopped and we were able to move forward with the celebration a week behind schedule)!  The girls had a great time at their beach-themed family birthday party — I think everyone needed a little taste of summer to ease the pains of Snowmageddon!  Since the Deputy loves to pretend she’s going to “da beach,” and Joker needed an excuse to shovel out the grill and wear a Hawaiian shirt, the theme was perfect, and a good time was had by all.  Who doesn’t love burgers and dogs in the middle of February?!  And the Deputy loved her scooter and helmet from Ace and Joker.  Can’t wait for the snow to melt to get her scooting around town!  She’s just so darn cute!

The Deputy also got her own Elmo cake compliments of Ace’s Bakery, and the Sheriff got Frozen cupcakes for hers.  Ace’s Bakery keeps odd hours — 9pm-12am ET.  While Ace is by no means Martha Stewart, she does like dabbling in the art of cake baking and decorating for the kiddos’ birthdays.  But when serving a crowd, Ace prefers to outsource the job to the professionals.  She tried a new West Roxbury bakery this time around called Sugar and the feedback was positive!  There may be a new bakery of choice in the family.  Time will tell.

The Sheriff’s 4th birthday party with her friends was a huge hit as well.  At Inside Playground in Watertown, with 20 of her closest friends, the Sheriff lived it up in jumpy house/play space heaven.  With solid turn out from the ACNS classmates and the ususal other suspects, the Sheriff had a great morning pajama party.  Though Ace and Joker had to tap into her first semester of college tuition to fund the affair, it was well worth it to see the Sheriff running around holding hands with her friends having a blast.  How time flies.  Our little baby is growing up!  Where does the time go??  And for her gift — a brand new blue balance bike!  Can’t wait to get her outside with this and teach her how to ride it.  So much fun to come this spring.

Happy happy birthdays to our darling little girls!!!  We love you!!



Hello 2015

The Christmas season has come and gone, and though the lights are still up on the outside of the house, we are settling into life in 2015.  The Sheriff and Deputy had a blast with Friday the elf (“Alli, Friday’s watching” says the Sheriff to the Deputy) and Santa (though the Deputy’s mall Santa picture was epic, she developed an affection for St Nick late in the season and would yell SANTA!! every time she saw one anywhere.  She even mistook some red-uniform wearing football team that escapes Ace’s memory at the moment for a team full of Santas.  It was funny and in true Deputy fashion, crazy adorable.)  Needless to say, the magic of Christmas was in full swing at the Newton barracks and everyone present had a blast with it.

Ace and Joker both were home for about 2 weeks around the holidays; Ace winding down her precious mat leave and Joker enjoying a little gift from his company of Christmas week off.  It was such a great time packed with lots of people and fun.  Ace and Joker hosted their first dinner at the Newton barracks with the Sherry fam, went to DI for Christmas Eve, hosted “all the family” on Christmas day (Joker’s roast was top notch and Ace has decided to boycott the local coffee shop/bakery that charged her $28 for an 8 inch pecan pie! insanity!), had the Lynch mob over for brunch shortly after Christmas, hit the Children’s Museum and a successful, melt-down free Friday night dinner on the town as a family of five after the girls took a train ride into the city with Joker, had a play date with the MPS crew at the barracks, went to Disney on Ice with Dziadz and Ace, had a playdate with the Best Nanny Ever and secured an invite to her May wedding (yeah!), and had the Bowdoin girls and their wonderful families over for Ace’s New Year’s Day Bday Brunch.  Ace and Joker luckily had an afternoon to themselves to celebrate Ace’s 28th bday, sat in the same seats at Neptune for lunch, and had the same meal that they did on maybe their 4th date, and then took in a Celtics game (one of their fave things to do together).  Lots of good times and hurricanes galore plowed through the play room barracks during this holiday season, but good times were had by all!

