Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In the Car in the Rain

I'm typing this with my thumbs.

It's 10pm, and I'm sitting in my car in the driveway.

It could be because I'm not looking forward to schlepping groceries in the rain. Or it could just be because it's cozy and quiet in here. Very cozy. With the constant "dibble dibble dibble dop" of the rain falling on the car. (ok parents, who can place that rain reference?)

It's hypnotic. It's soothing.

My cold foods are thawing. I really should go in.

But dibble dibble dibble dop dop dop...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Stewardship Sunday on Monday Again

Wow, what a week. The whole week was a huge gift. The vacation was much-needed, and much enjoyed. It was worth every penny to hear HeyMama say, "I'm going to go outside and run around with my cousins." And since they live in St. Louis, MO and Fairbanks, AK, it takes a few pennies to gather them all together. Yet, still, it was totally worth it.

We returned home to find that our garden had exploded. The pole beans finally decided to climb their poles. The lettuce was trying to race it to the sky. The herbs were elbowing the tomato plants for space. The jalapeƱos were thick and plentiful. Hot sun and lots of rain will do that, I suppose...

Garden bounty:  basil, jalapeƱos, and zucchini cake
It's a lot of basil! The pot's just there because it's pretty...
BestestHusband uprooted the peppermint to make more room for the spearmint. We have a lot of mint...

Food waste: We left some produce for Miss Ashley (our beloved daycare teacher/dogsitter/housesitter/babysitter) to eat. She did not eat the produce. MISS ASHLEY, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO EAT THE PRODUCE!!! So we had some fruit go bad. She did help eat some of the garden. So I give her credit for that. On vacation, we made a valiant effort to keep from wasting any leftovers from a week of 3 meals/day x 12 people. I think we deserve credit for that. And we're working very hard to use/preserve the crazy amounts of herbs we brought in from the garden. OH, and we composted at the lake house! Does that earn us bonus points?

Money: Vacation is not cheap. But we cooked most of our own meals (we went out one night with the whole family, and BestestHusband and I went out one night just by ourselves - with coupons), which helps with 12 people. We shopped all of the grocery sales in advance, thanks to my detail-oriented mother-in-law.

Patience: It's easy to be patient when you're on vacation. 

M&Ms: There was a bag of plain M&Ms on vacation. I was too busy eating other yummy stuff to care much. 

Time: We got family time, couple time, 1:1 kid time, and even lots of alone time. The whole week was time well spent, in my mind. 

This week is proving already to be a tough reality check. Sigh. Back to reality. But it was definitely worth it!

How was your week?

Friday, July 27, 2012

I Do Not Waterski

I married into a family of water skiers. BestestHusband and his siblings have been skiing for so long none of them remember actually learning to ski. So any time the family gets together in the summer, waterskiing ensues.

Back when BestestHusband and I were dating, I had my first chance to learn to ski. It was August in the lake country of MN. A cold August. And a cold lake. My lesson involved, "keep your skis together, and hold on." Well, I got hypothermia before I actually got up on the skis. I did a little bit of kneeboarding, but no skiing.

My next few summer gatherings involved me being either pregnant or postpartum, and skiing was not even considered.

But this summer, well, this was my chance to learn. The lake was warm, the weather was warm, and hypothermia was not a concern. Both of my nephews got up on skis. What could be so hard about it?

Well, there's a reason everyone else in the family learned to ski as kids. It's not a simple thing for a 35 year old woman to just pop up on skis. I even tried the kids' trainer skis.

A variety of factors come into play here:
I'm not athletic by nature
I have a horrible sense of balance
I don't like feeling out of control
I don't like falling
I'm still nursing a bad back
I have very poor upper body strength
I'm not very competitive by nature
I don't really trust that my ski instructors are giving me all the info I really need for success
I don't really feel the need to waterski right now

Obviously, the last factor is the most important one here.

