June 30, 2011

Road Rules

Day One (as it stands):

We left about 2.5 hours behind schedule, which is not the end of the world because we should arrive to D.A.R. State Park in Vermont with enough daylight to set up camp and get dinner started. London just recently grew big enough to sit in a forward-facing car seat, so we debuted that today, thinking that the novelty of seeing what we see would make her a more willing traveler. In reality, it made her screaming less muffled, as it is now megaphoned right into our ears.

While it was a bit of a crazy start, she is sleeping peacefully now, along with Harper who delayed us a tad with his (no joke) 20 minute pit stop before we were even half an hour outside of Rochester. But, a man's business cannot be rushed...

The oldest girls are busy with their activity books I put together. I am contemplating what this trip's focus should be. We have some specific things we want to work on with each kid, but the overall theme for the trip will be gratitude. In keeping with my goal of total fabulousness in my old age, I am going to use this time to be more aware of, and thankful for, every single thing in my life. That means no complaining.

In order to reduce complaining, I plan to strictly enforce some rules. Some are basic; keep your area of the car tidy, no waking up the baby, no whining, only one show allowed per day in the car... Some are a little more unusual; no gremlin crying in the tent, if you slam your whole water bottle before we are out of rochester, you lose the privilege of water, and sprinkling your legs with water is not allowed.

We are harsh I know. But, this should help in making this a fun, family adventure for everyone. Speaking of everyone, our outspoken and high-maintenance friend, Joe Cassara, lodged a complaint against last year's blog coverage. He claimed that there was a disproportionate amount of attention paid to myself and the kids in comparison to Tom.

So, by singular request... I give you a new recurring feature called "All Tom, All the Time." Expect big things. If you hate the name, consider yourselves lucky that I didn't take Joe's suggestion and call it "Kingtom" as in "Kingdom," but dumber sounding.

A little taste of what's to come in "All Tom, All the Time"?? Well, re-read last year's posts about Tom's desperate search for buffalo, but insert the word moose where it says buffalo. This should give you the general idea.

The next two nights Tom's parent's will join us in Vermont. I have high hopes of eating so much Vermont cheddar and anything Maple-flavored... Because like all fabulous elderly women, I love myself a maple treat.

June 29, 2011

let the wild woman pack.

Well... I am making a good bit of progress in packing.  Which is good, because we leave in about 12 hours.  Believe it or not, vacuum sealing all of our stuff intoindividual ziplock bags is the least obnoxious (and space-saving) packing method in the long run. In the short run, it makes me question my sanity.

But, jammies are ziplocked in, so there is no turning back now.  This really is the only way I can pack for 6 people for 3 weeks and fit in everything, and it keeps us organized as a little bonus.

The kids are very excited and Harper asked about our "country road trip" at least 89 times today. Tom is outside vacuuming out the van in the dark, so I can't say for sure... But I'm guessing he's all sorts of pumped right now.  I am  handling the pressure with my usual pleasant, laid back demeanor.

I am just not the type to freak out and, oh, I don't know... threaten Tom's life if he puts a "tick" mark on my packing list in his handwriting.  Nobody should let a woman like that drive all over the country without supervision. Fortunately, I am more stable than those kind of women. That reminds me, I better go ziplock all our undies.

butterfly baby

June 26, 2011

it's the final countdown.

we are officially leaving for our second annual "Capuano Tour de USA" in 4 days.  one might expect that we are nearly packed, and are finalizing last minute details.  one would be seriously disappointed to find that one couldn't be more wrong.  one might call me a total failure.  i might tell one to stick it where the sun don't shine, mostly because i am really committed to seeing that phrase make a comeback.

we are not nearly as prepared as we were for our last trip.  this lack of preparation is totally tom's fault.  okay, one should probably know that i am lying, and really... it's nobody's fault.  ok, one, it's probably my fault.  but, what can ya do?  i will tell you what i plan to do: scramble like a crazy person for the next 4 days, and hope that any lack of preparation just makes for good blog fodder.

here is what we have done, and what we have yet to do.


  • planned the general route we will go.
  • located and reserved campsites through day 10.
  • planned meals through day 10.
  • made a grocery list.
  • thought about how much laundry needs to be done.
  • panicked about not having anything packed.
  • went away for the weekend to de-stress from all that stress of needing to do things that we haven't done, instead of staying home and actually doing things.
    not done:
  • packing for 6 people, for 3 weeks.
  • buying supplies (sunscreen, bug spray, propane for the camp stove, groceries, etc.)
  • planning the second half of our trip.
  • cleaning out the van and organize it into road-trip mode.
  • making state-by-state activity books for the kids.
  • making a state-by-state activity book for tom.  (he is a very squirrelly traveler.)
  • pretty much anything one might think needs to be done, goes in this "not done" category.
while i am terribly worried that this road trip will not go too smoothly because we have so little of the preparations made this time... i am equally excited for what this trip may bring.  we are expecting more rain and mosquitoes, but on the up side, much less time in the car actually driving.  we will cover a fraction of the ground we covered last time, which will allow us to see a lot and spend more time at each stop.  we have 18 days of travel, and will cover all of new england.  i plan to blog regularly, just as i did last year.  i expect each post to be riveting.  one could safely expect a thrilling account, starting in 4 days.  

until then, i have a lot of work to do.  my blood pressure goes up just thinking about it.  