As January sets in with its subzero temps, lots of Frozen is being watched at the barracks (“Elsa Anna” is what the Deputy calls it) and Ace is getting ready to go back to work (cue the tears), and wondering how she ever is going to shower every day and keep the train on the tracks at the barracks.  With a ton of help from Joker (best husband and dad ever in her biased opinion), it will all get done.  Again a huge shout out to the best support network ever in all the grandparents and AK for all of their help these past few months helping us get on our feet as a family of five and settled into our home.  Though Ace certainly is nervous about her return to work and will miss most things about being a SAHM, she is just thankful the Captain is thriving, growing so much (he’s tall, there’s no question about that) and generally continuing to be an awesome little guy.  The Captain has got an easy going personality just like his dad (except when he’s wet or hungry just like his dad), and as Joker watched the Pats win last night at his buddy’s house, Joker looked forward to sharing a night like that with his son someday.  The Sheriff will likely want to cheer on “one-one” too (her fave player right now b/c he’s “so fast”) and the Deputy may be yelling “Santa” at the screen, but it’s guaranteed to be a good time.  If there is one thing that Ace and Joker are good for, it’s having a good time.  Hopefully that somehow translates into raising good kids too!

Safety First

Well, the Party of Five is in full swing at the Newton Barracks!  Ace pretty much has the routine down with the three kiddos during the day, though she still welcomes any helping hands at any time and really has been so lucky to have so much help these past few weeks.  If someone isn’t crying, then Ace is winning!  And when all three are napping at once, Ace is totally dominating (while furiously trying to get stuff done around the house).  As the pediatrician told her, with this age gap, the most important thing is keeping the kiddos safe…mainly from each other.  And boy, was the doc right.  Just today, Ace caught the Deputy (aka the resident troublemaker) sitting on the Captain’s chest and trying to put her fingers in his eyes, and then she bit the Sheriff on the face, leaving a serious red mark and a very unhappy big sister.  Maybe we call the Deputy Mike Tyson from now on…

Aside from the Deputy’s aggressive ways, the kiddos have all settled in quite well, all things considered with all of the changes as of late.  The Captain loves to snuggle with his mama and they do a lot of that at 3am.  He got his first cold (compliments of his sisters of course) but is eating like a champ and growing so much.  Everyone comments how big he is for 2 months – Ace’s response “he’s an Ardini!  And he’s certainly handsome, just like his daddy 🙂  He’s such a sweet baby.  Now, Ace just needs him to sleep a little more and all will be grand.  The Deputy is as silly, rambunctious and adorable as ever.  She is partial to  the command “Jack, floor” these days and has come up with a new word “Mama-Jack” (since she associates the Captain with Mom and vice versa).  All in all, the Deputy has adjusted quite well to the Captain’s arrival.  She really enjoys “driveway play” in the the morning after the Sheriff gets dropped off at school and the Captain is snoozing — some good quality time with Ace.  Ace also has enjoyed working on the Deputy’s letters, numbers and colors most mornings with her.  Hopefully some of it sinks in.  As of tonight, there still is just one color in the rainbow — yellow.  🙂  And the Sheriff is loving her new preschool in Newton and really doing well there.  She also is excelling as a big sister to the Captain — she loves to watch him when Ace needs to tend to the Deputy and is a champ at bouncing him in his seat, and putting his binky in when he’s mad.  She’s happy that we get to “keep him forever” and she “loves having a baby in the house,” but wants to know when the Captain will be able to play with her.  Too cute.

The Party of Five ventures off base occasionally and this past weekend even braved Fanueil Hall during an impromptu visit to good ol Stillman Place.  Ace never thought she’d be standing in one of her fave little places with her three little kids.  To steal a line from Joker, she’s really happy with the way her life turned out…

Ace and Joker are almost ready for Christmas and Ace is feeling more prepared than normal which is awesome.  Winning!  The girls are loving the antics of their elf on the shelf, Friday, though the jury is still out if he actually influences their behavior for the better.  The Sheriff is really getting into the Christmas spirit and has an affinity for Rudolph.  Meanwhile the Deputy has a serious dislike for Santa and can’t be within 200 feet of him without doing some serious yelling, and the Captain looks adorable in his little Santa hat and festive pjs.  Ho ho ho.  We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season.  xoxo.