If I really wanted to ski, I would figure out a way to get up, despite all of the other factors. But after a few half-hearted attempts, I decided to leave the skiing to the real skiers.

I do not waterski. And for now, I'm ok with that.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In the Beginning

We took a day trip to the headwaters of the Mississippi River today. It's not so far from where we're staying, and it would be a shame to miss it. 

It doesn't look like much. There's a lake, some rocks, then you're in the Mississippi. Kids were splashing and playing, and it was shallow enough for MeToo to stand in. Tiny fish swirled around our ankles as we walked along the pebbly bottom.

But I think it's worth noting that great and mighty things have small and unassuming beginnings. Without the signs, I'd think it was just another forest stream. But by the time it reaches the southern end of the state, it requires significant bridging, and when it reaches the Gulf of Mexico, it has its own delta.

The girls venture into the water

Well, the girls were underwhelmed. Probably because they were under-napped. We didn't stay long. There were too many tears and meltdowns. But in the future, I hope to show them a picture of themselves knee-deep in the tiny stream while they look at its giant southern counterpart. And someday use it as a metaphor for humble beginnings, possibilities, and hope for the future.
Me in the Mighty Mississippi

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Going Looney

Never before coming to MN had I heard the call of the loon.

It's such a distinct and wistful sound...

But it's one of those sounds that transports you to a time and a place. And, so far for me, it's always a good time and a good place.

I hope it does the same thing for the girls...

A family of loons on Lake Belle Taine. Please ignore the tacky popup trailer. I promise we stayed in a nicer place...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Winners and Losers

We're staying at an amazing lake house.
The space is amazing. 

The views are amazing. 

The fenced in yard with a swingset, play structure, and sandbox is amazing. 

The dock and floating dock are amazing. 

The inside gym is amazing.  I could go on and on. The place is our dream home. It even comes furnished with toys and games for the kids. What else could we ask for? This place is everything that we could ask for, and much that we wouldn't even think we could ask for. This home is perfect for our extended family of 12. We all have our own beds, and plenty of space to go to for some peace and quiet. I had no doubt when we walked in that this was the perfect place for us.

But the place makes me a little sad. Within 10 minutes of being here, a friendly and chatty neighbor gave us the down-low of why this place is on the rental market. The owners are going through a divorce, and they can't sell it yet, so they're trying to make a little money off of it before they do. The marriage, a relationship built for two, was entered by a third person. And a family fell apart.

We spent some time poking around into the nooks and crannies of this amazing place. And we found the unfinished attic where a lot of the kids' toys were stored. The little girl has the same name as HeyMama. She also loves pink and Princess stuff. She owns a doll set I was considering getting for HeyMama. Her artwork is on the wall. A photo of her and her family, from the back, is on the wall. This house, a dream home for us, has become a house of broken dreams for two young children. And it breaks my heart.

It won't ruin our ability to have a great time this week. It isn't. The kids have a case of perma-grin. The adults are all pretty happy too. I know that the memories created here this week will be happy ones for my family for years to come. But the happy memories created here for the other family will always be tinged with sorrow. This home is a small reminder that money can't buy happiness. And that dreams can shatter. And it makes me so sad for those kids...

The view of the upper deck while I'm drinking morning coffee.
The view from the upper deck while I'm drinking morning coffee. Yes, there are multiple decks.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chaotic Fun

It's family vacation time.
7 adults + 5 kids + 1 house = chaotic fun.

The last 24 hours have been spent in BestestHusband's childhood home. The next few days will be spent in a cabin on a lake Up North in Minnesota. But in-between, we'll be attending a family reunion. BestestHusband's extended family is large and scattered enough that after 7 years, I still haven't met them all yet. Apparently, I'll meet a few more today.

The trip has been chaos so far, but fun. I'm sure there will be a lot more chaos, and a lot more fun.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Anniversary Gift Giving Etiquette

Wedding anniversaries are a wonderful chance to take a break from the whirlwind life that you've created together and reflect on your relationship and the life you've created together.

