Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Yep, Viv got one too. I guess that's what happens in kindergarten - little girls get bestest friends, BFFs, besties. A real live best friend. She's pretty happy about it.

They went to Ricker Hill Orchard in Turner for the kindergarten field trip - lots of goat-feeding, cider-making, hay bale-maz-ing, slingshot-ing, apple-picking fun. Curtis got to go (again! lucky duck! I've got this baby at home I have to feed...) and took lots of fun pictures.

Viv with Mrs. D., who is "the best teacher ever!"

It's shaping up to be a pretty good year!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Here we go again

I was going to start with the cliche about how the summer flew by and how I can't believe school is starting again already, but really, I barely remember what it was like to have a kiddo in school and to be on some sort of a daily schedule. To be honest, I barely remember much these days, what with the littlest one being in charge of how much sleep I get and all.

It does seem like we've packed a lot into this summer, actually. A baby, a wedding, family visits, lots of beach time (for the kids and Curtis), lots of being too hot while holding a teeny baby and being SO GLAD the bedroom had air conditioning. But, of course, the start of school eventually arrives and we get ready for a new normal.

#1 new normal thing? Breakfast early in the morning, rather than at 8:45 or 9 a.m. when we finally get downstairs and get going (seriously, Betty slept in until 8 or 8:30 almost every morning this summer).

Couple the new breakfast time with the girls' excitement and very little breakfast got eaten this morning, despite our admonitions and warnings about being hungry at school. Viv claimed first that she didn't want to eat so she could save room for her turkey and cheese I packed for lunch. Then she said her tummy was starting to hurt, so I let it go. She had a few bites of yogurt and blueberries and a mini muffin. Good enough.

Funny thing: Vivian didn't realize until YESTERDAY that she was starting school today. We'd been talking about the start of school for weeks and weeks, but she somehow thought that she wouldn't actually go to school until she had her fifth birthday, which isn't until September 21. You should have seen the look on her face when she realized that she would be going to school THE VERY NEXT DAY. Woah.

The official First Day of School shots. Cute. Thanks for the shirts, Nain.

The girls at the schoolyard. Viv looks rather trepidatious here, but when I asked Curtis about it, he said he had told her to look sad for the photo, just goofing around. Pretty convincing, huh?

I think this is a more accurate representation of how they were feeling.

Kathryn being an awesome big sister.

Curtis said she kept her arm around Viv for about five minutes as they walked through the schoolyard, even as they were joined by Kathryn's friends from last year.

Eventually a teacher came and brought Viv over to where the kindergarteners were gathering, and she was without her big sister for the first time.

I think she's in good hands...

...and she marched on in.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Venturing out

So, I it turns out I can only spend so many weeks sitting on the couch "recovering" before I have to get out and do something. I did spend a lot of time sitting around after Annie was born, waiting to heal and actually feel better. This was the toughest recovery of them all. Maybe it had something to do with it being my fifth c-section in six years. Bleh.

ANYWAY, I finally did start feeling well enough to venture out, and one of the first outings was to meet my parents (Nain and Taid) and my sister-in-law Sherry and nieces and nephews Iris, Isaac, Xander and Kaylee at a park in Augusta.

It's a great park! The playground is big and fun and it's on the Kennebec River, yet not so close that I was worried about the kids accidentally falling in or anything. Fun side note - the girl Kathryn, Viv and Iris were making friends with in the above photo turned out to be my friend Dinah's niece!

Nain photographing Betty.

Kaylee was Betty's shadow all day. It was great - I didn't have to worry about her at all!

Homeless guy in the park.

Oh no, wait - that's Taid. He makes a great pillow.

This looks like an ad for a TV show, When First Graders Go Bad or Tuff Girls or something like that.

For the record, Annie was there.

The kids all had new school shirts from Nain and Taid and they all changed into them at the park for the photos.

After a good long time at the park, including a picnic lunch, we went to the Maine State Museum. It was really great!

Old trains...

old saws...

tons of taxidermy...

I mean tons. The kids LOVED it.

Dad had a great time looking at the gems. There's some really pretty stuff there!

The whole crew at the end of a tiring day. So much fun!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Mess of the Week

It appears at this stage of the game that I am unable to keep my house clean AND blog AND make homemade food all in one day.

Trust me, it's worse than it looks. The 360 view isn't pretty.

So, we had a baby...

...this little bundle. Ann Steele Rice, born July 7 at 12:11 p.m., weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces.

She was our littlest baby, but as she was born about 10 days early via scheduled c-section (NOT my preferred way to have babies, but it turns out that's how I roll), it makes sense.

This is Annie at five and a half weeks, sleeping soundly, tucked in my arms.

This is us, six weeks ago at the WONDERFUL Rumford Hospital (I love their maternity unit - the doctors and NURSES are the best!).
But let's back up about 20 or so hours. The night before Annie was scheduled to be born, Owen and Marci were married in Rockport, about two hours away from Rumford. Hmm. How very convenient for us! But, the doctors were pretty insistent that July 7 was the day to have the baby, for a number of reasons I won't go into here. It did make sense, really. So, we partied down at the wedding for a few hours (I say "partied down" but let's remember I was nearly nine months pregnant and we had our other four children with us, so "partying" is used loosely here) and then headed back to my parents' house for some sleep. The wedding was so lovely and we were SO glad that it all worked out to attend!

Thursday morning, bright and early, Curtis and I drove to Rumford Hospital to finally welcome our last little baby.

One of the good things about having Annie the day after the wedding was that all the family was in town, so everyone got to see the little moppet before heading back to their various homes in New York City, Vermont, Utah or Oklahoma.

Dear Aunt Mary!

Loving this new baby HARD!

And loving mom a bit, too.

Aunt Gwennie!

Rice kids running wild in the hospital...the hospital staff was so wonderful to us, even when our kids ate every available snack and drank every orange juice they could find! (Too bad we're not going to be giving them any more business in the baby department...Annie is officially our caboose.)
I do believe I must have been on a lot of pain pills to allow Betty anywhere near my stomach at this point - !!!!!!!!!

Speaking of that Betty, oh BOY does she love her sister! Sometimes a little too much...

The three weeks following Annie's birth were a bit of a blur for me. I was having a tough time recovering but thank heaven for Curtis's mom, Lorna, and our niece, Michaela, who came out from California for three weeks to help! I have to find some pictures of them and post them next - I wasn't taking many pictures during that time (shame on me!) and don't know if there are any floating around on my computer here.

But I do know the kids had LOTS of fun with Grandma and Michaela here, and also with their cousin Kaylee, who came for a few days.

We (along with most of the rest of the country) had some HOT weather. The sprinkler was much loved.

We also had a new picnic table to enjoy. Curtis finished it so it's not splinter-y and we've had some lovely meals on it!

So, that's the update - xoxo to all!