Saturday, March 28, 2015

Funny stuff Griff has said lately

When Mom got Griff a new Lego Star wars book which he was totally enthralled with, I asked if he had said thank you to Mom:  "I said it so many times she probably doesn't even remember!"

When we made cinnamon rolls for dinner, Griffin only paused from wolfing down his food long enough to say "I can't take my nose off the smell of those cinnamon rolls!"

Monday, October 27, 2014

Catching Up Again

Griff has a new sister - May.  And a new basement playroom, almost.

So we've been a little busy.  So we haven't blogged for a while.  The family memories, meanwhile, are coming a mile-a-minute.

So stay tuned.  Some Vera and Griffin and May related items from the past few months are coming up soon on the blog.  'cause we still love our kids.  And this is as much an archive as it is a public announcement service.

Sneak peak:
  • Griffin goes tubing at Joe's Pond
  • Swimming the whole length of the pool
  • Vera's current vocab and top ten cutest sayings ("OK Daddy...")
  • Stuff Griff Builds, including the latest home depot kids projects (Ambulance anyone?)

Monday, June 16, 2014

“I’m trying to be a better son, too, Dad”

Griff and I are emotionally maturing together.  The other night I was frustrated at his getting-ready-for-bed pace:
Griff:  “Dad, I don’t like it when you get angry with me”
Me:  “I don’t like it either –I’m trying to be more calm and helpful for you.  I want to be a better dad, and you've got to try your hardest, even when you're getting ready for bed.”

Griff:  “I want to be a better son, too, Daddy!”

Turks Highlights

Wow it’s been a while and we have the pictures but its worth capturing the top memories from Turks and Caicos, where we were for a week and a bit in early May.
  • Vera in the swimming pool “swimming” by herself with the arm floaties and foam vest.  She immediately started with cute little legs running underwater and even started lounging back and just floating.  Either way, giant smile.
  • Griffin and Vera sharing a room and waking up (and falling asleep) alternately saying “HI!”  “HI!”  “HI!”  with a rising tone accent.  Also Griffin occasionally saying “Its okay Vera” or bringing her a stuffed animal or blanket when she cried out.
  •  Early mornings and late afternoons/evenings on the beach.  In particular the sunset evening on Grace bay beach where we took a bunch of pictures and watched as the tide slowly eroded the defenses of Lookout Point.
  • Lookout Point – a castle we built.
  • Oreos.  Vera started saying “O-eYO!”
  • The French bakery.  And its lovely proprietor who complemented our kids and treated us to a free box of caramels after we spent 10 minutes admiring and purchasing just about one of everything.  And eating the stuffed breads.
  • Taylor Bay.  The best kept secret just off Sunset Bay Drive.  Just walk behind the tennis courts on your left.  We’d have missed it except for the tourists from Maine who were unloading their car road-side and showed us the path.
  • Napping Vera in the backpack while I walked three or so miles of grace bay beach.
  • Nissan Sunny.  What a P.O.S. rental car – and only $80 per day.
  • Cold Coconut water at the fish fry night.
  • Cats!  Officially the hotel staff called one of the semi-domesticated feral ones “Mama”, but Vicki was calling her Nickels.  

Awesome Father’s Day

Griffin said “Happy Father’s Day Daddy” three separate times on father’s day.  And it was only prompted once (thanks Vicki!).  Here’s how the day went:
·         Walk/scooter to Dunkin’ Donuts
·         I took Griff to swimming and then Crosby’s
·         Lunch.  Vicki made egg bake and it was awesome.
·         I mowed the lawn while the kids were napping, then did some ceiling strapping and framing in the basement.
·         Water balloon slingshot!   We launched probably like 20  balloons high in the air into our own yard and accidentally into the neighbors a few times.
·         Dinner at Five Guys.  Griff and Vera ate a TON of peanuts.
·         Orange Leaf for frozen yogurt take-out, which we ate in the driveway and did some chalk drawing.
·         Bath and Bed for the kids.

·         And then three episodes of Orange is the new Black for mom and Dad.

Monday, April 7, 2014

"You're kind of a HOT mess, Mommy"

Vicki said "Im kind of a mess today" with a laugh.
Griffin added the word "hot" into the middle there.  Oh what a tangled linguistic web we weave.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Drawing of our House

Griff drew a pic of our brick house yesterday.

Letter U Show-n-Tell: Uncle Eeek (Dan)

So, Griffin has show-n-tell once a week and each week they do a different letter of the alphabet.  This week is letter "U".  I struggled earlier this week with ideas of what to do (umbrellas, unicorn, underwear, united states?) and before bed last night, Tom and I suggested sharing a picture of one of his uncles. In the middle of naming all of his uncles, Griff got all excited and said, "How about Uncle Eek!!?"  Done!

