Papa has encouraged me to always stop and look at the fish counter when I am shopping. I am notoriously bad at buying fish (I had a fish bone phobia after a bone caught in my throat as a child), but he scored some cod on super sale recently which I enjoyed cooking, so I am trying harder. I saw some monkfish at an incredible price. I rarely even see it on sale here, let alone at a 40% discount. Darina Allen had a recipe I wanted to try, so I forged ahead.

It was involved (roasted red pepper sauce)

Papa was appreciative, but also eager to impart his knowledge. As a child his family simply dipped the monkfish in melted butter.

It was divine. There is no going back. It was like lobster, without getting itchy shell juice on my hands!

That same weekend we tried to see if the fish had woken up at Spot Pond.

All we caught was plastic debris that we gathered for the trash can

Conor held out for a bite but it wasn’t to be

Discovery Night

On April 6 the school organized an exceptional evening focused on acknowledging all the different cultural, religious, neurological and family differences and similarities in our school community. I don’t have much to show for it on the blog, because I was pretty busy! I made a poster about traveling internationally, made Irish scones for the food tasting and I was asked to do videography again.

Ton of scones

The night was a great success. I particularly liked the “neurodiversity zone” that showcased all the various learning tools that can tailor learning to students needs. There was a ton of hands-on and sensory tools to try out and all the families were highly engaged.
The video is much more difficult to edit. There were so many themes on the night, and each grade had a different project to document… I have been going to the local TV station during Eamon’s naptime, trying to use the editing software without getting too many pins and needles…

While he sleeps…

Visiting with Santa

As we started into December we embraced numerous opportunities to see Santa (though not all – way too many “Santas” these days I feel! Shouldn’t he be hard at work in the North Pole and not leaving the elves to do EVERYthing??!) We went to the Melrose Home for the Holidays event for the first time (we are usually in Nashville, so we also always miss the Stoneham tree lighting… except for last year, with our 5-day old…)

Hot cocoa and a Pokemon hunt were the name of the game, but we also saw the lights turned on, and Santa rode the fire engine.

Eamon felt strongly that he shouldn’t have been forced to meet Santa at his impressionable age.

So I didn’t even try to introduce him to the “birthday party Santa”.

And he kept his distance from the “work party Santa”, though he wasn’t too disturbed, especially by the cute toys.

Stay back!

Fall at Franklin Park Zoo

I intended to visit Franklin Park Zoo with the boys all summer but it never worked out. Sunday was in the 60s so off we went, at last!

The new Nature’s Neighborhood was a big hit. They erected a tree lookout around a huge old tree and they had lots of other “natural” play structures.


Climbing to the top


Going all directions


Top to bottom


Side by side

Back to Gymnastics

Eoin asked to do basketball class at the YMCA last session, and we were also trying to make it to a few Hike and Seek hikes in the fells, so we stopped doing open gymnastics time for the summer and fall. Apparently Eoin feels he knows all there is to learn in basketball now (ahem?!), so he asked to go back to “gym class”. He much prefers the unstructured play time at the gymnastics center to an organized class.


Eamon the Unstoppable also approves…


Eoin is very strong


Eamon is a major fan of everything bouncy


Sunday at the Library

The old library in Reading Town was recently renovated and I felt it was worth a visit on a rainy Sunday, though I’m pretty sure Papa could not understand why I wanted to visit a library with the boys… Probably remember libraries as slightly less interactive in his day…


Going all directions

The children’s room was open and cosy. It was very easy to find books and browse and they had a nice section dedicated to “recommended” books – easy for busy moms!

The computers were lacking (browser only). The boys are used to computers with educational games at our own town’s library. However, we asked at the desk, and they had two iPads you could play with, which they set us up with. We have iPads at home of course, but there were a couple of new apps that we got to check out.

With PApa being there I even got to escape for a couple of minutes and I picked up a sewing book and slow cooker book. Yay!

Science School

My friend Roisin was going to be giving a talk at a science-based school in nearby Winchester and thought we might be interested. The Acera School was very interesting. It had a full woodshop!

The boys were so excited to use tools. But interestingly enough, even surrounded by many scientific endeavors,  Conor was drawn to pen and paper, and wanted to write his numbers to 100…


I had very little time to check out the research that was being displayed but while the boys were “drawing”, my attention was drawn to a display of fabric beside us. A company had researched how to make seamless garments for an autistic girl who tends to pull apart her clothes at the seams. Fantastic.