Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Princess Meets Cinderella.

We took our first family vacation last week to Storyland, which is located in Glen, New Hampshire. Since this would the girls’ first time away from home, it was a big deal for us. As I sometimes say “they don’t get out much”.

Despite unseasonable weather, a long drive, and sometimes cranky adults, it was a good vacation. We were fortunate to be able to stay at my oldest brother’s vacation home, which is less than a five minute drive to Storyland. That is correct. Five minutes.

Sarah has a few posts about our trip so I will not repeat. I will share, however, my favorite moment of the trip: when the girls were greeted by Cinderella at her castle. Check out the video and tell me that this isn’t the cutest thing EVAH!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Falmouth Road Race 2010.

For the 15th consecutive year I completed my favoritve road race - The Falmouth Road Race. As it always seems to happen, the stars aligned and spectacular August weather made for decent running conditions for the 10:00am start out of Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

In addition to great weather, I was blessed with seeing my family as I approached mile 5. Here are my cuties enjoying some Dunkin Munchkins as they await my arrival:
I, of course, had to stop and give Anna a smooch.

As is tradition we met family (my brother, three of his children and my niece Jen's fiance all ran this year) to talk about the race and have some post-race chow and coloring.

It was also nice to have a post-race cooldown with my sweethearts (Emily in purple sweatshirt, Anna next to me and Allie with Elmo).
I have to say this year's Falmouth was a good one for me. My time was the best I've posted at this race since 2003. More importantly, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the support we received for the Spina Bifida Association as I was able to raise over $2,500 for sbaMass.

Post note:
In addition to some of the world's best runners running Falmouth, this year's race included Dick Hoyt and his son (see pic below). I was also told by Sarah that my sister saw Chris (bacheloerette runner-up)running the race too (sorry, no pic - LOL).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Multiples playtime at the park.

Sarah and I took the girls for a get together for moms of multiples and their families. All the families were members of a private message board where mothers can exchange information, vent, gossip and share their experiences as a mother of multiples. This was the first time this group from "the board" has gotten together in "real life" and, as far as I know "worlds did not collide" (think Seinfeld episode when George's fiance Susan becomes buddies with Elaine). Everyone appeared to have a good time. Sarah tells me someone counted 33 children there. There were three other sets of triplets besides our girls.

Personally, I was just as curious about the park as I was about meeting the other families. As a child, my mother and sisters would take us to Larz Anderson Park to feed the ducks, picnic and play in the playground. The playground has been updated with great, safe swings and slides for the kids. We didn't make it down to the water, but from what I could see that section of the park was also clean.

Our girls had a blast at the playground, especially Allie - she kept saying "daddy I want to go on THAT one..." Here's a clip of the girls having some fun at the park:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Michigan House Passes Stillbirth/Kick Counting Legislation (August 18th, 2010)

I received an email from FirstCandle the other day with some great news on stillbirth legislation in Michigan:

Michigan passes stillbirth/kick counting legislation through its House of Representatives. Now it’s on to the Senate!

Representative Kevin Green (R-MI) recently announced that his legislation to help expectant mothers become better educated about the dangers of stillbirth and how they may be able to prevent it has passed through the House on its way to becoming state law.

The legislation, HB6091, requires doctors to distribute information to their pregnant patients about the risk of stillbirth and the importance of kick counting to help reduce the risk of stillbirth. Green, the legislation’s sponsor, has personal experience with the issue after losing his daughter Skylar Anne to stillbirth in 2007.

“Stillbirth is an equal opportunity destroyer,” Green told the House Health Policy Committee during emotional testimony. “Getting this information to expectant mothers early on in their pregnancy could help them prevent stillbirth. Kick counting is such a simple thing to do that could save your child’s life.”

The cause of Skylar’s death is still unknown, as is the same for nearly half of stillbirth cases each year. Despite the relatively high incidence of stillbirths in the U.S. (nearly one in 150), there is little research into the causes of this heartbreaking loss of pregnancy.

HB 6091 would amend the Public Health Code to require a health care professional to inform a woman during her pregnancy of the potential risk of stillbirth and the importance of monitoring a child’s movements in the last trimester.

“It allows women to have ownership in their own healthcare by being informed about this potential risk,” Green said.

“We lost a big part of our future when Skylar passed away,” Green said. “By passing this legislation, we acknowledge parents who have lost a child due to stillbirth and hope to find ways of preventing this from happening to other families in the future.”

Read the full text of the bill here:
Full text

Thank you for helping give a voice to our daughter Abigail and all families affected by stillbirth.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Children Learn What They Live.

It’s the end of another long busy day. I am in the living room straightening out the girls’ toys when Sarah comes up the stairs from the basement. Sarah says “today or yesterday was your mom & dad’s wedding anniversary?” I think for a moment. YES . August 12, 1950 is the day they married. Sarah continues to tell me that my mother got a bit weepy yesterday during her visit with the girls. She was telling the girls’ other grandmother that her and my dad would have been celebrating their anniversary yesterday. I stop what I am doing. I breathe.

My dad passed away over seven years ago. I think about my mother and how she misses her husband - as much today as she did the day we said good-bye to him.

This summer has been fun. The summer has been busy. This summer has been exhausting. Our lives, at some point, continue on after the passing of a loved one. Do I forget about Dad, do I forget about Abigail? Do I forget about Julie? My heart and soul remember. Their spirits are alive – some days brighter than others. I do not forget.

