I am committing to blogging. My kids are wild. Our life is crazy. The funniest things happen. If I don’t write them down, I’ll forget. SO, I’m committing myself to this blog I created. I’m committing to writing down our memories so they don’t fade into my black hole of my brain. And maybe some friends or family will be able to follow along!

Food for thought – Apple Cider Vinegar

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar 16 oz - Click Image to Close

I drink Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar daily.

Apple cider vinegar is a completely natural product, resulting from the fermentation of apple juice to hard apple cider followed by a second fermentation to apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has amazing health benefits. It is effective for pretty much anything – your skin, your hair, your house, and even your pets can benefit from its qualities.
A tablespoon or two diluted in some water is great for a quick and effective energy burst. But there are so many other benefits of  apple cider vinegar.
Thanks to a new blog I’ve been reading, Mind, Body, Green – here is a nice summary of the benefits of ACV.
1. Apple cider vinegar is a completely natural product. It is made from apple juice and is fermented to hard apple cider. It is then fermented a second time to apple cider vinegar. When using natural apple cider vinegar, we instantly decrease the consumption of unnatural chemicals in our homes and daily lives.
2. Apple cider vinegar can be used as a rinse for your hair after shampooing, and will aid in increased body and shine. I recommend recycling an old shampoo bottle, then filling it with 1/2 a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of cold water. Pour the solution through your hair after shampooing several times a week for dramatic results.
3. Natural apple cider vinegar regulates the pH of your skin. Dilute apple cider vinegar with two parts water, and spread the concoction over your face with a cotton ball to replace your current toner. You can do this at night after washing, and in the morning before you apply your moisturizer. A dab of apple cider vinegar can also be left on the skin overnight to fade age spots or acne scars.
It is also a recommended agent for warts. (PETER -READ THIS!) For warts, soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar, then fasten the cotton ball over the wart with a Band-Aid overnight. The skin may swell some as it reacts with the solution. However, the wart will fall off. Once it falls off, the treatment should be continued for a few more days, to make sure the wart doesn’t return.
4. Apple cider vinegar can help remove stains from teeth. Rub teeth directly with apple cider vinegar, and rinse out with water.
5. Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath, and soak for 10 minutes to eliminate discomfort from sunburn.
6. Apple Cider vinegar can be used as a natural aftershave. Fill a bottle with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and shake before applying to the face.
7. Rubbing apple cider vinegar on your hands and feet will give massage-like benefits and relief to tired hands and feet.
8. Apple cider vinegar can aid in weight loss. For daily weight management, add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to 16 ounces of water. This concoction can be sipped throughout the day. Data shows some limited, yet significant, weight loss benefits from sustained daily intake of acetic acid (which is a main ingredient in apple cider vinegar).
In a 2009 study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, it was found that subjects that consumed acetic acid for 12 weeks experienced significant declines in body weight, abdominal fat, waist circumference and triglycerides. Triglycerides contribute to the bad cholesterol that we want to avoid.
9. Apple cider Vinegar will balance your entire inner body system. The body constantly strives to achieve a state of equilibrium. Apple cider vinegar helps the body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level. Research shows that higher acid levels (lower pH level) leads to a lack of energy and higher incidences of infection. Hence, my desire to sip some a few times a day for a natural boost of energy.
10. As part of balancing the body’s pH, apple cider vinegar creates an overall detoxification of the body. Research shows that it can help stimulate cardiovascular circulation and help detoxify the liver.
11. This miracle vinegar helps to break up mucous throughout the body and cleanse the lymph nodes. Believe it or not, research suggests that apple cider vinegar can help with allergies because of its ability to reduce mucous and sinus congestion. When reducing the effects of allergies, it can also help stave off sinus infections and their related symptoms (sore throats and headaches).
12. This vinegar is rich in natural enzymes that can help rid your body of candida — yeasts that are attributed to thrush in humans. Candida also is blamed for creating symptoms of fatigue, poor memory, sugar cravings, and yeast infections.
13. Though it might seem like an oxymoron to treat stomach acid with an acid-containing vinegar, there is research suggesting that apple cider vinegar works by correcting low acid, hence reducing heartburn. Natural remedy experts say you should begin to feel relief very shortly after taking a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar followed by a glass of water. Note that apple cider vinegar will not give relief if you have an ulcer.
14. The use of apple cider vinegar is effective in repelling fleas on your pets. One part vinegar and one part water can be sprayed on your pets fur and rubbed in generously to the skin. Saturate the entire coat, and continue every day for a few days to a week. Any flea infestation will surely be gone.
15. Apple cider vinegar will clean your toilets and have your bathroom smelling like apples! Just pour apple cider vinegar into the toilet, and allow it to sit overnight. It can also be used in dishwashers as a substitute for dish detergent. Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water, and you can use this solution to clean microwaves, kitchen surfaces, windows, glasses and mirrors, too.
I believe that  ACV is a miracle product! I even have Peter drinking it daily now 🙂

Graham Turns 5! And so does Ruthlyn!


April 15.  Tax Day. Also known as Graham’s Birthday.  He’d been talking about this day for months. It finally came!  Graham seriously talked about the details of the big day for weeks. He would ask me, “Mom, when I walk downstairs on the morning of my birthday, will there be balloons and confetti all over the place?” (The answer is, “Not a chance”. Balloons and my boys are a dangerous combination – We’ve learned and re-learned our lesson many times – No balloons in the house!)  “Mom, I want a fancy birthday party at night, where there are candles lit and all the adults are drinking wine, and we have a dance party.”

He also asks to go to the restaurant that’s on the TV in the back of the cab – Del Friscos.  He wants to take a limousine there, btw.

The party was close to everything he imagined:


Lachlan, Zoe, Quinn, Luke, Mikey, Trey, Christopher and his little brother.

The adults were upstairs drinking wine.  I don’t think there were any candles lit.  And there was not a dance party, but there was a screening of Spiderman the Movie.  Oh, and Spiderman himself.  It was awesome!


Birthday celebration at Acorn. Cole was so excited to be there too!  p.s. The worst cupcakes EVER.

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Ruthlyn started working for us April 16, 2008.  Graham was due May 15, so we thought she might as well start working for us a month early — let Ethan get acquainted with her before his new sibling arrives.  Little did we know I’d go into labor a month early!  She walked into work that Wednesday and Peter opened the door and said, “The baby came early.”  I don’t think she has sat down since!  I can’t believe it’s been 5 years.  I don’t think I would still be standing if it weren’t for Ruthlyn.  She is simply amazing and the boys are so lucky to have her!

Stonehill Farms. Easter 2013


We made our annual pilgrimage to Stonehill Farms this Easter. Mema (and Baba) go through so much trouble to make it a comfortable time for us – and it’s always perfect! Everyone was there, except for Rachel and Zac.  It seems to get easier every year. Thank God.  The flight is short. Usually.  Not last year, when we circled over LGA for an hour and a half because of weather, aborted landing twice, had 2 puking kids, and a mom covered in puke. No major excitement on our flights this year.

We love going to the farm! The boys love being able to run around without the fear of being hit by a taxi!  This year though, a couple of deer about took Cole out while we were heading down the hill to the pond!  Cole turned around and ran up to me and Peter so fast!  It’s awesome being able to spend time with Uncle Josh and Uncle Jake and Giancarlo.  Uncle Josh tells the boys funny stories that usually have something to do with pooping, so they just love it!

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Spring Break!

It’s Monday night at 7:03 pm.  Tomorrow, one kid goes back to school after a 2 week Spring Break.  Another kid has just started his Spring Break.  Totally different calendars.  Too many days with one too many kids at home.  It’s 7:03 pm on Monday night – and I’ve put the boys to bed.  They were shocked when they looked at the clock and saw how early it was.  I told them if I didn’t put them in bed now I would officially go crazy and walk out the front door.  There was something about the way I said it – maybe a look in my eye – but they believed me.  And didn’t fight me on it.  Right now they are doing the usual – both on the top bunk, lifting the mattress up and making a fort.  I don’t care.  Cole, my little angel, is asleep in his ‘big boy’ bed.

We spent a couple days in Florida, where we met up with Grandma JJ and Grandpa Steve.  It started off shaky, in Ft. Lauderdale.  The hotel might have been a cruise ship.  I’m shocked how obese Americans really are.  And how many tattoos these people have.  We were not impressed with the hotel, the food, and the atmosphere – so, in true posh fashion, we headed to Palm Beach.  The Breakers, our favorite home away from home, had a last minute cancelation so we were able to check in!  But not before Graham fell off the back of a chaise lounge smack on his head, EMT were called, stretchers were brought in, fire engines followed.  He was fine.  The hotel couldn’t have be nicer (or more scared of a lawsuit.)  Gift baskets of cookies, chips and candies arrived, phone calls were made wishing Graham well – maybe I should’ve asked for a free night. If I liked that hotel…  Just kidding. It was totally Peter’s fault. I was with a napping Cole in the room. HaHa!

Florida was awesome. The sun and warmth was much needed.


Practicing handstands


I can’t believe how grown up Ethan looks here!


Graham terrorizing poor little Cole.


Cole spilled a smoothie on his pants. Luckily we had a back-up pair. But he peed in those on the plane. Out of luck.

He peed while sleeping on the plane - Luckily I had a random diaper in the bottom of my bag, so he didn't have to walk around LGA naked.  Just pants-less.

He peed while sleeping on the plane – Luckily I had a random diaper in the bottom of my bag, so he didn’t have to walk around LGA naked. Just pants-less.

Me and my boys

Me and my boys

iPads and vaginas

Once we realized that the boys were quickly becoming obsessed and addicted to their iPads, kind of like how I imagine a crack addiction would be, Peter and I decided to limit iPad use to only the weekends.  It’s helped a lot and has made our weekdays much more peaceful.  We use it as bribery throughout the week, which makes bedtime a lot easier.  These boys lose and re-earn them a lot.

Ethan and Graham have formed an interesting relationship with Siri.  A few weeks ago, I overheard Ethan asking Siri to marry her.  She replied by telling him it was not in her user agreement.  This weekend Graham was asking Siri to show him pictures of inside an eyeball.  I then heard Siri say, “OK, I will search the web for pictures of a vagina.” I jumped off the couch so fast and grabbed that iPad out of his hand.  Upon further investigation, Graham’s iPad had about 15 safari pages opened with the most random searches ever.  The most disturbing one was of Batman kissing Robin.  The google search on that was “Find a picture of Batman’s partner.”  Siri obviously does not speak the 4 year old language.

Looks like we are in the market for new iPad regulations.  OMG.

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Big Boys Doing BIG Things!

Note – I have pictures to add to this post, I just can’t find the thing that connects my camera to the computer.  You know one of the boys probably put it in their ‘office’.

Cole has decided to potty train himself.  He refuses to wear diapers.  He refuses to wear pull-ups.  Underwear it is.  His favorites are the Superman ones.  Of course.  He’s pretty good so far – a few accidents here and there. Mostly poop.  Which is really fun to clean up. Nighttime is tough, since he doesn’t want to wear a diaper – but Ruthlyn (our fearless nanny) has discovered that he will wear a nighttime diaper if we put underwear over it.  At 2 years 4 months, this isn’t bad!

Ethan does his homework like a champ.  As soon as he gets home from school, he gets his snack and sits down to do his homework.  He is reading basic chapter books, answering comprehension questions, writing sentences with his spelling words, and a doing a math sheet.  This doesn’t mean he loves it.  Yesterday, he lost it and started screaming “I hate this stupid, frigging homework.”  Nice.  I wonder where he learned that language.

As we were walking home from school today, he told me that he can’t wait to go to college because he can come home to visit me whenever he wants.  Last week he told me that he would never go to college because he can’t live without me.  The kid is growing up.  I’ll never forget after his first day of first grade – I asked him how his day was and he said, “It wasn’t good.  It was AWESOME!”  This has been a great year for him!


Graham did 107 sit-ups the other day.  I am serious.  I counted each and every one, while his feet were anchored under the couch and he raised and lowered his upper body 107 times.  This kid is obsessed with fitness.  He does pull-ups hanging off of his bunk bed.  He does incline pushups from the TV console table to the sofa.  He does handstands every chance he gets.  He asks me to feel his biceps at least 35 times a day.  After every bite of food, he feels his biceps and notices how much it’s grown since his last bite.  He is a madman.  42 pounds of all muscle madman.

Graham’s artwork:




The boys are obsessed with Superman.  Everything is Superman these days. It’s all that’s on the tv. The boys play with legos, magna tiles and blocks – and it’s Superman’s house they build.  They get dressed, only to look like Clark Kent. They run with their arms outstretched to get from room to room – usually with a cape flying off their back.  Cole got a very handsome haircut the other day and when I told him he looked like Daddy, he said, “No – Clark Kent”.  It’s too cute.  Every outfit consists of a Superman shirt.  Cole’s calls him “Ma-Man”.  Graham wears a button down and tie to school, hair gelled to the side and cologne on, in hopes that he looks like Clark Kent. I told him he needs a pair of glasses.  (It is possible he’s wearing the getup just to impress the girls.)  Even Ethan is in on the Superman fun – drawing pictures of the caped superhero and taping them all over his room.

The soundtrack has been playing on repeat on all of their iPads – Peter and I might be going insane.


Superman, holding Superman, watching Superman.


Sometimes the costumes are a little make-shift. Depends on the laundry situation.


Batman and Spiderman are sneaking their way into the mix lately.


Life in the Von Der Ahe House is Moving FAST!!!!!