I'm thankful to say that BestestHusband and I were able to do this yesterday for the 7th time.

What a life we've created together, and what a whirlwind it's become!

7 years ago.

Now, every couple has their own traditions and preferences for gift-giving. Or not-giving. This is a good and appropriate thing. But there are always "experts" who give gift-giving advice. Oh, there's the list of traditional anniversary gifts that are fun to try to stick to, like giving copper or wool for the 7th anniversary. But I'm talking about the "experts" who might say things like, "Don't give your wife pots and pans for your anniversary, she wants lingerie and jewelry."

Don't listen to these experts, my friends. Especially if the pot in question is a heavy piece of French cookware that she has been drooling over for the greater part of the past year. And especially especially if your wife's had 2 kids and prefers more modest sleepwear when being awoken at 3am by munchkins with bad dreams.

When that is the case, get yourself down to the closest outlet mall and buy the aforementioned cookware in her favorite color. Go. Right now.

Ignore the "experts" and realize that, although your wife went to a private liberal arts school where gender studies were popular and the phrase "Biology is not our destiny!" was as well-known as the school's motto, she will not take it as an insult if you buy her something to enrich her current stay-at-home lifestyle. She will happily chant "Flavorful one-pot meals are my destiny!" and display her shiny new prize on top of the stove.

Trust me on this one.

My Preeesscciiiooouuuussssss

David Barnes took the lovely wedding photo. The glare-y pot photo is all mine.


The place is magical.
I wasn't introduced to it until I was a young adult, but it quickly seduced me with its charms.

Close your eyes and visualize this:
It's a mild summer evening.
The stars are twinkling overhead.
You're sitting on a broad lawn, with lawn chairs and picnic blanket spread out.
You just ate a gourmet picnic.
You have a glass of wine in hand.
Everyone around you is happy, basking in the magic of the place.
The sun is setting gloriously behind you.
One of the world's premier orchestras in onstage, ahead of you.
They're outside, too.
The music wafts across the lawn and out into the night.
Your heart soars and dips along with the music.
The world feels still and peaceful.
You're at peace.

That's the best I can do to explain Tanglewood. It's the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. They host other performers, as well. But if you like classical music, Tanglewood is your musical mecca.

It's become a bit of a family tradition. We try to go at least once a year. This was the first year we took both girls and all enjoyed it. (previous attempts were less than successful, to say the least.) The girls picked out their favorite sun dresses. They wanted to be fancy. They danced when the music was danceable. MeToo guffawed at the giant bass drum in "Fanfare for the Common Man", she thought its sudden beats were hysterical. When the music got quieter, they colored and looked at books. When it got too dark, they wrapped themselves in the picnic quilt. When it got too late, MeToo snuggled into her stroller with her paci and doll, and put herself to bed. HeyMama followed a bit later, snuggled in the blanket. Then BestestHusband and I could finally snuggle into our chairs and just enjoy the music. Just like we did before we had kids.

I have a lot of wonderful memories from growing up, but I wonder what it would be like to have childhood memories of going to Tanglewood. That's a gift we plan to give to HeyMama and MeToo. We look forward to making those memories.

Celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary and Tanglewood's 75th birthday.

HeyMama had a blast running races with herself on the lawn near the visitor's center.

MeToo had a blast rolling in the soft grass. HeyMama eventually joined her.
Check out that view...

Not a bad picnic dinner...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Camping with Preschoolers

We went camping with the girls for the first time this weekend, and it was a big hit. 

Now, let me clarify what "camping" means in this context: 

  • We drove across the state.
  • We drove into the woods.
  • We pitched a tent.
  • We cooked dinner over a campfire.
  • We slept - like sardines - in a small tent.
  • We woke up the next morning and made coffee and oatmeal on a tiny backpackers stove.
  • The girls loved the playground.
  • The girls loved the indoor rec room with all the toys.
  • The girls loved driving to the lake to go swimming.
  • The girls loved looking at the swimming pool, but didn't want to go in.
  • They thought the idea of coin-operated showers was interesting.
  • The girls loved going to Tanglewood and dancing to some amazing live classical music.

