Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to you....

Happy birthday to you....Happy birthday dear Zachary.....Happy birthday to you!

Mommy is sorry she's not home to celebrate your 6th birthday with you! I miss you tons and hope you get some fun presents tonight! I'll call you tonight!!!

Love Always,


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Teddy Bear Tea

As you’ve all already know (seeing as I’m going BACKWARDS in my posts to get caught up) the girls started pre-school this year.  We have a FABULOUS nanny who has worked with them so much and has taught them so much, but we did want to get them a year in a school setting before they start Kindergarten….at least for a couple hours a day.

Last week (week before school started) they had an orientation for the kids (AKA Teddy Bear Tea) and the girls got to meet their teachers and look around the classroom (and of course, have a snack…it wouldn’t be “tea” without a snack!!)  

They were so excited to go and they LOVED the class.  So so different than Zach’s Teddy Bear Tea two years before.  At Zach’s Teddy Bear Tea he would hardly leave my side, and we had a massive battle to get uhim to go sit with the other kids. There were, to say the least, lots of tears shed on that very first day. Actually, the first couple weeks of preschool were awful for Zach (and me)….he would scream and cry until his teacher (Mrs. Sharon the Saint) would pull him from me and shoo me out the door and she’d hug him until he calmed down.  Eventually he learned what fun he was having and the meltdowns stopped. Now he is the class clown and social butterfly.  Note: His Kindergarten teacher from last year said Zach was a very good student, a quick learner but his worst problem was he was “popular”.  She said he had so many friends in the class and he never stopped talking.  (Which ………..we were a little leery on believing because he wasn’t so much that way at home, but can now 100% attest to the fact that Zach talks more than anyone we know.  Maybe even more than EVERYONE we know … combined.) 

Anyway, where was I?  (I seem to get side-tracked an awful lot, if you can’t tell!!)  The girls loved their morning at “school” and they got a chance to meet the kids they were going to be in class with (while I got some time to meet their parents.)   I think I posted this in my earlier blog, but it was so amazing to see how they both “split up” once they got in the class room.  Avery headed right for the artsy stuff.  Addie went and sat with the group of kids (mostly boys----eek) that were on the floor playing with Lego.  I would have *thought* they were going to cling to each other just because it felt “safe” but……not the case.  That’s a good thing, though, because I don’t think we’re going to have them put in the same class when they go to primary school next year. 

Anyway of course I had to snap a few photos of the new school girls, which I know you’re all just itching to see:  :) (Smile!!)




Hey, you out there! Stop!!

Want to see something really cool? My blog has a ‘widget’ that captures the location of anyone who views my blog and “pinpoints” their location (which is based on their IP address) on a world map. Of course, it can’t tell me WHO is viewing my blog, but it gives the general location of the person who is or has viewed the blog.

Over the course of this year, people from all of these locations have some way landed on this website: (either a search engine brought them to one of my posts, or they hit “NEXT BLOG” on the main blogger screen).

So if you’re just passing through …. take a minute and say hi….tell me where you’re from! I think it’s very cool that this blog has been seen by people from all over the ENTIRE world (NOT that everyone who stumbles across it are reading my nail-biting posts, of course!!)


Oh and by the way. There is another “widget” that tells me what searches people have done to get to my page. For example, awhile back I blogged about “trophies for participation.” I have had so many people land on that post by doing Google searches with those key words. (Go ahead, try it. I’ll wait.) If you did a search through Google with “trophies for participation” you will see (along with thousands of other web pages with those same key words) a link to my blog / post on the 3rd page of the Google results about half way down). This widget then tells me that someone from Portsmouth, Virginia (which I guess is where my IP address is registering from) searched for “trophies for participation” and clicked the link to my blog. So let me tell you this. If you search for “little girls in panties” and you get on my website (which has happened) you’re a freak and get out of here! It’s interesting to see the searches that people do that brings you to one of my pages. I’ve seen crazy searches like “dirty girls in mud” (that particular freak landed on a page of my girls playing around in the mud after a storm and because I had used those words in my post, and that’s the key words they used for the search …and my blog was one of the “results” that came back.) So….be careful what you wish search for. :)

Next on the list….Cul-de-Sac party!!

For the last three years on Labor Day weekend we have had an “end of summer” gathering with all of our neighbors and the kids.   We’ve had so much fun each year and normally once it gets dark, we’ll bring out a movie projector and a big screen and show all the kids a movie “outside”.  They LOVE it.  Unfortunately this year we couldn’t borrow a movie projector so we had a “silly” idea to get a bunch of cans of silly string.  You are wondering, aren’t you, whether the kids had fun with the silly string.  I’ll assure you that of course they did.  However, I would have to say that it was the ADULTS who joined in the “silly string war” that seemed to have the MOST fun!  They were cracking up nailing their kids in the head with the string, chasing their husbands and wives around!!  Who would have guessed it was going to be such a hit …yeah, you should try it at your next “adult” party, I think maybe it is some kind of stress releaser. Heehee!  They were all running around so fast and my camera was on the wrong setting so I didn’t get very good pictures but I’m going to post them here anyway– you get the idea of what was going on even though they’re pretty blurry.  Hysterical!