After G went to bed, Tom tried to stalk Dan's FB account and print a picture with no luck, (printer fail), so we gave up and went with really crappy plan B- a plastic toy cow with giant udders and decided that "Udder", although ridiculous, would be good enough... (parent fail)

This morning when I showed the cow to Griffin, and explained that we didn't find a picture of Uncle Dan, and he said, "Hey, I could draw a picture."  Great idea!  He did, and it was so cute... He gave Dan (in his words) "spiky hair because he has spiky hair and a big nose".  While he was drawing, he also said, "I have to leave room for Aunt Larissa."  I said, oh but Uncle Dan is married to Aunt Annie and Uncle Eric is married to Aunt Larissa.  "Oh".

We also had a conversation over breakfast that went something like this:

"Did you know that Uncle Eric and Aunt Larissa bought a new house?"
"Well, how can they carry a house?"
"They don't carry it, they just buy it and then move all of their stuff to the new house."
"But I still want to go to their house to play."
"Don't worry Griff, we can still go over to play."
"But Uncle Dan will be sad that Uncle Eric doesn't live there anymore, but maybe this will make him happy." (referring to his drawing...)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Nice Night

Griffin was well behaved and awesome last night.  He did his own washing in the bath and cleaned up his room without supervision - I just asked once.  While we were reading stories we played "opposite day" where you say the opposite of what you mean.  Griffin said "I don't love my little sister Vera."  That's what he came up with.  We read green eggs and ham and dragons love tacos and he laughed particularly loudly at my word-swap outs as we read.  I love that lil guy.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Awesome Bathtime = Random Present

Griffin did an amazing job getting himself ready for bed last night..  He washed himself properly, got out of the tub and dried off, got his PJ’s out and put them on, brushed his teeth and peed, plus laid out his clothes for the next day and picked out stories to read.  All while I was taking care of Vera.  He was sitting in bed reading quietly when I came in for story time.  Go G.  I’m impressed.   We gave him a random present from the closet of surprises.  He deserved it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Home Depot projects

Griffin and I go to the depot for a lot of different reasons, especially now that the basement is under renovation. But the biggest thing lately has been for kids workshop time, which happens the first Saturday morning of each month.  Griffin has built a race car, a tic tac toe board, a toolbox, a ship, and now a Trojan horse bank.  He has a little orange apron with his name on it and he collects pins for completing each project.  There are always nails to pound and glue and paint to make a mess with.  The last one even had some screws.  He's getting pretty good at hammering nails.  Makes a Dad proud.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Curious George

Out of the blue today, in the car on the way home from Vera's swim class, Griffin said "You know Mom, Curious George goes to sleep naked in his bed.  He doesn't wear any pajamas."  That crazy monkey (and Curious George is also pretty crazy too).

Birthday Playdate with Bren

Griffin's 4th birthday is tomorrow, and as a very special treat, our ever-so caring babysitter Bren (who has been watching Griffin since he was 10 months old) took him out to eat pizza and Orange Leaf.  She also got him a dinosaur sticker book.  He loved it and is now up in his room taking his very last nap as a 3 year old. :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Flo Rida - Third time for Griff

We took Griff and Vera to Orlando for the week before Christmas.  It was awesome.  Here's some highlights:

  • Swimming in the pools at the Hilton Grand Vacations, International Drive.  There was one big one and one smaller one.  I like to take him "waterskiing", where he stands on my kneecaps and I pull him around the pool by his oustretched arms, walking backwards on the bottom myself.
  • Four trips to Sea World.  The longest one was about 4 hours.  We still have to work around nap time for both Griff and Vera.
  • He rode the shamu roller coaster (its a kiddie coaster) twice - once with Mom and once with me. 
  • Best dolphin show we've seen to date (Our second and third time seeing it)
  • Puke.  For the first two days, he was pretty sick and barely eating.  Upshot:  he's really good at identifying when he's about to throw up now, and made it to the toilet most times.
  • Breakfast with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy at the Contemporary Resort at Disney World.  This was our third trip to Orlando with Griff, and he has yet to actually enter any of the parks there.
  • New crocs (lego style) for when he outgrows his current ones.  Also new Jibbits - Tigger from Winnie the pooh and spongebob pirate.
  • Sharing a room with Vera.  When she wasn't sleeping well, we watched on the monitor as he climbed out of his king sized bed and went to give her a hug over the pack-and-play wall.  "Its okay Vera."
  • Snuggling to sleep with Mom.  And Snuggling to sleep with Dad.  When sickness and insomnia got the best of our two-bedroom suite, we just swapped roommates and Griff slept with either Vicki or I.