Hmmm, this doesn't sound like the camping that BestestHusband and I did before the girls were born...

Because it isn't. We didn't go hiking this trip. We required flush toilets and showers. We brought lots of familiar foods in an insanely-large ice chest. We tailored camping to the tolerances and abilities of a 2.7 and a 3.9 year old. But we got them outdoors. We were outside all day. We got them surrounded by plants, animals, and scenery. And we allowed them to have fun without electronics or their favorite household toys. And we let them run around without hovering over them. We let them run off with a new little girl to stay within earshot. They had a taste of freedom. They got dirty. They learned a few new things:

  • You can live from the back of your car.
  • There are a lot of bugs outside.
  • You can cook food over open fire.
  • You can be in the dark and be ok.
  • If all else fails, just lay on top of Mama.
  • If you leave bagels on the table and walk away, red squirrels will try to run off with them.
  • You have to take trash to the dumpster or the animals get into it.
  • Lake water is different from pool water, and you can control how deep you go in.
  • Binoculars help see things far away. If you turn them around, things look different.
  • Magnifying glasses help see things close up. If you put them to your face, things look different.
  • If you leave baby wipes on top of the car at a rest area, they disappear.
  • Camping is fun and we want to go again soon.

Someday, I would love to do backpacking camping as a family. But that is quite a distance ahead in the future. For now, we just want them to experience the outdoors, and develop an appetite for more.

In the meantime, I'm marveling at how we can spend as much time preparing and recovering from the trip as we do actually enjoying the trip! Ah well. In the future, they'll be old enough to help more...

PS. I forgot to mention what WE learned!

  • Summer camping trips will result in garden explosions. (Holy Bolted Spinach Batman!!!)
  • No matter how much you water things in advance, your front porch hanging baskets will try to die.
  • Your dogs might come back from the dog sitter's house with fleas. Lots of them.
  • Guard your only package of baby wipes like your LIFE depends on it.
  • Make sure you pack your glasses if you're blind without contacts in.
  • 2 children do NOT equal 1 adult when it comes to tent capacity.
  • Make sure you pack more than one match.
  • Pack earplugs if you don't enjoy crow serenades at daybreak.
  • Recovering from a camping trip might take most of the next week.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stewardship Sunday - Weekend Getaway Edition

Whew, Sunday again. How did that happen?

We returned from a quick weekend getaway, and are gearing up for the real summer vacation - a week with extended family at a lake house in the upper Midwest. It's late. So I'll try to do a quick week overview and leave the details for tomorrow.

Monday: Gym, led preschool music time, had relaxing afternoon at home. And a visit from the plumber. I think. It feels so long ago...

Tuesday: Worked an extra long day in Boston. Had a delayed train. BestestHusband cooked sandwiches for dinner.

Wednesday: Went to Children's Museum with college roomie and her two boys. Ran errands and did laundry to prep for the camping trip. Then was exhausted.

Thursday: Worked in Boston, then had dentist appointment in evening. BestestHusband cooked takeout for dinner.

Friday: Spent the morning packing for the camping trip. BestestHusband came home early from work, and we headed west. In lots of traffic. We set up camp, roasted hot dogs and s'mores, and crashed (like sardines who like to lay on Mama) in our small tent. 

Saturday:  BestestHusband (who actually slept through the night) let me sleep in. The girls enjoyed the playground. He enjoyed the newspaper. We went swimming in a lake. We showered and got ready for Tanglewood. We spent an evening under the stars, listening to world-class music in a world-class outdoor music venue, drinking sparkling wine and eating a 5-star picnic. They topped it off with fireworks. We got back to the campsite after 1am.

