Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Marshmallow Pops

A post in pictures- making chocolate pops for the MANY teachers we wanted to honor this Christmas season!!






















Idea inspired by White on Rice Couple's blog
(Her's are more beautiful, but I had 3 year old help)


Monday, November 29, 2010

The heat miser gave in... aka, snow in the south

Saturday in the historic district of Savannah they had their annual "Holly Days" festival that we take the kids to every year. So fun, especially for southern kids who never see snow- they pump in snow for them to play in, even though it's 60 degrees out. The kids look forward to it every year, and this year Leah Kate was REALLY into it- she refused to go in the section marked for kids 5 and under and insisted on going with her brothers in the 6-12 year old section- and totally held her own.
Mark was on call so I took them by myself, but honestly it was not bad at all- even Thomas listened and didn't try to escape to another part of the park.

We walked around a little after the snow and ran into Santa!
This was the first year Leah Kate wasn't completely petrified of him. She was a little nervous at first, but soon jumped up into his lap and was asking for Barbies ;) Matthew was not into it this year, so sad, but did agree to duck into the picture for my sake. Thomas was very excited all around- ran right up to him outside and was the first on his lap. He asked for Toy Story- so Toy Story he shall get :)

Movie I made of our morning (warned you I'd make more!):

That's Chris Botti on trumpet playing Let it Snow.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Limited time offer :)

The slideshow of some of the photos from the kids first photoshoot is up! Heather of blu owl photography is amazing, I love how she captured my kids, their love for each other, and sometimes the way they just tolerate each other, ha ha! Thomas is a mess around cameras- usually shouting "NO TICTURES" (pictures ; ) ), yet he was right at ease with her from the get go. Cooperative? Well, not entirely, which is another reason these are remarkable! She says more are to come, how EVER will I choose!!? 

I think this slideshow is good only for a month, so LOOK now!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Photo Shoot 'em up!

Howdy Strangers!

Well, life got in the way of me chronicling it once again. Had a friend gently remind me about this (thanks Kate) though it is always in the back of my mind. Fall is crazy 'round here, y'all. School starts (3 kids in 3 different schools this year). We've got kids in football, fall baseball, soccer and horseback riding. The Buddy Walk for our Down syndrome group that I do some of the work organizing. Room mom for T's class. Started and completed the couch to 5k program- ran my first 5k. On the committee that organizes inclusion week at T's school. Oh and the laundry. There's always laundry.

Anyway, there are some of my excuses...

Yesterday I took the kids the the beach to have their pictures done for really the first time other than school pics and the Down syndrome group's annual calendar. Not that my kids aren't photographed. Boy howdy are they photographed, I am the one always lugging her camera to every event from the big to the small. However, I've never been one to do the photo's with the giant blocks enumerating which birthday it is, or the Christmas card in front of the fake fireplace. I am not a huge fan of posed shots, and frankly, the thought of getting 3 kids clean, dressed and hair combed in such a fashion that will be immortalized in film overwhelms me. Candids are great because the flaws are embraced, but if you actually PAY someone to do them, somehow that different. People KNOW you knew they were going to be in photos. "Why didn't she get his hair cut" "Why didn't she iron that collar" "Why didn't she push up his sleeves" "Why didn't she wipe his nose". You see the neuroses that are in my brain. I KNOW people don't care. And I KNOW that people who do are not really people I want to have my kids photos displayed in their homes anyway, so I took the plunge. SO yesterday the kids and I headed out the Tybee where they were photographed. I chose a photographer I knew took the type of casually posed photos I love. She has a great artistic eye and I knew our pictures would look not like everyone elses. Even if Thomas' sleeves were not pushed up, Leah Kate's dress was not well ironed and Matthew's fresh haircut was still in his eyes.