Funny Stuff Griff Said

Today in class for a snack we had clam crackers  (he meant oyster crackers).

Dad, what's that thing on you that has you on it?  (it was my corporate ID, still clipped to my belt)
---Its an ID card I use to get in and out of my office, like a key
Why don't you take it off and not use it to get into your office and then you can stay home all day with me?

Do you know why we can smell things from far away mom?
---Its because of particles, right?  (Thinking of Sid the Science Kid)
No Mom, they're minicules (he got it confused with molecules).

Thursday, December 19, 2013

16, 384

Griff and I have been reading "one grain of rice", a story that aunt kate gave him about a peasant indian girl who outsmarts a raja by asking for one grain of rice, then two the second day, doubling each day for a month.

Griff has been asking repeat doubling questions:

"What does one and one make dad?"
"What does two and two make?"
Etc. Etc.

Tonight we got to 16,384.  It took me a second to do the adding, and Griffin said the full number "eight thousand one hundred and ninety-two" twice with no prompting.  I'm raising a nerd.  A curious adorable nerd.  And I love it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Funny Stuff Griff Says

"Dad, I like your red sox shirt.  I like the Red Sox.  I like the Patriots too.  I also like watching hockey games.  I am going to be a hockey player when I grow up.  Did you know hockey and golf are the same thing?  Because in both of them you have a club and hit a puck or a ball.  In golf you have a golf club and in hockey you have a hockey club."

"We should go kayaking more.  You know why?  Because, do you know what kayak guys get to have for a snack?  Ice cream sandwiches."

"When I grow up, I want to be an ancient dinosaur bone discoverer.  Or a super hero."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"It's okay Vera. I'm here."

Said Griff after she started crying when Dad left the room.  He gave her a hug too.  He's a really good big brother.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Griff's Parental Feedback

I took Griff out for frozen yogurt last night.   Between bites I asked if there was anything mom and I could do to be better parents.  He thought for a second, swallowed a big bite of brownie flavored froyo, and said,

"Maybe more higs and kisses would be good"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Swimming on a Monday

We (all four of us) went to the ymca for family open swim last night.  From 5 to 6 pm.  It was Vicki's idea and it was a good one since I am travelling for work the next three days.  Griff enthusiastically swam up to me and said "dad can we play Simba and Raffiki?"  Anytime little man.  Anytime.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Turning a Bad Day Good

Vicki and I lose our tempers with Griff sometimes.  Sometimes he's just crazy.  Sometimes, like saturday morning, he starts off whiny and it just gets worse.

Vicki woke up early and thought it would be nice to  take Griff to Starbucks for a little mommy/son time.  His clothes weren't laid out so he had to get some from the dresser and that set it off.  He wanted the shirt that was in the laundry.  He didn't want to get dressed.  He didn't want to go to Starbucks.  Well, so he said in his whiniest voice, which is a pet peeve for both Vicki and I.  After some threats to leave without him, Vicki left without him (good move sweet angel!).  I got out of bed and tried to be calm.  He finally got dressed and cleaned up his trains so that he could come down for breakfast....45 minutes after Vicki went in there.  I thought i was going to keep it together.  Three whiny comments into breakfast, I did not.  "But I don't want honey bunches of oats" (total BS - he loves them).  Now it was time for me to follow through on my anti-whining threat.  Upstairs with screaming kid on shoulders.  Place him in bed.  Walk away.  It was a new record in frustrated parenting.  Both of us in under an hour.

We turned it around.  After Vicki left for girls day out, he went for another time out.  I told him (amongst other things in a very two-way, very grown up conversation about his motivations) to think about what we were going to do to turn the day around when his time out was over.  When I came back five minutes later, he was more calm and said "Daddy can we build a fort please?"

So we did.  Big time.  It was the best one we've ever made.  I set it up so that we could watch TV in there, but we never did.  Music lesson on his keyboard.  Puzzle.   A long game of SpotIt.  We ate lunch in there.  And Vera and I hung out in there for a few hours while Griff was napping.  Success.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bear Wearing Underwear

This was the adorable craft Griff made at library story hour this week.  Yep, it's a bear wearing underwear.

Home Depot Kids Workshop Project #1: A Tall Wooden Ship

What an awesome new Dad-Griff Saturday activity... approx once a month, the Home Depot offers an ingenious and totally adorable kids' workshop (for free!..though of course we walked out of the Depot with $100+ worth of paint and supplies).  T & G worked together to glue, hammer (there was lots of hammering), and paint a wooden ship.  Griff got a bright orange kid-sized Depot apron with his name on it, and then received a pin for completing his project.  What an awesome morning. Tom was totally in heaven working and teaching his little man to use tools. Griff loved it too.