Name Change

It’s come to Ace’s attention that the Chief’s name (on this blog) should be changed.  Ace has always been a fan of Billy Joel and thinks Captain is a better fit.  And of course, Ace and Joker took some time to give the Captain his real name in the hospital, so it’s only fitting that there are name struggles for him on this blog too 🙂

Life at the Newton Barracks as a party of 5 is always lively and loud these days – someone’s always screaming, laughing, crying or yelling for one reason or another.  The Sheriff and Deputy have been keeping Ace and Joker on their toes (and on the bottle!  The Captain isn’t the only one these days 🙂  The Captain somewhat conversely has been the perfect baby since his homecoming.  Likes to party at 2am and sleep all day — kinda like his mama and daddy back in the day!  But other than that, he’s sweet, cuddly, and so lovable.  Ace and Joker are in love, once again.

Short post as we are on borrowed time this AM.  The Captain is about to wake, and the girls need their wildly fine hair combed before the day starts and Ace finds new strategies to protect the Captain from his sisters affectionate touches…



The Chief’s Arrival

October 15,2014.  A great day in the wonderful life of Ace and Joker.  They welcomed their third child a day before their 5th wedding anniversary and less than two weeks after moving to their new home in the burbs.  There has been a lot of “new” recently — a new car for Joker, a new school for the Sheriff, a new nanny for the kiddos (and Ace!), a new couch and dining room table and lots of other new house stuff, and best of all, a new baby brother and son!

Chief’s arrival went as scheduled, sort of.  He arrived at 1:14pm via c-section, got a great Apgar score, cried right out of the tummy, and was held by Joker at Ace’s side for a good 20 minutes while Ace was put back together again on the table.  Chief weighed in at 8 lbs 10 oz, 22 inches and surprisingly let the Deputy reign as the weight champion of the family, but Chief did take the length crown (his sisters were both 21.5 inches).  All three babes came with a full head of dark hair (explains the heart burn) and spitting images of Joker (and each other).  Once again, Joker proclaimed in the OR that they can cancel the DNA test — forever a comedian that guy is!

Chief has had a little bit of rough start with his lungs not quite working as they should — we will be forever grateful to the nurse in Ace’s recovery room who caught the issue and got him special care stat.  Chief is progressing slowly but surely, and Ace and Joker are getting a handle on the situation, making sure all of the kiddos needs are met.  Once again, they are so grateful for all of the helping hands they have around them to assist — they couldn’t get through these days without their families that’s for sure.  And they are immensely grateful for the amazing care Chief is receiving at the hospital.  All of the doctors and nurses have been wonderful, supportive and caring.  Takes a special person to work in this field, that’s for certain.

Hopefully Chief’s stay in special care will be limited and he can come home and finally meet his sisters, who run around the house yelling his name.  It’s so cute.  Ace misses them terribly, spending as much time with Chief at the hospital as she can, but needs to be with him right now.  The Sheriff made Ace’s day yesterday when she proclaimed “I’m so happy you’re back.”  And the Deputy could not be more adorable with how she pronounces her brother’s name — Yack, Yack, Yack.  (That’s what she says when she’s not yelling her new favorite word — “cheeseburger.”) Hopefully, Ace, Joker, the Sheriff, Deputy and Chief all will be together soon, and they can get started on their new life as a Party of Five.