We call my mother “Ma” (or “Mah” - insert Boston accent). It breaks my heart when I think about what it must be like for Ma. Ma and Dad were married for well over 50 years before he died. My dad wasn’t able to see me as a parent. But, hopefully my mom sees the valuable lessons they taught us about marriage and parenting. My mother had a poem hanging in the kitchen when I was a kid:

Children Learn What They Live (By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.) :

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

I would be hard pressed to recall a time when my parents fought or argued. They raised thirteen children (on one income for most years) and my dad always found money to take us on vacation or the beach, or for an ice cream treat. The values instilled by their actions are priceless. Thank you dad. Thank you Ma.

Last night, when Sarah told me how Ma was missing Dad, I got mad at myself. The anger was out of forgetting their anniversary – not remembering that yesterday may be a tough day for Ma. And then I thought of Abigail – it’s been weeks since I’ve visited her at the cemetery. Do I forget? I do not forget. My heart remembers.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On Monday I was weighing the pros and cons of doing a lunchtime run and checked weather.com. - the temperature was recorded as 89 degrees and “Feels like 90”. Knowing what my training has been like with less than a week before my 7+ mile race, I decided to run, even if it meant taking it a little slow.

From my office, my route takes me to the Storrow Drive side of the Charles River - over the Massachusetts Avenue bridge to the Cambridge side of The Charles – along Memorial Drive to The Museum Of Science and back. I estimate the run to be approximately 5 miles.

To help keep my mind off the heat, I decided to make mental observations of the people I saw during my run. Here are the results of my VERY informal survey:

• The number of people running was less than 5% of all the people I observed.

• Male runners = 70%

• Runners over 40 = 40%

• Male runners over 40 years old = 40%

• Female runners over 40 = 30%

• Male shirtless runners = too many (note: no matter how hot it gets I always wear at least a singlet.)

• Female runners in the same category = zero!

• Number of times I smelled a foul odor = 3.

• Runners wearing cotton shirts = 45%

When I returned to my desk, weather.com had increased the temperature slightly:
Partly Cloudy
Feels Like: 92°

My employer provides a small workout room and showers which I utilized upon my return to the office. So, besides having a red face for awhile, I had a productive run in the heat!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wake up Turtle!

One of the numerous challenges of bringing our girls to Southwick's Zoo (or any zoo for that matter) is getting in a position for optimal viewing of the animals. In order for Allie, Anna and Emily to see most of the animals, Sarah and I would need to hold them. That's why I liked the turtle exhibit in this video - the girls had a great view without any assistance! Emily in sunglasses, Anna in the middle and Allie in the forefront:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Santa at the zoo? In the summer?

This video clip is from a recent trip we took to Southwick's Zoo. We had a good day, but I will say that after several trips to different zoos over the past year, I have mixed feelings about the whole zoo experience. If you want more details about Southwick's Zoo and our visit, check out Sarah's post.

Like I said, our day was fun and highlighted by some very funny and cute comments by our girls. This is from the end of the day on a car ride operated by "Santa". Talk about a mixed reaction from our daughters - Allie(in purple) and Anna sat in the front while Emily had her fun in the back seat.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm from Boston.

A friend forwarded an email with some funny (and very true) statements about Bostonians. Being that I have lived my entire life in the Boston area, attended Boston public schools for K1 through eighth grade, and have received numerous comments about my accent, I got a kick out of the email. I took the liberty of editing it a bit:

Boston streets:
There's no school on School Street , no court on Court Street, no dock on Dock Square , no water on Water Street .

Massachusetts city names: (Say it wrong, be shunned)
Worcester : Wuhsta (or Woostah)
Gloucester : Glawsta
Leicester Lesta
Woburn : Woobin
Dedham : Dead-um
Revere : Ra-vee-ah
Quincy : Quinzee
Tewksbury : Tooks berry
Leominster : Lemin-sta
Peabody : Pee-ba-dee
Waltham : Walth-ham
Chatham : Chaddum
Samoset: Sam-oh-set or Sum-aw-set but nevah Summerset!

Frappes have ice cream, milkshakes don't.
If it is fizzy and flavored, it's tonic.
Soda is CLUB SODA.
"Pop" is DAD.
SCROD is whatever they tell you it is, usually fish. If you paid more than $7/pound, you got scrod.
It's not a water fountain; it's a bubblah..
It's not a trashcan; it's a barrel.
It's not a spucky, a hero or grinder,... it's a sub.
It's not a shopping cart; it's a carriage.
It's not a purse; it's a pockabook.
They're not franks; they're haht dahgs; Franks are money in Switzahland.
Police don't drive patrol units or black and whites they drive a "crooza."
It's not a traffic circle, it's a rotary.

The Sox = The Red Sox
The C's = The Celtics
The B's = The Bruins
The Pat's =The Patriots

Other things you should know:
Most people live here all their life and still don't know what the hell is going on with this one:
Route 128 South is I-95 south. It's also I-93 north.

The underground train is not a subway. It's the "T", and it doesn't run all night (fah chrysakes, this ain't Noo Yawk)..

Order the "cold tea" in China Town after 2:00 am you'll get a kettle full of beer.

Bostonians.. . think that it's their God-given right to cut off someone in traffic.

Bostonians.. ..think that there are only 25 letters in the alphabet (no R's)
except in "idea."

Bostonians.. .refer to six inches of snow as a "dusting."

Bostonians.. .always "bang a left" as soon as the light turns green, and oncoming traffic always expects it.

Bostonians.. .believe that using your turn signal is a sign of weakness.

Bostonians.. .think Rhode Island accents are annoying.

Suburban Bostonians Named Rich ................are often called Mitch (this one was added by my friend Kris; inside joke)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Emily's Baby.

The girls' maternal instincts have become evident recently with Allie's Elmo, Anna's "babies" and of course, Emily's Little Lion. While taking this video clip in our backyard recently, a rabbit appeared. Emily thought it a good idea to let her baby Lion see the bunny: