end of summer round-up

Forgive the blog-neglection of late. I’ve been in a bit of an end-of-summer rut, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. It had begun to feel like I was living in the movie Groundhog Day. The end of July and the beginning of August blurred together. Not fun.

Sweet thing turned 4.


Ever since he learned to ride a two-wheeled bike, Theo has been asking for a red bicycle. It’s such a perfect gift for our little man, but do you have any idea how tough it is to track down a red bicycle that’s his size?


We found one close to his size. And he loves it. Check out that smile…

He’s still too little to get on and off the bike by himself, but otherwise, it gets an A+.

School started back on August 17th and Tucker decided to mark the day by losing his very first tooth.


Tucker is following in his big brother’s footsteps when it comes to losing teeth. This tooth was hanging on for dear life for a good week and finally dropped out his mouth without him even realizing it. We spent 10 minutes trying to find it (it was on the floor in his room) and were late leaving the house, so I win the bad-mom award for Worst First-Day-of-School pictures ever.

Our big 3rd grader.

Tucker’s first day of 1st grade.

Theo is officially at Trinity with his brothers!!

We rounded out our first week back with a little kitchen yoga (before we had fireworks in the cul-de-sac). Makes for an interesting Friday night, to say the least.

Strong Theo demonstrates a high plank.

Jack shows off regular plank…

…and a funny almost-plow.

But Tucker takes the cake. This is all he has been doing lately. His teacher even said she’s seen him doing headstands on the playground.

Finally, we are aiming to be here by sundown tomorrow.

We are looking forward to celebrating the ending of another summer. Fall baseball is back in full swing, and football season starts tonight (which makes Russ super-happy) so you know what that means…Halloween is just around the corner.

Our goal is no Halloween stuff out of the basement before September 15th. Let’s see if Tucker can handle it.


Debby downer…the aftermath


Debby was a downer, indeed. Big time. Fernandina had over 15 inches of rain within 48 hours which means, as you can guess, it poured non-stop for 2 days. Poured. Like Noah’s ark type pouring. With Russ out of town for a few days, being homebound with 3 boys, 2 dogs, 1 gerbil and 2 cases of strep was pretty miserable.


On Wednesday morning, the deluge finally stopped for a bit, so we ventured out to the beach around 10:30. The beach post-storm is always pretty impressive. Dangerous, but impressive. The boys had a rule that they could not go in the water above their knees. Surprisingly, Tucker didn’t even press the rule. It was that rough out in the ocean.



Storms always churn up crazy amounts of foam on Amelia…which, for some reason, the boys like to dive into. Eww.




Our good friend Jim Cantore had assured us it was just a short break in the band of storms, and sure enough, it started pouring rain again. Sigh. So we ran back to the house and watched a movie.

But a mere 3 hours later, the weather finally was back to this:

This photo was literally taken 3 hours after the storm photo just above it. Cross my heart. Crazy.

Turtles have pink tongues. Now you know.



For some reason, it looks like Jack and Theo have been photoshopped into this photo above; that’s not the case…any photographer want to chime in and explain what’s going on here? Is it the bright red shirts? The funky cropping? It’s weird, no?

Theo’s inner-Tucker has come out now that we’ve thrown in the sanity towel for the safety towel and let him wear a life preserver in the pool (rather than hovering over him, trying to teach swimming skills). He jumps off any edge, regardless of the depth underneath him. No fear.

The Old Man and the Sea. Take 42.



Hams. All 3.

Danger, Will Robinson. Don’t lean backwards. Please.

8 or 18? Goodness, this photo makes my heart hurt. Eight years have flown by.


Of course by now the storm has moved on her merry little way–out into the Atlantic Ocean–and we are back to enjoying beach life. Good stuff.

Very good stuff.

Make the most of your 4th of July tomorrow!

bunny mobile redux

Easter was last weekend which means the ever-fabulous Herakovich Bunny-Mobile made another appearance!


It’s become our wonderful family tradition to spend Easter at the beach. We grab whichever set of grandparents is available and hit the road. AIP hosts a boatload of fun events, and I’ve found a beautiful, tiny little church where I’ve spent the past 3 Easter Sunday mornings.

But our favorite event is the Easter Parade. The participants go all out and it’s hilarious. Nothing screams sacred religious holiday like competitive golf cart decorating.


The sign was Tucker’s idea; he hoped it would alert parade attendees that he was a willing recipient of candy…because people who come to watch a parade usually throw things back at the floats, right? He gets an A for effort, for sure.