Oh and this was my very first "movie" I put together. Expect many others ;)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Cheating a little to get back on track, aka "Matthew as seen by his momma"

So I've written like 5 or 6 posts for this blog in my head. Man, they were good too, ha ha. Unfortunately, they never made it from my brain to my keyboard and now it's been a month since my last blogging. There were posts about my half-marathon training (what!?), Leah Kate's turning 3, back to school. All sorts of great stuff ;)

So Matthew just started Middle school this week. 6th grade; incredible! One of my "assignments" as a parent was to write "in a million words or less" about Matthew. Do these people not know that I don't think of that as a joke, but a challenge?? Luckily Matthew saw me writing and made me stop, ha ha. That said, I figured I'd cheat and get a blog post out of it :) This is written sort of stream of conscience, no editing afterward other than the spell/grammar check, but it's how I felt about Matthew yesterday :)

Early in the morning nearly 12 years ago, on November 9th, 1998, Matthew Lucas Nyce was born, the first child for his parents Mark and (me) Kristin. For the 1st 19 months of his life he lived in the Italian market section of Philadelphia, cutting his teeth on canollis and fresh mozzarella. In June of 2000 he and his family moved north to New Haven, CT where we worked at Yale. It was here in the winter of 2003 that Matthew’s standing as an only child was changed with the birth of his brother, Thomas. All of our lives were changed that day in bigger ways than just adding a child to our family; it was also that day that we discovered Thomas was born with Down syndrome. That summer Matthew again moved, this time to Charlottesville, VA where we worked at the University of VA. It was also here that Matthew began his formal schooling; both K and 1st grade were completed there. It was three years later that he arrived in his current and longest residence, Savannah, GA, more specifically, Wilmington Island. He attended Hancock Day School for 2nd and 3rd grade, and when Thomas began K at Marshpoint Elementary, we decided to buck the tradition in our neighborhood and have both boys attend public school- a decision we couldn’t be happier about. At the start of Matthew’s 3rd grade year, his life was once again changed forever with the birth of his sister, Leah Kate in August of 2007.

Matthew is a special kid. He’s more patient with his brother and sister than even I am at times. He’s funny and silly and makes everyone laugh. Despite his irreverence he is still kind and respectful to anyone he meets, not seeing disability or color or anything but the person. He is hardworking, mowing lawns for extra money, playing both offensive and defensive line in football and catcher in baseball- in the fall both in the same season. He is creative, drawing cartoons and playing his trumpet. He loves to read books in his “spare time”. He doesn’t seem to care much yet about what his friends and peers think- and I hope that continues. He is Godly, gladly attending both Sunday school and church with us every Sunday. He’s a loyal and good friend. He loves animals, especially his 1-year-old Goldendoodle, Rocky who sadly watches him board the bus each morning. He of course is not without fault. He’s inherited my propensity for being messy and a procrastinator. If left to his own vices he’d likely play the wii and watch TV for hours. He sometimes has to be reminded more than once to do something. However, he always does as he is asked.

I am going to rein this in here, Matthew told me not to take the million words literally (the boy knows I tend to go on and on when given the opportunity). In short, Matthew is a wonderful son, a worshipped big brother. He is an honor roll student and a hardworking athlete. He works hard, especially when pushed. He’s one of a kind, I hope you can get a small glimpse of the Matthew I know and love!

Hope his new teachers love him as much as I do :)

(by the way, the picture is on his first day of school. We have to be at the bus stop at 6am, hence the blackness of night ;) )

Monday, July 26, 2010

Heat: friend or foe?

Let me preface this post by saying I will never complain about it being hot. I love the heat. I hate the cold and I save my litany of complaints for when the mercury dips below 70.

That said, as much as I LOVE the heat with all my heart and soul, even this 111 "heat index" stuff, apparently, my overweight* 40-year old body does NOT.
*see below for interesting link*