Heart Melt at the Library

The kids and I went to story/craft hour at the library yesterday to see Miss Alicia, who in Griff's eyes, ties for #1 best/favorite book reader ever, along with Dad, who is our household reigning champ. Part way through the stories, Vera got super wiggly in her stroller, so I sat her down next to her brother on her own carpet square with all the big kids. Griffin immediately put his arm around her and cuddled her a bit while they listened together. It was so cute and endearing.

Show And Tell: Letter C Week

Griffin had show and tell at school last week.  It was "Letter C" week, and with just a little prompting, Griffin came up with the idea of telling his class about his Cousin Cameron from Connecticut.  I printed a few pictures for him to bring in... so cute.  I love how at the young age of 3.75, he is learning to speak in front of an audience.  It's also so adorable that he is sharing about his little cousin. Awww.

Letter A:  Griff and I made "an alien out of aluminum foil, who ate apples".
Letter B:  Griff brought in a stuffed bear named Davis.
Letter D: (today) A dinosaur, "a ceratosaurus who is orange on top and yellow on the bottom".

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


It's this kind of morning. Tom is away until Friday. Is still still only Wednesday? After Griff was allowed to squeeze 2 spoonfuls of honey into his oatmeal, he pushed away his breakfast staying that he couldn't taste the honey because I didn't let him mix it in. (For the record, I did let him, and instead of mixing it in, he ate it.  Also for the record,  I already pre mixed a little honey in as I anticipated this exact scenario happening and yet it still somehow backfired.) Darn 3 year olds.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Costumes

Earlier today Griff wrapped himself into a large blanket.  He said it was his ghost hot dog costume.  Super spooky. 
Right now he is wearing an infant lobster costume while eating goldfish and watching an episode of Curious George.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Art from School

Our little "artist" Griffin drew this at school today.  He said it was "a whale jumping out is the water". It's abstract.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Heart Melter

Griff and I were in the car after a mid day swim lesson - he was tired and we were both quiet. 

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking Dad?"

"I don't know Griff, what are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking of Vera."

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Tom just said, "Griff doesn't want to go to the hardware store because he is watching Sophia the First."  

Crocs Upgrade

Griff hooked me up with some jibits for my (subtle) yellow crocs.  He and mom got some new ones so i inherited his older goofy one and a brand new Luke Skywalker to go with his Yoda.

Sunday breakfast magic

"Daddy you know what?  This tastes a m a z i n g!"  said Griff about rice krispies with banana slices on top. 
And then a few minutes later:
"Daddy you know what what?  This tastes so good i can't stop eating it"
and then a few minutes after that:  "i suppose I'm full"

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Nice to Vera

Griffin "earned" a new stuffed animal hippo for Vera tonight.  The good deed that put Vicki and I over the top was that he took Vera's clothes into her room and put them in her laundry baseket and then without being asked also went back and got her dirty diaper, then put it in the diaper genie.  Earlier in the day, when Vera dropped the apple she was eating in the orchard, Griff reached up to her (she was in the backpack on my back) and gave her a new apple.  A small one.  Perfect for fitting in her hand.  What a guy.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ohhhhh Dear....

Griff just said,  "I changed your vagina into a penis, now you have a penis, and I changed Vera's vagina into a penis too. Wierd. Haha."

Ohhhh my. So there's that. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Picture People Family Pictures

We had these family pictures taken earlier today... 9-28-13, Griffin is 3.75 years old (wow), Vera is 1, Mom is 31, and Dad is almost 32.  See Vera's blog post for her 1st birthday "cake bashing" pictures.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Aquarium Adventure with Gpa Victor

We did it!  Gpa Victor and I successfully made it to the Aquarium and back today with the kids.  A few of the highlights: Vera's expression seeing her first sea lions (the ones in the outside tank by the ticket booths), Griffin with Gpa watching the penguins (reminded me of my parents taking my brother and I to the same aquarium when we were little), learning about the Skate fish (cousin of the sting ray but sans stinger), watching Myrtle the giant 85 yr old, 530 lb sea turtle eat her lunch (she ate protein gels, shrimp, fish, brussel sprouts, lettuce, and broccoli), not seeing any sharks in the main tank (all Griff wanted to see was the sharks, but they are temporarily out while they treat the water for parasites), but then seeing a picture of a great white on the side of a beverage machine outside the aquarium and Griffin thinking it was "soooo amazing", Griffin saying that a green piece of coral looked like a giant mint chocolate ice cream (it did!), and Griffin saying "that's ahhhhmazing" every time a huge fish went by in the big tank (Vera would get excited too and growl).  What was Griffin's favorite thing he saw at the Aquarium? ("the scuba divers").- classic Griffin.

