What day is it?  We’ve been a bit out of sorts here at the circus… snow days and a power outage resulting in a fun sleepover at Nana and Pop’s… IMG_8407…now it is Friday, but sure feels like Monday…. we’re home and trying to play catch up on schoolwork, house work and laundry… good news is, when we are done… we’ll still have the weekend to enjoy!  And next week is Super Bowl week… and in case you missed it… Pittsburgh’s Going to the Superbowl!!  WAHOO!!!  It’ll be black and gold week at the circus house for sure next week!

So, anyway, I know I haven’t blogged all week and I am sitting here on Friday afternoon, sipping my hot cocoa, at a complete blank for what to write… so instead I will just share a few pics I recently downloaded from my camera… it’ll at least make the grandparents happy and with my sparse blogging as of late, I am afraid they may be the only ones still checking out life at the circus!  I hope to get back into the swing of things and start blogging with regularity again soon! 

The girls started a new gymnastics class this week… together!!  They are super excited to be in the same class and Mommy is super excited about reducing the number of trips to the gymnastics facility each week.  I truly enjoy watching them and am so proud of how hard they are working.  Check out my 5 yr old’s handstands… she pretty much enters every room of the house either doing a handstand or a cartwheel these days.


IMG_8381We took our “little” guy into the dr this week, only to discover what we had kind of feared/suspected… he too has asthma (like his big sister) and was sent home with a nebulizer.  He does pretty well about the treatments, especially for a 7 mth old, but it is so sad to hear him wheezing.  (also, if you were wondering, he weighed in at 21.12 lbs!!)


Attempt Numero Uno at a Snow Man, or is it really a snowball with a face?


Attempt Numero Dos, the next day, back at home….


Well, Happy Friday folks… I’m off to catch up on some chores during quiet time and perhaps start a batch of chocolate chip cookies… b/c for some reason when snow is on the ground, I feel cookies need to be in the oven!!

My lil guy isn’t a newborn anymore.  I’ve known it for awhile.. he’s eating solids, vocalizing, and working on crawling.  But, recently, I also realized his days of simply sleeping in my arms are fleeting.  He’s working himself into a rhythm… sleeping through the night… taking 2 solid naps a day…The days of just holding my tiny, sleeping newborn in my arms are over. 

So on those random Sunday afternoons when he falls asleep in my arms, I am going to stay put and savor the moment.  I’m not going to lay him down, no so much out of fear of waking him, but out of fear of missing the all too fleeting moment. 


“Dusting and scrubbing can wait 'till tomorrow
For babies grow fast we learn to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs and dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.”

-Author Unknown

Dishes piled in the sink, pjs on till 2:00 in the afternoon, laundry waiting to be folded, counter cluttered…

But today, it doesn’t bother me.  (ok, it doesn’t bother me too much anyway)…


Today, I finally took the time to snuggle on the couch with my almost 5 year old and work with her on reading… and today that precious light bulb went off as she first went up and down the blend ladders and then graduated to three letter words.

Today I watched her sound out h-a-t, c-a-t, m-a-t, f-a-t, r-a-t, p-o-p…  I saw her face light up as she got it.  As she read her first word and then her second and then her third.  She couldn’t get enough.  She went to quiet time with words in hand and I could hear her reading the words over and over in her room, then writing them down and reading them again.   

She’s been ready and eager for this and finally, we made it happen.  And I couldn’t be more proud.  It was such a precious moment and I am thankful I got to be a part of it.

That alone would be cause for celebration at the circus. 

But, it’s not all… because she wasn’t the only circus member to have a first with words this week. 

Our littlest cast member warmed his Momma’s heart by calling out “mumm-uh, mumm-uh”.  I know your probably skeptical, but I really think he said it.  It’s happened 3 times now and each time someone else heard it too.  He was trying to get my attention and in the midst of his grunting and yelling, I promise you he said, “Momma!”

Two momentous occasions here at the circus.  A big day with words.  Reading and speaking.  And this Momma is going to bed, dishes still piled in the sink, counter still piled with papers, but as my head hits the pillow, my heart is bursting with my pride. 

My girl can read!

My boy said his first word!

Yesterday my girls had me in stitches with the things they were saying.  I had to go write them down so I wouldn’t forget.


Me:  After you eat we are going to go run some errands
3 year old:  Erin, whose Erin?
Me:  no, we are going to go to some stores
3 year old:  Well, can Erin stay with us while you go to the store?
My 3 yr old came running to me crying over a  boo boo.

I kiss it

3 yr old:  That didn't help (I inwardly lament the fact that my kiss has lost its magical power when I hear my almost 5 yr old say to her,
”Sometimes when daddy kisses my boo boos it doesn't help, even though he is a good kisser.”


The girls always have their “baby Eli’s” with them wherever they go.  Feeding them, snuggling them, they are always at their sides.  So yesterday when they were watching Snow White I thought it odd to see their baby dolls tucked into the doll crib.  I brought them out to them and my oldest daughter said, “No, we are watching grown up TV right now.  They have to stay in their beds.”