Stay strong little man.  We know you are working hard trying to fix those lungs up.  We are here for you, today, tonight and always…xoxo

One Crazy Summer

So the summer has come to an end and Ace and Joker are closing it out in the desert sun of the Camelback Mountains in Scottsdale, AZ.  Call them crazy for travelling across the country to lounge about in 100 degree heat, but they really couldn’t decide where to go on this babymoon of theirs — Ace wanted the mountains and not the beach, Joker wanted good food.  They made a great choice and ended up in a quiet resort and spa tucked away in the mountains, but close to civilization, thanks to the recommendation of one of Ace’s colleagues who has exquisite taste in all things life related.  Allegedly, Tiger Woods ex-wife hid out here for 3 months during the news break of his wild ways — we can see why.  The trip has been nothing short of wonderful — spa, gym, books, pod-casts, great food, good blood sugar (!), and pool time galore.  Ace even finished the Deputy’s one year photo album — something she’s has on her list for 6 months.  Yippee!  Umbrella cover is key in this heat, but the pure relaxation and one-on-one company has been just what the doctor ordered.  Now, Baby Boy just needs a name — though on this blog it’s been decided he will be called Chief.  One other decision that has been made — Ace and Joker have renewed their commitment to keep up the couples-only quick getaways each year — good the soul, good for the kids, and certainly good for them 🙂

Meanwhile, the Sheriff and Deputy have rounded out the summer with a city sleepover weekend with AK and “Wessy” followed by a few days with Babs and Ah-choo up on Drakes Island, before they take off for Deutschland for a month to help with the arrival of Baby Boy Butzlaff.  They surely will be missed but their company and help certainly will be welcomed as the Butzlaffs get settled into their new home and new life in Germany.

The Sheriff and Deputy had a blast living it up in Southie again — who says you can’t go home??!  A couple drive bys of the old G Street barracks were in order, as well as trips to the Science Museum, the Children’s Museum (per the Sheriff’s request), M Street Park, and Local for dinner.  It was great to be back!  And now they are having one last superb summer weekend in Maine with their grandparents — hitting the beach (we’ve discovered that August water is much warmer in Maine and the girls have been loving it!), Big Daddy’s for ice cream, driveway play, and the local parks.  Good times are being had by all!

Stepping back a bit, August was a crazy month with the early arrival of Cousin Charlotte on July 28, and Auntie Ace’s quick visit to help the $ Village the following weekend.  The little nugget was only 4 lbs 10 oz at birth but has been exceeding expectations everyday, getting out of the NICU in what felt like record time and gaining weight like a champ.  She’s a little miracle and everyone is so happy she is thriving — and luckily the Sheriff and Deputy have not received any complaints about G$ treatment of his baby sister to date. Babci and Dziadz have both made trips to the ATL to meet their new grand-baby and help in any way they can — anything from feedings, to laundry, to errand-runner, to organizing the $ basement.  No doubt, Auntie is going to miss her life assistants when they leave, though she certainly has transitioned to life with 2 babies with relative ease.  Cheers to Auntie and all that she and Chris$ have been through this past month.

August also brought a great trip to the Cape, dialed back this year with just Ace, the girls and Babci, but still fun and memorable!  A surprise visit by Joker on a rainy Wednesday made for a great day trip to the Mashpee Kids Museum, as well as the usual beach trips, boogie boarding fun in the water and on the shore (what a work out and kuddos to Babci for all of her water time with the Sheriff!), Sundae School for ice cream, pool and sprinkler time at the house, seafood dinners in and out, water balloon play, painting activities, and just classic summer fun.  Excited to get Auntie and her kiddos back in the mix next year.

And back at the Lake, all has been well.  Super Dziadz continues to be so helpful with the girls (as well as sleep deprived I think) — helping Ace so much especially when Joker is traveling for the new job or at the City Condo.  Dziadz and the Deputy have developed a special bond that is clear to anyone around, and he and the Sheriff have developed some sneaky secrets that they often whisper about — special treats and cartoon time in Dziadz’s room when they think Ace isn’t watching and doing her mom things– but Ace is always watching 🙂

As we enter September, it’s full speed ahead to close on the Newton House and get it move-in ready.  The Newton House is where Ace and Joker will bring Baby Boy home to in October, and where they hope to have lots of happy memories with their three kids, each other, and the many others they love and cherish.  Lots to do in the days and weeks ahead, but it’s all good stuff, and as Joker frequently says, Ace and Joker couldn’t be happier with the way their life turned out.  Newton, here we come!!