Part of the allure of the heat is the sweat. I love to feel like I am really working out when I work out. I love feeling warmed up 30 seconds after I start. I love that tingly feeling the sun gives my skin. I love all of it. So today, in lieu of my typical Monday morning spin class I decided to do 4-5 miles on the trail by my gym. Now I am not a runner. I want to be, alas but I am not. I try. I WANT to! But I usually end up fast walking about 1/2 of my miles. Anyhow, the 1st 2 miles were great, in a groove, running more than walking, sweat dripping, good stuff. About 1/2 way through mile 3 I suddenly realized it was more and more difficult to lift my legs, and I was forgetting parts I had just run by. I got to the point in my 2 mile loop to start mile 4 and thought I might not make it. I had visions of my body laying on the side of the trail (of course the end part is mostly wooded and removed from the road) being approached by the turkey vultures I see almost daily on this same road. But then I remembered- I had my 3 kids at the gym in the childwatch. I was safe. Because I KNEW they would not let me go past that 2 hour limit without at least calling my cell phone. So I had 40 min. tops before someone would realize I was still gone. With this knowledge I pressed on. One foot in front of the other. Wiping sweat with my dripping wet shirt. As the last 1/2 mile faded, on my ipod came "The Final Countdown" by Europe, I kid you not. And I ran.

Then, as I always joke, but also always mean, the hard part of my day began- I picked up the kids and left.

*Here is some great news for those like me who are fat and fit (and not so good news for those lucky "skinny though I don't ever exercise" types). I am actually not sure what the whole the article said, I just know the guy who practically INVENTED aerobics, physician Kenneth Cooper said:
Having done more than 250,000 treadmill stress tests on more than 100,000 people in the past 30 years, I feel that I can safely say that you are better off being fat and fit than skinny and unfit.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mom's cooking dinner = free for all

Last night I decided I'd cook a nice dinner for my poor overworked husband, even though he would likely have to microwave it in the middle of the night when he got home. Luckily, I have a freezer full of beef (that will have to be explained in another post). So I pulled out several fillets in the morning and after picking Matthew up from camp started cooking them.

First I scrubbed the purple potatoes:
Then I tossed them in some olive oil and sprinkled with black pepper and sea salt:


Throw potatoes in a 425 oven
Pan sear and then roast bacon wrapped filets:

Toss salad:
Pull potatoes out of the oven:
Plate out little kids dinner:
Eat and enjoy! :

Later on while cleaning up dinner and downloading photos from camera discover what REALLY happens while I cook:

Yup, that's my daughter in the background... with no pants on, wearing a bunny mask and up on my dining room table.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What makes it home?

We've moved a lot in our life- not as much as my military friends, but enough. Philadelphia, New Haven, Charlottesville and now Savannah. We've always moved after a few years because of training, but here and now, we've been here FOUR whole years. It's subtle, the feeling of being HOME in an area. In some aspects it happens quickly- my Down syndrome support group made me feel at home 2 months after we arrived, but I still don't know everyone in my own neighborhood. Savannah has a different culture than anywhere else I've experienced in terms of primary schooling. Where up north, even in Virginia, most went to public schools, here private school is the norm. Because of this the kids have their school friends and then their neighborhood friends. In my very small little development I can think of at least 5 different schools the various kids go to. I think this contributes a LOT to isolation and lack of community. There's no walking to school with your friends, commiserating about how much homework Mrs. So and so gave you and the like. Even the school calendars are different- some kids go back 2 whole weeks before mine do.

Anyway, I did have a thought at the beginning of this- the educational system in Savannah is for a whole other post.

Today I walked/ran the trail outside the YMCA for my workout. 5 miles. And in that time I saw 5 or 6 different friends from non-gym aspects of my life here. People who waved to ME, they knew me. That's how I know this is home. Well that and the bills that keep filling my mailbox.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Some days...

Some days I take the kids to the playground because that puts me and hour closer to bedtime.

And I actually have this thought when I go.

I am not sure if that makes me a really horrible mom or a brilliant one, but some days, it's whatever can get you through.

And the playground IS better than an hour of cartoons, right?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Time to update the blog- 5 years later, ha ha!

So I just found that I had at one time considered blogging! And like many things, it fell by the wayside in the throes of living life. The last time I wrote in this blog we were a family of 4, living in VA. Hmmmm.

So since then, Mark has finished his fellowship at UVA and we moved to beautiful Savannah, GA four years ago. We actually live on Wilmington Island, which is about 15 min from both downtown Savannah in one direction, and Tybee Island (the beach) in the other. More importantly, since then we have added a lovely little girl to our family. Leah Kate was born almost 3 years ago, completing our family.

Will be keeping this up now, I hope! More later :)