Monday, October 31, 2011


This past weekend we went to RI for my niece's bat mitzvah. H even came along. Since he is not Jewish and had not met any of my family, this was really trial by fire for him! My sister really went all out on the bat mitzvah planning. Everything was perfect and beautiful for the 100 or so guests. The luncheon and party afterwards was a lot of fun, complete with a DJ, a kid handler (to make sure all those 13 year olds had the time of their lives) and lots of loud partying and dancing. H got to meet my siblings and several cousins. H was such a sport. Even though I don't think he was feeling great (he had a terrible cold), he was helpful and patient with all the goings on. I think this one is a keeper.

The bat mitzvah was on Saturday. By the time we got there, it had started to rain a little. By mid- afternoon, the snow started and the nor' easter started heading in. The timing was good - the party was already starting to break up anyway - so we headed back to CT to stay at my sister's house before we were to leave to come back home the following morning. By the time we got to my sister's house, the snow was in full force and there was already several inches on the ground.

We made it up the hill to her house. At the end of the cul-de-sac, my sister had just pulled in as well and ran out to tell us to go to a hotel because it was too dangerous. Trees had started to fall all over the place. She didn't have any power. As we sat in the car and listened, about every minute we would hear craaaack, craaaaack....trees and branches breaking. Some were already resting on power lines. It was REALLY spooky. The kids got very scared and e even started to cry a little.

H, the trooper that he is, ran inside the house and got all our stuff (thank goodness because we would have had a very difficult time getting it the next day!) and we went and stayed at my brother's house instead. Even though he lives less than a mile away, he did have power. We all camped out there for the night. He lost his power, too, around 2 am but since he has gas on his stove, we were all able to have a nice breakfast. Throughout the night, the snow got heavier and the situation worsened. I've never seen anything like it. By morning, there was about a foot of snow and hundreds of trees and branches down. Across the street, one large branch was straddling a power was pulled taut, but had not snapped yet. Apparently, the cul-de-sac where my sister lives was full of trees and branches. If we had stayed, I'm sure our car would have been hit. H went out to help clean up the driveway and cars so we could get out and E and e, of course, went out to play in the snow.

We finally got on the road around 10:30 am. As we drove out, we went down several streets that we could just barely get through, with all the trees and branches down. We saw a few power lines down and even ran over a couple (dead, of course). It was unbelievable. Every single yard was full of large branches and trees. We didn't see any houses that were hit, but did see one car that got a little crushed. As we drove home, it was well over an hour before we could find an exit where the restaurants had power. The highway crews must have been out in full force all night because there were lots of trees on the side of the highway - many of which had been cut to make travel safe.

All in all, a very interesting weekend!

Monday, October 17, 2011


The baby bunnies in their nest

So, last month we found some baby bunnies in our yard. The mom had built the nest just a few feet from our driveway, so when I saw all the dead grass all over and didn't remember the patch being there before, I moved it aside to reveal five, very cute, baby bunnies. At the time, I'm guessing they were just 3-5 days old. I did a lot of reading about them and learned that you can, in fact, handle them and the mother will still come back. She only comes back about once a night to feed them and leaves them alone the rest of the time so she doesn't attract attention to them. So, the kids had a great time visiting with the bunnies every day. And, boy, were they cute.
Holding the baby bunnies

Then the rains came. The nest got flooded out. I came out to find some of them sitting in a cold puddle in the nest, not knowing where to go. Everything I read online said that the nest could be moved to about ten feet away and the mom would still find it. So, we moved the nest up the hill a little bit, out of where the water was gathering. I also put a box over the hole to help keep them dry since all the grass that was covering them was now wet and/or gone. The mom apparently was coming back and the babies were doing fine. Their eyes all opened and they were getting lots of fur and starting to jump around. Then two died with all the rain....Very sad to see them out there, but we got rain and cool weather for about a week and they just couldn't make it. I had also read that only about 10% of the wild bunnies survive because there is so much going against them. Another one died a couple days later and another one ran away (at least that's what I told the was very active and I'm guessing it just attracted attention to itself). The kids had been pleading and pleading to keep them, so when it came down the the last one, we took it in. Thumper did well for a few days, but then died - unfortunately while under the care of a girl next door (and her party pals - I'm hoping we didn't create any psychological scars!) while we were away....
Thumper in the fire engine

After that ordeal, and seeing how well the kids handled the bunnies and the whole lifespan thing, I figured they were ready for a pet. After doing a ton of research, I decided to get E a couple dwarf hamsters for his birthday. I don't have any pictures of them yet, but they really are fun to watch and are very cute. I told him that we needed to figure out a way to tell them apart. He put them next to each other and said that one was fat and one was skinny. So, guess what he decided to name them? Fatty and Skinny. I know, very creative. He is a really happy camper with them.

His birthday party was a huge success. I LOVED the place where we had it. All I had to do was show up. Unfortunately, it was a really windy day, but not too, too cold, so it wasn't too bad. We had the party at one of the local farms. The kids played in the hay barn, went on the slide, and in the corn maze the whole time. I didn't have to lift a finger. I had 13 kids there and they supplied 40 hotdogs with buns, 20 cupcakes, two huge bags of chips, lemonade, and tons of supplies to make s'mores. They built the fire for us and tended it. LOVE that. The kids had a great time cooking their hotdogs on the fire, making s'mores and running around in the corn maze for three hours. I want to have a party there every year!

After E's party, we went to a Halloween party at a friend's house. The mom gets the hostess with the mostess award from me, that's for sure! She had a dozen kids in her basement, she had decorated the place with Halloween stuff all over, had plenty for them to eat, and a list of probably a dozen games that they played throughout the afternoon. This was one of my favorites where they had to try to eat a donut on the end of string without touching it. Of course, E won for the boys.

Yesterday, we joined some friends to see a local reptile exhibit. We really love this place, too. The dinosaurs move and roar, and one of them even spits at you! I loved how they put a fake arm in the T-Rex!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October Happenings

It's hard to believe that my little boy will be eight years old tomorrow! Where the heck does all the time go? I have a party planned for him over the weekend at one of the local farms. Lots of fall stuff to do there like the corn maze, slide, pumpkins, hotdog roast. All fun stuff. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be a nice day. So far, the forecast says we will be cool, but no rain. Phew!

Last weekend, the kids had a great time at Sunday school decorating the Succah and making their own candy Succot. This is really a fun holiday for them.

And, did I mention we did the artificial skydiving again last month? WHAT fun! e still wasn't up for it, but she watched as E and I pretended we were superheroes!