Sunday:  We straggled out of our tent not too long before checkout time. We hurried to pack up and check out. We drove a lot. We went to an outlet mall on the way home. That was so painful on so many fronts, but most of our anniversary shopping is now done. We came home. We greeted the dogs. We discovered they acquired fleas at the dog sitter's house. We rushed to get the girls fed, bathed, and in bed. We tried to clean up from the trip and de-flea the dogs and the downstairs. 

Food waste: It was a hectic week. A perfectly-nice batch of spinach got composted. Some perfectly nice lettuce met the same fate.

Money: Camping + Tanglewood + outlet mall = ouch. But 2 out of the 3 are what we hope the girls' memories are made of. And 1 out of 3 are what much of their food will be made WITH.

Patience: We were trying to accomplish a lot this week, which always puts a strain on everyone. We had a lot of fun, but had a few trying moments, as well. I'd rate this week a "fair" to average out the ups and downs.

M&Ms: MeToo started pooping on the potty this week. And the floor. But she did earn M&Ms for the potty poops. I earned M&Ms for cleaning up the floor poops.

Time: We did a lot of great memory-making stuff this week. I think our time use was pretty good. I'd just like to have more of it...

More info to come on camping, Tanglewood, and out outlet trip. Hope you had a great week, and are looking forward to another one!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I saw a picture of him before his car accident. He was a good-looking guy. Notably cute, even. Joe's* in his early 20's, with medium build, lean. Nice smile, blue eyes, sandy hair. Definitely an all-American guy. If you worked with him or went to school with him, it'd be easy to develop a crush.

Crush is an unfortunate word in Joe's case...

He was involved in a car crash on the highway. Not wearing a seatbelt, he was ejected from the vehicle. They found him with his head wedged between the side of the car and the Jersey Barrier.

To manage the bleeding and swelling of his brain, the doctors removed a section of his skull. It's not immediately noticeable under his protective helmet. But the swelling has definitely gone down, and there's a cavernous indentation now. His head is misshapen and lop-sided.

If he were alert and conscious enough, I suspect he'd be horrified at his appearance. But he's not aware of his surroundings. His therapy is focusing on getting him to look at 2 different photos and figure out which one is him. The other photo is a motorcycle.

We had a good therapy session. I put a cleaning swab in his hand, and he tried to put it in his mouth. I spooned tiny slivers of ice in his mouth, and his eyes momentarily came alive as his mouth tried to chew it. He really is making progress. He no longer breathes through a tube in his neck. But his mouth hangs open, slack. He still has to eat through a tube in his stomach.

Miracles do happen. Healthcare providers pray for them daily.

But wouldn't it be easier if he just wore the seatbelt?

*of course his real name isn't Joe...

Monday, July 9, 2012


I've felt extremely frazzled today. The Pama wasn't enough. 

The day was good. We went to the gym early, we led music time at preschool. We went home for an afternoon that didn't involve running around, per HeyMama's request. We did fun stuff out on the back patio. We opened the sandbox. We filled the water table. I harvested our first batch of lavender. It was a good day. It was full of cranky preschooler behavior. But most days are. Why am I so frazzled?

Well, the ajillion +1 phone calls about replacing a hot water heater might have contributed to it a bit... But I don't think that's the real cause.

I think it's because I'm an introvert.

Now some of you might argue with that statement. I seem perfectly sociable and outgoing. And you'd be right in that I DO enjoy some doses of social behavior, and I'm not afraid to talk to total strangers. That just means I'm not shy, and I'm the crazy talk-to-people-in-the-grocery-line type. But I've always heard that the test of introvert/extrovert has more to do with what ENERGIZES you - socialization or alone time.

And I need alone time. Quiet alone time other than the hours that I'm sleeping. (I don't typically sleep alone. And my sleeping partner is not consistently quiet...). My girls do not believe in quiet time. Nor do they believe in giving me alone time. Oh, sure, I can baby gate them into their room and put in ear plugs. But I save that for emergencies. Our house is about nonstop talking and nonstop needing. That's just where we are right now.