Even more funny was Sam and his “DJ Booth”!!  He set up his computer on a table covered in a blanket and he connected his external hard drive to his computer that’s got like a zillion songs on it.  He picked up some computer speakers that morning with a sub-woofer-thing and he played requests all evening long!  He even got a DJ job offer (seriously.) The kids LOVED dancing and they all just had a blast.  Sam’s got so many songs in his music collection that he could play just about any song anyone asked for.  Sam even got into the moment for a minute and stood up on his chair (which I have to admit, I was slightly worried was going to fold in) and started dancing to some 80’s dance music.   (And this year, Jen stayed away from the electronics which means that no beer was spilled on Sam’s computer.)  :) <—had to throw that in!! Anyway, pictures are blurry but you can easily tell what a great time everyone was having!!!

We are very fortunate to have GREAT neighbors!!!    And just for the record I wasn’t kidding when I said he was asked if he would DJ an upcoming wedding.  

Nature Hike at Hoffler Creek Forest Preserve

Ok before I begin you must note that this is the second post in less than 24 hours.  I’m getting good!  :)

We decided to take the kids on a “hike” around a forest preserve that is totally awesome and very close to us, which we didn’t know existed until last month!

They have numerous different trails heading through the woods, and they have one path that goes around this huge lake.  We took the path around the lake for this time and had fun listening for birds and frogs and crickets! 

We didn’t see any deer or bunnies ….. but we did see a giant salamander, lots of crabs, a couple of turtles (the kids even found a dead turtle that they picked up because they wanted to feel it’s shell.)  Saw lots and lots of butterflies and the kids kept finding “discoveries” (feathers, cool leaves, rocks, etc.)  It was just a great day to walk around and we can’t believe we had no idea this place even existed.   The different trees and plants were labeled so it was fun to hear Zach trying to sound out different tree names. 

Here’s a couple pics from our day, enjoy:

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This was the lake we walked around.

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This gigantic dragonfly landed on Zach’s shirt (don’t worry, I wasn’t freaked out or anything) and it wouldn’t go away!  Zach thought it was pretty cool, so I snapped a few pictures. 

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An Egret I believe

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Ave hamming it up!  She is the one who spotted the salamander.  She started yelling snake snake and we went and looked.  It looks small in the picture, but it had to be a good 8 inches long.

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Just going to comment on this last picture – Zach had found a pretty big bird feather (actually, they all found different feathers.)  I don’t know if you can see it or not, but there was a bird (not sure what kind) on this path.  Zach thought if he put the feather on top of his head and creeped slowly, he would be able to get closer to the bird.  (Because you know there are a lot of 43 lb. birds with one feather sticking up out of it’s head!!!)

I KNOW…..I need to catch up!!

Ok Ok, I know …. I’ve been sorely lacking on my blog these days which is really kind of sad because I really enjoy doing it. I won’t even begin to promise you I’ll be better – because we’ve been there, done that.

So……… do I go about GOING BACK to tell all you wonderful people about what has been going on in the Tramontana household over the last umm, 3 months (eek!)

I think this is what I’ll do. I’m going to start with the most RECENT events and go backward to try to get all you inquiring minds up to speed. :) By recent events, I mean TODAY’s events. And those events were………….all three kids left the house for school today!

Oh. My. God. Can you all remember when Zach was born? I mean, wasn’t he just this tiny?


Seems to me like it was yesterday! And now, almost SIX YEARS later….


He’s gettin’ on the bus with his big boy backpack and a lunchbox. Where the heck did the time go?? Seriously, people tell you how fast time flies and if you’re like me … you’re thinking (on a …challenging day) “yeah, yeah sure wish they were old enough to be in school full time” …. and then it happens. Your making your 4 pound preemie a cheese sandwich and it hits you. He’s not a baby anymore. He’s not even a “toddler”. He’s a KID. And you’re surprised at the moment of sadness you feel because time is just whizzing by (as if the 342 people who have told you that wasn't enough warning.) Heck, his backpack weighed twice as much as he did when he was born with all the school supplies and sanitizer and zip loc bags and baby wipes the kids have to bring. Oh, and by the way --- have you heard? They don’t teach cursive anymore. Apparently it’s a “lost art” thanks to computers. (They do however, expect a first grader to practically know how to PROGRAM a computer so I guess it's really just trading one skill for another!) Someone told me over this past weekend that her daughter had civics and economics the previous year. This wouldn't seem so surprising to me, except she is in EIGHTH grade!! At my high school, you took civics and econ as a junior or senior. You take it in eighth grade now? Unreal! When does a kid get to be a kid anymore (besides at Chuck E Cheese, of course)!