After the Aquarium, we took a nice stroll outside and had PB&J sandwiches and snacks near the "jumping fountains" on the Greenway, followed by an amazing ride on the Carousel.  Griff rode on the lobstah and Vera rode on the owl. We popped into the Crocs store in Faneuil Hall to get some jibbits for Griff and Dad (Griff chose Luke Skywalker for Dad and got Yoda for himself), and we found the only pair of teeny tiny fuzzy blue crocs for Vera (her first pair, and they match Griffin's). 

Awesome day.  We really missed Dad, but it was really special to have the time with Gpa.  I'm excited to do another repeat adventure into the city on a day Dad is at work in Boston (he's in Allentown this week), so he can come have lunch with us and we can do another Aquarium adventure together!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Puts Himself to Bed

Griff did the whole process himself last night.  The three things I was still involved in were filling the bath tub, getting his toothbrush and toothpaste down from the high medicine cabinet, and reading to him.

He single handedly went up stairs, got undressed and in the bath, scrubbed himself (including washing his own hair!), got out of the tub, brushed his teeth, peed,put his dirty clothes away, picked out pajamas, got dressed, picked out a book, and climbed in bed. 

Its very gratifying,  time saving, and nostalgia inducing.  He grows up so fast.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Griffin's current favorite song to listen to in the car is "Rock Around the Clock" by Elvis.  It's on a little kid compilation CD.  Griff is obsessed with "the song about time", and he asks me to play it over and over and over... 

Growing Juice

Today Griffin said he wanted a big brother.  I said, "But Griffin, remember that if Mom has a baby from her belly it would be really little?"  He responded, "Mom, we could give him some growing juice to make him really big... or we could use magic."  Love the 3 year old mind.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sunday Dinner Tear Jerker

If I can raise Griffin to be just a few things, those things are:  Grateful.  Positive.  Considerate.  Hardworking.

Sunday at dinner, I asked him:  "Griffin, what's something you're really grateful for?  That you really appreciate having in your life?"  I figured he might say "cupcakes" or "dinosaurs" or "birthday parties".  Nope.

"I really like having my baby sister."


Friday, September 6, 2013

Growth Spurt?!

It's 5pm. At 3pm Griffin ate 2 big cups of cantelope and at 4:40 was begging for food. He just ate about 10 baby carrots with hummus (which he would never normally do),  half a large avocado, and 8 dino nuggets (he usually eats 3-4). Crazzzy.


Griffin has a tendency to overreact and he is bit dramatic sometimes.  I wonder where he gets this? (Like father, like son)

I just snapped this picture of him after he was fooling around on Vera's high chair and stepped off funny. I showed him the picture and he didn't like that I was laughing.  He said, "Mom,  I didn't want you to take that picture.  Die that picture,
Mommy. "

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Stinky Man

We're at Grandpa Victor's house this weekend.  In the car on the way back from Dim Sum Griffin said "Grandpa Victor can't go to school because the teacher would kick him out and say 'you're a stinky man!' "

Captain O'merica

Griff:  Dad, When I grow up I want to be a superhero.
Me:  Oh really?  Cool!  What would your superhero name be?
Griff:  Captain America.  I would have a blue suit.
Me:  That sounds great.  Go for it buddy.
Griff:  Except Captain America has an “A” on his head, so I would have a different letter on my head.
Me:  What letter would you have?

Griff:  “O”

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Griffin's Beach Spa and Ice Cream Shop

Devereux's a beautiful august morning with the kids.

Starbucks Breakfast

A little quality time with Griff this morning at Starbucks. Croissant, frozen yogurt tube, grapes, cheerios, games, coloring book... and egg sandwich and soy vanilla latte for me. It's a good morning already.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bribery Works: New Foods Griff Has Tried

A friend and I were commenting on how raising kids is full of bribery.  I feel like not a day goes by where I don't use it.  In the past few weeks, we have been offering delicious mid-dinner desserts to Griffin if he tries a large bite of a new food.  Here are the things he bravely tasted (and liked mostly..):

1. scallops 
2. breaded cod (we were having fish tacos)
3. mango
4. orange peppers (he loves these now)
5. orzo salad (with red onion, peas, and celery)
6. broccoli spinach stromboli
7. Chickpeas

...and the food adventure continues.

A color pattern

Griff colored a pattern in the brachiosaurus, his current favorite dinosaur.

TV Fort

Griff is watching an episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates from his own homemade couch-fort.