I'm always working to teach the girls more independence. And it is working. But that still takes time, talking, and togetherness. And these have devoured the remnants of my neurological system by the end of the day.

I feel better about my limitations since thinking of it this way. How can some moms seem to thrive amidst the chaos while I continue to struggle? Maybe it's because they're on Xanax. Or maybe it's because they're wired that way. I'm just not. And there's nothing I can do about it. Oh, I can pretend to be a social butterfly, but I'll still need to re-charge like a hermit. God made me this way, and I don't believe He makes mistakes...

So now I'll have to work on using this self-realization to find more balance. Because no one has fun when I'm frazzled.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Stewardship Sunday

Whew, what a week. It was a week of fireworks. Literally. I live in one of the most patriotic neighborhoods in the US. They don't even let state laws slow them down. Why shoot off illegal fireworks just one day a year when you can shoot them off every night that it's not freezing? And yes, I was the crazy lady out barefoot in pajamas, yelling up the hill to the revelers, "Knock it off! I called the cops! It's 1:30am!" And I was the therapist with glazed eyes the next morning siting at the wrong desk, annoying the full-time therapists.

I had an interesting experience with a neighbor at 1:30am. One of my neighbors is almost always shirtless. He's in his 50's. Balding with a comb-over. Paunchy. Never stepped foot in a gym. He's the baby of 9 kids, and was always coddled a bit. Still living rent-free in his (now-deceased) Mama's house. Kinda creepy. Well, Creepy Shirtless Neighbor was out at 1:30am. He apologized for being shirtless, blaming it on getting soaked during the fireworks on the Esplanade. No, he's shirtless because he's Creepy Shirtless Neighbor. And now he's seen my in my pajamas. I shudder just thinking about it...

We had a super-fun week. We were busy enjoying the summer, outdoors. We saw the tall ships on Wednesday. We played with friends. I went to the gym. We had a workday at our friends' house, immediately followed by a birthday party. We took naps. It was a great week.

And now I'm tired. So I'm going to report on my resource management for the week and take a shower.

Food waste: Last week was bad. I didn't post about it, but trust me on this one. This past week, not so much. The fresh lettuce and greens in the backyard are helping me quite a bit.

Money: Ouch again. A trip to TJMaxx for preschooler undies resulted in finding more sandbox toys and fun stuff to do on our upcoming vacation. Good deals, but still, ouch. Oh, and I went out for a girls' night out. Tasty sangria and tasty desserts aren't free.

Patience:  Fair. I was having a rough week for other reasons, but the gym time did help.

M&Ms:  I finished off my container of Mama's Magic Beans (Trader Joe's Mint Chocolate covered espresso beans), but did share them with others. The M&Ms are down in the basement, safely out of my consciousness. The dark chocolate frozen yogurt, unfortunately, was not.

Time:  We did a lot of play dates and play time with friends this week. We went out for a family outing on the 4th. We were outside a lot. This is what we SHOULD be doing in our short Boston summer. We used our time well, as far as I'm concerned. The cleanliness of our house definitely suffered. Oh well. 

Time to get ready for a new busy week. How was your week?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What the Big Dig Did Right

Bostonians can't help but notice what the Big Dig did wrong. The construction phase was hell. I'll never forget the horror and helplessness I felt as poorly-marked detours sent me further and further away from the airport. And yes, I did miss that flight.

Taking an urban highway system and moving it underground is a Herculean undertaking fraught with countless obstacles. Subways lines had to be avoided. Tunnels had to be sunk into the shipping channels. Detours and even road directions changed daily. If someone asked, "Was this road here yesterday?", chances were good that it actually wasn't. This is bound to cause some confusion and headache.

And the outrage and scandal continues as defects and graft are uncovered. The ceiling tile that fell and killed a woman was due to contractors installing cheap substandard bolts. The pavement is also substandard, and slowly turning our main highway into a gravel road. Behind-schedule, over-budget, poorly-made, and plagued by accusations of corruption, it's a textbook case of how NOT to do a public works project.