And just to let y'all know – while he didn’t LIKE being at school ALL day, he did (I think) enjoy the day and he said he had fun eating lunch with his friends (although I am still wondering what he did with the huge lunch I packed him AND the 2.00 I put in his backpack for future days if he ever wanted to buy milk - which is a quarter. He "claims" he gave the lunch-lady his money for one milk but didn't get any money back. I'd be inclined to be suspicious ... but then he started talking about some kind of cereal they sell at school, so I'm thinking he must have just been REALLY hungry today.) So a fun lunch and he didn't get any warnings, that was pretty much all I got out of him. He claims they just sat there all day. LOL. Well Mrs. Curran better get on the ball pretty quickly here becausewho knows, by the time he gets to 6th grade they'll probably be teaching civics and econ! (Maybe babies of our future will have their DNA genetically programmed somehow where they come out of the womb already talking and doing their multiplication tables!!)

Here’s Zach when he started pre-school: Copy of Copy of 080902 056

And Kindergarten:


And 1st grade:


So the twins also had their first day of school today and they, unlike their mama’s boy brother (just kidding Zach – I know you can read this now!!) they did perfectly fine. They were excited and went into class with no problems at all. I imagine it has something to do with the fact that they’re together, but if you ask them if they would be OK in separate classes they both say yes. When we had the preschool orientation (AKA Teddy Bear Tea) it was very interesting to see how they each went their separate ways – Ave to the artsy stuff and Addie right to where all the kids were playing Legos on the floor. It amazes me to see how different they truly are – not because I don’t think they should be, but because I know their complete genetic make up is identical, they’re raised in the same house, with the same people, watching the same TV shows, reading the same books (you get the gist) and yet they are so completely different. It’s a good thing...although it surprises me.

And to touch on what I said in this post: we think it’s pretty evident that they’re mirror identicals. Seeing as when I wrote that blog post exactly three years ago, their shoe size was: Avery (Left) 4, (Right) 41/2. Addison (Left) 41/2, (Right) 4. A few weeks ago when we nearly went bankrupt buying three pairs of shoes (thank God for Nana who bought Addie’s “twinkle toes” at fifty something dollars!!) we learned that Avery’s left foot is a 81/2 and her right foot is a 91/2. Well I bet you can guess what I’m going to say next, right? (Drumrolll) Addie’s left foot is 91/2 and her right foot is a 81/2. Tell me that’s not weird!! And they’ve been that way their entire life – when they were measured for dance shoes each of their feet were exactly one shoe size bigger – and it was opposite of each other. At their 4 year old check up last week (where I learned that Addie had just a summer cold, Zach had a NASTY ear infection and oh, by the way Avery had pneumonia…) they were exactly the same height (they’ve ALWAYS been the same height) but Addie weighed 3 lbs. more than Avery, which is a first. Though not really surprising, she usually eats better than Avery. Now if only they would pick out the same shoes, we wouldn’t have the dilemma – get them too small or get them too big …we could get both sizes and let them each have the opposite shoe so they’d get a pair of shoes with 2 sizes, but shoes that actually FIT. But they are, as I mentioned, independent and they like their own things. (By the way, Avery still says she is going to be a “Beterinary” when she is a “grown up” and Addie still wants to be a “Mommy!” <—Aww!!! Zach’s future occupation is up in the air – he definitely wants to be a Daddy … but also a scuba diver, a fireman, a doctor, an astronaut…..he can’t make up his mind. Guess he still has like a year or so left to decide before it’s off to college, right??)

So back to the point of THIS post… the same fashion as above,

The twins went from this:060205 024

to this: (***sigh***)

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Here are some more of their “first day” pictures….I can’t believe how they’ve grown up on me and are all going to school. Addison is on the left in her favorite color (pink) and Avery is on the right and is NOT wearing her favorite color (which is purple) but they didn’t have a purple dress that matched the pink one, so she got stuck with the green which she ended up loving anyway. (BTW, don’t ask me who is who in the baby picture, I couldn’t even tell you.)

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(Note – even the dog was sad when everyone left today!!)

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Hope you enjoyed the pictures if you want to see more go to Facebook, that’s where I’ve been posting most pictures and updates these days. I’ll start to go back over the last few months because we’ve had a lot going on and I’ve gotten quite a few photos since both Kayla and Ben were here over the summer.




Kayla started her SECOND year of college and is living in her own apartment and still cheering for the U of MN. Ben has started 8th grade (and is playing football and hockey….after finishing up baseball and a very exciting half-century bike ride with his Dad this summer!) Have lots of pictures of everyone….will post over the next few weeks!