I posted this on face book on Sunday, but wanted to record it here so I’d have a record of it.   Sunday afternoon I caught my 3 yr old singing on the potty….

“"We went to church... We worshiped God in church. We ate Chill-ee, we ate chill-ee... God in three persons blessed trinity"


I just love this age and the cute little things that come out of their mouths.  For more of the funny things that come out of lil ones mouths, be sure to visit Mary’s blog for Tiny Talk Tuesday.

I’ve never known what it was like to be part of the home town team.  Though I was born in Pa, I’ve lived in rival MD since the age of 5, not counting 3 of my 4 years of college.  I got my love of football from my dad and my dad brought me up a Steelers girl.  I now pass this legacy onto my four children.   I just love this pic of our newest Steelers fan, I had to find a reason to sneak this in.IMG_7976

But, I gotta tell you, it isn’t easy living behind enemy lines.  I like to think it makes us stronger.  We don’t go with the flow, we stand our own.  We proudly sport our black and gold in this land of purple.  It really doesn’t bother me in the week leading up to the game.  I will gladly talk trash with my neighbor, hang our flag in front of our house and wear my jersey all over town - in fact, I kinda like it.

But, once the game starts, it is a different story.  And it really hit me this year.  During the second quarter of the game on Saturday, I was literally sick to my stomach.  We went into half time down 14 points facing a tough Ravens defense.  The game was far from over but we had to admit it wasn’t looking good.  And the thought of going to church the next morning, seeing all my friends in purple, made me ill.  The Steelers just had to pull through.

I hate losing in the play offs.  Hate it.  I hate it in part because I can still taste the bitter loss against the Patriots in the AFC Championships in 2002.  It forever changed the playoffs for me.  We had home field advantage.  We were on top of the world and I was sure, SURE we were Superbowl bound.  That loss stung.  It stung bad.  I remember Scott and I sitting in our apartment shell shocked and speechless.  His dad had come over to watch with us.  When the game was over, he just politely slipped out to leave us to wallow alone.  He then sent a condolence card later that week.  I am sure that sounds melodramatic to some, but we were so sure, SO SURE we were going to win and just like that our dreams crashed when our season was over early.  We didn’t want to chit chat.  We didn’t want to listen to our friends gloat.  We lost, it stunk and we needed time to get over it.  (Scott and I had a conversation post season discussing whether we have perhaps let Football have too strong a roll in our happiness).

Because of that, and b/c we lost again to the Patriots in 2005, I can’t go into a play off game cocky.  I am always guarded.  I know anything can happen and nothing is certain till it is over.   I refuse to count my chickens until they hatch. 

And because I know how awful it feels to lose, I also try to be respectful of the losing team.  I told my son last night, (after we rebounded in the second half to win the playoff game against the Ravens) that we can be happy about our win (and trust me, it is still very loud here at the circus), but when we go to church tomorrow, we can not gloat.  Talking trash is fine before a game, but after a game it is just rude.  We will not gloat.  (My son - who can trash talk with the best of them - said “Ok mom, I won’t rub it in.  I will be nice.  I’ll say, the Ravens did well.  It is so good that they made it to the play offs.”)  Ok, so it’s amazing how patronizing that sounds coming from a 6 year old… I then suggested he just not bring it up AT ALL. 

How great it must be to live with home field advantage.  It stinks that I had to coach the kids not to talk about the game.  It stinks that I felt like we couldn’t wear our celebration loud and proud today.  Even though we were bouncing on the inside, I felt like we needed to mute our celebration so as to not be rubbing our happiness in our friends faces.  And I thought to myself, “Man I wish we lived in Pittsburgh.”  I wish we could walk cheering and singing and sporting our colors after a Ravens game.  I wish we could be free to fully celebrate when we beat our rival, holding nothing back.  (in hindsight, perhaps that’s part of what made this 2009 trip to PA a bit more special).

IMG_7995As we march forward in the play offs, I want to win next week for so many reasons.  I want to win b/c I want to go the Superbowl, I want to win b/c I hate losing, I want to win because it probably means we got to avenge our 2002 loss to the Patriots, and I want to win so I can celebrate, and party and dance in the street waving my towel and holding nothing back.

Until next week, all should know, our fight song is playing loud and proud behind the walls of the circus.

Those of you that follow me on facebook or twitter, or have spent any time round these circus parts, know that I whine quite a bit about laundry.  Recently, however, I made a startling discovery.  Rather than being the bane of my existence as I once thought, it is in fact, the key to my happiness?

Say wha??

Last May, I set out with a quest to get entirely caught up on my laundry.  Do you recall that flock of pigs, flying over the state of Maryland last spring?  Yup… I did it.  And then, shock of all shocks, I was able to keep up with it, doing a load a day, for a good solid month, before lil man made his appearance into the world and our family.