But they did do a few things right...

When they buried the swath of elevated highway that stretched north/south through town, they were left with a continuous stretch of open space - valuable open space in the middle of a tightly-packed city. And instead of selling it all off for profit, they preserved it as urban green space. They turned it into a string of parks. And then they sprinkled it with art, sprinkler parks, and a carousel.

The result is stunning.

The girls exploring the "Urban Garden"

The girls climbing the "Tree of Knowledge"

Not sure the name of this sculpture, but BestestHusband called it "Giant's Coatrack"

We're obviously not giants. We need a different coatrack.

HeyMama enjoyed climbing the pumpkins and jumping off.

There used to be an ugly green highway here. Now there's a big tree.

Despite all of the green space, we are still in the city.

Plenty of room to run and roam.

MeToo kept gravitating back to the "Tree of Knowledge". Not a bad thing...

I'd love to spend a day just exploring its length. We would have happily stayed longer if we'd packed a dinner. We'll add that to our list of things to do this summer...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th

Does anyone else get chills listening to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture? Does anyone NOT get chills when the Massachusetts National Guard starts shooting off cannons alongside the Boston Pops Orchestra?

Now, most Americans think that the piece commemorates our battles. They're wrong. It's about Russia and France. If you listen closely, you can hear the old Russians singing, "God Save the Czar" and strains of France's "La Marseilles" trying to drown it out. The Czar wins in the end. It's all there in the music.

But we Americans love the idea of protecting our country from invaders. And we adore heavy artillery alongside good music. So we now claim the 1812 as ours.

Trivia: This year's Boston fireworks celebration was immediately preceded by what:

A. A streaker attempting to commandeer one of the MA National Guard's cannons.
B. An evacuation due to impending storm
C. 12 hours of camping out on a sun-scorched grassy plain in the hopes of getting close to the Hatch Shell stage.
D. A crowd of thousands in funny hats belting out patriotic tunes.

While A would be memorable and would certainly make the news, to the best of my knowledge, only answers B, C, and D are correct.

We're still waiting to see the fireworks.

Last year, HeyMama was terrified by the sound of fireworks, and our neighborhood fireworks enthusiasts were ruining her night. I tried to explain why we Americans like to blow things up on the 4th of July.
Me:  "We're celebrating being free."
HM:  (pause) "Oh, just like VBS"
Me:  (longer pause) "How is it like VBS?"
HM:  "At VBS we learned about Moses and how he asked Pharoh to set his people free."
Me:  "Yes, you're exactly right. People still celebrate that freedom at Passover, and people celebrate our country being free on the 4th of July."

We'll skirt the issues of whether or not God had the same hand in America's freedom as He did in the Isrealites' freedom, and how bright explosions got involved...

Most of us spend the day surrounded by family and friends. We make memories, we keep up traditions. We honor those who continue to ensure our freedom. We thank our God for living in a country where we have the ability to raise our children to worship Him in the way that we believe is right.

There is much to celebrate today. Like the fact that HeyMama is sleeping through this year's fireworks.
Happy 4th of July to us all.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Pat on the Back

Wow, it's late. Why am I still up? Oh, yeah, because we've been busy. It's the same reason my blogging has become less frequent. And I've been up late catching up on stuff. Crossing things off lists. Living a busy summer life. 

HeyMama has made great strides in potty training. She's dry overnight! She decided one night that she really wanted to do this. And she's doing it!!! But part of the plan was that we'd take her to the potty before we go to bed. 

So every night before I go downstairs, I lift HeyMama out of her bed and carry her to the bathroom. She lays her head on my shoulder, wraps her arms around me, and pats my back as I carry her to the bathroom and back. 

Every night, I get a pat on the back for my parenting efforts. Literally.

I'd like to file this one in the "I hope I never forget this" file.