June 24, 2011

June 20, 2011

why turning thirty is the new not complaining anymore.

welcome to my new and improved blog.  while i never thought that there was anything wrong with the understated black background, it apparently stunk.  so, thanks to rick mcneal for pointing that out, and for sprucing the place up a bit.  it is lovely isn't it?

i was due for a change... something more sophisticated.  after all, i did turn the big 3-0!  i have been looking forward to this milestone b-day for a very long time, as i mentioned in 2009 when i wrote a terribly convincing post about why getting older is the new getting younger.  so, just when i thought my dream of turning thirty came true, i happened upon recent findings that suggest that thirty is really the new twenty.  so, i guess that puts me back to square one.

i must say that all my birthday dreams came true on saturday when i got off a plane at noon, spent a few hours with my fam, and was ordered to get fancied up for a 5:30 reservation at one of rochester's finest restaurants.  we had dinner and grabbed dessert at chocolate and vines with some of our favorite people, joe and sam.  when i was forced to keep my eyes closed between stops, i got a little disoriented and was totally convinced that i was in the city, going down a hill, at the jazz festival.  in actuality, i was in my own (very hill-less) backyard, standing on a dance floor surrounded by the rest of my favorite people!  once i finally pulled my face out of my hands, i danced the night away and celebrated every single thing that makes me the luckiest girl in the world.  (a sweet husband who had the good sense to have a dance floor is just the tip of the ice burg!)

i have so many goals for this next decade of my life.  i am certain i will devote an entire post to such things... but the biggest part of being fabulous in my thirties is gratitude.  i want to be more thankful for every single detail of my day.  this is hard. because i think i might complain a lot.  i don't know for sure, though.  it is hard to know anything for sure because it's so hot in here i can hardly think.  and i'm so tired, i don't know if anyone has ever been this tired.  and i am a little hungry.  we never have really good snacks when i want one.  not only that, but the cost of groceries is out of control!  and i hate grocery shopping... it's like, never the right time to go.  goodness, my hair is frizzy.  so, anyways... i just can't really say one way or another if i complain a lot or not, but on the off chance that i do complain too much - i am working on it.

here is to being fabulously thankful for my life.  every last bit of it.


June 19, 2011

Fairy Princess

Annalee perfected a floral arrangement to accent her hair.

June 4, 2011

long answer, little baby.

i am absurdly overdue on this update. i do apologize to anyone who has been waiting to hear how london has been doing.

the short answer? great.

the long answer? well... here we go. london has begun making red blood cells on her own. this is a huge component of what was concerning us. this is very promising, and as one might expect, a huge relief. this means that (at this point) we will not be doing a bone marrow biopsy, which we were all dreading. the hematologist has said that we are not completely out of the woods yet, but that she is showing very encouraging signs that this was, in fact, a condition called T.E.C. (Transient Erythroblastopenia of Childhood). however, the stoppage in her growth (height specifically) remains unexplained. so, we still have some tests to undergo, but fortunately... it is nothing invasive at this point.

london has gained 9 oz. since my last update, and she has finally grown out of the 3-6 month shoes that she has been wearing for over a year. this may not seem like a huge deal, but the first two years of a human being's life is the period where the most rapid growth and development occurs. london has not grown for almost half her life. this has been terrifying for us. also, we are coming up on 7 weeks of continual diarrhea, which is also quite concerning.

on the positive end, her doctors are universally impressed by her rate of development which continues to make me feel bad for other children... since she is seriously the smartest baby on planet earth. and probably all the other planets too. this has remained the greatest comfort to us, since the growth of her head and her development are sort of the "last men standing."

in other news, i am pleased to announce that since my last update i have both refrained from using any illicit street drugs, and have held fast to my faith that God's hand really is a faithful one, inside which my little baby bird is snugly perched. thanks to all who encouraged me, supported me, and who told me to "just say no." and i even thank those who judged me silently, rather than out loud. i appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

the truth is that almost from the moment of conception, london has had a rough go at survival. i had multiple complications during my pregnancy and she even had a close call with being burgled at one point. so, when we had to take her in for a blood transfusion...

i couldn't help but think that this time we wouldn't get to keep her.

when you have four healthy, happy, beautiful kids... it all starts to feel a little too idyllic. like it's going so well, it must be really fragile, and i start feeling like it's all about to fall apart when i least expect it. so, thank you to all who encouraged me and listened when i was in the dark place, and for those who had to listen more than once. or twice. thanks for thoughts, kind words, and more than anything... for diligent prayers.

i bought myself one of those teeny tiny little computers for your lap. i believe they are called netbooks, or notebooks, or netpads or something. (i call it a tippy-tappy.) but the point is that now that i have my own tippy-tappy, i plan to be more consistent with blogging, especially when it comes to updates on london. additionally, we are continuing our capuano tour de usa this summer, focusing on the great northeast. so, that will ensure blog after blog of high quality entertainment for all. until then...