And even though he is the most easy going, laid back, and sweetest of babes one could ask for, well, it has taken me 7 months to get back to the point where I am totally caught up on laundry AND MAINTAINING my quota of one, sometimes two,  (depending on how many outfits lil miss decides to wear in one day). 

And the thing that shocked me is when I am keeping up with my laundry, I feel on top of the world.  I feel like I am in control of my house instead of the other way around.  I feel accomplished rather than struggling to survive.

Melodramatic?  Maybe, but let me tell you, I am loving life this week.

Amazing how if your clothes are all washed and put away, your house is instantly cleaner b/c you don’t have piles of laundry lurking in your closet, and hall way, behind your bed, and in your laundry room. 

Amazing how it instantly removes a huge amount of clutter and a HUGE mountain of stress.

This week has been fabulous.  I am staying on top of laundry and dishes and I feel like my house is some what in order.  I am literally a new woman!  And lovin life! 

As I watch my kids play together, I can’t help but think how my son has no idea how good he has it.  Growing up, it was just me and my little brother and we’d often play together.  I vividly recall playing GI Joe with him.  It pretty much went the same way every time.  I had the Princess Lea action figure and she would be married to either Shipwreck or Sgt Slaughter.  I’d let him go off on the side and fight his battles or whatever while Princess Lea would clean house and make dinner.  Then she’d call him home from war to sit at the table and eat his dinner.

Yea, I pretty much turned Joes into Ken and Barbie.

Lately, my oldest two have been playing GI Joe and it is a totally different game.  My daughter is Lady Jaye and she throws grenades across the toy room at the Cobra’s. 

I couldn’t help but chuckle when she came looking for a sack to wear on her back for her grenades to go in.  Yea… my son totally struck gold in the sister department.  Sorry bro!


Nothing like the holidays, to bring on some humor from the lil ones.  Here’s a few I want to record for posterity.

When Scott was talking to my 4 yr old about what she wanted to get me for Christmas, she told him she wanted to get Mommy flowers and she was going to be nice.  To clarify Scott asked, “So your going to be nice as a Christmas gift for Mommy?”  When she affirmed this, he told her that she didn’t have to wait until Christmas to be nice.  She could start then.  She then answered, “Oh no Daddy, I don’t want to give away the surprise!”


On Christmas Eve my son came up to me and asked if we had to give Santa the “shape cookies” (meaning the ones we cut out with cutters and decorated)  I told him that Santa would be happy with any cookie they left for him.  He then whispered to me so the girls couldn’t hear, “Good, b/c since I know it’s just you and Dad that eat them, I don’t want to waste them on you.”


Here my 3 yr old shows off the precious cookies her brother didn’t want to waste on ol Mom & Dad!

I am linking this post up on Mary’s Tiny Talk Tuesday carnival.

I wasn’t aiming for some idealist, Kodak winter moment.   Just an evening of winter fun with the kids.  With the baby dropped off at my in laws, Scott and I set out for an evening on the ice with the big 3.   Scott had his reservations and voiced them a few times.  But, I was confident we’d be fine.  IMG_7685

Once we were all laced up and approaching the rink, my confidence began IMG_7691to waver.  Seems when I signed us up for this evening of family fun, I forgot that I have only been ice skating 3 times in my 31 years.  And the last time I went on the ice was well over 10 yrs ago.  As we quickly grabbed scooters for the kids to hold onto, I found myself wishing they had one in my size!

Everyone else seemed to be flying past me with confidence.  Meanwhile I stuck to my 3 yr old like glue, “helping” her steer her scooter in the small patch of scuffed up ice that the Zamboni missed.  

10 minutes into the first hour and I was ready for a break.   Scott took to the ice with no problem and immediately took turns taking one kid around the rink while I stayed in the safe patch with the other 2, doing my very best not to panic and to stay standing up.


When my youngest said she wanted to sit out, I leapt at the chance to take her to the side.  Of course the moment we get off the rink, she starts begging to go back out.  Thankfully, intermission was called shortly and we all took a break to watch the Zamboni clean the ice. 

There it was, all slick and shiny again. 

I suggested we led the mob go out first and we could then trickle out a few minutes later.

I gotta tell you, the second hour on the ice went MUCH better.  I even left my “safe zone” and took a spin or two around the rink singing songs with my 3 year old.    I think all of us had gotten the hang of it a little better and were able to skate with a more confidence.  IMG_7693

When Scott lifted my 3 year old and carried her for a lap around the rink, she giggled and told him this was the “high” of her day. IMG_7712

We left before our 2 hrs were up, but we left while everyone was still happy and smiling.    As we walked back to the car my 3 yr old asked, “Mom why is skating so cold and slippery?”    While I definitely had my moments of doubt, over all the evening was a success and I am glad we went, even if it did stretch me out of my comfort zone a bit!