None of the boys would have their photo made with the Bunny, so I took one for the team…

Post parade, we got down to some serious egg coloring. I used to love this part of Easter when I was a kid. I’d drag the process out, dying one egg at a time, leaving it to soak in its bath of color like it was visiting a spa. With my sons, however, setting up the glasses and getting the colors ready takes longer than the actual egg-dying project. I kept trying to slow them down, but I lost that battle.

Nonetheless, they had a blast. My mom hard-boiled 10 eggs for each boy and as soon as I gave them the go-ahead, they tore out of the gates for the 2012 Easter Egg Speed Coloring session.


The final products were extra vibrant, thanks to the doubling of color pellets in each glass (not, of course, from the long, luxurious soak each egg received).


It’s lizard season on Amelia again. Meet Albert Pujols.


Tucker must’ve said 15 times how much he loved Albert. Albert actually rode on the golf cart to the beach with us and stayed put on the seat while we spent 2 hours on the beach. That solidified his worthiness. Tucker then was convinced that Albert loved him as much as he loved Albert.


We finally released Albert back to his own family, and I’m happy to report that young Albert had not panicked at all during his adventure–a fact we know because he did not lose part of his tail. Yes, we’ve freaked out lizards enough to make them lose their tails before. Albert was tough.

I have been doing a lot of writing lately, just not on this blog. For some meatier posts, feel free to click over to the Mamas Against Drama site and read my posts on raising boys to become gentlemen, on kindness (and sweet Theo learning how to ride a 2-wheeled bike!), and on The Lorax and the notion of biggering.

We’re off to the baseball field for two games this afternoon. Here’s to sunny Spring Saturdays!


beach break

It’s hard to beat a weekend at the beach, even if it’s windy and partly gloomy outside. We took a fabulous trip down to Amelia this past weekend. Russ’s parents have spent the past month down there relaxing and tinkering around.  Russ’s dad is absolutely masterful at the art of tinkering. He’s rigged up a way to keep our bikes from toppling over in the closet, he’s hung various things in various places, he’s fixed random holes in random walls, and he’s gone toe-to-toe in a serious battle against a nest of carpenter ants. Russ’s parents are on a first-name basis with the dudes at the hardware store and have even visited a machinery shop to have–are you ready for this?–a pull on a drawer re-threaded (Russ’s response? “I’d have just bought a new chest of drawers.”). Grandpa’s a rock-star of a fix-it-up man. He puts your run-of-the-mill handyman to shame.

It was nice to spend time with them both, and the boys thoroughly enjoyed walking the beach with them and helping Grandpa search for lost golf balls in the dunes, which he enjoys doing when he’s not fixing up stuff.

You got something you think needs fixin’? This cat can handle it…


The beach in late February can give you a solid taste of the upcoming Spring when the weather cooperates, which it did in a spectacular way on Sunday. It was over 80 degrees when we moseyed on out to the beach after a lunch outing downtown.


The water, of course, was still way too cold for anyone–except Tucker, that is.

Cold? What’s that?

And this old brown/gray guy?


…still loves him some beach time but still does not like wet, salty tennis balls. Both Henry and Buck hover around me all day at the beach, begging to go for a walk down to the sand and the ocean.

The downtown area is still great fun and our usual go-to restaurant still has shoddy service but good food.  And the giant fake shark is still hanging on the dock, waiting for children to mess with him.




Spring is on its way. Basketball is done…

…which means baseball has started up. Even on 50 degree days, both boys are thrilled to be on the ballfield. I love catching them playing toss in the yard (or cul-de-sac, as the case may be…).


February has given us our 9th anniversary, Valentine’s Day, Russ’s birthday and–almost–my birthday.

these are the coolest paintings the boys did with our dear friend Emily (L-R: Jack’s, Tuck’s, Theo’s)…

We’ve built more train tracks this month than Sir Topham Hatt could fathom.  Cold, rainy, windy weather that locks you indoors will do that to a family. We’ve even managed to combine marble tracks with train tracks–Jack and Theo call them “cargo loaders.” Their creativity makes me smile.


Theo’s latest obsession is organizing his trains:  by size or color or engine type or tinders or numbers of wheels…his categories are endless.


The rest of this week features some great beginnings:  the start of Lent and the start of another trip around the sun for me, both of which I view to be pretty doggone fantastic.

Make your week count, too.